Hazrat Inayat: Western and Eastern Students

The Western man in the spiritual path wishes to know first, “What will it lead to? Where will be the resting place? And what will be the destination? What profit shall I get by the enterprise? And how long will it take?”  As the spiritual path is inexplicable in the words of the human tongue, which is only made to express things of the external life, his exacting faculty remains unsatisfied.  In the East the traveller in the spiritual path knows already what path it is, and it is his love for that path which makes him seek the guide.  Therefore the guide need not try to create the interest for it in his heart. In the West before a person chooses a path he wants to know if that path is an authorised one, a recognised one, if others also tread that path, otherwise he cannot very well have faith in it.  In the East a man takes whatever path he thinks best for him; if everybody in the world says to him, “That is not the path,” he will still say, “This is my path.” Pie-i-man khas ast eteqad-i-man bas ast. [If my Pir-Guide is worth a straw, my faith in him is sufficient.]

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Progress to a Western person is going forward and he understands going forward by passing things, leaving them behind and stepping forward into new experiences.  The spiritual progress is made on a path quite opposite to the path of the world.  It is progress towards one’s self, plainly speaking within oneself, and no new experience does one meet with on the way, but one finds all that is known and has been forgotten by one’s soul; and in this pursuit in the beginning one does not feel one is progressing, for one finds nothing new.

3 Replies to “Hazrat Inayat: Western and Eastern Students”

  1. Azim Smith

    ‘We shall not cease from exploration
    and the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time ‘
    T S Elliot
    With Thanks
    Azim Smith

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Dear Azim,
      thank you, a very apt quote!! That is the journey, very succinctly put.
      Kindest greetings,

  2. Juan Amin Betancur

    Thank you very much for this post. One needs this to be repeated time after time…! ‘It is progress…within oneself…one finds all that is known and has been forgotten by one’s soul’


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