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Volume XIV - The Smiling Forehead

Part II - The Deeper Side of Life

Chapter V
Evolution of the World

SOME SAY that the world has evolved since the creation, as it is the law of nature to evolve. Others say the reverse, seeing the conditions of the world falling back every day. When the Buddhists say that the universe is always progressing, the Hindus contradict this by pointing out that virtue and truth have diminished with the growth of the world during the periods called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and the present Kali Yuga – the golden, silver, copper and iron ages. There seem to be some who, seeing the comfort and convenience of modern life together with its new inventions and wonderful researches, admire evolution. There are others who praise the past saying how great were the ancestors of the past who were so high in their morals and ideals and who had such a comfort and peace in their natural life – until gradually everything had become so degenerated that all virtues became a prey to the selfishness and artificiality of so-called civilization.

According to the standpoint of the Sufi both are right and yet both are wrong, for the Sufi applies the law of vibration to his understanding of the world: each note has its finish at the octave, and so there are an ascending and a descending scale. Each strong accent in anything has its weak part to balance it. The sun rises as well as sets, the new moon develops to the full and wanes until it is new again. Each wave of the sea which rises high is drawn back; each helpless child is helpless again when old. This is the nature of evolution.

A certain direction of life develops for a certain period, and before it has fallen back another direction of life begins to evolve. An individual's view is deluded because evolution seems to him to be a straight evolution, and every fall seems to be a continual fall. After a person has developed in his body and that is finished, perhaps thought might begin its development. If he views the reduction of his body he will feel involution, and if he notices the development of his thought he will realize his evolution. In fact in both ideas he is right; it only depends upon his point of view.

One can study this fact by looking at a fountain where one jet of water is rising to reach its height and another is returning from its utmost reach. Neither is the rise constant for the former, nor is the fall lasting for the latter. This is the way of progress and degeneration of science, art, race, religion and nation. Even the world as a whole has its circle to accomplish, and everything therein has its own time of rise and fall. At the same time the rise is for the fall and the fall again is meant to rise.

checked 09-Nov-2006