Equality Changes Our Reactions to People and Their Viewpoints

With the development of the spiritual equality in the being, comes not only a change in reaction to events, but also to people and their ideas, views, and lines of action. We can see here a real difference between the sectarian religious viewpoint which takes the position that only that one way is right and all other ways are wrong, and the wider universal and spiritual standpoint that deepens as the equality takes hold, to encompass understanding and good will, an active compassion and love for all others regardless of their varying ideas, doctrines or beliefs.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The first result of the equal mind and spirit is to bring about an increasing charity and inner toleration of all persons, ideas, views, actions, because it is seen that God is in all beings and each acts according to his nature, his svabhava, and its present formulations. When there is the positive equal Ananda, this deepens to a sympathetic understanding and in the end an equal universal love.”

Due to the nature of the dividing and fragmenting human mentality, it is easy to go from the one extreme of denial and hatred of others with different ideas, to the idea that all other ways need to be accepted in a form of surrender. This would imply an unfettered action and a lack of resistance to forces that oppress or set back the forward movement of the evolutionary process, and this certainly is not intended by Sri Aurobindo. He resolves this concern by pointing out that while the inner attitude should be one of equal toleration and universal love, the outer action still needs to proceed along the lines dictated by the divine Will in its progressive manifestation. This brings the seeker to the understanding that one can act with the full force of opposition, if so required, while maintaining the inner balance, understanding and equality. This is opposition without hatred or any form of action that would belittle or denigrate others who happen to be carrying out actions that needs must be opposed.

“None of these things need prevent various relations or different formulations of the inner attitude according to the need of life as determined by the spiritual will, or firm furtherings of this idea, view, action against that other for the same need and purpose by the same determination, or a strong outward or inward resistance, opposition and action against the forces that are impelled to stand in the way of the decreed movement….But the essence of the equal inmost attitude is not altered or diminished by these more superficial formulations. The spirit, the fundamental soul remain the same, even while the Shakti of knowledge, will, action, love does its work and assumes the various forms needed for its work. And in the end all becomes a form of a luminous spiritual unity with all persons, energies, things in the being of God and in the luminous, spiritual, one and universal force, in which one’s own action becomes an inseparable part of the action of all, is not divided from it, but feels perfectly every relation as a relation with God in all in the complex terms of his universal oneness.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 13, The Action of Equality, pp. 699-700

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