While we tend to look upon an inward turn of the consciousness as a narrowing or focus on the individual’s personal being, in fact, getting in contact with the inner spiritual entity, the soul, allows one to break free of the bond of the personality and universalise oneself. Sri Aurobindo explains: “For this inner living can extend itself and embrace the universal life, it can contact, penetrate, englobe the life of all with a much greater reality and dynamic force than is in our surface consciousness at all possible. Our utmost universalisation on the surface is a poor and limping endeavor,–it is a construction, a make-believe and not the real thing: for in our surface consciousness we are bound to separation of consciousness from others and wear the fetters of the ego.”
The idea that we can outwardly bridge gaps of separation to embrace universality and oneness is in reality somewhat delusional, and it tends to enhance the ego that believes itself to be altruistic or selfless. Even the best attempts have severe limitations based on the fragmentation and separation that we experience in our surface life.
Sri Aurobindo points out that the true source of oneness and universality is in the spiritual consciousness: “The spiritual consciousness, the spiritual life reverses this principle of building; it bases its action in the collective life upon an inner experience and inclusino of others in our own being, an inner sense and reality of oneness. The spiritual individual acts out of that sense of oneness which gives him immediate and direct perception of the demand of self on other self, the need of the life, the good, the work of love and sympathy that can truly be done. A realisation of spiritual unity, a dynamisation of the intimate consciousness of one-being, of one self in all beings, can alone found and govern by its truth the action of the divine life.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”