Question: How can I best please the Supreme in my inner and outer life? I would like to go back to college and get a higher degree, but I don't know if I should.

Sri Chinmoy: Now that you have launched into the path of spirituality, first you have to know what you want and what the Supreme wants from your life. After entering into the spiritual life, if you want to have success in your own way, then there will always be a conflict between the divine Will and your human will. Before entering the spiritual life, if one wants to have success, say, in getting a degree or a diploma, one can easily be successful according to one's human capacity. But if one offers oneself to the spiritual life and then tries to think of earthly success, there will be confusion in his inner life. If you enter into deeper realms, from there you will learn what God's Will is for your inner and outer life.

If you see that the Supreme wants you to have success in the ordinary, human life, then you will meditate and at the same time you will have to enter into the world of outer achievement. You will have to take your outer activities as an expression of your inner capacity. But if the Supreme says, "First things first. You have to realise Me first," then your inner life is your only duty and in fulfilling that duty you are fulfilling the Supreme in every way. If the Supreme wants you to meditate for your own realisation and at the same time help those who are sincerely in need of your help, you have to embrace the spiritual life for yourself and also help others who feel that you have the capacity to help them. But, if you want to help the world with your capacity, you have to be very careful to know whether it is the Will of the Supreme or not. Here ego may come in.

If you want the material life and the spiritual life to be combined, then the material life should be a spontaneous expression of your spiritual life. If you feel that in the material world, in the intellectual world, you need something more solid than what you have right now so that ordinary people will have more respect for your wisdom in accepting the spiritual life, then at that time you can get a university degree or take a very active role in society. In your case, it will not be a hindrance to your spiritual life if you get the degree and diploma which are required in this world in order to convince the human mind. But as far as your inner wisdom, inner knowledge is concerned, you already have enough to help and teach, to inspire you and to cure those who are coming to you. But the practical human mind only gets joy when there is a degree behind you. So if it is desirable for your work and you are sure that you will not have to neglect your spiritual life when you enter into the university, then this material accomplishment to further your career will not be a hindrance to your spiritual life.