Question: Why does the 'I' seek so assiduously if it is the 'I'?Sri Chinmoy: One ‘I’ is the small ‘I’. This ‘I’ is the ego. The other one is the large ‘I’, the immortal Self, the Brahman, the Absolute.
The ego, which is the little ‘I’ is constantly seeking for something other than itself because it is limited. The very nature of the ego is to be dissatisfied and displeased. It is never satisfied with what it has and what it is because the truth is always somewhere else. The truth is far away from the ego, but the ego thinks it is just around the corner, near at hand, within its easy reach. Wherever the ego is, it seems to be standing on one shore of a river and seeing that truth is on the other shore. Then, when it goes to that shore; it discovers that truth is somewhere else after all. But the small ‘I’ is always enamoured of its own conception of truth. On the one hand it is walking in the field of discouraging experiences, and on the other hand it feels that it is about to enter into the field of encouraging and satisfying experiences.
The large ‘I’ is beyond our definition. It is beyond all action and beyond all experience. In our limited consciousness we cannot bind the truth. The truth is this, and the next moment it is something totally different. If something is moving, then we say that the truth is that it is moving. But our Upanishads say, and our realisation describes the truth in this way: “That moves, and that moves not; that is far and the same is near.” The truth is here, there, everywhere and at the same time it is beyond time and place. We cannot define the immortal Self with our mind’s thoughts. It is beyond, far beyond definition. With the mind we cannot think of the Absolute. We can only realise it on the strength of our aspiration. This ‘I’, the Self, is not seeking for anything. It embodies everything within itself. It is all the time transcending and transcending; transcending its own highest Height.
The little ‘I’ is always dissatisfied. It cries here and there for its satisfaction because it has not seen the truth. At the same time, it does not want to see the truth the way the truth has to be seen — that is, through the conscious awareness of the soul. It does not want even a little light. It wants to starve the possibility and the manifestation of the soul. The large ‘I’ is always satisfied. It is growing, expanding and fulfilling. It has no necessity to search anywhere for fulfilment, for it embodies the highest fulfilment.