All respond to love and to beauty, but as Hazrat Inayat makes clear in the first instalment of this series, it is the perfection of harmony that leads to the Goal.
It seems that that which makes beauty is harmony; beauty in itself has no meaning. A certain object which is called beautiful at a certain place and time is not beautiful at another place or at another time. And so it is with thought, speech and action. That which is called beautiful is only so at a certain time and condition that makes it beautiful. Therefore, if one could give a true definition of beauty, it is harmony. Harmony is the combination of colours, harmony is the drawing of a design or line that is called beauty. At the same time a word, a thought, a feeling, an action that creates harmony, is productive of beauty.
Now the question is, from where comes the tendency to harmony, and from where comes the tendency to disharmony? The natural tendency of every soul is towards harmony and the tendency towards disharmony is an unnatural state of mind or affair. And the very fact that it is not natural makes it void of beauty. The psychology of man is such that man responds both to harmony and disharmony. He cannot help it, because naturally he is made so; mentally and physically he responds to all that comes to him, be it harmonious or inharmonious.
And the teaching of Christ, “Resist not evil,” is a hint not to respond to disharmony. For instance, a word of kindness, of sympathy, an action of love and affection finds response, but at the same time a word of insult, an action of revolt or hatred, that creates response too, and that response creates more disharmony in the world. By giving way to disharmony, one allows disharmony to multiply. At this time, when one sees in the world the greatest unrest and discomfort pervading all over, where does it come from? It seems that it is from the ignorance of this fact, that disharmony creates disharmony, and will multiply disharmony.
A person has a natural tendency that, if he sees he is insulted, he thinks the proper way of answering is to insult the other person still more. By this he gets a momentary satisfaction, to have given a good answer, but he does not know what he has done by his good answer. He has given response to that power which came from the other and these two powers, being negative and positive, create more disharmony.
“Resist not evil,” does not mean receive evil onto yourself. “Resist not evil,” only means this: do not send back the disharmony that comes to you, just as the person playing tennis would send back the ball with his racket. But at the same time, it does not suggest that you should receive the ball with open hands. The tendency towards harmony may be likened to a rock in the sea, and each wave comes with all force, and yet the rock is still, stands, bears it all, letting the waves beat against it.
By fighting with disharmony one increases it; by not fighting it one does not give fuel to the fire which would rise for destruction, and cause destruction. But no doubt, the wiser you become, the more difficulties you have to face in life, because every kind of disharmony will be directed toward you for the very reason that you will not fight it. But at the same time one must know with all that difficulty, you have helped that disharmony, which would have otherwise multiplied, to be destroyed. It is not without advantage, for every time you stand against disharmony, you increase your strength, although outwardly it may seem a defeat. But one conscious of the increase of his power will never admit that it is a defeat. And as soon as the time is passed, the person against whom one has stood firm will realize that it was his defeat.
Life in the world has a constantly jarring effect, and the finer you become, the more trying it becomes to you. And the time comes that when a person is sincere and good-willing, kind and sympathetic, the worse life becomes for him. But if he is discouraged in it, he goes under. If he kept his courage, then you find it was not disadvantageous in the end, because his power will some day increase to that stage, to that degree, that his presence, his word, his action will control the thoughts and feelings and actions of all. For he will get that heavy rhythm, the rhythm that will make the rhythm of everybody else follow it. This is the attribute which is called in the east the quality of the mastermind.
But in order to stand firm against the disharmony that comes from without, one must first practise to stand firm against all that comes from within, from one’s own self. For our soul itself is more difficult to control than the others. And when one is not able, and one fails to control oneself, it is most difficult to stand against the disharmony without.
To be continued…