About the Journey

In the beginning of the recently posted talk by Hazrat Inayat Khan on the journey to the goal, he explains very clearly that we must not expect the spiritual path to resemble a physical journey. In the world of substance, we move through space and time to travel from one city to another, perhaps even passing signs that tell us how far we are from our destination, and we feel some certainty about where we are and when we shall arrive. On the inner path, there is no such measure of our progress;  as Hazrat Inayat says, it may take a very long time, or just a moment, for in the inner realms the time of the material world does not apply.

We might like to have some confirmation of our  spiritual advancement, that is a very usual wish, but that is not possible–and if it were offered, it would only hold us back, reinforcing our interest in our ‘me,’ and distracting us from the goal.

Nevertheless, to describe the inner process as a journey has meaning.  Hazrat Inayat points out that the denser elements of earth and water fall downward, whereas the finer elements tend to rise.  He says,  The lower elements go down, and the higher elements go up. The higher planes are up, above. Christ is always depicted with his finger pointed upwards. Some have said, “Is Heaven then up in the sky?” The higher life, to which Christ points, is above.   From this we can understand that if we let go of what is heavy and dense, we might become more free.  It does not mean that Heaven is floating above us, or that if we spend much time in an airplane we will be more spiritual, but that we should strive, as the prayer says, to rise ‘above the denseness of the earth.’

If we wish to travel far—all the way to the center of the Real—we must learn to travel light.  Usually when we first set out we carry much luggage, representing all that we think we are and all that we think we might need in the case of some contingency or other. But it is difficult to struggle forward under so much weight, and the further we go, the more relieved we are to let go of  our burden of concepts and expectations; little by little our load is discarded by the roadside and forgotten.

Then one day it may happen that we stand with empty hands and empty pockets, trusting in life, with an open heart and no agenda, admiring the endless beauty that surrounds us, and in that moment we may be blessed to discover that the Goal we sought for so long has come to meet us on the way.

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