Path of the Seeker, Book One
The Way of Return, At the Gate of Discipleship, Between the Desert and the Sown
by Nargis Jessie Dowland
The works of Nargis Dowland have long been out of print, with only a few copies preserved in public and private collections. A new generation of readers is now invited to read and be inspired by these classics of spirituality, and to follow the author on a journey progressing through the stages of seeking, discovering guidance, and continuing on the pilgrimage toward the ultimate goal of unity with the source of all life.
The author uses phrases from the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan and those of other spiritual teachers as seed thoughts to inspire her own deep reflections on the stages and process of the path of return. On this journey each seeker travels on a unique but shared passage through life, passing through desire and purpose, illusion and truth, suffering and pleasure, through the self-created landscapes of one’s own thoughts, always in search of balance and harmony, and guided by the voice and presence of the Beloved that are found within the heart.
Path of the Seeker, Book One combines three separate shorter works: “The Way of Return,” “At the Gate of Discipleship,” and “Between the Desert and the Sown.” A subsequent volume, Path of the Seeker, Book Two, contains additional works by Nargis Dowland and a biographical portrait of the author.
Read excerpts from Path of the Seeker, Book One:
“There is a path that lies between the field of joy and the field of sorrow. It is on this path that the Beloved walks, and only in the silence between the desert and the sown can the Beloved’s voice be heard.”
“The injunction, frequently given to disciples, to keep the heart fixed upon God, does not mean for one moment an empty life as far as human loves are concerned. This may sound a contradiction; it is a paradox, I will try to find a few words to give you, but the reality can only be understood by inner illumination.
The heart that is really fixed upon God sees every thing and every being, as it were, through God. It is impossible to find any true analogy for this; the best, perhaps, is to imagine yourself permanently surrounded by a radiant light, and every person you contact is seen through and becomes enveloped in this radiance, which reveals the God within. To fix the heart upon God does not mean that human life must be ignored, for that life, with all its joys and sorrows, its burdens and its privileges, is the great path upon which God meets humanity. But illumination here must be sought on the path of surrender, in the simple words of the master: ‘Who would save his life must lose it.’ In this is hidden the power to create heaven or hell; ponder it in your heart unceasingly.”