Question: Chile is under a very heavy dictatorship and many innocent people have been suffering. I would like to know, is that due to the collective consciousness of the people, or is it just a hostile force taking over?

Sri Chinmoy: Last year, and also a few months ago, I concentrated on Chile. It is like this. First an attack came from the hostile forces, and then the consciousness of Chile accepted the hostile forces as its own. It consciously became, unfortunately, part and parcel of the attack. The consciousness of Chile was not generally bad, but somebody bad came and the Chile consciousness felt that that person was good, so it gave shelter to that consciousness, and that shelter acted in a destructive way. Otherwise, by its own nature, the Chile consciousness is very nice, very nice, I tell you — very, very good. But when the hostile attack came, Chile opened its heart, not knowing that it was a hostile attack. It took the attack as a gift and thought that this gift would give it tremendous joy eventually. Then afterwards, it realised that it had made a mistake. This was not a gift; it was a hostile attack.

But by then that hostile force had become part and parcel of the Chile consciousness. This dictatorship and all the undivine things that are taking place — Chile can't get rid of. It is as though I allowed a stranger into my room, thinking that he was my friend. Now that stranger has become so powerful that he has moved into a corner. He says that what happens in my room is now his business. He was a stranger in the beginning, but I took him as a friend. And when he did attack, at that time I didn't see him as a hostile force; I took him as a friend. My mind told me that because I don't know someone, it doesn't mean that that person is going to be bad. I don't know anything, but I can't say point-blank that a person will be bad. But unfortunately, when I allow such a person to enter into my room, I see that he is very bad.

It is like thoughts. As soon as your eyes are open, bad thoughts come and good thoughts come. As soon as you open your mind, you are all the time thinking. Good thoughts, bad thoughts — everything comes. How are you going to get rid of bad thoughts once they have entered? It is very difficult. So the best thing is not to allow any thoughts to come in. Your friends, the good thoughts, will understand, and they will wait for you. On the strength of their oneness, they will say, "Perhaps he is very busy inside; he is doing something important. We know he has a very good heart. Something serious must be happening today; that's why he is not opening the door. Otherwise, he would open the door, because he is all sympathy, all love for us." But the bad thoughts, the dangerous thoughts, will not wait indefinitely for you. They are coming with a bad motive — to scold you, insult you, harass you. They will wait for some time and then they will say, "It's a waste of time. Let us go and knock at somebody else's door. He is not opening up the door, and it is beneath our dignity to wait." But good thoughts will wait and wait for you, because they know that you are so good. In the beginning, you have to keep all thoughts out, because you don't have the power to let in only the good ones. But once you become strong inwardly, like a magnet you will be able to pull in the good ones and keep out the bad ones. So the good ones will at that time come in, and if the bad ones try to come in, you will throw them out.

So, to come back to your question, Chile is a very small place, a small country. There was an unfortunate hostile attack, and the Chile consciousness became part and parcel of it. Once you become part and parcel of an undivine consciousness, how can you separate yourself from it? It is a very long process. Divine Grace has to descend from Above in infinite measure. Then gradually, gradually some light will enter, and that light will start separating out the hostile or undivine force. Eventually a full separation takes place between darkness and light. At that time, the hostile forces are removed from the consciousness of the country, and the country is saved. But unfortunately it takes a long time.