There are two kinds of generosity

October 1, 2013 Comments Off on There are two kinds of generosity

There are two kinds of generosity – the real and the shadow; the former is
prompted by love, the latter by vanity.

Bowl of Saki, September 23, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

When the miser shows any generosity he celebrates it with trumpets.

The whole tragedy of life is in losing sight of one’s natural self, and the
greatest gain in life is coming into touch with one’s real self. The real
self is covered by many layers of ego; those which preponderate above all
others are hunger and passion, beneath these are pride and vanity. One must
learn to discriminate between what is natural and what is unnatural, what
is necessary and what is not necessary, what brings happiness and what
brings sorrow. No doubt it is difficult for many to discriminate between
right and wrong; but by standing face to face with one’s ego and
recognizing it as someone who is ready to make war against us, and by
keeping one’s strength of will as an unsheathed sword, one protects oneself
from one’s greatest enemy, which is one’s own ego. And a time comes in life
when one can say, ‘My worst enemy has been within myself.’

Man’s greatest enemy is his ego which manifests itself in selfishness. Even
in his doing good, in his kind actions, selfishness is sometimes at work.
When he does good with the thought that one day it may return to him and
that he may share in the good, he sells his pearls for a price. A kind
action, a thought of sympathy, of generosity, is too precious to trade
with. One should give and, while giving, close the eyes. Man should
remember to do every little action, every little kindness, every act of
generosity with his whole heart, without the desire of getting anything in
return, making a trade out of it. The satisfaction must be in doing it and
in nothing else.


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