Question: How can you tell the difference between true intuition and imagination?1

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

Try to feel that there is a burning flame inside you that is mounting all the time. In the process of mounting high, higher, highest you will see that it is spreading its divine light all around and illumining the length and breadth of your inner world. In this light you are bound to develop a direct vision of truth. In darkness, you cannot see anything. Even if you place the most valuable treasure right in front of me, I will not see it if there is no light. But if the flame of aspiration within me is rising towards the highest and spreading its light, then I will get an immediate flash of intuition. For in light there is reality and divinity. So when the flame of aspiration is climbing within you, divinity and reality will be at your disposal and you will always get these flashes of intuition.

But again, if you just imagine something good and divine, that is in no way a wrong approach. If you imagine that God is all Compassion for you although you have not yet felt God's compassionate aspect, or if you imagine that God is all Concern and Love for you although you have not felt God's divine Love and Concern, no harm! Today it may be imagination but tomorrow you will feel it as the absolute truth.

  1. MUN 284. October 1973.