Question: I was talking to a person who followed the occult. In a case like that, would it be best to try to leave the person as soon as possible, or to try and show him what little love and concern I have?

Sri Chinmoy: If the person is stronger than you are, then you are not going to convert him; far from it. But if you are deeply attached to the person, if he is a member of your immediate family or is very close to you, then you can try to convince him that he is wrong. Slowly, steadily, through your own spiritual progress, your whole face will shine. It will radiate your progress. But if he is not close to you in any way, you are under no obligation to convince him by practising your own spirituality. That is to say, you don't have to bring to the fore your inner knowledge, inner wisdom or inner light and offer this individual at the Feet of the Supreme.

If the person is very, very close to you, then you are obliged to some extent to say the right thing, do the right thing and show the right thing. But if somebody is just a casual friend, then he can hold his views and you can hold yours. Here you will not enter into any conflict. Let him follow his own way. And if he has a spiritual Master, the best thing is to encourage him to follow his Master and not the occult wisdom that he has read about. But you have to know that there are millions of people on earth who are doing many wrong things. If you start trying to perfect them without being totally perfect yourself, then your God-realisation will remain a far cry. So the best thing is to be wise and see how close you are and what kind of connection you have already established with the person.