There are moments when we should take from others love, favour, sympathy, service, and there are moments when we should give the same to others. While receiving these from others, one must not shrink; and while giving the same, one must not think of receiving any return, not even the favour of appreciation or thanks. Give when you ought to give, and take what comes for you to take.
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A tendency to friendship and disinclination to hostility, readiness in forgiving and unwillingness to take offence are the principal characteristics of the Sufi.
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A Sufi is the one who guards his knowledge and wisdom and power in humble guise. He does not dispute on spiritual subjects with everybody for this reason, that the spiritual evolution of everyone is different; the knowledge of one cannot be the knowledge of another, nor is the understanding of one the understanding of another. A Sufi does not discuss beliefs, for he knows that at every step of the spiritual evolution the belief of a man changes, until he arrives at a final belief which words are unable to explain. The Sufi does not learn only by the study of books, but by the study of life. The whole life is like an open book to him and every experience is a step forward in his spiritual journey. A Sufi would rather learn than teach. He begins his life by discipline and resignation, realising that the path of freedom that leads to the goal of freedom is the path of self-control, patience, resignation, renunciation. Freedom is the object of all esoteric schools but one must not make the mistake that one can begin with that which is the end. To expect liberty in the beginning is to be like a seed that would think, “I must at once be a tree and bear fruit”. The fruit is the outcome and object, the culmination of its existence. So is freedom the result of the journey. The path of freedom is an ideal, to understand the real meaning of which is not everybody’s work. The method of the Sufi consists in this, that he unites himself with his innermost being, his heart is the shrine of his God, and his body is His Temple.