Gayan: Notes from the Unstruck Music
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Chapter 1: Alapas
1) “When a glimpse of Our Image is caught in man, when heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.”
Where does one catch the Divine Image? It is in man. In what man? In every man. Is God in the evil person? If God were not there, he would die. Is God in the unfortunate person? Without God the unfortunate person could not even suffer, for he would not be. How are we to consider these words? Practice them in the everyday life. When are we to observe them? At all times. Are we to seek within ourselves for everything? For everything. Is wealth to be obtained from within? All wealth—material, mental and spiritual may be found within. Can we solve our problems by concentration? There is no better way than by spiritual concentration. Will self-mastery help us in life? Yes, for without it life is incomplete. Do we need to depend upon another? Interdependence is the law of life and self-dependence is the life of law. Am I my own hope? You are your only hope.
2) “If you will go forward to find Us, We will come forward to receive you.”
The search for God is the way toward the Light, and toward the One. Initiation includes a step forward into the unknown; by this step something which has hitherto been unknown to the self-consciousness becomes known. This is really an effort of will, without which no effort can be made. The power of thought, the power in thought, is nothing but will. Man often deludes himself that his acts are deliberate. Perhaps it is so but the spiritual life is a return of God to God, Who in the Hebrew language has been called Elohim which means, “We, the Gods,” because God is the One that includes all.
Allah signifies the unity and universality of God; Elohim is really the plural of Allah, as in the prayer: “Allow us to recognize Thee in all Thy Holy Names and Forms.” God is in all names and forms; names and forms which are discerned as different by the discriminating habit of ego-mind. When man realizes divinity he comes out of the state of I-ness and my-ness into the universal state symbolized by “We” and “Us.” Therefore initiation consists of a series of steps from I-ness and my-ness into We-ness and Us-ness, so to speak.
3) “Give Us all you have and We shall give you all We possess.”
What really has man? Does he have to abandon wealth and follow asceticism? Rich and poor may abandon their old clothes; after the meal the excess food is removed; books may be loaned or lost or worn away; the pleasure of one day becomes the pain of another. How, then, can man be said to own the things of earth of which the Scripture states: “The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness thereof?” Man cannot take material wealth, position or fame with him; sometimes he does not even retain them through the earthly, material life. How can that which he cannot hold be really his?
But man can take his knowledge and ability into Malakut, although they do not remain with him eternally there, for eternity is not of the nature of mind. In personal thoughts, knowledge, opinions, beliefs and ideas, there is no permanency; they are persistently subject to change. It is only when the nufs is effaced that he finds permanency, and that life is called baqa, the true existence.
4) “In man We have designed Our Image; in woman We have finished it.”
In man is perfection of name, in woman perfection of form. Idea is man, concrete manifestation is woman. Heaven is man; earth is woman.
5) “In man We have shown our nature benign; in woman We have expressed our Art Divine.”
Man, made in the Divine Image, is the creator in the world of imagery; woman, the perfection of form herself is the nexus for reproduction of living forms. Man, though living, of himself only produces the non-living; woman, though of herself not so creative, alone can produce the living.
6) “God is the answer to every question.”
The questioning mind is in Nufsaniat, the mind which, through completion asked no more, is in God. The one who has no questions is a fool, the one who has no answers is an imbecile, but he who questions is in multiplicity and therefore in delusion and he whose answers only stimulate further questioning is in darkness. When the question becomes the answer and the answer is the question, God is there; there is peace.
7) “Make God a reality, and God will make you the Truth.”
The thought of God being in the heavens or on earth or anywhere or everywhere is the production of mind; any thought of God is the production of mind, an idea. That God Who is real is beyond thought, is not our idea or our ideal although it may be that the ideal or idea will help in the realization; prayer, devotion and insight also help but love most of all.
God is not only in thought, God is in form, wherever there is love that being the sign of the Divine Presence: “in a loving mother, kind father, innocent child, helpful friend,” and above all, in an inspiration there is something of baqa, the Divine Life and Divine Personality, through Ishk, the Divine Love. The more we see and feel Ishk, the more we make God a reality (Al-Hayy), and when we perceive Al-Hayy, we become the reflections of it or Truth (Al-Haqq) for Truth is the expression of Life and Life is the expression of Truth. So Sufis repeat: “Ya-Hayy, Ya-Haqq.”
8) “God made man and man made good and evil.”
There are two kinds of attributes, essential and moral and generally speaking the essential attributes are quantitative and the moral attributes qualitative. Essential attributes may be called “thoughts in the mind of God.” Thus God gave to the diamond its hardness and brilliancy, but man has called the diamond good and valuable and made it a desirable possession. God gave the gold its natural qualities and man has said it is good and useful, although some have also said its possession is an evil, or leads to evil.
God created the earth and all therein for the use of man and after He had created it He formed man who then came to earth to possess it. But man has viewed everything from a limited, personal point of view which has been narrow and has related everything to the self. That which pleases the self has therefore been called good and that which displeases the self has been called evil, and the good of one may even be the evil of another. So goodness and badness have come to depend not upon any persisting qualities but upon the reactions of the human mind, and it is in this sense that man has made good and evil.
9) “If the Almighty God chooseth, He hath power sufficient to turn thy shield into a poisoned sword, and even thine own hand into the hand of thine adversary.”
Because so long as man’s shield is his personal defense and the means that he uses, therefore it can antagonize the minds of others and may even operate contrary to the laws of Nature or to the moral principles and thereby become self-destructive. Jesus Christ said: “He that strikes with the sword shall perish by the sword.” For when man depends upon ego-defense by the Karma of ego-defense that destruction which he establishes in the mind-world shall reach him in the physical world, unless he maintains his rapport to God and in that manner or in some other manner receives Divine Grace. If it were not for this Grace, the evil and selfishness of men may long ago have wiped out the human race.
10) “Give all you have, and take all that is given to you.”
Be detached from all that you may be considering as belonging to yourself for it may only be a loan from the cosmos placed in your keeping while you live on a certain plane, occupy a certain body; for everything is subject to change. Besides, it is the open hand which can receive as well as give and Jesus Christ has said, “Freely give, freely receive.” Therefore Sufis have made a practice to praise God for everything and to offer to others when in so doing they give pleasure or blessing (Baraka) to others. And it is through the bestowal of blessing that blessing is received and its accommodation increased.
11) “Your great enemies are those who are near and dear to you, but your still greater enemy is your own self.”
How can those near and dear be one’s enemies? Because when love is divided, life is divided, and whenever there is single-mindedness toward a person or thing in such a manner that it absorbs all energy, then the life is not expansive. When the life is not expansive we cannot grow, often cannot succeed. But as the concentration upon self is still more narrow and pointed, this utterly destroys expansiveness being in the nature of a fixed contraction and that is most destructive of all. Only in broadness is there freedom from enmity.
12) “Whichever path you choose, the right or the wrong, know that there is at the back always a powerful hand to help you along it.”
Choice is an effort of will, a concentration. Success is also the result of will, irrespective of morality. Many have passed from seeming success to further success by evil means. It is the strong and single-minded who succeed in all things material, mental and spiritual. It is only that the path of wickedness brings nufs into action and produces ultimately more evil than it can absorb that it thereby becomes destructive, while the path of broadness ultimately adds to life and so to happiness. But success is always a manifestation of power (whether of self or of God) and not morally determined.
13) “O peace-maker, before trying to make peace throughout the world, first make peace within thyself!”
True peace is a soul-state wherein body, emotions, thoughts and even heart faculties are under control. With it comes full serenity and life; it is not the peace of death or sleep, but the peace of all-realization and attunement. This peacefulness builds the atmosphere of the sage which communicates blessings (Baraka) to all. The generality have conceived peace as the opposite to war, which in a sense it is, but spiritual peace is fullness of life, and has been called perfection in action. Perfection in action results from the attunement of life within and without; he who has it can communicate it to others.
14) “Man! Thou art the master of life, here and in the hereafter.”
Man has been created higher than the animals, jinn and angels for in him is Divine realization possible and Divine Wisdom expressed. When man assimilates his spirit in the not-self, he becomes freed from destiny; when he further attunes himself to the cosmos he becomes a master thereof.
15) “Out of space there arose light, and by that light space became illuminated.”
An accommodation was made by God breathing inwardly and outwardly which produced the light; when there was light, sight was possible and this accommodation of light and sight has been called space. In the spiritual unfoldment this light also becomes manifest to man who thereupon becomes human.
16) “If your fellow-man does not pay you his debts, forbear patiently, some day every farthing will be paid to you with interest.”
No wrong persists forever, but the way to destroy or transmute wrong is through patience. Patience is the means by which thought destroys time, and holding fast to the eternal, permits us to operate in the world of principle. Sooner or later the feeling will manifest in the world of thought, the thought in the world of action, or on its own plane. Thus patience is the sign of emancipation from Samsara.
17) “Put thy trust in God for support, and see His hidden hand working through all sources.”
Salat says, “Thy light is in all forms, Thy love in all beings.” So God is actually in the rock, the tree, the bird, the animal, the jinn, the angel, and most of all in man himself. The failure to observe this has caused so much evil. Trust in God always includes trust in the beloved ones of God. God being Omnipresent, mystics seek His signs everywhere. The seer does not always have to enter meditation or concentration for he carries his insight with him and by actual perception of the Divine Presence, either directly through his mental state or indirectly through the reflection of the minds of others, he perceives the Divine Hand. The first method is called absorption, the second occultism.
Chapter 2: Boulas
l) “Heaven and hell are the material manifestation of agreeable and disagreeable thoughts.”
Most people think that heaven and hell belong to the next world, Malakut, the mind-world, and in a certain sense they do. There is no doubt that both thought and action produce results and these results return to us as good or bad fate (karma) mostly after we leave this earth plane. That is because in Malakut thought and action are most closely related in time than on earth, but the principles involved are the same.
The basis for either heaven or hell is attitude, this attitude taking two forms: attitude in action and attitude in impression. But whether it is action or impression we establish the atmosphere of pleasure or displeasure and these are the heaven and hell both of this world and the next. Therefore the sages have avoided at all costs disagreeable impressions and they also strive to perform action in harmony with spiritual needs.
2) “All the good deeds of a life-time may be swept away in the flood caused by a single sin.”
Jesus Christ has said: “All manner of sin may be forgiven except sin against the Holy Spirit.” By sin is meant here not only an act which brings harm to others but one which is so egocentric that the sinner is veiled by vanity, and this veiling is such that it destroys both selfless goodness and beneficence, making a lasting mark upon the character.
3) “A learned man without will-power is like a head without a body.”
All learning consumes mental magnetism and unless this magnetism is replenished there is less of psychic power and energy and through that less of vital energy and the sense of purpose of life. For many have thoughts which are fine thoughts, even inspired thoughts, and lacking will-power, cannot bring them into action. Then the mawakuls or thought-forms which they have engendered become the masters of the thinker and may end even by obsessing him. That is why so many who appear otherwise to be geniuses are regarded as peculiar or even mad. They are obsessed, obsessed by their own thought-forms and if they understood the principles of holy concentration could become free from their delusions and even mighty men before the world.
4) “All that one holds is conserved; all that one lets go is dispersed.”
Silence is valuable in preserving power and magnetism and in retaining secrets until the appointed time of revelation. Speech is valuable in bestowing blessings and in offering praise. But from another point of view, when one holds something, he gives life to that which he holds; with every thought some of his magnetism goes to that thing, and when he has no thought on something it may go out of his mind, when he has no regard for an object, it may go out of his possession or keeping.
5) “A pure conscience gives one the strength of lions, and by a guilty conscience even lions are turned into rabbits.”
For a sage self-defense is foolish because when he is wrong, he loses his contact with the Spirit of Guidance and the Life-force and becomes weak; every word of his mouth only consumes more psychic power and leaves him weaker. And when he is right, being in attunement with the cosmos, all the power and insight come to him so that he can take a step forward in the right direction and, perhaps, destroy his enemies. But for this the attunement of the heart is supreme for that it is which enlivens the conscience.
6) “The only thing that is made through life is one’s own nature.”
For, as King Solomon has said, there is nothing new under the sun. We may seem to fashion and refashion but the one thing that is fashioned is our own self, and such is the nature of being, that even among the perfected souls who have become assimilated into the Divine Essence, each retains his own marked characteristics—Christ is Christ and Buddha is Buddha and Moses is Moses and Mohammed is Mohammed.
7) “Be either true or false, for you cannot be both.”
One may be true or false in fact either because of weakness or ignorance or because of their opposites. Standing by one’s viewpoint one gains strength in accomplishment, but if false, one causes disharmony. As for Truth, every ego that stands of itself is false and everyone who becomes assimilated into the Divine Essence is true.
8) “Truth is a Divine inheritance found in the depth of every human heart.”
For in the heart and through the heart and by the heart is the Divine Life discovered and quickened and assimilated. The men of heart are the possessors of the kingdom.
9) “It is only out of consideration for others that the kingly soul obeys the law; otherwise he is above the law.”
Shariat, or esoteric law, has been instituted in order that the uninitiated may harmonize with one another and for this a norm is needed. But he who is attuned to God needs no such norm, for he has discovered the essence which is beyond the norm. Nevertheless if the sage should depart from the norm he would give others an excuse for departing therefrom also by his example, and for their sakes he also follows the law. And the same is true of all the laws of Nasut.
10) “He who can live up to his ideal is the king of life.”
For he who pursues the ideal is still less than the ideal and he who has accomplished the ideal shows mastery of concentration and concentration is not mastered until one knows the law of life, and so is king of life.
11) “The God who is intelligible to man is made by man himself, but what is beyond his intelligence is the reality.”
If the God that man ordinarily appeals to was the reality, every prayer would be granted, but when man in his prayer shows that he is really thinking of himself, then he uses the word “God,” as a thought of his own mind and he attributes to God only that which his mind can conceive and hold; this indicates limitation. It is when man can rise above the mind-mesh that he experiences Ishk, the universal Life-Light-Love.
12) “The closer one approaches reality, the nearer one comes to unity.”
Because in reality all things are related, all things harmonize, all things are parts of one grand, concordant whole—the fullness or Pleroma, Suchness, Tathata, Ain Soph. An example of this is seen in the human body with its many cells and organs and parts, and so in the Kabbalah the Grand Man was discussed, because man on a small scale reflected the Universal Being, in which every manifestation of life is a part coordinated and harmonized with every other manifestation and all forming a whole, or unity.
13) “A lifetime is not sufficient to learn how to live in this world.”
Because in Nufsaniat every nufs seeks expression and in striving both to preserve harmony in the world and to maintain Divine attunement constant watchfulness and adjustment is required even until the time of departure, whether one lives a moment or for centuries. For that reason longevity of itself need not be sought, but to increase livingness in the world should always be the ideal.
14) “Man looks for wonders; if he only saw how very wonderful is the heart of man.”
Some marvel at the mind and all that it has produced, and really it is marvelous. But just as a single mind can produce innumerable stages and states and inspirations of mind, and as high as mind is above body so is heart above mind, and as greater as thought is above sensation, even much greater is love than thought.
15) “Many evils are born of riches; but still more are bred in poverty.”
The rich man thinks of his wealth, but what wealth can buy he has and need give no more thought thereto; but the poor man gives thought both to the wealth and to what the wealth will bring him. The rich man has many desires, and he may fulfill them and benefit or suffer thereby; but the poor man has the many desires he cannot fulfill so he carries them along with him and they become burdens even greater than his poverty, so to speak.
16) “Do not weep with the sad, but console them; if not, by your tears you will but water the plant of their sorrow.”
If the wise do not maintain rapport with God, if the wise do not maintain serenity, who will? The sad, by their sadness, demonstrate lack of attunement with God, and to attune with those out of attunement produces destruction, pain and even panic. But to bring serenity and sympathy to those in pain produces heaven even upon earth. This comes out of the state of heart, not from philosophy.
17) “The spirit of controversy is fed by argument.”
The wise do not have to refrain from differing from others but the attitude or will to harmony should be there first. Otherwise every thought one has clashes with the thoughts of others and enmity increases; then one can no longer convince the other because the heart of the other is closed, and one cannot be convinced either, because his own heart is closed by the veil of duality. It is generally better to be silent than to argue unless one has both knowledge and the ability to harmonize—both these are needed.
18) “Reform has a scope in every period.”
Because at all times there is imperfection and the solution of one problem only bares another problem waiting to be solved. So long as man is on earth this will be, for earth is the scene of becoming, of action-toward-perfection, while peace (Islam) is perfection-in-action, the culmination of all reform.
19) “When man touches the ultimate Truth he realizes that there is nothing which is not in himself.”
Whatever there is may be found by looking within. The whole process of concentration is a means whereby man through single-mindedness, opens his inner faculties and gains control over things and thingness. When he practices absorption in the Divine Spirit and succeeds thereunto this becomes his realization. But practice and skillfulness cannot be underemphasized.
20) “Reason is the illusion of reality.”
Because reason is an effort of self to explain in terms of self, whereas reality actually lacks a self and thereby stands beyond reason, although one who realizes may make use of reason as if it were his slave.
21) “Death is preferable to asking a favor of a small person.”
For the sage keeps his attunement to the cosmos and seeks the broad view always and when he narrows his vision and activity, he destroys the life-force in his own being, and this by an unnecessary and unnatural process. Therefore, Jesus Christ took his life, and others have followed, in order that the whole world may have life abundant.
22) “Lull the devil to sleep rather than awaken him.”
If an evil person is your enemy, destroy all thought of him, for by thinking of him, whether favorably or unfavorably you give life to him and to the mawakuls that serve him. By not thinking of him at all you do not add to the life of these mawakuls and this weakens his ability to accomplish more evil. Sooner or later then, retribution may overcome him, as the Bible states: “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”
23) “Movement is life; stillness is death.”
Life is action and proves itself in action whether it be outer or inner action, self-action by oneself or by another, not-self-action by oneself or by another. The calmness of meditation is the calmness of control of life and nothing like sleep, even less than death, which is a vibrationless condition, a spiritual vacuum, so to speak.
24) “There is no action in this world that can be stamped as sin or virtue; it is its relation to the particular soul that makes it so.”
Gossip and slander are invariably the result of personal reactions to the behavior of others. The spiritual method is to watch one’s own behavior and to avoid harming others, to seek harmonizing with God. This is performed by keeping a Divine thought in the mind, by practicing Divine breathing and controlling thought by feeling through the active use of the faculty of insight.
25) “Reality itself is its own evidence.”
What is real is permanent, what is unreal is evanescent. The nufs of a thing is the apparent mold, which mold is subject to decay; the zat or essence continues and makes possible the recreation of molds. The nufs of man is what he appears to be, the zat of man is what he is, soul. In the ordinary consciousness nothing persists, in the spiritual consciousness persistence is an evident characteristic.
26) “It is of no use to try and prove to be what in reality you are not.”
For no matter what the concentration, the mind cannot build except of the materials at its command although the mind can delude and be deluded. It is true that man has within himself all possibilities, but this very actuality indicates that he cannot permanently turn himself into a super-man or a super-mundane character. He cannot only show one side of his being, the other side is bound to express itself sometime.
27) “Pleasure blocks, but pain clears the way of inspiration.”
The ordinary man follows a pleasure, becomes intoxicated by it, becomes deluded by it, gets into its rhythm and becomes a slave to that rhythm and to the pleasure. Thus his smallness is expressed. But that rhythm not being his real rhythm, not being in harmony with his real nature, the karmic reaction follows bringing with it the pain in the readjustment of rhythm. This pain is a symptom in the effort to restore man to his proper condition and each time he rises out of smallness to largeness there is inspiration. Thus pain, and especially pain that is apparently undeserved, is part of the coin paid for growth.
28) “A biting tongue goes deeper than the point of a bayonet, and cutting words pierce keener than a sword.”
In the use of the bayonet there is the energy of action and in the employment of the sword there is the material magnetism spent. But when the tongue is used the energy of the breath is employed and when words are spoken the mental magnetism adds its force thereto. For speech and action are greater than action and thought, speech and action together are still greater.
29) “The human heart must first be melted, like metal, before it can be molded into a desirable character.”
For the hardened heart receives no impressions and is devoid of feeling. To awaken feeling the heart must be awakened, and only by softening it can it receive impressions and express feeling. One who is not impressed is hardened and shows lack of spirituality and one who does not feel shows lack of life.
30) “The mystic does not wait until the hereafter, but does all he can to progress now.”
The “nowness” is the mystical sense with respect to the passing of processes. Speech, thought and action conjoined point to perfection in action. The body is the cloak of the soul and the activity of the soul need in no wise be affected by the cloak. The mystic is the one who realizes this and because of his realization and his sense of the Omnipresence of God practices that Omnipresence.
31) “Power demands subjection; but if you cannot obtain power by conquest, win it by surrender.”
The way of power is the way of mastery and this is obtained by spiritual concentration, Divine attunement and cosmic harmony; failure to exert power and attain the victory shows absence of one or more of these. The way of surrender is the way of assimilation in the Divine Spirit in such a manner as to maintain rhythm with all in name and form and this is the way of the saint. But whether the way of subjection or the way of surrender, inward power is a sign of inward presence and lack of power apt to be the sign of absence of the Presence. Allaho Akbar!
32) “The fountain stream of love rises in the love for an individual, but spreads and falls in universal love.”
He who has no love for some individual cannot know what love is. Love is light and love unites self to not-self and any feeling that does not produce union is either passion, being selfish, or sentiment, being weak. True love has the strength of passion without the selfishness, and the selflessness of sentiment without the weakness. But true love is more for it is the very life. Until one feels that in a reality, no matter how small, he cannot feel it in a greater reality. Love for God includes love for everything, but least of all for one’s own thoughts; love is Ishk and love is life and in the Universal Love the lover feels the consciousness of all.
33) “A word can be more precious than all the treasures of the earth.”
The treasures of the earth can bring only the magnetism of earth but the word, being an expression of breath, and breath in the exhalation bringing with it the life of heaven and of all holy spheres also may convey blessing (Baraka) and Baraka includes all treasures.
34) “He who makes room in his heart for others, will himself find accommodation everywhere.”
For when the self does not recognize the not-self as not-self but as self, then the not-self will be unable to see any discrimination between its being and the being of self. When the object is identified with the image, the object having life and the image not having life, the image becomes identified with the object. When Mohammed assimilated the Divine Essence unto himself, that Spirit of Guidance manifested through Mohammed completely. And as God is Omnipresent He expresses Himself through everyone and when we see God in everyone, then everyone will behold God in us, so to speak.
35) “Each human personality is like a piece of music, having an individual tone and rhythm of its own.”
In the spiritual sphere, when the soul covered itself with heart-essence it became attuned in a certain manner to and through certain vibrations and this tuning established the line which it forever after followed, for its individuality has depended from the first on this tuning and whenever it maintains this tuning there is happiness and whenever there is interference with this tuning there is difficulty. But the wise are they who can so adjust their tunings to harmonize with others without expecting others to harmonize with them.
36) “One should take oneself to task, instead of putting one’s fault on another.”
This is one of the most difficult precepts to practice and one of the hardest to understand. For God is in everyone and when we blame another we blame God and when we blame self we blame nufs. Blaming nufs only increases nufs, but self-discipline and restraint from blaming another helps to destroy nufs or else assimilate it into the Divine Essence. Besides, in blaming another, we only emphasize his own ego and often make him so adamant that he becomes attached to his fault; besides, in so expressing ourselves we are feeding the thought-form of the fault instead of destroying it. By the destruction of that thought-form the fault itself would disappear. So this is not so much a moral warningﾀ??although it is that—as a metaphysical instruction.
37) “A tender-hearted sinner is better than a saint hardened by piety.”
For he who prays and is religious with the hope of reward thinks of himself mostly and not of God; he has no consideration for not-self. But a tender-hearted person, even though a sinner, has consideration for not-self and this is the nexus for the real Divine consideration, the highest of virtues.
38) “The way to overcome error is, first, to admit one’s fault; and next, to refrain from repeating it.”
By admitting one’s fault, especially in speech or confession, the life force that was feeding the mawakul of that fault, is expelled through the breath on the physical plane instead of being kept on the mental plane. This diminishes the life and strength of the thought-elemental and so of the fault itself. Then by constant watchfulness, no further action is performed which would be in harmony with the thought-form and one who breaks the harmony with habit destroys habit. And as for virtue, it is always there, it is natural, and is the outcome of selflessness.
39) “By accusing another of his fault, you only make him firmer in it.”
For thereby you feed the mawakul behind the fault. By every repetition of thought and speech toward that fault, you concentrate power and that concentrated power is the living force that feeds the thought-form in Malakut. Conversely by refusing to think about the fault of another you deprive that thought-form of life and strength and help eradicate it from the other person’s character—and this can even be independent of his efforts, for a harmony between you will gradually arise which by its own weight overcomes the fault. This is called a practice of the wise.
40) “The human heart is the shell in which the pearl of sincerity is found.”
For all fine qualities have their abode in the heart and when the heart makes itself felt, one is naturally sincere and no effort of speech or thought without heart can simulate it, for in sincerity there is life, and every expression of sincerity adds to life and magnetism, while every expression of pretense destroys psychic power.
41) “Rocks will open and make a way for the lover.”
For neither the difficulties of mind nor matter can cope with the life-force which flows out of the heart in love. A little plant, by shooting its roots into the ground can break a giant boulder. A living heart filled with love, gains the insight which sees through all physical and mental dangers and may not even notice them. This is spiritual clairvoyance, founded upon love and not upon psychic power.
42) “Man makes his reasons to suit himself.”
Analyze the reasons of almost everybody and you will sooner or later come to the ego of that person, coupled with the will-to-believe, and that will is so strong or so persistent that it blinds the mind and consciousness and does not even seek the depths of its own reason, nor their relation of the reason to facts or the points of view of others. The Sufi is different who can explain the point of view of another as if it were his own, without its being his own.
43) “Singleness of mind ensures success.”
For then the whole life-force is concentrated in one thought and after it is concentrated in thought it will also be concentrated in action. This life-force is really the spiritual life and when the spiritual, mental and material are conjoined success is sure and absolute.
44) “Love of form, progressing, culminates in love of the formless.”
Love of form has two aspects, the one called beauty, which arises from the aesthetic sense and direct appreciation of atomic accommodations and the other personal which comes out of sympathetic relationships with living beings. The first shows the heart is impressionable, the other that the heart is expressive, but either indicates the awareness of life. The perfection of this awareness comes when these two streams unify, when the love perceives the beauty beyond sensation and the aesthetic sense also is no longer bound by form.
45) “When man rises above the sense of duty, then duty becomes his pleasure.”
Dharma is called duty when one feels it as a weight and becomes harmony when one perceives it as the source of happiness.
46) “The external life is but the shadow of the inner reality.”
For the light of each plane is a derivative of both the light and shadow of the plane above it. Action reveals thought and a deep study of thought reveals feeling and a deep study of feeling reveals the soul-reality.
47) “The secret of all success is strength of conviction.”
This strength indicates will-power and single-mindedness, but to increase will-power beyond a certain point insight is needed and ability to attune oneself to the cosmos so that there is no limit to the possibilities of the strength of conviction. Feeling that the whole universe is with one, man cannot fail.
48) “Those who try to make virtues out of their faults grope further and further into darkness.”
For they feed the thought-forms of the fault and they turn the spiritual light which is the source of their life-magnetism into mental and psychic magnetism which consume that vital energy by centripetal action about the accommodation of nufs. All the energy of light is turned into meat or magnetism and wasted so darkness remains. This is also a cause of dark skin in many diseases.
49) “When envy develops into jealousy the heart changes from sourness to bitterness.”
In envy one covets the position of another but may still regard him as an ideal, one to be imitated or equaled; in jealousy there is an assumption of equality and with it enmity. In envy the lower parts of man’s being are agitated and this causes disturbance of the body and psychic activities, but in jealousy the whole ego is roused and the spirit of life is covered.
50) “A worldly loss often turns into a spiritual gain.”
A worldly loss means that an effort to increase narrowness is lost and a spiritual gain means that there is broadness. A worldly loss means that magnetism can no longer be commanded on the physical plane and for the sake of ego; a spiritual gain means that magnetism may be utilized on all planes, beginning with the inmost, and then for the sake of not-self.
51) “Patient endurance is a sign of progress.”
For then one is no longer bound by time, and knowing the rhythm of events one awaits the moment when that which is sought will come to one in its own rhythm of its own vibration.
52) “The ideal is the means; but its breaking is the goal.”
The ideal helps one to concentrate, to increase power and to broaden the scope of life; but all this also sets up limitations and the destruction of the ideal after its attainment means the breaking of the limitation which hitherto had been bigger than oneself, and thereupon becomes smaller than oneself.
53) “Many feel, a few think, and fewer still there are who can express their thoughts.”
For feeling is natural even though one be unaware and is the possession of every heart in the world. But to think one must be able to consciously contain mental vibrations and control mental atoms, without, however, necessarily knowing the metaphysical law of it. But of those who think, some express themselves in poetry and art, but few in philosophy for it is only the philosopher who can express feeling and thought together in words.
54) “The value of sacrifice is in willingness.”
To give up what one cannot attain is not real sacrifice; to surrender a value is a sacrifice, giving up what one has been attached to and is not willing to let go for any reason or for no reason, it being a matter of will.
55) “Nothing can take away joy from the man who has right understandings.”
For right understanding is a reflection of a living heart condition and when the heart is alive joy is present.
56) “Do not fear God, but regard carefully His pleasure and displeasure.”
God is love and when there is fear this shows an obstacle between Deity and devotee. It is through insight one can feel the pleasure or displeasure of God. Many seek an answer in conscience and many more in some moral law or theology, but few through heart-insight and yet that is the only way to discover and know the will of the All-Being.
57) “Optimism is the result of love.”
Optimism shows the brightness of a living heart and love is it which makes the heart living and bright. And love is feeling for others and feeling for God, and no special attachment to self.
58) “He who is a riddle to another is a puzzle to himself.”
The one whom others cannot understand does not understand himself. Even if they are wrong in their understanding that is better than being puzzled. Thus Christ revealed himself through simplicity but Shams-i-Tabriz veiled himself to preserve the teachings.
59) “When the miser shows any generosity he celebrates it with trumpets.”
For the miser thinks of himself first and of goodness afterwards. And whenever goodness is advertised that is the sure sign of vanity and egoism. No matter how great the seeming goodness, from the spiritual view it is false and lifeless and brings no merit to the giver, although from another point of view it is better to have people thus good than to have them wicked.
60) “A sincere man has a fragrance about him which is perceived by a sincere heart.”
For sincerity is the sign of the living heart which another living heart perceives.
61) “If you are not able to control your thought you cannot hold it.”
For thought sets up activity in the mind world and the activity is either controlled or not controlled. When the activity is not controlled the imagination asserts itself and then the energy may be scattered.
62) “The answer is in the question; a question has no existence without an answer.”
Question shows downward trend of mind; to every downward trend there is an opposite and equilibrating upward trend and to every upward trend there is an opposite and equilibrating downward trend so long as man is in Nufsaniat. Thus the Bible teaches that every valley shall be exalted and every mountain laid low. In the questioning state there is a downward pull and sooner or later the forces will enter the trough caused by the downward pull. So in this sense question and answer are not apart although in manifestation they may seem so.
63) “All that detains man on his journey to the desired goal is temptation.”
Jesus Christ has said, “Lead us not into temptation,” or it may be proclaimed of God, “Thou leadest us not into temptation.” At every point it is God or temptation. Single-mindedness points to any goal and anything that detracts from single-mindedness is temptation. To be divided is to be lost spiritually; goodness and piety are of no concern in this.
64) “Fatalism is one side of the Truth, not all.”
Jadar in Arabic corresponds to Karma in Sanskrit, that events follow natural causes. But man also has the will-power (Kadar), by which he has choice of action, although he has no control over the fruits thereof. And besides these two, there is a third, Kaza, the Divine Will, which is nothing but Grace (Inayat).
65) “Keep your goodness apart, that it may not touch your vanity.”
For the goodness of man which comes out of his zeal for goodness or for popularity is of the ego, and is vanity and every form of clinging is vanity, and prevents man from the realization of the true nature of his being. Indeed it is sometimes most difficult for a good person to realize this, but a holy person is one who reflects holy goodness, the Divine activity and does not think of himself. This is called Renunciation.
66) “When man denies what he owes you, then it is put on the account of God.”
And the loss of the moment which is small may become the recompense which will come later and be large. Because God is Divine Justice and He sees that no one suffers needlessly.
67) “A refined manner with sincerity makes a living art.”
A refined manner alone will not be living. Pretense, study, acting and personal effort will not be in harmony with the breath, and so not in harmony with life. One who is attuned to God, who is sincere, will sooner or later cultivate refinement naturally, for his very love and consideration for others will bring it about.
68) “The longing for vengeance is like a craving for poison.”
Then instead of permitting the law to operate naturally and produce compensation or justice by its own rhythms, man interferes with the rhythms and demands activity out of season. This is like partaking of unripe fruit or unprepared feed. Besides the mental state adds force to the thought-form which becomes in turn a prey on the natural vitality and so subjects one to physical, psychic and mental disease.
69) “The truly great souls become streams of love.”
And no soul is great without this love which is the life and which brings life and blessing to others.
70) “God is the central theme of the true poet, and the portrait which the prophets paint.”
For they are concerned with life in its fullness.
71) “He whose love has always been reciprocated does not know the real feeling of love.”
For reciprocation belongs to the sphere of reciprocity, which in turn is associated with Nufsaniat. When the love is returned to the ego it fortifies the ego and when it is not returned the resulting pain to the ego breaks down the confining walls of nufs and makes expansion possible. It is the expansion of ego which leads sooner or later to the knowledge of love.
72) “True belief is independent of reason.”
For the Spirit of Guidance through insight is able to transcend time and space and brings knowledge immediately, while reason is mediate and even then does not always bring knowledge. True belief founded upon insight has been called faith or din.
73) “Wisdom is like the horizon: the nearer you approach it the further it recedes.”
For as man grows his horizon grows, and as the circumference of his horizon grows it is necessarily larger. And such is the nature of growth that as man takes one step forward, God makes the accommodation for ten further steps so that it would seem that no direct human growth would ever accomplish its ultimate aim. This only means that the ego does not, even through refinement, attain to wisdom, but rather that the ego itself is assimilated by wisdom. Ya Haqq!
74) “When the soul is attuned to God, every action becomes music.”
Because God is the perfection of harmony. The universe was created by vibrations out of vibrations and every vibration has its length and rhythm. Time and tune produce music and the attunement to vibrations and rhythms results in music, the music of life itself.
75) “It is the spirit of hopelessness that blocks the path of man and prevents his advancement.”
For this spirit fixes the horizon or narrows it so that by constant thought it surrounds one like a boundary wall, and no blessings and grace can break into it while every thought hardens it still more. It is only when the pain becomes so great that the hopeless person at last longs for a release from more pain and perceives even the difference between more pain and less pain and sees the possibility of less pain and longs for it and strives for it that hope is restored.
76) “The unselfish man profits by life more than the selfish, whose profit in the end proves to be a loss.”
The unselfish man profits because he can learn from all and benefit by the example of all. The selfish man, by his profit, attaches importance to himself and less importance to others, so he does not learn, and not learning, sooner or later, by the rhythms of necessity his period of complacency and self-satisfaction is followed by a period of disintegration which, in his vanity and ignorance, he is not able to stem.
77) “Sincerity is like a bud in the heart of man that blossoms with the maturity of the soul.”
For sincerity holds the life force together in the heart, and as this grows, the whole living outlook grows and it is this growth that assimilates baqa, the divine-soul-life.
78) “Success is in store for the faithful, for faith ensures success.”
Faith holds together the mental accommodation needed prior to the outward realization of hopes and ideals. The more enduring the faith the longer the assurance of success and at the same time success itself promotes faith anew.
79) “No one will experience in life what is not meant for him.”
For the experiences of life are either the karmic reactions or our own deeds, following the law of reciprocity; or the prices we pay for further growth, following the law of beneficence; or the activities needed for the betterment of the world, following the so-called law of renunciation in which man is selfless in the presence of God.
80) “It is not possible to be praised only and not to incur blame at any time. Praise and blame go hand in hand.”
For from man the acceptance of praise means the acceptance of the opinions of man and the acceptance of blame is also the acceptance of the opinions of man and if we accept the opinions of man we have to accept all opinions, favorable and unfavorable. It is also true that while under reciprocity we have to accept the good and the ill, for we cannot avoid them both, under renunciation we have neither. And the same is true concerning God; if we seek God’s favor we are at the same time seeking His disfavor, but if we seek God and regard not favor, this is the true spiritual effort.
81) “To be in uncongenial surroundings is worse than being in one’s grave.”
For in one’s grave there is, so to speak, neither gain nor loss while in the midst of uncongeniality there is only loss and added misery and wasted magnetism.
82) “Science is born of the seed of intuition, conceived in reason.”
For the inspiration that starts the investigator out must be there even before he starts his reasons and if his reasons come after his facts there must have been an impulse to search for the facts and that impulse is the seed of intuition. And so it is with all knowledge; thus intuition is the master of knowledge and reason its servant.”
83) “Truth alone is success, and real success is Truth.”
For that success which can be added to is not yet full success and that success which can be diminished can hardly be called success. But Truth cannot be added to or diminished and at the same time when Truth is acquired there can be no failure, for it carries everything.
84) “The key to all happiness is the love of God.”
For happiness is the result of the broad horizons, like the sky containing the sun and this comes when the Divine Love-Light expresses itself in the heart of God. Then one feels that which can overcome all burdens and which vitalizes every step of the way.
85) “As the shadow is apparent, yet non-existent, so is evil.”
Shadow is the result of light falling on form after there is a distinction made between the greater light and the lesser light. Goodness is the result of ego looking toward light and evil the result of ego looking away from light, but ego itself is an accommodation, not a reality, resulting from the process of contraction and when expansion follows contraction the accommodation and its shadow-making faculty disappear proving the evil to be really non-existent. Ya Hayy!
86) “By accusing another of his fault you only root him more firmly in it.”
For then first you feed the thought-form which is the apparent seed of the fault; also you are making the suggestion which is surely having its result upon the mind of another as well as upon oneself. Also by contractive concentration you prevent the other one from expanding and growing which is the way to overcome the fault.
87) “Death is a tax the soul has to pay for having had a name and form.”
For in the mental world the soul selects certain qualities and characteristics and faculties and a covering in order to fulfill a certain purpose, and this is the name. And on the earth plane a body is added, which is given a form. And what the soul borrows it has to return and the word death is given to the return of what it has borrowed, but death is not the death of life only the death of name and form.
88) “Before trying to know the justice of God, one must oneself become just.”
For justice assumes ability to judge another with the same candor and ability and fairness as one judges oneself, and until one can judge another individual, how is it really possible to judge the world? The consciousness will not grasp it. Therefore first one should assimilate the Sifat of justice, whereupon he will discern the Divine Justice within that quality.
89) “To Whom the soul truly belongs, to Him in the end it returns.”
For immortality supposes an unending state. The body is limited in a time-sense and our thoughts we do not maintain forever in a time sense. But the life itself comes from our Source and is of one Essence and the particularization of it has been called “soul” and the universalization of it has been called “God” or “Allah.”
90) “In order to realize the Divine Perfection man must lose his imperfect self.”
Baqa is the need of every soul but usually baqa comes only with pain and effort. However, if one practices fana, absorption, consciousness, as he begins to lose his ego, the Divine Reality expresses itself through him more and more. So man’s effort should be toward fana and God’s Grace will add unto him baqa.
91) “When the cry of the disciple has reached a certain pitch, the teacher comes to answer it.”
That is, God answers everyone in need, either through the accomplishment of prayer, or, when he is ready, God sends unto him the guide who can give the instructions of the spiritual path. And so it is, that when, in any part of the world a soul is ready, an accommodation is made in the ether and either the guide will be impelled toward that place or the one in need will be impelled toward the guide or both toward each other by an occult attraction.
92) “The best way of living is to live a natural life.”
The natural life is the life that God has established and the artificial life is that which man has established. But while man can mold and fashion he cannot create and if we wish to add to life and secure its happiness, we shall keep close to nature and not become imbedded in artificiality.
93) “Do not take the example of another as an excuse for your wrongdoing.”
Not even the wrong doing of the teacher should be an excuse for the pupil, for the teacher is only the guide sent by God and God is the true teacher and if there is any falseness it adds to the veils hiding God. So every man has a conscience to which he can adhere until the heart’s insight has awakened.
94) “People who are difficult to deal with are difficult with themselves.”
For there is either hardness of heart or softness and no one can be continually soft toward himself without being soft toward those he loves, nor hard toward others without being hard toward his loved ones and so toward himself. The qualities we assimilate become part of our character and we can become their very slaves.
95) “All situations of life are tests to bring out the real and the false.”
For God is hidden in every action and every experience and the trials which are given us are to assist the soul, though we be unaware. It was never intended that we bear burdens too heavy, nor was it intended either that we avoid all responsibilities, for then there could be no growth.
96) “The true seeker will never stop half-way; either he finds or he loses himself entirely.”
In other words, the true seeker does not stay in purgatory, the state of fog, but because of his persistence must arrive either in the light or land for the while in the darkness. If he finds himself in the light, insight guides him and if he comes to the darkness and grief, pain guides him back.
97) “It is sympathy rather than good food which will satisfy your guest.”
For the food feeds only the outer being while the sympathy feeds the inner being and brings communion of life, the holy communion.
98) “The hereafter is the continuation of the same life in another sphere.”
For the change of body means only the change of body not the change of habit or characteristic. Otherwise even in this life, character would be changed by a mere moving from one environment to another. But we find that the same characteristics may persist through innumerable changes of environment and circumstances; neither does even the transference to Malakut bring an entire break; the same duties stand before us there as here, and here as there.
99) “The man who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Or as it is also said, “Daring is better than fearing.” “Initiation is a step forward into the unknown.” We can only add to life by willingness to endure more, for life is motion and steadfastness in a single place under fixed circumstances means the end of growth and the absence of livingness.
100) “Not only man but even God is displeased by self-assertion.”
Man may be displeased by self-assertion because he also wants to assert himself and does not want another to assert himself more. Besides all self-assertion, ego-movement may end in dispute and disharmony. And God is also displeased because all ego-assertion is vanity and vanity is nothing but a veil shutting out the Divine Grace.
Chapter 3: Boulas (Cont.)
1) “Those who live in the Presence of God look to Him for guidance at every move they make.”
When possible the Sufi practices meditation and in the meditation he finds the answer to his need and the wisdom which will bring success or happiness or peace. And when meditation is not possible he practices the Presence of God to enliven his insight and this insight is the torch which the Spirit of Guidance has given him to use in the everyday life, by the use of which also he may find success and happiness and peace and harmony.
2) “It is not by self-realization that man realizes God; it is by God-realization that man realizes self.”
Spiritual progress does not aggrandize nufs, the ego. Rather is the ego assimilated into the Divine Essence, and while that is taking place the Divine Essence also assimilates itself into the ego, the ego forming a mold for it until man reaches the stage of renunciation. Then he knows the meaning of life and knowing that comes to the knowledge of the true self.
3) “If you wish to follow in the path of saints first learn forgiveness.”
First see to it that the wrong that another does you does not pain you; see that you do not react to the wrong-doing of others; do not look for consideration and at the same time practice consideration; do not expect virtues from others any more than you would from little children; have forbearance for others even as you would for your own little children.
4) “Be sparing of your words if you wish them to be powerful.”
For many words without thought consume the psychic power and many words with thought consume the mental magnetism, while restraint from needless speech keeps all the forces on the heart-sphere, which thereupon produces power and inspiration.
5) “As the flower is the forerunner of the fruit, so man’s childhood is the promise of his life.”
In infancy man repeats, so to speak, the processes of the spiritual world, and the attunements he makes very early in life establish the molds by which his character becomes fixed. In childhood and early youth man continues the life of the jinn and sets forth the seeds of likes and dislikes and most of the aims of life are established, that from thence he will set forth to pursue them in the hope of accomplishment. After that it is only through the spiritual rebirth that he can reestablish himself if he has gone astray.
6) “The gardener uses roses in the flower-bed and thorns in making the hedge.”
Beauty is valuable where beauty is needed and strength is advantageous where strength is needed. The good, the beautiful, the pure and the true may be used to expand life, but even the evil characteristics of man show which elements predominate in his nature and by the purification of those elements—not their eradication—the apparent evil can be transmuted into usefulness and so to goodness. All things and qualities thus have their usefulness and this is a proof of the Divine Wisdom.
7) “Love which manifests as tolerance, as forgiveness, that love it is which heals the wounds of the heart.”
For the heart that will not receive evil unto itself cannot give it to others and the heart which rejects all that is contrary to spirituality establishes the spiritual magnetism and increases it to the extent that it can share it with others. This heart has by this exhibited its healing of itself for only the heart which can heal itself can give the spiritual healing to another.
8) “The greatest love in life is often that which is covered under indifference.”
When love exhibits emotion it exhibits limitation and when love exhibits sentiment, indulgence and even sympathy, these may be limitations. But the infinite love which would bring peace to all must have the strength and endurance to stand firm before all evil and all difficulties and this is possible when all the elements and their concordant emotions have been subdued, and for that indifference is the means, or indifference is the result.
9) “Indifference and independence are the two wings which enable the soul to fly.”
For by indifference one can avoid the contact of earth and by independence one can rise above it. Indifference only would bring peace without motion, and independence only would bring motion without peacefulness.
10) “To offend a low person is like throwing a stone in the mud and getting splashed.”
For to offend another one must descend or attune oneself to his plane and when one attunes oneself to a low plane one must accept the karma of that plane.
11) “The self-made man is greater than the man who depends upon another to make him.”
For he has found within himself the power, the inspiration, the qualities needed for success.
12) “False politeness is like imitation jewelry, and false kisses are like imitation flowers.”
For they carry no life, they only produce empty motions. And the words and movements of false politeness are utterly lacking in psychic power and magnetism and the false kisses are devoid of life because they are devoid of love.
13) “The unsociable person is a burden to society.”
Because he has, so to speak, cut himself off from the stream of life, and so bound is he in himself that he is even worse than a sleeping soul. He knows not harmony, even with himself.
14) “Divinity is human perfection and humanity is Divine limitation.”
Human perfection is the result of constant heart-attunement by which one maintains rapport with the cosmos and at the same time maintains rhythm with the conditions around him so that action coordinates with time. Humanity is Divine limitation because while man has all the faculties of God he does not have them in perfection, and he has chosen of them and employed them first as he thought fit, which is the sign of limitation.
15) “The wise show their admiration by respect.”
And they respect all who have won merit for any accomplishment or who are honored by the generality because such behavior leads towards harmony which is always desirable.
16) “Many admit the Truth to themselves, but few confess it to others.”
Because before the self there is unity and unity is the nature of Truth and Truth is the nature of unity. Otherness is a sign of duality which shows absence of Truth (Haqq). Besides this, in his relations with others man is prone to express self-will.
17) “It is the twist of thought that is the curl of the Beloved.”
It is the harmonization of thought to feeling within and the harmonization of expression of thought without to others which is the sign of love.
18) “Do not accept that which you cannot return, for the balance of life is in reciprocity.”
When we accept from another we obligate ourselves because with the gift is the life and magnetism of the giver. The spiritual persons have always practiced giving and only practiced free receiving because every kind of receiving, associated with Urouj, tends to fix the self within the folds of Nufsaniat, while giving breaks the bonds. While balance is in reciprocity, in beneficence one gives without regard to receiving or not.
19) “Those whom their individuality fails seek refuge in community.”
In the outer life we join others for mutual protection and in the inner life we obtain wisdom from the All.
20) “Taking the path of disharmony is like entering the mouth of the dragon.”
For in disharmony there is action contrary to the smooth working of vibrations and when vibrations do not oscillate in regular rhythms chaos follows which produces hell and torment. All disharmony brings misfortune to oneself or to others or both to oneself and others.
21) “Satan comes in most beautiful garbs to hide from man’s eyes his highest ideal.”
It is not that we avoid beauty; it is only that we pierce the veil to perceive whether it is skin deep, so to speak, or based upon life itself. When we are tempted by form alone, that is the beauty of Satan and when we perceive beauty as the reality of life-expression that becomes art.
22) “Life is an opportunity, and it is a great pity if man realizes this when it is too late.”
For the nature of life is motion and therefore the Hebrew Psalms teach to seek God in the days of youth when the body is strong and able to endure activity. When we are too old, there has been an ebbing of life in the body, which is difficult to restore, and yet from one point of view it is never too late to begin. But those who think they have all eternity are the slaves of time and only prepare for further suffering for themselves and others. For when we add to happiness all benefit and when we add to sorrow all suffer.
23) “Behind us all is one spirit and one life; how then can we be happy if our neighbor is sad?”
That happiness which one seems to have when the neighbor is sad is only intoxication of ego which is not lasting and sooner or later will be followed by pain. Those who breathe the same air would naturally benefit from the same delights and share the same sorrows; when they do not the seeds of destruction are sown, for life is then divided from life.
24) “The human heart is the home of the soul, and upon this home the comfort and power of the soul depend.”
For the accommodation of soul became heart and without heart soul could have essence but not qualities. By the use of heart it became possible for the soul to utilize qualities apart from essence and then work in the spheres of limitation.
25) “Resignation is of no value except after a deed is done and cannot be undone.”
For resignation assumes placidity in the face of activity. The placidity in the face of non-activity is death and the placidity in the face of activity is life.
26) “Love is the Divine Mother’s arms, and when those arms are outspread, every soul falls into them.”
And they are always outspread waiting for the soul’s return which comes at the moment it rises above the limitations it has prepared.
27) “The greatest tragedy of the world is the lack of general evolution.”
This comes from fatalism or Jadar which proposes kismet, the acceptance of all that is. This supposes man’s helplessness, but man was not supposed to be helpless—God has put all things under man’s feet. It is only through activity (rajas) and balance (sattva) that he can succeed in overcoming darkness (tamas).
28) “There is nothing that is accidental; all situations in life work toward some definite end.”
For there is a Divine Purpose in creation and there is wisdom behind nature and what is called “pure chance” having purity, works for the purification of conditions and toward their betterment. It is only that man does not perceive the hidden hand nor comprehend its activities.
29) “Forgiveness belongs to God; it becomes the privilege of mortal
man only when asked by
For forgiveness means that one avoids the karma of his evil act and only God can void the karma of it. When there is repentance of heart, the Divine Grace is offered which purifies all sin.
Nevertheless while man cannot avoid the effect of karma he can void the cause, he can refuse to accept the evil done him as evil or regard the insult as insult and then when the wrong-doer asks himself forgiveness, by refusing to recognize the wrong as wrong he exerts the privilege of forgiveness in that moment, which is the only time he has that opportunity. Otherwise if he accepts the evil as evil he adds to the storehouse of evil and aids in the force of Samsara even as the wrong-doer does.
30) “Before you can know the Truth you must learn to live a true life.”
Ya Hayy! Ya Haqq! For Truth is the essence of life and first we must recognize what life is, how it acts, and its universality. When we gain the life-consciousness, the knowledge of it and the knowledge that comes with it is called Truth.
31) “Life itself becomes a scripture to the kindled soul.”
For in the ecstasy of the Divine Presence, the Holy Spirit is manifest at all times and it is the mental manifestation of the Holy Spirit which produces the scriptures of the world.”
32) “Every moment of your life is more valuable than anything else in the world.”
Saum says: “Draw us closer to Thee every moment of our lives,” for every breath brings something from heaven which can be a blessing or can be dissipated. By making every breath a blessing and a prayer we perform the highest duty possible.
33) “He is an unbeliever who cannot believe in himself.”
For the beliefs that he then holds can only be the reflections of the beliefs of others, and these beliefs, not being fixed within, will change as our friends change, under their influence. So in the end there is no belief.
34) “Love is a weapon that can break all obstacles on one’s path in life.”
For obstacles are born of the flesh, or of mind, and pure feeling can dominate all action and all thought. When love is exerted there can be harmony between oneself and one’s acquaintance, between one’s faculties and one’s conditions. Besides that, power is added and inspiration and sometimes wisdom so that the way becomes clear.
35) “Self-pity is the cause of all the grievances of life.”
For in self-pity a cloak is thrown around the ego which shuts out the Divine healing power and thus increases grief.
36) “What is given in love is beyond price.”
Because price is the value established by the outer world or by mind and has its opposites or alternatives, while love is all-embracing and inclusive, and not subject to quantitative measurements, as we know them.
37) “It is our perception of time which passes, not time itself, for time is God, and God is eternal.”
Even the scientists under the study of relativity have discovered the subjectivity of time, that it is due to our measuring everything from an earth-point of view, and not necessarily a factor of causation. It is only that in the passing of events and in the unrolling of our fate that we recognize sequence and order and give it special measurements, yet recognizing there is no beginning, no ending.
38) “Man learns his first lesson of love by loving a human being; but in reality love is due to God alone.”
In love there is union of self with not-self and of not-self with self. In our love for animals, we do not receive back the life we give to the not-self, but from another being, a human, we can receive back the same order of love, which brings with it inspiration and holiness. This shows the Presence of God, Who must be recognized in both self and not-self. When we arrive at the Divine realization this all becomes clear. This is baqa.
39) “When man closes his lips, it is then that God speaks.”
Or as Khatum says, “Open our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice which constantly cometh from within.” And if we become quiet and listen we can hear this constant voice of the Spirit of Guidance.
40) “That person becomes conqueror of life who learns to control his tongue.”
For in the ordinary sense tongue conveys as if from self to another but in the right sense tongue conveys from spirit to matter; this exhibits the power of the word. The average man, speaking often, only consumes his mental magnetism psychically. Besides that, when there is separation in consciousness it is so easy to hurt another and to add to disruption and disharmony.
41) “Optimism comes from God and pessimism is born of the human mind.”
Optimism is a sign of the noon-day brightness of heart and pessimism of the slinking darkness of mind. Optimism expands, pessimism contracts; optimism shares, pessimism keeps to self.
42) “The mystic begins by marveling at life, and to him it is a phenomenon at every moment.”
Because that same Divine Consciousness which he first discovered in ecstasy he finds lurking in the manifestation and he sees the wonders of a hidden Hand operating beyond any law of reason or even principle of reciprocity.
43) “You need not look for a saint or a master; a wise man is sufficient to guide you on your path.”
What is the sign of the saint or symbol of the master? If there are outer indications the saint hides them and the master conceals them. The saint’s duty is to everybody, and the master’s obligation is to everything, but the wise man is willing to help every soul seeking God.
44) “The man who cannot learn his lesson from his first fault is certainly on the wrong track.”
He will add to his own pain and suffering and will disturb others. He will try to lead others and only lead them astray as he himself has gone astray. He has marked out a path and it is a wrong path. He is not in harmony with the universe and he is not in attunement to himself, so he can only spread confusion.
45) “There is a pair of opposites in all things; in each thing there exists the spirit of the opposite.”
For in the world of thingness there is self and not-self, there is quality and not-quality, there is livingness and not-livingness. This is Nufsaniat, and is wherever the discriminating mind operates.
46) “A clean body reflects the purity of the soul, and is the secret of health.”
For the skin of the body has been meant as an organ of breath and for the excretion of inner impurities. When the body is defiled, the wrong elements cover it and thus interfere with the breath and with health and also impede the natural growth of the aura. Although there is a defilement of the elements there is always a purification therefrom, best by water, but any pure element: earth, fire or even air will help purify the body. Soul is pure when it has no adherence of elements and body is pure when elemental defilements are removed.
47) “It is the purity of the soul itself that gives the tendency towards cleanliness of body.”
For the soul that is pure adheres to no elements and every defilement of the body is felt by the breath either through the sense of touch or otherwise.
48) “A pure life and a clean conscience are as bread and wine for the soul.”
For when there is no defilement the soul is naturally fed. The removal of all reveals the presence of spirituality and that is all that is needed therefor.
49) “Righteousness comes from the very essence of the soul.”
For soul sees soul and therefore whatever it desires for itself it desires for all and it makes no distinctions or differences and so longs for the highest morality and wisdom.
50) “Reserve gives dignity to the personality; to be serious and yet gracious is the way of the wise.”
Reserve conserves magnetism and if this magnetism is used for the spreading of Baraka it is excellent, but if it becomes a source of vanity it is false. Generally if effort is needed to maintain the reserve it is impure and if it is natural it is true and then there is graciousness and a relaxation of ego. This dignity never separates one from another, except for the purpose of seriously helping the other.
51) “When even our self does not belong to us, what else in the world can we call our own?”
The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness thereof; nevertheless He has offered it to man for man’s enjoyment. But if man owned it he could keep it as he departed and that he cannot. Neither can he keep his thoughts forever nor his feelings nor anything, for what is a thing is not eternal and is not a portion of one’s being. And as for one’s being, when its real nature is discovered, it is found to belong to God Himself, is God Himself. Ani Haqq!
52) “All things in life are materials for wisdom to work with.”
There are the atomic accommodations for the expression of the inner being. Wisdom does not become wisdom without this outward expressibility, which is perceived in action and in life.
53) “Overlook the greatest fault of another, but do not partake of it in the smallest degree.”
By overlooking the fault of another, we do not condone it or him; we merely do not feed the thought-form which is at the base of the fault and we refrain from all manner of suggestion which would add to that fault either in the wrong-doer or in the weak person who has not yet done what is wrong.
54) “There is no source of happiness other than the heart of man.”
For neither things nor thoughts bring happiness. They may bring pleasure and they do bring pain and they cannot avoid the pain. But the heart can heal itself and another heart, and the heart can heal the mind and body of itself; and the heart experiences happiness as soon as the ego-covering is removed; it is its natural state and condition.
55) “Not until sobriety comes after the intoxication of life does man begin to wonder.”
In intoxication the vibrations and phenomena pull us along and in sobriety we pull them along, can control them. Whether there is material or spiritual intoxication, the pathway of the soul is not cleared until they are followed by sobriety in which the benefits of experience are assimilated.
56) “A life with a foolish companion is worse than death.”
For in death while there is no gain there is no loss, while the fool destroys the life in himself and in all near him. He can deprive you of energy and drain your resources and so consume and waste life to no end.
57) “The pain of life is the price paid for the quickening of the heart.”
For the heart to be quickened, to be more sensitive, it must go through a process of change and any process of change is apt to be accompanied or preceded by pain in order that the adjustment to the new state of affairs be properly completed.
58) “Endurance makes things precious and men great.”
Things become precious if there is endurance in obtaining them for then we value them; things become precious if there is endurance also in maintaining them for we bring out the strength in ourselves in so doing. Endurance brings the inner strength of soul to the outer being of man.
59) “The fulfillment of every activity is in its balance.”
When there is no balance, because of overexertion, there is a reaction which produces unneeded activity, and when there is no balance because of inertia the completion of the activity and its perfection are not attained. Activity involving vibration, the regular operation of vibrations always includes rhythm and balance.
60) “The heart of man is a temple; when its door is closed to man, it is also closed to God.”
The heart of man is either closed or unclosed. That God which it seems to be open to when it is closed to man is only the thought of God held by nufs and not the reality. When the heart loves, the heart lives, and when it lives it loves and it does not make distinctions and differences.
61) “Faithfulness has a fragrance which is perceptible in the atmosphere of the faithful.”
For one can perceive it in their presence that it gives strength and assurance and encouragement. We can perceive the magnetism of the faithful and we can be inspired by them and fed spiritually.
62) “Spirituality is the tuning of the heart; one can obtain it neither by study nor by piety.”
Study may add to mental magnetism and has the value of willingness of attunement to the wise but does not of itself bring the attunement. Piety may add to the moral magnetism and shows willingness of attunement to God but does not of itself produce the attunement to God. It is only the attunement of heart which brings the wisdom of the wise and the spirituality of God.
63) “A person’s morality must be judged from his attitude rather than from his actions.”
A clever man may by his actions pretend or succeed in concealing his motives, but a wise man controls action by thought and thought by feeling. It is therefore most unfitting to judge until the heart-attitude of the actor is perceived, and even then judgment will not be used, but perhaps an effort to secure rectitude.
64) “Right and wrong depend upon attitude and situation, not upon the action.”
The ordinary man judges right and wrong either according to an accepted standard or according to his own ego-reaction. The wise man may even perform what the world calls wrong acts in order to purify or chastise or awaken. So there is no basis for judging.
65) “In the belief of every person there is some good for him; and to break that belief is like breaking his God.”
For the person who believes has established his single-mindedness, and single-mindedness is not only one of the most difficult qualities to establish but is the most valuable element in concentration and contemplation. It is so easy to destroy belief and so difficult to establish one-pointedness that the wise find more value in this concentration of the ignorant than folly in their unbelief, which even then, may be the shadow of the shadow of Truth.
66) “Reason is a flower with a thousand petals, one covered by another.”
For reason deals with detail and variety and does not perceive unity and fullness. Therefore intuition is necessary to complete reason but intuition never destroys it.
67) “He who does not recognize God now, will sooner or later recognize Him.”
Because God is the reality in ourselves of which all else is transitory.
68) “To fight against nature is to rise above nature.”
The principle of Jadar or fatalism or karma is for the unlearned to keep a balance in the world, but it does not induce progress. For progress something more is needed, especially the effort and will to overcome the limitations of nature, and every effort adds further to man’s power.
69) “Success is achieved when free will and circumstances work hand in hand.”
This is the attunement of Jadar and Kadar, and usually as these two operate one against the other, the Divine Providence of Kaza—sometimes called the Divine Will—is needed to produce an enduring attunement. But man should not try to break the laws of nature—one uses an umbrella, one does not stop the rain. One does not overcome heat, one adjusts himself to it. And by the laws of breath and yoga one has harmonized will and circumstances so that there is never need for complaint.
70) “A sincere feeling of respect needs no words: even silence can speak of one’s respectful attitude.”
Speech, unless inspired, seldom equals the occasion and there is no need to resort to flattery which often destroys its purpose. But the heart vibrations can always touch the heart of another when that heart is sensitive and the eyes can say what no tongue can ever utter.
71) “Simplicity of nature is the sign of saints.”
For the saint has to help everybody, the wise and ignorant, the good and bad, and so he covers his spiritual magnetism with simpleness of mind and does not use spiritual power on the mental plane. Thus he can become a magnet to all.
72) “The heart is the gate of God; as soon as you knock upon it the answer comes.”
When you meditate you hear the guidance and after prayer you discern the answer and as the heart becomes sensitive and living the guidance becomes felt at all times and there is no need for failure.
73) “Every impression of an evil nature should be met with a combative attitude.”
The sage particularly eradicates from his mind all thoughts about evil, which are for him the evil thoughts. He also stands firm against impressions due to the wicked suggestions of others, and without even speaking against them destroys the power in those suggestions and often disarms the lower souls thereby.
74) “There is no greater phenomenon than love itself.”
For by love the demarcations between self and not-self are removed and then there is no limitation to the possibilities of self, there is no separation of self and not-self and time and space produce no obstacles in one’s path.
75) “Those guilty of the same fault unite in making a virtue out of their common sin.”
For they have a common attunement, have selected the same vibrations and qualities and observing life from the ego-standpoint cannot do otherwise.
76) “Life can be full of blessings when one knows how to receive them.”
For the bestowal of blessings is the aim of life and when one utters words and holds thoughts of praise of God, the door to the blessings is open.
77) “Where the body goes the shadow goes also; so is Truth followed by falsehood.”
Shadow is the result of light-activity upon the body. Truth spreading out light and the light touching limitation, the shadows formed thereby are called falsehoods.
78) “Life in the world is false, and its lovers revel in falsehood.”
Because this life has been caught beneath the mind-mesh and is subject to the limitations and gyrations of samsara. Those who are intoxicated by it and find pleasure in it can never in consciousness rise beyond the mind-mesh if even they rise that far, for mostly they dwell in the shadow-world and can only know falsehood in the spiritual sense.
79) “Nothing false will succeed, and if it apparently succeeds it can only bring a false benefit.”
Power is the result of concentration and in concentration the light of mind fashions thoughts and events. When falsehood leads to success it is mostly because momentarily it was in rhythm with the conditions, but when the conditions change it will be out of rhythm and so bring failure and difficulty. The false person is easily distinguished for he praises himself for the success and blames others for the failure.
80) “All that produces longing in the heart deprives it of its freedom.”
For every longing reveals a contraction while for freedom expansion is necessary. Longings may be permitted in the realm of time, but in eternity it is not so, for the scope of the heart is to expand as love expands.
81) “Possibility is the nature of God, and impossibility is the limitation of man.”
For man is limited by his concepts and God is not limited at all. However possibility does not mean to act contrary to other possibility, to reserve nature and to destroy the laws of the universe; it only means not to be limited and controlled by them.
82) “It is the exaltation of the spirit which is productive of all beauty.”
While the representation of anything found in form or conceived in the mind may be called Art, it becomes beautiful only when some embellishment is given to it which comes out of the artist’s spirit. Art must be more than imitation or mirror-reflection, and it is that which comes from the spirit which gives it its wonder. The broader the spirit of the artist, the less earth-bound and the more his attunement with the cosmos, the greater the accommodation for beauty, and its appearance in his work.
83) “One virtue can stand against a thousand vices.”
For a single light can efface innumerable shadows. The strength of will and the life in a single virtue is the same strength of will and life in all virtues and its very presence shows life and the ability to overcome endless faults and weaknesses.
84) “Wickedness manifesting from an intelligent person is like a poisonous fruit springing from fertile soil.”
An intelligent person has ability and in him the life-accommodation and potentiality is much greater than in the average man. He has the ability to perform good deeds and to help others. When he is perverse, he draws upon the shadows of his powers and their constructive value is turned into destructive force—in other words into poison. This comes mostly from concentrated self attention.
85) “Failure in life does not matter; the greatest misfortune is standing still.”
For life is action, action in any direction. Vibrations are like waves that rise and fall. The wave travels in a definite direction as toward a goal and yet in its movement rises and falls to crest and trough. So man rises and falls, has apparent successes and failures, but all the time may be moving toward his true destination without even knowing it. It is only the one who does not move who does not arrive.
86) “Consideration is born in the heart and developed in the head.”
Consideration is sympathy for the not-self and therefore is born of heart for it is the heart attuned to another heart which expresses the finer qualities. The head does not think of them; even in the flesh the head is encased in bone, and is fed from within by the blood-stream. So the mind itself does not produce the finer qualities but receives them from the heart within. From them it draws its ethics and its philosophy.
87) “Indifference is the key to the whole secret of life.”
Where there is attachment one learns of form and personality, but life is all in all and one cannot see the all who is attached to something in particular. When there is this freedom, there is the indifference which brings one the secret of life, which, if we only knew it, is also the secret of love.
88) “Life is differentiated by the pairs of opposites.”
As the body lives in the air and the mind in intelligence, so the heart lives in the life itself, which is perceived as a unity. It is when the mind activates, and calling forth its name-faculty, it differentiates until we call that “life” which manifests apart from something else—but all this is due to the functioning of mind.
89) “There is nothing we take in this bazaar of life that we shall not sooner or later have to pay for.”
For the things belong to the sphere of their atomic activity and we come into their world naked and we return therefrom apparently naked. So whatever we take at any time requires an effort and if we take without the effort we have not that which will enable us to retain what we have taken, so that later on, by the very karmic processes we must pay therefore in pain and self-sacrifice. But another way is the way of indifference, followed by a few sages.
90) “A diamond must be cut before its light can shine out.”
So the diamond of the heart must either through pain or discipline remove all impurities before its inner light can shine out.
91) “Beyond goodness is trueness, which is a Divine quality.”
The goodness may be the goodness of a moment or of an aeon, but trueness is beyond time. The goodness of one moment may become the badness of the next; there is no absolute goodness in this sense, for who and what is to determine the goodness? But there is a Divine Voice within counseling trueness which comes through constant attunement to God, the ever Guiding.
92) “A guilty conscience robs the will of its power.”
For conscience is the moral activity of will counseling the best that man is capable of doing. When man acts contrary to conscience he acts contrary to his nature and thereby causes a division within himself and every division is necessarily weakening.
93) “The answer that uproots the question from its ground is truly inspired.”
The wise prefer to maintain silence until they can in a single word, by a single gesture or with a single question not only answer the apparently intellectual question but at the same time satisfy the questioning mind that has asked it. Besides the way of silence there is the way of counter-questioning which arouses the inner being of the inquirer to question himself, but in inspiration the lines of cleavage between the seeker and the sage disappear; the sage sees into the heart of the other and brings forth that which answers both the apparent question and the hidden need behind it. And this can easily he done by those who listen within for guidance.
94) “A jest lightens the intelligence and clears away the clouds of gloom that surround man’s heart.”
A jest is like the air-element, the wind, which can move away the clouds. While the nature of intelligence is light, it can nevertheless cover the heart so that insight be dimmed by reason. Reason cannot be broken by argument which only strengthens it. Then it is necessary to break the atmosphere and this is done by a complete change of attitude, so that humor has often been used by the sages when all else fails. But this with the purpose of breaking hardness.
95) “If man only knew what is behind his free will he would never call it “my will,” but “Thy Will.”
All the strength in the human will is drawn from the Cosmos and so from God. Kadar is the individualized aspect of Kaza. Their mutual attunement makes all things possible for man.
96) “The service of God means that we each work for all.”
Many think that the service of God means working for a certain cause which is different from another cause. Wherever there is difference or division, it is not the Cause of God which is all unity and unification. Those who call their own causes the Cause of God only add to the existing confusion.
97) “His trust is of no value, to himself or others, who has no trust in himself.”
For trust depends upon heart-reliance and ego must become assimilated in its own heart reality before it can learn assimilation and so be attuned to the heart reality of another person.
98) “If you wish to probe the depths of a man’s character test him with that which is his life’s greatest need.”
See how he accomplishes his aims or ascertain why he fails and you will see his grade of ego and his state of evolution.
99) “It is the lack of personal magnetism that makes a man look for magnetism in others.”
This is right if in finding the magnetic person by attunement and induction the magnetism is aroused in himself; it is wrong if he tries to draw the magnetism of another to himself. Then he will lose even the little magnetism he has. If he is wicked, in the end he becomes a devil, so to speak; even if he is good his goodness is empty, without life and he makes no advancement. But if he is good and learns how the magnetism comes and follows that path, he will soon be on the road to mastery.
100) “Love develops into harmony, and of harmony is born beauty.”
Because love brings attunement between self and not-self and the attunement between two makes harmony. When there is harmony between two there is mutual exchange of spirit and increase of inspiration from which beauty arises, whether as the sense of beauty or in the creation of beauty.
101) “Devotion is proven by sacrifice.”
That the self will not hold to the self, that it will give way before the not-self, and that its prayers will be followed by deeds.
102) “It is God who, by the hand of man, designs and carries out His intended plan in nature.”
Thus the highest constructive expression of the Will of God in the flesh comes through man. Man can be the best instrument of God to introduce spirit into matter and to put purpose and beauty into Creation. It is only when man does not serve God that He selects other instruments. The Cosmos is not absolutely subject to fate.
103) “As fire can cook food or burn it, so also does pain affect the human heart.”
It can be that pain opens the heart, makes it more sensitive, living and capable, thereby strengthening it. It also may be that the pain will cause fear, which is the reason why people resort to drugs and then the heart, instead of growing, contracts and the life-force ebbs.
104) “Every desire increases the power of man to accomplish his main desire which is the purpose of every soul.”
The desire to be and to become is innate, but when the soul is covered by mind, the conceptions arise; “to be what?,” “to become who?,” and so on. Then man seeks the satisfaction of desire, and the seeking is good but when the desire ends the further seeking of it becomes evil in the sense that it keeps man in limitation. If he only knew it, by abandoning the objects of search after their attainment, he would know the road to his ultimate destination.
105) “The word which is not heard is lost.”
For it does not reach the mental plane when it does not make upon a receptive mind that impression which will carry it there.
106) “Consideration is the sign of the wise.”
They see all as the children of God and treat all as the beloved ones of God recognizing the God-reality in everybody.
107) “Faith in oneself must culminate in faith in God, for faith is a living trust.”
And what is living shows the Divine Presence, and the stronger the faith the stronger that insight which sooner or later brings one to God-realization.
108) “Man’s attitude is manifest in the expression of his countenance.”
What is within makes its impression without, and especially the spiritual condition appears on the face and head—the spiritual part of the body.
109) “Happiness alone is natural, and is attained by living naturally.”
Happiness is the normal state of the heart which appears whenever the heart is not covered by vanity or egoism.
110) “The mind must be one’s obedient servant; when it is a master life becomes difficult.”
Then one cannot guard against worthless impressions nor protect himself against constant loss of psychic power. When the mind is controlled by the will and feeling, instead of becoming weaker it becomes stronger and instead of lacking anything it gains all.
111) “Every experience, good or bad, is a step forward in man’s evolution.”
For every experience gives one the opportunity for gain and for exertion of will, and these produce man’s evolution.
Chapter 4 Boulas (Cont.)
l) “It is no use saying you know the Truth; if you knew the Truth you would keep silent.”
To say one knows the Truth is to posit two things: self-knower and Truth. But Truth is not known by the ego; to know the Truth one must become the Truth. Then it cannot be expressed. Whatever it is called makes it separate from something, and Truth is separate from nothing. Ani Haqq!
2) “The trust of the one who trusts another and does not trust himself is profitless.”
For such trust will not help him. It adds nothing to his knowledge, nothing to his ability, nothing to his character.
3) “Human suffering is the first call we have to answer.”
That proves the existence of a living heart; besides a living heart is loving and sympathetic and will want to help others and satisfy their needs.
4) “Sin is the fuel for virtue’s fire.”
The purification of ego comes as a burning of the lower nature and this brings out the latent life of heart. In spiritual training the first thing is to rid the body of what does not belong to the body, to remove from the mind its impurities, and to cleanse the heart. It is only after that that one can grow into the larger life.
5) “The first lesson that the seeker after Truth must learn is to be true to himself.”
Only by that process can he be one-pointed and bring his forces together. Having brought about this self-unification, he can walk on the path of growth to universal assimilation, which is Truth.
6) “Subtlety is the art of intelligence.”
A hidden symbolic word or a glance or a gesture will always convey more than speech nor need any explanation.
7) “As the sun-glass reflects the heart of the sun, so the contemplative heart reflects the Divine qualities.”
Through contemplation the heart becomes alive and the living heart is full of light and this is the light of divinity which, striking the surface of the heart, pours forth Baraka upon the world. It is the heart only that can collect the spiritual emanations of blessing just as the sun-glass collects the rays of the sun, and focuses them.
8) “People build four walls around their ideas, lest their minds escape out of the prison bars.”
Some people are in love with their ideas even as others have been found to be in love with their own bodies. This may be called a mental Narcissus complex but really is a perverse and unfortunate form of egotism. An idea originally is the grasping of some mental vibration by the mind; something has been set in motion on the mental plane and the mind picks it up. Then the mind encases it and calls it its own.
This is very much like the body grabbing food and holding it in the stomach. Then the food is never assimilated and may not even be properly digested. The same holds true with these thoughts. In extreme cases people worship their thoughts, mostly by saying that they do things for principles and they consider these principles as noble and ideal. Perhaps they are so, but this state of mind makes a single thought or a small group of thoughts greater than the mind and the mind should be greater than all the thoughts.
9) “It is easy to become a teacher, but difficult to become a pupil.”
The expressive state is easy because man has been made to express himself. The impressive state is not so easy because we begin to use the senses and to act, and the mind becomes very active and does not keep still so it cannot very well receive. Besides, to be a good pupil, humility is necessary, and often even in our zeal to do good to ourselves and others we overlook this important quality of humility.
10) “The soul is either raised or cast down by the effect of its own thought, speech and action.”
If thought, speech or action broaden the horizon and inspire the personality, the soul is raised; otherwise it is, so to speak, cast down.
11) “Love rises in emotion and falls in passion.”
Emotion is the shadow of the light of love and passion is the shadow of the fire-flame of love. The emotion of love exalts and intoxicates with the thought of the beloved, but in passion the intoxication centers around the self.
12) “As poison acts as nectar in some cases, so does evil.”
For evil brings pain and pain brings sensitivity and even inspiration. When we are wronged or suffer without any apparent reason, then it is to consult God in the heart to receive the guidance which has been there but to which our hearts have been heretofore closed.
13) “The whole course of life is a journey from imperfection to perfection.”
Whatever we receive from heart or mind or body comes in a form from which the life-elements must be assimilated. The assimilation sometimes follows, sometimes accompanies and sometimes precedes purification. Purification brings perfection through the avoidance of mistakes and shortcomings. But the best thing to learn is the harmonious relation of heart, mind and body, and the constant practice of same which leads towards perfection.
14) “Every virtue is but an expression of beauty.”
For virtue expresses the life itself, coming to the surface in deeds and it also arises from the proper accomplishment of deeds. Those deeds which follow the principles of life and the laws of harmony necessarily add to the aesthetic feeling from their very nature, and so to the expression of beauty. When one follows harmony or Dharma, walk, gesture, poise, speech, action and all things are productive of beauty.
15) “Every soul has its own way in life; if you wish to follow another’s way, you must borrow his eyes to see it.”
The soul borrowed vibrations in the highest planes, tuning itself so that thenceforth it has followed a line in accordance with the tunings. The eyes of heart, mind and body are the instruments it uses to see, but once it has determined its course and selected its instruments it is bound to have its particular way which must necessarily be different from the particular way of anybody else. However by overcoming our limitations and by practicing assimilation in the Divine Spirit, we can learn to see as from the eyes of others. This constitutes the habit of the Sufis.
16) “The one who lives in his finer feelings lives in heaven; when he puts them into words he drops down to earth.”
Words are the mental expressions given to the things of earth which are seen as separated entities because of the discriminating faculty of the mind. Words are used to distinguish things and qualities from each other and are therefore only fitting instruments for the description of the external scenes. What goes on within man does not fit into the exterior categories and consequently all attempts to express feelings in words only leads to confusion besides being totally inadequate. At best if finer feelings are to be expressed, it will be through the gesture and countenance.
17) “Man’s personality reflects his thoughts and deeds.”
Man’s personality is largely the result of his thoughts and deeds and as he thinketh so he becomes.
18) “Reason is learned from the ever changing world; but wisdom comes from the essence of life.”
Reason is a tool to handle the things of the world and their relationships; it does not touch principles. Wisdom, on the contrary, emanates from the heart of the cosmos and not only brings the guidance from the Infinite, it also demonstrates how to live in the sphere of particularization.
19) “Finding apt words to express one’s thought is like shooting at a target.”
The more careful one is, the finer his speech and knowledge of words, the more exact his intellectual descriptions, so that in their own sphere they may approach perfection.
20) “A true life enables man to realize God.”
By that he feels his being within his heart, and finding that being, it is but another step to finding God.
21) “The whole of life is a chemical process; and the knowledge of its chemistry helps man to make life happy.”
For life is the assimilation of not-self by same. Beginning with food, which is taken into the body; this passes through chemical processes in mastication, digestion, assimilation and purification and the chemistry of it has been studied by physiologists and bio-chemists. But thought also must be grasped, masticated, swallowed, digested, assimilated and purified and this subject has not so thoroughly been studied by psychologists but is of great interest to mystics. The result of thought and action upon character and moral evolution has been called Alchemy and the spiritual development through the growth of heart has been called Mysticism and its knowledge Metaphysics. In this last the heart also grasps, masticates, digests and assimilates but the heart may attach itself to another heart and the materials of the heart-sphere do not differ from heart itself as mental food differs from mind or physical food from body. The ultimate perfection of heart is revealed when love, lover and beloved are One.
22) “The domain of the mystic is himself; over it he rules as king.”
The ego of the mystic is the breadth and depth of his consciousness; as great as that is, so great is he, and as little as it is, so little is he. This consciousness, however, is that in which he feels himself as himself and is not subjected by or to the forces of the outer world.
23) “The water which washes the heart is the continual running of the love-stream.”
Qur’an teaches that God made man through blood and through love which have been considered as identical. The original idea of blood was that of the universal assimilating process. The function of the blood in the body is to sacrifice its life force to sustain the cells of the body, to nourish them, to purify them and remove their waste products. In other words it is a function of sacrifice or love. And as the blood from the heart performs its Dharma in the physical body, so it performs its Dharma in its own sphere, where, as a continual stream in the world of love it purifies the heart by love.
24) “The moment a person becomes straightforward a straight way opens before him.”
Because his concentration is in a straight line, in a straight direction and this concentration is bound to make its appearance and affect physically sooner or later.
25) “No one can be human and not make a mistake.”
The human person is one who still has limitations which means that he may fail before man or fail before God. No man is perfect before man or need be, for to be perfect in this sense he would have to follow humanity and never lead; for to lead humanity one must perhaps do that which has not been done before, and there is no greater opportunity for making mistakes than starting in a new direction. But this starting in a new direction is also a characteristic of initiation, going toward God, and as God is All-Forgiving and All-Wise He recognizes that man seldom fulfills his purpose at one bound, so that man may err, but man may be forgiven and offered opportunities anew.
26) “A humiliated conscience dims the radiance of the countenance.”
The attempt to humiliate shows the existence of a powerful but unwise person who thereby wittingly or unwittingly adds to the world’s store of evil and sorrow. The receptivity of humiliation shows a weak but unwise person who had not realized the Divine in man. In both instances this shadow over the Divine Presence makes its appearance on the face.
27) “The development of one’s personality is the real purpose of human life.”
To bring the imperfection toward perfection and to utilize all the qualities borrowed in the various spheres so that the life-force can be adequately expressed through them.
28) “Man expresses his soul in everything he does.”
He cannot be and he cannot do otherwise for the soul is life itself.
29) “Out of the shell of the broken heart emerges the newborn soul.”
When the heart is broken its ego-mould is destroyed and it must move on to a new ego-mould, which may be called a new-born soul. The snake, in its wisdom, sloughs off its old skin, and accommodates itself to a new condition for a new expression of life, and so the heart comes forth from its old condition. The soul has also been symbolized as the butterfly which, after its peaceful meditation in the cocoon, comes forth as a beautiful creature able to fly through the space.
30) “In beauty is the secret of Divinity.”
For God is the Perfection of Beauty. Every expression and every form of appreciation of beauty reveals a living heart, and though the grade of evolution be low or high its presence is revealed in its relation to beauty.
31) “There is no better companion than solitude.”
In the solitude one can come face to face with oneself and face to face with God. In the solitude one can more easily realize the true nature of being within and without. In the solitude the purification of body, heart and soul comes more readily because one is then removed from temptation and samsaric experience.
32) “He who realizes the effect of his deed upon himself begins to open his outlook on life.”
Then he becomes more considerate lest he hurt himself as well as another; whenever he hurts another he also hurts himself, either consciously or unconsciously. In the first instance his suffering is associated with repentance, in the second instance with remorse. Even wicked people desire to avoid pain and selfish people do not want to suffer sorrow. When they can know the effect of deeds, they may strive to avoid unpleasantness and even though at first the motive is selfish, it will gradually grow toward unselfishness.