Fear of the inner life1

Strange is this world of ours. Stranger is our human understanding. Strangest is our fear of the inner life.

Most of us do not know what the inner life is. What is the inner life? It is the life that lives to grow and that grows to live. It grows in the unhorizoned vision of the soul. It lives in the sublimest plenitude of the soul. This inner life always acts in accordance with the transforming and fulfilling light of the soul. If you do not know your soul, then in the world of divine wisdom you will be accused of dire ignorance. When you know your soul, you become acquainted in no time with God.

Please do not be forgetful of your great promise to God. Before you came into the world, before you donned the human cloak, you had told God, your sweet Lord, with all the sincerity at your command that you would participate in His divine Lila (Drama). He said to you, "My child, fulfil me and fulfil yourself at the same time, on earth." Divinely thrilled, your joy knew no bounds. You said, “Father, I shall. May my soulful promise be worthy of your compassionate Command."

As ill-luck would have it, you have totally forgotten your promise. Here on earth you want to fulfil yourself and not God. Your unlit mind instigates you to betray God. And you do it. You feel that God's fulfilment must come in your fulfilment. If it does not work out that way, you are not prepared to sacrifice one iota of your life-breath to fulfil God here on earth. Your divine promise sheds bitter tears of failure. Needless to say that to try to fulfil yourself before you have fulfilled God is to put the cart before the horse. It is the zenith of absurdity.

Perhaps you have come to learn by now what has compelled you to fail in your most sincere promise to God. It is your fear. If I ask you how many enemies you have, you will jump up and say, "Quite a few." I cannot help saying to you that you are mistaken. You have just one enemy and that's all. But to your wide surprise, it is a host in itself. And that unique enemy of yours is your fear. It is your unconsciously cherished fear.

You are afraid of the inner life, for you feel that the moment you launch into the inner life you are lost, completely lost, a babe in the wood. You may also think that in accepting the inner life, you are building castles in the air. Finally you may feel that to accept the inner life is to throw your most precious life into the roaring mouth of a lion who will devour you and your outer life completely.

You have countless sweet dreams. You want to transform them into reality. All your dreams want to enjoy the world. You want to offer your momentous mite to the world at large, but you feel that if you embark on the inner life, you will be deprived of all these invaluable achievements. So now it is high time for fear to make its appearance and naturally you will fight shy of the inner life. Fear starts torturing you. It tries to limit and bind you.

Unfortunately it is here that your life yields to this deplorable mistake. But once, only once, if with the help of your all-energising meditation, you can carry your long-cherished fear into the inner world, you will see that fear loses its very existence there. In the twinkling of an eye, it becomes one with the dynamic strength of your inner life.

Now if you want truly to possess the outer world, you have to possess the inner world first. Not the other way around. If you want truly to enjoy the outer world, you have to enjoy the inner world first. Not vice versa. If your heart pines to serve humanity, you have to serve the inner divinity first. Infallible is this truth.


  1. AUM 356. This is the second talk given at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica during Sri Chinmoy's visit to Jamaica in the winter of 1967. It was given on 12 January 1968.