The Transition From Ego-Based Action to Divine Action

There is a danger, which we can see in the historical track taken by many religious practitioners around the world, for one to substitute one’s own personal ideologies and preferences for the actual will of God, and to thereby justify to oneself actions taken to use one’s own particular belief system as a type of “club” to beat up other belief systems and try to enforce one’s own beliefs on everyone else. In the extreme, this type of action leads to forced conversions or religious discrimination or even slaughter or “crusades”. There is a difference here from the equal wide manifestation of the Divine and the disinterested implementation of the Will of the Divine in one’s own life. This difference is due to the continued promptings of the ego to achieve its desired aim or results from its own limited viewpoint. This comes about because equality has not been fully established in the being, and the ego-personality remains active. The process of moving from the ego-based to the divine action is one that comes incrementally over time through the persistent and patient focus of the Sadhaka of the Yoga, as explained by Sri Aurobindo:

“Vital acceptance or rejection, the greater readiness to welcome this rather than that happening, the mental acceptance or rejection, the preference of this more congenial to that other less congenial idea or truth, the dwelling upon the will to this rather than to that other result, become a formal mechanism still necessary as an index of the direction in which the Shakti is meant to turn or for the present is made to incline by the Master of our being. But it loses its disturbing aspect of strong egoistic will, intolerant desire, obstinate liking. These appearances may remain for a while in a diminished form, but as the calm of equality increases, deepens, becomes more essential and compact, …, they disappear, cease to colour the mental and vital substance or occur only as touches on the most external physical mind, are unable to penetrate within, and at last even that recurrence, that appearance at the outer gates of mind ceases.”

As the seeker begins to recognize the action of the Divine Shakti in the world and through his own actions, this bondage of the ego and its insistent desires begins to loosen, but there remains a residual core of the ego in the sense that the individual still attributes action to himself, although now under the impulsion of the Shakti. “We have then to et beyond this stage even. For the perfect action and experience is not to be determined by any kind of mental or vital preference, but by the revealing and inspiring spiritual will which is the Shakti in her direct and real initiation. When I say that as I am appointed, I work, I still bring in a limited personal element and mental reaction. But it is the Master who will do his own work through myself as his instrument, and there must be no mental or other preference in me to limit, to interfere, to be a source of imperfect working. The mind must become a silent luminous channel for the revelations of the supramental Truth and of the Will involved in its seeing. Then shall the action be the action of that highest Being and Truth and not a qualified translation or mistranslation in the mind.”

“The thought and will become then an action from a luminous Infinite, a formulation not excluding other formulations, but rather putting them into their just place in relation to itself, englobing or transforming them even and proceeding to larger formations of the divine knowledge and action.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 13, The Action of Equality, pp. 696-697

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