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The soul has within it the inner faculty of guidance, pointing to the person
what to do, which way to go. But often a person does not perceive it, he is in
confusion. Many are in confusion and remain in confusion all their life, not
knowing what they should do in life. This is because he does not hold to that
desire that he has. He desires one thing, and then another wish comes and he
lets it go. It is just as if a cook were cooking a good dish and were intent
upon it, but the housemaid said to him, "A splendid procession is just passing;
you ought to see that," and he leaves the dish and goes to look at the
procession. Then the dish is spoiled.
If we are willing to be guided, everything can teach us a lesson. If we wish to
see the advantage of sobriety, we shall see it among sober people; if we wish to
see the disadvantages of lack of sobriety, we shall see them among people who
are not sober; if we wish to see the advantage of guidance, we shall see it
among those who are guided. It is all a matter of experience and study; and our
own guide towards our true ideal will never fail to guide us aright.
The Inspirer is calling us from every direction, but we do not all respond. The
voice is always there, the light is there, the guidance is there; but we are not
always ready or willing to respond, and are not always open to the call.
It is noise which hinders a voice that we hear from a distance, and it is the
troubled waters of a pool which hinder us seeing our own image reflected in the
water. When the water is still it takes a clear reflection; and when our
atmosphere is still then we hear that voice which is constantly coming to the
heart of every person. We are looking for guidance, we, all of us, search for
truth, we search for the mystery. The mystery is in ourselves; the guidance is
in our own souls.
The seeking of every soul in this world is different, distinct, and peculiar to
himself, and he can best attain to it by finding the object of his search in
God. The moment one arrives at this belief, one need ask no question of his
fellow man, for the answer to every question that springs from his mind he finds
in his own heart. The dwelling place of God, which is called heaven, is then
found in his own heart. The friend on whom one can constantly depend, someone
whom one can always trust, someone whose sympathy and love are secure, someone
who will never fail, someone who is strong enough to help, someone who is
sufficiently wise to guide one in life, the believer will find in his own heart.
The guidance from the outer knowledge and the guidance from the inner
intelligence are both necessary.
Very often someone who is worldly-wise is not really wise. Intellectuality is
one thing, wisdom is another thing. Not all the knowledge learnt from books and
from experiences in the world and collected in the mind as learning is wisdom.
When the light from within is thrown upon this knowledge, then the knowledge
from outer life and the light coming from within make a perfect wisdom; and it
is that wisdom which guides man on the path of life.
The light which guides the Sufi on the path is his own conscience, and harmony
is the justification which guides him onward, step by step, to his idealized
goal. To harmonize with oneself is not sufficient; one must also harmonize with
others in thought, speech, and action; that is the attitude of the Sufi.
Conscience can give you better guidance than any teacher or book. It is a living
teacher awakened in oneself, one's own conscience. The teachers, the Gurus, the
Murshids, their way is to awaken the conscience in the pupil; to make clear what
has become unclear, confused.
The soul of man is goodness itself, if only he begins to love goodness. This is
not something which is acquired; it springs up of itself. Right attitude towards
God is a direct response to God. For His voice is continually coming as an
answer to every call. The ears of the heart should be open and focussed on that
source whence the voice is coming. When that is done then the teacher within is
found; then there is continual guidance, and one is guided to the extent that
one keeps close to it. Then one needs no other guidance; but first the guidance
of a spiritual teacher is necessary in order to come nearer to it.
You need not look for a saint or a master: a wise man is sufficient to guide you
on your path.
Every teaching that a Talib (seeker or student) receives from his spiritual
guide he must take, not as a principle, but as an answer to that situation at
The Talib need not follow his spiritual guide's faults, but he can benefit by
The whole of the spiritual progress under the guidance of a teacher depends upon
the extent of our trust in his guidance. Without this trust all the teachings
and practice of occult laws will amount to nothing.
Very often I am in a position where I can say very little, especially when a
person comes to me with his preconceived ideas and wants to take my direction,
my guidance on the spiritual path; yet at the same time his first intention is
to see if his thoughts fit in with mine and if my thoughts fit in with his
thoughts. He cannot make himself empty for the direction given. He has not come
to follow my thoughts, but wants to confirm to himself that his idea is right.
Among a hundred persons who come for spiritual guidance, ninety come out of that
tap. What does it show? That they do not want to give up their own idea, but
they want to have it confirmed that the idea they have is right.
Why should a message only come in time of pain or after a great sorrow? Why
should not a message come every day for one's guidance? There are two reasons
for this: one is that there is constant guidance from above, but man, so
absorbed in his life's activities, does not open his heart to listen to that
message and to see where it comes from. And the other reason is that the deeper
the sorrow, the higher the voice of the heart rises, until it reaches the throne
of God; and that is the time when the answer comes.
It is God who would reveal Himself to us, but so long as we keep our minds on
anything else but God, He may be speaking but we do not hear. When we hear His
Voice, all knowledge, all direction, all guidance will be ours; everything that
we need will be ours. With this understanding, one can breast the waves of life.
To turn back the tide and to surmount obstacles will become possible.
When the mind is fixed upon anything, then the person becomes linked to that, a
current is established between him and it. It may be called the guidance of God
or the guidance of the self. If we look within, God is nearer to us than our
mind and our body, because He is that life in which, as is said in the Bible, we
live and move and have our being.
In a man who is your enemy and who has tortured you throughout your life, in
another who is your greatest friend, and in your teacher who inspires and guides
you, in all these is to be seen the hand of God. They have all three guided you
on the path of inspiration; they are all three needed in order that you may go
further in life. The one who has disappointed you, who has harmed you, is also
your initiator, for he has taught you something, he has put you on the road,
even if not in the right way. And he who is your friend is your initiator too,
for he gives you the evidence of truth, the sign of reality; only love can give
you a proof that there is something living, something real. And then there is
the inspiring teacher, be he a humble man, an illiterate person, or a meditative
soul, a great teacher or a humble one, he is what you think him to be, as
everyone is to us what we think them to be.