Becoming Our True Self by Exceeding Ego

Sri Aurobindo describes the difference between the consciousness of the ego-centered “I” and the consciousness of Sat-Chit-Ananda which represents the absolute Existence of which we are part and parcel, but evolving to manifest it more completely until we eventually reflect that consciousness by Identity.

“Our I is not that spiritual being which can look on the Divine Existence and say, “That am I”; our mentality is not that spiritual consciousness; our will is not that force of consciousness; our pain and pleasure, even our highest joys and ecstasies are not that delight of being. On the surface we are still an ego figuring self, an ignorance turning into knowledge, a will labouring towards true force, a desire seeking for the delight of existence.”

There is a riddle of the Inconscience that hides from us our true birth of consciousness; and there is another riddle of the Superconscience, which hides from us our future destiny. Within these two limitations we blindly seek for the meaning of our existence and strive to exceed our present limitations. As we gain leverage on this self-exceeding, we begin to experience glimpses of a higher Existence, a vast Consciousness-Will and an infinite Delight of existence, and these provide us insight into that higher Existence of which we are a part, and from which we are apart in our ego-limited state of awareness.

Sri Aurobindo sums up the need: “To exceed ego and be our true self, to be aware of our real being, to possess it, to possess a real delight of being, is therefore the ultimate meaning of our life here; it is the concealed sense of our individual and terrestrial existence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 17, The Progress to Knowledge–God, Man and Nature”