Question: If a person is satisfied with his own state of consciousness and has no particular desire to improve it, is this a mistake or a violation of the rights of his soul?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two types of satisfaction. One type of satisfaction we see in the laziest fellow. He is satisfied; he won't budge an inch. Although he has many desires, he does not want to satisfy any of them. He is satisfied with sleeping and enjoying the world in his own way. In spite of the fact that he knows nothing, he has nothing and he will have nothing, he is satisfied.

But there is another type of satisfaction. One who is divinely satisfied says, "God knows what is best for me. He has given me what I actually need. I am praying, I am concentrating, I am meditating and He is helping me. I am happy with Him. I know it is His business to give me full realisation, infinite Light, at His choice Hour. I am satisfied with what I am and what I have, and at the same time I am trying my utmost to realise God. I am making this personal effort with my utmost love, devotion and aspiration, but at the same time I am satisfied with myself." This is the satisfaction of the true aspirant who does not demand anything from God.

The first type of person has no desire, nothing. He does not want to make any progress. He is in the world of ignorance. That satisfaction with living in ignorance and doing nothing is no satisfaction; it is stagnation. The other type of satisfaction comes when we are praying, concentrating, meditating, doing our best and all the time feeling that God is our all-loving Father. We know that He will give us what we actually need at His choice Hour.

Then there is a third category that is in between these two. Those who belong to this category go along the way and fulfil some of their desires and then become satisfied; they do not want to make further progress. They know that the destination is farther, but they have walked a bit and they are satisfied. They feel that it is too difficult to go to the end of their journey. So they stop for some time. Now from the strict spiritual point of view, these souls are not aspiring; they are dead souls. The souls of the lazy, idle human beings that are not aspiring and also those who have started the journey and then stopped either because of their laziness or because their goal seemed very far are dead souls in the spiritual life.

If one is aspiring consciously with the soul, the physical, the vital, the mind and the heart, then naturally the soul will be most grateful to that aspirant. But if somebody does not aspire at all, if he has never thought of the spiritual life or if he has stopped caring for the spiritual life, the soul has infinite patience. It will never be frustrated. The soul has taken the responsibility for the entire being, and the soul is ready to wait for thousands of years for the co-operation of the other parts of the being. But at times it happens that the Supreme puts pressure on the individual through the soul. We cannot delay indefinitely. The soul's patience is infinite, but there is a limit to its duration. If one goes beyond the limit and the soul feels that the time is absolutely ripe for the individual to aspire to go beyond his ignorance-life, at that time the soul takes action. It gets the sanction and Blessings from the Supreme to put pressure on the individual.

So these are the two kinds of satisfaction. There is no violation of the soul in the case of lethargic satisfaction, but we have to say that these are dead souls. There is violation in a mild way, but actually one cannot violate the rights of the soul. God's ultimate Truth can be violated by no one, although some individuals delay their own progress. Eventually everybody has to reach the Truth and achieve the Truth, but we can delay our achievement with our ignorance and then we will not go as fast as the aspiring souls. True, lack of aspiration is a kind of subtle violation. You are postponing your aspiration. But the real violation is never to accept the Truth; and that violation can never be committed. We have to accept the Truth either consciously or unconsciously. If we do not accept it willingly, then we will have to accept it under pressure.