People call love blind, but love in reality is the light of the sight.
The eye can only see the surface; love can see much deeper. All
ignorance is the lack of love. As fire when not kindled gives only
smoke, but when kindled, the illuminating flame springs forth, so it is
with love; it is blind when undeveloped, but, when its fire is kindled,
the flame that lights the path of the traveller from mortality to
everlasting life springs forth; the secrets of earth and heaven are
revealed to the possessor of the loving heart, the lover has gained
mastery over himself and others, and he not only communes with God but
unites with Him.
"Hail to thee, then, O love,
sweet madness! Thou who healest all our infirmities! Who art the
physician of our pride and self conceit! Who art our Plato and our
Galen!", says Rumi.
There is One Object of Praise,
the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshippers through all
aspects from the seen to the unseen.
It is said in the Hadith, 'God
is beautiful, and He loves beauty.' This expresses the truth that man,
who inherits the Spirit of God, has beauty in him and loves beauty,
although that which is beautiful to one is not beautiful to another.
Man cultivates the sense of beauty as he evolves, and prefers the
higher aspect of beauty to the lower. But when he has observed the
highest vision of beauty in the Unseen by a gradual evolution from
praising the beauty in the seen world, then the entire existence
becomes to him one single vision of beauty.
Man has worshipped God,
beholding the beauty of sun, moon, stars, and planets; he has
worshipped God in plants, in animals; he has recognized God in the
beautiful merits of man, and he has with his perfect view of beauty
found the source of all beauty in the Unseen, from whence all this
springs, and in Whom all is merged.
The Sufi, realizing this,
worships beauty in all its aspects, and sees the face of the Beloved in
all that is seen, and the Beloved's spirit in the Unseen. So wherever
he looks his ideal of worship is before him. 'Everywhere I look, I see
Thy winning face; everywhere I go, I arrive at Thy dwelling-place.'
There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom.
Hazrat All says, 'Know thyself,
and thou shalt know God.' It is the knowledge of self which blooms into
the knowledge of God. Self-knowledge answers such problems as: whence
have I come? Did I exist before I became conscious of my present
existence? If I existed, as. what did I exist? As an individual such as
I now am, or as a multitude, or as an insect, bird, animal, spirit,
jinn, or angel? What happens at death, the change to which every
creature is subject? Why do I tarry here awhile? What purpose have I to
accomplish here? What is my duty in life? In what does my happiness
consist, and what is it that makes my life miserable? Those whose
hearts have been kindled by the light from above, begin to ponder such
questions but those whose souls are already illumined by the knowledge
of the self understand them. It is they who give to individuals or to
the multitudes the benefit of their knowledge, so that even men whose
hearts are not yet kindled, and whose souls are not illuminated, may be
able to walk on the right path that leads to perfection.
This is why people are taught
in various languages, in various forms of worship, in various tenets in
different parts of the world. It is one and the same truth; it is only
seen in diverse aspects appropriate to the people and the time. It is
only those who do not understand this who can mock at the faith of
another, condemning to hell or destruction those who do not consider
their faith to be the only true faith.
The Sufi recognizes the
knowledge of self as the essence of all religions; he traces it in
every religion, he sees the same truth in each, and therefore he
regards all as one. Hence he can realize 'the saying of Jesus, 'I and
my Father are one.' The difference between creature and Creator remains
on his lips, not in his soul. This is what is meant by union with God.
It is in reality the dissolving of the false self in the knowledge of
the true self, which is divine, eternal, and all-pervading. 'He who
attaineth union with God, his very self must lose,' said Amir.
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