But to remember “Always indeed it is the higher Power that acts. Our sense of personal effort and aspiration comes from the attempt of the egoistic mind to identify itself in a wrong and imperfect way with the workings of the divine Force.” That means that our personal effort is actually Divine force itself, pushing itself. Because we are egoistic we do not know so we imperfectly identify with it and give a twist to it and that gives us the sense of effort. Actually everything is so facile. “It persists in applying to experience on a supernormal plane the ordinary terms of mentality which it applies to its normal experiences in the world. In the world we act with the sense of egoism; we claim the universal forces that work in us as our own; we claim as the effect of our personal will, wisdom, force, virtue the selective, formative, progressive action of the Transcendent in this frame of mind, life and body. Enlightenment brings to us the knowledge that the ego is only an instrument; we begin to perceive and feel that these things are our own in the sense that they belong to our supreme and integral Self, one with the Transcendent, not to the instrumental ego. Our limitations and distortions are our contribution to the working; the true power in it is the Divine’s. When the human ego realises that its will is a tool, its wisdom ignorance and childishness, its power an infant’s groping, its virtue a pretentious impurity, and learns to trust itself to that which transcends it, that is its salvation. The apparent freedom and self–assertion of our personal being to which we are so profoundly attached, conceal a most pitiable subjection to a thousand suggestions, impulsions, forces which we have made extraneous to our little person. Our ego, boasting of freedom, is at every moment the slave, toy and puppet of countless beings, powers, forces, influences in universal Nature. The self–abnegation of the ego in the Divine is its self–fulfilment; its surrender to that which transcends it is its liberation from bonds and limits and its perfect freedom.”
This is one of the most important statements about the ego and the Divine and their relationship. I will just make a little diagram for you. Each one of us is seated in the vast compass of the whole universe which is issued from the Divine who is at once immobile and mobile. This mobility is a tremendous creative movement and in this movement at a certain point there is a blockage. As a result of this blockage a small little pebble is created; in this vast movement a small little pebble is created because of this blockage. But this blockage does not mean that this force is not transmitted. It is transmitted but feebly. Therefore we don’t feel here in our egoism the tremendous force which is behind. It is a manageable force, a small little force which seems to be moving round and round and it is here that this force enters as it were and we catch the force. It is woven into us as it were. And we think that this force is our force –– my force. Whatever force you catch you identify yourself with it. And this force is already moving forward but the ego feels that this force is moving because of its catching it. It has caught it but already the force is moving in its own way. But because you identified yourself with it you feel that this is my force, which is moving forward. Actually it is all moving from here. Because you catch it the force becomes weakened. You lose the whole thing. The force which is coming here, by the ego’s catching it, its force is becoming weakened, diluted. Therefore when this force tries to move with its own movement you feel as if there is a big resistance –– actually the resistance is your own. You are trying to catch it and it is moving forward by itself but because you catch it you feel a resistance. Already the force is trying to move forward so you feel as if you are making a big effort to move forward. Actually the movement is moving already but because you are resisting and identifying yourself with it, it becomes weaker and the force behind is pushing you. You feel therefore a kind of burden behind you. It is a burden which makes you feel that you are making an effort.
This is what gives you the sense of personal effort. But Sri Aurobindo says: always it is a power of the Divine that acts. You become enlightened when this blockage is removed. Normally when this enlightenment is presented in intellectual terms, as I am doing now, our natural tendency would be “Alright, I will not catch it. I will allow the force to pass by me.” You do nothing as it were. This is the kind of conclusion that many people derive out of this statement which I am making. If it is the Divine force which is working it will work whether I do anything or not. So I stop doing anything. But it does not stop in that way. It is a wrong way of dealing with it. Unless you break this ego, here, whether you allow it to pass or not to pass, ego remains. It will always creates this sense that I am doing. And the way by which you can break this ego is to work from behind. The dam is there, blockage is here and unless you break this blockage you won’t be liberated from this sense. It is not merely by hearing that ego is not the doer, that Divine is the doer. Merely by hearing you won’t enter into this consciousness.