Every wave of the sea, as it rises, seems to be stretching its hands upwards, as if to say, "Take me up higher and higher."
Bowl of Saki, December 27, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
|Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:|
However disappointed a person may be at not being in a particular profession or in a particular calling or rank in life, he develops enthusiasm and energy as soon as he sees some scope for progress. His disappointment is only there when he sees no more scope. Even if he were in the depths of the earth, it would not matter as long as he could think that he would some day rise to some height.
Another wonderful thing we see, which supports this philosophy, is the tendency of everything in nature to rise. The tendency of earth is to rise as mountains and hills. When we see the mountains and hills, and how high they are, our hearts also seem uplifted. When we climb them then our heart becomes uplifted. As we look up to them from below, it seems as if the earth itself is desiring to rise and go upward.
Then when we look upon the perfection of water, of the ocean, we see that it also rises as waves. And every wave, as it rises up, seems to be stretching its hands upward as if saying, 'Take me up, take me up, higher and higher.' It is the same desire that is behind all nature, making it strive to rise upward and to reach something higher.
The whole striving of the mystic is to raise his consciousness as high as possible. What this raising of the consciousness means, and how it is raised, can be better understood by the one who has begun to practice it. The best means of raising the consciousness is by the God-ideal. Therefore, however much one has studied metaphysics or philosophy intellectually and found some truth about one's being, it does not suffice for the purpose of life; for the culmination of life lies in the raising of the consciousness.
We can see this tendency in the rising of the waves, always trying to reach high and higher still. When they cannot go any farther they fall, but again they rise. ... A man who climbs a steep mountain is always apt to slip. But if this slipping, which is natural, induces him to go down again he will never climb anymore. If he slips and then tries to go on he will become more sure-footed, and will learn how to avoid slipping. Perhaps he will slip a thousand times, but a thousand times he will go forward again. It is nothing to be surprised at if a person slips. It is natural. The mountain is steep. It is natural that one should slip. The best thing one can do is to go on after every such slip, without losing courage, without allowing one's consciousness to be impressed by it; to think that it is natural and to continue the ascent.