Question: How is it best to cope with the occasional fears and doubts that plague us?

Sri Chinmoy: Why are we afraid of something or someone? Because we have not established our oneness with that person or thing. When a child stands in front of his father, his father seems as tall and strong as a giant to this little child. If he had not established his oneness with his father, he would be scared to death. But he is not afraid of his father, for he knows that his father loves him and that his father's strength is all for his use and his protection. In the spiritual life also, we are only afraid of something or someone because we have not spread our wings of consciousness. If we spread our wings, then the whole world becomes ours.

To cope with doubt we should ask ourselves whether we accomplish anything by doubting others. If we doubt somebody's achievement to the very end of our days, our doubt will not take away from his achievement. If he has achieved something, it is done and our doubt cannot diminish it. But if we start doubting ourselves, that is our real destruction. The moment we start doubting our own possibilities, potentialities and capacities, we can no longer progress. If you now doubt me and feel that I am not a sincere seeker, a few moments later you will feel that I am a sincere seeker, and a few moments later you will doubt your own capacity and authority to judge. Now, when you doubted me, I did not lose anything, and when you had faith in me, you did not lose anything. But when you started doubting your own judgement, then you reached a stalemate. If you cannot now accept a Master wholeheartedly, it is best to try to create aspiration within yourself, so that you can conquer doubt.

Let us take fear, doubt, courage and faith as four persons knocking at your door: two friends and two enemies. Since it is your door, you can allow your friends to come in, but not your enemies. Allow courage and faith to enter, then bolt the door to keep out fear and doubt, for once you allow your enemies in, they will exploit you. They will try to take every advantage of your weakness. It is you who can accept or reject fear and doubt, faith and courage. At every moment a seeker must be conscious and cautious about when he should open his heart's door and his mind's door.

When the seeker has become very advanced and has travelled far, very far, towards his goal, at that time he does not reject fear, he does not reject doubt. With his inner wisdom, he transforms fear into courage and doubt into faith. When a seeker is on the verge of realisation, when he has the inner will-power, he does not want to leave any imperfection on earth untransformed. He feels, "If I do not conquer this fear, then it will go and torture my younger brothers and sisters, who are my very near and dear ones. Let me conquer it and transform it once and for all."