Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Attitude
The Smiling Forehead
Chapter 44
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


All affairs of life depend upon man's attitude, and the mechanical work that is psychologically done is such that before man steps forward to work he sees his attitude being reflected on his affair. For instance, a person starts to do something with doubt in his mind - on that affair he sees the shadow of doubt. When a person wants to do something which he knows is not quite just - before he begins to work he sees the phantom of injustice before him.


The heart of man, as the Sufis say, is a mirror. All that is reflected in this mirror is projected upon other mirrors. When man has doubt in his heart that doubt is reflected upon every heart with which he comes in contact. When he has faith that faith is reflected in every heart. Can there be a more interesting study and a greater wonder than to observe this keenly? As soon as man is able to watch this phenomenon in life, it is just like a magic lantern that makes all clear to him. In this light, how foolish would appear the cleverness and the crooked ways of the dishonest who for a moment thinks that he is profiting by them, and who for a moment may seem to be benefited by them.


In this life on earth, in which we cannot depend even on the morrow and in which worldly gains are snatched from one hand to an other, it is not worthwhile making the heart reflect an element that is foreign to it. That which is comforting and consoling through all this life of falsehood is only the feeling of purity in one's own heart, when one feels that one's own attitude in life is right and just. The one who experiences this will certainly say that it is greater than all the wealth of the world. It is the knowledge of this philosophy which seems to be lost from the heart of humanity at the present time. It is therefore that all things go wrong. If there is any preventive which can be used against it, it is to make one's own life as much as one can an example of one's ideal - although to make it perfectly so is most difficult. There is nothing like trying, and having failed once, another time one may be successful.


Someone may say, "Yes, for certain errors made here suffering has now come; I shall bear it". No doubt he is brave and just, but personally I would prefer the man who would resist suffering by realizing that his birthright, as a divine right, is happiness alone. Pain and suffering are foreign to his soul; they do not belong to it. He does not want it, he will not have it.



Question: Is suffering necessary for our evolution?

Answer: Suffering is helpful for evolution, not necessary. Therefore we must not seek suffering in order to evolve. We must avoid it. To a wise person every failure is a teaching, but it is better if he avoids learning in this way.


Question: Would it be possible to gain the same degree of evolution in life without suffering?

Answer: Certainly possible, but most difficult.




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