Make your own free website on

Stages on the Path of Realization

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Part Four

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.

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

To Part Five

Back to Islamic and Sufi Masters