Read The Bowl of Saki Commentary for today
You can have all good things, wealth, friends, kindness, love to give, and love to receive, once you have learned not to be blinded by them; learned to escape from disappointment, and from repugnance at the idea that things are not as you want them to be. -- Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Commentary from Hazrat Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti):
To begin with, the idea of “good things” must be altered; altered not to eliminate what we may call valuable, but rather augmented to include many things we may not call valuable. What we call valuable must have some value; otherwise it would not be prized. The pursuit of wealth is not wrong of itself but becomes wrong when it displaces higher ideals. The ideal pursuit is an all-inclusive pursuit which does not neglect the sustenance for body, heart, or soul.
So first we must include in the term wealth, not only material good, but intellectual gifts and the treasures of the spirit. But besides that, it is important to possess these things, and not to be possessed by them. So long as we pursue them, it is only to be possessed by them, but when in our search for the Highest we come into temporary possession of goods, then it cannot be said that we possess them, for then God possesses them.
So it is with friends. To possess friends we must understand the highest friendship, and this is only possible with the realization of God. Otherwise our so-called friends are as possessions, which we try to include in our thoughts of ownership until we become owned by these thoughts. And the same is true concerning kindness, the faculty by which and through which friends are attained and maintained. That kindness which is adopted as an affectation is false, and that which is the natural outburst of the heart is true.
And this right attitude in life becomes more than true when we consider love from any standpoint. It is impossible for us to love all unless the spiritual love of God is in our heart. We may use the word “love” and make claims, but there will be no life in it and it will fail when the test comes, for it will be centered around the nufs. Use of the word “love” is very different from the substance love.
Therefore the question arises whether we are blinded by our desires or ideals, or whether we control them. When we control them, nothing can either elate us or disappoint us. Both these are forms of intoxication—the former intoxication (of ideals) by light, the latter intoxication (of desires) by darkness—and perhaps the latter may sometimes be preferable to the former which is sometimes so blinding that one cannot easily recover the sight of heart and soul.
Finally we must consider the condition of things as the result of all thoughts of all beings. We cannot control the thoughts of others. We might influence them in part, but God has given will-power to all humankind. Through this thoughts are formed, and through these thoughts the material affairs of the world are fixed.
The consequence is tremendous, that not only is each individual but one part of billions of people, all of whose thoughts and whose Karma is affecting the world, but the influence of the past is still greater. Not only our reverence for people of the past, but constitutions, contracts, and agreements of all sorts bind us. It should be obvious therefore, that our own small individual wills are as nothing in this whirlpool. And if you add to that the thoughts of plants, animals, and rocks, of the planets and interplanetary forces, of the unfathomed activities in the unseen, even the whole humanity does not appear to be so great compared with the Universe.
This should teach us true humility. Also it should teach us resignation, but there is a true and a false resignation. The false is fatalism; the true is not to be bound by any restrictions to seek freedom by finding full scope for the spirit outside of these material and mental bonds. This in itself will help the world more than anything else. Thus we can become a Bodhisattva or Nabi.
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