Morality, ethics, rule of law–these are all codes of conduct that are devised at the mental level and which are based on a world of apparent fragmentation and division. We find also that what is moral or ethical in one framework or social setting is considered immoral or unethical in another, since the mind can essentially justify any position that it finds appealing to the current situation or needs. All of this “division-based” activity is at best a compromise between the spiritual aspiration and the cravings, needs, desires and mental predilections of an individual or the larger social order.
Sri Aurobindo points out that none of these things can represent the true spiritual action in the world, as they remain rooted in ego, desire and division. We continue to act from a standpoint of separation and opposition of one against another in a world of conflict. Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that the divine consciousness, and the action that flows from it, is rooted in ONENESS and thus, unity of the creation must be the guiding and fundamental principle that underlies all spiritual action.
“The knowledge on which the doer of works in Yoga has to found all his action and development has for the keystone of its structure a more and more concrete perception of unity, the living sense of an all-pervading oneness; he moves in the increasing consciousness of all existence as an indivisible whole: all work too is part of this divine indivisible whole.”
The implications of this are that whatever the individual does is not done for the sake of personal salvation, individual fulfilment or any satisfaction of a desire based on separation and division. “Our works are part of an indivisible cosmic action; they are put or, more accurately, put themselves into their place in the whole out of which they arise and their outcome is determined by forces that overpass us.”
“Our action arises, as we ourselves have emerged, out of a universality of which we are not aware; we give it a shape by our personal temperament, personal mind and will of thought or force of impulse or desire; but the true truth of things, the true law of action exceeds these personal and human formations. Every standpoint, every man-made rule of action which ignores the indivisible totality of the cosmic movement, whatever its utility in external practice, is to the eye of spiritual Truth an imperfect view and a law of the Ignorance.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 7, Standards of Conduct and Spiritual Freedom, pp. 177-178