Question: Sir, when did you come upon the thought that there is an inner self within yourself? And after you discovered that you had an inner self, weren't you alarmed over the fact that you felt isolated from the rest of the world? And how did you make connections with other inner selves who were not aware that they had an inner self?

Sri Chinmoy: I have known intuitively, from my early childhood, that there is a deeper self within me. Each one of us has an inner self. Some are conscious of this inner self and some are not. Those who are conscious of this inner self are, according to us, spiritually developed. What they can do in order to have a synthesis between the outer world and the inner world, between the outer being and the inner being, is to have a burning flame of aspiration. This aspiration is based on self-sacrifice, outer and inner.

Suppose you have found your inner self and your inner life and the answers to the questions of your inner problems. But the person next-door is utterly unconscious of the inner life and the inner world. Now it will be extremely difficult for you to have a kind of understanding with her and vice-versa. She cannot come and enter into your consciousness. For her it is very difficult to enter into you. Now, in order to have a bridge between you two, what you can do during your meditation or concentration is this: you know the person well, quite well. First you go deep within, and from there you bring forward all your sweet and subtle and harmonious feelings. It is all from within you. You bring forward all these subtle and delightful feelings and then consciously, during your meditation, you throw them into her: into her mind, into her body, into her heart. Then you have created a bridge between you and her.

Within your inner world, you are secure. You feel that the inner world has given you enormous confidence to cope with the outer world. You can go to her and speak to her on the spiritual life, the inner life, the life that gives you true happiness. She can try it for herself. In this world, everyone is running after true happiness and satisfaction. If one is satisfied after achieving something, then next day, again dissatisfaction comes in. One wants something more. Today's satisfaction will not be tomorrow's satisfaction. It will be tomorrow's dissatisfaction.

So first within yourself, just like watering a plant every day, you feed your inner being by meditation. Then you come to the outer world with your creative manifestation to form a bridge between your inner achievements and the outer world, where your future fulfilment will take place.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 2, No. 2, 27 September 1966, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1966