Question: It seems often when we make a little progress, we relax. Sometimes also when we do something that pleases you and you tell us you are proud of us, then we feel we can relax. It seems we are satisfied with too little, when we could achieve much more if we were more receptive. How can we be dissatisfied and yet still be happy?

Sri Chinmoy: You do not have to be dissatisfied. When you achieve something and the Master sincerely says, “I am very proud of you,” then every second you have to remind yourself of the philosophy which you have accepted — self-transcendence. The Beyond is beckoning us. If you think that the goal is stationary, if you think, “Oh, now I have pleased Guru. That means I have reached the goal,” then you will become stuck at that particular point.

Your vital will tell you that you have reached the goal. But if you remain in the soul or even in the heart, you will say, “I have pleased him, but I know that his philosophy and my philosophy are the same — self-transcendence. That means I have to go further, I have to go deeper, I have to go higher. If Guru is proud of me today, then can I not make him infinitely more proud of me?”

Unfortunately, once I say I am proud of someone, that person often rests on his laurels for a long, long time. His vital was hungry for my appreciation, but as soon as I fed it with very nice, delicious food in the form of appreciation, that was enough. The vital is satisfied with a little. But if you say you will be satisfied only with the Infinite, then you are bound to reach infinite Delight someday. At that time, you will be satisfied only with Infinity and not with my little smile or pride.

In the spiritual life, we are always dealing with self-transcendence. Self-transcendence is nothing other than swimming in the sea of Infinity. Achieving one thing is not enough. We long for something more, something more. It is not like material possessions, where we go from wanting one house to two houses. Here it is going from the finite to the Infinite. In the desire-world we try to go beyond by possessing and possessing. In the aspiration-world, we go beyond by giving and giving. Only by virtue of our self-giving can we really become something. If you are satisfied with what you have achieved and do not want to go on, then it is the desire-world-song that you are singing. But by giving and giving, you can sing the song of the ever-transcending aspiration-world.