Peace, one and all…
Each month the Threshold Society has a new theme for reflection. These themes form the backdrop against which our daily and weekly practices move. They are somewhat like the weather we move within, if you will. This month’s theme is based on a hadith.
The Prophet (as) said:
‘Kindness is not found in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.’
This saying of the Prophet (as) is beautiful and profound, but not easy to live up to in our everyday lives. I know that I fall short of the mark. I am challenged to see exactly where and how I am acting unkindly, and thus to know how to grow beyond such limitations. Kindness beautifies and where we find ugliness in our lives, and our interactions, we are challenged to understand our own part in making it so. If we see ugliness it is because we have removed kindness from it in some way. We are thus made responsible for all of our actions, remembering that how we view the world is also an action. Spiritual courtesy, or adab, requires that we see ourselves honestly, that we might in time turn over all that we are to the Source.
Kindness is thus an act of vision, of seeing through to the truth of things. The following quatrain of Mevlana, drawn from a recent weekly sohbet meeting, drives home this point:
Shut your eyes so the heart may become your eye,
and with that vision look upon another world.
If you can step away from your need for self-approval,
all that you do, top to bottom, will be approved.
Kindness, as one of love’s most important frequencies, allows us to look upon our world with fresh eyes, or to literally see it become another world. Kindness also allows us to move beyond our own self obsessions, whilst it is Divine kindness that allows this transformation to take place. Kindness beautifies and allows us to move out of the way of ourselves.
A further text from a recent sohbet expands on this truth:
Every single bad habit of yours is a thorn bush:
many times you’ve stepped on those thorns.
Many times you’ve been wounded by your own bad habits –
common sense would tell you so, but you were senseless.
If you’re indifferent to the wounding of others,
which comes to pass from the darkness of your nature,
at least you’re not unaware of your own wounds;
you are the torment of yourself and of every stranger.
Either take up your axe and strike
like Ali to break through the barrier before you,
or join those thorns with a rose:
bring your fire to God’s Light
so that your fire will disappear in His Light,
and all your thorns become roses.
It is God’s loving-kindness, rahma or chesed, that shows us our own uglinesses, that we might bring our fire to God’s light. It is overflowing mercy that allows us the space and time in which to be transformed.
May we be forgiven. May we be forgiving. May we beautify every part of our lives with kindness.
Dem-i Hazret-i Mevlana…
Ask olsun! May love increase!