Question: Guru, twice on this trip I saw you do something that I had never seen you do before. When you were talking to me, you had your right eye totally shut and your left eye wide open. There was no strain on your face. It was like an absolutely normal, controlled expression. I was just wondering what it meant.

Sri Chinmoy: The eye that was wide open was on the physical plane. The other eye, which was half-open or a little open, was on another plane.

Many times people see me sleeping. True, I am giving rest to the physical, but I may also be doing something very serious in the inner world. Again, sometimes when I take rest, I do nothing in the inner world, absolutely nothing. That is also true. But sometimes, even when our doctors are massaging me, I am not at all in the physical world. I do not get any feeling whatsoever.

The eye that is wide open is only for the physical world, for the people who are around me. When the other eye is half-open, or absolutely closed, I am working in the inner world. In the inner world the souls are coming, or I am entering into them.

Many, many times when I chat with you, I say, "Please, please, cut jokes, cut jokes, cut jokes!" You can see how much I am sincerely enjoying your jokes. When you cut jokes, it gives me so much joy. But you will never believe that I am on another plane. I am here with you, inside you, for you, enjoying your jokes so much. But I have kept my soul-consciousness in three or even four different planes.

Sometimes I am outwardly enjoying your entertainment, while inwardly I am dealing with a very serious case. I keep a free access to three planes. This moment I am here and you are watching me, but I know what is happening on another plane, or two or three more planes. This kind of capacity spiritual Masters have. I am not the sole possessor of this capacity.

Real spiritual Masters can operate on many, many planes of consciousness. Once when a disciple was bringing me food in New York, while people were talking and I was stretching and shaking my legs, I asked her to speak to another disciple about her brother. I was just relaxing, and someone was bringing me food. Then I asked the person who was serving me to go and call that disciple. The disciple said that her brother was all right, but I said I could see that he was in trouble. From the hospital, his soul had come to me.

In the beginning, for a few years, God allows us to use occult power. When we want to use this power out of sheer curiosity, He allows us for a while. A child plays with dolls and toys, and parents like to see their children playing with those things. In exactly the same way, in my Indian life and in America also, many, many times, countless times, I used occult power out of sheer curiosity, only to know what was happening here and there.

After a while, you find that using occult power in this way is a sheer waste of time. But sometimes you use it out of necessity. Let us say that somebody's consciousness is descending or will descend considerably, and he may give up the spiritual life. At that time it is a necessity to use occult power.

In my ashram life, from the age of thirteen, I did enjoy occult power considerably. Now I use occult power only when necessity demands. Again, sometimes one plane of consciousness is saying that it is a necessity, while another plane is saying that it is not a necessity. Then I go to the Supreme and say, "Two planes are giving me two kinds of news." One plane, the lower one, will say that I should interfere. The higher plane will say that I should not interfere. I go to the Highest and ask, "To whom shall I listen? I am getting two contradictory messages. One plane is saying that it is necessary to use the occult power, and the other plane is saying that it is not necessary." I abide by His decision.

Sometimes the Supreme says, "No, do not use occult power. There is another power called spiritual power." Spiritual power is the wise power. Spiritual power will never do anything harmful. Sometimes you use occult power in a rush. It is like a surgeon who operates very quickly out of necessity, but there is a risk that the patient may not survive. Occult power has some problems, although it can act faster than the fastest. If something has to happen faster than the fastest, then occult power can be used. But if something has to happen slowly, steadily or gradually, then you use spiritual power. When you use spiritual power, it is so safe, absolutely safe. Spiritual power has never caused any damage. Occult power can work faster than the fastest, but sometimes it can create problems.

Spiritual Masters always try to use spiritual power. Again, on rare occasions spiritual power will take too long. At that time, occult power has to come into the picture. These are two powers. One is the fastest runner, the sprinter; the other is the longest-distance runner. The longest-distance runner moves slowly, slowly, slowly. The sprinter will run extremely fast, but afterwards he may collapse and even die. Every spiritual Master will come to have the same opinion: spiritual power is infinitely, infinitely wiser than occult power. But we do need both.