Universality in Action: The Law of Divine Living

When we act in the world, we generally start from the viewpoint of the egoistic individual. As we grow and evolve we begin to try to expand our action to include family and various groupings of people, whether team, tribe, nation, or affinity groupings including religious organisations. In each such expansion, we consciously try to incorporate the needs and values of a larger formation. However, it should be noted, that the methodology we generally employ leads to an expansion of the ego and widening of its action. In order to achieve this action, we rely on idea, emotion & vital sympathy to act as the force of implementation.

Sri Aurobindo points out that for the gnostic being, this mode of action will no longer be operative. Rather, the gnostic being and life involves “a close and complete consciousness of the self of others, a consciousness of their mind, life, physical being which are felt as if they were one’s own.”

“The gnostic being will act, not out of a surface sentiment of love and sympathy or any similar feeling, but out of this close mutual consciousness, this intimate oneness. All his action in the world will be enlightened by a truth of vision of what has to be done, a sense of the will of the Divine Reality in him which is also the Divine Reality in others, and it will be done for the Divine in others and the Divine in all, for the effectuation of the truth of purpose of the All as seen in the light of the highest Consciousness and in the way and by the steps through which it must be effectuated in the power of the Supernature.”

The gnostic individual is not fixated on his own personal success or aggrandisement, but rather, on the implementation of the divine purpose in all of the creation. “He sees a divine working everywhere; what goes out from him into the sum of that divine working, from the inner Light, Will, Force that works in him, is his action.”

The individual action becomes a nexus of manifestation of the Universal and Transcendent. “As he does not live for a separate ego, so too he does not live for the purpose of any collective ego; he lives in and for the Divine in himself, in and for the Divine in the collectivity, in and for the Divine in all beings. This universality in action, organised by the all-seeing Will in the sense of the realised oneness of all, is the law of his divine living.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”

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