Running and the life-game

Life and sports cannot be separated; they are one. As a matter of fact, life itself is a game. This game can be played extremely well, provided the player develops consciously or unconsciously the capacity to invoke the transcendental energy which is always manifested in action.

In the life-game, each soul is running consciously or unconsciously toward the goal of inner perfection. There is not a single individual who has not left the starting point. Now, one individual may be behind another in the Godward race, but all are making progress and running toward the same goal.

When you enter into the spiritual life, it means that you have consciously begun your inner journey. If you are running consciously, then naturally you will reach the goal sooner than those who are still asleep. There are many reasons why you may be inspired to consciously run toward the goal. You may be inspired to run toward the goal because you see so many others who are also running, and this makes you feel that the goal has something to offer. Again, you may want to run toward the goal because you yourself have an intense inner cry. Your inner cry for truth and light and love has increased; so you are running toward the goal. Why is it that in you the inner cry has increased, whereas others are still fast asleep? It is because God has inspired you. It is not that you just come out of your house and decide to run. No, something within you, an inner urge, inspires you to go out and run. And who has given you that inner urge if not our Beloved Supreme?

Spirituality is a one-way road that leads you to your goal. Once you have embarked on your journey, you can't go back. The starting point is gone. Once evolution starts on any plane, you can't go back to the initial point.

If you are consciously running toward the goal, then naturally you want to get there sooner than the soonest. If you want to run fast, faster, fastest, then you have to simplify your outer life, your life of confusion, your life of desire, your life of anxiety and worry. At the same time, you have to intensify your inner life, your life of aspiration, your life of dedication and illumination.

Sometimes when you see your goal in front of you, you think that you should be able to reach it at once, although you may be a little tired. You are tired because your capacity is limited. Nevertheless, your mind wants to just grab the goal. But there is a limit to how fast you can go. Like a runner, you must be careful not to fall just before you reach the finishing line.

Again, you can say that there is no such thing as a fall. Since there is only one road, one way to the goal, it is not possible to fall off the path. It is just that sometimes you take rest or halt for a while. But no matter how long you rest, or how slowly you go, you cannot fall off the path. Purification and illumination are bound to take place at God's choice Hour. At that time, first you will see that the goal is right in front of you. Then you will feel that the goal is within you, and finally you will come to realise that not only is the goal within you, but you are the goal itself. Your own higher self is the goal that your lower self has been searching for.

Sri Chinmoy, The outer running and the inner running.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 645th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The outer running and the inner running, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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