Praise cannot exist without blame; it has no existence without its opposite.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
There is a pair of opposites in all things, and in each there exists the spirit
of the opposite: in man the quality of woman, in woman the spirit of man, in the
sun the form of the moon, in the moon the light of the sun. The closer one
approaches reality, the nearer one arrives at unity.
Life is differentiated by the pairs of opposites.
Praise cannot exist without blame, for nothing has existence without its
opposite, just as pleasure cannot exist without pain. No one can be great and
not small; no one can be loved and not hated. There is no one who is hated by
all and not loved by some-one; there is always someone to love him. If one would
realize that the world of God, His splendor and magnificence, are to be seen in
the wise and the foolish, in the good and the bad, then one would think
tolerantly and reverently of all mankind
How does the Sufi struggle? He struggles with power, with understanding, with
open eyes, and with patience. He does not look at the loss; what is lost is
lost. He does not think of the pain of yesterday; yesterday is gone for him.
Only if a memory is pleasant does he keep it before him, for it is helpful on
his way. He takes both the admiration and the hatred coming from around him with
smiles; he believes that both these things form a rhythm within the rhythm of a
certain music; there is one and two, the strong accent and the weak accent.
Praise cannot be without blame, nor can blame be without praise. He keeps the
torch of wisdom before him, because he believes that the present is the echo of
the past, and that the future will be the reflection of the present. It is not
sufficient to think only of the present moment; one should also think where it
comes from and where it goes. Every thought that comes to his mind, every
impulse, every word he speaks, is to him like a seed, a seed which falls in this
soil of life, and takes root. And in this way he finds that nothing is lost;
every good deed, every little act of kindness, of love, done to anybody, will
some day rise as a plant and bear fruit.