Transforming the Value Placed on Events and Activities Based on a Shift of Standpoint from the Ego to the Divine

It is normal for people to interpret events and actions based on their own perspective. It is as if they are at the center of the universe and are able to judge every action by its impact on the individual. Of course, this is a defective stance, as we know that while each individual has a viewpoint and an interpretation of things, the whole world and its manifestation do not revolve solely or primarily around that one person! A example will suffice. An individual may consider himself successful, from his viewpoint, if he earns a lot of money in business. Yet, if that business is based on poisoning the air, water or land of the planet and causing an environmental disaster long-term for the entire eco-sphere and the other beings living on the planet, such an action, from the larger, universal standpoint should be deemed a failure. By shifting the standpoint to the divine standpoint, therefore, all things take on a new perspective and meaning and must be totally reinterpreted for the larger, truer significance to be understood.

Sri Aurobindo explores these issues in depth: “The perfected action of equality transforms all the values of things on the basis of the divine anandamaya power. The outward action may remain what it was or may change, that must be as the Spirit directs and according to the need of the work to be done for the world,–but the whole inner action is of another kind. The Shakti in its different powers of knowledge, action, enjoyment, creation, formulation, will direct itself to the different aims of existence, but in another spirit; they will be the aims, the fruits, the lines of working laid down by the Divine from his light above, not anything claimed by the ego for its own separate sake.”

“Here both success and failure lose their present meanings. There can be no failure; for whatever happens is the intention of the Master of the worlds, not final, but a step on his way, and if it appears as an opposition, a defeat, a denial, even for the moment a total denial of the aim set before the instrumental being, it is so only in appearance and afterwards it will appear in its right place in the economy of his action,–a fuller supramental vision may even see at once or beforehand its necessity and its true relation to the eventual result to which it seems so contrary and even perhaps its definite prohibition. Or, if–while the light is deficient,–there has been a misinterpretation whether with regard to the aim or the course of the action and the steps of the result, the failure comes as a rectification and is calmly accepted without bringing discouragement or a fluctuation of the will. In the end it is found that there is no such thing as failure and the soul takes an equal passive or active delight in all happenings as the steps and formulations of the divine Will. The same evolution takes place with regard to good fortune and ill fortune, the pleasant and the unpleasant in every form….”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 13, The Action of Equality, pp. 698-699