' The Truth of Self '...


It is more important to know the truth about one's self than to try to find out the truth of heaven and hell.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:


It is more important to find out the truth about oneself than to find out the truth about heaven and hell, or about many other things which are of less importance and are apart from oneself. However, every man's pursuit is according to his state of evolution, and so each soul is in pursuit of something but he does not know where it leads him. The first sign of realization is tolerance towards others. There are the words of Christ: 'In the house of my father are many mansions' and those of the Prophet: 'Each soul has its own religion' This means that according to his evolution so man knows the truth and the more a man knows, the more he finds there is to learn.

In order to attain truth one must make one's own life truthful. This is life in its moral aspect. The more truthful one is in one's every day life the more one practices this moral despite its great difficulty, the more one approaches the only religion which there is. ... Truth is the very self of man. Truth is the divine element in man. Truth is every soul's seeking. Therefore as soon as the clouds of illusion are scattered, that which man now begins to see is nothing but the truth which has been there all the time. He finds that the truth was never absent; it was only covered by clouds of illusion. By changing his own nature, by making himself more truthful, he disperses the clouds of falsehood within and without, and begins to see life as it really is both inwardly and outwardly. From this time onwards, the meaning of religion becomes clear. ...

When a person really wants to find the way, it is not very far from him. It depends on the sincerity of the desire to find it whether it is far or not. What is necessary for finding it is not much reading, or discussion or argument, but a practical study of self. One questions one's own self: what am I? Am I a material body, or a mind, or something behind a mind? Am I myself or my coat? Is this object "me," or something different? Is this body my cover, or myself?

There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom. Hazrat Ali says, 'Know thyself, and thou shalt know God.' ... 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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