Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
There is a phrase in the Bible, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you". The Message of God is an answer to the cry of humanity. Now, as to the instrument of the message -- in reality the whole universe is an instrument, and every object and every being in it is an instrument; through whichever instrument He chooses He gives His message. One sees in one's life, and especially at times when one is deep down in depression and sorrow, some answer coming to the difficulty of that situation. It may come from a friend, from a brother, from parents, from a beloved; even from one's enemy one may get what was necessary at the moment.
But you will say, "Why should a message come in the life of an individual in the time of pain, or after a great sorrow? Why should not a message come every day for one's guidance?" And there are two reasons for it: One reason is that there is constantly a guidance from above, but man, so absorbed in his life's activities, does not open his heart to listen to that message and to see where it comes from. And the other reason is that the deeper the sorrow the higher the voice of the heart rises, until it reaches the throne of God; and that is the time when the answer comes, when a person is drowned deep in the sorrow and grief. ... Plainly speaking, man's real being is his heart, and in pain the heart becomes living and without pain man seems to be living on the surface. You will often see in life that people with an intolerable nature and manner, after having gone through the agony of pain in life, develop in them a finer nature.
~~~ Religious Gatheka 45, The Message, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
Those who have avoided love in life from fear of its pain have lost more than the lover, who by losing himself gains all. The loveless first lose all, until at last their self is also snatched away from their hands. The warmth of the lover's atmosphere, the piercing effect of his voice, the appeal of his words, all come from the pain of his heart. The heart is not living until it has experienced pain. Man has not lived if he has lived and worked with his body and mind without heart. The soul is all light, but all darkness is caused by the death of the heart. Pain makes it alive. The same heart that was once full of bitterness, when purified by love becomes the source of all goodness. All deeds of kindness spring from it.
There is not the slightest doubt that when man has had enough pain in his life he rises to this great consciousness. But it is not necessary that only pain should be the means. It is the readiness on the part of man to efface his part of consciousness and to efface his own personality, which lifts the veil that hides the spirit of God from the view of man.
~~~ The pain of life is the price paid for the quickening of the heart.