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Quotes from

THE INNER LIFE


Hazrat Inayat Khan




















It i s the bal ance whi ch enabl es man to stand the strai n of thi s j ourney and
permi ts hi m to go forward, maki ng hi s path easy. Never i magi ne for one
moment that those who show l ack of bal ance can ever proceed further on
the spi ri tual j ourney, however greatl y i n appearance they may seem to be
spi ri tual l y i ncl i ned. It i s onl y the bal anced ones who are capabl e of
experi enci ng the external l i fe as ful l y as the i nner l i fe, to enj oy thought as
much as feel i ng, to rest as wel l as to act. The center of l i fe i s rhythm, and
rhythm causes bal ance. (p. 5)
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By i nner l i fe i s meant a l i fe di rected towards perfecti on, whi ch may be
cal l ed the perfecti on of l ove, harmony, and beauty; i n the words of the
orthodox, di rected toward God. (p. 6)

What gi ves [the great sai nts and sages] thi s bal ance? It i s repose wi th
passi veness. When they stand before God they stand wi th thei r heart as an
empty cup; when they stand before God to l earn, they unl earn al l thi ngs
that the worl d has taught them; when they stand before God, thei r ego,
thei r sel f, thei r l i fe, i s no more before them. They do not thi nk of
themsel ves i n that moment wi th any desi re to be ful fi l l ed, wi th any moti ve
to be accompl i shed, wi th any expressi on of thei r own, but as empty cups
that God may fi l l thei r bei ng, that they may l ose the fal se sel f. (p. 6-7)

The work of the i nner l i fe i s to make God a real i ty, so that He i s no more
an i magi nati on; that thi s rel ati on that man has wi th God may seem to hi m
more real than any other rel ati on i n thi s worl d. And when thi s happens
then al l rel ati onshi ps, however near and dear, become l ess bi ndi ng. But at
the same ti me a person does not thus become col d, he becomes more
l ovi ng. (p. 8)

You woul d scarcel y bel i eve i t i f I were to tel l you that duri ng four years of
the presence of my Murshi d [(spi ri tual gui de)], hardl y more than once or
twi ce di d I have a conversati on on spi ri tual matters. Hi s conversati on
was l i ke that of every other person, he spoke on everythi ng bel ongi ng to
thi s worl d, never a spi ri tual conversati on, nor any speci al show of pi ety, or
spi ri tual i ty, and yet hi s atmosphere, the voi ce of hi s soul and hi s presence
reveal ed al l that was hi dden i n hi s heart. (p. 14)


Those who are God-real i zed and those who have touched wi sdom speak
very l i ttl e of the subj ect. It i s those who do not know who try to di scuss
i t, not because they know, but because they themsel ves have doubts. When
there i s knowl edge there i s sati sfacti on, there i s no tendency towards
di spute. When one di sputes, i t i s because there i s somethi ng not sati sfi ed.
(14)

Man has ei ther to real i ze hi msel f as somethi ng, or as nothi ng. In thi s
real i zati on of nothi ngness there i s spi ri tual i ty. (14)

In order to attai n to spi ri tual knowl edge, i n order to become consci ous of
the i nner l i fe, one does not need to l earn very much, because here he has
to know what he al ready knows. Onl y, he has to di scover i t hi msel f. For
hi s understandi ng of spi ri tual knowl edge he does not need the knowl edge
of anythi ng except hi msel f. (15)

The true l over of God keeps hi s l ove si l entl y hi dden i n hi s heart, l i ke a
seed sown i n the ground, and i f the seedl i ng grows, i t grows i n hi s acti on
towards hi s fel l ow-man. He cannot act except wi th ki ndness, he cannot
feel anythi ng but forgi veness; every movement he makes, everythi ng he
does, speaks of hi s l ove, but not hi s l i ps. (15)

In the i nner l i fe the greatest pri nci pl e that one shoul d observe i s to be
unassumi ng, qui et, wi thout any show of wi sdom, wi thout any
mani festati on of l earni ng, wi thout any desi re to l et anyone know how far
one has advanced, not even l etti ng onesel f know how far one has gone.
The task to be accompl i shed i s the enti re forgetti ng of onesel f and
harmoni zi ng wi th one s fel l owman; acti ng i n agreement wi th al l , meeti ng
everyone on hi s own pl ane, speaki ng to everyone i n hi s own tongue,
answeri ng the l aughter of one s fri ends wi th a smi l e, and the pai n of
another wi th tears, standi ng by one s fri ends i n thei r j oy and thei r sorrow,
whatever be one s own grade of evol uti on. (15-16)





For the man who has real i zed the i nner l i fe every act i s hi s medi tati on; i f
he i s wal ki ng i n the street i t i s hi s medi tati on; i f he i s worki ng as a
carpenter, as a gol dsmi th or i n any other trade or busi ness, that i s hi s
medi tati on. He may know thi ngs and yet may not speak, for i f a man who
l i ves the i nner l i fe were to speak of hi s experi ences i t woul d confuse many
mi nds. (17)

To the man who l i ves the i nner l i fe, everythi ng that he sees becomes a
wri tten character and thi s whol e vi si bl e worl d a book. He reads i t pl ai nl y
as a l etter wri tten by hi s fri end. And besi des thi s he hears a voi ce wi thi n
whi ch becomes to hi m a l anguage. It i s an i nner l anguage; i ts words are
not the same as the words of the external l anguage. It i s a di vi ne l anguage.
It i s a l anguage wi thout words whi ch can onl y be cal l ed a voi ce, and yet i t
serves as a l anguage. It i s l i ke musi c, whi ch i s as cl ear as a l anguage to the
musi ci an. Another person enj oys musi c, but onl y the musi ci an knows
exactl y what i t says, what every note i s, how i t i s expressed and what i t
reveal s. (23-24)

The fi rst moral i s constantl y to avoi d hurti ng the feel i ngs of another. The
second moral pri nci pl e i s to avoi d al l owi ng themsel ves [(those on the
spi ri tual path)] to be affected by the constantl y j arri ng i nfl uences whi ch
every soul has to meet i n l i fe. The thi rd pri nci pl e i s to keep bal ance under
al l di fferent si tuati ons and condi ti ons whi ch upset thi s tranqui l state of
mi nd. The fourth pri nci pl e i s to l ove unceasi ngl y al l those who deserve
l ove, and to gi ve to the undeservi ng thei r forgi veness, and thi s i s
conti nual l y practi ced by them. The fi fth pri nci pl e i s detachment ami dst the
crowd, but by detachment I do not mean separati on. By detachment i s
onl y meant ri si ng above those bondages whi ch bi nd man and keep hi m
back from hi s j ourney toward the goal . (36)

There i s no greater teacher of moral s than l ove i tsel f, for the fi rst l esson
that one l earns from l ove i s: I am not, you are. When the thought of sel f
i s removed then every acti on, every deed that one performs i n l i fe,
becomes a vi rtue. (53)





The rel i gi on of the mysti cs i s a steady progress towards uni ty. In the
fi rst way he sees hi msel f i n others, i n the good, i n the bad, i n al l ; and thus
he expands the hori zon of hi s vi si on. Thi s study goes on throughout hi s
l i feti me, and as he progresses he comes cl oser to the oneness of al l thi ngs.
(53-54)

To a mysti c, i mpul se has di vi ne si gni fi cance. In every i mpul se a mysti c
sees di vi ne di recti on. The di vi ne part of the i mpul se i s i n real i zi ng i t i s
di vi ne. The moment we are consci ous of the di vi ne ori gi n of the i mpul se,
from that moment i t i s di vi ne. (57)

A mysti c removes the barri er that stands between hi msel f and another
person by tryi ng to l ook at l i fe, not onl y from hi s own poi nt of vi ew, but
al so from the poi nt of vi ew of another. (58)

Many fear that by l ooki ng at thi ngs from the poi nt of vi ew of someone
el se they l ose thei r own poi nt of vi ew, but I woul d rather l ose my poi nt of
vi ew i f i t was a wrong one. Why must one sti ck to one s poi nt of vi ew
si mpl y because i t i s one s own? (58)

A man goes agai nst what he thi nk comes from another person. And yet
everythi ng he has l earned has come from others; he has not l earned one
word from hi msel f. Al l the same he cal l s i t hi s argument, hi s i dea, and hi s
vi ew, al though i t i s no such thi ng; he has al ways taken i t from somewhere.
It i s by accepti ng thi s fact that a mysti c understands al l , and i t i s thi s
whi ch makes hi m a fri end of al l . (59)

A mysti c does not urge the knowl edge of the unknown or unseen upon
another, but he sees the hand of the unknown worki ng through al l thi ngs.
For i nstance, i f a mysti c has the i mpul se to go out and wal k towards the
north, he thi nks there must be some purpose i n i t. He does not thi nk i t i s
onl y a whi m, a fool i sh fancy, al though the reason for i t he does not know.
But he wi l l go to the north, and he wi l l try to fi nd the purpose of hi s
goi ng there i n the resul t that comes from i t. The whol e l i fe of the mysti c
i s mapped on thi s pri nci pl e, and i t i s by thi s pri nci pl e that he can arri ve at
the stage where hi s i mpul se becomes a voi ce from wi thi n that tel l s hi m
go here, go there, or l eave, move, or stay. (60)

A mysti c wi l l know most and yet wi l l act i nnocentl y. It i s the ones who
know l i ttl e who make a fuss about thei r knowl edge. The more a person
knows, the l ess he shows to others. Besi des, a mysti c i s never ready to
correct peopl e for thei r fol l i es, to condemn them for thei r errors, or to
accuse them of fool i shness. He sees so much of errors and fol l i es and
fool i shness that he never feel s i ncl i ned to poi nt them out; he j ust sees l i fe
i n i ts di fferent aspects, and understands the process an i ndi vi dual goes
through i n l i fe. It i s by mi stakes and errors that one l earns i n the end, and
a mysti c never feel s that he shoul d condemn anyone for them; he onl y
feel s that they are natural . (62-63)

Man l oves compl exi ty and cal l s i t knowl edge. (63)

Therefore a mysti c very often appears to be si mpl e, because si nceri ty
makes hi m feel i ncl i ned to express the truth i n si mpl e l anguage and i n
si mpl e i deas, and because peopl e val ue compl exi ty, they thi nk that what he
says i s very si mpl e and that i t i s somethi ng whi ch they have al ways known,
and that i s nothi ng new. (63-64)

The mysti c i s no l onger the knower of truth, but truth i tsel f. (65)

There i s one God and one truth, one rel i gi on and one mysti ci sm; cal l i t
Sufi sm or Chri sti ani ty or Hi ndui sm or Buddhi sm, whatever you wi sh. As
God cannot be di vi ded, so mysti ci sm cannot be di vi ded. (65)

The i deal of a mysti c i s never to thi nk of di sagreeabl e thi ngs. What one
does not want to happen one shoul d not thi nk of. A mysti c erases from hi s
mi nd al l the di sagreeabl e thi ngs of the past. He col l ects and keeps hi s
happy experi ences, and out of them he makes a paradi se. (72)

The truth i s l i ke a pi ano: the notes may be hi gh or l ow, one may stri ke a C
or an E, but they are al l notes. So the di fference between i deas i s l i ke that
between notes, and i t i s the same i n dai l y l i fe wi th the ri ght and the wrong
atti tude. If we have the wrong atti tude al l thi ngs are wrong, i f we have the
ri ght atti tude al l thi ngs are ri ght. The man who mi strusts hi msel f wi l l
mi strust hi s best fri end; the man who trusts hi msel f wi l l trust everyone.
(74-75)

Those who wi sh to serve the worl d i n the path of truth change compl ex
thi ngs i nto si mpl e ones. It i s i n a si mpl e form that we have to real i ze the
truth. (82)

Those who l ove thei r enemi es and yet l ack pati ence are l i ke a burni ng
l antern wi th l i ttl e oi l . It cannot endure, and i n the end the fl ame fades
away. The oi l i n the path of l ove i s pati ence, and besi des thi s i t i s
unsel fi shness and sel f-sacri fi ce from begi nni ng to end. And he who says,
Gi ve and take, does not know l ove; he knows busi ness. (87)

To expl ai n i n si mpl e words what the spi ri tual path i s, I woul d say that i t
begi ns by l i vi ng i n communi cati on wi th onesel f, for i t i s i n the i nnermost
sel f of man that the l i fe of God i s to be found. Thi s does not mean that
the voi ce of the i nner sel f does not come to everyone. It al ways comes,
but not everyone hears i t. (90)

No man has the power to teach another the truth; man must di scover i t
hi msel f. (134)

So the real meani ng of the word i ni ti ati on, whi ch i s rel ated to i ni ti ati ve, i s
that a man takes hi s own di recti on i nstead of that i n whi ch the crowd i s
pul l i ng hi m. And when thi s happens the rel i gi ous peopl e wi l l say that he
has become a heathen, hi s fri ends wi l l say that he has become fool i sh, and
hi s rel ati ons wi l l say that he has gone crazy. (137)

There i s onl y one thi ng whi ch gi ves compl ete sati sfacti on, and that i s to
arri ve at sel f-real i zati on. [sel f-real i zati on] i s the conti nual process of
effaci ng the sel f; i t i s j ust l i ke gri ndi ng somethi ng whi ch i s very hard; i t i s
a conti nual gri ndi ng of the sel f. And the more that sel f i s softened, the
more hi ghl y a person evol ves and the greater hi s personal i ty becomes.
(143-144)

The one who speaks i s not al ways wi se; i t i s the one who l i stens who i s
wi se. It i s the fool i sh who al ways readi l y express thei r opi ni on; the wi se
keep i t back. (155-156)


It shoul d be remembered that al l the great teachers of humani ty such as
Jesus Chri st, Buddha, Muhammad, and Zarathustra, have been great
pupi l s; they have l earned from the i nnocent chi l d, they have l earned from
everyone, from every person that came near them. They have l earned from
every si tuati on and every condi ti on of the worl d(157)

The more we worry about oursel ves, the l ess progress we make [on the
spi ri tual path], because our whol e stri vi ng shoul d be to forget the sel f; i t i s
mostl y the sel f whi ch obstructs the path. (158)

The real home of man i s the Spi ri t of God, and el sewhere he wi l l never be
sati sfi ed. Man cannot understand thi s because he gets a l i ttl e substi tute
cal l ed pl easure. Another thi ng i s that thi s pl easure i s momentary, and he
must al ways suffer to get i t; there i s al ways pai n attached to pl easure and
one must pay a good pri ce for i t. True happi ness i s never experi enced by
man, unti l he has touched that happi ness that l i ves i n hi s own heart. (166-
167)



Thy Mysti cs Prayer:
Gi ve me, Oh God,
Deep thoughts
Hi gh dreams
Few words
Much si l ence
The narrow path
The wi de outl ook
The end i n peace.
Amen (174)









Hazrat Inayat Khan




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Quotes were retrieved from: Khan, H. I . ( 1997) . The I nne r Li f e . Bost on, MA: Shambhal a Publ i cat i ons.