As we continue the series on spiritual awakening, Hazrat Inayat Khan provides insight into the changes that the seeker experiences as the soul begins to shake off its slumber. The first post in the series may be found here.
Then there is a further awakening, a continuation of what I have called the awakening of the soul. And the sign of this awakening is that the awakened person throws a light, the light of his soul, upon every creature and every object, and sees that object, person, or condition in this light. It is his own soul which becomes a torch in his hand; it is his own light that illuminates his path. It is just like directing a searchlight into dark corners which one could not see before, and the corners become clear and illuminated; it is like throwing light upon problems that one did not understand before, like seeing through people with x-rays when they were a riddle before.
As soon as life becomes clear to the awakened soul, it shows another phase of manifestation, and this is that every aspect of life communicates with this person. Life is communicative, the soul is communicative, but they do not communicate until the soul is awakened. Once a soul is awakened it begins to communicate with life. As a young man I had a great desire to visit the shrines of saints and of great teachers, but although I wanted very much to hear something from them and to ask them something, I always held back my questions and sat quietly in their presence. I had a greater satisfaction in that way, and I felt a greater blessing by sitting quietly there, than if I had discussed and argued and talked with them, for in the end I felt that there was a communication which was far more satisfactory than these outer discussions and arguments of people who do not know what they discuss. It was enlightening and refreshing, and it gave the power and inspiration with which one can see life in a better light.
Those who are awakened become guiding lights not only for themselves but also for others. And by their light, often unknowingly, their presence itself helps to make the most difficult problems easy. This makes us realize the fact that man is light, as the scriptures have said, a light whose origin, whose source, is divine. And when this light is kindled, then life becomes quite different. Furthermore, when the soul is awakened, it is as if that person were to wake up in the middle of the night among hundreds and thousands of people who are fast asleep. He is sitting or standing among them, he is looking at them, hearing about their sorrows and miseries and their conditions, hundreds of them moving about in their sleep, in their own dream, not awakened to his condition although he is near them. They may be friends or relations, acquaintances or enemies, whatever be their relationship, but they know little about him, as each one is absorbed in his own trouble. This awakened soul, standing among them all, will listen to everyone, will see everyone, will recognize all that they think and feel; but his language no one understands, his thoughts he cannot explain to anyone, his feelings he cannot expect anyone to feel. He feels lonely; but no doubt in this loneliness there is also the sense of perfection, for perfection is always lonely.
To be continued…