Question: I cannot understand how anything created by God can be imperfect. How can He create a soul that is not perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: God does not throw the soul heartlessly into the manifestation. The soul is not alone. God Himself is always inside the soul. We say that we have come from God and that we are a part of Him. But where is our realisation? Where is our perfection? We are in the process of consciously attaining this realisation and perfection. Each individual represents God-that we know. But each individual has not consciously realised Him.

The Absolute God, who is the Supreme Self, is perfect. The Highest, the One without a second, the God who has created the multiplicity, is always perfect. But the God who has entered into the earth plane for evolution has accepted imperfection because he has taken on the earthly consciousness, which is full of limitations and imperfections.

We cannot separate God from our existence or from our imperfections. Do you think that God is not there in all the imperfections that we see in this world? God is everywhere, but He is manifested to different degrees. God is in the thief as well as in the honest person. He is there, having an experience. God is in everything. He is in the highest and He is also in the lowest.

But we do not want to have the God who is in the lowest. We want to have the God who is in the highest. God is in filthy water as well as in pure, clean water. If I want to remain healthy, I shall drink the pure water. God is not manifested in sufficient degree in the filthy water to allow me to benefit from drinking it. In fact, I would become sick or even die if I did. So the God in the dirty water does me no good in my life of aspiration.

Similarly, if I want to be perfect and serve the Divine, I myself have to become divine. How many times in his daily existence does each human being become the victim of ugly thoughts, undivine thoughts? But during the same day he also gets divine, fulfilling and sublime thoughts. In the uncomely thoughts God is not manifested as He is in the divine thoughts. But again, God does not separate His Existence from one moment to another and stay only in the good thoughts. He is there in our undivine consciousness as well as in our aspiring consciousness. It is we who have to decide which aspect of God we want. The Supreme, the Spirit, has entered into matter, which is sleeping. Gradually the Spirit awakens from its own self-imposed sleep within matter. It pushes matter forward, encouraging it to evolve. It says, "Open your eyes: you have to grow into the Infinite." With our human consciousness, with our wisdom, with our conscious aspiration, we have to grow towards the best, the highest, the most fulfilling.

Our usual conception of God is that He is up above and cannot come down. I may say that I and my Father are one, but if I am an ordinary person, I believe that my Father is up in Heaven whereas I am down on earth. But no, my Father is here, too. Even if I am in hell, then He is also in hell. My Father cannot remain in Heaven while I am in hell. When I say that my Father and I are one, it means that even if I am in the most abysmal depths, He is there, too. He is where I am, if we are really one. And even if I am not conscious of our oneness, God is always with me and in me. If I am in prison, my Father will be there also. He can never stay aloof from me, for we are inseparably one.

To come back to your question, God is not saying to the soul, "Go ahead and develop as best you can." He Himself is always with us and in us. In fact, it is He who is secretly our highest Self.