Are spiritual people somewhat abnormal?

The title of my talk, “Are Spiritual People Somewhat Abnormal?” is rather amusing. If we answer the question in the affirmative, then all of us in this room are abnormal. But the truth is otherwise. We are not abnormal in the least. We are normal, natural, soulful, devoted, dedicated and God-loving.

In this world, when someone does not see eye-to-eye with us, we immediately say that he is abnormal and unnatural. We even go to the length of saying that he is undivine or hostile. This is the experience that we unfortunately treasure. But if each day we pray and meditate soulfully, then we come to realise that the most important thing in each person’s life is the freedom of his inner life, the freedom to follow his own Inner Pilot. Everyone is being motivated and guided by his Inner Pilot. Just because you do not have the same realisation that I have, we cannot call each other abnormal.

Here in God’s creation countless beings are consciously or unconsciously fulfilling God in their own way. But a seeker tries to please and fulfil God in God’s own way. This is the difference between those who aspire and those who do not aspire. Non-seekers try to possess God and utilise God in their own way, whereas seekers try to achieve God’s Light to please Him, fulfil Him and manifest Him here on earth in His own way.

Those who are not crying for God, for Truth or for Light, according to strict inner philosophy, are dead soldiers. One need not be dead on the physical plane, but one is inwardly dead if he does not aspire. If he is wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, he is already dead. When there is no Light, when there is no divine satisfaction, we feel that life is nothing short of death.

Earth’s understanding of Light is very limited. When we try to judge others or examine others, we immediately lose our sense of identification. But if we focus our attention on all things with the same amount of sympathy, love and concern, then we feel inside all things their basic oneness with everything else and with ourselves. In the matter of strength, my thumb has considerably more than my little finger. But there is a oneness between my little finger and my thumb; so when I concentrate on these two portions of my being, I do not consider one abnormal just because it is weaker or stronger than the other.

Here we are a small group; let us say a family. Right now we are treasuring a spiritual feeling, a feeling of brotherhood and oneness. Now, if someone here happens to have a large fruit, his feeling of oneness will compel him to share the fruit with the rest of us. But if he is miserly, if he has a sense of separativity, he will try to eat it all himself. It is in this separativity that real abnormality looms large. When we see others in ourselves and feel our oneness with them, then there can be no abnormal feeling in us.

Anything that is contrary to our experience seems abnormal to us. But we have to know that the world is singing the song of oneness. God’s Unity and God’s Multiplicity we have to see as one. God the Creator, God the Preserver and God the Transformer are all one. In each seeker God is playing the distinctive roles of Creator, Preserver and Transformer. When we see them separately in a limited consciousness, we become a victim to our own limited understanding. If this moment we identify ourselves only with God the Creator, then without the least hesitation we shall say that God the Transformer is abnormal.

God started His creation with His Silence-light. From His Silence-light, Sound-might came into existence. The One wanted to become many. He wanted to experience Himself in a million, billion, trillion forms, countless forms, like the seed that eventually grows into a banyan tree. When the seed grows into a huge tree, we see millions of leaves and thousands of fruits and flowers. But it started its journey as one single seed.

The first thing we have to do in our life is pray and meditate. Early in the morning, if we pray to God, we enter into the world of the Source. Then we try to offer the Light that we have received from our prayer and meditation to the world around us. First we achieve and then we give. If I do not have any Light, then what am I going to give?

We have to go from one to two to three. Our first realisation is one, our second realisation is two, our third realisation is three, the Ultimate. When we start with one, we have to know that we are going to the Root, the Source, the Unity. But the Source needs manifestation; otherwise it will remain unfulfilled. For manifestation we have to enter into the world of multiplicity. And finally we have to transform the world and bring Heaven’s Perfection into the world. Only in this way can we have true satisfaction, and true satisfaction is God’s Perfection-Love.

In unity there must be the song of multiplicity. When we enter into the spiritual life, if we ignore the world around us, if we feel the world around us is dirty and undivine and can never be transformed, then we are mistaken. This attitude is unhealthy, abnormal. We have to accept the world around us as our very own, and inside the world we have to see and feel the living Breath and living Presence of God. Then our realisation will tell us that the world is absolutely normal, that God is evolving in His own way in and through the world. You may be flying to your destination on a jet plane, and somebody else may be travelling at the speed of an Indian bullock cart. But who is the driver of the bullock cart and who is the pilot of the plane? In both cases it is God. According to His own Will, according to the seeker’s evolution, God is using the bullock cart or the modern jet plane. And it is also He who is proceeding toward the destined Goal, His own ever-transcending Height.

There is a significant anecdote I wish to tell you. An atheist once said to one of his friends, who was a God-believer, “My friend, you constantly pray to that Fellow, but He ignores you. You have given up everything for Him, but He has done nothing for you and He will do nothing for you. Yet even so, you feel that you can live without all worldly pleasures and enjoyments, but not without God. You must be really great.” Immediately the believer replied, “You are infinitely greater than I am, for you need only the fleeting earthly pleasures and you have given up God for them.”

Now, who is normal and who is abnormal in this story? If we have a limited consciousness, then we will say that the one who believes in God is normal, and he who does not believe in God is abnormal. But if we go deep within, into our heart of love and oneness, we see that the atheist is none other than God Himself in the process of evolution. This is not our first nor our last incarnation. We were once in the mineral world, then in the plant world and then in the animal kingdom. Now we are human beings, half animal and half divine. When we enter into the desire-world, we enter into temptation. From temptation we enter into frustration, and in frustration destruction looms large. But since we are all seekers, we are entering into the aspiration-world. And in the aspiration-world we go from Light, to more Light, to abundant and infinite Light.

Now, some seekers who are weak feel that if they remain in the world they will be devoured by earth-ignorance. This kind of seeker feels that the best thing for him to do is to enter into the Himalayan caves where he will be safe. But this is not the answer. Human beings who have undivine, ferocious qualities may not follow him to the Himalayan caves, but whatever is inside him will follow, including his unillumined mind, his earthbound desires and his own animal qualities. These things will play the role of the undivine human beings whom he has left behind him. They will torture him. He will be in the Himalayan caves, but his mind and his vital will be all the time roaming. He will meditate there for five minutes or half an hour, and then if he does not see an iota of Light or if he does not feel any certainty in his inner life, immediately he will say, “I have come here to the Himalayan caves, but I am only fooling myself. There is no truth, there is no reality here. This is all self-deception.”

If we are real seekers of truth, like divine warriors we will face the world and brave the world here and now. Who escapes? He who has done something wrong, he who is a culprit. But we have not done anything wrong, so we need not and must not try to escape. We have to feel that the members of society are like the limbs of our body. If even one part of our being is not transformed, then we are not perfect. We have to strike a balance. Spirit will give us realisation, but matter will offer us the message of manifestation. We have to try to combine the messages of spirit and matter. Only then will we be able to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.

How can we combine these two? By uniting Heaven-Vision with earth-aspiration. When earth-aspiration climbs up high, higher, highest and Heaven-Vision descends, there is a place where the two meet. And that meeting place is inside our heart of acceptance, in our conscious acceptance of both the Vision of Heaven and the aspiration of earth.

When we separate earth-consciousness, which is manifestation, from Heaven-consciousness, which is realisation, we are totally lost. But when the aspiration of earth and the Vision of Heaven are amalgamated, we become chosen instruments of the Absolute Supreme. At that time, our Heaven-free consciousness and earth’s aspiring consciousness make us complete, whole and perfect. The idea of abnormality is absurd then. We become normal, natural, spiritual, divine and perfect, for we consciously, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally unite the vision of our height with the aspiration of our depth.

Conference Room 14

July 26, 1974

Sri Chinmoy, The tears of nation-hearts.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 140th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The tears of nation-hearts, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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