Question: Guru, what is the difference between using imagination to help your inspiration and just fooling yourself?

Sri Chinmoy: When you use imagination to help your inspiration, you are bound to feel a kind of joy inside your heart. This joy is like the vast sky or the vast sea; it is like the joy of silence. But when you are fooling yourself, at that time you get a vital joy, a vital pleasure, which is a restlessness that percolates through your entire body.

So it is very easy to know whether it is inspiration assisted by imagination or whether you are fooling yourself in the name of inspiration, assisted by mental hallucination. When you are fooling yourself, you feel tremendous restlessness and a continuous flow of thoughts. These thoughts may not at all help you; they are often contradictory and destructive thoughts. A particular thought will lift you up one moment and the next moment that very thought will bring you down. But when it is pure inspiration assisted by pure imagination, then you will feel a continuous flow of your life-river-an inspiration-river or aspiration-river flowing in and through you. Then afterwards, you will feel that that flow is your true reality. And if you go deeper, then you are bound to feel a vast sky or a vast sea inside you. When you embody a vast sea or a vast sky, naturally you will feel tremendous joy.