As human beings we start from the standpoint of the egoistic consciousness, based in desire and self-interest. When we begin to recognise the fundamental reality of the spiritual life, that our normal standpoint of a separated, fragmented individual actor is in fact as unreal as the idea that the sun revolves around the earth, then we begin the process of transitioning to a new consciousness and new standpoint. This transition goes through several stages during which the ego-standpoint is successively attenuated until it eventually disappears into a consciousness of being a nexus or hub of the divine action. As long as the ego-consciousness remains, we look upon ourselves as the “doer”. The next phase is to reorient the consciousness of the “doer” to that of “doer of divine works”. This prepares the way for the eventual awareness that we are not the “doer” of work, but the occasion of the work done by the Divine Shakti.
Sri Aurobindo sets forth the conditions for the transition to take place from egoistic action to divine action: “If you want to be a true doer of divine works, your first aim must be to be totally free from all desire and self-regarding ego. All your life must be an offering and a sacrifice to the Supreme; your only object in action shall be to serve, to receive, to fulfil, to become a manifesting instrument of the Divine Shakti in her works. You must grow in the divine consciousness till there is not difference between your will and hers, no motive except her impulsion in you, no action that is not her conscious action in you and through you.”