Mr. Pathak: Fear sometimes does not allow me to let myself go. It holds me back.Sri Chinmoy: Fear of what? When your children were two years old, you were so tall and stout. Were they afraid of you? No, because they knew that you were their father. Your children were very small, but they knew you in your affection aspect, and they were not afraid of you. It is like the ocean. The drop is not afraid of the ocean because it knows its oneness with the ocean. A little child is not afraid of his father because he knows that person is his own father. Why should he be afraid of his own father’s love?
So, what are you afraid of? What makes you fearful? Jumping into the unknown?
Mr. Pathak: Uncertainty.
Sri Chinmoy: At night you go to sleep, and then you get up early in the morning at five o’clock or six o’clock. If you think of the night as such, if you look into the night sky, it is something unknown. Again, if you look at the sky with your heart, you are not afraid of it because you have become the sky itself. The drop of water has established its identity with the vast ocean, so the drop is not afraid of the ocean. A child has established his oneness with his father. The father is so tall and stout, and he is an important person, an editor. But the child does not care what the father’s title is. He knows that his father is all love. Your child does not care what you are in the outer world. He cares only for your affection, for your compassion, for your love.
We are afraid precisely because we do not establish our oneness with the vastness. The unknown does not remain unknown; the uncertain does not remain uncertain. Before the dawn breaks, before the sunrise, night is unknown. But when we see the sunrise, the unknown becomes known. The spiritual life is also like that. We aspire for the Highest, but then there is uncertainty. Not only in the spiritual life, but in ordinary life at every moment, before we arrive at our goal, it is all uncertain. I have a goal, but I do not know what will happen even if I arrive at the goal. Will I see a most beautiful garden, or something totally different?
We have to know what will happen from within, or we have to believe in somebody who also experienced the same problem at the beginning of his spiritual journey. People who have realised God, like Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo and others, also had the same problem. Then they saw that the unknown, the unknowable, can be knowable. The unknown can easily be known. In the alphabet, after A comes B, and then C and D. You teach your child A, and at that time B is unknown to him. You know that B is right after A. Once I was talking to an American child only two years old. I was telling him that after A comes B and then C. He thought I was a magician! Where did B and C come from? For him, they were coming from Heaven or somewhere else. So, for adults A, B, C and D are known, but for a little child they are unknown.
In the same way, when you have fear of the unknown, you have to feel that it does exist, and many people have seen it. The place that you are unaware of today has been visited by many people. It is not something dangerous; it is not something destructive. No, no, no! We can conquer uncertainty or fear of the unknown by having faith in someone else who has gone there.
In a big palace there are many, many rooms. When you approach the palace you see that it is all darkness, because you do not know there is a light switch inside. But an electrician will come and tell you, “Here is the switch — just turn it on.” Then everything is all right. Before you turn on the light, you are so afraid because the palace is all darkness. In the same way, the Master comes and turns on the switch. Then you see the unknown is all illumined. But if you go there alone and you do not know where the light is, then naturally you will be afraid.
For everything in life, we need someone to turn on the switch. As I told you half an hour ago, inside you is the treasure, but somebody has to come and show it to you. If you take an inner guide to illumine you, he will do the needful. Then there cannot be an iota of uncertainty in your life. Everything becomes absolutely positive. We get confidence when we see that somebody else has already gone through what we are experiencing. Whoever is my teacher also had that same problem in the beginning, when he was still a student. Now he has become my teacher. His job is to teach me; it is up to me to have faith in him or not.
My Guru is now the Absolute Supreme, but previously I had a human Guru. He realised God, but before that he also had uncertainty and so many other difficulties. Similarly, Swami Vivekananda had so much uncertainty. He did not know what was going to happen in his life. Before he came to America, he was so afraid. He wondered what would happen! But he came here and conquered the heart of America only by saying, “Brothers and Sisters, Sisters and Brothers.” Then he was able to spread Sri Ramakrishna’s light. Everybody is uncertain in the beginning.
Again, whoever has faith in God goes through a dark tunnel at some point. When you go to Manhattan from Queens, you pass through a tunnel. When you enter the tunnel for the first time, you may say, “O my God, where are we going? It is all darkness. The cars will collide!” Then in a few minutes you come out of the tunnel and enter into Manhattan, as many people have already done. So, when you go through the tunnel you are afraid and uncertain, but you have to go through it. In the spiritual life also, we have to have faith, in the inmost recesses of our heart, that at the end of the tunnel there is light.