Question: Can you tell us something about the predominant qualities of America?
Sri Chinmoy: In America, the dynamic vital, but not the aggressive vital, is of paramount importance. There are various places in the world where the aggressive vital is more to the fore, but here in America I see the dynamic vital most of the time. Again, you have to know that we are still imperfect. The vital is like a knife. With a knife we can cut a fruit and share it with others. Let us say that that sharing is done by the dynamic vital. With the same knife, if I stab you, then that is the aggressive vital. The same instrument can be dynamic or aggressive.
I appreciate America for its dynamism. If you are dynamic, you run towards your goal. If you do not know where the goal is, then you may run from this side to that side, but it is better to move than to remain static. There are many people in India and other parts of the world who are wallowing in the pleasures of idleness. They live in eternal time. They think that one day God will come and stand before them and say, “All right, since you could not think of Me, it is My duty to think of you.” But that is absurd.
Americans are running. They are not sure of the goal, but they are constantly on the move. They go to one side and run into a wall and get hurt. Then they go to another side, and the goal is not there, so they get another blow. But at least they go. If they sit still, worrying that perhaps on this side there is a wall or on that side there is a hole, then they will not make any progress at all. This dynamism is the thing that I deeply appreciate and admire in America.
I have hope for the places where I notice dynamism. But there are places where there is no dynamism, and I have very little hope for their progress. In Europe presently, people still live in the mind. The mind is not a bad thing. The mind can be a very good instrument, later on, but not now. The mind that we are now using is the physical mind, which constantly doubts and suspects. It is limited and full of darkness. But there are other higher minds — the illumined mind, the intuitive mind, the overmind. We are not using these higher minds right now. First we have to live in the heart and bring the soul’s light into the mind. Europeans are mental people. They find it difficult to appreciate the heart’s qualities. Some, however, are trying hard to open their hearts.
Another good quality of Americans is that they appreciate everything, like children. A child appreciates everything without discrimination. God is a divine Child. He appreciates everything. When His son or daughter gives Him anything, He is so highly pleased, even if it is just a grain of sand. He says, “If you had wanted to keep that grain of sand for yourself, you could have, but you gave it to Me.” Americans are like that, too. America has a big heart. When it is a question of the heart’s magnanimity, America is very advanced. America makes mistakes, but who does not mistakes? Mistakes we all make, but America does not know how to hesitate. The best quality in the spiritual life is not to hesitate once you know your goal. Even if you do not know your goal, run! Then God’s Compassion will dawn because you are running, because you are on the move. Once you feel that your goal is not where you are, your goal is somewhere ahead of you, then you have to run.
America has the willingness to see, and to accept or reject, rather than to first hesitate. There are many parts of the world that hesitate and hesitate and hesitate, until it becomes too late. In any race if you hesitate and hesitate before you start to move, in the meantime, your opponents just win the race!
Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Glow and Dedication-Flow, part 1, Agni Press, 1977