Part IV — Transformation of the ego

Question: Sometimes I find a barrier between myself and other people whom I don't know. I expect something from them, but I feel I am unable to give from myself to them. What should I expect from other people?

Sri Chinmoy: If you know someone well, you know if that person is good. If you do not know someone, you do not know what can be expected from him. He may do you some harm. The barrier exists because you do not see or you cannot see the Supreme inside a stranger as you see the Supreme inside your friends. But instead of taking someone as a stranger, you should feel that you can become friendly with someone because inside him you see the presence of the Supreme. Your friendship should be based upon your inner awareness of God's existence inside that particular person. If you can have the same feeling toward a mere acquaintance as toward a friend, then that person will not remain a stranger. You need not be afraid of him.

In India we bow down with folded hands immediately upon meeting a stranger. Here in the West you shake hands in order to offer your greetings. When we bow with folded hands, we try to see the Supreme inside that person. If folding your hands looks awkward, you need not fold your hands, but inwardly try to see or feel the presence of the Supreme inside that person.