The Divine Power and Consciousness Makes a Spiritual Standard of Conduct Possible

When we look at the issues of spiritual development from the human standpoint, we can easily get overwhelmed with the difficulty, the magnitude and in fact, the impossibility of the changes that we aspire to realise in human nature. If all we had to rely on were the human powers of body, life and mind, we would be forever bound and limited and there would not be any leverage to escape from these limitations.

Sri Aurobindo reminds us that the human standpoint is an artificial, fictitious standpoint that has its purposes in the divine manifestation, but, in the end, is not the ultimate reality nor starting point. Looking therefore from the divine perspective, the manifestation takes on a totally different significance and the limitations and struggles we face as human beings are seen as part of a larger, comprehensive evolutionary development to manifest the divinity through the guise of the limited and fragmented objects, beings and forces of the world, which are, after all, inherently unified and one.

“All conduct and action are part of the movement of a Power, a Force infinite and divine in its origin and secret sense and will even though the forms of it we see seem inconscient or ignorant, material, vital, mental, finite, which is working to bring out progressively something of the Divine and Infinite in the obscurity of the individual and collective nature.”

The action of this Divine Force works through the limitations of the world, systematically and progressively developing new and expanded powers of consciousness within what appeared at first to be a totally inanimate and inconscient world. The standards of conduct that have been put forth represent a progressive widening and heightening of consciousness. “It leads man first through his needs and desires; it guides him next through enlarged needs and desires modified and enlightened by a mental and moral ideal. It is preparing to lead him to a spiritual realisation that overrides these things and yet fulfils and reconciles them in all that is divinely true in their spirit and purpose. It transforms the needs and desires into a divine Will and Ananda. It transforms the mental and moral aspiration into the powers of Truth and Perfection that are beyond them. It substitutes for the divided straining of the individual nature, for the passion and strife of the separate ego, the calm, profound, harmonious and happy law of the universalised person within us, the central being, the spirit that is a portion of the supreme Spirit.”

At that stage the supreme Spirit can manifest itself through the individual, transcending the limitations of the ego and the fragmented forms and beings, and displaying the unity and oneness of all creation as a manifestation of the Divine, using and expressing itself through all forms, while still transcending them in its Infinite Being.

“A pure, total and flawless action is possible only when that is effected and we have reached the height of this secret Godhead within us.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 7, Standards of Conduct and Spiritual Freedom, pp. 193-194