The focus on attacks by hostile forces, and difficulties faced, easily engages the ego-personality in a form of vanity. It strengthens the hold of the ego, rather than loosening attachment to open the way for the shift to the divine standpoint. When it takes a rajasic form, the ego glorifies in the fight against the ‘powerful forces’ that are attacking constantly. When it takes a tamasic form, the ego wallows in despair that it is being overwhelmed without assistance as these forces attack.
Sri Aurobindo clearly explains the trap that this fixation on hostile forces entails and shows the way out of the trap by emphasizing the need for quiet reliance on the Divine Force and the process of tuning the being to that higher force and the peace that accompanies its descent into the being.
Sri Aurobindo writes: “The hostiles when they cannot break the yoga by positive means, by positive temptations or vital outbreaks, are quite willing to do it negatively; first by depression, then by refusal at once of ordinary life and of sadhana.”
“One must not get into the habit of a state in which one is always in a struggle with suggestions and forces. People very easily fall into this and make it a habit — the vital part takes a sort of glowing satisfaction in crying out ‘I am attacked, overborne, suffering, miserable! How tragic is my fate! Why do you not help, O Divine? There is no help, nor Divine Grace? I am left to my misery and downfall etc. etc. etc.’ I do not want one more sadhak to fall into this condition — that is why I am calling Halt! before you get entangled into this kind of habit of constant struggle. It is what these forces want — to make you feel helpless, defeated, overcome. You must not allow it.”
“How can you have peace and quiet when you are always thinking of ‘lower forces’ and ‘attacks’ and ‘possessions’ etc.? If you can look at things naturally and quietly, then only you can have quiet and peace.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, Difficulties Due to the Hostile Forces, pp. 280-286