SOURCE OF INTUITION, INSPIRATION AND REVELATION
In this age the science of instinct is an admitted fact. Material man today admits that the animals choose their food, and what they must not eat they leave. Also he admits the fact that the birds, without being taught, fly; the fish, without being taught, swim; and the sparrows, without being taught, make their nests. But in spite of admitting this he is ready to deny the source from which this instinct comes. It is the same source from which intuition comes, inspiration, and the revelation of other kinds of things; the same source from which instinct has come. This shows to a mystic that God is the teacher of the whole creation, even of the lower creation.
But to a man God teaches more, man being the finest of all creation. Besides, man is more capable to learn and therefore he is taught more. In the East religion says that God has made man as His representative in the whole creation. What does it mean? It does not mean that man represents heaven or something Divine, but it means that man is the miniature of God. That man is capable of showing the perfection of His wisdom can be seen in the example of Christ. If that perfection were not possible for man, it would not have been written in the Bible, “Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
NATURAL VS ARTIFICIAL LIFE
Someone may ask, “What is the reason that the warning of certain happenings is given by horses, by dogs and cats in the house, and man remains ignorant?” Many who have some experience with animals, who understand the signs of the animals, will without difficulty admit the fact that especially such happenings as a great illness or death are known by the animals in the house: they give man warning. Besides there are several birds that give warnings of great happenings. No doubt the experience of these things has become more rare because man is living crowded in a city. He is in less contact with the Divine and his life is artificial; he does not know, does not notice these things.
The reason why man does not know is not that he is incapable of knowing, it is only that he has so many things on his mind. He has lost his reason, power of concentration, his power of stilling the mind, and in that respect he becomes worse than the horses, dogs, and cats. No doubt as human nature he is the most active among all the creatures, and this activity is the right thing for him if he could keep it under control. Instead of that, life is made artificial, and every day it becomes increasingly artificial. A man has not remained a man, he has become a machine. His thought, his mind is constantly working, and for what? For nothing. Think of the feeling that one gets in the large cities today. The trams running and the busses, the motor-cars running over one another. Under the ground there are vibrations going on, and on the earth there are automobiles running.
And now even the sky is not free for us to breathe the pure air; there are also airplanes you see every day. If you go near the water there are ships making noise; if you go into the country you have the noise of the factory from morning till evening; and in the town there are machines. Impressed by all these things, if you ask a man, talk to him something about the inner voice, about spiritual ideas, he will answer, “What is it? I don’t understand.” It is only necessary to hear the voice which is within, it is not necessary to study something. What is necessary is to become like nature. But man has become artificial, and he must become natural in order to hear the voice within. But the unfortunate thing is that this artificial life has become necessary to man, and when they tell him about natural life, spiritual life, God ideal, natural thought, he thinks it is something against his nature; he says, “I can’t bear it.”
When an illness becomes spread all over, it becomes common, it becomes the standard of health. Therefore today’s illness of humanity is materialism, and that materialism has become natural. In order to find an example in support of this argument you need not look for a saint or saints. You can see this in a fairly good person, a righteous person of tranquil mind and good intentions, sympathetic. You can see this in his life. The first thing that a sympathetic heart with a clear conscience perceives is an impression: every person he meets during the day, he feels not only what that person says but what is behind it. This can increase. When a person comes into a certain room he feels the atmosphere in the house, of the people, of the family. He feels in his heart whether his friend’s enterprise will be a success or a failure, distinctly or indistinctly. He feels what is happening.
That person feels the pleasure, the displeasure of his fellowmen without having spoken, that person can understand. If there is a smile outwardly and a cry inside, he hears it; and that person understands if there are tears outside and inside there is nothing. You may ask, “Is that faculty to be cultivated, and if it is to be cultivated in what manner?” I will answer, “Yes. A sympathetic person who has taken a spiritual path will naturally progress and that faculty will develop. But what is most necessary before wanting to develop that faculty is that one’s life has become true. It is sincerity, trueness, good living, a quieter thought, which prepare man for the voice which is within. But with all this goodness every person is not spiritually inclined, every person does not concentrate his mind towards that ideal which is necessary; he will still be, so to speak, blocked, not open to receive and hear the voice.“
The next step of inspiration after impression is intuition. Intuition is a distinct feeling: it is not only a convinced feeling that perhaps it will happen so, but a distinct feeling that it must happen so. An intuitive person feels if somebody is writing him a letter from a distance. The intuitive person thinks about somebody and meets him in the street, he had thought about him. The intuitive person may feel when going to table that fish will be served him; he felt by intuition what was going on in the mind of the cook, and he has foreseen this. An intuitive person becomes a kind of thought-reader, what they call clairvoyant. Although today there seems to be such a lot of that clairvoyance: it has become a business, there are so many clairvoyants! The most amusing thing is this, that it has become such an ordinary thing to have clairvoyant power, if you are psychic.
It is just like asking a person, “Have you a pen or paper?” Neither the one who asks nor the one who answers realizes how sacred the subject is, and how that subject may be treated. It is amusing to see how many people in these days talk so freely about having that power. If they only knew that when there is such a power one has to be modest about it, close one’s lips and look down.
When, therefore, a man develops, he experiences what is called inspiration. It may come as an inspiration to paint, or music or poetry. The difference between inspiration and the work of a lifetime is that the one has done his work with much thought; but in the case of inspiration it comes easily, one has only to write it down and it is there. What comes by inspiration cannot be corrected. By wanting to help it or correct it, you only spoil it instead of making it better, because it is not the person who has made it. It has been given him, although a person with materialistic ideas will not be ready to admit the fact. But ask any musician of some depth, or a poet who has really written something, and he will tell you that when he has the intention to write, he cannot; but the moment comes when it is all like rain coming from above.
When a soul develops still further it not only receives inspiration but it has what is called visions. All that he has to create, all that he produces in the form of music or poetry, it is distinctly given to him. There are visions one sees while asleep — one gets into a condition of being in a kind of half sleep — and there are visions which one gets even when wide awake. When this intuitive faculty fully develops it becomes like a searchlight. This searchlight is thrown upon a body and not only shows it dearly to man, but he has the power to open that body so that man sees the secret of that body. It is this which is called revelation. Inspiration, intuition, and revelation are grades of the development of this power.
You may ask me, “Where does this power come from?” I would answer, “The Divine spirit is hidden in the heart of man, and the more the heart is disclosed, the more the Divine Spirit finds the chance of rising to its fullness.” The great prophets, saints, and sages who have given wisdom to the world have not got this wisdom from intellectual resources but from the inner voice.
The whole tragedy of humanity today is that lack of the inner voice, and the cause of this is that the soul seems to be buried under matter. A person with a living heart goes with a torchlight to find somewhere someone who can understand what he says. What with the condition the world is in, it is hard to find. When one person among thousands come to some understanding, more realization of life, the first thing he feels is like running away from the whole crowd and never coming back to it again. For the ignorant, perhaps life here is a joy, but for a person of understanding, a person of wisdom, it is the greatest tragedy to live.
In this bad condition the Sufi Message comes to humanity as an answer to humanity’s cry. Its main theme is to waken in humanity the idea of the divine, of the human soul. The religion that this Message brings is to tolerate the beliefs of one another; and the moral, or rule, or doctrine that the Sufi Order has brought to the world is to consider that the whole inner voice is one. As the happiness of the body depends on the health of the organs, so the happiness of the whole world depends on the well-being of all nations. The Sufi Order welcomes such souls who have now arrived to a realization of the truth, the truth which will solve all questions of life, and that truth which alone can be called the ultimate truth.