Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
One wishes to be admired for his clothes, his jewels, his possessions, his greatness and position, and naturally when this desire increases it makes a person blind and he loses sight of right and justice. It is natural that the desire for things that gratify vanity should have no end; it increases continually. The tendency to look at others with hatred and prejudice, to consider them inferior to oneself, and all such tendencies come from this ego. There are even cases when people spend money in order to be able to insult another. To make someone bow before him, to make him give way, to put him in a position of inferiority, to make him appear contemptible, sometimes a person will spend money. The desire for the satisfaction of vanity reaches such a point, that a person would give his life for the satisfaction of his vanity. Often someone shows generosity, not for the sake of kindness, but to satisfy his vanity. The more vanity a person has the less sympathy he has for others, for all his attention is given to his own satisfaction, and he is as blind toward others. This ego, so to speak, restricts life, because it limits a person.
All the knowledge that man possesses he has acquired by belief. When he strengthens his belief by knowledge then comes disbelief in things that his knowledge cannot cope with, and in things that his reason cannot justify. He then disbelieves things that he once believed in. An unbeliever is one who has changed his belief to disbelief; disbelief often darkens the soul, but sometimes it illuminates it. There is a Persian saying, ’Until belief has changed to disbelief, and, again, the disbelief into a belief, a man does not become a real Muslim.’ But when disbelief becomes a wall and stands against the further penetration of mind into life, then it darkens the soul, for there is no chance of further progress, and man’s pride and satisfaction in what he knows limit the scope of his vision.
~~~ Man’s pride and satisfaction in what he knows limits the scope of his vision.