Hazrat Inayat Khan here continues his explanation of the obligations of life as one travels the inner path. At the conclusion of the previous post he had begun to speak of the manner of the evolved soul.
The further such souls go, the more humble they become; the greater the mystery they have realized, the less they speak about it. You would scarcely believe it if I were to tell you that during four years of the presence of my Murshid, hardly more than once or twice I had a conversation on spiritual matters. Usually the conversation was on worldly things, like everybody else’s; nobody would perceive that here was a God-realized man, who was always absorbed in God. His conversation was like that of every other person; he spoke on everything belonging to this world, never a spiritual conversation, nor any special show of piety or spirituality; and yet his atmosphere, the voice of his soul and his presence revealed all that was hidden in his heart.
Those who are God-realized and those who have touched wisdom speak very little on the subject. It is those who do not know who try to discuss it, not because they know but because they themselves have doubts. When there is knowledge, there is satisfaction, there is no tendency towards dispute. When one disputes, it is because there is something not satisfied. There is nothing in this world, wealth, rank, position, power, or learning, that can give such conceit as the slightest little amount of spiritual knowledge; and once a person has that conceit, then he cannot take a further step. He is nailed down to that place where he stands, because the very idea of spiritual realization is in selflessness.
Man has either to realize himself as something or as nothing. In this realization of nothingness there is spirituality. If one has any little knowledge of the inner laws of nature and is proud of it, or if one has any sense of thinking, ‘How good I am, how kind I am,’ – how generous, how well-mannered, how influential, or how attractive – the slightest idea of anything of this kind coming into the mind closes the doors which lead into the spiritual world. It is such an easy path to tread, and yet so difficult. Pride is most natural to a human being. Man may deny a virtue a thousand times in words, but he cannot help admitting it with his feelings, for the ego itself is pride. Pride is the ego; man cannot live without it. In order to attain to spiritual knowledge, in order to become conscious of the inner life, a person does not need to learn very much, because here he has to know what he already knows; only he has to discover it himself. For his understanding of spiritual knowledge he does not need the knowledge of anything except himself. He acquires the knowledge of the self which is himself, so near and yet so far.
Another thing the lover of God shows is the same tendency as the human lover’s: he does not talk about his love to anybody; he cannot talk about it. Man cannot say how much he loves his beloved; no words can express it, and besides, he does not feel like talking about it to anybody. Even if he could, in the presence of his beloved he would close his lips. How then could the lover of God make a profession, ‘I love God’? The true lover of God keeps his love silently hidden in his heart, like a seed sown in the ground, and if the seedling grows, it grows in his actions towards his fellow man. He cannot act except with kindness, he cannot feel anything but forgiveness; every movement he makes, everything he does speaks of his love, but not his lips.
This shows that in the inner life the greatest principle that one should observe is to be unassuming and quiet, without any show of wisdom, without any manifestation of learning, without any desire to let anyone know how far one has advanced, not even letting oneself know how far one has gone. The task to be accomplished is the entire forgetting of oneself and harmonizing with one’s fellow man; acting in agreement with all, meeting everyone on his own plane, speaking to everyone in his own tongue, answering the laughter of one’s friends with a smile, and the pain of another with tears, standing by one’s friends in their joy and their sorrow, whatever be one’s own grade of evolution. If a man through his life became like an angel he would accomplish very little. The accomplishment which is most desirable for man is to fulfil the obligations of human life.
To be continued…