Part VI — Spiritual dryness

Question: Quite often it happens that after I have high experiences, they are followed by the feeling that I am in a spiritual desert.

Sri Chinmoy: When this happens you have to feel that you cannot eat most delicious food every day. Even if you have immense material wealth, you do not expect your cook to prepare the most delicious meal every day. You have given the money to the cook, you have supplied her with everything she needs: but sometimes the food is just not delicious.

When something inside you gives you inner joy, whatever you eat will taste delicious even if others say that it is tasteless. But without inner joy, the best food served to you by the best cook will not satisfy you. Experience is your soul's food. Yesterday you got very good food so you were happy. On the following day, even if the food you get is not so good, try to remember that you had a very good meal the day before. If you were in a position to eat it, the Almighty Father would give you a banquet every day. But once you have eaten good food, even after ten or fifteen days you can remember it and say, "I ate something most tasty that day."

If you can maintain in the inner joy of those experiences, then they will carry you though the desert. But if you lose the joy for some reason — let us say because doubt or fear or some vital problems have entered into you — then the experience too will be lost. If you can maintain your cheerfulness from the good experiences that you have had, then you can easily pass through the Sahara desert in the inner life.

Every seeker has had high experiences, but everybody's high experience is of a different type. Your experience may be low according to somebody else, but if your high experience has given you enormous joy, that is more than enough. Somebody else's experience may be low in comparison to yours, whereas according to his capacity, that experience is the highest. But if he can carry his life forward with the joy of that experience, then there cannot be any problem for him. I always tell my disciples, "When you are depressed, think of the day when you were happy or when you had a wonderful experience or vision, and of the inner joy it gave you." Unfortunately, you usually allow today's depression to overpower the joyful reality that you experienced yesterday.

If you wish to enter into the divine reality which you had two months ago, think of that reality until you no longer feel it is in the past. Think of that reality until the sweetest, most intimate feeling of intense joy that you got from it at the time begins to return. Then immediately bring it to the fore with all its strength. It may take you ten minutes or half an hour, but once the feeling comes, depression and wrong thoughts are bound to go away.Unfortunately, once a wrong thought or depression or jealousy enters into us, we dwell on it and then we are bound. Always try to bring forward the highest or the most fulfilling experiences you have had. Then the dryness caused by these negative forces cannot last.