Stages on the Path of Realization
Hazrat Inayat Khan
There is only one thing that can be said, that when a person
has touched that stage which is called perfection, his thought,
speech, action, his atmosphere, everything becomes productive of
God; he spreads God everywhere. Even if he did not speak, still
he would spread God; if he did not do anything, still he would
bring God. And thus God-realized ones bring to the world the
living God. At present there exists in the world only a belief in
God; God exists in imagination, in the ideal. It is such a soul
which has touched divine Perfection that brings to the earth a
living God, who without him would remain only in the heavens.
To Part Five
Shatter your ideals upon the rock of truth.
In order to attain to God-consciousness the first condition is
to make God a reality, so that He is no longer an imagination. No
sooner is the God ideal brought to life than the worshipper of
God turns into truth.
Make your God a reality, and God will make you the truth.
The first necessity is the belief that there is such a Being as
God, in whom goodness, beauty, and greatness are perfect. In the
beginning it will seem nothing but a belief; but in time, if kept
in sincerity and faith, this belief will become like the egg of
the Phoenix, out of which the magic bird is born.... Every soul
seeks for happiness, and after pursuing all the objects which for
the moment seem to give happiness, it finds out that nowhere is
there perfect happiness except in God. This happiness cannot come
by merely believing in God. Believing is a process, and by this
process the God within is awakened and made living; it is the
feeling that God is living in one which gives happiness.
It is not merely belief; belief is only the first step. God is
the key to truth, God is the stepping-stone to self-realization,
God is the bridge which unites the outer life with the inner
life, bringing about perfection. It is by understanding this that
the secret of the God-ideal is to be realized.
The ideal becomes a stepping-stone to the higher knowledge of
God. The man who has not enough imagination to make a God, who is
not open to the picture of God presented by someone else, remains
without one,for he finds no stepping-stone to that knowledge
which his soul longs for but which his doubts deny.
There are many who feel it would be deceiving themselves to
make a God out of their imagination, someone who is not seen in
the objective world. The answer is that our whole life is based
and constructed upon imagination, and if there is one thing in
this objective world which is lasting, it is imagination. The man
who is incapable of imagination, who does not value it, is devoid
of art and poetry, of music, manners and culture. He can best be
compared with a rock, which never troubles to imagine.
And yet, with all faults and weaknesses, the imaginative person
is the one who is ever able to make a conception of God and of
the hereafter. The one who has no imagination is not able to
reach the zenith of the spiritual and religious ideal. Often an
intellectual or materialistic person without imagination stands
on the earth like an animal compared with a bird: when the bird
flies up the animal looks at it and wishes to fly, but it cannot,
it has no wings. The imagination therefore is as two wings
attached to the heart in order to enable it to soar upwards.
Those who think that God is not outside but only within are as
wrong as those who believe that God is not within but only
outside. In fact, God is both inside and outside, but it is very
necessary to begin by believing in the God outside. From our
childhood we have learned everything from outside. We learn what
the eye is by looking at the eyes of others; everything we see in
ourselves we have always learned from outside. So even in order
to learn to see God we must begin by seeing God outside: as the
Creator, the Judge, the Knower of all things, the Forgiver; and
when we have understood Him better, the next step is that the God
whom we have always seen outside we now also find within, and
that completes our worship. If we have only found Him outside
then we are His worshippers, but we remain separate from Him and
there is no communion, which is the purpose of life.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
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