Question: If we killed off all our desires and lived all the time in the inner world, it seems to me there would be no progress in the world and everything would stagnate.

Sri Chinmoy: If you feel that we cannot live all the time in light, that we have to live in darkness for twelve hours and in light for twelve hours, that philosophy is perfectly all right according to the standard of certain individuals. Someone meditates for one or two hours, and then goes out and enters into ordinary life. Someone else can meditate for several hours and there are some people who can meditate all day and night. It is all a matter of necessity. Inner necessity compels one person to meditate for one hour and someone else to meditate for twelve hours or twenty-four hours.

Now, when somebody meditates for an hour, he gets a kind of satisfaction. During that hour, he could have done something totally different, but he did not care for it. He preferred to meditate. He felt that the satisfaction he would get from meditation was more worthwhile than the satisfaction he would get from working or gossiping or whatever else he would have done during that hour. But after that hour, he wants to go back to the worldly life and its kind of satisfaction. But someone else may be able to meditate for twelve or twenty-four hours. Again, it is a matter of inner necessity, of what kind of satisfaction the person wants and needs.

There are two rooms. One room is unlit and obscure right now; the other room is fully illumined. One person may say that he wants both rooms equally: "I want to remain in the unlit room for twelve hours and in the well-illumined room for twelve hours." So he is most welcome to do that. But somebody else may not feel the necessity of staying in the unlit room at all. He says, "I want to remain only in the room which is illumined."

Then there is another person who says, "I have remained in this illumined room for twenty-four hours and now I have gotten illumination. Now let me go into the other room which is still dark and illumine it with my light." This person has a big heart, so he enters into the dark room to illumine his brothers who are still in darkness. He was getting satisfaction, abiding satisfaction, in the illumined room, but this was not enough. He will be fully satisfied only when he goes into the dark room and transforms it with his light. So there are some people on earth who have come back into the world of suffering even though they have the perfect capacity to remain eternally in the world of light and delight.

If we can bring the wealth of the inner world into the outer world, which is now obscure, then easily we can illumine this world. But first we must enter the inner world — the world of light — and receive something ourselves before we can offer it to the outer world. When we can do this, the inner and outer worlds will become united, and the outer world will become fully ready for the inner message. Right now the outer world is not ready, but a day will come when the outer world and the inner world will go perfectly together.