Amongst the aphorisms of Hazrat Inayat Khan, we find this beautiful thought:

Subtlety produces beauty; it is subtlety which is the curl of the Beloved.

In the great treasury of Sufi poetry, there are a number of recurring metaphors to describe transcendent aspects of the Divine: the delicate down upon the  cheek, the mole, the lip, the eye, the arch of the eyebrow, and the curling tresses, among others.  The curl, by its turning, suggests indirection and mystery, and the perfumed tresses of one’s lover are a place where one can easily become entangled.

The present age has become very dense and material, with a consequent effect upon our thoughts and expressions.  There are very few subjects which are not openly discussed now, but beauty suffers when there is a lack of delicacy and subtlety.  Notwithstanding the present fashion to be open about all our affairs, it is still a fundamental aspect of human nature to guard what we treasure, to reveal least what we value most.  Indeed, Hazrat Inayat tells us that beauty veils itself before those who are not worthy of its vision.   This is not to say that the Sufi is secretive–only that we should choose carefully what we disclose and to whom, simply out of respect for what we hold dear.

As an experiment, it is worth trying to say without saying, and see who responds to our meaning, and to see if we can recognise what is being said to us without words by those around us and by the world in general.

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