Question: What did you mean when you said that now we have a choice with regard to the discovery of the inner life, but that some day we wouldn't have that choice?

Sri Chinmoy: The thing is this… we all know that in the world, opportunity is something that never knocks at our door twice. In the spiritual life, this is also true. But in the spiritual life, when one has entered into the inner life and is living the spiritual life, he feels that it is impossible to believe that this spiritual life might not be permanently meant for him. He feels that this possibility is only something imaginary. It is very good for him to feel this because God's Hour, which is now — and I shall explain it to you — will never come back. It does not come twice.

Those who have an inner Guide, a spiritual Guide or a Guru are extremely blessed. This is what I mean by "God's Hour". But out of their obscure folly, very often, disciples try to judge their teacher according to their own light. And they leave the Path. According to the Divine Law, you may leave the person, but you may not leave the Path. But very often, when people go to their spiritual teacher and are not satisfied, they become dissatisfied with the Path as well; that is to say, with spirituality itself. Here they make a great mistake. If they leave the spiritual Path, once having seriously entered upon it, they forfeit the Grace of God's Hour. And it does not return for thousands of years.

Now the Hour has come. Evolution, both the inner and the outer, has come to the stage where people have developed the conscious mind. Formerly the conscious and developed mind was lacking. In our human evolution, it was the animal mind that was working. Now the animal mind has been transformed into the conscious, developed, human mind. Consciously man knows what is right and what is wrong in his own life. In spite of that, man often does the wrong thing. But now man's conscious, developed and searching mind has become illumined to some extent by an inner light and by his heart's constant cry.

Evolution, not only of the mind, but of the whole being in general, is a spiral. It is not a straight or a direct movement, like climbing up a ladder. It is rhythmic, like this… like the waves of a spiral movement. It goes round and round in a circular motion, going higher and higher at each round. It comes back to where it had started in the spiral, but on a higher level. As the line of development comes full circle, there is almost a meeting of the new level with the old level. In the process of evolution, man's mind has become illumined and although he still appears to act in his old unlit way, he is actually higher than he was when there was no light at all in his mind.

Now here, in the world, the Divine, the Supreme, is trying consciously to awaken each individual soul because He feels that the time has come for the human to be transformed into the divine. Formerly, even in the spiritual life, there was only a one-sided aspiration, that is to say, aspiration from the soul or from the heart or from the mind — but only from one part. Now people have discovered the truth that the body and the vital also have to aspire. Formerly in the East, and in the West, too, they neglected the body. They thought that if the heart aspired or the soul aspired, then that was enough. But now it is not like that. Now at each moment we can serve the Divine with the physical consciousness — in the workshop or in the office or in the street. Our physical consciousness has been developed to such an extent that it can consciously aspire to enter into the Beyond. This is the time called "The Hour of God". It is a very special period. If we deliberately pay no attention to it, then what will happen is that we will lose the Grace, the infinite Grace. Then we shall have to work with our own strength which is very, very limited. It will take us lives to accomplish what we can do in a matter of months with the Divine Grace.

After this special period of Grace has ended, after forty or fifty years or even a century, or at most two centuries, there will be a compulsion from above, a force that will propel people forward. This will not be an opportunity but a coercion. Right now, there are some souls who have consciously accepted the inner life, the spiritual life. They are marching forward and accelerating their progress. They are moving consciously towards God. They have to be followed by those who are still sleeping. At that time, the push will come from God. Those who are now awakened are marching forward towards the Goal, but those who are not awakened will be forcefully compelled to arise and follow the awakened ones.

The human mind has achieved extraordinary marvels; the scientific mind is the proof. The scientific mind in the beginning was confused, but now it seems to be going in the right direction, and if it really and truly enters into the spiritual mind, then the success of mankind will be beyond measure. Now the Hour of God has come. Some of the scientists in the West do believe in God or believe in something that they call "even higher than God." Wonderful, as long as they feel that there is some conscious Force or Power in the universe! So when science sees, in the material world, the possibility of some inner truth, then it can easily enter into that Truth and ultimately understand that Truth. Here also the Hour of God has dawned. The animal in man has played its part, whether successfully or unsuccessfully, God alone knows. But the very animal in man is no longer satisfied. At the same time, it is unable to go beyond the animal kingdom. This is the opportunity, here and now, to go beyond. By our conscious aspiration and by God's constant Grace, we can bask in the sunshine of this Hour of God, once and for all time transcending ourselves, and becoming true divine beings — our real destiny!