In order to learn forgiveness

September 16, 2013 Comments Off on In order to learn forgiveness

In order to learn forgiveness, man must first learn tolerance.

Bowl of Saki, September 11, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

We need today the religion of tolerance. In daily life we cannot all meet
on the same ground, being so different, having such different capacities,
states of evolution, and tasks. So if we had no tolerance, no desire to
forgive, we could never bring harmony into our soul; for to live in the
world is not easy and every moment of the day demands a victory. If there
is anything to learn, it is tolerance.

Tolerance is the first lesson of morals, and the next is forgiveness. A
person who tolerates another through fear, through pride, from a sense of
honor, or by the force of circumstances does not know tolerance. Tolerance
is the control of the impulse of resistance by will. There is no virtue in
tolerance which one practices because one is compelled by circumstances to
tolerate, but tolerance is a consideration by which one overlooks the fault
of another and gives no way in oneself to the impulse of resistance. A
thoughtless person is naturally intolerant, but if a thoughtful person is
intolerant, it shows his weakness. He has thought, but has no self-control.
In the case of the thoughtless, he is not conscious of his fault, so it
does not matter much to him, but a thoughtful person is to be pitied if he
cannot control himself owing to the lack of will.

The activities in the worldly life cause many disturbances, and it is a
constant jarring effect upon a sensitive soul. If one does not develop
tolerance in nature, one is always subject to constant disturbances in
life. To wish to live in the world and to be annoyed with its activities is
like wanting to live in the sea and be constantly resisting its waves. This
life of the world, full of different activities constantly working, has
much in it to be despised, if one has a tendency to despise. But at the
same time there is much to admire if one turns one’s face from left to
right. It is in our own power to choose the view of imperfection or the
vision of perfection, and the difference is only looking down, or looking
upwards. By a slight change of attitude in one’s outlook on life one can
make the world into heaven or hell. The more one tolerates, the stronger
one becomes in this way. It is the tolerant who is thoughtful. And as
thought becomes greater, one becomes more tolerant. The words of Christ,
‘Resist not evil’, teach tolerance.

Tolerance is the sign of an evolved soul, for a soul shows the proof of its
evolution in the degree of the tolerance it shows. The life in the lower
creation shows the lack of tolerance. … As one evolves spiritually so a
person seems to rise above this natural tendency of intolerance, for the
reason that he begins to see, besides himself and the second person, God;
and he unites himself with the other person in God. … But when a soul has
evolved still more, tolerance becomes the natural thing for him. Because
the highly evolved soul then begins to realize ‘Another person is not
separate from me, but the other person is myself. The separation is on the
surface of life, but in the depth of life I and the other person are one.’


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