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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #331 It is a very high stage on the path of love when a man really learns to love another 
    It is a very high stage on the path of love when a man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return.

    The nature of life on earth is illusory and in the Sanskrit tongue it is called Maya or illusion, and every soul having the spark of the divine love, forgets the use and the purpose of that spark and begins to love itself most.

    By a keen study of human life, man will find that as a rule, when he claims that he loves, in reality he loves himself, he loves his own benefit in life, he loves another for the help that other gives, for his goodness, for his kindness, for his service, but in all this he surely loves himself, and it is for himself all the while he thinks he loves another.

    It is a very high stage in the path of love when man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return, when he does not seek love for the sake of love in return, then love becomes pure, the lover gives, and gives and gives, but even that is not the purpose of life, it is still greater. The Perfect One who is the source and origin of the whole creation, is the Perfection of Beauty. All beauty on earth or in heaven belongs to Him, and the purpose of the creation of every soul is to progress in the path of love until the soul arrives at a stage where it may find the Perfection of Beauty.
    The development of love is often hindered by different obstacles in life. The first obstacle is ourselves. We begin our life with selfishness, and all that we want is for self, and if there is a tendency to love, it is for one's own happiness, and one's own joy. When the question comes, 'How much do you love me, and how much do I love you?' it has come to be a trading in love. 'I love you, but you do not love me' is as much as to say, 'I have bid so much, and I expect a return of love'. This is trading in love, and trade cannot lead anywhere, because it makes one think of the self, and love is beyond that. To love is to give; it is not to take at all. The true lover never speaks of what he has done for his beloved, for he loves for love's sake, not for the sake of a return.
    To what does the love of God lead? It leads to that peace and stillness which can be seen in the life of the tree, which bears fruits and flowers for others and expects no returns, not even thanks in return. It serves, and cares for nothing else, not even for appreciation. That is the attribute of the godly.

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  2. #332 Love alone is the fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water. 
    Love alone is the fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water.

    What do I mean by love? It is such a word that one cannot give one meaning. All attributes like kindness, gentleness, goodness, humbleness, mildness, fineness, are names of one and the same thing. Love therefore is that stream which when it rises, falls in the form of a fountain, and each stream coming down is a virtue. All virtues taught by books or by a religious person have no strength and life because they have been learned; a virtue that is learned has no power, no life. The virtue that naturally springs from the depth of the heart, the virtue that rises from the love-spring and then falls as many different attributes, that virtue is real. There is a Hindustani saying, 'No matter how much wealth you have, if you do not have the treasure of virtue, it is of no use'. The true riches is the ever increasing spring of love from which all virtues come.
    Purity of mind is the principal thing upon which the health of both body and mind depend. The process of purifying the mind is not much different from the process of cleaning or washing any object. Water poured upon any object washes it, and if there is a spot which cannot be washed away by the water, some substance which can take that spot is applied, to wash it thoroughly. The water which washes the heart is the continual running of the love-stream. When that stream is stopped, when its way is blocked by some object which closes the heart, and when the love-stream is no longer running, then the mind cannot keep pure. ... True happiness is in love, which is the stream that springs from one's soul. He who will allow this stream to run continually in all conditions of life, in all situations, however difficult, will have a happiness which truly belongs to him.
    Human love is given to illuminate by its sincerity the heart of another, there is no greater power to inspire than the power of love. The desire for service, gentleness, tolerance, kindness, forgiveness, all come from love. Love alone is a fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water.

    Love is given to inspire divine love in the heart of man, and all the beauty that man sees on earth is beauty created by the power of love, and by the power of love he learns to recognize it as a reflection of the beauty of heaven. Thus may earth become heaven, and heaven and earth one single vision of the glory of God.

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  3. #333 If you seek the good in every soul, you will always find it, for God is in all things 
    If you seek the good in every soul, you will always find it, for God is in all things; still more He is in all beings.

    We must learn to see the beauty, it is not everyone who sees it, often the critical spirit is occupied in gazing at the object which lacks beauty, the more you look for beauty, the more you see it as a whole. It is seeing the vision in part that deludes, you look at the side of a man's nature that may not be attractive, but if you will seek for good in everything, you will always find it, for God is in all things, and still more He is in all beings.
    One day I was walking in a city and met a dervish with a wonderful personality. He was dressed in a patched robe, but his speech, his voice, his thought, his movement, his atmosphere, were all most winning. At that time I was very young in the pursuit of philosophy. Youth is a time when pride has full play. So as we were walking along, and he called me 'Murshid', I was very glad. He addressed me as Murshid every time he spoke to me! Presently we met another person, who seemed to be without any education, without any knowledge of philosophy or religion or anything out of the way, but he called him 'Murshid' too. My pride was hurt, especially when next he came across a policeman whom he also called 'Murshid'. So then I asked my teacher what could be the meaning of all this, and he said, 'Your dervish showed you the first step towards recognizing God: to recognize all beings as your teacher. A foolish person can teach you, a wise person, a learned person, a student, a pious or wicked person, even a little child; everyone can teach you something. Therefore have this attitude towards everybody, then it may be said that you recognize God.'

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  4. #334 The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason; the secret of God is hidden in the... 
    The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason; the secret of God is hidden in the knowledge of unity.

    The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason. Man only perceives things he is capable of perceiving. He cannot raise his imagination above what he is used to, and he cannot reach beyond his imagination to where the being of God is. The secret of God is hidden in the knowledge of unity. Man thinks, 'What can unity give me? Can it bring me happiness? What is there in it?' He can get the answer by observing and studying life more closely. See what an atmosphere the harmony of ten people can create; the power of love and the influence created by ten people is much greater than that created by one. Think then what would be the blessing for humanity if nations, races, and communities were united!
    The pairs of opposites keep us in an illusion and make us think, 'This is this, and that is that'. At the same time by throwing a greater light upon things we shall find in the end that they are quite different from what we had thought. Seeing the nature and character of life, the Sufi says that it is not very important to distinguish between two opposites. What is most important is to recognize that One which is hiding behind it all. Naturally after realizing life the Sufi climbs the ladder which leads him to unity, to the idea of unity which comes through the synthesis of life, by seeing One in all things, in all beings.

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  5. #335 The innermost being of man is the real being of God. 
    The innermost being of man is the real being of God.

    The earth supplies all the things that man's nature demands except one, and that is his source; and therefore man remains dissatisfied all through life in spite of everything that he may obtain in answer to his desires: pleasure, comfort, rank, or wealth. He may obtain them all, but still the longing of his soul will remain because it is for home. Home is the source, which the wise have called God. ... The innermost being of man is that which may be called the source itself, and the outer being of man is what we call 'man.'
    The limited part of man's being is the creation, and the innermost part of his being is the Creator. If this is true, then man is both limited and unlimited. If he wishes to be limited he can become more and more limited. If he wishes to be unlimited he can become more and more unlimited. If he cultivates in himself the illusion of being a creation, he can be that more and more. But if he cultivates in himself the knowledge of the Creator, he can also be that more and more.
    The innermost being of man is the real being of God; man is always linked with God. If he could only realize it, it is by finding harmony in his own soul that he finds communion with God. All meditation and contemplation are taught with this purpose: to harmonize one's innermost being with God, so that He is seeing, hearing, thinking through us, and our being is a ray of His light. In that way we are even closer to God than the fishes are to the ocean in which they have their being.

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  6. #336 Love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain. 
    Love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.

    There is no greater power than love. All strength comes with the awakening of love in the heart. ... If there is any protecting influence in the world, it is no other than love. In all aspects of life, wherever we find protection, its motive is always love, and no one can have trust in any protection, however great, except the protection that love offers. If a giant were to frighten a child, the child would say, 'I will tell my mother.' The strength and power of any man is too small in comparison with love's protection which the mother affords her child. Love can heal better than anything in the world.
    Behind all this world of various names and forms there is one life, there is one spirit. This spirit which is the soul of all beings is attracted towards unity, and it is the absence of this spirit which keeps the world unhappy. To a person who has just had some unpleasantness with his brother or sister, his food is tasteless, the night without sleep, the heart restless, the soul under a cloud. This shows that we do not necessarily live on food; our soul lives on love, the love that we receive and the love that we give. The absence of this is our unhappiness, and the presence of it is all we need.
    True life cannot be ours until unity is achieved. It is the work of religion to promote the spirit of unity, in the knowledge and love of God to whom all devotion belongs. Man often seeks for psychic, occult, and magnetic powers. This is not the purpose of religion; these developments come of themselves. Where there is life and love, there is magnetism; love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.

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  7. #337 Mysticism to the mystic is both science and religion. 
    Mysticism to the mystic is both science and religion.

    What we generally know as the breath is that little inhaling and exhaling which we feel through the nostrils. We think that is breath and attach little importance to it, while in reality, breath is a life-current running through the innermost part of man's being towards the surface. It would be no exaggeration, according to the mystical point of view, to say that the breath connects heaven and earth. ...

    For the mystic, breath is not only a science, but the knowledge of breath is mysticism, and mysticism to the thinker is both science and religion. The mystery of breath is not a thing that can be comprehended by the brain only. The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man. They are learned by intuition and proved by reason. ...

    If we consider the conditions of life today, we see that, however much man thinks he has progressed, certain aspects of life are neglected in the way of health, repose, balanced thinking, and in the way of kindness and love to one another. All these things are lacking, and the spirit of the present time seems to be going in quite the opposite direction.

    Selfishness seems to be so much on the increase. Real religion, the spirit of forgiveness, generous giving, regard for old age, refinement, culture -- all seem to be disappearing. Man in general, does not know even if there is a God or Truth. If this is the spirit, how can we expect to find that harmony, peace and love, which make heaven on earth?

    It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves.

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  8. #338 The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man; they are learnt by intuition 
    The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man; they are learnt by intuition and proved by reason.

    One might ask why man has lost that intuitive faculty. It is because he has become so absorbed in material gain that he has become, as it were, intoxicated by the worldly life; and intuition, which is his birthright and his own property, has been lost from view. This does not mean that it is gone from him, only that it has become buried in his own heart.

    We are vehicles or instruments that respond. If we respond to goodness, goodness becomes our property. If we respond to evil, then evil becomes our property. If we respond to love, then love becomes our possession. If we respond to hatred, hatred becomes our life. And if we respond to the things of the earth so much that our whole life becomes absorbed in worldly things, then it is quite natural that we should not respond to those riches which are within us.
    As soon as intuition springs up, reason, its competitor, rises also and says, 'No, it is not so.' Then there is conflict in the mind and it is hard to distinguish, because there are two feelings at the same time. If one makes a habit of catching the first intuition and saving it from being destroyed by reason, then intuition is stronger and one can benefit by it. There are many intuitive people, but they cannot always distinguish between intuition and reason and sometimes they mix them up, for very often the second thought, being the last, is more clear to one than the first. Therefore, the intuition is forgotten and reason remembered. Then a person calls it intuition and it is not so.

    Reason and intuition are two competitors, and yet both have their place, their importance, and their value. The best thing would be first to try and catch the intuition and distinguish and know and recognize it as intuition; and then to reason it out.

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  9. #339 Your work in life must be your religion, whatever your occupation may be. 
    Your work in life must be your religion, whatever your occupation may be.

    The purpose of life is to become more living, to allow the soul to live more, and that is the limit given by Christ when he says, 'Raise your light high'. This means allowing the soul to express itself. It does not matter what your life is, what your pursuit is; in order to fulfill the purpose of life you need not be in a temple or a church. Whatever your life's pursuit -- art, poetry, sculpture, music, whatever your occupation may be -- you can be as spiritual as a priest or clergyman, always living a life of praise. Your work in life must be your religion; let the soul express itself in every aspect and it will surely fulfill the purpose of life. The soul's life comes naturally if we open ourselves for the spirit to rise.

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  10. #340 The true joy of every soul is in the realization of the divine Spirit 
    The true joy of every soul is in the realization of the divine Spirit, and the absence of realization keeps the soul in despair.

    The true joy of every soul is the realization of the divine Spirit. Absence of realization keeps the soul in despair. In the life of every poet, thinker, artist or scientist there come moments when ideas or words are given to him; they are given at that moment and at no other. This is the moment when unconsciously the soul has an opportunity to breathe. Man does not usually allow his soul to breathe; the portal is closed up in the life of the earth. Man closes it by ignorance, he is absorbed in things of much less importance. So when the door opens and the soul is able to breathe even one breath, it becomes alive in that one single moment, and what comes out is beauty and joy making man express himself in song or dance. So heavenly beauty comes on earth.

    The things that catch man's mind are always living things. The poems of Rumi which are called Masnavi, have lived for eight hundred years, they are living, they bring joy and ecstasy whenever they are sung or recited. They are everliving life, expressing an everlasting beauty. It is the power of God, and for man ever to presume it possible to produce that by study is a mistake. It is impossible. It is the power of God above which brings out the perfection of beauty. Man can never make the soul dance, but he can make himself a fit instrument for the expression of his soul.

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