Forum December

The Imperfection of Another (1)

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Sufi Teachings - The Soul's Desire

(see also topic)

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The desire of the soul is always for the right way, not for the way of darkness. We do not like to be without a candle, a light in our house. We like a good light; and this shows that the desire of the soul is for light.

What is lacking with a human being is that he knows only the passing, the momentary joys, and does not know the greater joys. And for experiencing a passing joy, a joy that lasts only for a few minutes or for a few days, there will be a bill to be paid; and the paying of that bill may take ten years. Then a human being discovers that this passing joy is not what he really wants, that he wants something better, something more lasting. He seeks something else and turns to Inner Life. But the Inner Life may not be for him. He may not be ready or prepared for it. Then he turns to religion, but its dogma and ceremonial do not necessarily satisfy his mind. If he is a devout person he may be satisfied, otherwise he will not.

The work of the Sufis is to help those who are seeking for something else. First there is the improvement of bodily health. Very often weakness or ill-health of the body is the cause of the poor condition of the mind and soul. A very weak human being, however intelligent he may be, will give way whenever a strong man addresses him in a commanding tone.

In our fondness for animal food we have gone so far that we do not enquire whether the animal whose flesh we eat was in good condition, nor what were its qualities; yet these act upon us. We see that plants which are supplied with certain substances acquire certain qualities. So it is with animals and fish; and so it is with us. We have only to look at the condition of the Brahmin, who eats nothing but vegetables, and only certain vegetables at that, and who fasts a great deal. His intelligence is very clear.

We see that the effect of opium and of alcohol is so strong that the most intelligent person becomes weak when he takes these; even tea and coffee have an effect. There are many Sufis who while doing certain inner practices do not eat at all, not in obedience to any principle but in order to make the body a fitting instrument.

The founders of the various religions have always prescribed what should be eaten and what avoided, as they knew the effect of different foods. As to the question of vegetarianism and the killing of animals, there are two things to be considered in this connection. One is harmlessness. It is a human tendency to hurt and harm, and we have inherited it from the lower creation. That tendency prompts us to kill defenseless creatures and use them as food, in spite of all the vegetables, cereals, fruits, and nuts which nature has provided for him.

Extend your help willingly to those in need.

Do not look down upon the one who looks up to you.

Judge not another by your own law.


Hazrat Inayat Khan: Vadan - Copper Rules

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