Balance in Greatness

One way of being great is to take all we can. The more we take the greater we become, and all the world will call us great. Another way is to give all we can. In the Bible we read, «If a man takes away your coat, give him your cloak as well.»
The question arises: how much can we give? The more we give the more will be taken from us. When Shams-e-Tabriz had given his skin, the worms and germs also took his flesh and blood. They did not say, «This man has given his skin, let him have the comfort that he may still have;» they took all.
We who are giving the message of liberty cannot give a message from which the world will run away. If we say, «Give all,» the world will run away from such a message. The world will say, «If I give all, I shall have nothing to eat, I shall have nothing with which to cover myself. I must at least have something to eat and I must be covered.»
There is a story told of our Murshid Farid Shakr Ganj who was worshipping in the jungle. His was of worship was the ascetic way. He hung himself up in a well by his feet, head down, and in this way he practiced. The animals did not come near him, but the birds came and ate his skin and flesh. He let them eat, because he was practicing this moral, but when they came near his eyes he warded them off with his hand and said, «O bird, I would also give thee mine eyes, if thou wouldst bring them first in the presence of the Beloved, that they might have a glimpse. Then thou couldst eat.»
We must not give away the soul, the intelligence, and the power of distinguishing. If we give these, we are like the tree: everyone may eat of its fruits. Our arms were not given to us that we should fold them, but that we should work. Our feet were not given to us that we should be motionless, but that we should walk. Our power of distinguishing is given to us that we may distinguish, and by distinguishing we also may learn not to distinguish. We must take a middle course: we must distinguish when to give when not to give, to whom to give, to whom not to give.

Bowl of saki

16 Jul The heart of every man, both good and bad, is the abode of God, and care should be taken never to wound anyone by word or act.


Little pool, why is your water so muddy? Because of my narrow mind and depthless heart.


If there is any visible sign of progress on the spiritual path it is seen in the refinement of the feeling heart and in the humility of the attitude, which has become more dignified, showing beauty as an example for all.

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