Social Gatheka Number 4
It seems that that which makes beauty is harmony, beauty
in itself has no meaning. A certain object which is called
beautiful at a certain place and time is not beautiful at
another place or at another time.
And so it is with thought speech and action. That which
is called beautiful is only so at a certain time and condition,
which makes it beautiful. Therefore if one could give a
true definition of beauty it is harmony. Harmony is the
combination of colors, harmony is the drawing of a design
or line, that is called beauty. At the same time a word,
a thought, a feeling, an action that creates harmony is
productive of beauty.
Now the question is from where comes the tendency to
harmony and from where comes the tendency to disharmony? The natural tendency of every soul is towards harmony
and the tendency towards disharmony is an unnatural state
of mind or affair. And the very fact that it is not natural
makes it void of beauty. The psychology of man is such than man responds both
to harmony and inharmony. He cannot help it, because naturally
he is made so, mentally and physically he responds to all
that comes to him, be it harmonious or inharmonious.
And the teaching of Christ, 'resist not evil,' is a hint
not to respond to inharmony. For instance a word of kindness,
of sympathy, an action of love and affection finds response,
but at the same time a word of insult, an action of revolt
or hatred, that creates response too, and that response
creates more inharmony in the world.
By giving way to inharmony one allows inharmony to multiply.
At this time when one sees in the world the greatest unrest
and discomfort pervading all over, where does it come from?
It seems that it is from the ignorance of this fact that
inharmony creates inharmony, and will multiply inharmony.
A person has a natural tendency that if he sees he is
insulted, he thinks of the proper way of answering is to
insult the other person still more. By this he gets a momentary
satisfaction, to have given a good answer, but he does not
know what he has done by his good answer. He has given response
to that power which came from the other and these two powers,
being negative and positive, create more inharmony.
'Resist not evil,' does not mean receive evil onto yourself.
'Resist not evil,' only means this: do not send back the
inharmony that comes to you, just as the person playing
tennis would send back the ball with his racket. But at
the same time, it does not suggest that you should receive
the ball with open hands. The tendency towards harmony may be likened to a rock
in the sea and each wave comes with all force and yet the
rock is still, stands, bears it all, letting the waves beat
By fighting with inharmony one increases it, by not fighting
it one does not give fuel to the fire which would rise for
destruction and cause destruction. But no doubt, the wiser
you become, the more difficulties you have to face in life,
because every kind of inharmony will be directed toward
you for the very reasons that you will not fight it. But
at the same time one must know with all the difficulty you
have helped that disharmony, which would otherwise be multiplied,
to be destroyed. It is not without advantage, for every
time you stand against inharmony you increase your strength,
although outwardly it may see a defeat. And as soon as the
time is passed the person against whom one has stood firm
will realize that it was his defeat.
Life in the world has a constantly jarring effect and
the finer you become the more trying it becomes to you.
And the time comes that when a person is sincere and good-willing,
kind and sympathetic, the worse life becomes for him. But
if he is discouraged in it he goes under. If he kept his
courage then you find it was not disadvantageous in the
end. Because his power will some day increase to that stage,
to that degree that his presence, his word, his action will
control the thoughts and feelings and actions of all. For
he will get that heavy rhythm, the rhythm that will make
the rhythm of everybody else follow it. This is the attribute
which is called in the east the quality of the master-mind.
But in order to stand firm against the inharmony that
comes from without, one must first practice to stand firm
against all that comes from within, from one's own self.
For our soul itself is more difficult to control than the
others. And when one is not able and one fails to control
oneself, it is most difficult to stand against the disharmony
Now the question is what is it that causes disharmony
within oneself? It is weakness. Physical weakness or mental
weakness, but it is weakness. Very often therefore one finds
that it is bodily illness that causes inharmony and causes
inharmonious tendencies. Besides there are many diseases
of the mind which the scientist has not yet found. Today
in the world there are two things. One thing is that a person
who is, too ill, perhaps, is considered as an insane person,
and then there are all other illnesses which are not counted
at all. These people are counted among the sane people and
as notice is not taken of the defects which are of the diseases
of the mind, man never has a chance to notice them within
himself. He is constantly finding fault with others. If
he is in an office, if he is in a good position, if he is
at home everywhere he causes inharmony. Nobody knows, for
to be treated as insane he must first be called insane.
The health of the mind is a question so little talked
about in these days. In fact as there come more solicitors,
more lawyers, more barristers, more courts and more judges,
so there come more cases. Consequently prisons increase,
and what is the outcome? After a person has gone to prison
and comes back, he has forgotten where he was. He goes again
in the same path. For the disease is not found out. In court
a person is judged, but it is not found out what is the
matter psychologically, what causes him to do this. One
can find in these prisons thousands of people with whose
minds there is something the matter. And if for a thousand
years they were kept in prison, they would not improve.
Nothing but injustice is awarded to them by putting them
in prison. It is just like putting a person in prison because
his body is ill.
The cause of every discomfort and of every failure is
inharmony. And what would be the most useful thing at the
present moment in education is to give the sense of harmony,
to develop it in children. It will not be so difficult as
it appears to bring harmony to their notice. What is necessary
is to point out to the youths the different aspects of harmony,
in different aspects of life's affairs.
The work of the Sufi Message, a message which is of love,
harmony and beauty, is to waken the consciousness of humanity
of the true nature of love, harmony, and beauty. And the
training which is given to those who become initiated in
the inner cult is to cultivate these three things which
are principle factors in human life.