Question: Why is it that sometimes when a person is apparently making fairly good inner progress in the spiritual life and aspiring very well, we seem to not always see a real reflection of this? Sometimes the outer life does not seem to reflect the progress made. Or is this just an illusion?Sri Chinmoy: The thing is that there are two worlds, the inner world and the outer world. If someone is making real progress in the inner world, then his progress is bound to be shown in the outer life also. It is a matter of time. Sometimes it happens that you are under the impression that the person in question is making a certain amount of inner spiritual progress, but it might not be so at all. There are many times, we have seen, when people make a show, a parade, of what they think is their inner progress. Without having any sincerity, they will appear to meditate well in a group or work hard with others for a joint cause. First of all, an aspirant has to know whether he is totally sincere or not. If he is, then he is bound to make real inner progress. When he makes real inner progress, he has to manifest it in the outer world. This inner achievement will have to materialise in his outer life also. It is also a matter of time.
Sri Chinmoy, Earth’s cry meets Heaven’s smile, part 2, Agni Press, 1974