We tend to make the mistake of looking at the yogic process purely from our own individual ego-personality viewpoint. We then try to measure our progress in yoga, or respond to our successes or failures in both our life-actions and our yogic development, from the narrow viewpoint of the ego. As we have already determined that the ego-personality is more or less an illusion and that we are the nexus or occasion of action of the divine Master of existence, of whom we are a portion and who directs and guides the evolutionary process of all the manifested universe, we clearly cannot depend on the ego’s interpretation to tell us where we stand. Setbacks and failures along the way may easily be seen to contain the seeds of a greater and more complete fulfillment, and thus represent the higher plan even though the individual viewpoint suffers in the event.
Sri Aurobindo explores this point: “If we fail in our immediate aim, it is because he has intended the failure; often our failure or ill-result is the right road to a truer issue than an immediate and complete success would have put in our reach. If we suffer, it is because something in us has to be prepared for a rarer possibility of delight. If we stumble, it is to learn in the end the secret of a more perfect walking. Let us not be in too furious a haste to acquire even peace, purity and perfection. Peace must be ours, but not the peace of an empty or devastated nature or of slain or mutilated capacities incapable of unrest because we have made them incapable of intensity and fire and force. Purity must be our aim, but not the purity of a void or of a bleak and rigid coldness. Perfection is demanded of us, but not the perfection that can exist only b confining its scope within narrow limits or putting an arbitrary full stop to the ever self-extending scroll of the Infinite. Our object is to change into the divine nature, but the divine nature is not a mental or moral but a spiritual condition, difficult to achieve, difficult even to conceive by our intelligence. The Master of our work and our Yoga knows the thing to be done, and we must allow him to do it in us by his own means and in his own manner.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 11, The Master of the Work, pg. 234