The Unaccountable Opportunity to Do Experiments with Happiness

Hazrat Inayat Khan, circa 1920

Hazrat Inayat Khan, circa 1920




The Pure Joy of Lucky and in Love

Even within our worlds luck reigns above
Supreme in esteem
The fortunate rich know what that’s about
And the man with his wife in his lap
So we don’t need to serpentine anything

Or stretch perverse any proof of truth
Or harbor any doubt
To stipulate that luck’s a lot
That luck is fine:
It’s wheat and yeast

It’s lavender wine on the table
More it’s a myrrh treasure map:
It’s finding golden with no beholden
Both the oysters and the pearls
Because here’s what we’ve got

On our universe:
Two possible choices two logical voices
Either this world is too good a fable
Too grand a stance
To be just by lucky chance

Or on other hands if it’s roulette at least
We won the spinning jackpot
Which right there’s enough to make a person move
In fact turn corny cart-wheeled dervish whirls
For the pure joy of lucky and in love


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:
“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”



Gentle Readers,
I start with this quote from my beloved Hazrat Inayat Khan, who died circa 1927:

“In love abides all knowledge. It is mankind’s love and interest in things that in time reveals their secret.”

Even were people inclined to doubt the existence of God, at least the honest ones admit that if not God, es decir if not because of some giver, what’s the difference? A gift horse is a gift horse. Call this beautiful world luck if you want, but then admit the intense value of lucky. My point is that this world, this universe, is worth worshipping if only for its lucky stars.

For the unaccountable opportunity to do experiments with happiness.

And if you want to call God luck instead, it doesn’t seem to matter, so you are properly grateful. Because like Nasrudin’s loads of straw,* what you are smuggling is not mere belief, which is only a hollow thing, compared to gratitude.

Oddly, there’s some stigma that often seems to attach to believers in God. At least, I personally have felt that pressure. You’d think that my story of stubborn atheism and only reluctantly and in desperate straits, coming to believe otherwise, would have vaccinated me from that, would have given my conversion some “respectability.” But alas it was the bottom line of what I believed that mattered to my old girlfriend.

Not my mere fig leaf of why. It was like she couldn’t respect anyone who could believe such a thing. I remember once she emphasized to me, “I don’t EVER want to hear any talk of your religion.”

But she ended creditably, when I then replied, “So the thing that’s closest to my heart, the consolation without which I might want to kill myself, this is something which you do not ever want to hear about?”

So of course she backed off that right away, because she has the best heart in the world. But I do think she then saw a revelatory glimpse of incompatibility. But I digress.

And so it sometimes arises that because of peer pressure, etc, one hesitates to grab hold of a proffered hand. Indeed, some people are willing to die rather than look foolish, willing to be very sad rather than take an embarrassing solace and run with it. Here, of course, I refer to love of God. So often one seemingly is pressured to feel embarrassed. To apologize for believing in God.

I wonder who among us (given fly on the wall status) would like to hear when his dear friend was challenged as to why was he your friend, said, well, I know he’s odd but he’s got a heart of gold.

Or sure he’s annoying but he’d give you the shirt off his back.

Or yeah I know, but he’s interesting and yes, I do try to meet him in out of the way places.

Or more a propos here: I am sorry for the weakness that makes me need a god.

You know.

That sort of thing.

That sort of friend.

But sometimes a wise person prefers his own heart. Protects his own heart, even at the price of ridicule. I remember from my adolescence when I used to listen to plays on public radio. And there was one which as I recall was called, “Lucius Junius Brutus, the Father of His Country.” I mention this for the plot device and a bit of dialog (amazing is it not how powerful dialog can be?).

The plot device was this: a youth had foolishly declared a stance that was soon seen to imminently cost him his life. And the ship literally was sailing. And an old man told the youth, “Son, if you change your mind and want us to come back for you, it’s true if you come running on the beach waving a flag, you will look a fool. But only a true fool would die to prevent that. Don’t be a fool!”

Some of us feel that way about God, and yes, we’d like some respect.

God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*Nasrudin (The Sufi’s Yogi Berra) was constantly crossing the border with donkeys laden only with straw, but with a roguish glint in his eye so the customs inspector was forever feverishly tearing apart the straw bales and never finding anything hidden, all in the teeth of Nasrudin’s mocking stare.

Years later the inspector is retired and they are together in a public house and he says to Nasrudin, “You can tell me now, I no longer can do anything to you, so please satisfy my curiosity! What was it you were smuggling?”


About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at

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