Quotes by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
"Mankind is so absorbed in life’s pleasures and pain that a man has hardly a moment to think what a privilege it is to be human. Life in the world contains, no doubt, more pain than pleasure and that which one considers to be pleasure costs so much that, when it is weighed against the pain it costs, it also becomes pain. As man is so absorbed in his worldly life he traces nothing but pain and complaint in life and, until he changes his outlook, he cannot understand the privilege of being human."
"How can we attain innocence? Innocence is not foreign to our nature; we all have been innocent, and by being conscious of that nature we develop it. By admiring, by appreciating that nature we develop it too, for all things which we admire become impressions. Those who have a bad nature but have collected good impressions will in time turn their nature.
During my travels in India, the purpose of which was to pay homage to the sages of that land, what appealed most to me was that the greater the soul, the greater was his innocence. It is innocence one sees in them, not simplicity. The one who is simple does not understand. We see this in everyday life: he closes his eyes. Innocence is to understand and to rises above things. Every person sees another through his own glasses. Prejudice often stands between them; for insight, unity is necessary. When innocence is developed one has attained spirituality. A man becomes wise after having been intellectual, when he rises above the intellect. Then he sees cause behind cause and understands the way of his enemy."
"How many times do we become troublesome to ourselves and others by our lack of human qualities? How many times are we annoyed with our own self? To become human is the most difficult thing. Hali, a great Indian poet, says, "What can there be easy when it is even difficult for man to become man?" How much do we have to learn before we can say that we are truly human!
If we cannot be trustworthy with our surroundings, with those who rely upon us, we are not human. If we cannot be self-sacrificing with our surroundings, our relations, we are not human. If we compare ourselves keenly with the animals we surely shall see what we must be in order to be human. We must have tolerance; the animal has no tolerance. We must be true; the animal has no truth. We must keep our promise; the animal cannot do it. We must share with others; the animal does not share, it sits beside its plate of food and, even if it has eaten enough, it will not let others come near. We must be accommodating; the animal does not accommodate others. We must have sympathy; the animal has no sympathy. We should give up those actions that give us a momentary joy, but of which we repent afterwards. Sometimes we do things of which for the moment we are glad, and then for years we repent. We should check the animal passions that carry us away. There is a great reward for it; for every little attempt to overcome, for every little check, there is a great reward."
"We must not always try to get away from difficulties, for in the end we shall not manage to get away from them. Life on earth is difficult, and with the evolution of the earth, it will be even more difficult. Every day it will become more difficult. We can picture the world as a human being, a human being making his life from infancy to old age. In infancy, however dependent the infant is, yet he is a sovereign, quite happy in the arms of the mother, in the care of the father; nothing to worry him, nothing to trouble him. There is no attachment, no enmity. He is as happy as the angels in heaven. And so was the beginning of the world, the beginning of the human race especially. The Hindus have called it the Golden Age.
And then comes youth. Youth with its spring and delicacy and with its responsibility. Youth has its own trials, its own experiences, and its own fears. This unsettled condition of the earth was called by the Hindus, the Silver Age, which means the age with all the treasures, the springtime of youth.
But then as life goes forward, the world comes to the stage of what may be called middle age. The age of cares, of worries, of anxieties, of responsibilities. The Hindus have named it the Copper Age. As life advances, so it has much to bear. A fruitful tree, with the weight of fruits, becomes bent, and so it is with progress. With every step forward, there are obligations and responsibilities."
The Message Volumes: Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
"The focus is not to do remarkable things but to do ordinary things with the conviction of their immense importance." (Teilhard de Chardin)
"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride." (William James)
"Why is it possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life?"(Walker Percy)
"It is when I am most nothing that I become truly a man." (Sophocles)
"A new philosophy, a way of life is not given for nothing. It has to be paid dearly for, and only acquired with much patience and effort."