Question: Every time you give a special talk, I become so inspired. Then, after a few days or a week, it goes away. Is there any way I can remain inspired?

Sri Chinmoy: The question is whether you really want to maintain that inspiration. Edmund Hillary climbed up Mt. Everest, but he did not do it in one stroke. For a week he halted and then he started again.

You say that you are not maintaining the same inspiration and aspiration after a week. What you have to do is see how far you have come during that week and then look up to see if there is any space for you to go higher. You will see that the distance which you have covered is next to nothing, whereas the distance you have yet to cover is very great.

What actually happens is this: the disciples, after climbing up five feet, think that is enough. They get a complacent feeling, and this complacent feeling is their worst enemy. They are so happy that they have climbed up five feet, but they have to feel that they have to climb up five million metres! They have to feel, “Oh, if only I had climbed up seven inches more, I would have been still higher. So let me continue.”

The very fact that you climbed up five feet should give you enthusiasm and inspiration to go higher. In the spiritual life, we cannot remain at one place. In the ordinary life, you can reach a certain point and stay there for ten or twenty years, or for the rest of your life. But in the spiritual life, every day you have to make a new attempt. Otherwise, you will come back to your same old, stupid self.

If you want to maintain your enthusiasm and determination, you have to feel that no matter how far you have come, it is practically nothing compared to the distance you have to go. And also you have to feel that if in one week you had the capacity to climb up five feet, then you have the capacity to climb up another five feet the following week. In this way, you will be able to climb up to the highest height. But human beings usually do not do that. Either they become tired or they look around and see how far they have come. Then they feel that this distance is enough for the rest of their lives.

So maintain your hunger and thirst. Otherwise, you will go back to your ordinary life and your mind will again become totally unspiritual. When you take part in a tug-of-war, so many times you come back five inches and then go five feet forwards. Such a struggle goes on — forwards and backwards. Like that, you have to continue to struggle in order to make progress in the spiritual life.