Three Aspects of the Development of the Active Power of Equality

Development of an active form of equality, engaged in the world while not experiencing the limitations and bondage associated normally with the outer life, also takes place in stages, showing various aspects in the process. The first aspect begins with the higher forms of reason and will-power, the engagement of the Buddhi, in associating to itself a wide calm and equal acceptance of all that occurs in the world, whether the normal mentality would judge these things to be positive, negative or neutral.

While the Buddhi is acquiring this power of equality, the normal human vital-mental activity still takes place and reactions are still upsetting them. This brings about the second aspect, what may be called a separation or bifurcation of the consciousness. Sri Aurobindo explains: “Then we find that these two, though at first confused, mingled together, alternating, acting on each other, striving for possession, can be divided, the higher spiritual disengaged from the lower mental nature.” The active equality has, however, certain difficulties to work out that do not arise for those whose goal is to abandon the outer life; namely, the universalisation of the conscious awareness means that the seeker is not only dealing with the obstacles posed by his own individual egoistic frame of reference, but with the entire universal manifestation and thus, the added sensitivity to the world’s struggles and joys makes the solution more difficult by an order of magnitude. “For not only does the mind feel its own troubles and difficulties, but it shares in the joys and griefs of others, vibrates to them in a poignant sympathy, feels their impacts with a subtle sensitiveness, makes them its own; not only so, but the difficulties of others are added to our own and the forces which oppose the perfection act with a greater persistence, because they feel this movement to be an attack upon and an attempt to conquer their universal kingdom and not merely the escape of an isolated soul from their empire.”

The third aspect comes about as “…the higher reason and will impose themselves on the lower mind, which sensibly changes into the vast types of the spiritual nature; it takes even a delight in feeling, meeting and surmounting all troubles, obstacles and difficulties until they are eliminated by its own transformation. Then the whole being lives in a final power, the universal calm and joy, the seeing delight and will of the Spirit in itself and its manifestation.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 12, The Way of Equality, pp. 687-688

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