Sri Chinmoy: You have to become more alert, more soulful. You have to feel that once upon a time you had the capacity to climb up the consciousness-tree, but now you are climbing down. The capacity you had to climb to the highest, topmost branch you still have. And this same capacity you can apply today. Only you have to feel that your goal is to remain as high as possible. Always try to keep the goal right in front of you. You always have to be conscious of your purpose, the reason you are following the spiritual life, the reason you must remain in your highest consciousness.
This is the time for you to go up high, higher, highest and discover yourself. Then you have to come down to distribute the Peace, Light and Delight that you have achieved. Right now your brothers and sisters are hungry and you don't have the means to feed them. If you stay with them, you will be one other hungry person, and there will be no one to feed you. So you have to climb up the tree and pluck the mangoes. If you just climb up and come down with out plucking any fruit, then what will you have to distribute to mankind? You won't be able to give anything to mankind. You go up and collect the fruits and then you come down to distribute the fruits to your brothers and sisters. Then again you have to go up.
But before you are well established in your inner life, spiritual life, it is always advisable to be alert. If you see that by mixing with someone your consciousness is brought down, then don't mix with that person. That person is not bad. No, in everybody there is God, so you can't say that person is bad. Only you have to know that right now you do not have enough inner strength and capacity to mix with that person. Right now God is giving you the opportunity to mix with those who have already established some Peace, Light and Bliss. Birds of a feather flock together; you are a spiritual person, so you should mix only with spiritual people. But once you become strong, there shall come a time when you can mix with unaspiring people — not out of self-indulgence, but out of love, out of compassion, so that they shall also be lifted. Their consciousness also has to be elevated, but for that you need aspiration and determination. First you have to ascend the consciousness-tree yourself; only then can you help others ascend.
So right now, if your consciousness is descending when you are mixing with unaspiring people, do not mix with them. Mix only with those who will help you increase your aspiration. But it is not forever. There shall definitely come a time when you will be sufficiently strong that you will be able to go out and help them.