How to Recognise and Respond to the Higher Guidance in Work

We are trained to think and act from the viewpoint of the ego-personality. When we take up the practice of integral yoga, however, we understand that the standpoint of action must shift so that we can become true instruments of the higher action of the divine force which is working to transform life on earth through the advent of a new consciousness and way of action. We then are confronted with the issue of how to receive this force and how to distinguish between the old way of thinking and acting, and the new direction that is in the process of manifesting.

Sri Aurobindo provides guidance on these questions:

Sri Aurobindo notes: “Openness in work means the same thing as openness in the consciousness. The same Force that works in your consciousness in meditation and clears away the cloud and confusion whenever you open to it, can also take up your action and not only make you aware of the defects in it but keep you conscious of what is to be done and guide your mind and hands to do it. If you open to it in your work, you will begin to feel this guidance more and more until behind all your activities you will be aware of the Force of the Mother.”

“If you want the consciousness for true actions very much and aspire for it, it may come in one of several ways: 1. You may get the habit or faculty of watching your movements in such a way that you see the impulse to action coming and can see too its nature. 2. A consciousness may come which feels uneasy whenever a wrong thought or impulse to action or feeling is there. 3. Something within you may warn and stop you when you are going to do the wrong action.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 6, Sadhana Through Work, Meditation and Love and Devotion, Work pp. 129-145

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