Thursday, February 12, 2009


The other day a young friend of mine used this phrase. She is Nicaraguan so I thought it was something from her country because it is not a common American saying. But it turns out that it just popped into her head and she said it. So I said I would make it the title of my next blog.

Her spontaneous little cliché reminds me of something that I realized quite awhile ago. I believe it was triggered by something Pir Vilayat said. You may have the greatest of talents but if you do not study the technical side of your talent it will remain potential and never be realized. For instance; you may hear the loveliest of symphonies in your head but if you do not learn to play piano or violin or something, they will never be heard by others. Taking it further; you might even do something quite excellent but if you neglect continual practice your skill or talent will fade.

"Every soul has a definite task, and the fulfillment of each individual purpose can alone lead man aright; illumination comes to him through the medium of his own talent." Hazrat Inayat Khan

I was talking to my best friend the other morning. We were wondering just what the next step for humanity is and how we can best implement our small part. We have conversations like this a lot. One of the conditions that we did note in this particular conversation was how prone people who follow a spiritual path are to assume that they have the answer. It is like a kind of arrogance of knowledge. The idea seems to be that once a person has done a bit of study of one of the various mystical disciplines and has perhaps had some deep meditative experiences, then that person has the right to declare their superior understanding of how the Universe actually works. And then, having made this declaration, work seems to stop. It is an odd but true aspect of personality. A further point is that the system that this person has adopted to display superior knowledge is fixed and needs no renewal. This is patently not true. You may have a talent for esoteric understanding but you still need to oil it from time to time; or else it gets rusty and creaky and annoying to others when you try to use it. And that is just as true of any discipline as it is of the individual.

The most important point I want to make is that there is nothing at all special about being on a spiritual path; it is just what you do. Someone has to do it, it turns out it's you. Every single person on this planet has purpose. We may not recognize it as such, especially if it appears to be extreme or an aberration or worse, harmful of others. Part of the struggle of life is recognizing that it is okay to be who you are but it is not necessary to insist that others recognize it. As it happens, people often do insist and this creates conflict and conflict causes suffering.

You may note here that the sort of person who would insist that others do as they do will also insist that these other victims do their oiling for them. In other words they will demand that all around them support their particular, inevitably limited, vision of what is. Even worse, they may demand that it is God who has dictated their vision. It would seem then that the lesson to be learned from my young friends spontaneous cliché is that we each must look to our own psychic and spiritual needs and allow others to do as they must for themselves. We may not agree, or even understand but, as long as there is no harm being done, then it is best to allow people their quirks.

One of the things that I most appreciated about Pir Vilayat, my teacher, was that he would often iterate the ideal that we were free to accept or reject what he was saying. His teaching was designed to give a person freedom, not to harness them to a particular point of view. And that is my message to you – be free – but do not neglect your gifts.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

1 comment:

JCS said...

Very nice entry. Now if I could just figure out how to polish mine