“But still, in the practical development, each of the three stages has its necessity and utility…” When you are ignorant you make a tremendous effort. When you begin to have more and more contact, personal effort will diminish more and more as the contact grows more and more. And when you become the Divine centre there is no personal effort at all -- it is all gone. All the three stages have their necessity and their utility. Predominance of personal effort; gradual diminution of personal effort; loss of personal effort. “…and must be given its time or its place. It will not do, it cannot be safe or effective to begin with the last and highest alone.” If you just sit alone saying I am now at the third stage when you are only in the first stage it will be a disaster. If you just sit down saying “Now the Divine is working in me, I am a Divine center” when you are not it will be a disaster. “It would not be the right course, either, to leap prematurely from one to another.” Gradually, you should always be very wise in moving forward from one stage to the other. When you are egoistic admit that you are egoistic but then do your effort. You cannot cure egoism just by saying, “I am not egoist”. It takes a long time, therefore at such time be humble and say, “Yes I am egoistic now but I am making an effort because it is appropriate to the egoistic stage.” “For even if from the beginning we recognise in mind and heart the Supreme, there are elements of the nature which long prevent the recognition from becoming realisation.” A mere idea that God is the doer of all things will not give the realisation that God is the doer of all things. “But without realisation our mental belief cannot become a dynamic reality; it is still only a figure of knowledge, not a living truth, an idea, not yet a power. And even if realisation has begun, it may be dangerous to imagine or to assume too soon that we are altogether in the hands of the Supreme or are acting as his instrument. That assumption may introduce a calamitous falsity…” Before you realise the Divine has taken charge of you, you begin to say the Divine has taken charge of you because you have spoken to him, mere speaking to him does not mean that he has really answered. He must accept you, he must really takes you in his hands and you must be sure that he is taking you in his hands. He must tell you definitively: “Yes I am now taking you in charge.” “… it may produce a helpless inertia or, magnifying the movements of the ego with the Divine Name, it may disastrously distort and ruin the whole course of the Yoga. There is a period, more or less prolonged, of internal effort and struggle in which the individual will has to reject the darkness and distortions of the lower nature and to put itself resolutely or vehemently on the side of the divine Light. The mental energies, the heart’s emotions, the vital desires, the very physical being have to be compelled into the right attitude or trained to admit and answer to the right influences. It is only then, only when this has been truly done, that the surrender of the lower to the higher can be effected, because the sacrifice has become acceptable.” Then you know that the Divine has really accepted your sacrifice, all your tapasya. There was a disciple who asks to Sri Aurobindo: “Can I see the Divine? Sri Aurobindo said: “The question is whether the Divine wants to see you.” This is the stage you should arrive at. The Divine must want to see you and take your charge and this come when you are constantly making an effort -- tapasya.
“The personal will of the sadhaka has first to seize on the egoistic energies and turn them towards the light and the right…” this is the first thing to do. To seek the knowledge; to seek to do the right action constantly; to come out of the error; to discover the Truth; to stop doing wrong actions and to constantly practice the right action. Because it is the first step I started with speaking to you about Dharma, you remember long long ago. The first thing to be done is to seek the Light and the Right as a light of Dharma and to practice Dharma. It is a long process. “… once turned, he has still to train them to recognise that always, always to accept, always to follow that.” The word always is very important. Because our egoism when he succeeds to do one thing then it relaxes. It says, “I have done it.” But it does not remember that it has to be done always -- persistence in doing the right, persistence in discovering the Truth.
“Progressing, he learns, still using the personal will, personal effort, personal energies, to employ them as representatives of the higher Power and in conscious obedience to the higher Influence.” The word obedience is very-very-very-very important. Obedience is the one thing the ego does not like. Ego likes affirmation, assertion. Therefore obedience must be learned. To obey the higher influence, to achieve the state of obedience is a tremendous achievement. First you discover which is the higher influence and then to cultivate the influence of obedience. You may not like the order of the higher influence but you should obey. Therefore in the Indian system of Yoga the student was told: “Obey first, obey in the middle, obey last.” At every stage of your movement do not disobey. If you really want the highest, obedience must be willing obedience, not that you are whipped to obey. If you want the Divine, if you are eager for the Divine realisation then since you are in the ignorance and darkness, since you are committing errors, since you easily swerve from the right path you should willingly tell the higher influence -- “As thou will, as Thou will.” As you will, as you will, let it be done. The eagerness to obey should be the real condition of consciousness. You should be very eager. The normal egoism wants to resist. “Why should I do it? I don’t like it!” But obedience to the higher influence. Remember this. Obedience does not mean that you obey indiscriminately anything and everything whoever commands you. No! You should be very discriminate. Whom do you obey? The one who is higher in influence. There the obedience should be perfect, ungrudging. You should be very happy to obey even when you do not believe; when your mind says that it does not want. As long as you are a pupil, as long as you are a student you want to obey, you want to move forward and obedience is the path.
“Progressing yet farther, his will, effort, energy become no longer personal and separate, but activities of that higher Power and Influence at work in the individual. But there is still a sort of gulf or distance…” Even at the higher level of your development, when you can see the higher will working in you, even then Sri Aurobindo says do not delude yourself, there is still a gulf between you and him. “But there is still a sort of gulf or distance which necessitates an obscure process of transit, not always accurate, sometimes even very distorting, between the divine Origin and the emerging human current. At the end of the process, with the progressive disappearance of egoism and impurity and ignorance, this last separation is removed; all in the individual becomes the divine working.”