- Author Hazrat Inayat Khan
I once asked a very great Murshid, which was best suited for psychic and occult powers, strength or weakness of the body. No doubt there are people who, when they are sick and weak, found themselves able to see things which, being well, they could not see. But this kind of psychic power has no scope for development, because there is no strength. We sometimes think that in order to have psychic powers we should become ethereal, delicate and weak, but physical strength is needed. If it were not so, God would not have manifested Himself as man. If this physical world were not needed it would never have been created. At whatever time of life, a person, whatever his constitution, should spend twenty minutes a day developing his bodily strength. How to develop physical strength is a very extensive subject and it would take a long time to study it.
Physical weakness produces many bad effects and prevents a person, however great his spiritual progress may be, to do what he wishes. There is weakness of the heart, of the body and of the brain. Weakness of the heart makes a person at one moment very happy, at another very sad. To make the heart strong one should eat living food: that is fresh food. By drinking alcohol, which is dead matter, the worst matter is put into the heart, and its condition becomes very bad.
Weakness of the body makes a person unable to keep still, to have repose. To make the body strong a balance of activity and sleep is needed, a balance of work and repose, and physical exercises should be done. When you work there must be activity and no slowness, and when you rest there must be slowness and no activity. How many useless words do we speak, how much energy do we waste in useless actions. We should expend our energy on what is worthwhile, and not waste it in useless actions.
Good and righteous actions, good feelings – all the things people teach their children – are necessary. In reality, it does not matter to God whether you are good or bad, righteous or unrighteous, but by a pious and good life man keeps himself, his body and brain, in good condition.
Weakness of the brain produces heat. In such a condition, however nice, however good a person may be, he is at once moment very hot tempered, and then cold as snow, then hot again. To worry very much, to repent very much, to sorrow very much, and to think that life is a great burden upon us, to make a great thing out of every small event, of every small responsibility – it all weakens the brain. Normal deeds and actions and normal rest strengthens the brain.
Remember that all things pass. If worry comes – it is a passing thing. Keep it away, and if it is already there, help it to go. Do not hold on to it. If you are good, the world will not understand you and the better you become, the less the world will understand you. So you have a choice: to be like the world, or to be good and let the world misunderstand you. Let your joy and your satisfaction be within you.
The Sufis have ways of exciting the heart and making it quiet. They excite it when there is benefit in exciting it; they make it quiet when there is benefit in making it quiet. They let the brain be active, and let it rest.