Najrani said, “If you say that you can ‘nearly understand,’ you are talking nonsense.”
A theologian who liked this phrase asked, “Can you give us an equivalent of this in ordinary life?”
“Certainly,” said Najrani. “It is equivalent to saying that something is ‘almost a circle.’”
Man is not yet man. He can be, but he is not. The potential is there, but the potential has to be actualized, it is not yet a reality. By birth we are only born into an opportunity to grow. Birth itself is not life, and the person who thinks that by being born he has already become man is befooling himself.
That is the original sin. That is the only sin there is – to think that you are already that which you can be.
Life has to be discovered, created, realized. If you don’t realize it you remain more or less a machine. That is one of the basic principles of Sufism: that man as he exists is a machine.
The machine has deceived itself into believing that it is conscious. Consciousness is a promise, but one has to explore it. It is also a task. Consciousness is a possibility, but you can also miss it. Don’t take it for granted: it is not yet a fact. You are a seed for it, but you have to grow into it.
A seed can remain a seed and may never become a tree, may never become capable of blooming, may never be able to release its fragrance to the world, may never be able to offer itself to the divine. That possibility also exists. And remember always that many miss; only a few arrive.
This creates an anxiety – that man is a promise, that man is an adventure, that man is not yet. It creates an anxiety in the wrong kind of person, but it creates joy in the right kind of person.
Whom do I call the right kind of person and whom do I call the wrong kind? The coward is the wrong kind of person. In the coward it creates anxiety. At the very idea of going on an adventure, on a pilgrimage into the unknown, the coward shrinks. He stops breathing, his heart beats no more, he becomes stone deaf to this call, to this challenge. This challenge becomes an enemy. He becomes defensive against it.
And the courageous I call the right kind of person. To him this is not an anxiety, this is thrill, this is challenge, this is adventure. God has called him forth. He starts moving, he starts seeking and searching. If you seek, there is a possibility of finding; if you don’t seek, there is no possibility. If you start moving, then one day or other you will reach the ocean, as every river does. But if you have become very, very much afraid of movement, of dynamism, of life, of change, then you become a small pond. By and by you die. You become more and more dirty, dull, stale, stagnant. Then your whole life is ill. Then your whole life is a pathology. And many – the majority – live in a kind of pathology.