The Inner Life
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Wisdom only appears when the mind is purified from dogmas, speculative theories and
preconceived ideas. The many names, forms and doctrines which have been applied all down the
ages are like veils covering the phenomena of the spirit of guidance, which manifests constantly at
every level of human understanding.
The Inner Life: Part Two
For example, this inner guidance is constantly present in
nature's mysteries, communicating a never-ending message of Love, providing one's attunement to
that message awakens one's heart to a broader outlook, beyond the limitations of an individual
perspective. And when one offers to partake in carrying the burden of others' misunderstandings,
one then uses the language of the heart to communicate sympathy and dedication to others in
support of their various interpretations of the one and only Truth.
Among the numberless purposes in our lives, one might take for granted that the ideals which
secure a balanced condition of body, mind, heart and soul are all those which are related to life
itself, such as living life fully, the urge for knowledge and the longing for happiness. As to whether a material ideal could lead to inner realization, one might say that from the point of view of the Divine Purpose, even a material ideal could very well be the fulfillment of a spiritual one, because every effort made, whether material or spiritual, brings one consciously or unconsciously nearer to the ultimate goal. Each small step may be seen as a humble contribution to the fulfillment of the Divine Purpose, which could be understood as a constant state of formation inspired by a central theme, life in all its infinite variety.
The purpose of life is not only found in rising to the greatest heights, but also in diving deep into the deepest depths, whereby the self is lost, but paradoxically finds itself again in the widening of its consciousness, just like the seed which, after having been buried under the earth, finds the fulfillment of its purpose in rising as a plant and spreading out in full bloom under the rays of the sun. This teaches us that there is no experience in life which is worthless. There is no single moment which is really wasted, providing one is wise enough to carefully assemble the bits and pieces of past memories and discover in these as many memories as may be needed on the path of inner awakening.
The self, 'the consciousness,' rejoices or suffers unrest from positive or negative thoughts or
actions, but when losing hold over itself and focusing all its energy on the Divine Presence, it
becomes radiant. The self is only a channel, however; it is the soul which is ultimately the life within,
and the spectator of happenings; and like a mirror, impressions reflected upon the pure surface of
the soul leave no trace whatsoever.
The path to the development of inner consciousness is a thorny one, and it can only be said that this is truly awakened when one chooses to forge one's character so as to be an example to others. This art of personality teaches one that happiness is only there when one strives to become an inspiration of happiness to others, overlooking all that disturbs one, such as opinions which are not in accordance with one's own thinking. At the same time, one must try to rise above one's own failures, knowing that in every fall there is a hidden stepping stone to success, providing one is willing to attune oneself to the rhythm of all those who cross one's path, and in whom one might eventually discover a spark of hidden guidance.
The inner life is a journey which requires thoughtful planning and constant dedication so as to avoid a regrettable return to the starting point. Among the obligations which pull one back during the journey, one which is by no means to be underestimated is the debt owed to those left behind. The fulfillment of one's obligations is not only essential from a material point of view but is also a most sacred duty on the inner path, and as such it is the first step to be made toward God-consciousness.
The inner life can be described as the realization of one's nothingness when the heart becomes
empty of the self and at the same time full of the object of one's ideal. However, this state becomes
more and more elusive, owing to the constant interference of the ego which bars the way to further
progress on the path of inner realization.
Back to Islamic and Sufi Masters