Question: Sometimes I reach a state in meditation where I would like to go beyond. How can I conquer the fear of reaching something higher, something unknown?1Sri Chinmoy: Once you enter into the spiritual life, you have to feel that there is a force that is high, higher, highest, or at least try to remember that this higher force exists. Spirituality means union with a higher force which is infinitely higher than our present physical strength, vital strength or mental strength. If you have fear, then you cannot achieve anything. Again, if you do not have fear, you can achieve everything.
If your own brother, instead of being thin, becomes very stout and strong like a boxer, you will not be afraid of him because he is your brother. If somebody else who is very powerful and in a very aggressive consciousness comes and stands right in front of you, you are going to get frightened because that fellow is unknown to you. But if you have faith in your inner life, that faith can accomplish everything. In the Ramayana, Hanuman wrote down Rama's name for somebody else so that that person could walk across the river. That fellow started with faith, but then out of curiosity he opened up the paper and saw that only the word "Rama" was written there. He said, "What is this?" Then he drowned. If he had had faith in Rama's name, the way for a few minutes he had faith in what Hanuman had written, he could have continued across safely.
We fear the unknown only when we do not believe that a higher force is protecting us. With occult power you can go outside your body with your soul. It is very easy to imagine — "Ah, if I can go outside the body, it will be great fun! I will be able to see all the higher worlds." But when you actually see your own soul coming out of the body, like a bird flying out of its cage, you may say, "Oh my God! The bird has gone out! Perhaps it will not be able to come back any more." Sometimes if the soul-bird goes out of the body-cage, the owner gets panicky. In the occult world you have to go beyond the body. If you want to practise occultism, the very first thing is to go out, out into the unknown. So occult power and fear never go together.
While the soul is going out of the body, if you have faith that a higher force is guiding you, protecting you and taking care of you, then there is no such thing as fear. Always have faith, faith, faith. If you have faith, you are bound to be protected. Your faith is infinitely, infinitely stronger than the fear that you are either creating for yourself or encountering in your imagination. So always have more faith in yourself, more faith in your spirituality, more faith in God and more faith in your Master. Then the unknown cannot remain unknown. It is unknown for the time being, but the unknown does not remain forever unknown. A child gets frightened when he sees that his elder brother is reading a huge book, while he is only studying the alphabet. He says, "My God! How will I ever read such a huge book?" Then he studies for a few years and there comes a time when he is able to read the book that frightened him.
There is also another way you can use your faith to overcome your fear of the unknown. If you see that somebody is very undivine, try to bring forward your faith and see immediately your own divinity or his divinity. There is not a single person who does not have inherent divinity. If somebody is very bad, simply try to see the divine inside him. When you see the divine inside him, immediately his divinity comes to the fore and his outer animal propensity disappears. Always have faith in the divine. Your faith is infinitely stronger than imaginary fear or any other kind of fear that you are encountering in the spiritual life.
SCA 882. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Curitiba, Brazil on 1 January 2000.↩