Saturday, April 07, 2007


According to Pir O Murshid Inayat Khan there are five things necessary in the attainment of a spiritual life. You can see the whole list here

I would like to concentrate on one part – morality.

"The fifth necessity in the spiritual path is the loving of the everyday life. There are no strict morals which a spiritual guide enforces upon a person, for that work has been given to the outward religions. It is to the exoteric side of spiritual work that the outer morals belong, but the essence of morals is practiced by those treading the spiritual path. Their first moral principle is constantly to avoid hurting the feeling of another. The second 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 is only meant rising above those bondages which bind man and keep him back from his journey towards the goal. " Hazrat Inayat Khan

I just happened to think that mystics are fond of making lists. When you read Pir O Murshid's works for instance you find all kinds of lists – the five most important things – the three things you need – and so on. I guess that was the way he tended to speak. Most of what you read in his works is really transcriptions of lectures he gave. So, I suppose, in the moment, lists were helpful as a way of making a point.

Okay, ask yourself what myth you follow. We all have a myth that we believe is reality. It isn't but we convince ourselves that it is. Then, as spiritual maturity begins to arrive, we are confronted with the myth that we accepted in order to get to this place but which no longer can support us. It can be pretty distressing when our myth fails us. That is what I suspect may be happening.

The above quote from Pir O Murshid can be seen in a couple of ways. I have noticed that often people will read such things, take them to heart and assume that they not only understand but they also have deeply absorbed and follow all of the suggestions outlined. At the other end of things are the people who read these suggestions and feel totally intimidated. Both have a myth about themselves and the world around them.

Probably the reality of what Pir O Murshid is saying lies in the constant examination of one's point of view. It will occasionally happen that a person will discover that they are actually comfortable in the chaos of everyday life. They will find that nothing rattles them and the demands of the selfish people all around them are simple annoyances to be tolerated with good cheer. It can happen that you suddenly notice you have found this place of calm detachment quite innocently. To assume this state is a bit like saying you are a fantastic lover without ever having been with anyone. If it isn't natural, it isn't.

On the other hand it is important to notice where you fall short of the outlined ideal. Not to beat yourself up over your failings but just to notice. Noticing is the first step in discovering the aspects of your being that truly do understand friendship and detachment. It is all there inside of you and only needs a bit of work to unveil itself.

Love and Blessings, Musawwir

1 comment:

celticgoddess said...

As I sit here and read this there are many things going through my head. The more we talk the more we teach other and I look forward to talking to you soon.
Blessed Be.