In Gatheka 17, Hazrat Inayat Khan said:
“No doubt every school has its own method, and every method is colored by the personality of the leader. Personally I owe every obligation to the Sufi School of the Chishtis, in which I was initiated by my Murshid Abu Hashim Madani, but there the account of the ancient history of Sufism finishes”.
In a Message lecture, Hazrat Inayat Khan said:
“The Message will take care of itself because it is a Divine Message.
We, the servants of the Sufi Message, who have joined together hand in hand, must not for one moment doubt how a handful of workers will be able to fulfill the service for which they are called”.
Many years have passed since these words were heard, and ever since, so many have offered their heart to the Message of ‘Spiritual Liberty”, and obviously, freedom of thought and word is gradually unfolding in various social, cultural, scientific, and philosophical activities in this confused world, beyond the barriers of dogmatic despotism at all levels of command.
The attunement to that call, becomes like a searchlight, illuminating the path, when humbly following the traces of the footsteps of the bringer of the Message in our time, and thereby, keeping the standards high, following the keynote, which is “Love, Harmony and Beauty”.
Anything done with beauty is harmonious, and anything done with love is beautiful. Love, Harmony and beauty is expressed when offering a smile to a friend, or to a person who one dislikes, and even offering a smile to oneself. When one is conscious of the heart being the temple of God, one is inspired by the great privilege of becoming awakened to deep feelings of humility, which is the golden key to spirituality.
Unity of Religious and Spiritual Ideals is shining in the world today, at various levels, in social, cultural and scientific activities, although extremely negative things are happening. These Ideals, which were originally destined to offer a helping hand toward the realization of Truth, tend regrettably to be confined within rigid forms and are clad in ancestral garbs by those who assume reaching the goal by means of false pretense. Nevertheless, the more we attach our attention to creative achievements, the more we shall discover traces of the silent working of the Message in our time, and it is a sacred duty to participate in spreading great ideals, keeping the standards high, at different levels of responsibilities.
Ancient Sufi Esoteric schools, which can be traced as far back as the time of Abraham and even earlier, blossomed all down the ages. In Arabia they were known for their esoteric teachings. In Ancient Persia, literature, poetry and music were their sources of inspiration. In India, the esoteric Schools were mostly dedicated to meditation. However, the term Sufi, which means wisdom, does not refer to a new religion, nor to a cult, nor to a doctrine, nor to a dogmatic institution. Sufism is the religion of the heart, and it has always been related to wisdom, ever since wisdom was wisdom.
Wisdom also refers to making every effort to raise human understanding to a level of spiritual awakening, which is the outcome of the purification of the mind from the limitation of traditional barriers, as well as from one’s own pre-conceived ideas. Wisdom cannot be the property of a chosen transmission, nor can it be defined because of its universal nature. Therefore it is wise to avoid making a display of speculative concepts, only using the language of the heart when communicating with others, with compassion for the misunderstandings that divide the earnest followers of religious traditions all down the ages, perpetuating thereby the specter of fanaticism, even in this age, where science has successfully catapulted factual knowledge as far as the surface of the moon.
As we march courageously onwards through the darkness of human ignorance, holding steadfastly the banner of Unity of Religious Ideals, we may discover that Truth could be interpreted as being an invitation to become living examples of an Altar of all religious beliefs, communicating with each other in accordance with each other’s understanding.
There is only one Truth: the nobility of the heart, when the “I” consciousness is transcended, awakened to the divine heritage seen in modesty, kindness, graciousness, and humility. This is the path of the wise who recognize that all that, which they know, is in reality just a spark of eternity. The self, constantly identifies itself with its limited mental and physical status without realizing that the all-pervading immanence of life is that indescribable power, which is constantly manifesting behind all impulses.
Spirituality does not correspond to physical strength or to psychological definitions, but it does reveal itself as self-respect, as well as respect for others. A spiritual person has a natural inclination for moral integrity and self-discipline, resisting temptations that could offer a negative example to others. Spirituality is characteristic of a feeling heart, which is constantly pouring out inner emotions, which have an uplifting influence upon those who are responsive to the magnetism of their personality.
As we know from fairy tales, there is a magic formula, which can be used to turn base metal into gold. This mystical illustration symbolizes so beautifully the principles followed in the inner school of the Sufis, where serious work is done in transforming the grossness of one’s ego into a humble attitude, with respect for the privilege of one’s divine heritage, radiating love upon all who come one’s way. That divine heritage is discovered along a very thorny path called the “Art of Personality”. The journey on this path requires constant efforts made to forge one’s character into a true example of Love, Harmony and Beauty. One can be a bringer of happiness when overlooking that which is disturbing, when others are not in agreement with one’s own thinking, and by working on one’s own shortcomings rather than judging others.
Even in a fall there is a hidden stepping-stone, by which one might rise above one’s shortcomings, helping indirectly the tuning of one’s ego to a higher pitch, discovering thereby, sparks of hidden guidance. There is no experience in life, which is really worthless, and not one moment is really wasted, providing one is wise enough to carefully assemble the elements of past memories, seeing guidance in these precious stepping stones, which can be available for the accomplishment of one’s life purpose. Any role that one performs in the play of life, soon becomes intoxicating, and under that spell one cherishes the illusions of the game, as opposed to unlimited Truth. The Soul is, however, the true spectator of all events, reflected as images upon a mirror, without causing any permanent alteration to the screen, leaving the surface of the mirror immaculately pure.
Every effort made toward the fulfillment of one’s life’s purpose, whether material or spiritual, brings one, step by step to the ultimate goal. This process could be seen as a humble contribution to the fulfillment of the Divine goal, since the entire creation is in a constant state of formation according to a central theme.
The purpose of life is not only to rise to the greatest heights, but to also dive deeply into the deepest depths, whereby the Self is lost, but finds itself again as a result to the widening of the consciousness, just as the seed finds the fulfillment of its purpose, reaching deep into the earth as a root, and simultaneously rising above the surface, as a plant spreading out in full blossom under the rays of the sun.
The mind could be seen as a sophisticated computer where numberless programs can be installed. These can be downloaded at will, or they might flash unwillingly at anytime. The processing of these programs could be called mental activity. Among the various thought - programs, some can be understood as being logical, whereas as others require a deeper insight, because they proceed in attunement with the feeling heart.
Reasoning, which requires a touch of wisdom as well as the correct knowledge of facts, could be explained as being an evaluating process in view of decisions to be make or actions to be taken. Reasoning does also require the abilities of concentration and co-ordinate thinking.
Concentration could be understood as being a process where the thought is held under control, fixing it upon a chosen object, color or sound, or an association of these. This specific discipline also requires the ability to di-concentrate, in order to secure the mind from undesirable thoughts.
Imagination, which is the secret of creative accomplishments can be developed with the help of visualizing sceneries, where shapes, colors, sounds and movements are inwardly seen in a waken state as opposed to dreams.
Observation is the process of receiving impressions through the five senses, which are the windows through which the consciousness is fully aware of all experiences, and is therefore the door - opener to knowledge of things and happenings. Observation is obviously at the origin of all decision made and actions taken.
Memory is the storehouse, where past impressions are preserved along various periods of time, depending upon the intensity of the experience.
Long years impressions can suddenly re-appear on the screen of the mind for no logical reason, resulting from indirect associations with circumstance.
Meditation cannot be called thought conditioning, but rather a sublimated state of mind, where both the mind and the feeling heart are enlightened by all-pervading consciousness