Hazrat Inayat Khan
In character-building it is most necessary that one should learn how to
face the world, the world where one meets with sorrows and troubles and
pleasures and pains. It is very difficult for one to hide them from the
world, and at the same time a wise person is not meant to show all he
feels nor to show at every moment what he feels. The ordinary person,
like a machine, reacts in answer to every outer influence and inner
impulse; and in this way he very often cannot keep to the law of the
music of life.
Life to a wise person is music; and in that symphony he has to play a
certain part. If one were feeling so low that one's heart was sounding a
lower pitch, and the demand of life at that moment was that one should
voice a higher pitch, then one would feel that one had failed in that
music in which one was meant to play one's part fittingly. This is the
test by which you can distinguish the old soul and the child soul. The
child soul will give way to every feeling; the old soul will strike the
higher note in spite of every difficulty.
There are moments when laughter must be kept back, and there are times
when tears must be withheld. And those who have arrived at the stage
where they can act efficiently the part that they are meant to act in
this life's drama, have even power over the expression of their face;
they can even turn their tears into smiles, or their smiles into tears.
One may ask, is it not hypocrisy not to be natural? But he who has
control over his nature is more natural; he is not only natural, he is
the master of nature, while the one who lacks power over nature, in
spite of his naturalness, is weak.
Also, it must be understood that real civilization means the art of
life. What is that art? It is knowing the music of life. Once a soul has
awakened to the continual music of life, that soul will consider it as
his responsibility, as his duty, to play his part in outer life, even if
it be contrary to his inner condition for the moment. One must know at
every moment in one's daily life: what does life demand of me, what does
it ask of me, and how shall I answer the demand of my life? This
requires one to be awakened fully to life's conditions. One must have
insight into human nature, and one must be able to know one's own
condition fully. If one says, 'I am as I am; if I am sad, I am sad; if I
am glad, I am glad,' that will not do. Even the earth will not bear the
person who will not answer life's demands. The sky will not tolerate
that person, and the sphere will not accommodate him who is not ready to
give what life demands of him. If this is true, then it is best when it
is easily done and willingly done.
In the orchestra there is a conductor and there are many who play the
music;and every player of an instrument has to fulfil his part in the
performance. If he does not do it rightly, it is his fault. The
conductor will not listen if he says he did not do it properly because
he was sad or because he was too glad. The conductor of the orchestra is
not concerned with his sadness or his gladness. He is concerned with the
part that the particular musician must play in the whole symphony. This
is the nature of our lives. The further we advance in our part in this
orchestra, the more efficiently we perform our part in life's symphony.
In order to be able to have this control over oneself, what is
necessary? We must have control over our inner self, because every
outward manifestation is nothing but a reaction of the inner condition.
Therefore the first control that one has to gain is over one's own self,
one's inner self, which is done by strengthening the will, and also by
understanding life better.
Posted with permission:
A Cherag's Library
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