Question: When they come down, do these souls appreciate your outer activities?

Sri Chinmoy: I am involved in all kinds of activities which puzzle some of these souls. They are hovering here and there and trying to get joy from my activities, apart from my spirituality. Thousands of souls who have not taken incarnation are getting inner joy and benefit from my art and poetry and other activities, whereas hardly any of the souls that have taken incarnation are benefiting outwardly from my activities.

If I look strongly into the human mind — and sometimes I see not only one mind but thousands of minds at once — I see that hardly a single mind is responding to my outer activities. The souls of these people are trying desperately to make the rest of the being respond, because the souls have chosen to have these kinds of minds. But the body, vital, mind and heart do not always listen to the soul.

A mother may give birth to several children, and each one eventually exercises its own freedom and independence. In exactly the same way the body, vital, mind and heart have an individuality. They are like a solid formation, and they can be very strong. When they are undeveloped, like little children, they listen to their parent, the soul. But when they grow a little older, they may not listen at all.

I can give you another example. Sometimes the manager of the office is so pleased with his new workers. But after a few years he sees that the workers are not listening to him at all. Similarly, in the beginning the soul may be so pleased that it got this particular body, vital and mind. Then, because of ignorance, temptation and other wrong forces, disobedience comes, and the soul becomes sad and miserable.

Some individuals, even though they have university degrees, try to ignore or discard the mind when they enter into the spiritual life. They want to remain only inside the heart in order to make the fastest progress. They do not care at all for the mind's illumination. Then, after fifteen or twenty years, they say, "Why did we give it up?" The same mind that they earlier put aside, they now want to consciously develop. So they start feeding the mind, and the soul suffers tremendously.

Before you entered into the spiritual life, for eighteen or twenty years you enjoyed freedom. That freedom did not make you happy, so you decided to try another kind of freedom. Instead of listening to your mind or your vital, you decided to listen to your heart and soul. If you feel that you are not listening to anybody, then you are only fooling yourself. Either you are listening to your soul or you are listening to your mind, vital and physical. To say, "I am the one who is making the decision," is absurd! You are your body, vital, mind, heart and soul, and your choices are made by one or more of these parts of your being. Only you may not be conscious of this because your meditation is not deep enough to see where your inner decisions are coming from.