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Volume VIIIa - Sufi Teachings


THERE IS a tendency which gradually manifests in a person who is advancing spiritually, and that tendency is overlooking, or dar-guzar as the Sufis call it. At times this tendency might appear to be negligence, but negligence is not overlooking; negligence is not looking. In other words overlooking may be called rising above things. One has to rise in order to overlook; the one who stands beneath life could not overlook anything even if he wanted to. Overlooking is a manner of graciousness, it means to look and at the same time not to look, to see and not take notice of being seen, not to be hurt or harmed or disturbed by something, not even minding it. It is an attribute of nobleness of nature, it is the sign of souls who are tuned to a higher key.

One may ask, is it practical? Perhaps not always, but in the end it is practical all the same; the one who overlooks will also realize the practicality of it. Perhaps he will only realize this at last, after he has met all its numerous disadvantages; nevertheless, all is well that ends well.

Very often overlooking costs less than taking notice of something that could well be overlooked. In life there are things which matter and there are things which do not matter; and as one advances through life one finds there are many things that do not matter, that one could just as well overlook. The one who takes notice of everything that comes his way, will waste time on a journey which takes all his life to accomplish. While climbing the mountain of life, the purpose of which is to reach the top, if a person troubles about everything that comes along he will never be able to reach the top; he will always be troubling about everything at its foot. After having realized that life on this earth lasts only a few days, a person will not trouble any more about little things; he will only trouble about things which really matter. By striving for little things a person loses the opportunity of accomplishing great things in life. One who troubles about small things is small; the soul who thinks of great things is great.

Overlooking is the first lesson of forgiveness. This tendency comes out of love and sympathy; for when one hates, one takes notice of every little fault, but when one loves another one naturally overlooks the faults, and very often one tries to turn the faults of the beloved into merits. Life has endless things which suggest beauty, and numberless things which suggest ugliness; there is no end to the merits and no end to the faults, and one's outlook on life is according to one's evolution.

The higher one has risen, the wider one's horizon becomes. The tendency to sympathize, which is an analytical tendency, weighing and measuring and taking good notice of everything, brings a person the desire to overlook. Judge not, said Christ, lest ye be judged. The more one thinks of this lesson, the deeper it goes into one's heart, and what one learns from it is to try and overlook all that does not fit in with one's own ideas as to how things ought to be in life, until one comes to a stage of realization where the whole of life seems one sublime vision of the immanence of God.