Is the spiritual life an escape from reality?9

Reality. An unaspiring man thinks that undying pleasure is the only reality. An aspiring man feels that a divine experience is the only reality. A God-Realised man knows that God, the Supreme Lover, alone has the Reality, and that God, the Supreme Beloved, alone is the Reality. Reality is also God, the fulfilling Light, and man, the fulfilled life.

The abode of Transcendental Fulfilment has three doors: Love, Freedom and Delight. The Love-Door is open only to him who serves crying humanity. The Freedom-Door is open only to him who serves struggling humanity. The Delight-Door is open only to him who serves awakening humanity.

The spiritual life is never an escape from reality. On the contrary, the spiritual life is the conscious and spontaneous acceptance of reality in its totality. For a spiritual seeker the idea of an escape from reality is absurdity plus impossibility, for spirituality and reality need each other to be supremely fulfilled. Without reality’s soul, spirituality is worse than useless. Without spirituality’s breath, reality is more than meaningless. Spirituality with reality means man’s inner cry for perfect Perfection. Reality with spirituality means God’s omnipotent Will for total and absolute manifestation.

Escape is a base thought. It acts like a thief, the worst possible thief. Into the heart of tenebrous gloom escape gains easy and free access. He who indulges in the idea of an immediate escape unmistakably commits lingering suicide.

Acceptance, the acceptance of life with a divine attitude, is not only a lofty idea, but the very ideal of life. This ideal of life is realised, revealed and manifested through God’s soul-elevating inspiration and man’s life-building aspiration. Acceptance of life is the divine pride of true spirituality. To live a spiritual life is our only responsibility.

Arnold Bennet said, “You are not in charge of the universe; you are in charge of yourself.” I venture to say that if I can be in charge of myself, then God will put me in charge of the universe, His Universe.

Acceptance of the life divine is the transcendence of human ego. The transcendence of ego is man’s real dignity and true worth. Momentous are the words of our Secretary-General, U Thant: “The dignity and worth of the human person is not merely a philosophic concept. It is, and should be, a working principle of human existence guiding our daily lives.”

There is only one thing that man needs: the inner wisdom. The supreme Pilot of the United Nations’ Boat is piloting a countless number of the human family with his wisdom-light to the shores of dream-fulfilled Reality. Inside the heart of learning humanity, his wisdom-tree is growing slowly, steadily, significantly and triumphantly. Him to quote,

"Is the human race so destitute of wisdom, so incapable of tolerance, so blind even to the simple dictates of self-presentation that the last proof of its progress is to be extermination of all life on our small planet? I cannot believe that this is to be the end. I cannot believe that humanity is so bereft of common sense as to launch universal suicide."

Acceptance of life is the assurance of faith. Faith walks along the road of fulfilling and fulfilled immortality. Escape from reality will, in the twinkling of an eye, weaken our resolves, loosen our armour and finally throw us into the very depths of the annihilation-sea.

No, we must never make a cowardly escape. We must always be brave. Divine courage is our birthright. We are the hero-warriors of supreme Reality chosen to fight against the teeming, brooding and threatening ignorance-night.

We are brave. The brave deserve the fair. We are aware. The aware deserve God, the real God.

GNS 10. Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, United Nations, New York, 4 March 1971.

Sri Chinmoy, The Garland of Nation-Souls, Aum Press, Puerto Rico, 1972