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Volume XIV - The Smiling Forehead

Part I - The Smiling Forehead

Chapter IX

THE QUESTION is always brought up: Is there a power which rules the universe and controls all our actions, or are we free to do as we please; is our situation the result of our good or bad deeds, or are our actions and situation governed by the influence of the planets?

In answer to this I will first mention what contradicts each of these principles. If God makes us act then we are not responsible; then it is all God and we have no responsibility. If we are quite free then I will say that you are your own well-wisher, and no one will be his own ill-wisher. Then whatever you wish for – success, riches or whatever it is – you will have it. It seems however that it is not so. If happiness and good fortune were the result of good actions then everyone would be good, and no one would be bad. But we see that many very wicked people are very fortunate: every day a wicked deed and every day a good fortune, while many very good people are always unfortunate and in difficulties. Christ and all the prophets and saints suffered great adversities.

If everything is the outcome of the influence of the planets, then I will say that you should stay in your room when there is a planet that is unfavorable to you; you should do nothing. Also when there is a planet that is favorable you should do nothing, because the planet will bring you everything by itself.

Having told you the contradictions I will now tell you the truth of each principle. There are four great powers that govern the world: Qadr and Qaza, Jalal and Jamal.

Qaza is the power that governs the whole. For instance the king governs the whole country, but power is given to viceroys and to governors. The governor governs a whole province, but power is given to a commissioner. The commissioner governs his district; he knows more about its affairs than the governor knows and the governor does not interfere in his district. Each human being is given a power: this is Qadr. In the same way a mother allows her child to go as far as the end of the room, but no farther: from here as far as the end of the room let it destroy as much as it pleases, but not more than that.

When we see a wicked person very happy we may think, 'Has God forgotten him?' No, his jar is not yet full. When it is overfilled it will flow over and bring destruction to himself and those around him. Sometimes a very good person is very unhappy in life, but when the jar of his good actions is overfilled it flows over and brings happiness to him and those around him. We have some power, but our action is so limited; our power of seeing is so limited. We are very small.

The forces of Jalal and Jamal are the creative and the responsive forces. We are sometimes creative and sometimes we are responsive. Jalal is creative, Jamal is responsive. The singer is creative, the one who hears and enjoys is responsive. All our troubles are owing to our lack of creative or responsive power. If we are in a situation which is difficult for us, which is hard, which we dislike, it is owing to our lack of creative power to make another situation for ourselves. When a situation, an opportunity would benefit us and help us and we are not benefited, it is owing to our lack of response. Everything in the world is creative or responsive. The benefactor is creative, he who is benefited is responsive.

But however interesting, however attractive these things are, the name of God is much greater; without the study of the name of God they are nothing. That is the only thing that is great, the only thing that is beautiful, the only thing of value, the only thing worthwhile.

Question: What gives the planets their influence?

Answer: The soul before its manifestation on earth passes through the sun, the moon and the planets. As there is only one sun and one moon each soul passes through sun and moon. There are many planets and each soul passes through one planet, not through all. This gives the soul an affinity with a certain planet, and through this affinity the planet has its influence upon the soul, upon the individual. There are of course in man's life many other circumstances and influences beside those of the planet, and the outer influences, also man's will, may be stronger than the planet.

On its return journey the soul has also to pass through the planet, the sun and the moon.


Kismet is a transcription of the Arabic qisma, Farsi qismat – portion, share, destiny.

checked 04-Nov-2006