Hazrat Inayat: The Mirror and the Rust

The Mirror of the Heart

A clear vision depends upon a clear heart, open to reflection. Jelaluddin Rumi begins his Masnavi by speaking about the mirror-quality of the heart; also by telling that this mirror-quality sometimes disappears when a kind of rust covers the heart. And then he goes on to tell us that by purifying the heart from this rust one makes this mirror of the heart clear to receive reflections.

Speaking about the science of telepathy, my Murshid once said, “It is reflection. If your heart is clear, then you must only know how to focus it, and you need not do anything else. It is a mirror and all that is before it will be reflected in it.”

Therefore it is not surprising if the seers see the soul of every person as clearly as an open letter; for it is the nature of sight. If the sight is perfect, it must see whatever is before it; it cannot help seeing. It is not that the sight desires to see; it is natural that if the eyes are open, all that is before them is reflected in them. So the seer cannot help seeing the soul of another, perceiving the thoughts and feelings that a person has. If he made an attempt to do it, it would not be right. The heart is the soul’s private chamber; no one must intrude upon any one’s privacy; no one has a right to try and find out the thoughts and feelings of another person. But as the eyes cannot help seeing what is before them, so the heart, once made clear and pure from the rust, then sees as the eyes see.

But the eyes can see so far and no farther; the plane which is before the eyes is different. Before the heart there is another dimension, and that is the heart of man. While the eyes see the surface, the heart sees the depth of a person. Never, therefore, think that a real mystic does not see into a person’s life; never think that a mystic is unable to see a certain side of a person’s nature. No, he sees all, if only his heart is clear.

But now the question is: what is the rust? What is it made of? The rust is made of the dense outcome of the mind itself; it is its dense part which comes to the surface, and thereby covers it, covering at the same time its mirror-quality. The heart becomes covered by confusion, fear, depression, by all manner of excitement that disturbs the rhythm of its mechanism. As the health of the body depends upon its tone and rhythm, so the health of the heart depends upon the regularity of its tone and rhythm. A man may be virtuous in his actions, pure in his thoughts, kind in his feelings; at the same time if he has ups and downs, then the rhythm is not kept right. Then he cannot see the reflection clearly; for the mirror is clear, but when the mind is continually moving the reflection is blurred, the reflection does not show itself clearly.

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