The ego-personality actually can be a form of protection for the unprepared soul in the world, as it limits the range and power of action. If a person breaks out of the framework provided by the small ego-personality, and comes into contact with and active conscious interaction with the larger universal, cosmic forces, this can result in an enlarged form of egotism and lead to devastating results due to the self-aggrandisement that can occur, combined with the greater powers at play at that level.

The liberation of the Self from the active Nature aids the seeker in avoiding the trap of this larger ego-action and thus, provides the best foundation for expansion into the cosmic consciousness and the new powers of which the seeker becomes aware that act in that larger field.

Without that liberation, forces that work at the cosmic level can control and manipulate the individual who is not properly prepared and resistant to the lure of those forces taking advantage of the ego-motives to turn the individual into a plaything and instrument of, in some cases, very hostile actions, including demonic possession of various sorts as can be seen with the rise of Hitler in the 20th Century. The results can be catastrophic, both the for individual and for the world.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “Liberation is the first necessity, to live in the peace, silence, purity, freedom of the self. Along with that or afterwards if one wakens to the cosmic consciousness, then one can be free, yet one with all things.”

“To have the cosmic consciousness without liberation is possible, but then there is no freedom anywhere in the being from the lower nature and one may become in one’s extended consciousness the playground of all kinds of forces without being able to be either free or master.”

“On the other hand, if there has been Self-realisation, there is one part of the being that remains untouched amid the play of the cosmic forces — while if the peace and purity of the self has been established in the whole inner consciousness, then the outer touches of the lower nature can’t come in or overpower. This is the advantage of Self-realisation preceding the cosmic consciousness and supporting it.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 7, Experiences and Realisations, The Consciousness of the Self, pp. 181-184

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.