Question: How do you develop consciousness in your subtle body?

Sri Chinmoy: Consciousness is already in the subtle body. Consciousness is functioning most powerfully, vehemently and soulfully in the subtle body, but it is not functioning here on the physical plane. So you should try to develop consciousness in the physical body, the ignorant, lethargic physical body.

Consciousness descends into the subtle body from the causal body. Consciousness means God in His infinite forms with infinite capacity. In the subtle body everyone has enormous capacity. It is in the physical that we do not have capacity. These three bodies are like three rungs of a ladder. The third rung, the physical, is not receiving what the second rung has to offer. The infinite potentiality from the causal body descends into the subtle. But because the physical is not aspiring, the subtle is not strong enough to give this capacity to the physical. The subtle is more than ready, but if the physical is not aspiring and trying to ascend, if the physical is not making some conscious effort, then there is no meeting place.

How can you feed and develop the physical consciousness? You can develop the consciousness in the physical only through proper self-discipline. Two things comprise your daily life: doing something or not doing something. If something wrong presents itself, don’t do it. If you see something right, do it. In that way your consciousness automatically expands. When you do something wrong, you bind your consciousness. If you are caught by temptation which you cannot overcome right now, try to delay your action for a little while. Delay it until tomorrow. Then, when tomorrow comes, delay it until the day after tomorrow. In this way keep on putting off the wrong action. In the meantime you will be doing many good things, and on the strength of these deeds you will be increasing the number of soldiers in your divine army. Then it will be easy for you to overcome temptation. In this way, the consciousness in the physical can be developed.