Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Intelligence and Heart
The privilege of being human
The Art of Being
Chapter 3
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


Character-building is much greater and more important than the building of a house, a city, a nation, an empire, a race. One might ask, "Why is it so important? It is only the building of our little self which is so small". I shall reply that many have built up an edifice, a nation, a race, and they are gone, no memory of them is left. The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building in the world. Those who see it - artists, architects - have such a great admiration for it, but that is all. No one cares who made it, no one's heart is moved on account of the builder.


To this day Hindus repeat early in the morning, "Rain, Ram". The Buddhists call on the Lord Buddha, and the Christians on Christ. Why? Only because of their ideal personality, of their magnetism. The words of Christ spoken so many hundreds of years ago are remembered to-day because of his personality. It is not spirituality alone: there have been many madzubs; they were very spiritual, they were with God. They have gone and no one remembers them. It is not piety: there are many pious people sitting in mosques and churches turning their rosaries; their piety is for themselves, they cannot move the world. So it is not spirituality, it is not piety. What is it then? It is the development of humanity in us, and this concerns our intelligence, our heart and our mind.


It concerns the intelligence because, if we have love but not the intelligence to know the pleasure of the beloved, then we may be a great lover, but we cannot express our love adequately. It concerns the heart because, if we have intelligence but no feeling, no sympathy, we may speak very politely, we may be very polished in manner, but if there is bitterness within, if within we do not feel what we say, it would be better if we had not spoken. It concerns the mind because, if we have intelligence and feeling but no thought, we have not the manner, we are ignorant. You may know all European manners and decorum very well, but if you are sent out to the court of an Eastern king, you will be at a loss. Or you may know all the etiquette of an Eastern court, but if you come to Europe you know nothing.


It is so great a privilege to be human that we should develop our humanity, and be human in reality as well as in form. It is man who is the ideal of God. It is not the rock which does not know whether a king or a beggar stands upon it, whether a holy man or a wicked person. It is not the angels who have no heart to feel sympathy for one another; they feel the praise of God, they praise God. It is man who has been given a heart.


A Hindustani poet says, "To become nabi, ghawth, qutb is very difficult. What shall I tell you of the difficulties of life, since it is even difficult for man to become human?" To attain to spiritual grades is very difficult. We should first try to be human. To become an angel is not very difficult*. To be material is very easy. To live in the world, in all the difficulties and struggles of the world, and be human is very difficult. If we become that, then we become the miniature God on earth.




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