The plain truth is too simple for the seeker after complexity, who is looking
for things he cannot understand.
Bowl of Saki, December 19, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Man likes complexity. He does not want to take only one step; it is more
interesting to look forward to millions of steps. The man who is seeking the
truth gets into a maze, and that maze interests him. He wants to go through it a
thousand times more. It is just like children. Their whole interest is in
running about; they do not want to see the door and go in until they are very
tired. So it is with grown-up people. They all say that they are seeking truth,
but they like the maze. That is why the mystics made the greatest truths a
mystery, to be given only to the few who were ready for them, letting the others
play because it was the time for them to play.
What holds man back? It is his love of complexity. Life makes for man a puzzle,
and like a child he enjoys the puzzle. Truth is too simple for him; he attaches
importance to what he cannot understand. If he is told that there is a sacred
mountain a thousand miles away he will walk to it. In the ancient days the
people were told that if they walked in a circle round the temple a hundred
times they would gain much, and they went and felt they had made a pilgrimage.
Such is human nature. Man longs for truth, he searches for truth, and yet he
wants to escape from truth. Man wants mystery. He wants something that can be
put into words. So long as the seeker has that desire he will remain in a
puzzle, but for the one who wishes to come out, the door is open. The heart of
man is the abode of God. Christ said, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and
all these things shall be added unto you'.... Man has accustomed himself to
think of things that are far from truth. Even in religion as well as in everyday
life he is continually denying truth, and so he wanders far away because he
becomes accustomed to everything but truth.
Man is seeking for phenomena, he wants wonderworking, communication with ghosts
or spirits, he is looking for something complex, and yet the simplest thing and
the most valuable thing in life is to find one's true self.