Topic May

The Desire for Peace - 2

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

the Purpose of Life

(see also counsellor)

You can listen to all themes here

The human being who lacks peace, with all his possessions, the property of this earth or quality of mind, is poor even with both. He has not got that wealth which may be called divine and without which the life of a human being is useless. For true life is in peace, a life which will not be robbed by death. The secret of mysticism, the mystery of philosophy, all is to be attained after the attainment of peace.

You cannot refuse to recognize the divine in a person who is a person of peace. It is not the talkative, it is not the argumentative one, who proves to be wise. He may have intellect, worldly wisdom, and yet may not have pure intelligence, which is real wisdom. True wisdom is to be found in the peaceful, for peacefulness is the sign of wisdom. It is the peaceful one who is observant; it is peace that gives him the capacity to observe keenly. It is the peaceful one, therefore, who can conceive, for peace helps him to conceive. It is the peaceful who can contemplate; one who has no peace cannot contemplate properly. Therefore all things pertaining to inner progress in life depend upon peace.

And now the question is, what makes us lack peace? The answer is, love of sensation. A person who is always seeking to experience life in movement, in activity, in whatever form, wants more and more of that experience. In the end he becomes dependent upon the life which is outside, and so he loses in the end his peace, the peace which is his real self. When a person says about someone, ‘That person has lost his soul’, the soul is not lost; the soul has lost its peace. Absorption in the outer life, every moment of the day and night, thinking and worrying and working and fighting, struggling along, in the end robs us of our soul. Even if we gain as the price of that fighting something which is outside ourselves, someone who is a greater fighter still will snatch it from our grasp one day.

We might ask if it is not our necessity in life that keeps us absorbed in the outer life and does not give us a moment to experience peace. In answer to this I must say: suppose the outer life has taken ten hours of the day, you still have two hours; if sleep has taken ten hours of the night, you still have two hours to spare. To attain peace, what we have to do is to seek that rhythm which is in the depth of our being. It is just like the sea: the surface of the sea is ever-moving; the depth of the sea is still. And so it is with our life. If our life is thrown into the sea of activity, it is on the surface; we still live in the profound depths, in that peace. But the thing is to become conscious of that peace which can be found within ourselves.

It is this which can bring us the answer to all our problems. If not, when we want to solve our problem, there is another difficult problem coming. There is no end to our problems; there is no end to the difficulties of the outer life. And if we get excited over them, we shall never be able to solve them. Some think, ‘We might wait; perhaps the conditions will become better; we shall see then what to do.’ But when will the conditions become better? They will become still worse!

Whether the conditions become better or worse, the first thing is to seek the kingdom of God within ourselves, in which there is our peace. As soon as we have found that, we have found our support, we have found our self. And in spite of all the activity and movement on the surface we shall be able to keep that peace undisturbed if only we hold it fast by becoming conscious of it.

Peace will not come to a lover's heart

so long as he will not become love itself.


Vadan - Chalas

(Maheboob Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan‘s brother, has composed music to a row of aphorisms of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the middle of last century, as this ‚Every Step in Thy Path‘. Mohammed Ali Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan’s cousin, has sung this song around the year 1956 in a concert in Zürich – here you can listen to it)

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