Question: Some people are very absent-minded and they seem to be in another world. Are they meditating all the time?

Sri Chinmoy: No. Absent-mindedness has nothing to do with the spiritual life. It is a Himalayan mistake to think that absent-mindedness is due to aspiration. Many absent-minded people, of course, are not even aspiring. And those absent-minded people who are aspiring are not absent-minded because of their meditation. They may seem to be in another world because they neglect their duties, but they are not actually staying in a higher consciousness. In the spiritual life it is very important that we live in the outer world and do our best in the outer world. We should look upon the world and humanity as our very own. To allow ourselves to be absent-minded is to be rude and inconsiderate of others.

There are some spiritual Masters and very advanced seekers who appear to be absent-minded and forgetful at times. But with them, it is a different story. At that time their consciousness is not in the physical. They are on a very high plane. Again, a few — very few — Masters can remain on this high plane and still function normally in the world.

But in the case of a beginner, a spiritual seeker, absent-mindedness is not aiding him in his spiritual journey. It is not a positive expression of his aspiration; it is a hindrance, an obstruction. He is running towards his Goal with a heavy load on his shoulders. After a few years, when he has made more progress, the seeker will realise that he is carrying this burden. He will feel that he cannot go any farther while carrying it, and his progress will come to a standstill. At that time the seeker makes every effort to transform his weakness, and finally sheds his heavy load so that he can continue towards his destination.