Question: In one of your poems you say, "Hope lost... destruction close." What can one do if that person is losing hope? What can an aspirant do?

Why does a person lose hope? First of all, I wish to tell you why a person loses hope, not what he can do. Why does one lose hope? One loses hope because one feels that there is a certain period, a given time in which to achieve something. You have fixed the time, deciding that, for example, in two days you are going to achieve some specific thing. Now frequently in our hopes, we have inwardly fixed or recorded some particular time for the accomplishment of something. Outwardly we may say that in the near future, we hope to get something or to do something. But it is not entirely true. For if we go deep within ourselves, we see that our minds have already projected a particular date by which to finish something. Inside yourself, if you turn within, you will see that your mind has set the fifteenth of November, for example, as the date. Now when that date arrives, your outer mind may not know that this was the last date given or recorded in your inner mind's calendar. But on that day you will feel that everything has collapsed because you did not achieve and receive the hoped-for result. And when you don't see the result on that day, you feel miserable. You thought that hope was the instrument that would bring the result. On the given day, therefore, you lose hope; you lose the strength of hope even though your physical mind was not even aware of the day that was given by the inner mind. There you are lost. You lose hope.

Now what can you do to regain hope? Here we have to know that hope is not something weak. Very often our conception of hope is something very delicate; a sweet, smooth, soothing feeling which is a kind of balm to our outer minds. But this is not an adequate definition of hope. We have to know that hope is something very solid. It is something strong. It has seen the Truth, only it is unable to bring the Truth into its world. Hope is not something that is crying for the world beyond or crying for a truth which it has not seen. No. Hope has seen the Truth but it cannot and does not yet possess it.

So what can you do when you lose hope? If you know what it is, first of all, you will not lose it. If you know that hope is something that has already seen the Truth which you are ultimately going to achieve, then you will get strength from this knowledge. The time has not come; hope has not yet been able to bring the Truth in front of you. The real time which has been planned by God has not yet come.

Now again, what can you do to get back your hope? Try to cast aside all expectations from your desiring mind. It is the desiring mind that feeds our outer hope. If we can be above the desiring mind, and remain all the time in the spontaneity of our heart, we will have a constant feeling of divine possession, of possessing the Truth. We shall know then that hope is the vision that sees the reality and finally becomes the reality itself in the Supreme's own Hour.

Our inner heart is always full and complete, requiring nothing. It is our outer mind which feels that it needs something, wants something. Then hope comes into play. When you need something, hope begins to play its part, but when you need nothing, hope does not enter the picture, for it is not at all necessary.

Now I would like to point out that ordinary human hope can never be fulfilled because inside it there is no determination; there is no sincerity, there is no conscious willingness to accept the highest Truth. If, with our human hope, we want to achieve the Highest, the Ultimate, we will see that when the Highest is descending and descending, approaching our own human physical being, this human hope will be terrified and try to escape at the very moment that it sees the enormity of the reality that it was aspiring to possess.

Now let us look at the fulfilment, in boundless measure, of our ordinary human hope. Hope expected something, say five dollars. When fulfilment came, it came as five million dollars; immediately this human hope was overjoyed. Immediately also it loses its inner poise. When spiritual receptivity is lacking, we always lose our inner balance and poise. But if you started with Divine Hope, where Truth is already seen in its highest aspect, it needs only to be embodied. Your hope is only to bring that Truth into manifestation. There you do not lose your inner balance. Then when hope's fulfilment comes into you, you do not become unbalanced because you knew about it. You knew what was bound to happen. You remain poised.

Now your question was, "What can you do when you lose hope?" When you lose hope, you have to feel that the reality is bound to come to you precisely because you are in the world of aspiration. You are aspiring most sincerely, most devotedly, most uniquely. You are doing the right thing. Now if the Truth or the Fulfilment that your hope has envisioned has not yet been able to manifest, do not worry. It is only when you lose your aspiration that you can feel that you are lost. When I said in my aphorism, "Hope lost, destruction close," it is because the ordinary man will not aspire when there is no hope. It is hope that keeps him alive on earth. Hope plays a great part on earth. For example, some people say that they are doing disinterested work, and so on. Only aspirants and truly spiritual people really do this. Ninety-nine percent of human beings, in working, are only feeding their own human hopes and desires. That is why they are living, working, existing. Otherwise they would not budge an inch.

Now in a spiritual person, this aphorism "Hope lost, destruction close" does not apply. Where is destruction for a spiritual person? For him, there is no destruction. He acts only to fulfil God's Will. We tend to judge the fulfilment of God's Will in two ways, in the form of success or in the form of failure. But God Himself is above both success and failure. So if you want to become identified totally and inseparably with God's Will, then think neither of success nor of failure. Think only of pleasing the Supreme. According to our human eyes, the fulfilment of hope is success. But according to our divine vision, the fulfilment of God's Will is far above and infinitely higher than the achievement of failure or success.

So if you remain with your burning aspiration, you are constantly identified with God's Will. And when you are one with God's Will, this earthly hope has no value. It will be impossible for earthly hope to knock at your door of aspiration because your divine hope is already self-sufficient. It is already one with God's Will. In God's Will there is everything, the Vision and the Reality. If the Reality is success, well and good. It is the fulfilment of God's Will which is of paramount importance, not success or failure. Fulfilment is always beyond results. We see the results best and we derive the utmost benefit from the results only when we are one with God's Will unreservedly. When we are identified with His Will unreservedly, we know that we are fulfilled.

So what can you do when you lose hope? Only feel the necessity of burning the flame of your aspiration more brightly and more intensely. Then you get the Highest. Hope you don't need. For an ordinary person, (not you) but an unaspiring person — when he loses hope, it is destruction, because he won't make any move forward. For him life becomes a stagnant pool. Self-destruction starts when there is no forward movement. But not you. You have aspiration. You will get everything.