What attitude must a mureed take towards his fellow mureed, if he does not seem to get on with him, if he thinks that there is something lacking in him? Instead of correcting him, he must overlook that part and must try to appreciate all that is good in his fellow mureed by showing his sympathy. In this manner he will be able to establish a connection with his fellow mureed by which there will be a mutual help given to one another.
Psychologically it is true that two persons with different temperaments cannot get on; but at the same time the Sufi path teaches us to try to get on with personalities with whom we cannot get on. The greater a soul, the greater power it shows in getting on with everyone. If that is the sign of the soul’s evolution, then we must always try our best to get on with all personalities, however difficult it may be. It is only a matter of understanding. There are things in other persons which hurt us, but they hurt us because we take that point of view. We take them too deep in our heart. If we kept them on the surface, then they do not need to hurt. One must make a shield by one’s will, a shield on which to take every attack of knives or swords or pinpricks, not to allow them to touch one; and at the same time one must take all that is desirable without shielding oneself.
In this way one can live a harmonious life in the world. It would seem very impractical to read the teaching in the Bible, “If one strikes you on one cheek, turn the other cheek.” But it is impractical because one does not know the theory of it. The theory is that if a person strikes another on his cheek, the person who is able to turn his other cheek is the person who was able to take the first blow rather on his shield. The person whose face is struck, he surely will not turn the other side of his face. It is the other person, he who strikes, who thinks that he has struck him on his face; but it only fell on his shield, and he does not mind if another time his shield receives one more. In order to understand that one must learn this lesson: to make around oneself a shield; in other words, not to take things so seriously. Things which we need not take seriously, one must keep them on the surface, not allowing them to enter one’s heart.