As long as we remain rooted in the ego-consciousness, we identify ourselves with the mind, life and body and their needs, demands, and habitual ways of responding to the challenges of existence. Within this framework, we are trapped by the definitions and boundaries that circumscribe our awareness. There is literally no way out as long as we stay within this limited perspective and we thus face struggles and suffering.
To shift the standpoint outside the ego-framework, the first step is to loosen the identification with the ego and the mind-life-body complex. The separation of Purusha and Prakriti, and the stepping back into the position of the observer of the nature, is a powerful method to accomplish this. Once we loosen the identification with the active nature, it becomes possible for us to begin to shift our standpoint to the divine standpoint, independent of the individual egoistic personality.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “It is inevitable that doubts and difficulties should arise in so arduous an undertaking as the transformation of the normal nature of man into the spiritual nature, the replacement of his system of externalised values and surface experience into profounder inner values and experience. But the doubts and difficulties cannot be overcome by giving them their full force; it can be rather done by learning to stand back from them and to refuse to be carried away; then there is a chance of the still small voice from within getting itself heard and pushing out these louder clamorous voices and movements from outside. It is the light from within that you have to make room for; the light of the outer mind is quite insufficient for the discovery of the inner values or to judge the truth of spiritual experience.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, Detachment from Difficulties, pp. 277-278