The following extract is taken from a wonderful jewel of the spiritual literature, Daughter of Fire, the diary of Irina Tweedie (1907-1999), a sufi woman who spent some years in India with one of those hard to find master Saints. The diary was actually the first task he gave to her, to keep record of wonderful things that one day would inspire many others to seek deeper within. And he was right, the book has become a must, specially for those who are already experiencing "thorns in the way".
"There is nothing but ONE BEING experiencing through everything created. His Light is in everything. Why should animals become men? Has this tree an Atman? Surely not. But man has an Atman. Man is the King of Creation. But His light is not only in men but in every atom of His Universe"
We went for a walk in the evening, not in the park this time, but much further to the water reservoirs. It was a beautiful evening...a sunset of fire and crimson and the most luminous gold. I said how I loved the deep, red sky, the dramatic sunsets of India, the graceful silhouette of the temple, the palm trees against the glowing sky.
"How many things do you love?" he asked. We sat down for a short while on a bench near the edge of the reservoir, the colors of the sky reflected in the water.
"Oh, so many", I replied. "The song of the birds at dawn, the flowers, mountains and sky, India, England, the forests burning with the colors of autumn, and people and...!"
"Your heart is like a hotel", he interrupted darkly. "One can love only One. You cannot love two masters; either you love the world or you love its creator".
"Oh, Bhai Sahib", I sighed. I did not know what to say to that.
Many are the times in which we have heard of remarks like this. Yet, one thing is hearing or reading and another realising how true this is.
There is always a feeling of great relief, a little liberation, when the glimpse of oneness takes place. On the contrary, the more we refuse to feel the Beloved Essence in everything, the more we keep increasing the suffering blindly, deceived by our own selfishness, which is perhaps a glimpse of the One already, because, it is our passionate jealousy for it, as the sufis say.
In the end, no matter where we look or how we feel, there is nothing but One, even in the shimmering of our little sufferings.