Tears pour down and painfully confusing grief arrives with the daily
news, painting a bleak picture of suffering in the wake of
tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wars. Such tragedies cause
many questions to arise: Why has this happened? Where is this loving
God? How could a loving God allow such a thing to happen?
We must do
whatever we can for those who are suffering – the victims of these
disasters truly need and deserve our prayers, our heartfelt sympathy and
our steady support to help to relieve their suffering and to help them
to recover. However, we may find that we too are suffering, and through
the pain of our own suffering and grief we are invited to awaken, to
learn from this situation and to become wiser and more understanding.
Our own anguish is caused by our own lack of understanding. As Hazrat
Inayat Khan so frequently reminds us, "Every leaf is a sacred scripture
to those who have learned to see." That is, the answers to our questions
are right before our eyes, if only we will learn to be still enough,
calm enough, loving enough, to receive the answers.
The root of all suffering and misunderstanding is the excessive
attachment to this "I". Due to our obsessive identification with "I",
the truth is clouded, or veiled, and that covering causes us to
misinterpret what is happening. Life does not die, it only moves on to
another place. That is, life is an on-going process of change,
continually transforming from one form to another. That is the mystery
and the nature of life.
However, what one sees always depends on one's viewpoint. The view from
the bustling, jarring city street is much different than the view from
the pure, clear air of the mountain-top. Similarly, in order to see see
life differently, one must change to a different viewpoint.
All tragedy of life, all misery and inharmony are caused by one
thing and that is lack of understanding. Lack of understanding comes
from lack of penetration. The one who does not see from the point of
view from which he ought to see becomes disappointed because he
from The Sufi
Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Volume XIV, Awakening of the Soul
Many books have been written to try to unfold this great mystery, yet
it continues to be a great mystery. Books and words can give us clues,
but they can never give us the understanding that we really need. The
only way to truly understand something is to directly experience it for
yourself.... so, perhaps if you'll come along on a brief journey into
another realm, the realm of the soul, then you will begin to remember
something that you have forgotten... come along and listen to a
conversation between two souls, one of whom is on the way to Earth, and
the other is on the way back into The Oneness... and perhaps you will
remember that you too had a conversation much like this...
Are you coming back from a life on Earth?
Yes! I just left there.
I've heard others talking about life on Earth, but all of their
stories have been entirely different. Can you tell me about that
Oh yes! Everyone has a different story about Earth, that is
the beauty and wonder of life on Earth. It is a world of light
and shadows, a place of contrasts, where each thing is known in
comparison to its opposite (or more correctly, in comparison to
its absence). So, there is light and there is lack of light,
there is happiness and there is lack of happiness, there is love
and there is lack of love, there are endless emotions and
senses, such a variety of fragrances and tastes, so much to
see and to touch and to feel. Oh what a magnificent place it is.
But what is the death that everyone speaks of?
Well, on Earth each thing comes into being, then it exists
for a while, and finally in some way or other its existence
ends.... just like a circle.. we are sent out as emissaries of
the Oneness, we enter into life, we live a while, and then we
move out of life and return to The Oneness. Really, life never
dies, it just changes its appearance. Life on Earth is a never
ending parade of forms, coming into being, existing for a while,
and then amazingly changing into something else... yet Life
never dies, it just changes from one form to another form.
But some people have said that they died a terrible death! Why
would they do that?
It looks dreadful, but it's really not all that bad. It's
like a grand play. Everyone has a part to play, and even though
we know that everyone will die, we never know just exactly how
it will happen. The entire planet is an ever-changing
construction zone, covered with volcanoes and earthquakes and
floods and all sorts of ways that people can get killed. It is,
all in all, a very dangerous place, and although the dying
sometimes looks quite dreadful, and everyone gets quite caught
up in the drama, I really must tell you that oddly enough, death
is not really a problem for those of us who die, it is only the
ones who live that suffer.
What do you mean?
Well, in my recent death, I was smashed under falling rocks.
I was a monk, living in the high mountains. I was really quite
surprised when my death happened. An entire hillside came down
right on top of me and I was utterly smashed... or rather I
should say that my body was utterly smashed. My body was in pain
for a few moments, but then as I began the return to the
Oneness, I realized that it was a truly wonderful adventure on
Earth, and I would love to be able to go there again.
It sounds like a rather strange adventure, but you seem so full
of light and happiness!
Yes it really is delightful. You'll come out of your life
with whatever you have put into it. So, if you put in love and
kindness and beauty, then you'll come out with love and kindness
and beauty. Those who put in something less than that... well, they too
will come out with whatever they put in. The more you give, the
more you get! It is really wonderful!
But how could you enjoy a place where you got
crushed under a pile of rocks?? Are you insane?
Clearly you haven't been there yet! Even a few moments of life on
Earth are worth all of the annoyance and pain. Oh just to feel
love.. to give love and to receive love, even for just a
moment... oh that is so amazing... it is beyond words! The
sights and sounds and feelings and fragrances of life are so
amazing that it is worth any pain or catastrosphe to go there!
can tell, I've not been harmed at all by the whole experience,
even after being smashed to death by a whole mountainside... and in fact,
rather than being harmed, the whole experience on Earth was a
glorious blessing If you get caught up in the drama and start to
suffer, then just recall our conversation and recall how happy
and whole I am after my adventure on Earth... it is so
wonderful!! Even just a few moments of love, kindness and
beauty on Earth are so exquisite that they are worth any price.
updated 11 Oct 2005