Continuing with his theme, Hazrat Inayat Khan now begins to speak about the attainment of truth in our own lives. The previous post in the series may be found here.
Now coming to the subject of attainment of truth. No doubt as already mentioned, the first step to the attainment of the truth cannot be taught in books, or be imparted by a teacher. It must come spontaneously, namely through the love for truth. The next step is to search for it. The third step is the actual attainment.
How can one attain? In order to attain truth one must make one’s own life truthful. This is life in its moral aspect. The more truthful one is in one’s everyday life, the more one practices this moral despite its great difficulty, the more one approaches the only religion which there is. But it is the most difficult to practice this moral in this world of falsehood, where every move one makes is touched by some unreality which impresses one. Every moment of a person’s life is touched by falsehood which is likely to impress him.
The love of truth gives one an appreciation of truth, and all the little shadows of truth become reflected in such a person’s heart more and more, until at length he expresses trueness in his nature. Seeking after truth enables one to learn to appreciate all that comes from truthful hearts. Passing from the state of natural man, through the state of being a lover of truth and a seeker after truth, one begins to express truth.
The intellectual side of this is that when one loves the truthful life, naturally the intelligence – the torch by which to see both the world seen and the world unseen – begins to help one, and the clouds of illusion within and without begin to become scattered. Man then begins to see with his own light in his hand. It is a hint towards this process which we find in the words of Jesus Christ, “Raise your light high, let no one keep his light under a bushel.” The act of raising the light on high is to hold the torch of intelligence in one’s hand in order to see into the external world – that which is seen – and also into the world which is within and unseen.
As has already been said, truth is the very self of man. Truth is the divine element in man. Truth is every soul’s seeking. Therefore, as soon as the clouds of illusion are scattered, that which man now begins to see is nothing but the truth which has been there all the time. He finds that the truth was never absent; it was only covered by clouds of illusion. By changing his own nature, by making himself more truthful, he disperses the clouds of falsehood within and without, and begins to see life as it really is, both inwardly and outwardly. From this time onwards, the meaning of religion becomes clear.
One begins to understand what the great teachers have taught. Then one becomes tolerant to the various religions. Nothing seems strange any more. Nothing surprises. For now one begins to know the innermost nature of man; one sees the cause behind every action. Therefore tolerance and forgiveness and understanding of others come naturally. The person who knows the truth is the most tolerant. It is the knower of truth who is forgiving; it is the knower of truth who understands another person’s point of view. It is the knower of truth who does not readily voice his opinion, for he has respect for the opinions of others.
When man gains insight into himself, he also gains insight into the hearts of others. All this desire for learning occult or mystical powers or psychic powers now disappears, because he begins to see all this power in one truth – loving truth, seeking truth, looking for truth, living the truthful life – that it is which opens all doors. He does not need to learn how to read thoughts. He does not need to learn secret or occult powers or psychic powers in order to penetrate into the heart of man. The heart of every person is open to him.
When our heart is closed, it is shut to all other hearts. It is the lack of knowledge of ourselves which makes us ignorant of them and closed to us. To say a person “does not open his heart” means that his own heart is not open. Were he to understand himself, that understanding would itself help him to understand another. Once he is open himself, the other person no longer seems closed. It is the action and reaction between two hearts. The opening of the one heart has an influence on the other, and it opens. When one’s own heart is closed, the other person’s heart, though open, will also close.
To be continued…