Question: It seems that mystical experience cannot be forced in this way, in that manner. And I would think that if one thought that he could reason himself completely into religious awareness or experience, he might never really get there.

Sri Chinmoy: Why not? One grows into one’s own thought, when one is aspiring. One of our greatest spiritual Masters, named Sri Ramakrishna, used to say, “If you say ‘I am a sinner, I have committed so many sins, I must be a sinner”, then you will always feel like a sinner and you will always be a sinner. You will be earthbound. But if you say, ‘My Father is God; I am free, eternally free,” then you will become free. This is the positive way. God has created me in His image. I have to be consciously one with Him. He is one with me. Of this, I am consciously aware. You grow into these divine thoughts. You are not forcing experience; you are entering into the consciousness of a true devoted servitor of God and when this devotion and union become an integral and natural part of your everyday life, the higher mystical experiences will come by themselves.

If you really want to have Divine Oneness as your goal and if you say, “This is my goal,” either you have to reach your goal with your aspiring inner cry or by asserting your own inner will and revealing what is already within you. You know you are God’s Son; either you have to cry for that realisation or you have to feel that you already, in fact, have it within you and you just have to uncover it. There are two ways. One way is to go, like a beggar to your Father, saying, “Father, give me, give me Yourself.” The other way is to feel that the Father has kept everything inside you in a box and inside the box is a jewel. The key is also inside you. Now if you have a spiritual teacher as your guide, the teacher can show you where the box is, where the key is and how to open the box. But if you don’t have a spiritual teacher as your guide, then you have to cry for this inner experience of oneness. Crying does not mean shedding tears, but it means the inner cry of intense aspiration. This is the way to uncover your inner divinity. This is how our thoughts help us to enter into true, mystical experiences.