Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Pain of Learning

We start our lives as teachers, and it is very hard
for us to learn to become pupils. There are many
whose only difficulty in life in that they are teachers
already. What we have to learn is pupilship.
There is but one Teacher, God Himself.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

In order to know the truth or to know God earthly
qualifications and earthly wisdom or learning are
not necessary. What one has to learn is how to
become a pupil. We often start our lives as teachers,
and then it is hard to become a pupil. From childhood
on we start to teach our parents. There are seldom
souls who have more inclination for pupilship than
for teaching, and there are many whose only difficulty
in life is that they are teachers already. Man thinks that
perhaps his reading or study of different religions
and doctrines has qualified him and made him
capable to understand the truth and to have the
knowledge of God, but he forgets that there is
only one teacher, and that is God Himself. We all
are pupils, and what we can do in life is to qualify
ourselves to become true pupils.
It should be remembered that all the great
teachers of humanity, such as Jesus Christ, Buddha,
Muhammad and Zarathushtra, have been great
pupils; they have learned from the innocent child,
they have learned from everyone, from every
person that came near them. They have learned
from every situation and every condition of the
world. They have understood and they have
learned. It is the desire to learn continually that
makes one a teacher, and not the desire to become
a teacher. As soon as a person thinks, 'I am
something of a teacher,' he has lost ground. For
there is only one teacher: God alone is the
Teacher, and all others are His pupils. We
all learn from life what life teaches us. When
a soul begins to think that he has learned all
he had to learn and that now he is a teacher,
he is very much mistaken. The greatest
teachers of humanity have learned from
humanity more than they have taught.

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