Desire and aspiration

Some human beings progress very, very slowly in their spiritual life because they have no aspiration. But there are people who not only have no aspiration but also have no desire either for themselves, for humanity or for God. Those people are in the most deplorable situation. God says to them, “Something is better than nothing. It is better for you to have some desires and get some temporary satisfaction from the life of desire than to live in the stone-consciousness, wallowing in the pleasures of idleness and making no progress at all. Then, when you see that you get nothing but frustration from the fulfilment of desire, you will begin to aspire.”

There are elderly people who are like this — they have practically no desires but, at the same time, they have no aspiration either. They know that they are approaching death, but that does not inspire them either to cry for fulfilment of their desires or to pray or meditate on God. They do not even have any particular desire to live.

But there are also highly spiritual people who don’t have any desires because they have transcended them. They serve God in humanity with the utmost dedication and unconditional love. This form of desirelessness is the only satisfactory one.

If one has desire but no aspiration, that is better than having neither desire nor aspiration. He will have many necessary experiences and eventually he will see that there is no fulfilment in desire. Then he will jump into the sea of aspiration. But if one enters again into the realm of desire after having entered into the world of aspiration, that is a real catastrophe. If one does not aspire, we can say that he is just an ignorant fellow; he does not know that there is something called inner peace, inner bliss, inner light. If someone has not seen the light and he stays in a dark room, God will not blame him because he is not aware that there is a room full of light. But after having had inner experiences, if one wants to go back to the ordinary world, then he will be a victim to frustration and inner destruction. Once one has seen the effulgence of light in the illumined room, if the vital pulls him back again to the dark room, his inner psychic pain will be most excruciating. When he saw the light, the joy that he received had intensity. In the dark room there also is intensity, but this intensity is like a sharp knife, and he just stabs himself.

Once you enter into the spiritual life, never, never go back to the ordinary life. If you go back to the ordinary life, you will be an object of ridicule in the outer world and an object of distrust in the inner world. People will say, “This fellow has failed; that is why he has given up and come back to us.” The divine forces in the cosmos will say, “Oh, he does not care for us. He cares more for the life of ignorance,” and they will not try to help you any more. Also, you will always make a conscious or unconscious comparison between the divine life you have left and the life you have returned to. This comparison will always be unfavourable to the ordinary life. Your soul, the divine spark within you, will make you feel that you have given up something most precious. Then frustration will loom large in your ordinary life.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Beyond Within — A collection of writings 1964-1974, Agni Press, 1975
Sourced from