Wednesday, June 10, 2009

" Hope............."


The word 'hope' to those who are broken-hearted is startling, to them it is poison. If you speak of hope to the broken-hearted they say, 'Do not speak of it, I do not wish to hear of it!' The state of the broken-hearted is worse than death; they are without ambition, without hope, without life. The one who is broken-hearted is dead while he is alive; the breath is still there, but his heart is dead, life has gone with the hope that was lost. He may not be old in years, but he has become old.

To him who is heartless, hope is a ridiculous word. The heartless, he whose heart is incapable of feeling, will say, 'Hope? What is it? See what you can do, and do it. Do not dream.' This is the material person who can see no further than the material possibilities.

All works that have been accomplished, have been accomplished by hope. Without hope the engineer could not have built a bridge across the Themes; he hoped, and then he built it. Without hope the Suez Canal, a thing that seemed impossible, could not have been cut.

One may ask, 'How long shall I hope? I have hoped once and I have been disappointed; I have hoped a second time and I have been disappointed; I have hoped a third time and I have been disappointed. ' I will say 'Hope until the last breath. While there is breath in the body, hope.'

People say that doctors have now found remedies for so many diseases, but I say that the cause of most illnesses is loss of hope. In the pharmacy there is no such great remedy for all the diseases as hope is. Even when disease is incurable, hope cures it.

The question arises: What hope is right, and what hope is not right? A wise person will never hope for what is impossible. Hoping to be a queen, when there are no means of being a queen, is hoping the impossible. First we must know what is possible – this is wisdom – and then we must hope. The Quran speaks of khawf, hope with consideration.

This word does not mean fear, as it has sometimes been translated, but consideration, conscientiousness. Hope with consideration of the purpose for which the manifestation was made, with the consideration of God – that hope is always right. Hope without consideration is wrong.

Why with consideration? Because we must not hope for what is wrong, for what is bad. We must hope with the fear of God before us. The hope must be so strong that, if today we are penniless, we must think that there is every possibility that tomorrow we may be a millionaire. If today our own relations do not know us, we must think that there is every possibility that tomorrow we may be known to the whole world.

There is no stain so great as the stain of hopelessness. Sometimes weakness is the cause of hopelessness. During an illness a person thinks, 'I am so weak, I cannot get better.' Or weakness is caused by old age; a person thinks, 'I am old, there is little left for me to do.' And he becomes sad and discouraged. He really may have the strength to do much more, but the loss of hope makes him old. A man may be given to drink, or he may be a gambler, or have any other vice, and may think, 'I am too weak, I cannot be cured.'

Besides old age, the hurt of the heart causes hopelessness. This shows us how careful we should be not to hurt the heart of another and not to let our own heart be hurt.

A story is told about a man who went to the Sharif of Mecca and said to him that the camel the Sharif rode was his and had been stolen from him. The Sharif asked whether he had any witnesses. He had none. Then the Sharif asked, 'What proof have you that the camel is really yours? How can you recognize it?' The man answered, 'On my camel's heart are two black spots.' 'On its heart?' said the Sharif, 'How do you know that?' The man replied, 'The animals feel as we do. My camel, a she-camel, had two young ones, and at different times both died. Each time, I saw that camel looked up to heaven and gave a cry like a sigh, a deep great sigh, and that was all. So I know that on her heart are two black spots.' The Sharif held out two gold coins and said, 'Either take back your camel, or take the price for your discovery.' If the heart of an animal can feel like this, how much can the heart of man feel?

Man was made with a most feeling heart. A poet has said, " The heart of man was made for feeling. For praise and worship the angels in heaven are many. " Man's heart has a great capacity for feeling. It is most sensitive to any touch. How careful we must be to touch it, lest we may wound it. The greatest fault is to hurt the heart of another. He who has learned this moral has learned all morality.

If we do not protect our own heart from harm, we can be killed at every moment. Amir, the poet, says, 'Why did you not kill me before you wounded my heart? It would have been better to kill me first.' We must consider what the world is and what it can give. We must give and not expect to take the same as we give. A kick for a kindness, a blow for a mercy is what the world gives. We must not expect the world to be as we are expected to be. If we receive some good, it is well. If not, it does not matter. The world does not understand in the same way as we do. Material interest has so blinded people that when a question of money comes, of interest, of a share, of a territory, of property, even a child, a wife, a relative, or the closest friend will turn against us. A Sanskrit poem says that, when the question of money arises, no consideration for father or brother remains.

We must fortify our heart, so that we always may be the same, always kind, merciful, generous, serviceable. When a person has understood this, then comes that inner hope which is within every heart, the hope in another life. If one asks anyone why a man must go out and work all day long and have no time to give to what he likes, why a man must leave his parents and go to work, why lovers must part, the answer is always the same: 'It is the struggle for life.' If this life is so valuable, how great must be the value of that other life. The hope of another life is in man, of a life that is unchanging, immortal and everlasting. It is only because our consciousness is so bound to the self that we are not conscious of it, and it is very bad that the external self always is before us, because it always makes us think, 'I have been offended, I have been badly treated, I have been neglected' – always I, I, and I.

"...I have always hope. Hope is my greatest strength. I do not require that my hopes are fulfilled, as fuel is needed to keep the fire burning. My hopes are kept alive in my faith......"

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