Question: In one of your poems you say, "Hope lost, gloom growsDark poison-blightDestruction flows." What can an aspirant do if he is losing hope?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, I wish to tell you why a person loses hope. Someone loses hope because he makes himself feel that there is a certain period, a given time, in which he has to achieve something or in which he is going to achieve something. We decide, for example, that in two days we are going to achieve some specific thing. Outwardly we may say that in the near future we hope to get something or do something. But this is not entirely true. If we go deep within, we will see that our minds have already set a particular time limit. When the date arrives, our outer mind may not know that this was the deadline fixed on our inner mind's calendar. But on that day, if we have not achieved or received the hoped-for result, we will find that our whole world has collapsed. If we don't see the result on that day, we will be miserable.

What can we do to regain hope? First, we have to know that real hope is not something weak. Very often we think of hope as something very delicate-a sweet, smooth, soothing feeling with no reality in it. But this is not an adequate definition of hope. We have to know that hope is something very solid, very strong. Hope is not something that is crying for the world beyond or crying for a truth which does not exist. No, hope has seen the truth, but it cannot and does not yet possess it. It has seen the truth, only it is unable to bring the truth into the world.

This is divine hope that I am talking about. Divine hope is very different from human hope. Ordinary human hope can rarely be fulfilled because inside it there is no determination, no sincerity, no conscious willingness to accept the highest Truth. With our human hope, if we want to achieve the Highest, the Ultimate, we will not succeed. When the Highest is descending and approaching our physical being, at that time human hope will be terrified. It will try to escape the moment it sees the vastness of the Reality that it was hoping to possess.

But divine hope is something that has seen the truth which we are ultimately going to achieve. If we know what divine hope is, then we will get strength from the certainty that it offers us. Hope has not yet been able to bring the truth to the fore in our lives, but one day it shall. The time which has been planned by God has not yet come, but it will come.

Human hope expects something-say, five dollars. When fulfilment comes, immediately this human hope is overjoyed and it loses its inner poise. But if we start with divine hope, we will never lose our inner balance and poise. Our divine hope has already seen truth in its highest aspect. Now this truth needs only to be embodied. Our hope is only to bring that truth into manifestation. Then, when hope's fulfilment comes, we do not lose our inner balance because we knew that it was bound to happen.

How can we avoid losing hope? We must try to cast aside all expectations from our desiring mind. It is our outer mind which feels that it needs something or wants something. When we feel that we need something, hope begins to play its part. It is the desiring mind that feeds our outer hope. If we can be above the desiring mind and remain all the time in the spontaneity of the heart, then we will have a constant feeling of possessing the divine truth. Our inner heart is always full and complete, requiring nothing. When we need nothing, hope does not enter into the picture, for it is not at all necessary.

So if you can remain with your heart's burning aspiration, it will be impossible for earthly hope to knock at your door because your divine hope is already self-sufficient. When you remain with your heart's aspiration, you are constantly identified with God's Will, and at that time your earthly hope is transformed into divine hope.

Your question was, "What can you do when you lose hope?" When you lose hope, you have to tell yourself that the Reality is bound to come to you precisely because you are in the world of aspiration. You are aspiring most sincerely, most devotedly. You know that you are doing the right thing. If the truth or the fulfilment that your hope has seen has not yet been able to come into manifestation, you need not worry. It is only when you lose your aspiration that you can feel that you are lost.

When I said, "Hope lost, … destruction flows," I was speaking about the ordinary man who is not aspiring in any way. It is hope, human hope, that keeps him alive on earth. Hope plays a great part in the ordinary human life on earth. For example, some people say that they are doing disinterested work and so on. But only aspirants and truly spiritual people really do this. Ninety-nine percent of the human beings are only feeding their own hopes and desires when they work. That is why they are living, working, existing. Otherwise, they would not budge an inch.

For a spiritual person this does not apply. Where is destruction for a spiritual person? For him there is no destruction. He acts only to fulfil God's Will. God's Will can be fulfilled in two ways: in the form of success or in the form of failure. But God Himself is above both success and failure. So if you want to become identified totally and inseparably with God's Will, then think neither of success nor of failure. Think only of pleasing the Supreme. According to our human eyes the fulfilment of hope is success. But the fulfilment of God's Will goes far beyond so-called failure or success, and this is what is of paramount importance. Divine fulfilment is always beyond outer results. We understand the results and we derive the utmost benefit from the results only when we are one with God's Will unreservedly. When we are identified with His Will unreservedly, at that time we will undoubtedly feel that we are fulfilled also.

So what can you do when you have lost hope? Only feel the necessity for the flame of your aspiration to burn more brightly and more intensely. Then hope you won't even need. An ordinary person needs hope in order to make any move forward, and if there is no forward movement, then self-destruction starts. So without hope, life for an ordinary person becomes a stagnant pool. But if you have sincere aspiration, you do not have to worry; you will get everything.