Questions and answers

Question: How can one reconcile America's inner decay and crassness with an evolving spiritual awareness?

Sri Chinmoy: Your question is at once extremely interesting and thought-provoking. It is a question about which one can say much. I wish to reflect on it, not from the sociological viewpoint, but from the spiritual viewpoint which is not so well understood.

America's inner decay is, to me, not so grave or so vital as you feel it to be. I take it to be a battle between Darkness and Light. When we consciously open ourselves to the Light, inevitably all our unconscious weaknesses and limitations come forward to bar the way. The more the Light beckons us, the stronger become our unruly, undivine and unconscious parts. This is an inescapable spiritual law, which one can see operating in the individual as well as in the collectivity. Before proceeding with America, let me explain why this law exists.

Until now, ignorance has ruled the earth and continues to dominate the earth-consciousness. The material world has not consciously aspired for its own inner fulfilment which is part of a destined integral spiritual fulfilment of humanity. Darkness has always been the master. It does not want a higher force to take its place. So it fights with all its power to perpetuate its rule. And so, as I have said, when the Divine Force succeeds in making an opening in a certain area of our earth-consciousness and is rewarded with a renewed aspiration, the anti-divine forces also intensify their efforts, creating values and ideas which are utterly empty of any higher truth. This eternal battle between Darkness and Light becomes even more intense when a new and higher cycle is about to begin in the evolution of mankind, which is the case today.

These are the primary reasons for your feeling that a yawning chasm exists between America's high aspirations and ideals on the one hand, and some of her unlit ideas and values on the other. Her evolving spiritual awareness and her hasty outer movements are not quite in collaboration with each other; one is not helping the other. Until the Light dawns fully, the true seeking cannot come forward wholeheartedly; hence the values leading to integral spiritual progress are not much in evidence.

Moreover, America is a young nation. It does not want to walk; it wants to run as fast as possible in order to breast the tape first. You know that while running at top-speed, there is every possibility of stumbling or running off the track.

Nevertheless, with America's sincere and dynamic urge for progress, her present gropings and wanderings will pale into insignificance as we vision the promise and possibilities of her future fulfilment.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 1, No. 4, 27 November 1965, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1965