1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

THE IDEAL LIFE – is it possible? January 15, 2009

 image by axinia

When speaking on the subject of ideal life, the words of the Prophet of Islam may be quoted, where he says, ‘Every soul has
its own religion.’ This means that every soul has a certain direction, which it has chosen, a goal to attain during life. This goal is
a certain ideal, which depends on the soul’s evolution.

Religion in the East is not made into a thing apart from one’s life, as in the West where business, profession, and other things
on the one side of life, and going to church one day in the week on the other side, together constitute religion, with a prayer
before going to rest. But, strictly speaking, life is religion. When one has that ideal before one with whatever occupation one is
concerned, business, industry, domestic life, or whatever it is, one carries it out, trying to be worthy of it, that is religion.

In the Hindu language, the same word, Dharma, means both duty and religion. Both are expressed by one word. ‘This is your
Dharma’ means: ‘This is your faith.’ How beautiful the thought is! Whatever kind of duty it is, so long as you have an ideal
before you and are performing that duty, you are walking in the path of religion.

We, with our narrowness of faith or belief, accuse others of belonging to another religion, another chapel or church. We say,
‘This temple is better, that faith is better.’ The whole world has kept on fighting and devastating itself just because it can not
understand that each form of religion is peculiar to itself. Therefore, the ideal life is in following one’s own ideal. It is not in
checking other people’s ideals.
If a certain thing is one’s ideal, that does not mean that another person will agree that it is best
to offer prayers ten times a day. He may be doing better by following his religion in his shop than by going to a mosque and
offering up a prayer twenty times a day. Perhaps somebody with that ideal cannot see that the other person’s way is an ideal
also. Leave everyone to follow his own ideal.

A person may say that a religious ideal is the true ideal, or a moral, spiritual, or a practical life. Many people say it is much
better to be in the world, to live in the world. Others say it is better to live away from the wicked world, to get away and live in
the forests, the jungles, or the caves. They say, ‘This is the only way to live.’ Others say, ‘Just make merry, eat, drink, and
enjoy life.’ But others again say, ‘The good life is in the service of man. As much service as we can give, as much kindness, as
much love, that is the ideal.’

If we ask a hundred people, we will hear of a hundred ideals. Everyone thinks that he who follows his ideal is the best person,
and whoever follows another ideal is wicked. Sufis, mystics, ascetics, in spite of all their high ideals, have been killed,
beheaded, and tortured by different religious authorities, because these religious authorities had a different ideal, and were
convinced that their own ideal was right and the other wrong. They said, ‘My Church is the only Church which exists, the only
one, which can teach you the real truth.’ Is it not true that every Church or every faith in which there is a willingness for others
to join, thinks that its ideal and its belief is the best to follow? That is man’s foolishness. He wishes everyone to follow the same
ideal as his. He does not know that the prophets whom the world may follow, often could not get their brother or their wife or
their child to follow them!

If we read the history of Abraham, Moses, or Mohammad, we see what happened. It was difficult for their own people to
follow them, however many other followers they may have had, because every soul has its own peculiar ideal, and it wants to
go on towards it.

True preaching would be asking everyone to develop his own ideal, however wrong it might appear to the outsider at the
moment. Let each one develop his faculty of doing right in his own judgement. One will see that in time he will develop the real
thing, because in him is the light of God and it will never misguide him.

by Hazrat Inayat Khan(1882-1927) “In an eastern rose garden”


25 Responses to “THE IDEAL LIFE – is it possible?”

  1. Sahaja Says:

    That is man’s foolishness. He wishes everyone to follow the same

    U said it all!! could not agree more with this!!

  2. axinia Says:

    it was not me, but the Sufi master 🙂 but it really represents my thoughts and feelings about the whole idea.

  3. wortman Says:

    the ideal life?
    i think, its the way we live our live today without jealousy and distrust.

  4. swaps Says:

    Axinia, whoever said it, it makes sense only if we realize it on our own….since you have realized it, it is as good as you discovered it!

    Initially, I thought this post was tiring 🙂
    But… “True preaching would be asking everyone to develop his own ideal, however wrong it might appear to the outsider at the moment.” is indisputable.

    Ideally, ideals must disappear.

  5. axinia Says:

    I think I will remove the “tiring” part, thanks :;)

    Ideals must disapear? I think they never will.

  6. swaps Says:

    Axinia, I meant that there is no unique ideal, the same thing you have said in the post.

  7. Molly Says:

    Beautiful post, Axinia (and beautiful picture). I think the ideal life is entirely possible. It is a matter of perception, outlook, attitude. We are all here to learn and work out our stuff, so whatever way we are doing that is serving us (and if we don’t figure it out this time, we will certainly be back to figure it out again, I believe)

    Here’s to living and loving and allowing not only ourselves, but others, to do the same. TOLERANCE.

    With Palms Together,

  8. axinia Says:

    swaps, to me the key message was “One will see that in time he will develop the real
    thing, because in him is the light of God and it will never misguide him.”

  9. Axinia,

    The Sufi saint has expressed beautifully the foolishness of man in trying to impose one’s things on others. Such filthy, rotten, disgusting behaviour is the reason for all problems in the world 😡

    However, his views about the role of religion in public life in the East and West seem to belong to his period (late 19th century / early 20th century) and maybe even before that. The West has moved away from its obsession with religion that kept it in the dark ages and has evolved into a modern, advanced society where secularism, democracy and individual rights have meant that religion has very little space in public life. Religious institutions and forces that once controlled the fate of the West, like the Vatican, and other competing Churches only have a diminished, symbolic value.

    Large parts of the East, on the other hand, are still caught in a seemingly endless dark age where religions play the role of keeping the masses in a perpetual mediæval age of backwardness. The rise of religio-fascist-extremist forces in West Asia and South Asia and parts of Africa coupled with widespread poverty and lack of democratic spirit is fuelled by the role that religions and religious beliefs play in public life.

  10. radha Says:

    yes, after self realization ideal life is completely possible and tangible (i fully experience it daily)

  11. axinia Says:

    @Raj, I know you would mention this point of tme 🙂 Sure, the Sufi master was talking about his time, that is why I mentioned his dates near the name.
    and thanks for your insight into the problems of life!

    me, like Radha, I can say I lead an ideal life, in totaly harmony with my values – and today more than at any other time of my life!

  12. swaps Says:

    @Raj, I hope the world doesn’t become like the developed West. Because being irreligious doesn’t guarantee a broader outlook. W need to rise above man-made values like democracy, economic vibrancy etc.

  13. Axinia,

    I have no doubt that you and Radha lead ideal lives.

    But how can one define an ideal life 😕 At any point of time, a person behaves according to what he/she learnt in his/her life upto that point in time through various things like experiences, conditioning, circumstances, intuition, etc. So I guess everyone leads some kind of ideal life.


    I don’t think there is anything above man-made values because society itself is man-made and all societal values are made by man. Sure, being irreligious may not guarantee a broader outlook, an example is the backward commies of North Korea.

    The West is developed because it keeps changing its man-made values for the betterment of man. Like every thing that evolves, man-made values have to keep evolving. Things that don’t evolve or change for the better with the passage of time deserve to perish completely!

    Religions and the imaginary entity called “God” are also man-made. Putting such primitive, man-made things on a pedestal by claiming that they are “divine” first leads to the stagnation and then complete decay of societies that do so. That was what happened to the West when it was under the spell of such things. Once these primitive forces of stagnation were pushed out, the West began its progress. Unfortunately, huge parts of the East are still caught in the equivalent of the European dark ages giving the West a monopoly over development. Once the East and other areas emerge from their dark ages, the world would be a much better place 😐

  14. swaps Says:

    Axinia, I must pinch myself or slap my face. Just look at the ‘visitor location’ map….it is bleeding. I didn’t know Africa had internet, there is someone in mid Pacific too 🙂

    What a following….you are set to be next Mataji!!

    • axinia Says:

      @swaps, here i do not see any connection with the thread of the comments or the topic of this post… yes, I ahve some readership but it is hot that huge as some other bloggers have…
      “The following” means nothing, really – so many totally stupid things are globally followed…

      @Radha, your answer is brilliant – THE IDEAL LIFE IS ALL WITHIN. how very very true!! thanks, dear!

      @Destination Infinity, yes, our life is a journey…but you know, at some point one gets fed with with this “finding out what is an ideal, what is right” – at some point I personally wanted TO FIND, and not to keep searching any more. and I actually did found everything I wanted.

      @shantini21, thank you 🙂 I will surely contact you.

  15. radha Says:

    hi Raj, ideal life is all within. you must have this feeling inside, whatever little action you are duing, intentionally or unintentionally you have this feeling that “i am leading and ideal life”.

  16. I too feel that recognizing one’s ideal is tough. With so many conflicting thoughts and experiences, how do we zero in on an ideal? Perhaps, our life is a journey to find it out! But I agree with the point made by the post. It was interesting to know that close relatives did not follow the ideals of prophets!

    Destination Infinity

  17. shantini21 Says:

    Dear Axinia

    Romain made me discovered your blog which is fantastic
    A lots of congratulations
    actually I started a blog on word press and have some technical problem
    would you mind if i ask you some advices?
    Again a lots of congratulations. Very very nice

  18. Thanks, Radha! 🙂 So has it just got to do with the inner feeling? I mean, can one lead an ideal life all along and yet not be aware of it? Is it just a question of awareness 😕

  19. swaps Says:

    Axinia, if you havea readership around the world, it must mean yo are something of a universal being….that is the ideal life.

  20. axinia Says:

    Raj, I think one has to be aware – or at least satisfied with ones life. Then it is an ideal life…

    swaps, that is an intresting take on ideal life…I hope very much I am a universla being :)) But most of the bloggers are getting the readership from all over the world, there is really nothing special in it.

  21. radha Says:

    Raj, especially in these modern times awareness is becoming too important. everybody talks about it in all kinds of contexts but not everybody really gets it fully and makes of awareness the torch in his life. when awareness is not there, light within is not there either. and if light is not there how is possible to lead an ideal life?

  22. Kartz Says:

    The ideal life… Ah Utopia! Don’t we all dream about it?

    God… An eternal topic of debate!

    I am a theist. But a realist too… If you were to ask me what my belief/faith/religion is, I will prefer to say I am a Humanist. A Universalist.

    My reply to this post is in the form of a composition I wrote not too long ago… Do take a look, time permitting. 🙂


    It is way too long to put down here.


  23. adventurist Says:

    A point I find very interesting to look into is whether or not this ideal life can be lived anywhere, or in any large city, or whether there is a place out there for each of us.

    What are your thoughts on this? I for one believe that given any large city, any one of us could be happy there. All that is needed is we look for the places that mesh with our personalities.

    I’ve recently written a blog post on this, which I think is very relevant to this discussion, and I’d love to hear your comments on it…


  24. umesh *** Says:

    when i was reading this, i was flying in the air realizing the true image of an ideal life. this site is ” a site with a personal touch. “

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