Question: How can you tell the difference between true intuition and imagination?

Sri Chinmoy: If you soulfully follow a spiritual path for a few months and if your prayer, your concentration, your meditation is intense, then you will be able to feel the inner guidance within you. When you meditate early in the morning, your inner being will tell you what is going to happen, what others think of you. If you want to get proper intuition, or the intuitive faculty, then your aspiration has to be very, very sincere and intense. Otherwise, it will be all mental hallucination or imagination.

Try to feel that there is a burning flame inside you which is mounting up all the time. This flame is the flame of aspiration. You will see that in the process of mounting high, higher, highest, it is spreading its divine Light all around. And in this Light you are bound to develop a direct vision of Truth. You will see that the length and breadth of the world, your inner world, have been illumined. In darkness we don't see anything. Even if you place the most invaluable treasure right in front of me, I won't see it, because all is darkness. But if the flame of aspiration within me is rising towards the highest and spreading its Light all around, then I will get an immediate flash of intuition because in Light there is Reality. In Light there is constant Divinity. Divinity and Reality are at your disposal when you have the flame of aspiration within you. So try to feel the divine flame of aspiration within you. Then you will always get these flashes of intuition and you will not remain in the world of imagination. But again, if you just imagine something nice about God, don't worry at all. If you feel that God is all Compassion for you but you have not yet felt God's compassionate aspect, or if you feel that God is all Concern and Love for you but you have not yet felt God's divine Love and Concern, no harm. Today these qualities may be imagination to you but tomorrow you will feel them, because these are all realities. You have not felt them, but the spiritual Masters have felt them and realised them. In your mounting aspiration, intuition is bound to grow.