Humanity acts based on the motive force of desire, and much of our mental development and focus is based on ways to both satisfy and justify this vital force of attraction and repulsion in action. The ego represents a limited formation that essentially is built up around a set of (for the most part) habitual responses to objects of desire, and the specific organized set of these responses that we identify with through the ego-consciousness we call ourselves, our personality, and our being.
In fact,however, this is a surface being that is both ephemeral and transitory in nature. There is a deeper, true self that is not based on the ego, and not focused on the satisfaction of desires, that represents the true reality of our existence. The process of Yoga works to unveil this hidden true self and bring it to the fore, thereby shifting the motive principle of action from desire-based to divine-centered.
Sri Aurobindo weighs in: “The spiritual life will draw its sustenance not from desire but from a pure and selfless spiritual delight of essential existence….Our divided, egoistic, limited and ignorant thought and intelligence must disappear; in its place there must stream in the catholic and faultless play of a shadowless divine illumination which shall culminate in the end in a natural self-existent Truth-Consciousness free from groping half-truth and stumbling error. Our confused and embarrassed ego-centred small-motived will and action must cease and make room for the total working of a swiftly powerful, lucidly automatic, divinely moved and guided Force. There must be implanted and activised in all our doings a supreme, impersonal, unfaltering and unstumbling will in spontaneous and untroubled unison with the Will of the Divine. The unsatisfying surface play of our feeble egoistic emotions must be ousted and there must be revealed instead a secret deep and vast psychic heart within that waits behind them for its hour; all our feelings impelled by this inner heart in which dwells the Divine will be transmuted into calm and intense movements of a twin passion of divine Love and manifold Ananda.”
As all of these changes in the various aspects of our being take hold, we find that a different type of being and action ensues: “This is the definition of a divine humanity or a supramental race. This, not an exaggerated or even a sublimated energy of human intellect and action, is the type of the superman whom we are called to evolve by our Yoga.”
The Nietzsche-an ideal of the superman is more or less an enlargement of the ego and the desire-soul in man. Sri Aurobindo’s ideal leads us beyond the limits of human desire and ego to provide a different basis for action in the world than we have seen heretofore.
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 3, Self-Surrender in Works–The Way of the Gita, pp. 83-84