The Benefit of Shifting the Focus Toward the Higher Consciousness Rather than Focusing on the Struggles to Change the Lower Nature

Whatever we focus on intensely becomes stronger. If we focus entirely on the lower nature and its weaknesses, we actually are empowering them and giving them energy. In order to effectuate change in the lower nature, there must be an awareness of the areas that require change, of course, but not a fixation on them to the exclusion of anything else. Additionally, the focus on the weaknesses and resistances of the lower nature and the difficulty in making real progress for change can be depressing.

By focusing the primary attention on the divine Force and the higher consciousness, the seeker comes into closer contact and communion with them and strengthens their connection and power of action within him. Real change of the lower nature can only truly be carried out by that higher consciousness-force in action, so the stronger it becomes and the more it is able to act, the faster and more powerfully the change can occur.. Instead of wallowing in the endless struggle to change the lower nature, the seeker needs to focus attention on the positive growth and opportunities of the new powers that are manifesting.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “It is a mistake to dwell too much on the lower nature and its obstacles, which is the negative side of the sadhana. They have to be seen and purified, but preoccupation with them as the one important thing is not helpful. The positive side of experience of the descent is the more important thing. If one waits for the lower nature to be purified entirely and for all time before calling down the positive experience, one might have to wait for ever. It is true that the more the lower nature is purified, the easier is the descent of the higher Nature, but it is also and more true that the more the higher Nature descends, the more the lower is purified. Neither the complete purification nor the permanent and perfect manifestation can come all at once, it is a matter of time and patient progress. The two (purification and manifestation) go on progressing side by side and become more and more strong to play into each other’s hands — that is the usual course of the sadhana.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, The Positive Side of the Sadhana, pp. 278-280