Question: It seems to me that it is easy to have this feeling if one has a spiritual Master, is living in a spiritual community and has all his needs provided for. But what about someone who is a separate individual living in the world?

Sri Chinmoy: Why do people enter into a spiritual community? Because it is easier. And why do people mix with other spiritual people? Because it is easier. There are always opportunities and ways which present us with fewer difficulties, fewer problems. What you are saying is absolutely true. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that we are all children. Before realising God we play with ignorance. After realising God we play with Wisdom. If we are wise, we will go where the things we want are easier to achieve. No matter how much wealth we get, how much appreciation we get, how much admiration we get in the outer life, we will not get much satisfaction. But if we get an iota of Love, Peace, Light, Bliss, Concern from the inner life, we get everything. An iota of inner Truth is infinitely more powerful, more convincing and more fulfilling than the boundless wealth of the outer life. If the seeker realises this, then naturally he will find a spiritual Master and associate with spiritual people. In a spiritual community it is much easier to be childlike. There you will have a Master whose concern you can feel constantly. Then it becomes easier, infinitely easier.

But even a person who is living in the world can have a childlike attitude towards God. To be childlike does not mean to be childish. We can be simple, sincere and spontaneous in our dealings with the sophisticated world without being stupid or foolish. We can have implicit faith in God’s protection and guidance even while living and working in the ordinary world. For this we must feel that whatever job we are doing, it is God who has given us this job out of His infinite Compassion, it is He who is giving us the necessary capacity to do the work satisfactorily and keep the job, and it is He who will enable us to find another job if we lose the one we have. This kind of childlike faith is not foolishness. Far from it. It is the spontaneous trust of a child in his father or mother. This kind of feeling will never stand as a hindrance in our life in the outer world.

If one does not take a childlike attitude his speed will be hampered. It is a child who can constantly be moulded. A child is like a lump of divine clay. He can easily be shaped into something divinely beautiful. But if one follows the spiritual life and at the same time tries to maintain his independence, he will not make much progress. There is only One who is truly independent, and that is God. The more we can be dependent on that One, the faster will be our progress. There is no human individuality; there is only divine individuality. What we call human individuality does not last. No matter how hard we try to maintain it, we must eventually give it up if we sincerely want to become close to God, one with God. If we try to expand our human personality, very soon it bursts like a balloon. But the divine Individuality which is the Highest, supreme Individuality is already infinitely vast. It can embrace all our human individualities. When we surrender our human individuality it does not mean that we are becoming a slave. We are only allowing ourselves to be shaped the way the Highest wants us. The individuality of the Master does not enter into the student. The Master has long ago given up his individuality to the Highest Supreme. Now it is the Will of the Supreme which he is executing when he guides and moulds his disciples.