Question: When you have a personal problem which you wish to solve through your meditation, how can you resolve it and know that the answer you get comes directly from the soul and not from the emotional vital?

Sri Chinmoy: One way to know the difference is to feel that the emotional vital has one voice and the soul has another voice. Let us take the vital as one runner and the soul as another runner. In the case of the vital runner, he runs very fast at the very beginning, with excessive excitement and enthusiasm, but he does not reach the goal. He runs about thirty metres out of a hundred and then cannot run any more. The other type of runner also runs very fast at the beginning. He is confident and once the starter fires the gun, he does not stop until he reaches his goal.

When you get a voice, immediately try to see which type of runner this voice represents. Is this the runner who will stop only when the goal is reached, or is this the runner who runs thirty metres and then loses all his energy? The soul knows its capacity and will go to the goal with utmost confidence. If it comes from the emotional vital, you will feel that the answer you get will not take you to your goal. But if it comes from the soul, you will feel confident that it will take you to the goal. If this is the case, then rest assured that it is your soul speaking.

Here is another way. When you have a voice which is offering you a solution to your problem, imagine that a vessel is being filled. If this voice gives you the feeling of a vessel being filled drop by drop, slowly and steadily with utmost inner security, then you will know that it is the soul’s voice. Otherwise, you will feel that the vessel is being filled with a tumbler or a glass in a hurried manner. It will fill up quickly, but very soon it will begin to spill over the top. The other way, with utmost confidence and inner poise, the soul will fill the vessel. If you have had that kind of patient feeling, then it is the soul’s voice.

A third way is to imagine a flame inside your heart. Now, there are two types of flame. One is steady; the other is flickering. The steady flame inside your heart is not disturbed by any inner wind. But the flickering flame is disturbed by fear, doubt, anxiety, worry. If you feel that your answer is a flickering flame, then it is the voice of the emotional vital. But if it is a very steady flame rising towards the highest, then you know it is your soul’s voice you have heard. Once you know it is your soul’s voice, you can rest assured that your problems will be solved, because the soul’s voice has much strength, while the vital’s voice has no strength.

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