Imagination, inspiration, aspiration and realisation1

Imagination is the creation’s invisible beginning. Inspiration is the creation’s visible beginning. Aspiration is the creation’s illumining beginning. Realisation is the creation’s fulfilling beginning.

The poet imagines. The singer inspires. The seeker aspires. The lover realises. This poet is the seer-poet who envisions the realities of the world beyond. This singer is the divine singer who has a free access to the world of celestial music. He is in tune with the music that elevates the consciousness of humanity. This seeker is he who has freed himself from the desire-world, from the meshes of ignorance. He wants only the truth and nothing else. This lover is a God-lover. Here on earth and there in Heaven he loves only God. Each creation of God’s he takes as the living manifestation of God. In each creation he sees and feels God’s Silence-Vision and God’s Sound-Reality.

Imagination says to inspiration, “I have discovered something great: God is great.”

Inspiration says, “I fully agree with you. Your discovery and my discovery are the same. And what you say, I am sure, is on the strength of your own personal experience, for I have had the same experience: God is great.”

At this point, aspiration says to imagination and inspiration, “Friends, you two are right. I wish to add only one thing: God acts ceaselessly and compassionately.”

Then realisation comes into the picture and says, “Friends, you three are perfectly right. Only allow me to add something more: God gives us everything unreservedly and unconditionally, but we receive according to our receptivity.”

Imagination is not mental hallucination. Inspiration is not self-deception. Aspiration is not earth-negation. Realisation is not Heaven-glorification.

Imagination is not mental hallucination: it is the reality that grows and glows in our physical mind at God’s choice Hour. Imagination has a world of its own. From there, the reality descends into our physical mind, our earth-bound mind.

Inspiration is not self-deception. Inside inspiration abides and looms large the reality of one’s existence. Inspiration carries us to the farthest Beyond, to the highest Heights, to the universal Depths. It has the capacity to embody the transcendental Height and also to measure the universal Depth.

Aspiration is not earth-negation; aspiration is earth-acceptance. Earth is God’s creation. If we accept God as our very own, we cannot separate earth from His existence. A true seeker is he who sees God not only in the highest plane of consciousness but also in the lowest unlit plane of consciousness. He is everywhere in a greater or lesser degree. But the seeker enters into the lowest in order to bring down the reality-light of the highest so that he can transform the lowest into the highest. Earth the seeker accepts as a reality, and in this reality, through this reality, God-Vision manifests itself.

Realisation is not Heaven-glorification. Some people think that if one realises God, he will all the time talk about Heaven-realities, for he alone knows what is happening in Heaven. Since he is an authority on Heaven, he will try to glorify the realities that exist in Heaven. But on the contrary, a realised soul is he who feels that it is his bounden duty to spend most of his time starving with humanity’s hunger, crying with humanity’s pangs and smiling with humanity’s joy. To serve God in humanity, to bring to the fore the divine light that humanity embodies, is his soul’s primary task. Here on earth he has to fulfil God’s Dream. For him, not Heaven but earth is the Reality supreme.

Imagination knows no obstruction. Inspiration knows no hesitation. Aspiration knows no test. Realisation knows no rest.

Imagination knows no obstruction. It runs, it flies, it dives. There is nothing here on earth that can remain as a distant impossibility to imagination. Imagination has a free access to all of God’s Reality.

Inspiration knows no hesitation. Once the divine in us is inspired, there is no delay, no hesitation whatsoever. It runs the fastest towards the destination.

Aspiration knows no test. Some people are of the opinion that God examines our aspiration, but this is absurd. God knows what we have and what we are. He never examines us. It is we who examine ourselves, for we are not sure of our capacity, of our reality or of our achievement. Also, we examine ourselves because we want to prove to God and to humanity our worth, our value, and whether or not we are fit to stand against the teeming ignorance-night.

Realisation knows no rest. It would be a deplorable mistake to come to the conclusion that once we have achieved realisation then for us it is the journey’s close. No, realisation is preparatory to revelation, and revelation is preparatory to manifestation. Manifestation is preparatory to perfection and perfection is the song of eternal transcendence. Perfection is not and cannot be a finished product. Perfection is continuously in the process of transcending its own height. Again, today’s realisation has to be the beginning of tomorrow’s new aspiration. As a matter of fact, inside realisation, revelation, manifestation and perfection there is always aspiration.

Imagination, inspiration, aspiration and realisation are all divine qualities, but aspiration preponderates. It has the strongest capacity to lift everything that it sees around or within, to lift it up to the ever-transcending Beyond. This is what our aspiration can do and always does.

The divine child in us is imagination. His very being is surcharged with imagination. The divine deer in us is inspiration. The deer symbolises speed, which inspiration has in abundant measure. The divine bird inside us is aspiration. This bird flies and flies to the farthest Beyond. It embodies the inner flaming cry that has to reach the Highest, the Absolute, the farthest Beyond.

Imagination, inspiration and aspiration eventually grant us realisation. Realisation is the perfection of our inner nature and the conscious support of God’s cosmic Will. At every moment a realised soul offers conscious and constant oneness with the Will of the Absolute Supreme. Inside himself he sees a swan. This swan symbolises realisation. It is the swan of wisdom-light, the swan of victory-height and the swan of nectar-delight.

Usually imagination is in the mind, inspiration is in the dynamic vital, aspiration is in the crying, loving heart and realisation is in the entire being. When we have imagination, we feel that we can do everything. It is only a matter of time. At God’s choice Hour we shall be able to accomplish everything that we want to accomplish. When we have inspiration, we feel that everything can be done, for that is what our adamantine will wants to do for us. When we have aspiration, we feel that God is going to do everything for us, for we are helpless, we are hopeless, we are useless, yet we are still His loving children. Therefore, out of His infinite Bounty He will do everything for us. Finally, when we have realisation, we clearly see in unmistakable terms that God has already done everything for us. There is nothing that we have had to accomplish; everything has been done for us by God Himself. Now we only have to share in His infinite Wisdom-Light.

  1. AUM 1728. Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 20 February 1976

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol.II-3, No. 2, February 27, 1976.First published by Vishma Press in 1976.

This is the 9105th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book AUM — Vol.II-3, No. 2, February 27, 1976, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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