Question: How can I tell if my inner experiences are genuine or fake?

Sri Chinmoy: Only if you do not have a Master will this problem arise. If you have a Master, then he will immediately be able to tell you whether you are deceiving yourself or whether you are getting fruitful inner experiences. The Master can easily tell without the least possible doubt or hesitation.

If you do not have a Master, you can still solve this problem. If you are in doubt when you have an inner experience, then concentrate on the heart. If the experience is genuine then you will feel a subtle tingling sensation. If you feel as though an ant were climbing or crawling in your heart, then you will know that your experience is genuine.

When you have an inner experience, try to breathe as slowly and quietly as possible and feel that you are bringing purity into your system. Feel that purity is entering into you like a thread and it is revolving around your navel. If you feel that your spiritual heart is not willing to enter into your navel, then your experience is a mere hallucination. But if the heart gladly enters into the navel, then you can rest assured that your experience is not a hallucination at all; it is absolutely true and genuine.

Again, when you have an experience and you want to know its worth, try to feel for a couple of minutes whether you can grow into that experience or not. If you feel that you can grow into that experience, sooner or later, in an hour or two hours or a day or six months, then your experience is genuine. But if you feel that reality is something else and you can never grow into the experience, then that experience is not genuine.

When you have an experience, try to separate your outer life from your inner life. The outer life is a life of necessity and demands and requirements. The inner life is also a life of necessity, but it is God's necessity, not your necessity; God's requirements, not your demands or your requirements. Try to feel whether it is God's necessity that is operating in and through your experience and whether God needs you and wants to fulfil Himself in and through you. If you can grow into that kind of feeling or realisation, then your experience is genuine. But if you identify yourself consciously with your demands, then the experience is not true; it is just a hallucination.

Real experience comes only when you sincerely want and need the inner life and when God needs and wants the inner life in and through you. If you have come to that understanding, then all your experiences will be true; they have to be true.