By Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani
I have met so many people here in the West who have delved deeply into the great traditions of the East. They have acquired wisdom through seeking it. They have read, traveled, listened and learned. The attraction for everything oriental is a divine inspiration in the hearts of Western people: even the ancient Greek philosophers took their light from the East.
But as for Westerners who often subject themselves to great hardships to travel to Tibet and India, and receive wisdom to take back with them, most are in danger losing all they gained. Why? Because they bring back loose pearls. If a lady buys pearls does she carry them loose in her pocket, or does she string them on a strong thread? People are going to great lengths to seek wisdom and are so happy with what they have gained, but all the time the pearls are falling out the holes in their pockets, because the pearls are not yet bound on a thread. What is the thread I am referring to? Wisdom pearls may only be kept with a strong faith and method. So many people have overlooked this necessity. If you have the thread, one by one you may obtain the pearls and string them.
You must follow the methods prescribed by a great religion. I am not going to tell you that you must follow this one or that; all I am saying is that making a hodge podge is useless. Why? Keeping to the precepts of a world religion, without being a fanatic, guards your string of pearls. There are many thieves at work, and you must keep it carefully lest it be stolen. Therefore, faith and wisdom need protection, and you must learn what actions or practices may protect your treasures from thieves. Who tries to go the path alone will wander into a den of thieves, or be attacked by a pack of wolves in no man’s land.
From: In The Mystic Footsteps Of Saints (2002), Volume 1, page 9.