Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
A soul shows the proof of its evolution in the degree of the tolerance it shows. The life in the lower creation shows the lack of tolerance. The tendency of fighting with one another, which one sees among beasts and birds, shows the reason at the back of it, that intolerance is born in their nature. ... But when a soul has evolved still more, tolerance becomes the natural thing for him. Because the highly evolved soul then begins to realize 'Another person is not separate from me, but the other person is myself. The separation is on the surface of life, but in the depth of life I and the other person are one.' Therefore tolerance is not learned fully by trying to follow it as a good principle. It is learned by having the love of God, by attaining the knowledge of self, and by understanding the truth of life.
A Sufi tries to keep harmony in his surroundings, the harmony which demands many sacrifices. It makes one endure what one is not willing to endure, it makes one overlook what one is not inclined to overlook, it makes one tolerate what one is not accustomed to tolerate, and it makes one forgive and forget what one would never have forgotten if it were not for the sake of harmony. But at whatever cost harmony is attained, it is a good bargain. For harmony is the secret of happiness, and in absence of this a person living in palaces and rolling in gold can be most unhappy.
The first step to the attainment of the truth cannot be taught in books, or be imparted by a teacher. It must come spontaneously, namely through the love for truth. The next step is to search for it; the third step is the actual attainment. How can one attain? In order to attain truth one must make one's own life truthful. ... Passing from the state of natural man, through the state of being a lover of truth and a seeker after truth, one begins to express truth ... One begins to understand what the great teachers have taught. Then one becomes tolerant to the various religions. Nothing seems strange any more. Nothing surprises. For now one begins to know the innermost nature of man; one sees the cause behind every action. Therefore tolerance and forgiveness and understanding of others come naturally. The person who knows the truth is the most tolerant. It is the knower of truth who is forgiving; it is the knower of truth who understands another person's point of view. It is the knower of truth who does not readily voice his opinion, for he has respect for the opinions of others.
When man gains insight into himself, he also gains insight into the hearts of others. All this desire for learning occult or mystical powers or psychic powers now disappears, because he begins to see all this power in one truth -- loving truth, seeking truth, looking for truth, living the truthful life. That it is which opens all doors.
~~~ "Supplementary Papers, Philosophy V", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
~~~ The first sign of the realization of truth is tolerance.