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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #51 In man's search for truth, the first lesson and the last is love. 
    In man's search for truth, the first lesson and the last is love. There must be no separation, no "I am" and "thou art not". Until man has arrived at that selfless consciousness, he cannot know life and truth.

    When we look at this subject from a mystic's point of view, we see that love has two aspects. Love in itself, and the shadow of love fallen on the earth. The former is heavenly the latter is earthly. The former develops self-abnegation in a person; the latter makes him more selfish than he was before. Virtues such as tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion rise of themselves in the heart which is awakened to love.

    The infirmities such as jealousy, hatred and all manner of prejudice begin to spring up when the shadow of love has fallen on the heart of the mortal. The former love raises man to immortality, the latter turns the immortal soul into a mortal being. A poet has said that the first step in love teaches selflessness, if it is not experienced then one has taken a step in the wrong direction, although one calls it love. For man has learned from the moment he was born on earth the words 'I am'. It is love alone that teaches him to say, 'Thou art, not I'. For no soul can love and yet affirm its own existence.
    What the Sufi calls riyazat, a process of achievement, is nothing else than digging constantly in that holy land which is the heart of man. Surely in the depth man will find the water of life. However, digging is not enough. Love and devotion, no doubt, help to bring out frequent merits hidden in the soul, as sincerity, thankfulness, gentleness and forgiving qualities, all things which produce an harmonious atmosphere, and all things which bring men in tune with life, the saintly life and the outer life. All those merits come, no doubt, by kindling the fire of love in the heart. But it is possible that in this process of digging one may only reach mud and lose patience. So dismay, discontentment may follow and man may withdraw himself from further pursuit.

    It is patient pursuit which will bring the water from the depth of the ground; for until one reaches the water of life, one meets with mud in digging. It is not love, but the pretense of love, that imposes the claim of the self. The first and last lesson in love is, 'I am not -- Thou art' and unless man is moved to that selflessness he does not know justice, right or truth; his self stands above or between him and God.


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  2. #52 Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards .... 
    Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point you desire.

    The mind of an average person may be pictured as an unruly horse that jumps and kicks and throws anyone that tries to ride it. Masters of the world are those who have mastered themselves, and mastery lies in the control of the mind. If the mind became your obedient servant, the whole world is at your service.
    He who does not direct his own mind lacks mastery. ... If there is any self of which one can say, 'This is man', it is the mind. The three Sanskrit words Mana, Manu, Manusha show that man is his mind, is the product of his mind, and is also the controller of the activity of mind. If he does not control his mind, he is not a master but a slave. It lies with his own mind whether he shall be master, or whether he shall be slave. He is slave when he neglects to be master; he is master if he cares to be master.

    Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point we desire, in allowing it to be active as far as we wish, in using it to fulfill our purpose, in causing it to be still when we want to still it. He who has come to this has created his heaven within himself; he has no need to wait for a heaven in the hereafter, for he has produced it within his own mind now.

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  3. #53 The more elevated the soul, the broader the outlook. — by Hazrat Inayat Khan 
    The more elevated the soul, the broader the outlook.

    There are many different opinions how the condition of the world should be bettered: some think by religious reform, some think by educational reform, and some think by social reform. Every reform made with the idea of doing some good is worthwhile, but the reform most needed today is spiritual reform. Today the hour has come when narrowness should be abandoned, in order to arise above those differences and distinctions which divide human beings. ... The way to spirituality is the expansion and the widening of the heart. In order to accommodate the divine Truth the heart must be expanded. With the expansion of the heart the divine bliss is poured out.
    The eyes of the man who neglects his duty to his fellow men, absorbed in life's intoxication, will certainly become dazzled and his mind exhausted before the presence of God. It does not mean that any soul will be deprived of the divine vision, it only means that the soul who has not learned to open his eyes wide enough will have his eyes closed before the vision of God. All virtues come from a wide outlook on life, all understanding comes from the keen observation of life. Nobility of soul, therefore, is signified in the broad attitude that man takes in life.


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  4. #54 Words are but the shells of thoughts and feelings. — by Hazrat Inayat Khan 
    Words are but the shells of thoughts and feelings.

    In spite of whatever wisdom we may have; we can make a mistake if we have no control over our words. And we can easily find examples of this truth; those who talk much have less power than those who talk little. For a talkative person may not be able to express an idea in a thousand words which those who are masters of silence express in one word. ... What gives power over words? What gives the power that can be attained by silence? The answer is: it is will power which gives the control over words; it is silence which gives one the power of silence. It is restlessness when a person speaks too much. The more words are used to express an idea, the less powerful they become. It is a great pity that man so often thinks of saving pennies and never thinks of sparing words. It is like saving pebbles and throwing away pearls. An Indian poet says, 'Pearl-shell, what gives you your precious contents? Silence; for years my lips were closed.

    'The mystic sees another significance of the mouth than for it to be a receptacle of food and drink. Through the mouth words of wisdom are expressed, sacred words repeated. Therefore the mouth is likened to a shell from which pearl-like words become manifest. As by the opening of the mouth words are expressed so by the closing of the mouth the word is drawn within, which becomes a living word compared with all other words, which are lost after once they are spoken.


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  5. #55 Wisdom is not in words, it is in understanding. 
    Wisdom is not in words, it is in understanding.

    What a great thing is understanding! It is priceless. No man can give greater pleasure to his fellow man than by understanding him.
    What can one wish for more in life than understanding? Understanding gives one harmony in the home with those near and dear to one and peace outside the home with so many different natures and characters. If one lacks understanding, one is poor in spite of all that one possesses of the goods of this world; it is understanding which gives a person riches. ... A life without such understanding is like a dark room which contains everything you wish -- it is all there, but there is no light.
    If there is no understanding between two persons, words are of no use. They may talk and talk, and discuss and discuss, and it will only go from bad to worse, for argument will never end. As it is said in the Vadan, 'Why? Is an animal with a thousand tails. At every bite you give it, it drops one of its curved tails and raises another.' Can argument bring about understanding? Never. Argument only increases argument, and so one can go on till two persons turn their back upon one another. Understanding is a gift of God, understanding is a soul's unfoldment, and understanding is the greatest fortune one can have in life.


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  6. #56 The soul of all is one soul, and the truth is one truth, under whatever religion it.. 
    The soul of all is one soul, and the truth is one truth, under whatever religion it is hidden.

    With all the opposition to the Master at the time when the [chief priests] demanded his crucifixion, did those who were present sincerely think the Master was guilty? No, each one of them was more or less impressed by the truth of the message, yet torn by convention and custom, bound by laws, held fast by the religious authority that was in power. They could not express their sincere feelings, and so law governed instead of love. And this state of things has existed in all ages. Blinded by conventions and by the laws of his time and the customs of his people, man has ignored and opposed the truth. Yet at the same time the truth has never failed to make its impression upon the soul, because the soul of all is one soul, and truth is one truth under whatever religion it is hidden.
    In reality there cannot be many religions; there is only one. There cannot be two truths; there cannot be two masters. As there is only one God and one religion, there is one master and there is one truth. And the weakness of man has been that only what he is accustomed to consider as truth he takes to be truth, and anything he has not been accustomed to hear or think frightens him. Just like a person in a strange land, away from home, the soul is a stranger to the nature of things it is not accustomed to. But the journey to perfection means rising above limitations, rising so high that not only the horizon of one country, of one continent, is seen, but that of the whole world. The higher we rise, the wider becomes the horizon of our view.

    If we come face to face with truth, it is one and the same. One may look at it from the Christian, from the Buddhist, or from the Hindu point of view, but in reality it is one point of view. One can either be small or large, either be false or true, either not know or know. As long as a person says, 'When I look at the horizon from the top of the mountain I become dizzy. This immensity of space frightens me,' he should not look at it. But if it does not make one dizzy it is a great joy to look at life from above. And from that position a Christian, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist will all see the same immensity. It is not limited to those of any one faith or creed. Gradually, as they unfold themselves and give proof of their response to the immensity of the knowledge, they are asked to go forward, face to face with their Lord.


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  7. #57 It is the soul's light which is natural intelligence. — by Hazrat Inayat Khan 
    It is the soul's light which is natural intelligence.

    Coming to the cause of the lack of joy, one realizes by pondering on the subject that it is not pursuing after joy that results in disappointment, it is the wrong method adopted in the pursuit of joy which brings, instead of joy, sorrow or disappointment. ... Nothing can take away joy from the man who has right understanding. Through all conditions of life he will retain it, but the one who lacks understanding, nothing in the world or Heaven there is which can bring him a lasting joy. This shows that, in reality, joy does not come from the external life, though always it seems so. Joy has only one source and that is the heart of man, which is the globe over his soul's light.
    The soul has the tendency to look forward to what is going to be, or at what has been in the past. It is the light of our soul, the intelligence that does this. Intelligence working through physical means is no greater than intellect. But intelligence working freely and independently from physical means is wisdom. And wisdom is not cleverness, but infinitely superior to it. Wisdom works independently of the physical means, and therefore, requires intuition. The clever person works by means of his physical body, but the wise person works independently of it.
    The Qur'an says, 'God is the Light of the heavens and of the earth;' and if there is any spark of God that can be found in man, it is his intelligence. Naturally, therefore, when this divine light which is hidden in man is once brought to a blaze and has risen as a flame, it illuminates his path towards perfection.

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  8. #58 The wave is the sea itself yet, when it rises in the form of a wave... 
    The wave is the sea itself yet, when it rises in the form of a wave, it is the wave and when you look at the whole of it, it is the sea.

    There is an Arabic saying, 'If you wish to know God, you must know yourself.' How little man knows while he is in the intoxication of individualism! ... We are connected with one another. Our lives are tied together, and there is a link in which we can see one current running through all. There are many globes and lamps, and yet one current is running through all.

    The mystic seeks to realize this constantly and to impress it on his mind in whatever he may see. What, for him, are the waves of the sea? Are they not the sea itself? ... Therein lies the whole of religion. The mystic's prayer is to that beauty, and his work is to forget the self, to lose himself like a bubble in the water. The wave realizes, 'I am the sea', and by falling into the sea prostrates itself before its God.

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