SECTION III: THE SPIRIT OF GUIDENCE
The Invocation given to us by Hazrat Inayat Khan contains these words: "...the Only Being, united with all of the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidence." Please relate your understanding of this phrase.
The Spirit Guidance
The Spirit of Guidance in other words may be railed the Divine Mind; and as the human mind is finished after its coming on earth, so the Divine Mind becomes completed after manifestation. Plainly speaking, the Creator's Mind is made of His own creation. The experience of every soul becomes the experience of the Divine Mind; therefore, the Divine Mind has the knowledge of all beings. It is a storehouse of perfect wisdom. It is the Soul of Christ, and the Spirit of prophecy. Intuition, inspiration, vision, or revelation, all have the Divine Mind as the Source from whence every kind of revelation comes.
There are some who receive the knowledge from the Divine Mind indirectly, and some receive it directly. Souls who happen to receive the central current of the Spirit of Guidance, in such souls the spirit of prophecy is conceived. The Messengers of all times, of whom we hear in the histories and traditions of the world, have been souls in whom the central current of the Divine Light has functioned. In other words, the Prophets of all ages have been the reflections of the Divine Mind on earth. No one has ever seen God, and if the evidence of God has ever been manifested, it was in man who reflected God. Besides all the Prophets have taught, it was the personality of the Prophets which proved their prophecy. In their thought, speech, and word they reflected God, which was more than morals, doctrines, and teachings could do.
Every inspired person reflects in his own way some divine spark hidden in his soul, which wins the world. A musician may show his inspiration in music; a poet may show it in his poetry; an artist may show his inspiration in his art; but the central ray of light which the Prophets reflect, falling upon every plane and every aspect of life, makes all things clear to their sight. Therefore their presence clears away perplexity from the minds of the confused ones. A person in the presence of the Prophet can feel and think more clearly, even without having spoken to the Prophet. Many forget their questions when before a Prophet, for the light, falling upon their hearts, brings them the answer, and they find out that the answer was in themselves, something that they had already known. No doubt it is true that the question and answer both are in the soul. The first step of the soul's progress raises questions, and the second step is the answer. It is, therefore, that a prophetic soul is a physician at the same time; a prophetic soul is a scientist, an artist, is capable of commerce, industry, and business, qualified in warfare and competent in peacemaking.
The Spirit of Guidance is as the yeast which is used to make bread, to prepare humanity for the purpose for which it was created. The Spirit of Guidance is a plant that grows and blossoms when it receives response and care; and when it is watered by the rainfall of divine inspiration it blooms in the light of the Divine Sun. The Spirit of Guidance is the Light of God, which may be likened to a lantern that the farmer carries when walking on the farm in the darkness of night. The Spirit of Guidance is like a searchlight. Any object on which the searchlight is thrown, it shows clearly; so the Spirit of Guidance thrown upon any aspect of life gives one a keen insight into it. In the Spirit of Guidance one finds a living God active in the heart of every person.
One who depends upon the Spirit of Guidance to guide his life is guided aright. We always have a counsel within, but the one who ignores the existence of such a thing as the Spirit of Guidance is left alone for some time by the Spirit of Guidance to look out for himself. It is like the mother and the dependent child, who tries to hold the hand of the mother at every step it takes; so the mother's whole attention is drawn to every step of her child. But when the child tries to move about by his own will, and tries to keep away, then the attention of the mother, to some extent, becomes released. This does not mean that the mother gives up entirely the care of the child; it only means that the mother allows the child to have its own way to some extent, and feels sorry when the child falls and hurts itself. In point of fact, all souls are children of God, but such souls as are conscious of their relation to God, as between a child and his parents, certainly deserve to be called the children of God. They are especially cared for; they are always guided, because they ask for guidance.
The soul of the Prophet, therefore, shows the innocence of the child. Of what is known about Jesus Christ and His life to the world, the most lovable attribute of the Master was His innocence in spite of His perfect wisdom. Certainly He deserves to be called the Only-Begotten Son Who has all His life depended for everything He said or did upon the guidance from God.
The Form of the Message
This is a question which is always asked: how the prophetic soul receives the Message of God: in what form? Does the Angel Gabriel bring this, as it is said in the scriptures of Beni Israel? Does it come as a voice? Does it come in a form which is visible? And the answer is that everything which has been said in the ancient scriptures regarding it has so much truth in it, though very often some symbolical ideas are misinterpreted by the uninitiated. Gabriel as a Messenger is, in part, imagination.
The real Gabriel is that Spirit of Guidance which is the soul of the Prophets. Its voice is intuition, but to the attentive mind of the Prophet sometimes this voice is so distinct that it becomes much louder than what one hears through the ears. For in their hearts a capacity is produced; in other words, their hearts become as domes which give echo to every word. The heart of the ordinary person does not give that echo; so the inner voice becomes inaudible to one's own soul. As a voice is necessary, so hearing is necessary also; without the hearing the voice is inaudible. The hearing is the capacity in the heart. When the heart becomes as an ear, then it begins to hear the voice that comes from within.
And now the question comes whether a Gabriel manifested to the Prophets in a certain form. That is true also. There is nothing in this world which is void of form, except God, Who is formless. The form of some things is visible, and of other things invisible. Even thoughts and feelings have forms. You may call them results, but form is always a result. The heart which can hear the inner voice louder than the spoken words can certainly see the form, even the form which is not seen by every soul. The question: "Do the eyes of the Prophet see a form?"--may be answered: "Yes." For what the heart sees fully, that becomes reflected in the eyes also. It is not seen from without, but from within, and yet it is seen. Every person cannot conceive of such an idea as this: one who is accustomed to see and hear all that comes from outside. But it is as clear as the day for the wise to know that the eyes and the ears are not only the organs in which the impressions from the outer life are reflected, but even the impressions from the life within are also reflected in them.
It matters little to a Prophet whether his ears hear or his heart hears, whether his eyes see or his heart sees. He knows that he hears and sees, and that is sufficient evidence for him of a living God. One may ask: do you mean by this that God is so personal as to speak and manifest as a phantom to a certain soul? If it were so, it would be nothing but limiting God! In answer to this, I would say that the limitless God cannot be made more intelligible to our limited self unless He was first made limited. That limited ideal becomes as an instrument, as a medium of God Who is perfect and Who is limitless.
SUPPLEMENTARY READING MATERIAL
Coming again to man's conception of Christ, He has said, "I am the Alpha and Omega," and one wonders, "If He was in the beginning and the end, why has He been absent in the time between?" In reality, He has been absent only to those who identified Hi8m with His name and form, but He has never been absent from those who recognized the real Christ.
The Spirit of Guidance has always existed and will always exist, and has never been absent, and never will be absent, and it is that Spirit who, through all names and forms, is attending to the children of earth in the form of the mother, the father, the friend, the faithful servant, the generous master, in the form of teacher or advisor. You do not know in how many forms that Spirit of Guidance is doing its work. Yet to those who cannot see Him, He is absent. To those who see, He is present.
Then comes the thought, "If He is all-pervading, there is no need of Krishna, Buddha, Christ or Mohammed; if the Spirit of Guidance is working in all, it is not necessary that there should be a manifestation with a claim, an open declaration. The answer to this objection is given in the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna says, "When Dharma is hindered, then I am born," which means that such manifestation that people recognize as Savior or Messenger always comes when the necessity arises. In other words, it is necessity, which causes that Spirit to arise in its real form, but at the same time, whenever that Spirit has risen, the world has been against Him.
It is not the solid wood that can become a flute; it is the empty reed. It is the perfection of the passiveness in the heart of the Messenger which gives scope to the Message from above, because the Messenger is the reed, the instrument; the difference between the average man's life and God is that the first is full of self. It is the blessed soul, whose heart is empty, who is filled with the light, with the blessing of God.
The Messenger, Hazrat Inayat Khan
(Reprinted in Cherag's Notebook)
There is a cycle for every aspect of the life of an individual and the life of the world.... The nature of each of these cycles shows three aspects: the beginning, the culmination, and the end (which are named Uruj, Kemal, and Zaval).... These cycles, subcycles, and undercycles, and three aspects of their nature, are divided and distinguished by the nature and course of light, and this light of sun and moon an planets plays the most important part in the life of the world, individually and collectively. The light of the Spirit of Guidance also divides time into cycles and each cycle therein has been under the influence of a certain master, with so many controllers of the whole world under him working as a universal government to control the affairs mostly concerning the spiritual condition of the world inwardly.
Guidance, Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Message, August 1979
There have been many great teachers who have been sent on earth to serve God and help humanity, and their lives have been different from on another. Yet behind their lives there is a plan, quite similar in them all.
The moment that the Prophet (Mohammed) began to receive the Message of God, do you think that it came only one side? It came from everywhere! The voice from within was so strong that the Prophet heard its resonance in the wind, in the fluttering of the leaves, in the running of the water, in the sky, and on the ground. The whole atmosphere was full of the resonance of words that came to the Prophet from within. It seemed as if the Absolute was speaking, as if the moon was speaking, as if the air was speaking, that there was nothing in space except the living word that began to come, and he began to hear it.
The Prophetic Life, Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Message, December 1980
Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration if I quoted a poet who said that "God speaks to every man, but every man does not listen to the word of God." This deafness of the heart is a natural outcome of our life in the world. If, by the help of meditation, we raise the heart to a certain pitch, then the word of God becomes manifest.
In one form, it is said: "God spoke to the Prophet." That form is a plain form, that when the heart of the Prophet was lifted and raised to that pitch where it can hear the Word of God, it heard the Word of God. The idea of an angel bringing the Message of God is more symbolical. It is easier for man to understand an angel bringing the Message than God speaking directly.
The Message Papers, p.37
What we mean by the prophetic mission is understanding the programming. It is not just the programming of people individually, but the programming of the whole humanity.
So, eventually one is called upon to follow one's guidance. Other people might not believe it. It is really a matter of intuition. As one becomes more and more dedicated to service, and when one attains more realization, one becomes earmarked: one is chosen more and more by the government of the world.
Inasmuch as you are given a guidance which is in harmony with the divine order of things, you are a member of the hierarchy.
That is guidance. Actually, it is not influencing (the thinking of people) so much as bringing about a realization, which makes for one's progress. It is communicating realization. So, as a teacher, the only thing that one can ever do is communicate one's realization, or rather, to communicate the realization that is coming through one. One has to open oneself up to the realization of those beings who are hierarchically above one, and whose realization is vaster than one's own.... Obviously, it is a matter of communication with beings, and this is what is meant by guidance: really receiving inspiration and guidance for the way one gives guidance to others.
If people don't understand the programming, it is because they haven't reached a point where they could stand the understanding.
The divine being is made up of all of us. I something think that we should say "us" instead of "Him." So one must not think that it is just a matter of receiving instructions and following them blindly. Often it is a question of wishing what God wishes, oneself. That is why Murshid says, "Let Thy will become my desire."
I think that what we think are our free acts are sometimes the divine act of freedom, the way God manifests His freedom through us, as against the fossilization of what was his act of freedom and became the law.
The Meaning of Guidance, Pir Vilayat Khan
The Message, February 1078
The search for the Rasoul is the search for God, except God is the hidden and the Rasoul is the manifest, God is solitary and the Rasoul is multiple, God is the origin and the Rasoul is the goal. He is the incorporation of the Spirit of Guidance which comes from time to time enshrouded in limited consciousness, being a product of circumstances and time and space. He is limited as the situation demands, while in his source he remains unlimited.
Meditation on the Rasoul, Taj Inayat
From Cherag's Notebook
We know that one essential aspect of the Message of our time is the growing awareness of PLANNING, which is a function of the internal system of guidance and government which is called the spiritual hierarchy....
As for the Message as a whole, which is the guidance imparted to all of humanity, the challenge is to know how to bring the teaching out at the scale of humanity instead of on the individual scale.
The work of the hierarchy is easier among people who wish to follow instructions and are sensitive enough to pick them up.
It is a rare being who is both sensitive enough to receive guidance and strong enough to carry it into action by battling with all the opposing factors in life.
As time goes on and humanity evolves, the role of the intervention of planning becomes greater and greater over karma. It's like the power drawing one from the past. Humanity has gained momentum and is moving faster and faster towards the goal.
So it is the Spirit of Guidance which plays the significant role, rather than the Messiah who picks up the wounded victims of karma or the law. There is a new order of things in the hierarchy itself, and the role of the Messenger has shifted to making people realize their purpose in life.
The Spiritual Hierarchy, Taj Inayat
The Message, June 1977
The Cherag's Notebook
The creation is being continually re-improvised, renewed, and we are part of it. So our freedom is the expression of the divine freedom against what used to be the divine freedom which became fossilized in the form of law.... Seen from the real perspective, it's the one and only consciousness working through this instrument, discovering His own being....
One thinks of the purpose as somewhere in the infinite future, and one thinks of the cause as being right back into the past, but in fact you have to think of the cause as happening now, because it's in the eternal present, and the purpose as being already now.
Omega Consciousness, Pir Vilayat Khan
The Message, August 1977
Quotes from "Commentaries on the Prayers" by Pir Vilayat Khan (The Message, June 1979) on the prayer, Salat:
The second prayer, Salat, is so much the Message. It is a prayer to the One Spirit behind all the different prophets.
Alpha and Omega is the Spirit of Guidance that appears over and over again in the forms of the different Masters. It doesn't mean that it's the same person; it's something quite cosmic beyond the person.
This prayer is to the Spirit of Guidance, the Divine Light, that comes to cast light upon the destiny of humans, giving them guidance.
Phrase: "In a loving mother, in a kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend, in an inspiring
Commentary: He's showing how the divine guidance can manifest through all these beings. You mustn't
think that divine guidance only comes through the Masters, Saints and Prophets.
Phrase: "We adore Thy past, Thy presence deeply enlightens our being, and we look for Thy
Blessings in the future."
Commentary: We think of all the manifestations of the Spirit of Guidance in the past; we experience
the presence of the Spirit of Guidance now, and we look forward to their blessings in
Phrase: "Thou, whose heart constantly reaches upward..."
Commentary: When we say "Thou," we are referring beyond the multiplicity of Masters, Saints, and
Prophets to the Spirit of Guidance. Their heart is continually reaching upward for
inspiration and then, having received the Message, they "comest on earth with a Message,
as a dove from above when Dharma decays."
Phrase: "...and speaketh the word that is put into Thy mouth..."
Commentary: "The words that he (prophet) uses are words that have been placed into his mouth. He has
received inspiration "as the light filleth the crescent moon...." The moon has always been
the epitome of the prophet.
Quotes from Nature Meditations:
Let my heart reflect Thy light
As the moon reflects the sun.
Let my soul advance towards Thee
As the rising moon progresses towards fullness.
Let me receive Thy divine message
As the stars receive light from Thy hidden face.
I see Thy spirit, O rasul,
Under the veil of my spiritual guide.