Selections from the Writings of
Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Attainment of the Inner Life
Complete Works of Pir-O-Mushid
Hazrat Inayat Khan
1922 II: September-December
In the attainment of the inner life there are five things necessary:
- The first thing that is necessary is the mastery of mind, and this is done by unlearning all that one has learned (in the outer world). It is like learning the language of a certain country, when wanting to go into another country where that language is not understood, nor the language of the latter country understood by one's self.
- The second thing in the attainment of the inner life is to seek a spiritual guide someone whom a man can absolutely trust and have every confidence in, someone to whom he can look up, and with whom he is in sympathy, which would culminate in what is called devotion.
- The third thing necessary to spiritual attainment is the receiving of knowledge. This being the knowledge of the inner world, it cannot be compared with the knowledge one has learned before. That is why it is necessary to unlearn the former. There are three stages of receiving knowledge, which the one being guided has to go through.
- The first stage is the receiving the knowledge, when he does nothing but receive.
- The next stage is the period after this, and at that stage is the assimilating of what has been learned. He thinks upon it, he ponders upon it, in order that it may remain in his mind.
- The third stage is the reasoning it out by oneself, to reason it through.
- The fourth grade of attainment of the inner life is meditation. If one has unlearned all that he has learned, if one has a teacher, and if one has received the knowledge of the inner life, still meditation is one thing which is most necessary, which in the Sufi word is called "Riazat".
- In the first place meditation is done mechanically, at an hour which one has fixed upon as the hour for devotion or concentration.
- The next step is to think of that idea of meditation at other times during the day.
- And the third stage is continuing meditation throughout day and night.
Intellectual training no doubt has its use in the achievement of the inner life, but the principle thing is meditation. The study of one year and the meditation of one day are equal. In meditation the soul is charged with new light and life, with inspiration and vigor, in meditation there is every kind of blessing.
- The fifth necessity in the spiritual path is the living of the everyday life. There are not strict morals, which a spiritual guide enforces upon a person, for that work has been given to the outward religions. It is the esoteric side of spiritual work to which the outer morals belong, but the essence of morals is practiced by those treading the spiritual path.
- Their first moral is constantly to avoid hurting the feeling of another.
- The second moral principle is to avoid allowing themselves to be affected by the constantly jarring influences, which every soul has to meet in life.
- The third principle is to keep their balance under all different situations and conditions, which upset this tranquil state of mind.
- The fourth principle is to love unceasingly all those who deserve love, and to give to the undeserving their forgiveness, and this is continually practiced by them.
- The fifth principle is detachment amidst the crowd, but by detachment I do not mean separation. By detachment only is meant rising above those bondages which bind man and keep him back from his journey toward the goal.
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