Curiosity or necessity1I am extremely happy, fortunate and proud to be here this evening in your midst. I shall be in the British Isles for about a month. If I go back to New York, where I live, without paying my respectful homage to Wales, it will be the summit of my folly and ignorance.
I understand this is a small university — small in size, but not in height, not in depth. I understand that there are 350 students. I have been to Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Harvard and most of the important universities in the States. There you will find thousands and thousands of students. But what we need is quality and not quantity. What we need is aspiration and nothing else. The search for the truth — this is the thing that we all need. When we have that inner cry for truth, we do not need anything else.
Now, as you know, yesterday I was at Oxford. Today I am here. On the 23rd I will be in Cambridge. Then I will be visiting Scotland and then Ireland, France and Switzerland. What am I doing? I am doing only one thing. Like a bird I fly from one place to another. My wings are love and service. One wing is love, the other wing is service. I try to love mankind. I try to serve mankind. This is what I have been doing so far. So I have come here to love God inside you and to serve the divinity within you.
Curiosity or necessity. Curiosity is not necessity. Necessity is not curiosity. These are like the North Pole and the South Pole. It is quite simple. A curious man does not want the truth. He does not need the truth. He just wants to hear from others what the truth looks like. On very rare occasions, he may want to see the truth from far distance. He is afraid of personally approaching the truth. He feels that the moment he approaches the truth, the volcanic power of the truth will destroy him, his earthly existence. His earthly existence is nothing other than ignorance.
Curiosity commits two unpardonable sins. It kills our spontaneous love for light, the illumining light that transforms our life and enables us to realise the highest truth. Curiosity also extinguishes our inner flame, which is a normal and natural fire. This inner flame we call aspiration. The higher this flame of aspiration rises, the sooner we reach the shores of the Golden Beyond.
Curiosity is afraid of two things — the highest reality and divinity. When reality, that is to say the transcendental reality, looks at curiosity, curiosity immediately runs and runs, looking for an escape, a hiding place, because curiosity feels that it will be, in no time, exposed. When divinity looks at curiosity, curiosity, out of tremendous fear, curses divinity. It feels that a perfect stranger is entering into its very breath.
Curiosity has, however, two intimate friends — doubt and jealousy. Doubt feeds curiosity just at the moment when the divine Peace, Love, Bliss and Power of the spiritual master want to help mankind unconditionally. Doubt feeds curiosity at that very moment jealousy makes curiosity feel that it is far inferior to the genuine seekers of the Infinite Light. So jealousy does not permit curiosity to make friends with the spiritual seekers or to take spiritual help from them. “If the spiritual seeker or master is so great, then what of it? Let me remain in the meshes of ignorance. No harm.” Here jealousy instigates curiosity to remain where it already is.
Now, let us focus our attention on necessity, divine necessity. Necessity is spirituality and spirituality is necessity. Now what is spirituality? It is the common language of man and God. Here on earth we have hundreds and thousands of languages to make one understand another, but when it is a matter of God and man, there is only one language and that is spirituality. If one follows the path of spirituality, one can easily speak to God face-to-face.
Necessity, divine necessity, is the pressure to see the highest and to feel the deepest. Today we see the highest, tomorrow we feel the deepest and the day after we grow into the highest and into the deepest.
God is not only a necessity, but the necessity. How and why is God the necessity? We know that everything has failed us or will fail us in one way or another, but God has never failed the sincere seekers after the infinite truth, and if we really cry for the inner truth, the infinite truth, God will not fail us.
We expect from mankind perfection, perfect perfection. Now, no person on earth is absolutely perfect. Then how can we expect perfect perfection from anyone? We expect absolutely divinity from human beings. But absolute divinity is still a far cry for the individual. But if we want to see perfect perfection, absolute divinity, then only God can show us perfect Perfection. He can show us His absolute divinity. What is more, He can offer us His perfect perfection, His absolute divinity.
Today’s desire compels us to deny and avoid truth, God. Tomorrow’s aspiration will compel us to see God, the divinity God, the Inner Pilot. There can be no choice. Now God is the only reality, or God is the necessity, only necessity. What do we mean by this? When we speak of God, what do we actually mean? We mean God-realisation or Self-discovery. Let us use the term God-realisation. God-realisation is not only possible but practicable and what is more it is something unavoidable, inevitable.
The outer cry we have. With our outer cry we feel satisfaction in possessing and being possessed. With our inner cry, we enlarge ourselves, we expand ourselves, we fulfil God here on earth.
The immortal poet, Shakespeare, said:
There is no virtue like necessity."
Without realising God we cannot have abundant peace, light, bliss and power. God-realisation is of absolute necessity here. Without God, we remain unrealised. Similarly, without man, God remains unmanifested.
Philip Sidney said, “Thy need is greater than mine.” When we follow the spiritual life, when we walk along the path of spirituality, one word constantly looms large and important and that word is “sacrifice”. We have to sacrifice our very existence for others — what we have and what we are. What we have is willingness and what we are is cheerfulness. This cheerfulness we can have only when we go deep within. When we are cheerfulness within, we are willingness without. If our inner existence is flooded with joy and delight, then only shall we be eager, more than eager to help the outer world. If there is a barren desert within us, if there is no light within us, how are we going to help or serve mankind? So if we have joy within, this joy today or tomorrow, sooner or later, we can bring to the fore and offer it to mankind. We have to love mankind soulfully, serve mankind unconditionally.
As I said before, curiosity is not necessity. Curiosity is not spirituality. True. But we all know that we cannot be sincere overnight. If I am not sincere, I cannot become sincere in the twinkling of an eye. If I have not realised the truth, I cannot realise the truth overnight. It is impossible. But if, out of curiosity I want to see what is happening in the sincere spiritual seekers who feel that God is the only necessity, then I can try to be sincere because I see something divine and fulfilling in them. God-realisation is of the utmost importance. First thing first and that is God-realisation, self-discovery.
So out of curiosity if one goes to a sincere spiritual seeker or a spiritual master, then he may see something which he has not seen before in him or around him. So I tell my students or acquaintances who come to me with very limited aspiration and so forth — “I beg to be excused, I must say that I do have most sincere students, disciples also. But those who are right now unfortunate and do not have genuine aspiration, I do not throw cold water on them. I tell them, 'Don’t worry. If you have come to me just out of curiosity, no harm. Mix with the sincere seekers. See what they are getting from their genuine spiritual life and then if you feel that their spiritual life has changed their nature or is giving them a new light, new peace, giving a new meaning to their outer life, then try to follow their example. Be one with them.'”
I have come across quite a few curious, totally and exclusively curious human beings who are now transformed into serious, sincere seekers. Truth, either today or tomorrow, has to be realised and for that, if we do not have utmost sincerity right now, no harm. Sincerity grows. Everything grows. Everything. Like a muscle, everything can be developed. If we don’t have implicit aspiration right now, no harm. We can develop aspiration, our inner cry.
So, dear sisters and brothers, here I am seeing many, many sincere seekers. To them I say — run fast, faster, fastest towards your destined goal. And I beg to be excused, here I am seeing one or two, very few, curious seekers. To them I say — do not stop with the achievement which is your curiosity. Please try to go one step ahead. Then you will see that today’s curiosity is being transformed into tomorrow’s sincerity and in your sincerity you will see the inner cry, the mounting flame which we call aspiration and today’s aspiration is tomorrow’s realisation. This is the only truth. This is the only realisation that I can offer to you, dearest sisters and brothers, seekers of the Infinite Truth. Start here and now.
AUM 709. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at St. David's College, University of Wales, Lampeter, Carmarthenshire, Wales on 20 November 1970.↩