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What is (the) Truth?


Paul Salahuddin Armstrong posted af picture with a quote by Hazrat Inayat Khan, which really inspired me. The quote is one of ten utterances said by him, concerning the unity of mankind and the world (and everything in between). These ten utterances is considered the foundation of his Universal Sufism and goes:

  1. There is one God; the Eternal, the Only Being; None exists save He.
  2. There is one master; the guiding spirit of all souls that constantly leads all followers toward the light.
  3. There is one holy book; the sacred manuscript of nature, the only Scripture that can enlighten the reader.
  4. There is one religion; unswerving progress in the right direction toward the Ideal, which fulfills every soul’s life purpose.
  5. There is one law; the law of reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.
  6. There is one brotherhood; the human brotherhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the fatherhood of God.
  7. There is one moral; the love which springs forth from self-denial and blooms in deeds of beneficence.
  8. There is one object of praise; the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
  9. There is one truth; true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of Wisdom.
  10. There is one path; annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all perfection.

The one quoted by Salahuddin Armstrong is the ninth, “There is one truth; true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of Wisdom.” It made me think about what truth indeed is. Of course, all of us hold a set of beliefs, whether based on religious principles or not, which we understand our worlds from, and these beliefs are what is making up ‘truth’ for each and every one of us. In that manner truth is relative, being condoned to the holder and how he or she sees the world.

But what Hazrat Inayat Khan presents us for here is something else, something more confound. It is not merely knowing things or believing in something, but insight and understanding of our existence. I am not sure we can fully obtain truth, only attempt to reach it, but it can – I believe – only be obtained or approached by the full attempt to contemplate and ponder on our existence, our own private being, as well as the existence surrounding us, whether in the small or the big. Of course, not many of us have neither the time nor the opportunity to do that, at least not on a constant level, but that doesn’t mean that we should abstain from doing it at all, rather we should attempt to spend the time given us, no matter how much or little that might be, to delve into the nuances and understandings of our existence.

That said, when I read Hazrat Inayat Khan’s utterances, then I get the feeling that he indeed reached a glimpse of true understanding. Maybe not the truth itself, but at least true understanding of things, and how we are connected.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to share.

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