The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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One might consider abstract thought to be a method of knowing reality, but it depends upon what one understands by abstract thought. There are people who live in the abstract, and yet they are far away from reality. There is an Indian story about a fish which went to the queen of the fishes and said, "I have always heard about the sea, but where is the sea?" Then the queen explained to this fish who had come to her to learn, "You live, move, and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and outside you, and you are made of sea and you will end in the sea. The sea is that which surrounds you and is your origin and your end and your own being." Just as the fish was ignorant of the sea, so even those who experience the abstract may be ignorant of its reality. One may stand near the water all one's life and yet remain thirsty, not realizing that it is water.