In man’s search for truth
November 3, 2013 Comments Off on In man’s search for truth
In man’s search for truth, the first lesson and the last is love. There
must be no separation, no “I am” and “thou art not”. Until man has arrived
at that selfless consciousness, he cannot know life and truth.
Bowl of Saki, November 3, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
When we look at this subject from a mystic’s point of view, we see that
love has two aspects. Love in itself, and the shadow of love fallen on the
earth. The former is heavenly the latter is earthly. The former develops
self-abnegation in a person; the latter makes him more selfish than he was
before. Virtues such as tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion rise
of themselves in the heart which is awakened to love.
The infirmities such as jealousy, hatred and all manner of prejudice begin
to spring up when the shadow of love has fallen on the heart of the mortal.
The former love raises man to immortality, the latter turns the immortal
soul into a mortal being. A poet has said that the first step in love
teaches selflessness, if it is not experienced then one has taken a step in
the wrong direction, although one calls it love. For man has learned from
the moment he was born on earth the words ‘I am’. It is love alone that
teaches him to say, ‘Thou art, not I’. For no soul can love and yet affirm
its own existence.
What the Sufi calls riyazat, a process of achievement, is nothing else than
digging constantly in that holy land which is the heart of man. Surely in
the depth man will find the water of life. However, digging is not enough.
Love and devotion, no doubt, help to bring out frequent merits hidden in
the soul, as sincerity, thankfulness, gentleness and forgiving qualities,
all things which produce an harmonious atmosphere, and all things which
bring men in tune with life, the saintly life and the outer life. All those
merits come, no doubt, by kindling the fire of love in the heart. But it is
possible that in this process of digging one may only reach mud and lose
patience. So dismay, discontentment may follow and man may withdraw himself
from further pursuit.
It is patient pursuit which will bring the water from the depth of the
ground; for until one reaches the water of life, one meets with mud in
digging. It is not love, but the pretense of love, that imposes the claim
of the self. The first and last lesson in love is, ‘I am not — Thou art’
and unless man is moved to that selflessness he does not know justice,
right or truth; his self stands above or between him and God.