Question: What does "destruction" mean in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, nothing is totally destroyed for good. If you feel destruction means that something is gone forever and that never again will you see its face, then you are mistaken. From the spiritual point of view, you have to know that destruction is the transformation of the limited consciousness. It is like this. When you move from one year into the next year, you do not see the old year any more. The old year you do not see either in your outer life or in your inner life. What you see is the outer and inner transformation of the year that has just passed.

Take a particular desire that you may have had as a child. Now that desire is no longer in you or around you. At the age of seven, let us say, you wanted to be the greatest poet on earth. Now you are fifty years old and you are not a celebrated poet; far from it. You have not become even an ordinary poet. But this does not disturb you in the least, because you have entered into the spiritual life and that old desire has been “destroyed”. That desire operated in you before, but now you want only to enter into the life of infinite Truth. Your desire-bubble has burst; it is totally gone. What has actually happened is that it has been transformed into aspiration. This aspiration wants to achieve the Highest and grow into the infinite Light, Peace, Bliss and Power of God. If you look for your old desire with your physical eyes, then you will see that it is nowhere to be found. The desire which you cherished at the age of seven has been totally destroyed by the illumining light inside you. The illumining light has given you the flame of aspiration. Or you can say that God’s Grace has entered into your present-day consciousness and transformed your desire into aspiration.

So your limited desire to be only a poet has been transformed into a much vaster desire. Now you want only to be God’s chosen instrument and to deal with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. You want to change the face of the vast world, and it is only as an instrument of God that you can do this: not as a poet, not as a philosopher, not as an artist, not as anybody but a true instrument of God.

You started with desire and your desire could have made you a poet. But now your aspiration is making you a true lover of mankind and a true saviour of mankind. So where is destruction? It is only the transformation of your limited consciousness into the unlimited consciousness, where not only possibility and practicability but also inevitability are constantly shaking hands with your inner life of aspiration and your outer life of revelation and manifestation.