Counsellor October

Four Paths Human Beings Take - 2

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Alchemy of Happiness

(see also Topic)

You can listen to all themes here

3.Make the Best of the Present:

The third purpose we choose in life is to make the best of the present. It is the point of view of Omar Khayyam who told one to ‘Drink the cup of life just now.’ There is a quatrain in the Rubaiyyat where he says:

O my Beloved, fill the cup that clears.

Today of past regrets and future fears.

Tomorrow! why, tomorrow I may be

Myself with yesterday's sev'n thousand years!

It is the point of view of a person who says, ‘If I was great in the past, what does it matter? The past is forgotten. And the future who knows what will come out of it? No one knows his future. Let us make the best of this moment, let us make life as happy as we can.’ It is not a bad point of view. It is a philosophical point of view. Those who adhere to it are happy and give happiness to others.

No doubt all these different points of view have a wrong side also. But when we look at their right side there is something in it to appreciate.

People nowadays use a phrase: ‘He is a jolly good fellow.’ In songs and on different occasions this phrase is used to show appreciation for that tendency of mind which tries to make this moment happy. It is difficult, very difficult, and not everyone can manage to do it; for life has so many conflicts, so many troubles. We have to face so many difficulties in life that to be able to keep on smiling is not everyone's achievement. In order to keep smiling a person must either be very foolish and not feel or think about anything, but just close both his eyes and his heart to the world, or a person must be as high as the souls meant by the story of the miracle of Christ walking upon the water. There are some who sink and some who swim, and others who walk over the water. Those who are drowned in life's misery are those who cannot get out of it; they are tied down in the depths of life; they cannot get out and they are miserable there; they are the ones who sink. Then there are others who are swimming; they are those who strive through the conflicting conditions of life in order some day to reach the shore.

There are, however, others who walk upon life. Theirs is the life which is symbolically expressed in the miracle of Christ walking upon the water. It is like having in the world and not being of the world, touching the world and not being touched by it. It needs a clear perception of life, keen intelligence and thorough understanding, together with great courage, strength, and bravery. By this I do not mean to say that the man who makes the best of each present moment is the same as the man whom we call happy-go-lucky, the simple man. That man is the one who lives in another world; he is not aware of life's conditions, he is not awake to the conflicting influences of life; if he is happy it is not surprising, for he is happiness himself. I mean those who are awakened to life's conditions, those who are tender and sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. For them it is very difficult to go on living and at the same time to keep smiling. If a human being can do it, it is certainly a great thing.

He who realizes the effect of his deed upon himself

begins to open his outlook on life.


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