Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Attaining the love of God

The man who realises God as a friend is never lonely in the world, neither in this world nor in the hereafter. There is always a friend, a friend in the crowd, a friend in the solitude, or while he is asleep unconscious of this outer world, and when he is awake and conscious of it; in both cases the friend is there in his thought, in his imagination, in his heart, in his soul.

And the man who makes God his Beloved, what more does he want? His heart becomes awakened to all the beauty there is within and without. To him all things appeal, everything unfolds itself, and it is beauty to his eyes, because God is all-pervading, in all Names and all Forms, therefore his Beloved is never absent, because the whole tragedy of life is the absence of the Beloved. And one whose beloved is always there, when he has closed his eyes the Beloved is within, when he has opened his eyes the Beloved is without. His every sense perceives the Beloved. When a person arrives at this realisation then he, so to speak, lives in the presence of God.

This shows that the inner life does not consist in closing the eyes and looking inward. The inner life is to look outwardly and inwardly and to find one's belief everywhere. But God cannot be made a Beloved unless the love element is awakened sufficiently. The one who hates his enemy and loves his friend, he cannot call God his Beloved, for he does not know God. When love comes to its fullness, then one looks at the friend with affection, on the enemy with forgiveness, on the stranger with sympathy. There is love in all its aspects expressed when love rises to its fullness, and it is the fullness of love which is worth offering to God.

The whole imagery of the Sufi literature in the Persian language, written by great poets, such as Rumi, Hafiz and Jami, is the relation between man as the lover and God as Beloved. It is not easy to develop in the heart the love of God, because when one does not see or realise the object of love one cannot love. God must become tangible in order that one may love Him, but once a person has attained to love God he has really entered the journey of the spiritual path.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan)

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