As the world faces the crisis of contagion, one friend reminded The Inner Call of the following passage in which Hazrat Inayat Khan points out that ‘infection’ is not always negative – we can pass on goodness as well.
Is it not a great pity that we see today, among the most civilized nations, one nation working against the other, lack of trust between nations, and this fear of war? It is dreadful to think that humanity, which appears to be progressing so much, is at the same time going backward to such an extent that never in the history of the world such bloodshed has been caused as during the last war [WWI]. Are we evolving or going backward?
What is missing is not intellectuality, for people are capable of inventing things and imagining governments every day, better and better. Then what is missing? It is the heart quality. It seems it is being buried more and more today. Therefore the real man is being destroyed and the false part of his being is continuing. A better condition can be brought about by the individual who will realize that the development of the heart, and nothing else, brings about better conditions.
The other day I lectured in Paris, and after my lecture a very able man came to me and said, ‘Have you got a scheme?’ I said, ‘What scheme?’ ‘Of bettering conditions.’ I replied that I had not made such a scheme, and he said, ‘I have a scheme, I will show it to you’. He opened his box and brought out a very large paper with mathematics on it and showed it to me, saying, ‘This is the economic scheme that will make the condition of the world better. Everyone will have the same share’. I said, ‘We should practice that economic scheme first on tuning our piano. Instead of saying D, E, F, we should tune them all to one note, and play that music, and see how interesting that would be – all sounding the same, no individuality, no distinction, nothing.’ And I added, ‘Economy is not a plan for construction, but it is a plan for destruction. It is economics which have brought us to destruction. It is the heart quality, it is the spiritual outlook which will change the world’.
Very often people coming to hear me say afterwards, ‘Yes, all you say is very interesting, very beautiful, and I wish too that the world was changed. But how many think like you? How can you do it? How can it be done?’ They come with that pessimistic remark, and I tell them, ‘One person comes into a country with a little cold or influenza, and it spreads. If such a bad thing can spread, can not an elevated thought of love, kindness and goodwill towards all men spread? See then that there are finer germs, germs of goodwill, of love, kindness, and feeling, germs of brotherhood, of the desire for spiritual evolution, which can have greater results than the other ones. If we all have that optimistic view, if we all work in our little way, we can accomplish a great deal.’