Question: How can we feel that the inner world is more real than the outer world?1

Sri Chinmoy: The body, our outer sheath, is the outer world, and inside the body is the inner world. Inside the body what do we have? It is the heart. Inside the heart is the soul, and inside the soul is God. God is everywhere, true. But inside the soul, God-Reality is infinitely more manifest, more visible, more tangible. And he who embodies the soul-reality consciously, constantly and unconditionally is undoubtedly revealing and manifesting God more than anybody else.

As a human being, we definitely give more importance to our heart. When the heart fails, we know that we have to leave this world and pass behind the curtain of Eternity. Someone may not aspire, someone may not pray to God or meditate on God, but if anything happens to his heart, he will be miserable, because the heart is dearer to him than anything else. Someone may live in the mind, but the moment somebody speaks of the heart, he feels that his reality there is more important than his reality in anything else. The heart reality is much more important than the mind reality or the vital reality or the physical reality.

Anything that is more real to us is more important and more meaningful to us. And again, anything that is more important to us becomes more real to us. God is most important because He is most real; He is the only real Reality in His entire universe. So, God is most real to us and, at the same time, God is most important to us.

If we give importance to a thing, then automatically that thing becomes real to us. The moment we take away the importance of a thing, that thing has no value. If we really value the inner life, then the inner life becomes real to us. It has to become real.

When we don’t pray and meditate we see only the physical world around us. We feel that this is absolutely real. But when we pray and meditate, we see and feel that there is another world and that this physical world is only an expression of that world. But again, we have to know that we ourselves are the creator of this other world, just as we are the creator of this physical world. The physical world is like a house, which we build with our hands, with our outer capacities. Similarly, the inner world we build with our will-power — not mere thought power, but will-power. When we create something in the inner world with our will-power, if what we create is something pure, divine and immortal, then we feel that we are safe.

How can we feel that the inner world is more real? As I said, reality depends on necessity. If we are hungry, immediately food becomes the only reality before us, around us, within us, without us. Anything that demands our attention or concentration has to be real, whether it is material food or inner Peace, Light and Delight. The reality of a thing entirely depends on its necessity for us. If we need something, then that very thing has to become real. Again, if the thing that we need has no reality within it, then there will be no inner cry on our part. If God were not real, then we would not cry for God. The reality itself has abundant power to create hunger in others. It is like an expert runner who teaches the beginners how to run towards the goal. This moment he is at the goal beckoning to them, the next moment he is at the starting point or in the middle of the course right beside them. Similarly, God the Reality is the starting point and God the Reality is the end. But we don’t say “end”, because God Himself is constantly progressing; He is the ever-transcending Beyond. So today God the starting point is our supreme necessity; therefore, the starting point is totally real to us. Tomorrow the goal will be our aim, and at that time the goal has to be real to us.

The inner world is real because we know everything that is within will one day come forth and blossom. The seed is under the ground, within the mother earth. But one day it comes forward, it comes upward; it germinates into a plant, a sapling, and finally a huge banyan tree. But everything in the beginning is inside. From within we come out.

The soul is inside the heart, and the heart is inside the body. The deeper we go, the sooner we see that the real Reality is within us, not without us. But again, to complete the game, we cannot remain only inside the inner reality. We have to come out to the outer reality. Otherwise, there will only be a tenant but no house for him to live in. But both the tenant and the house are equally important. If there is a tenant, then only we will feel the necessity of a house. And again, if there is a house, then we will definitely need a tenant. The soul is the tenant and the body is the house.

How should we value the inner life? We should value the inner life slowly, steadily, sincerely and devotedly. If we do it in that way, then the inner life is bound to grant us infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss. The inner life is the normal life. God is always normal. Occult power, spiritual power and all the other powers are all normal powers. They are not unnatural. Unnatural power we have developed by mixing with ignorance and falsehood. Only when we do not acknowledge our divine birthright do we act like abnormal human beings. The outer life has become unfortunately abnormal because we try or want always to get the immediate result from the outer life as such. We do not want to dive deep within; we are satisfied always with an iota and not with the ocean. But when we value the normal in us, when we want to become normal once again, then we automatically value the inner life.

BDW 1-2. Sri Chinmoy invited his dear disciple Una to ask him two spiritual questions on her twenty-sixth birthday on 30 January 1977. These are her questions and Sri Chinmoy's answers.