This brief lecture by Hazrat Inayat Khan is a jewel of precious teachings for the dedicated mureed, and delivered in a very informal, intimate style. In the first paragraph, his use of the word ‘location’ is equivalent to ‘capacity,’ which he begins to employ further on in the text.
On the spiritual path the preparation that is most necessary is to make a location for the knowledge of God, God in one’s own heart. If you ask me what I mean by location, the answer is that in the ear, for instance, there is a location for sound that comes from outside. The reason is, in the ear there is the space for accommodation, not only for sound, but for every letter and syllable. If it were not for the location that man has in his ear, he could not hear, and so location must be created in one’s own heart. This construction of the ear is a perfect picture of the location that is in the heart. Outside, the ear is hollow. Its shape is its receptacle, and this is produced by response. The tendency is to take in all that comes. It seems as if some part of the ear has been cut out in order to make a hollow.
Some part must be taken out of the heart in order to have capacity. Of course the difficulties of life make this capacity all the time. Then again, there is a cover in front of the ear, which helps the sound to be retained in order to become distinguishable. In the heart this is produced by the power of concentration. The thoughts of love and sympathy must become distinguished; it is the concentration which allows them to be distinguished. Intuition is the distinction of all that comes to the heart. The heart must allow it to become clear. An inside organ of the ear is the vibration; this distinguishes every word. In the heart there is an intuitive faculty: every feeling that comes in the heart vibrates. This makes things distinct to one’s view. Many consider the heart a picture of the eye, but I consider the heart is more the picture of the ear that hears. The actual sense that can be pictured as the eye is located in the center of the head.
The work of the intuitive faculty is the perception and conception. There are two ways of knowing, one by the head, the other by the heart. Knowing by the heart is like hearing, and knowing by the head like seeing. Seeing, no doubt gives satisfaction, but hearing gives a greater satisfaction still. All that is audible touches the depth of one’s being, and what is visible becomes reflected on the surface of one’s heart. The practice of Zikar is meant to make that capacity in the heart in order to turn the heart into the ear. Every repetition of Zikar is like carving something with a chisel. By carving a part of the heart, it may become hollow and it has the capacity to receive all that comes. The sound has power upon heart and soul. When you are given an exercise, its power is the same as the word or the meaning of the word. Therefore one must cut out the part that hinders the heart to do its proper work. The power of the word is such that all things can be accommodated by it, if one does it rightly. Wonders can be worked by the help of the word. Therefore a mantram is more powerful than a weapon. This is the experience of my whole life.
Of course, before one does a deeper practice of Zikar, one must control one’s thoughts and feelings. If not, one may do a great harm to oneself or others. We must not direct ill will, anger to anyone, not even to our worst enemy. If one creates compassion, we will tolerate, forgive, and take life easy. Then power increases. There are two things: one is to receive inspiration, the other is to gain power, Jemal and Jelal. Jemal is mercy and compassion; Jelal is self discipline and mastery over one’s self.
Another question for my mureeds is that they must know that they are not alone in the spiritual path. They have a guide, not in imagination, but living on the earth, whose happiness and whose sorrow are your happiness and your sorrow. He is someone who is a human being, and has troubles and struggles with himself and others. Therefore we must feel safe in treading the spiritual path. Our guide is in the same world, he has gone through the same life of a human being. We must not feel foreign with Murshid, but we must feel nearness and brotherhood. There is someone who understands you and your difficulties. What is necessary is three things:
1) Trust and confidence in Murshid, in his feeling of interest in your happiness and your well-being.
2) To consider the work that may be interesting to you (meditation, etc.) as the kind of the most necessary thing to fulfill you duty. If you do not do it, with all your trust he cannot help you in the direction where your effort is necessary. Murshid knows the difficulties of the western world, and therefore he gives you much less work compared with people of the East. (None of you has six hours of silence, nor three days’ fasting. In the East it is the usual thing.) Still we are more privileged than the East. We have not only spiritual teachings that are given, but the message of God is given here and will re-echo in the East. It begins in the West and goes to the East. We are receiving the Light, which is beyond meditation or studies. The outer meaning is a message of words; the inner meaning is the same as is represented in the Sacrament, as the wine (the blood) and the bread (the flesh). Life itself is Light. A proof is not necessary for sincere mureeds, faithful to Murshid and the Cause, the very fact makes them sincere. Our fifteen minutes’ meditation is much more than six to ten hours’ practice in the East.
3) Your part of responsibility in the application of the Message, what you get from the teachings, in everyday life, of which you must give the proof yourself in everyday life. You must be workers of the Cause according to ability and capacity.