"The more you evolve spiritually, the further you pass from the understanding of every man."
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
The average man cannot understand the mystic; and therefore people are always at a loss when dealing with him. His 'yes' is not the same 'yes' that everybody says; his 'no' has not the same meaning as that which everybody understands. In almost every phrase he says there is some symbolical meaning. His every outward action has an inner significance. A man who does not understand his symbolical meaning may be bewildered by hearing a phrase, which is nothing but confusion to him.
I will tell you something about my own teacher. Once I met a learned man, a doctor of philosophy with a great many degrees. I spoke to him on the deeper side of life and he became so interested in me that he thought much of me. So I thought, 'If I were to tell him about my teacher, how much more interesting that would be for him. If I make such an impression upon this man, how much more my teacher will be for him, and how much will he appreciate my teacher', and I told him, 'There is a wonderful man in this city, he has no comparison in the whole world'. 'Yes?', said he, 'Are there such people? I would so much like to see him. Where does he live?' I told him, in such and such a part of the city. He said, 'I live there too. Where is his house. I know all the people there. What is his name?' So I told him, and he said, 'For twenty years I have known this man, and you are telling me about him!' I thought, 'In a hundred years you would not have been able to know him'. He was not ready to know him.
If people are not evolved enough they cannot appreciate persons, they cannot understand them, they cannot understand the greatest souls. They sit with them, they talk with them, there is a contact of the whole life, but they do not see. Another person in one moment, if he is ready to understand, makes a benefit out of it. Imagine, the learned man had known my teacher for twenty years and did not know him. I saw him once, and became his pupil forever. One might ask, 'Was this man not learned, not intellectual?' Yes, he was. Then what was lacking? He saw my teacher with his brain, I saw him with my heart. People pursue spirituality with their brain: that is where they are mistaken. Spirituality is attained through the heart.
The more one evolves the more one will discover the different grades of people, just like the different keys on the piano. One is lower, another is higher. Every person has a different grade of evolution. Also, the higher you evolve the more you will find that you cannot drive everyone with the same whip. You have to speak to everyone differently, in fact in his own language. If you speak a language he does not understand, it will be gibberish to him. ...
Once when traveling I met a man of a very dense evolution, a soldier who always lived in military surroundings and who had very fixed ideas of his own. And when we were talking together and it appeared that we thought differently about something, I happened to say in order to preserve harmony, 'Well, we are brothers!' He looked at me with great anger, and said, 'Brothers! How dare you say such a thing!' I said, 'I forgot. I am your servant, Sir.' He was very pleased. I could have argued, but this would have created disharmony without reason. The foolishness of that man blazed up just like fire. I put water on it and extinguished it. I did not diminish myself. We are all servants of one another. And it pleased and satisfied him.