Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Following the message
The unity of religious ideals
Part I, Book 5 chapter III
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


There is a sentence in the Bible : "Knock, and there is an answer for you". The Message is the answer to the cry of the individual and collective souls. The voice of God is speaking all the time, but no one listens. Therefore God has manifested as man, that He might speak with a yet louder voice. But then also man does not listen. In the time of Christ the inspiration was there, the voice was there and the divine power, but how few were they who listened and understood! It has always been so, and it will always be so.

It is no wonder that Jesus had so few disciples, and even among them perhaps no one who had a true understanding of the Master. In the hour when Muhammad was passing, when hundreds of his disciples were there, he pointed out one and said : "I am wisdom and Ali is the door." Great perplexity has arisen as to why this was so, when the Master had the power that could make everyone understand. It is not meant to be so. Each has his own puzzle to solve. How uninteresting the world would be if all men were perfect. It would be like a piano in which all the notes were the same.

Whenever the Spirit of God has come forth in its true form, the world has been against it. Why has this been so. It is because man has two sides to his nature, one false and the other real. Before the true Messenger can penetrate to the reality of man's being, he first touches the false or unreal part, and that revolts. And even in the case of a man who does not revolt, though the light reaches him, yet his heart is covered and the ligth only touches the cover. That man is attracted, yet he doubts.

There are egos who are not willing and ready to accept all that attracts them. The more something attracts them, the more they rebel aainst it, doubting if it were not a temptation. Even if they saw an ideal in a thing that attracted them, they consider the tendency of being attracted a weakness in them. There are egos who refuse to accept what their friend has accepted, and refuse to admire fully what that friend has admired. Even if they wished to take something they saw that their friend had taken, they will refuse to take it. For the tendency of that ego is to swim against the tides, it is an ego of strength. Against this strength Christ has said : "Blessed are the poor in spirit".

It is the same strength of mentality which has in most parts stood against the Messengers, building a wall of fortification between the Messenger and the souls who long for guidance. There are those who are lighted candles, they can light other candles, they are those who can inspire others. But the other candles must be of wax; if they are of steel, they cannot be lighted. The heart must be like wax, it must melt; if it is like steel, it cannot be illumined.

Absence of the ideal makes it easier for the idealistic devotee to make his ideal greater, but presence of the ideal most often hinders the devotee in strengthening his ideal. For the ideal that grows and expands in the imagination of the devotee will always excel the ideal personality which is living on earth the life of limitations.

The souls who believe in a Messenger because of his miraculous powers, or because they see the belief of his adherents, are the followers, but the souls to whom the presence of the Messenger is the evidence and his words are a proof, and to whom their own belief is their conviction, are the foundation of the world's new Temple.

The disciples are to the teacher as all objects of heaven and earth to the sun. Some are responsive to te light of the sun and become hot and cold. Some grow and thrive and bring out their colour and fragrance. Some close their eyes and become blind in the light of the sun. Some begin their life's activities as the sun rises, and some await the rising of the sun during dark, depressing night, in pain and suffering. Some look forwards to the clearing of the clouds and to see the smiles of the sun. But the stars and planets in heaven are still more responsive and connected with the special current of the sun, and so are the disciples who are close to the spirit of the teacher. They are his special apostles, they give out the light of the sun that is reflected in their heart.

There are three stages of action which the sincere followers of the Message have to pass through, and the difficulty is that each stage has the tendency to keep the followers of the Message back from going to the next stage. The reason is that in every stage, that the sincere follower of the Message has to go through in his life, there is no end of interest and happiness. Another reason is that one stage is quite different from another stage, and therefore each stage is a kind of contrary action to the previous stage.

These three stages may be called receiving the Message - assimilating the Message - representing the Message.
For a sincere mureed the first stage can be so interesting that he may think it never enough : that endless knowledge. And the heart of the seeker after truth which is never full - fill it and there is still a place to fill - may receive for ages, and it is yet never enough. When the receiver of the Message is in that stage, then the activity of the further stages remains unaccomplished.

For the next stage, which is the stage of assimilation, is most necessary. Very few can imagine how long it takes for the spirit to assimilate knowledge of truth. One assimilates it by the power of contemplation. By pondering over the subjects that one hears, by practising the teachings in one's life, by looking at the world from the point of view which has been taught, by observing one thing in its thousand different positions, one assimilates.

Many, before assimilating the knowledge, wish to reason it, wish to discuss it, wish to justify it and to see how it fits in with their own preconceived ideas. In this way they disturb the digestive fire of the spirit, for as the mechanism of the body is always working to help to assimilate the food, so the spirit is constantly working to assimilates all that one learns through life. Therefore, it is a matter of patience and it is taking life easily without troubling the mind too much over things, and allowing the knowledge, which one has received as a food of the spirit, to have time to be assimilated. By trying to assimilate before the time, man loses his normal health. It is just like taking a drug to help digest food, which is not beneficial in the end.

But the third process is also necessary, and those who care little for the third stage, the stage or representing, miss a geat deal in life. A person who has seen something beautiful, who has heard something harmonious, who has tasted something delicious, who has smelt something fragrant alone, has enjoyed it, and yet not completely. The complete joy is in sharing one's joy with another. The selfish one who enjoys himself and does not care for others - whatever he enjoys, things of the earth or things of Heaven, his enjoyment is not complete. So it is in this third stage that the following of the Message is fulfilled : when a soul has pondered upon it and has passed the same blessing to the others.



Retour au texte en français


Présentation La Musique du Message Accueil Textes et Conférences Lexique