Question: Guru, is there any relationship between inner vision and outer vision?1

Sri Chinmoy: Between inner vision and outer vision there is a great difference. With outer vision, if you look at the head or forehead or eyes or feet of an individual, each time you look at the person, you get different feelings. If you look at a particular part or limb of the body, let us say if you look at somebody's eyes, you may say, "Oh, he is beautiful" or "She is beautiful." When you look at the head, you start criticising: "His head is too big!" Then you look at the feet of the boy or girl and you say, "Oh, they are so ill-formed! They are not good." When you use outer vision, in one body you find something good, something bad. Then the problem starts. You cannot form a real opinion, because this part is good, that part is not good.

In the outer world we do not use the term "vision"; we use the term "sight." The word "vision" is used only for the inner life. It refers to the inner vision. Doctors use the term "vision"; but for spiritual people, vision is a spiritual word, very spiritual.

When we speak about the inner vision, we mean something that deals with light and all kinds of divine qualities. That is inner vision. Again, inner vision can see sooner than the soonest. The inner vision is infinitely, infinitely higher than the outer vision, which we call sight.

Outer sight is very limited. With outer sight you have limited capacity. If somebody is standing near you, you can see the person clearly if you are face-to-face. If the distance is even five, ten or fifteen metres, then it is all blurred — you cannot see clearly. You see the person, but you cannot fathom the reality of that person.

Inner vision can see the person at a very, very, very great distance. And inner vision does not see part by part: head, nose, eyes and all the limbs. Inner vision immediately enters into the soul of the person, of the being. Then it sees the capacity of the soul: how much the soul can do for God, for mankind.

Spiritual people do not usually speak about the "outer vision." For us, the proper terms are the inner vision and the outer sight. Doctors use the term "vision," but in the heart of my heart I will always say that vision comes from a very, very high plane of consciousness. That is inner vision. The outer vision is as much as your eyes can see and appreciate in an individual.

There is no comparison between outer vision and inner vision! Inner vision can see the past, present and future in the twinkling of an eye.

  1. NED 31. Sri Chinmoy answered this question at Aspiration-Ground on 13 April 2007.