Common sense

Dear Joseph:

Some people write letters when they have nothing else to do. You write letters because you feel and I, too, certainly feel (perhaps, more than you do) that you have something special to offer to the world. I write letters because I am afraid that if I do not write, people — especially my students — will lodge severe complaints to the Supreme against me. To be up to date in correspondence is as difficult for me as to walk along the road in the coldest night without a heavy and thick overcoat!

I deeply appreciate your kind, thoughtful, meaningful, powerful, blessingful and soulful letters. Robert Frost once said: "For God's sake, don't give up writing to me simply because I don't write to you." My heart of gratitude voices forth the same to you.

Dear esteemed friend, you want me to tell you what I feel about common sense. You have come to the conclusion that the world is empty of common sense. I fully agree with you. You are positive that the world badly needs common sense. I agree with you with all my heart and soul. One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why people are wanting in common sense is that their self-love is a life-long romance. They feel that the sooner they can get rid of their common sense, the quicker will they be endowed with proper sense. So they want to stick to their self-love. At least I think so. And I mean it.

The main reason why people are wanting in common sense is that they like, consciously or unconsciously, the snares of ignorance. They like to fondle and, at the same time, be fondled by tempting bondage. They do not have the time to appreciate or enjoy the world of real reality. Their precious time they use only in believing fictions, cock-and-bull stories. They are simply enamoured of wallowing in the pleasures of real unreality.

On the ladder of sense, common sense is only one rung above nonsense, and super-sense is only one rung above common sense. I try my very best, with all the soul's determination at my command, to keep my life firm on the common-sense rung.

A man may be dissatisfied with all the vast world, but he is almost always satisfied with the paltry common sense that he already has. The common sense that he has he feels is more than enough. To be sure, if somebody is in need of common sense, then his world can neither make any sense to others nor has any sense in itself.

The present-day world badly needs the psychiatric treatment. God is kind. He has filled the world, at least the Western world, with countless psychiatrists. The psychiatrists are desperately trying to make some sense out of their patient: the world. You and your soul's friends are leaving no stones unturned to supply and enlighten the psychiatrists with a divine sense, with a sense of the ever-growing, ever-glowing and ever-fulfilling Beyond.

Dear friend of my heart, you are absolutely right when you say that the entire world needs an immediate change —- a change for the better, of course. Whether the world deserves it or not is altogether a different matter. Yes, the world needs a total transformation, inner and outer. The trouble is that everybody feels that he is the wisest man on earth. Right now Napoleon's significant utterance flashes across my mind. He said: "The only one who is wiser than anyone is everyone."

Let me tell you a sacred secret of mine. A few years ago, my heart was burning with the desire to change the face of the world. God came to me and said: "Wonderful, My son, wonderful! You want to change the world and I want to change you, your human life and earthly nature, totally."

To my sorrow, I have not been able to change even an iota of the world's nature. To my joy, God is succeeding in transforming me —- my nature, my whole life —- very rapidly. Just recently, I touched my Lord's Feet and prayed to Him: "God, kindly free me from my self-imposed responsibility. This world is Yours and definitely not mine. Do change the face and fate of the world at Your choice Hour."

At long last I am happy. God, too, is happy because He sees that wisdom has dawned on my devoted head.

In the hoary past, say four thousand years ago, the Vedic Seers cried most devotedly and selflessly for a better world, a world of illumination. Now you are doing the same. Not to speak of the politicians, even the lovers of humanity and religious teachers cherish the same aim, the same goal. I wish you all success.

I believe it will not be out of place if I cordially welcome George Bernard Shaw at this point. Shaw remarked: "We are told that when Jehovah created the world, He saw that the world was good —- what would He say now?"

I am sure that Jehovah's immediate reply would be: "The world, My world, is better now. Some day it has to be the very best, for I cannot be satisfied unless and until I have manifested My perfect Perfection on earth."

Shaw comes one step ahead to inspire the human souls that are eager to correct and perfect the world: "If there was nothing wrong in the world, there wouldn't be anything for us to do."

Well, as for myself, I feel that I have many things else to do other than correct and perfect the world. Let me first of all consciously and devotedly collaborate with my Lord Supreme in His tireless endeavour towards my nature's absolute transformation.

Dear revered friend, we may not be perfect when others criticise us. We may not be perfect when we criticise others. But we are perfectly ourselves, without any mixture, when we are not observed by others.

Tolstoy was a colossal soul. He pronounced something quite striking: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

However, in defence of man, I wish to say that man thinks of changing the world and not himself precisely because he feels that it is infinitely easier and more important to change the world than to change himself. Now we all know that man's time is unimaginably precious and unbelievably limited. Since man has no time to think of changing himself, at every moment poor God is thinking of man and thinking of changing his nature. Surely, God is bound to succeed.

Your ex-self-styled and self-imposed
world-transforming friend,

Chinmoy

Dec. 28, 1968