The purification of the mind is fundamental to any progress on the spiritual path, and who can be satisfied that their mind is pure—meaning, free from what does not belong to our nature? This text from Hazrat Inayat Khan may appear simple, but it deserves careful reading and re-readng. The question that has been recorded with this talk may seem out of place, since it does not appear to relate directly to the talk, and by the way it is expressed gives the impression that the questioner felt the she or he already knew the answer, and simply wanted confirmation of their opinion. Hazrat Inayat’s response in a way steps over the question, and pulls it back into the theme, the purifying effect of love.
Purity of mind is the principal thing upon which the health of both body and mind depend. The process of purifying the mind is not much different from the process of cleaning or washing any object. Water poured upon any object washes it, and if there is a spot which cannot be washed away by the water, some substance which can take away that spot is applied, to wash it thoroughly. The water which washes the heart is the continual running of the love-stream. When that stream is stopped, when its way is blocked by some object which closes the heart, and when the love-stream is no longer running, then the mind cannot keep pure. As water is the cleansing and purifying substance in the physical world, so love is on the higher plane.
Sometimes when it is difficult for love to take away some impressions that are disagreeable, which block the way of the love-stream, they may be washed away by some element that can destroy them. The whole life is a chemical process, and the knowledge of its chemistry helps man to make life happy. An unhappy person, being himself unhappy, cannot make others happy. It is a wealthy person who can help the one who is hard up, not a poor person, however much desire of helping he may have. So it is with happiness, which is a great wealth; and a happy person can take away the unhappiness of another, for he has enough for himself and for others.
Earthly pleasures are the shadows of happiness, because of their transitory character. True happiness is in love, which is the stream that springs from one’s soul; and he who will allow this stream to run continually in all conditions of life, in all situations, however difficult, will have happiness which truly belongs to him, the source of which is not without, but within. If there is a constant outpouring of love one becomes a divine fountain, for from the depth of the fountain rises the stream and, on its return, it pours upon the fountain, bathing it continually. It is a divine bath, the true bath in the Ganges, the sacred river. When once one has got the key of this fountain, one is always purified, every moment of one’s life; nothing can stay in the mind causing man unhappiness! For happiness alone is natural, and it is attained by knowing and by living naturally.
Q: What is the process of drowning impressions in the ocean of the consciousness of eternal now?
A: The one who does not know the love of an individual does not know universal love. But if one stands there, one stands there without going forward. The love of an individual in love’s path is a doll’s play, which is learned for the time to come. So the love of an individual is the first step. But when one progresses then one advances towards the love of a cause, a community, a nation; or even the whole universe. Man, as a human being, is capable of loving one; but his soul, as the light of God, is capable of loving not only the world, but even if there were a thousand worlds. For the heart of man is larger than the whole universe.