Transcending the Egoistic Individual Personality

The transition from the normal state of consciousness of the human being, anchored in the mental-vital-physical and the ego-personality to a new standpoint that incorporates the unmanifest, the unmoving and the uninvolved consciousness of the Akshara Purusha, as a transitional step to the integration of both together in the consciousness of the Purushottama, proceeds in stages starting with the first recommendation by Sri Krishna to do work without using the ego and its limited goals as the reference point.

This first stage is described by Sri Aurobindo: “…to give up all desire of the fruits of his works and become simply the desireless impartial doer of whatever has to be done,–leaving the fruit to whatever power may be the master of the cosmic workings.”

By cultivating this detachment from desire and the objects of desire, one begins to approximate the truly disinterested consciousness that needs to be developed.

Sri Aurobindo describes how this takes place: “He must stand back first from his egoistic demand on the world and work only as one among the millions who contributes his share of effort and labour to a result determined not by himself, but by the universal action and purpose. But he has to do yet more, he has to give up the idea of being the doer and to see, freed from all personality, that it is the universal intelligence, will, mind, life that is at work in him and in all others.

While we habitually act from the view that we are actually in control of our lives and our actions, this is clearly not the case when one looks deeper into the matter. “Nature is the universal worker; his works are hers, even as the fruits of her works in him are part of the grand sum of result guided by a greater Power than his own.”

These two steps are key elements in the change of consciousness that must take place: “If he can do these two things spiritually, then the tangle and bondage of his works will fall far away from him; for the whole knot of that bondage lay in his egoistic demand and participation.”

With this alteration in status the individual is no longer bound by the dualities of sin and virtue, joy and sorrow, right and wrong action. “Action will produce no subjective reaction and will leave no stain nor any mark on his spirit’s purity and peace.”

“Neither within nor without will he have any more the old little personality, for he will feel consciously one self and spirit with all, even as his outer nature will have become to his consciousness an inseparable part of the universal mind, life and will. His separative egoistic personality will have been taken up and extinguished in the impersonality of spiritual being: his separative egoistic nature will be unified with the action of cosmic Nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 4, The Secret of Secrets, pp. 289-290