With this final post in the series, Hazrat Inayat Khan summarises changers one goes through upon the awakening of the soul. The previous post in the series may be found here.
The first sign one notices after the awakening of the soul, is that one begins to see from two points of view. One begins to see the right of the wrong and the wrong of the right; one begins to see the good of the bad and the bad of the good; one begins to see that everything is reflected in its opposite. In this way, one rises above intellectuality, which then begins to appear as a primitive or elementary knowledge. One sees the dark in the bright and the light in the dark, death in birth and birth in death. It is a kind of double view of things. And when one has reached this, then reason has made way for higher reasoning. No doubt one’s language will become gibberish to others; people will not understand it. They will be confused by what one says. To some it will be too simple, to others too subtle; too simple for those who only hear words without meaning, and too subtle for those who strive to understand the meaning and do not reach it.
The third aspect is, that in failure one will not feel such disappointment, and in success not such a great joy. In adverse conditions one will not be so dejected, in favorable conditions not so conceited. And these continual changes we experience in this world, such as friends turning into enemies, love sometimes turning to hate, sense to senselessness, these little surprises that we experience every day in this world, when things are different from what we expected, all these shocks will not be felt so deeply. Life in the world is full of shocks; there is no end to them. At every turn we find some surprise, all the time something new; but when the soul is awakened, we do not feel these shocks so deeply. They come, but they do not hit us so heavily.
At the same time, in spite of all this, there comes a deeper feeling. An advanced person is more susceptible to hurts than the one who is not advanced, because his heart becomes tender and he feels acutely; he is living. A rock would not feel it. This awakening of the soul gives fineness on one hand, and strength to sustain shocks on the other.
And then we come to another stage, that develops after the awakening of the soul, and that is the desire for freedom. People think they can attain this by retiring from the affairs of the world. No doubt that is a temptation – a spiritual person regards it as temptation. An awakened soul no longer considers the dream important, and yet he will say, ‘When I retire I shall still work, because I shall still be able to be useful.’ That is the thought when one is less selfish.
The ultimate freedom of the soul is gained by concentration, by meditation, by contemplation, and realization. What concentration is needed for the freedom of the soul? The concentration on that object which is prescribed by one’s spiritual teacher, that, by the thought of that particular object, one may be able to forget oneself for a moment. And then what contemplation is necessary? The contemplation that ‘this, my limited self, is no longer myself, but God’s own instrument, God’s temple, which is made in order that the Name of God be glorified.’ What meditation is required? The meditation on the thought of God, the Being of God, forgetting absolutely one’s limited self. And the realization is this, that then, whatever voice comes to one is God’s voice, every guidance is God’s guidance, every impulse is divine impulse, every action is done by God. It is in this way that the soul is made free, and in the freedom of the soul lies the purpose of life.