Counsellor November

Attitude towards our Self

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Alchemy of Happiness

(see also forum)

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One aspect is our attitude towards ourselves: whether we treat ourselves as a friend or as an enemy, whether we are in harmony with ourselves or in disharmony. Not everyone is in harmony with himself, and not everyone treats himself as a friend, although he may think so. For a human being is generally his own enemy; he does not know it, but he proves it in his doings.

We read in the Qur'an, ‘Verily, a human being is foolish and cruel.’

Foolish because he does not even know his own interest, and cruel because he very often proves to be his own enemy. Apart from cruelty to others, a human being begins by being cruel to himself, and that cruelty is the cause of foolishness. He may consider himself very practical and clever, yet he often proves to be his own enemy.
As Sa'adi says: ‘My cleverness, very often thou provest to be my worst enemy.’

Worldly cleverness without faith and strength and trust is usually nothing but a delusion. It is the development of trust in the heart, the development of faith, that first gives a human being a friendly attitude to himself; and he becomes his own friend by bringing his external being into harmony with his inner being. For it is when the inner being seeks one thing, and the external being does something else, that there is disharmony in the self. When the higher self desires to go one way, and the lower self another way, then there is disharmony, the result of which is like a volcanic eruption. The two parts of his own being which should unite together in love, clash together and the result is fire.

What causes people to commit suicide? What brings illness and depression and despair? Very often a conflict which exists within ourselves, and therefore the attitude towards ourselves must first be friendly, kindly, and harmonious. Even in inner matters we should not go against ourselves.

I remember that when beginning to get interested in inner matters I once asked my teacher, ‘Murshid, do you approve of my staying up most of the night for my vigils?’ ‘Whom do you torture?’ said my murshid, ‘Yourself? Is God pleased with it?’ I had not another word to say.


The God who is intelligible to a human being

is made by the human being himself,

but what is beyond

his intelligence is the reality.

 

Gayan - Alankaras


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