Hazrat Inayat: Belief and Disbelief pt I

Belief is natural, and disbelief is unnatural, for belief is born in man and unbelief is acquired.

If the child has been born with unbelief, he would not even have learned the language of the mother. If she had said: ”This is water”, the child would have answered: “ No, this is bread.” Every child born on earth is born with a tendency to believe what is told him, but the experience of the individual in this world full of falsehood teaches man to disbelieve. That shows that every soul comes from the world of truth, and opens his eyes in the world of falsehood. Every child comes into the world with that purity of heart whose natural tendency is to believe and later he acquires the tendency to doubt. The Prophet has therefore said: “Every child is born a believer, it is afterwards that he becomes an unbeliever.”

The right explanation of unbelief would be that everything that is strange to man he explains by his reason, by the knowledge he has already acquired, and when it does not tally with what he already knows, he disbelieves, for doubt is earth-born and belief is heaven-born. Light is caused by the sun, and shade is caused by the earth. The light of the soul therefore is belief, and the mind gives unbelief. At the same time, in belief a hidden power exists, and that power is called self-confidence. The person who trusts another does not always trust the power and influence of another person, but by his own power and influence he trusts.

If it were in the power of the person to make another believe, then every great soul that came in the world would have made the world believe in him and his word. Belief is according to the power of one’s self-confidence.

You find the tendency to trust in a brave man, in a wise man, in a great man; but the tendency to doubt and disbelieve you will find in the weak and insignificant man, who does not know what he believes. This shows that he who trusts himself will trust all, and he who does not trust himself cannot trust anybody. The person who trusts another and does not trust himself, his trust is an illusion, his trust is not alive. It may appear as strength, but it is weakness. he holds on to something he does not know and it seems to be trust. A person who cannot believe in himself, how can he believe in God, who is beyond the comprehension of man?

Now coming to the idea of the belief in God: Everything in this world, we each of us see according as our sight allows us to see it. Therefore one chooses for oneself a particular colour. One chooses blue, another red, another violet. If one colour had the same effect upon every person’s eye and mind, everyone would choose the same colour. And so it is with form.

Then, coming to feeling: although we can understand words such as love, gratefulness, sincerity, beauty, yet the sense of love, sincerity, gratefulness or beauty in the heart of one person cannot in any way be compared with the same feeling in the heart of another person. Therefore each person’s belief is particular to himself. It is not only that there are so many different faiths in the world, but in one particular Church how many differences! When you come to think of this subject still further, if you think of the persons attending the one church, if you examine the feelings of each person, they are different.

Everything in the world that has a name is imaginable; the One and Only Being, to Whom the imagination cannot reach, is God. And yet as God is manifested in all things and in all beings, so in all things and in all beings there is always a part which is unimaginable. That itself is proof that God is not a separate God beyond comprehension, God is all and all is God. Man can reach God only as far as his imagination can take him. But the most sensible thing man can do in the pursuit of God is to humble himself and bend in all humility, and say: “ Thou art farther than I can ever reach, and all I can do is to accept Thee in all humility.” The one who, by understanding the idea ‘God in man’ claims: ‘I am God’, he, besides all errors, deprives himself of the great beauty of journeying from man to God.

Man in all ages has tried to imagine, and passed his imagination on to his fellowman, saying: “ God is such and such.” He has seen in the fire the purifying influence, he has worshipped it and believed in it and said to men: “ I see God in this.” He has looked at the sun as something which is standing before the world without protection and giving light. He has said: “I will worship it.” Man has imagined God in nature, he has given sacredness to trees, to some birds and animals, and he has called them sacred and has worshipped God in them. That shows that there is somewhere the ideal of the divine in man, his tendency is to reach it, but he does not know where to reach so as to admire and worship. There have been times of the world’s rise and fall, times of evolution and times of degeneration, and with these have come times when man has worshipped God in nature and times when he has worshipped God in animals. He has constantly striven to reach some Ideal, for that trying to reach brings him a happiness that  he can find nowhere else in the world.

To be continued…


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