There is a risk or tendency from the discussion about the result of energy discussed in the prior post, to try to turn this into an “all or nothing” result; whereas the Spirit is not only free, but also extremely flexible and multi-faceted. Thus, when we say that success in worldly matters goes to those who focus on those affairs, not to those who focus on ethics or virtue, this is obviously not intended to be a rule with “blinders” on. Each type of energy is in fact interacting in the same pool of energy with all the others, so there are mixtures, interactions, and inter-relationships that prevent the pure single force from finding its fulfilment 100% in its own right. As an example, someone using cut-throat methods in business and not caring about ethical considerations might show some success in business, but at some point, there may be a reaction from the community of business, or business partners, or the society that turns the success into failure, or limits the “success”. In this case, an extreme one-sided concentration without concern for other principles of action can sabotage the “success” of the action. We see a similar type of admixture everywhere. A focus on physical health for instance may yield the strong, vibrant athletic success, but if done without consideration for development of emotional and mental balance and intelligence, can turn into an obsession, go beyond limits and eventually potentially lead to a breakdown of physical health at some later point in time. Similarly those who focus on sensual enjoyment of life oftentimes find that by not including other principles of energy, they actually wind up with physical, mental or emotional suffering along the way. As the mental development becomes generalised it begins to impinge upon the pure animal reactions on the physical and vital planes of energy and we see much more subtle, varied and mixed results that have to be understood as the usual case, rather than simply focusing on extreme examples of single energy development, although it is easier to appreciate the principle in the abstract pure form initially.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 22, Rebirth and Other Worlds; Karma, the Soul and Immortality