' Remove the bushel '...
We cover our spirit under our body, our light under a bushel; we never allow the spirit to become conscious of itself.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
The life one recognizes is only the mortal aspect of life. Very few have ever seen or been conscious of the immortal aspect at all. Once one has realized life, that which one has hitherto called life is found to be only a glimpse or shadow of the real life that is beyond comprehension. To understand it one will have to raise one's light high from under the cover that is hiding it like a bushel. This cover is man's mind and body; it is a cover that keeps the light active on the world of things and beings. 'Do not keep your light under a bushel' means that we are not to keep the consciousness absorbed in the study of the external world, and in its pleasures and enjoyments.
We cover our spirit under our body. We cover our light under a bushel. We never allow the spirit to become conscious of itself. ... when the soul is illuminated it will desire to find some other soul illuminated in like manner, and will find great joy and bliss in its society. Such a one will surely find others who are on the verge of illumination. Even a drunkard will find others to drink with. And so it is mystically. A very little light can be turned into a flame, and that flame into a very big flame.
Why is it better to become a mystic than to remain a drunkard? As a matter of fact a drunkard will never be satisfied. The mystic will look for what Omar Khayyam calls wine, the wine of the Christ, after drinking which no one will ever thirst. He will always seek the wine whose intoxication never wears off. It is the only wine: the intoxication of the divine love.
According to the belief of a Sufi the heart is the shrine of God, and when the doors of the shrine are closed it is just like a light being hidden under a bushel... God is Love. If He is love He does not stay in the heavens. His earthly body is the heart of man.
Posted by thomas meehan