Fear of the Inner Life
Strange is this world of ours. Stranger is our human understanding. Strangest is our fear of the inner life.
Most of us do not know what the inner life is. What is the inner life? It is the life that lives to grow and grows to live. It grows in the unhorizoned vision of the soul. It lives in the sublimest plenitude of the soul. This inner life always acts in accordance with the transforming and fulfilling light of the soul. If you do not know your soul, then in the world of divine wisdom you will be accused of dire ignorance. When you know your soul, in no time you become acquainted with God.
Please do not be forgetful of your great promise to God. Before you came into the world, before you donned the human cloak, you told God, your sweet Lord, with all the sincerity at your command, that you would participate in His divine lila (Drama). He said to you, "My child, fulfil Me and fulfil yourself at the same time on earth." You were divinely thrilled; your joy knew no bounds. You said, "Father, I shall. May my soulful promise be worthy of Your compassionate Command."
As ill luck would have it, you have now totally forgotten your promise. Here on earth you want to fulfil not God, but yourself. Your unlit mind prompts you to betray God. And you do it. You feel that God's fulfilment must come only through your fulfilment. If it does not work out that way, you are not prepared to sacrifice one iota of your life breath to fulfil God here on earth. Your divine promise sheds bitter tears of failure. Needless to say, to try to fulfil yourself before you have fulfilled God is to put the cart before the horse. It is the height of absurdity.
Perhaps by now you have come to learn what has made you fail in your most sincere promise to God. It is your fear. If I ask you how many enemies you have, you will jump up and say, "Quite a few." But I have to say you are mistaken. You have just one enemy and that is all, even though, to your wide surprise, it seems like a host in itself. That single enemy of yours is fear, your unconsciously cherished fear.
You are afraid of the inner life. You feel that the moment you launch into the inner life you are lost, completely lost, like a babe in the woods. You may also think that in accepting the inner life, you are building castles in the air. Finally, you may feel that to accept the inner life is to throw your most precious life into the roaring mouth of a lion who will completely devour you and your outer life.
You have countless sweet dreams. You want to transform them into reality. All your dreams want to enjoy the world. You want to offer your momentous mite to the world at large; but you feel that if you embark on the inner life, you will be deprived of all these invaluable achievements. So now it is time for fear to make its appearance, and naturally you start shying away from the inner life. Fear starts torturing you. It tries to limit and bind you.
Unfortunately, your life yields to this deplorable mistake. But if once, only once, with the help of your all energising meditation, you could carry your long-cherished fear into the inner world, you would see that fear loses its very existence there. In the twinkling of an eye, it becomes one with the dynamic strength of your inner life.
If you want to truly possess the outer world, you have to possess the inner world first. Not the other way around. If you want to truly enjoy the outer world, you must enjoy the inner world first. Not vice versa. If your heart pines to serve humanity, you have to serve the inner divinity first. Infallible is this truth.
January 12th, 1968
University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica