(Sri Chinmoy gave the following talk at the Jharna-Kala Gallery in Grand Central Station in New York City on 19 August 1978 after his many students and admirers had a parade up Madison Avenue in his honour.)
The Creation started from Consciousness. God was alone. But after some time, like us, God felt lonely. He needed some friends. So He created two friends so that He could play with them, have fun with them and amuse Himself with them. His two friends were Aspiration and Vision. But God was not fully satisfied with Aspiration and Vision. He wanted two more friends so that He could always be happy. Aspiration and Vision were undoubtedly excellent friends, but they were not enough for Him. He needed two more friends. So He created two more friends: Speed and Strength.
Speed said to the Lord Supreme, “I would like to please You by covering the length and breadth of Your Creation sooner than at once. And while covering Your Creation, I will spread Your Light all-where.”
Strength said to the Lord Supreme, “I would like to please You by manifesting You wherever I see You and wherever I feel You.”
God said to Strength: “Is there any place where you do not see Me?”
Strength said to God, “I do not see You when I use myself to please earth without first getting the approval of Heaven.”
God said to Strength: “You are absolutely right. You will be able to please Me only when your actions are approved by the higher authorities. The higher authorities are My Compassion-Light and My Concern-Sympathy.”
Now God’s principal friends are Aspiration, Vision, Speed and Strength. Each individual is an infinitesimal prototype of God’s four most intimate friends.
Today our parade offered not only to New Yorkers but to the world-atmosphere and world-vibration the divine Presence of God’s four birthless and deathless friends: Aspiration, Vision, Strength and Speed. If you have one friend out of these four friends, if you can make friends soulfully and devotedly with even one of these four friends of God, then eventually you will be able to make friends with the other three. Some of you have developed considerable friendship with God’s Aspiration and God’s Vision; others have made friends with God’s Speed in the spiritual life. Still others have made friends with God’s Strength. But I would like each of you to establish an everlasting friendship with each of these four friends of God. Then only will you become one more friend of God, whom God will constantly and eternally treasure and cherish. You have the capacity. You have the capacity. You have the capacity. God has already given you the capacity to claim Him as your own Eternity’s only Friend. Try; you will succeed. You will succeed; therefore, you have every reason to try.
Question: What do you mean by Vision?
Answer: Vision is the capacity to know the unknown and also to know the unknowable. Now you may say, “How can you know the unknowable” One can easily know the unknowable, for the unknowable and the knowable are only the obverse and reverse of the same coin. The unknowable is always in the mind, in the separativity-consciousness. If your consciousness is divided and separated from my consciousness, then we will always remain not only unknown but also unknowable to each other. If there is very little separativity between your consciousness and mine, then we say that my consciousness is unknown. But if there is a wide gulf between your consciousness and the consciousness of someone or something else, then we say that that person or thing is unknowable.
Vision has the capacity to unify or see everything at a glance. So the unknown and the unknowable do not apply to Vision. Vision is the capacity that knows not only the unknown but also the unknowable. It also is the capacity that knows the past, present and future. Right now we need the past in order to know the present, and we need the present in order to know the future. We need the seed to know the tree and we need the tree to know the fruit. Again, we need the fruit to know the seed, since the seed comes from the fruit. In this way the cycle goes on and on. We see life stage by stage. This is the seed form, this is the tree form, and this is the fruit form. Unless we see them separately at their different stages, we don’t understand them; we don’t believe them.
But Vision sees the reality at all three stages at once. It sees the seed, the tree and the fruit simultaneously. When we use Vision, we do not understand or even believe our capacity. With our normal capacity we cannot see three things at a time. Even if we see three fingers at a time, one of the fingers like a magnet is drawing more of our attention. But when we use Vision, we can see all the fingers equally well.
So Vision is the capacity to know the unknown and the unknowable, to know the many in the one and the one in the many.