Hazrat Inayat: The Work to Accomplish pt I

Here is the first part of a talk given by Hazrat Inayat Khan in the Summer School in Suresenes in July, 1924.

The Work We Have to Accomplish

I should like to speak a few words this afternoon on the subject of the work we have to accomplish. The work has two aspects, namely, the work we have to do individually with ourselves, and the work we have to do collectively in the world.

The individual work has also two aspects.  The first is the spiritual attainment, the highest and the ultimate for which the whole creation has been purposed, to attain consciously the goal which all will reach in the end, consciously or unconsciously, to make with open eyes that journey which all make blindly, conscious of every stage of the journey.  This is realisation, which it is not given to all to attain.  Yet there is hope for everyone. The Qur’an says, “When man takes one step towards us, we take ten steps toward him.”

The other aspect concerns our life in the world It is to develop in ourselves all beautiful qualities and every good manner, that we may manifest and enjoy the beauty for which the world was created. This is the progress in the right way toward the goal, which is the only religion there is.

And the work that we have to do collectively, with the multitude, is the work in the service of the message.  The message is the renewal of the life of the world given at a time when the world is in decay, a new outpouring of divine light, a special presence of God upon earth.  And the work we have to do is to help in every way so that the light may shine in every part of the world and reach every seeking soul and shine upon them who receive it unconsciously. For when it is received consciously, it is received individually, and kindles a spark in the heart which expands until it becomes a flame.

This work has two aspects, one of which is in relation with God and is expressed in the Universal Worship, the worship with recognition of every messenger of God, with respect for every religion and every form of worship. The other is the spreading in the world, by every means, of the recognition of the human brotherhood in the fatherhood of God. For every other brotherhood, whether of calling, of creed, of community, of nation, or of race, has a limitation. The brotherhood in God alone is without limitation and unites all the children of the earth without any difference or distinction.

We sympathise with all associations and individuals working for the same object, considering them as fellow workers. We do not desire that any such communities or associations should affiliate themselves with us or form a league with us, for if they are working with the same aim they are already with us in spirit, and if not, of what use would be a merely outward connection? We shall not seek the adherence of any personalities, however important work they may be doing in the world; however prominent, however eminent they be.  And if any such join us, it will be those among them in whom there is some greatness, for they are people who, in order to be somebody in the world, have become something; they have come to the front as a politician, as a financier, or in commerce or in industry, and have become somebody. The Sufi’s work is to become nothing in order to know himself as everything, and the work of brotherhood is of little use without the realisation of the Sufi’s aim. If then such a one can understand and realise his own nothingness, there is something great in him.

We have an entire confidence in the success of the message, for we know that ours is the cause of truth, and that truth and success are not two things, they are one. And it is easy to see how they are one. Truth is what is. Haqq, truth, is a Persian name for God, the existent, the only being; To On [the existent, that which is] the Greeks have called him. And to succeed is to be.

To be continued…

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