The Inner School Activity
From The Message Papers
The Inner School
The Hague, June 6, 1924
English | Italian
The inner school is for the few who seek for truth earnestly, steadily and with patience, who are awake to the voice of truth and will have patience all along the journey. The inner school is not something man follows, a form, a dogma, or a belief. The inner school has not got a dogma, neither a a belief; the work of the inner school is to tune the soul, to raise the individual from the plane where he stands, to uplift the soul.
This is a school where one learns to know himself, where one comes to understand life.
It is as the picture is given in diwan in a poetry: once a lion was wandering in the woods and found among the sheep a cub of lion. He gave it a great surprise by saying to it, "Cub of lion"; but it also ran away with the sheep. The lion followed the cub and when he approached, it was much frightened. "Why?" the lion said, "You are a lion too". "No, no", was the answer. "I am a sheep; I am no lion, I am frightened, I tremble". But the lion said: "I will not let you go among the sheep, you are a lion". The cub was very much frightened but followed the lion. They came near a pool of water; the sun was clear, the water still. The lion said: "While you drink this water, see your reflection and look at me". And it saw for itself: "I am the same as this lion. Why do I run among the sheep? Let the sheep go and I'll do the works of lion".
That is the work of the inner school. Initiation which Murshid gives to the mureed is as the call of the lion. The lake is the heart. When in the heart one begins to seek, one finds self, the secret of which one had not known fully.
Therefore know that you have to expect nothing by initiation, that it does not give a new power, a great power or visions. No, this school does not pretend to give things of that sort. It is a school of tradition of thousands of years, to which belonged saints and sages whose names are found in manuscripts of the past, whose names are not imaginary names, whose lives can be found in the history of the past. Therefore know that behind us is a backbone of tradition of masters, prophets, wise men, and sages who have proved to have understood the secret of life.
Knowing this, we shall be conscious of the dignity of the path of initiation in the school of the Sufi Movement. How can this dignity be observed? First by closing the lips. It is the light-hearted who throw all out what is given to them, who speak of spiritual matters to anyone. This should not be your manner. You must show the lion's heritage, keeping the lips closed on sacred matters. Mind not if another has a different belief, a different conception. The Sufi is above the differences of opinions. The whole secret of this path is to journey with the lips closed. No discussion, no argument, not too much talking on the subject of the soul which is too sacred to be talked about with everyone. Besides, if you disagree, if you feel contempt for another custom, another manner, it shows your limitation. By tolerance, by understanding, by forgiving one shows that the heart is large enough to assimilate all things. The ordinary mentality respects certain things and other things it does not like. The more one becomes spiritual, the more one is assimilating, understanding. The higher one is spiritually evolved, the greater is the willingness, the readiness to forgive. "To know all is to understand all."
One might ask: Through the school of initiation, what does one learn? No principle? What principle has one to adopt? And I say: There is only one principle and that is the largeness of your heart. And who will judge it? You yourself. Every thought, word and feeling you must weigh, you must find out whether it is large or small, or whether it shows lack of evolution, imperfection. Success in this school depends upon the unfoldment of those who belong to it.
Man has an earthly body but a heavenly soul. His earthly parentage is apparent; his real parentage is God's parentage. The more aristocratic and noble, the more conscious, the more there is the expression of the divine. Then whatever one thinks or feels or does, one expresses the divine. This is the right principle. There is no need for Murshid to tell you what is small or large. As the eyes can discriminate, the heart can discriminate whether what we think, say or do is small or large. A person may be in a high rank or position, he may have a great wealth; if his heart is small, he is a small person. Whatever he does is small. Another may be void of all that belongs to the world and yet if his heart is large, he is great. In this way, by struggling with the self one will find nobility, which is a divine heritage. Thus life will become harmonious, an expression of the divine.
Besides, there is another thing and that is meditation. By that is not meant to pray on Sunday, or every evening, or to close the eyes for a few minutes. That is the beginning. That is not what I mean. But our whole life we must be in meditation, with everything we do; not one single moment should pass without. By this one accomplishes a task which is the only yearning of the soul: to seek perfection.
Remember in which boat you are traveling - in the boat of responsibility. Keep before you the dignity of your ideal. And by persevering faithfully, you can be sure of the desired result, without doubt.
God bless you.