Table of Contents

complete works of inayat khan

Principle source: Hazrat Inayat Khan

[todo: remove remaining footnotes]


Pir-o-Mushid Inayat Khan gave an extraordinary lecture tour in 1926.

Travelling across the United States, Inayat Khan held his audiences spellbound with an exceptional variety of themes addressing Sufism as the religion of the heart. This lecture tour occurred just one year before his death, and thus the unusually long lectures he gave as he travelled from New York to California and back represent the culmination of his teaching to the public. Similarly, the last Summer School in France, which began as soon as he returned, represents the culmination of his teaching to his followers.

Because this was such an extensive tour, taking place from the end of November through the end of May, and because of the depth and scope of the material, which makes the lectures unusually long, we have decided to publish the lectures in two volumes. The present volume is the first of the two. It is the ninth volume to be published in the series of the Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, a series created with the intention of preserving as nearly as possible the writings and lectures as originally given, without editorial refinement. This volume covers the period between his departure for New York near the end of 1925 to a lecture Inayat Khan gave in San Diego, California, on March 12, 1926. The next volume will present the lectures he made on his return journey, travelling back through the States to New York, before his return to Europe in June, 1926, where he would give one last Summer School.

After that he would go to India in October of 1926, and would unexpectedly die there on the 5th of February, 1927.

The material in this American tour contains many lectures which have never been available to the public in any form, lectures which develop in interesting and surprising ways many of the themes of

Inayat Khan’s teachings. In scope and emphasis, he deepens the consideration of his early teachings, which had been presented in the Gatha and Githa series as an introduction to his students. He also finds common ground with Henry Ford, the great American entrepeneur, with whom Inayat Khan met and conversed, in Detroit in February of 1926. A reporter’s transcript of this conversation is included later in this Preface.

To many, the best-known presentation of Inayat Khan is to be found in the Sufi Message series, published in the 1950s and 60s. These books, however, include only a very limited portion of Inayat Khan’s teachings. Moreover, they were heavily edited, and sometimes a chapter would be cobbled together from passages in different lectures and from widely differing time periods. Our strict chronological presentation in the Complete Works permits a close study of the development of Inayat Khan’s thinking. Consequently, this American lecture tour is essential in understanding and assessing not only

Inayat Khan’s modernization of Sufi teachings, but also his recontextualization of spiritual teaching for our time. It is vital to remember that Inayat Khan was the first teacher to bring Sufism to the West in 1910, commissioned to do so by his own Murshid in India.

Inayat Khan was in the United States three different times. The first, the beginning of his time in the West, was by far the longest. He arrived in New York in October, 1910, travelled extensively as a musician and accompanist, and left for Europe in October, 1911.

During this period he did not give lectures except musical lecture-demonstrations, attempting to introduce Indian music to a public almost totally unfamiliar with it. He did not give any lectures of Sufi teachings at this time, for reasons that he indicates himself in his Biography:

Now before me there was the question: how to set to work and in what direction? For the Message the time was not yet ripe, as I was at that time rather studying the psychology of the people than teaching.

He did, however, take on a number of students, and trained them individually, often by correspondence.

Once he established himself in Europe, he did not return to the United States until 1923, by which time there were a number of centres established to study his teachings. The largest and best-established was in San Francisco under the guidance of Murshida Rabia Martin, where he spent the longest time during his tour. The remarkable lectures he gave at that time have been published in the Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, 1923 I (East-West, 1989), and his lectures on the Persian Sufi poets have also appeared in The Hand of Poetry (Omega, 1993).

His warm reception on those two trips no doubt prompted him to schedule another such tour, which he began in December of 1925. He was accompanied on the journey by one of his secretaries, Kismet Stam, who, like her cousin Sakina Furnée, had learned shorthand in order to be able to take down his lectures as he spoke them. Thus we have a good record of the lectures Inayat Khan gave throughout the country.

They sailed from Boulogne-sur-Mer on the 25th of November aboard the S. S. Volendam, a fairly new ship put into service in 1922 by the Holland-America Line. While aboard ship, Inayat Khan and Kismet Stam worked together on a series of newspaper articles on various subjects, such as the role of America in the world and his visits to sages in India. There is no evidence that any of these were ever published, nor do we know to whom they might have been sent. In many cases, the original working document is written in longhand in pencil by Kismet on Holland-America Line stationery. Apparently they went back and forth, crossing out and rephrasing ideas in order to establish the final text. Since there is no indication in what order these articles may have been written, we simply present them alphabetically.

While on board the ship Inayat Khan also delivered a lecture on December 2nd , “The Deeper Side of Life,” followed by many questions and answers. They arrived in New York on the 6th of December, but it was another week before Inayat Khan gave his first lecture there, on Sunday, December 13th , to a substantial audience.

There followed two other lectures on the following two Sundays, December 20th and December 27th , all at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (at that time the best-known hotel in New York), where they were accommodated by a generous student, Mr. Chase Crowley. On Christmas Day Inayat Khan gave a radio address. Throughout his later career, Inayat Khan frequently gave radio addresses, and he was clearly most interested in the possibility of reaching a very large audience, and open to technological developments. He did not, however, have much confidence in publicity, and he was often distressed at wildly inaccurate newspaper articles which appeared after he had spent a long time explaining himself to the reporter.

He stayed in New York through the month of January, giving a total of twenty-two lectures and classes, either at the Sufi Centre, which was located in Steinway Hall (belonging to the famous piano maker) at 140 West Seventy-Fourth Street, or at the Lenox Theatre, 52-East Seventieth Street, rented for the purpose. He performed a Universal

Worship Service each Sunday, a service he created in 1921 which honours all the major religions by putting their scriptures together on the altar and reading from each. It includes lighting candles, reciting prayers, a sermon, and a concluding blessing. The Universal Worship was not ever publically announced in Europe, but was even advertised in New York in 1923 and again in 1926, presumably because the public there was more open to new things than in Europe. When Inayat Khan had previously been in New York in 1923, a Universal Worship Service he performed drew fifty people, quite possibly the largest congregation up to that time. At one service now in 1926, probably January 10th, there appeared more than five hundred people, and they had to change from the Little Lenox Theatre to the larger Lenox Theatre. Inayat Khan was clearly thrilled at this response, and took it as a sign that his work would be expanding rapidly. He even envisioned a time when there might be fifty Universal Worship Services in New York each Sunday.

The audience for his public lectures, on the other hand, was somewhat disappointing; a larger turnout had been anticipated. He also gave quite a number of classes to the group of mureeds (initiates) in New York, and twice performed initiations of new mureeds. We do not know exactly how many initiates there were (one list has eighty-one), but the number seems to have been substantial (for example, there were by then seventeen cherags ordained to perform the Universal Worship).

On the morning of February 1, Inayat Khan arrived in Detroit by train from New York, and on that day he gave a message over the radio and a lecture in the evening, then lectures on each of the following two days, and finally two lectures on February. All these lectures were delivered at the Twentieth Century Club, a prestigious and progressive women’s club which had opened in 1902. This continued to be his favoured venue, though he also gave lectures and performed Universal Worship services in large private homes.

Perhaps the highlight of his visit was a personal meeting with Henry Ford.4 Here follows the very interesting report of that conversation:

A Magnate and a Mystic Meet

Henry Ford and Inayat Khan find common spiritual ground

By A. M. Smith

A genius of Oriental mysticism, and another genius, of Occidental materialism, met last Wednesday, looked earnestly at each other, and talked for an hour about the First Cause, the world of matter, human existence, the souls of men, the stretches of eternity before and after this little span of life. As they warmed to the themes which have engaged the mind of man through the ages, each smiled at the other as though he had encountered a friend of long ago. “I agree with you,” said Henry Ford. “And I agree with you,” said Murshid Inayat Khan.

Murshid (teacher) Khan, exponent of that mysticism which has flourished for centuries in the dreamland under the shadows of the Himalayas, and who has been preaching in recent years throughout Europe his gospel of self-forgetting meditation, is in Detroit, giving lectures at the Twentieth Century Club.


Murshid Khan waited with his companions in the library of the offices of the Ford Motor Company, at Dearborn. While he waited he read the sketchy account of Mr. Ford’s philosophy of religion in a recent magazine. He had just finished, and had laid the magazine on the table. He was thinking of Mr. Ford’s statement of his belief that in ages past mankind had possessed knowledge of spiritual reality which has been sacrificed in these materialistic, rushing latter days, with their strife for that which is called progress.

Deliberate always in speech and manner, the elderly prophet sat quietly thinking, but in the dark eyes was a query. That sketchy article did not go far into the subject.

With the rapid step of the man of affairs, Mr. Ford came into the room. Surely, here would be a clash of minds and theories!


“I have been waiting to meet you,” Mr. Ford said. “You are not really a stranger to me.”

It shortly appeared that, not being able to attend the lectures of Inayat Khan, Mr. Ford had been employing a stenographer to report them verbatim. He produced the copies which had been delivered to him, but which he had not had time to read. “And now,” said Mr. Ford, “let’s compare notes. I seldom discuss my own religious ideas. I think that every kind of religion is doing good.” “I think so too,” replied Inayat Khan, “but I think we all need breathing space, time to think about deeper things than —” he hesitated, as a smile played on his face.


“—Than automobiles,” Mr. Ford said, with a hearty laugh. “But the power that makes the automobile go is, after all, invisible. It is so with all things. I think the real power of human lives is hidden away in the soul, and farther than that. There are actual entities all about us, entities of force, intelligence—call them electrons, if you like. When a man is doing what is right, they swarm to help him. “The smallest indivisible reality which exists is, to my mind, intelligent and is waiting there to be used by human spirits if we reach out and call them in. W e rush too much with nervous hands and worried minds. We are impatient for results. What we need, and might have, is reinforcement of the soul by the invisible power waiting to be used.” “That,” said Murshid Khan, “completes the link in my philosophy of the soul. I think there is One Being, all-embracing, manifesting the primordial intelligence in every atom in this universe. And there is a way to approach this spiritual reality and to become linked with it.”


“And yours is the way of meditation, is it not?” asked Mr. Ford.

“Meditation, yes. Periods of shutting out all of the material objectivity of the world, with emphasis, again and again, on the unity of the soul with the Soul of the universe,” replied Inayat Khan.

“That, to my mind,” said Mr. Ford, “is the heart of personal religion. I struggled for many years to solve the problem of religion. But I believe that for mankind, at this stage, religion opens the doors into unity of the soul with the real power back of all things.

“But I found, as you have said, that if I quietly withdrew from the nervous anxiety over things, inventions, and the business that drives from every side, there was renewal of strength in the thought of being a part of the great unseen power, call it God, Intelligence, what you will, I do not feel that men can find anything more helpful and satisfying.”


“Except,” said Inayat Khan, “if one realizes self-forgetting fully, and unity with the One, there is surely peace and deep joy in such an experience, and the human soul at that moment really becomes creative. “It is like the artist in the painting of a picture. It is never, when finished, what he first planned. Creative inspiration comes as he loses himself in the task. Completely absorbed in his work, completely forgetful of self, shutting out the rest of the world, his finished product is, at the last, a truly creative expression of the self he has completely forgotten. “And so, also, with the musician. The true musician always goes into improvisation. If he is lost in his theme, immediately the theme grows into beauty of harmony of which he had not before dreamed. Whence comes the harmony he had never before heard? The most beautiful music I ever heard Paderewski play he improvised one day as I sat alone with him in his studio.

The best music has never been reduced to the printed sheet, and cannot be, for it is the immediate creation of the soul that has lost itself in the contemplation of the beauty of harmony.”


“That is the best symbolic statement I can make of the real unity of the soul with the Source of all beauty and truth. What the true musician really experiences is possible for all human souls in a wider sense, in contact with the Source of life, power, beauty, truth, peace. But that contact is made only by the forgetting of self. I know of no terms in psychology by which the experience can be stated or explained. But your musician, artist, poet, knows at least the borderland of that experience.”

There was a moment of silence. “Murshid Khan,” Mr. Ford said, “I think you are preaching a gospel that men of all faiths can understand. No matter what form it takes in doctrine, it is the thing Americans need. We can explain nothing, really, if we try to follow through to the final analysis. But I know there are reservoirs of spiritual strength from which we human beings thoughtlessly cut ourselves off.

And I believe it is possible for us to put ourselves in vital touch with them.”


“Then you have a real belief in God, Mr. Ford?” “Why, of course,” was the quick reply. “Have not things been created, or are they not being created constantly? I believe we shall someday be able to know enough about the source of power, and about the realm of the spirit to create something ourselves. “I firmly believe that mankind was once wiser about spiritual things than we are today. What we now only believe, they knew.

But as we became wiser about the visible world, we lost the wisdom of the unseen world, or it may be that we are only going back to that wisdom by another route. I personally do not see any difference between matter and sprit; they are both one. I seldom say ‘spirit,’ because it seems to prejudice that expression of it which we call matter. “Our progress in mastery and use of the material world need not interfere with our understanding and use of the spiritual.

Perhaps that deeper wisdom is what Jesus referred to when He told us we must become as little children if we would enter the Kingdom.”


“Do you think the souls of men are indestructible?” “Everything is indestructible, nothing is ever lost,” Mr. Ford replied. “Souls come and go, and they come again, prepared by past experience for greater achievement and greater realization of whatever eternal life holds for them.” “It is a never ending circle of the life of spirits,” said Inayat Khan. “We say, in the East, there is the Source of all radiating into manifestations of the One Intelligence in all things and all souls. There is the realm of the angelic, nearest the Source. Then there is the realm of genius, which is manifested in this life in some souls. And there are yet lower orders of manifestation of the Source, like the rays of the Sun streaming out to the farthermost reaches of the universe, attenuated, yet real. What part the individual soul shall play in this emanation of the Intelligence depends on the measure of unity it realizes with its source of existence.”

“Still, while I think that if all believe in the never ending activity of the soul here, elsewhere, or here again, I think if one meditates too much there is not likely to be much work done!” “But if one mediates somewhat,” replied Inayat Khan, “there will really be much more work done, and better done, and with it will be happiness and peace. I do not preach the denial of the things of this world, nor do I condemn worldly accomplishment. I preach only that with the things we must do here in the material world there must also be real attainment in the world of the spirit.” “That is true,” replied Mr. Ford. “It is the real religion of life, and we all need it.” –“The Detroit News”, Sunday, February 7th, 1926

During his earlier tour of the United States in 1923, Inayat Khan had visited Detroit twice, once on his way to San Francisco and again on his way back to New York. He had initiated a number of mureeds who evidently had been at work in his absence, since everything was well planned for this visit.

He stayed in Detroit, lecturing, until February 10, when he went on to Chicago. He gave no lectures there (nothing had been arranged), but stayed two days and met with reporters before leaving for the long trip to San Francisco. He spent nearly three weeks among the mureeds in this, the largest American Sufi Centre. Its leader, Murshida Rabia Martin, was Inayat Khan’s first mureed in the West in 1911, and, after having been thoroughly trained, was designated Murshida. Inayat Khan gave only four such initiations, and all of them were to women. Rabia Martin’s initiation occurred in 1911, and the others were not until 1923 or later. Murshida Martin vigorously pursued her commission and built a flourishing centre in San Francisco, where many initiates were trained. Inayat Khan spent a large part of his 1923 visit in San Francisco, and Murshida Martin had come, after a very successful visit to India, to the Summer School in Suresnes in 1924. She was the National Representative for the United States of the Sufi Movement, and Inayat Khan often referred to her as the Mother of the Sufi Message; in fact, he regularly addressed her as Mother in his letters. Thus it was with keen anticipation that Murshida Martin and her mureeds awaited Inayat Khan’s arrival.

He arrived there on February 15, and soon afterwards began giving an address every day, sometimes two (one for the public and one for mureeds), in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. To the mureeds he gave a series of four lectures on mental purification. These were later included in the Sufi Message volumes, along with other lectures from this tour and elsewhere, but the texts in this publication are highly edited, as we have noted earlier.

After nearly three weeks in San Francisco, he left for Southern California on March. The trip was made by motorcar, and his chauffeur was Paul Reps (Sufi name Saladin), who later became well-known as a writer about Zen Buddhism.8 He was accompanied by Murshida Martin as well as Kismet Stam.

Inayat Khan stopped for two days in Santa Barbara, giving two lectures, and visiting his Khalif, Edward Connaughton. Inayat Khan then went on to Los Angeles, where he stayed for two and a half weeks, with one excursion to La Jolla and San Diego. Since this represents the extreme reach of his tour, we decided to end the first volume with these lectures. The second volume, 1926 II, begins with his return to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then back to New York.

This first half of Inayat Khan’s American tour is characterized by a growing expansiveness towards a readily comprehensible understanding of Sufism as the religion of the heart. In the second half of his tour, these themes are deepened and applied in a broad way to America as the developing edge of the modern world.

Throughout his tour, his obvious empathy with his audience apparently inspired him to envision a world in which the wisdom of the East would deeply affect the future of the West. This fruitful meeting of East and West was in fact already happening, and Inayat Khan’s American tour gave him hope for the future advancement of both the East and the West.

Editorial History

As Inayat Khan’s lectures and talks were given, they were taken down by one or more of his three secretaries, Murshida Sharifa Goodenough, Sakina Furnée, and Kismet Stam. Sherifa Goodenough had become his principal editor very early in the London days, probably by 1916, and she continued to write down what he said in longhand. In the early days, all those present had been encouraged to write down what was being said, and Inayat Khan spoke very slowly and gave short lessons. As time passed, his English naturally improved, and he began to give more extensive discourses and to speak faster. Eventually, those present were asked not to write but to listen only, while one or more of the three secretaries made a written record. In 1921 Sakina Furnée became the second secretary, and was asked by Inayat Khan to learn shorthand so as to take down his words accurately. Not long after that, Sakina’s cousin, Kismet Stam, also become a secretary and was also asked to learn shorthand. Although cousins, these two young women were of very different temperaments. Sakina learned a Dutch shorthand system, Pont, and recorded each syllable of Inayat Khan’s speaking. Kismet learned a

French system, Aimé, and took down a normal shorthand with many connective words deliberately left out. Thus Sakina’s shorthand is the fullest and most accurate record of Inayat Khan’s speaking, backed up by Sherifa Goodenough’s longhand and Kismet’s shorthand.

Wherever Sakina’s shorthand record exists it forms the solid basis for representing exactly what Inayat Khan actually said.

In the case of the American tour in 1926, the only record of what Inayat Khan actually said is the shorthand of Kismet Stam, far less exact than Sakina Furnée’s method. In most cases, Kismet made a longhand transcription from her shorthand right away, with Inayat Khan’s speaking fresh in her mind, and was able to correct or fill in her shorthand from memory. In a few cases, we find passages in the shorthand which have been altered in the transcript, and in these cases it seems likely that Inayat Khan himself suggested an alteration to what he had said. They were travelling together and staying in the same hotels. Occasionally, Kismet had access to a typewriter and typed her transcription instead of writing it by hand. However, her handwriting is very readable, and there is almost never a problem of making it out. In a very few cases, there does not seem to be any transcription, in which case we have no choice but to give the shorthand as written. In these cases, the text often makes very little sense, though one can still guess what Inayat Khan might have said.

The shorthand itself, the French Aimé system Kismet learned in Geneva, is of course not used any more. A Dutch woman, Anneke Strijbos, taught herself the system from the instruction manuals, and undertook to transliterate all of Kismet’s shorthand in the 1980s. She executed this task with exemplary thoroughness, and left such clear indications that we have been able to use her transcriptions without further investigations. Every reader owes a debt of gratitude to her for undertaking and completing this arduous task.

Editorial Practices

Much of the material in this volume has never before been published.

The small part which has been published has mostly appeared in the Sufi Message series in the 1950s and ’60s. The editorial practices in those volumes were such that attention was not given to preserving Inayat Khan’s words nor to giving any chronological indications of the material presented, even mixing passages from widely different years in a single chapter. Therefore, from the viewpoint of the Complete Works, that earlier publication could be called texts based on the teachings of Inayat Khan, but not those teachings themselves.

We trust that future editors, making volumes suitable for the general public, will give higher regard to Inayat Khan’s repeated wish to have his words preserved as exactly as possible.


There are several thousand footnotes in this volume, an admittedly large number. The footnotes represent mostly the differences between the shorthand text and the written-out text, whether in handwriting or typed. The reason for this careful footnoting is to give readers complete information about the contents of the shorthand record, so that it is not necessary to learn this abstruse (and now obsolete) system of notation to determine what Inayat Khan actually said, the main concern of this publication.

The footnote numbers in the text have been repeated in the following instances: 1. When the note refers to a lengthy set of words rather than just a few, the note number appears both at the beginning and the end; 2. When the same information applies in more than one instance.

References to the various works of ancient Sufis and to scriptures, particularly the Bible and the Qur’an, have been included whenever they could be found. Many works of ancient Sufis still await translation into English or other European languages. Where Biblical references begin with “See”, the quotation cited by Inayat Khan does not correspond exactly to standard translations. Often references to the Qur’an prove difficult or impossible to identify precisely, since translations differ dramatically, and it is not always clear which translation Inayat Khan is referring to.

explanation of abbreviations

This list, which follows this preface, offers the general meaning of each abbreviation. For this volume, the abbreviations have been adjusted so that generally each reference consists of two letters, or two sets of two letters. This changes the abbreviations from the earliest volumes in this series, where they had one, two, or three letters. The list of documents preceding the notes for each lecture indicates a more specific meaning of the abbreviation for that particular lecture. For information about the mureeds (initiates) who took down or later edited the lectures, please refer to the List of

Persons, or to the Biography.

Appendix A

Appendix A is designed to show what a particular lecture may have become later on. One use, of course, was as a chapter for a book.

Another very common use was as a lesson to be distributed to Sufi Centres, which included several different series for different purposes. The Gathas, Githas, Sangathas, and Sangithas were texts for mureeds of particular levels of initiation. The various Gatheka series were for a more general use. Those in possession of the books or copies of the lessons will be able to use this appendix to discover the source of the material, and then to compare the edited versions with the original lectures.


Even though explanations of foreign (non-English) terms are generally given only in the glossary, in some instances an immediate understanding of a term is so essential to understanding the statement that a brief explanation has been included in the notes. When Inayat Khan seems to have used a term in a special sense, the usual accepted meaning is given first, and his special meaning afterwards marked “(suf)”. Standard reference sources have been used to make these entries, but especially Dr. M. C. Monna’s Short Dictionary of the Foreign Words in Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Teachings (revised edition, Alkmaar, 1991). Because of occasional errors in this dictionary, all entries have been further checked in standard sources.

List of Persons, Places and Works

Of the names of deities, persons, peoples, geographical locations, works, etc., mentioned in the lectures in this volume, a short explanation has been given following the Glossary. In many cases, these might appear to be so well-known or readily available in reference works that no explanation is required. When this series began in the 1980s, finding information on these matters still required access to a reference library. In the intervening years, the development of information technology has made vast amounts of information readily available virtually anywhere through the Internet.

Therefore, in this volume we have shortened the entries in the List to just the essential information.

In conclusion, the objects of this book, and indeed of the whole series, may be summed up as threefold:

  • to safeguard for posterity the teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan gathered in the Biographical Department0;
  • to serve as the basis of future publications and translations;
  • to make the earliest source materials of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat

Inayat Khan’s words available to scholars, researchers, students, and the many persons interested today in finding authentic texts of Sufi spiritual teachings.

Donald Avery Graham, Editor-in-Chief with Jeanne Koré Salvato, Project Manager

Nekbakht Foundation, 34, rue de la Tuilerie, 92150 Suresnes, France website:

10. Inayat Khan him self established the Biographical D epartm ent in the hom e of his secretary, Sakina Furnée, directly across the street from the fam ily hom e in Suresnes; it has becom e the principal archive of his teaching


a.o.d. = all other documents br. = brochure er. = early, a typescript made in the 1920s or 30s

Hq. = Headquarters of the Sufi Movement, Geneva hw. = handwritten

Km. = Kismet Stam, one of Inayat Khan’s secretaries nb. = notebook od. = old, made in the early days (before the 1950s)

OED = The Oxford English Dictionary sh. = shorthand

Sk. = Sakina Furnée, one of Inayat Khan’s secretaries st. = stencil, a cyclostyled copy tp. = typescript, a typewritten text


The work on this book occurred simultaneously with the work on the second volume for 1924. Because the Summer School of 1924 was almost entirely taken down in shorthand, an extended period of transcription or retranscription of the shorthand was necessary, as well as an extended discussion of exactly what should constitute the basic text. Altogether, this required fully five years of work.

In the course of this complex project, a decision was taken to begin work on the material from the American tour in 1926. All these lectures had been transcribed from Kismet Stam’s shorthand by

Anneke Strijbos, who had used the original manuals to teach herself the Aimé system. Therefore, all that was needed to establish the basic text was to comb through her very careful transcriptions. Then they had to be compared to the longhand or occasionally typed transcription made long ago by Kismet Stam herself. In most cases, further comparisons were not necessary, since the material was never published (or, if it was, it was in the Sufi Message series, where the editing is so extensive that we do not attempt to note it). It was not originally anticipated that this material would be ready for publication shortly after the 1924 material, but that is how it worked out.

The most profound acknowledgment must be for the work of Anneke Strijbos, accomplished a quarter of a century ago. Her work over many years made this book possible. Thanks also belong, as always, to Munira van Voorst van Beest, the founding editor of this series, who arranged for the work of Anneke Strijbos and then kept the results in immaculate order awaiting our attention.

In the beginning of this process, the texts were prepared by the editor-in-chief himself, who had extensive proofreading help from a visiting volunteer, Joseph N. de Raismes III, as well as Father William J. Teska.

However, not very far into the process, a new helper appeared, Jasmine Juliane Damm, who soon became central to the process, not only very accurately typing the manuscript, but eventually becoming expert in the comparison of documents, the heart of our work. She has proven invaluable.

Also of great value has been the work of Jeanne Koré Salvato, the principal and final proofreader and, in the latter days, the Project Manager who has carried the work on this book and two others through to completion. Her expertise has greatly improved seven of the volumes in this series, and she helped shape and write the Preface for the present volume.

Finally, Zamiat Bonnie Colby appeared at the right moment to contribute her proofreading skills to the last phase of this project.

As with the other volumes, the Glossary and List have benefited from a check by Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Mahmood Maheboob Khan, an

Advisor to the Nekbakht Board, and his wife, Ma-Shaika Harunnisa, who is a native speaker of Gujerati and Urdu, just as was Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. They should not, however, be held responsible for any inaccuracies.

The Board of the Nekbakht Foundation, which owns the archives in which these manuscripts reside and sponsors the publication of these books, has generously provided housing, travel, and other financial support for those working on this project over the five years it has taken to complete it.

Kism et Stam ’s typescript

December, 1925

america’s mission in the world

America stands before the nations as the young man of the family, on whom everyone in the family has his eye. They are anxious that he may not fail; they are interested in his every action; they are delighted in all the good he can do. They may want him to respect them, but they inwardly follow him in his every activity.

They are enthusiastic about every good thing he does, they are interested in every enterprise he takes, they keenly observe his development, and they see in his development their own advancement in life. America does not only inherit the qualities of those races who came and inhabited there, but as a miniature world it inherits the qualities of the whole world. And it is therefore that the voice of the Far East readily echoes in the heart of America.

The tissues built in the body of America have an international tone and it is therefore that America first responds to the idea of unity. The statues of America were built on the foundation of brotherhood. The day when this principle will be fully lived out, the world, divided into sections, will take up this example as a keynote to the world of peace.

It is time that America had wakened to the higher consciousness towards which it has always been inclined. Many spiritual institutions began in the United States before they spread into the world. Yet a new spiritual consciousness is to come. It is coming; it must come, if only America responded to the call of spiritual awakening.

Today America is taking a prominent place among the nations in new scientific inventions and eventually will develop in art, music, and literature. It is doubtless that the day will come before long when

America has developed a new spiritual consciousness which will flow through the veins of the whole world.

America stands before nations as the young man of the family on whom everyone in the family has his eyes. They are anxious that he may not fail. They are –do– interested in his every action, they are delighted in all the good he can do. They may want him to respect them, but they inwardly follow him in his every activity. They are enthusiastic about every good thing he does, they are interested in every enterprise he takes, they keenly observe his development and they –depend upon– see in his development their own advancement in life. America inherits not only the qualities of those races who came and inhabited there, but as a –new– miniature world, it inherits the qualities of the whole world. And it is therefore that the voice of the Far East re-echoes in the heart of America. The –new blood– –atoms– tissues that –circulates– build in the –veins– body of America have an international –rhythm– tone, and it is therefore that America first responds to the –call– idea of –brotherhood– unity.

The states of America were built on the foundation of –the– brotherhood. The day when the principle will be fully lived out, the world divided into sections will take up this example as a keynote to the world peace. It is time that America had wakened to the higher consciousness toward which it has always been inclined. Many spiritual institutions –have been started– began in the United States before they spread into the world. Yet, a new spiritual consciousness is to come. It is coming –and– it –will– must come, –only– if only America’s –opened its heart– –ears opened– heart responded –and– to the call of spiritual awakening.

Today –if– America is –not leading it is indeed at least– taking a –principal– prominent place among the –civilized– nations in new scientific inventions –in– and eventually will develop in art, music, and literature. It is doubtless that the day will come before long when –it– America has developed –come to– a new spiritual consciousness which will flow through the veins of the whole world.

December, 1925

the christ ideal

The image of Christ is in the church, the book of Christ is with the clergy, the love of Christ is in the heart of his worshipper, but the light of Christ shines through the illuminated souls.

Some know in theory that Jesus Christ was from the East, but many picture him to be the Western teacher. The people in the West have followed him; the people in the East have understood his teachings. Are people of the East not Christians? In the common sense of the word, no. But in reality, it is their own religion. Christ was the seer and it is the seer’s eye that sees him. Many speak and discuss about Christ’s life and teachings, but few discern which Christ they are speaking of, Christ before Jesus, or Christ in Jesus, or the promised Christ expected to come. Some wish to make him God, others try to make him man, some make him an ideal of a legend, others wish to make him a man of history. Unbelievers apart, even the believers do not see the Christ ideal with the same eyes. From one side we hear, “Come to the church of Christ.” From the other side they say, “Follow his religion.” But seldom one hears, “Hark to the voice of the Master that calls from within and without.”

If America sends missionaries to the East to teach the Christian religion, it may also respond to the Eastern interpretation of Christ’s message!

The –statue– image of Christ is in the church, the book of Christ is with the clergy–man–, the love of Christ is in the heart of his worshipper, but the light of Christ shines through the illuminated souls.

Some know in theory that Jesus Christ was from the East, but many picture him to be the Western teacher. –However,– the people in the West have followed him, the people in the East have understood his teachings. Are people of the East not Christians? –Yes,– in the common sense of the word, no. But in reality, it is their own religion –teaching of Christ–. Christ was the seer and it is the –seer who– seer’s eye that sees him. Many speak and discuss about Christ’s life and teachings, but few discern –of– which Christ they are speaking of, Christ –who was– before Jesus, or Christ in Jesus, or –Christ who– the promised Christ –who was– expected to come. –Many– Some wish to make him God, others try to make him man, some make him an ideal of a legend, others wish to make him a man of history. Unbelievers apart, even the –followers of Christ– believers do not –agree– see the Christ ideal with the same eyes –the common conception of the master–. From one side –there is a call– we hear, “Come to the church of Christ –if you wish to come to the Christ–.” From the other side –comes the call, read the book of the master–5 they say, “Follow his religion.” But –hardly– seldom one –says– hears –the call–, “–Listen– Hark to the voice of the Master that calls –out– from –without– within and without.” If America –as other nations has sent– sends –its– missionaries to –teach– the East –with the message rel – to teach the Christian religion –of Christ– , –they– it –the thoughtful in the United States will certainly– –may attentively– may also respond to the Eastern interpretation –of his message given by the East– of Christ’s message.

On board S.S. “Volendam”, Holland-America Line

December 2nd, 1925

the deeper side of life

Life can be looked at from two points of view, from the point of view which sees the outline and from the point of view which sees the detail. With the point of view by which one sees the general outline of life, one soars upwards continually and one attains to the knowledge of life’s synthesis. This is the view of life of the one who is looking from the top of a high mountain.

The one who sees into life’s details, naturally his horizon becomes smaller, his outlook narrower. He makes the analysis of life and becomes acquainted with details of life.

The former point of view gives an insight into a wider horizon and lifts the consciousness to a higher realization, whereas the latter point of view gives a knowledge into the details of life, which one calls learning. Therefore, learning is one thing, knowing is another thing. Learning without knowing is incomplete knowledge. Knowing without learning also is not satisfactory. The knower can best explain his knowledge if he has learning.

The mystics of all ages have raised their consciousness to view the outline of life in the wide horizon and have felt upliftment, being raised high above all the miseries of life. Those who have ever have ever –arrived– reached (at) that stage of consciousness have only reached by –their– (the) right meditation, –taught by great– under the guidance of masters of spiritual culture.

Life can be looked at from two points of view, –the out– –the point of view– from the point of view which sees the outline and from the point of view which sees the detail. The point of view by which one sees the general outline of life one attains to the knowledge of life’s synthesis –and– one soars upwards, attaining continually. –His view– This is the view of life –is that– of the one who is looking –out at the world on the ground – from the top of a high mountain. The one who sees in life’s details, naturally his horizon becomes smaller, his –view– outlook narrower. He makes –a– the analysis of life and becomes acquainted with details of life.

The former point of view gives an insight into a wider horizon and lifts the consciousness –up– to a higher realization. Whereas the latter point of view gives a knowledge into the details of life which one calls learning. Therefore, learning is one thing, knowing is another thing. Learning without knowing is incomplete knowledge.

Knowing without learning also is –also– not satisfactory. The knower can best explain his knowledge –by learning or if– if he has learning.

The mystics of all ages have raised their consciousness to view the outline of life in the wide horizon and have felt –a feeling of– upliftment being raised high above all the miseries of life. Those who

December, 1925

the freedom of the soul

Freedom is the object of every soul; each soul strives after it in its own way. Often not knowing the real way to freedom, man, instead of attaining freedom, falls into a captivity. Many wish to begin life with what they call freedom and arrive at the end to a captivity. It is the path of discipline which leads to freedom in the end, which very few know.

When one sees that for the freedom of one, the freedom of another is robbed, so it is with individuals, races, or nations. Man, striving after freedom, disregards the freedom of another, and so people are busy in the world trying to get freedom, who use it on the contrary.

Life in the world is a gambling of freedom. Few get it and many lose it, and those who get it must lose it some day or the other. There is only one freedom worthwhile, and that is the freedom of the soul.

The soul, which is captive not only in conditions and situations of life, but also in the mind and body, has never a chance to free itself, being caught in the web of life. The way to the soul’s freedom is for the soul to realize itself first; the soul realizes itself when it has detached itself not only from conditions and situations, but also from mind and body. To bring about such a detachment, meditation is practised by Sufis and mystics, who interpret the idea of 9dying before death as the upliftment of the soul. Resurrection follows crucifixion.

December, 1925

man, the master of his destiny

Man is an engineer and at the same time man is a machine. There is a part of his being which works automatically, subject to climatic and personal influences and to favourable and unfavourable conditions. And there is another part in him which is the engineer part, and that which manifests from that part man calls free will. It is this outlook of life out of which comes the saying, “Man proposes, God disposes.” It may be very well said that in the case of one it is more so than in the case of another. In one case , a man continually proposes and God continually disposes; in the other case, it is quite on the contrary: man proposes and God grants. This gives one a key to understand the mystery of life, that the more the engineer part of his being is developed, the more man controls his life and affairs. But the more the machine part of his being is nurtured, the more helpless he becomes in spite of all the success in the world he may have.

There comes a moment in man’s life when man’s efforts fall flat and he finds himself to be helpless before conditions.

Motive is a power for action and yet it limits power. The secret of the mystic is to be able to rise above the motive power in order to draw power from the all-powerful. Once man realizes that he is an engineer and a mechanism at the same time, he studies that mechanism with which he must work, and he avoids being caught in this mechanism as the spider in the web. He keeps watch over it as an engineer to control and utilize this mechanism to the best purpose, in which the secret of mastery is to be found.

“When a glimpse of Our Image is caught in man, when heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.” (Gayan)

The intelligent people have a tendency to explore the deep waters, the ancient lands, the high mountains, and the ends of the earth. They will explore anything but human being. People are glad when an oil-tank is discovered, or when a coal mine is found, but they do not attach any value to that something incomparable to all things existing in the world, which is the spirit of man. The spirit of man is the egg in which God is formed, the human heart is the womb from which the Lord is born.

When one studies nature from a biological point of view, one sees that it is from the unintelligent life out of which the intelligent life springs. And it is this distinction which divides manifestation into two aspects: things and beings. Science looks at the springing of intelligence out of the unintelligent dense matter. It traces the evolution of intelligence from the lower creation to man. But the mystic looks at the intelligence as the seed and flower, both. What seems to be unintelligent, it only envelops intelligence. What seems intelligent is the unfolding process of the intelligence. To the mystic, therefore, intelligence is first and last, and the whole manifestation is the process of it. The all intelligence becomes divided, so to speak, by being poured out in different vessels, the different bodies of the living beings, and so it is known by man in its limited aspect. Every man does not recognize it to be the all intelligence. If not, he would say with the Prophet that, “God is the light of the earth and heavens.”

New York, December, 1925

my pilgrimage to the holy men of india

The Hindu bows before his deity, the Muslim cries to his lord, the Parsi worships the fire, but the devotee seeks the sacred dwelling of the holy men.

The love which was born in my heart for spiritual realization kept me all through life in the pursuit of their sacred dwellings. He who seeks, finds, and so I saw the souls I sought after. Not only in the heart of the forest, nor in the caves of the mountains, but even in the midst of the crowd I saw their holy vision.

The God of the orthodox is in theories, the God of the idolaters is in the shrine, the God of the seeker is in obscurity, but the God of the devotee speaks through the lips of the holy man.

I had heard that a holy man of Punjab stood in one place for twelve years without moving. He was waiting for his teacher, who left him saying he would come. He waited there, standing under the canopy of the sky day and night, through rain and storm, till his soul became the soul of the teacher.

I heard of Sheikh Khamush , a young disciple of a saint in Deccan, who was a very intelligent youth and liked to ask questions of his teacher. One day the teacher was in ecstasy and Sheikh Khamush asked a question. The teacher said, “Khamush,” which means silence. And the pupil became silent and never spoke again.

Years passed but no one heard a word coming from his lips till his glance began to speak, and to whatever side he cast his glance, he won the heart of human beings. This glance became the light of sincerity, the fountain of life which healed souls continually.

I had heard the story of Bawa Farid, who once asked his mother, “Which is the best occupation in life, mother?” “The pursuit of God,” said his mother. “How do we pursue God, mother?” he asked. The mother said, “As far as I know, people go to the forest in the search of God.” Farid said, “Mother, let me go to the forest to find God.”

the purpose of life

How many reasons one may give to people to tell them what is the purpose of life, they will always ask for a new reason. Man is always looking for something new. The real search for novelty is not looking for something new, but is in experiencing every moment of one’s life: the new inspiration and new joy that life gives when the heart is open and when the soul begins to see.

The purpose of life may be found in man’s natural inclinations.

The principal inclination man shows is to occupy himself with something that attracts him, something that pleases him, something that interests him, in the absence of which he feels lonely. There are five inclinations predominant in man: for knowledge, for happiness, for power, for life, and for peace, and each of these he searches after wrongly. He gains his knowledge from outside things, and the inner knowledge remains hidden. He seeks for happiness in the things of the world when happiness is to be sought in man’s own heart. Man looks for power in the unreliable sources; therefore, the real source of power remains hidden from his view. Man strives after life which leads to mortality and remains unaware of that life which lives forever. Peace is the seeking of every soul and every soul seeks it wrongly; instead of finding peace within oneself, people try to make peace outside. Everyone has a particular purpose in his life. When he goes on the lines that lead to the fulfilment of that purpose, he is on the right track, but when he goes astray from the line that leads to his purpose, he is doing wrong.

But the ultimate purpose is one and the same and that purpose is to find the self which is the domain of all souls. As Christ says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added you.”

December, 1925

the power of the word

Science says the first impulse of the manifestation is motion. The Bible says, “First was the word and the word was God”. Vedantists say, “Sound was the creator.” –and– In Qur’an it is said, “Be –ye– said he, and it became”. –In all ages– The wise of all ages have said –as– with Wagner –says–, “Who knows the –mystery– secret of sound, knows the mystery of life.”

There is a psychological significance in the voice, syllable, vowel and word. All one says has a greater power than all one does.

Only one is conscious of the result of one’s action which manifests on the surface, but one is ignorant, unaware of the –secret of unseen– influence of what one says, which works through the whole manifestation. It is the mystic’s eye which, as a telescope, can see into it and find out the fine working of the sound and vibrations –and– in the mechanism of the universe. –The– A Hindustani poet says, “Speak not under this dome of the universe that which thou wilt not want to hear.” It is on this principle that the ancient Hindus built mantra shastra and the Sufis develop their spiritual –science– culture. A phrase that a mystic gives to his pupil to repeat so many times a day has far greater value and importance than a –phrase– prescription given by a doctor.

The –master– knower of sound knows the –faith– occult chemistry and the psychological application of it for the physical, mental, –and– moral and spiritual benefit of man.

December, 1925

the message of wisdom from the east to the west

Wisdom, says Inayat Khan, belongs neither to the East nor to the West. Wisdom is the outflow of a ripened heart, ripened by the sun of the pure intelligence and with the water of the ever-running stream of love. Materialism, Inayat Khan says, has been the curse of the present age, which has shaken all nations and which has confused humanity, bringing forth wars and disasters such as we have recently gone through. Is humanity through it? No, says Inayat Khan. The inharmony is in the spirit of the world. The result of the war we experience now is worse than the war. Peace is a word without meaning just now. We shall know peace when peace will come.

Peace does not show itself even in the horizon. Toward what must this world be lifted? To the ideal, the ideal which is the kernel of religion, the ideal which is the reason of philosophy, the ideal which is the logic of science, the ideal which is the inspiration of art. It is toward that ideal that humanity must awake, and it is by attaining that ideal that we shall experience that peace which our souls yearn after.

Inayat Khan’s visit to the United States is for no other purpose than to bring the message of love, harmony and beauty, in the service of which cause he has dedicated his life. A musician of great renown, with high aspirations, he has learnt his philosophy from life. His religion is all religions, his truth is that which is realised by all seekers after truth. He is not opposed to any church or any faith.

Only his appeal to mankind is to waken to that reality from which spring all faiths and beliefs. Inayat Khan is introducing in the world Universal Worship, in order to bring about a better understanding among the followers of different religions.

December 2nd, 1925

the deeper side of life


I have an unexpected pleasure to compel with the request to speak before you some words on the deeper side of life.

When we consider life deeply, we can very well divide it into two parts and call it, the lighter side of life and the other, the deeper side of life. The importance of both these sides may seem at moments as great as of the other. When a person is thinking of the lighter side of life, at that moment that side is more important; the other side, of which the person is not conscious of, seems to have no great importance. But then there are other moments which come in life, perhaps after a suffering or after a loss or after some experience of life, that a person suddenly wakens to quite a different realization of life. And when one is wakened to that, at that time that deeper side of life seems to have more importance than the lighter side. No one, either clergyman or mystic, no authority can say which side is more important. It depends of how we look at it, everyone has. If we raise its value, it may be a small thing, but we shall attach a greater value to it. If do not look at can be a thing.9 There is no such a thing in this world with its value commonly attached to it. If there is such a thing, it does not stay in the same position always. If such a thing as money is changing, that what is there in this world which does not change its importance! And when we picture at these two parts of life , the lighter and the deeper side of life, we see that we picture them in our present experience.

We are travelling together, some from one country, others from another country, coming from different directions of the world, yet we are gathered together. By what? By a destiny. Still clearer by a common destination where we all wish to go, we are for a few days together in this ship. And now our happy disposition, our favourable attitude to one another, our desire to be kind, friendly, sociable, serviceable, it is this alone which makes us understand one another and which helps us to make one another happy. And it brings us far closer than destiny has brought us. The same is the small picture of life. When we consider the life of a community, a nation, a race, of the whole world, what is it? Is it not a large ship on which all are travelling why going knowingly or unknowingly, still all moving, all changing. Therefore, it is travelling only.

There are two aspects of the traveller. There are travellers who do not know where they are coming from and where they are going to.

Only when they open their eyes they are in this ship. They come from somewhere; they realize that they are in the ship which is moving, going. And according to this, many people are living in this world today. They are so absorbed in their everyday occupation, however, may be ignorant of where they are coming from and where they are going. Imagine the difference between these two travellers, the one who knows from where he has come he also must know or will know one day why he is come, why he is travelling; and the one who knows where he is going will also prepare, not sooner, later for the place where he is going. The one who does not know from where he comes, he only knows where he is, he only occupied by things immediately in his surroundings. The one who does not know where he will go to is not prepared to arrange, to face his destination; he does not know what is in store for him. Therefore, he is not prepared for it.

Buddha, whose name many have heard, who was a great master of the East, was asked one day by his disciples that, “What did he mean by ignorance?” And he gave example by this story . He said that a person was clinging in distress to the branch of a tree in the utter darkness of night, not knowing if beneath his feet there was earth or a ditch or there is water. All night long he trembled and wept and was clinging fast to that branch. And with the break of the dawn he found that he was not one foot distant from the earth beneath his feet.

If I were to say how that word ignorance can be defined: as fear, doubt, passion, confusion. Where all these come from? It comes from our ignorance of the one side of life, and that is the deeper side of life. He may be clever in making the most of what we call the lighter side of life, profession, art, industry, business, and yet that is one side of life . But that is not all. We know not, with all our efforts from morning till evening, what we arrive at, what we gain by it. If we consider wealth, position, fame, name, or anything else, it only confuses, since life is moving. It is all moving. We cannot hold it. A person may have one day riches and the other day may be subject to be poor; he may be successful one day and it is possible that sooner or later he will meet with failure. Such powerful nations as Russia and Germany, who could have thought for one moment that they would drop down in a moment’s time, nations for which it took hundreds of years to become strong, to build themselves? But when their time came, it did not take one day to turn from East to West. If such great powers, with manpower, wealth, qualifications, politicians, statesmen are subject to fall in a moment, such construction built in hundred of years, when they can fall in a day and the whole construction can be broken, if that is the nature and character of life, no thoughtful person will deny the fact that there must be some mystery behind it, some secret of which he would like to find the key. At least, he would want to know what life is, what is behind it?

Those who have studied life and thought long enough over this subject, they have arrived at the same point as the others thinkers who lived perhaps eight thousand years before. Like Buddha has said and has realized, the same thing which a really wise man would realize today. And that throws a light on life for us to see that wisdom is the same in all ages. We may be called evolving tomorrow or going backwards; wisdom never changes and always will be the same. The same realization will come to those who will think deep and try to realize what is life. I do not say by this that in order to realize life it is necessary that a person has to follow a certain religion. I do not mean to say that a person has to be so great or so good, so pious or so spiritual. I mean to say that the first and most necessary thing is that we must become observant. We should look at life more keenly than we do, instead of living superficially still more . It costs us nothing. It only takes us away from our everyday occupation for a few minutes. Life always gives an opportunity of thinking, however busy, we have always some time, if we care to know its secret. It is not necessary that we leave our occupation, our work in life, and go in the forest and sit silent and meditate upon life. We can meditate upon life in the midst of life, if only we want to. What happens is that man begins in life with action and as more and more he is ignorant in action 44, then less and less he thinks. Besides, his action becomes his thought. But if one thought that besides the action and thoughts that are connected with everyday action , if one also gave a thought to the deeper side of life, one would be more benefited.

Fight, we discuss and argue and dispute very often 49, on what?

On a reason. Two persons disputing, each of them has his reason.

Each one thinks his reason the right. They may dispute for years and yet will arrive nowhere because the reason of each is different.

Therefore, to think more is to see behind. And the moment one has begun to see behind reason, one will look at life quite differently.

Then one finds that where one puts a blame, perhaps behind that blame there is something to praise, and where there is something to praise, perhaps there behind it, it seems to be praised is a reason for blame. One will begin to see what is behind all things and that will give him the proof that the whole life is a kind of unfoldment.

The deeper you look at life, the more it unfolds itself, allowing you to see more keenly. If I were to say that life is revealing, it would not be an exaggeration. It is not only human beings who speak, but even plants and trees who speak and all nature, if only hears speak, in the sense that it reveals itself, reveals its secret, its nature. In this way, when we communicate with the whole life, then we are never alone; then the world becomes worth living.

The thoughtful of all ages have considered the source of creation as one and the same science as more as has developed . A great scientist will tell you today that is not that are the cause behind creation is the motion, the vibration. He will go so far and say, “It is motion”. But if from motion or vibration this manifestation has come before our view, then that motion is not lifeless. If that motion is life itself then it is intelligent, although it is not intelligent in the sense we understand word intelligence. We know in the most limited sense of it; the limited brain we call intelligence, words say as things and beings have come to existence by us thinking. We say that one thing is intelligent because it is living and other thing where we do not see call this a thing, intelligent being, unintelligent thing.

In this way duality comes by our experience of defining what we call intelligent . But a scientist of India, visiting the West, was pointing out that even trees breathe. If that is true, then the trees are living.

And if today proves that trees are living, it will also be found that stones are living, that all we see is living. Then it all comes from one source, which is the very life of all things, and not only life but intelligence also, that what religion calls God, wise man.

Whatever we call it, it is the same. The difference is only in name.

Once travelling in the ship to America, Italian young man travelling in same looking at priestly robe priest, said, “What is your religion?” “It is your belief, all religion.” “But your belief ?” I said, “One’s belief cannot tell, every is in himself, he knows it best.” “Yes, but I do not believe it. I believe in eternal matter.” And I answered, “My belief not very far from yours.” Was very surprised, priestly man would say such a thing, and said, “Then what is your belief?” “What you call eternal matter I call eternal spirit, is just the same; what I call spirit, you call matter. I do not mind calling for your convenience, is only a difference of word.”

The difference of religion faiths, where does it come from?

From looking superficially. If material ideas discuss the thing which in essence means the same one in words.69 The difference is only in words. And it is a keen observation of life that in time wakens in us that sight that, when once the light is thrown upon life, life begins to reveal itself. As the great poet of Persia, Sa<di , has said that, “Even the leaves of the tree become as sacred pages of the sacred book once the eyes of the heart are open.” ——————-Q.: What do you think is the best means to bring about better understanding and tolerance between those of different beliefs?

A.: I think that the efforts which are made by missionaries of different faiths to convert those who do not belong to their faiths, their efforts are of not great importance today. The efforts we can make today must be to bring about an understanding among the followers of different religions by the way of writing or speaking or preaching the religion instead of a religion, which means by trying to explain the truth of Christianity to the Buddhists in the realm of

Buddhism, to the Christians Buddhism in the realm of Christianity.

To compare with their own teachings, not in order to make different, but to make them understand that it is all the same thing, that the effort of every great teacher was to make humanity come to this understanding. It has resulted in dividing in communities. One said, “My church is the only thing which will save you.” The other said, “My temple or pagoda is the only thing worth while.” Some teachers speak of this cause no desire to further the cause of any particular religion, community or church. But in heart to bring about that religion which is the religion of humanity, which stands above all divisions. That service is of greater importance, which does not take away from religion, but puts a new light on the religion a person has one makes a person more tolerant by the understanding of the ideal of the others.

Q.: There are some who consider the lighter side of life more important, others the deeper side of life. Would there be a possibility for those who consider the lighter side of life to develop into what they call a station so that they may realize the deeper side of life more and more? By practical thought, not by words or dogmas, which are not well understood by people, but by practical thought which leads to a proper understanding of the deeper side of life?

A.: As it is necessary to have repose after action, so it is necessary to have a glimpse of the deeper side of life after having done one’s everyday duties. Religions, therefore, have taught prayers. Also there were churches where people used to go every day to be in a right atmosphere and to be silent. And now the religion has become secondary thing and life of man has developed more struggles, today greater struggles than yesterday ; naturally, man has hardly time to go in a solitary place or in a church and take a silence. Those few who have some time and who care to continue with religion, once a week go to a service. Therefore, if there is a way which I would suggest this at the present time, it is the way of esotericism, esoteric way, which means studying on one hand, practising on the other hand, and meditating besides, doing these three things. You will ask, “What to study?” There are two kinds of studies. One kind is to read the teachings of the great thinkers, and to keep them in mind, to study metaphysics, psychology, mysticism. And the other study is to study life. Every day we have an opportunity of studying, but correct study.

When a person travels in a tramcar, in the train, with a paper in his hand, he wants to read the news of sensation which is worth nothing.

But to read human nature which is before him, people going and going, if read and continue to read this, he would begin to read human beings as letters written by the divine pen, which speak of their past and future. To look at heavens and nature and all things we see in everyday life deeply and to reflect upon it and want to understand, this is a kind of study much greater, incomparably greater than the study of books. And then there is practice, a practice which the Yogis and Sufis in the East have experienced for many, many years. And it is their thousands of years experience which they have given as a tradition from the teacher of the pupil. Manners of sitting, manners of standing, of breathing properly, being in silence, manner of relaxing, concentrating, of feeling easy, inspirational, joyful, more peaceful. Of course, for such a practice the help of a teacher is necessary. And the third thing is the practice in everyday life, to practise the principle one has estimated in life, to uphold the ideal one has always held in one’s heart. These things and many other things, such as one’s attitude to others, one’s manner to others, everything one does from morning till evening would one look , all these things help to develop till one arrives at a stage till naturally one can see the deeper side of life. In my experience I have seen numberless people unhappy, depressed, in great despair, wanting to make suicide, thinking for nothing after having done this way, in three, four, six months time I heard them say, “After all, life is worth living.”

Q.: What do you think is the ideal life for the average person?

A.: I think the ideal life is at least to try to live up to one’s ideal. But in order to have an ideal one must waken to ideal. Not everyone possesses an ideal; many people do not know of it. It is no exaggeration to say that the wars and disasters we have gone through and all this unrest that all feel and the disagreement among people which is sometimes seen and sometimes not seen, it all is caused by one thing, and that is the lack of ideal. We are progressing commercially, industrially. But the progress in all walks of life will be one day or the other hindered if ideal is destroyed. If there is anything which can be said as the means of saving the world and the spirit of the ideal , it is the wakening of ideal, which is the first task that is worth considering. Besides, for average man to consider one thing, that, “I must live a life of balance,” would be of a great importance. At the same time, it is not very difficult. When a person is busy with work, he must know that recreation is necessary. When a person tires himself, it is necessary to think repose is necessary.

When a person thinks too much it is necessary to rest the mind at a certain time, that he must not think. But life is an intoxication, it is like a drink, whatever be man’s motive, whether he is compelled and put into it or not. It is all intoxication, all drinking, going at it with all one’s might and thought and feeling till either man has accomplished, or he is destroyed. If everyone used balance in everything we do, we shall get the key to live a life of greater happiness.

Q.: Buddhism teaches reincarnation.

A.: Yes, it does, but all other faiths also.

Q.:93 Would it be possible to find a common ground between

Buddhism and Christianity?

A.: The common ground on the dogma of reincarnation is rather a difficult one. There the reason is that the message of Jesus Christ was given to the children of Beni Israel, to those prepared to understand God as the king, the master of the day of judgment, as the one who was all justice and all power. And the message which

Buddha gave was to the people of India, who were more metaphysical and scientific. The simple people of India had their gods and goddesses and their religion, and they were satisfied with it. Then the intellectual class was not satisfied with the gods and goddesses alone, and with the religion of devotion. They were scientific, logical; they had their own philosophies. Buddha’s mission, therefore, was to make the people of India understand, beyond what religious devotion can teach. Therefore, he did not give the essential wisdom in the form of religion, but in the form of philosophy. The common belief was of reincarnation. It spared the master very much by not attacking that particular belief, but by building on that belief a wonderful structure. Some Buddhists today, who are deep whose insight is great, ask, “Why did Buddha why gave this theory? Why did he not give the reason for both ?” I was very interested in San Francisco, where a Buddhist came to see me.

He was a great preacher of Buddhism in Japan. There was another man who had read many Buddhist books. I was eagerly waiting to hear from this Buddhist priest. But he did not think it necessary to say. In order to make him speak I said I would so much like to know the Buddhist teaching about reincarnation. The one who had read many books, and this man left not have to speak about,100 this man said, “It is reincarnation which is the principal thing in Buddhist religion, that one is born again, and so it goes on, and that is what justifies karma. That is action.” But I was eager to hear from the priest. After this man had finished his explanation, I again requested the Buddhist preacher if this is right. And he says in his gentle 101-way of speaking, he said, “What this gentleman has said is his belief.” He said no more. The words of the great teachers are as the notes of the piano. Some notes are of a lower octave, some are higher. If of higher note play lower in order to play all octaves so and so, so also it is necessary to play the higher notes and the lower notes also. If one were to ask about reincarnation, if say no, would say no . Why? Because in both answers there is a meaning, both answers on the contrary are true. When you look at life as one life, then you do not divide persons as separate entities. Then you cannot say that this person has reincarnated as another. If there is the same spirit, it is the same one who is all, and each one is nothing. Either you look at life in that way, or you look at life by noticing each person as a separate entity. Naturally we say, as everything has to be something, after it is destroyed it must exist some , it has an existence in some form. The destruction or death is only a change.

Something cannot be nothing. If it is nothing to our eyes, it is because we do not see. Everything must exist, must in another.

Therefore, the theory of reincarnation teaches that there is nothing which will be nothing, that everything will be something, must be something. But then the other conception is that, if the source is one, the goal is one, then all that we see is phenomena, it is we do not see deeply. When once we see deeply, then no longer shall we distinguish separate entities; then one sees once life, one being, says Jesus Christ . Then there is no reason to think about reincarnation. Then the same thought of Buddha was the teaching of

Jesus Christ, only given the teaching in holy form to Hindu in another form. The religion of the master was the same, whether he was called Buddha or Christ.

New York, Waldorf Astoria

December 13th, 1925

man, the master of his destiny

Beloved ones of God,

This evening I am speaking on the subject of man, the master of his destiny.

I would like to quote before you the saying from Gayan that, “The present is a reflection of the past, and the future is the re-echo of the present.”5 Destiny is not which is already made. Destiny is that which we are making. Very often fatalists think that we are in the hands of the destiny, driven into life in whatever direction destiny drives us. But in the point of fact we are the makers of our destiny, especially from the moment we begin to realize this fact. Among

Hindus there is a well-known saying that the creation is Brahma’s dream, in other words, the manifestation is the dream of the creator.

I add that destiny means the materialization of man’s own thought.

For success, for failure, for rise and fall, man is responsible, and it is man who brings it about, either knowingly or unknowingly. There is a hint in the Bible; the principal prayer which is taught by Christ has in its end these words that, “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.”8 It is psychological suggestion to mankind to make the will of God, which is easily done in heaven, possible to be done on earth.

And that English saying supports this also; it suggests the other side of the same idea, that, “Man proposes and God disposes.” These are two contrary things, but at the same time explain the same theory, that what is meant by destiny is changed by man, and destiny changes man’s plans.

The question of destiny can be better explained by giving you this picture of an artist meditating on a certain design or picture that is in his mind. To create the design as he has made it first in his mind, that is one stage. Now he wishes to bring it on the canvas.

When he draws this picture on the canvas, his picture suggests to him something which he had not thought at the time when he made a design in his mind. And when the artist has finished his picture which he has designed in his mind, he sees that picture is quite different from what he had thought. This shows that our life is before us as a picture and all that is designed before, when that is brought about, this picture suggests to our soul something else. It suggests a certain improvement to be made, something what is lacking in it, what might be put in it. And it is in this way that the picture becomes improved. Because there are two artists, one who designs the plan that comes in his mind, on the canvas, and the other who takes suggestions from the picture itself as he goes on with his picture.

There is a difference; one is merely the artist, the other is the master.

When one is not bound by one plan, the other has designed something and he is bound to what he has once designed, he is limited. One can take the same thing with a composer of music. A composer thought a certain melody in his mind; he contemplated upon it and wished to put it on the paper. When he played his composition on the piano, the music suggested to him an improvement. He played the same idea he had once thought, and that melody once he has thought became perfect and finished once he has heard it with his own ears, is thought . That is a picture of our life. There is one man; he is driven by the hand of destiny, he does not know where he comes from, he does not know where he is going.

He is put in a certain condition in life. He finds himself somewhere busy , occupied, attached , and he sees there is no other way of getting out of it ; his desire may be different, he may have difficulty to put his mind to what he is doing, but he only thinks “So I must go on.” That is the man who has not yet understood the meaning of this secret, have taken of my lecture… . But there is another man who after hundred failures still has made up his mind that at next attempt successful will . That man is the master of his success.

And now we shall come to the idea, what man is? In the Gayan it says , “When a glimpse of our image is caught in man, when heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.”

When a person says, “But I cannot help it, this is my habit,” when a person says, “I cannot help it, I am like this,” when a person says that, “I have always done so, I cannot do differently,” when a person is fixed in a situation and cannot alter it, he does not know the meaning of the quotation I have said. There is everything in man. If only one could explore within oneself and find out what treasure there is within oneself. Those who have explored the being of man, they found out, they discovered that man has two aspects: one aspect is living, the other is dead. Man is the engineer, and man is a mechanism . If the engineer part of man is buried, the part of man which is called a mechanism is there. Then man is a mechanism, he is a machine, he works like a machine from morning till evening.

Eats, drinks, sleeps, works and what is he? A machine which is going on with the oil and steam given to it. This machine part of man is subject to conditions, favourable or unfavourable conditions, to climatic conditions, personal influences which come from all sides.

And then there is a side of man which may be called the engineer. This side of man is living. And it is a side of man which may be called the free will or the self-expression, where there is intelligence, where there is power. And the greater this part of man’s being is, so great the person is, because so much more the person is living, who is conscious of that part in himself which is the engineer.

In religious terminology this may be called the divine spark, and as man has inherited his physical being from this dense earth which has made him a mortal being, there is one part of his being which is immortal. It is that part of his being which may be called the divine spark, and it is that part of his being which is the heritage of God.

In the ancient religious terminology, in the Bible for an instance, one often reads that the father in heaven. That means the man is considered as a child of God or the son of God. What does it mean?

As man has inherited a part of his being from the earth, so man has inherited the most essential part of his being from God. In other words, man is linked with God, or more fully said man is an expression of God. In man there is a being of God, and that being can specially be distinguished and defined as the creator. God is the creator and man is the creator at the same time. Besides man gives the proof by his creative faculty of God being the perfect creator.

And now coming to the question, how does one attain to this path which is called the path of mastery? In all times of the world’s history, in all periods of the world’s tradition, one traces that there have been wise, there have been those who have searched after truth.

And as the outcome of this search after truth, what they have gained was mastery. The prophets of all times, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Moses, in one way or the other, what they have shown in their lives, was the mastery.

But in a small way one can also see it of those who came first to America, a country where there was nothing, and all this is made and created as a great wonder in the world. Many who came from far distances away from their country and settled here, who had nothing in the beginning and now have everything. This is also in this an example of mastery. But mastery does not end there. If we have gained the earth, that is not the only object; there is something further still. Therefore is a larger scope in life and as soon as man begins to see that large scope, one sees that there is much space to be filled, much to be done besides all that one does materially.

There is a story of Timur Leng , a Mogol emperor in the history of India, a man whom destiny had made to be great. And yet he was not wakened to that greatness. They say, one day, Timur Leng, tired of the strife of daily life and despairing over the duties that come in one’s life in the world, he was lying on the ground in a forest waiting for death to come and take him. And there happened to come a dervish and saw him asleep and who recognized in this man that destiny had meant him to be a great personality. And here he is, unaware of it. The dervish struck him with his stick and this man woke up and asked the dervish, “Why have you come to trouble me here? I have left the world and have come to the forest. Why do you come to trouble me?” The dervish said, “What gain is there in this forest? You have the world before you; there is what you have to accomplish before you . If only you realize that you have it .” He said, “No, I am too disappointed, too pessimistic that any good will ever come to me. The world has made me wounded. I am sore. My heart is broken. I will not longer stay in this world.” The devish said, “What is the use of coming to this earth if you have not accomplished something, if you have not experienced something; and if you are not happy, you do not know how to live.” Timur Leng said to the dervish, “Do you think that I shall ever accomplish something?” The dervish answered, “That is why I have come to waken you. Awake and pursue the course which is meant for you.

You will be successful; there is no doubt about it.” This impression awakened in Timur a spirit with which he came into the world. And at every step he took forward, he saw that conditions changed and all influences and forces that were needed to make a success became open before him as if life, which had closed its doors, opened before it . And he reached that stage where he was the famous Timur of the history.

And there is another example of the same kind, Shivaji7, in the history of India, who began as a robber. And one day he came to be blessed by a sage whose name was Ram Das. He asked the sage, “Will you bless me?” The sage asked, “Why, what do you want?” He answered, “I am a robber, I am going to rob the travellers.” The sage, who was compassionate and who was merciful, who saw who it was, and what would come what of this man, he did not break his heart, and said, “I will bless you, go, but become a great robber.”

And what did he become, this great robber? A king. And his attempt then was to be a still greater robber, to be an emperor.

However, in all walks of life, it will prove to a seeker after truth that if there is a key to success, a key to happiness, and a key to advancement and evolution in life, it is the attainment of mastery.

And now the question is, how do they attain mastery? There are three stages. The first stage of attaining mastery is to get self-control.

And when once self-control is gained, then the second stage is to control all other influences, personal influences which pull one away from one’s path, which push one aside from the way one wishes to take. And if one has been victorious in this second stage, then there is the third stage, which is the control of conditions, of situations. The man who is responsible, the man who has a control over conditions and situations, he is greater than thousand men who are qualified and work. The controller may sit in his chair and do nothing and he will accomplish more than the one who is doing all day long something and has accomplished very little. Very few can imagine to what extent man can gain power. And especially as life today is a life of continual strife for nothing, a busy life without much accomplishment, we cannot imagine to what extent the power of the master mind can accomplish things. Only it is behind the scene. Those who do little, they come forward and say, “I can do so much,” and those who really do something, they say little.

All that is on the earth, gold and silver, gems and jewels, they are all for mankind. Then what is happiness: power, intelligence, harmony, peace, inspiration, ecstasy, joy, these also belong to man.

Man can make a heavenly thing his treasure as well as a thing of the earth. It is not necessary that man must leave all things of the world and go away from here. Man may just as well attend to his business, to his profession, to his duties in life, and at the same time develop this spirit in himself which is the spirit of mastery. The spirit of mastery is likened to a spark. And this spark by blowing continually it will grow into a blaze and out of it a flame will rise.

The man who will continually keep before him the idea that, “All that is lacking outside must not trouble me, for it is all within myself, and if I shall blow on this spark of mastery by continual contemplation, that one day that flame will rise and life will become clear,” his power will indeed become greater.

God bless you.

Astor Gallery, Waldorf Astoria, New York 20 December, 1926

the secret of the spirit

Beloved ones of God,

My subject of this evening is the secret of the spirit.

We read in the Gayan that, “Simplicity is the greatest beauty.”

Man today has made life so complex that whatever he seeks after, he wants to find in complexity. All things in life which have importance, beauty, and value are simple, and simplest of all things is the divine truth. The one who cares little for it, he says, “It is deep waters to go into,” and the one who cares much for it, he thinks, “It is so difficult that it would be the hardest thing to find it.” In this way the lover of truth and the one who does not care, both look in complexity.

Knowing this nature, the wise have guided man gradually to the truth. Nevertheless, the message that Jesus Christ gave, the teaching that Prophet Muhammad brought, the message which Moses has given, all different prophets who in their times have given the message of God and truth, they have given it in perfect simplicity.

Today a man with his knowledge, a professor or a doctor, he may model that truth into magics and give it a form which is not understood. The general tendency is that when man does not understand, he says, “Yes, it is something”; although he did not understand, he says, “It is something.” The very fact that he does not understand makes him think, “There is something in it.”

Can there be any truth which the human soul has not known? If the soul had not known, it cannot be truth, for it is not a knowledge, it is the self of man. The truth is not a newly invented theory, not a dogma, not an idea; it is reality itself. At the back of it is the self of man. Therefore, it is simple. But it is simplicity that man does not seek; he is longing for complexity. Anything which will confuse, he is glad to take interest in. If it is simple, he says, “I know it already.”

In Gayan we read that, “I have come to tell what you already know, for it cannot be too often repeated.”

And now coming to the subject of this evening, which is the secret of the spirit. What generally is known about the meaning of the spirit is the source and goal of all things and the essence of life, that spirit from which the whole manifestation comes and the same to which the whole manifestation is drawn. Also we use this word in the case of a person who has passed from this earth. This is another meaning of spirit. From a metaphysical point of view, it is the mind and the soul and their working which is spirit. There is another meaning of spirit we know in everyday language: influence, power, radiance, enthusiasm, that is called spirit. What I would like to explain today before you is the nature and character of the spirit which manifests as what we call the manifestation, life. Many ask the reason of this manifestation, “What was the reason at the back of this creation?” The reason is beyond all reasoning. There is no reason. It is nature itself that love cannot but manifest. It is its nature.

It has no reason. When poetically expressed, the great ones have said that God was alone and the Lord was lonely, and in order to see his predisposition, which is love, to experience it, he manifested. It is poetic and it is true. But the process of manifestation can be understood by knowing the nature of manifestation, that the spirit is likened to the sun and what we call souls are the rays of the spirit. If the spirit is eternal, the souls are eternal. If the sun is eternal, the rays are eternal because the sun and the rays are not two things. It is the unfoldment of the sun which is rays and the unfolding of the spirit which are the souls.

In manifesting, the souls enter into three spheres. No sooner a soul comes out as a ray, it enters what may be called angelic sphere.

In order to make it intelligible, the wise of the ancient times have pictured angels in human form. Nevertheless, it is in order to make man that the whole creation was made. It was not only the angels, but rocks and shells and fruits and flowers, the birds and beasts, all show in their form a preparation, a preparatory stage of the human being.

As we read in the scriptures, “Man was made in our image.” The whole creation was a process to make that image which was the image of man. Man was the finished image. Therefore, God was recognized in the image of man.

The nature of the beings of this sphere may be explained as ones who are happy, innocent, musical, lyrical, poetical, pure, and worshipful. Among human beings, when we see that nature, we say, “Here is an angelic soul.” Perhaps one person shows this more concrete than another person. It is not necessary that, in order to be wise, one must not be innocent. It is not necessary that an innocent person must necessarily be an ignorant one. The most foolish can be ignorant; the most wise is most innocent; he hears all things and does not hear. The foolish is innocent because life does not speak to him; his heart is closed.

The soul in its further journey pierces another sphere, the sphere of genius, in Oriental language, the sphere of jinns . The souls represent the qualities of this sphere in intellectuality, in inventive genius , in poetic gift, in musical talent, in art, in science, in all things which belong to the mind. It is therefore that we call that person a genius. The word genius comes from jenat in Arabic.

After this sphere, the soul manifests into the physical sphere, where it adorns the physical garb which is the human frame. One may ask, “Is it necessary that every soul that shoots as a ray from the spirit, that it should pass all these three spheres?” Yes. One might ask, “Does it not remain in any sphere longer?” Yes, it does too. It remains or it comes further, as when some of us in art, in science, in learning, in the pursuit of knowledge go so far and no further. And so souls. Those who are satisfied in one sphere, they remain there.

Some who live like any creature of the lower creation would live: it drinks and makes merry and is quite happy. There are others who feel uncomfortable until they have penetrated into another sphere where they are more contented. Others are not satisfied in that sphere and look for another sphere. If we human beings here have this tendency, it is the tendency of the soul. Wherever it finds interest, joy, and pleasure, it remains; it settles there. But again, every soul is bound to its goal, it must come there. But the condition is that in order to come to the goal, it must return. The condition of that return is that it must give up the garb of the particular sphere in order to enter the other sphere. It is not allowed to enter into the inner sphere with the outer garb. Plainly speaking, each of these three spheres, angelic, jinn and physical sphere, each have a particular garb. That garb may be called the body of that sphere which the soul has to adorn. And when going back, it must give that garb to the same sphere from which it borrowed it. And this giving of the garb to the sphere from which it was borrowed we recognize as death. Since man does not know his soul and is only acquainted with the garb, after the garb is given, man says that it ends life. It begins only. It begins one act of the play which is the further journey to make.

But there are three different ways of going backwards, really speaking forwards. One way is the way of the drunken man, another of the man who is asleep, and the third is the way of the man whose eyes are open.

The way of the drunken man is the general way. What is life?

Life is drunkenness. Whether man is in business or in enjoyment, or whether in a profession or in any other interest in life, what is it? It is a wine. He is drunken. After it he knows nothing except that particular intoxication. He is intoxicated in the life he has lived. That is his world: ambition, aspiration. He is taken back against his wishes as a drunken man, drinking. Somebody said, “Come along, you can no longer drink.” He cannot help , his mind is in the drink. This is the general way how a soul goes to the goal.

And then there is the way of the man who is asleep. He knows not what death and life and birth means. He does not know why he came here, why he is going from here. He is happy because he is asleep. He is taken wherever he is taken.

And then there is the third way, and that is the way of the man who journeys with open eyes. The one with the open eyes will see all the beauty on the way. He is the one who will enjoy the journey, who will appreciate the beauty of travelling. For him, every step forward has a new experience, a greater joy, a particular blessing.

This process by which every soul comes and returns, it is this very process that the mystics of all ages have realized here on the earth; and it is the meaning of mysticism or spiritual attainment to know fully here on the earth of the way that the soul has manifested and is bound to go. The question is, how do they know this explanation of the journey we have made? To understand this it is necessary to make intelligible to your minds that this journey is an idea. In reality, the soul has never been away. One end of the soul is attached to the goal; the other end is manifest. When you look at the centre of the line, it is one line. Neither God is man, nor man is God; and yet, man is God and God is man. It is the difference of looking.

And if the soul of man is attached to the goal, then it has not departed from the sphere it has penetrated once. It is still there. But man is unconscious of those spheres that he has gone through because he is open to this visible sphere so much that his soul has closed its eyes to the sphere within. As heaven is not a place where the virtuous are sent; heaven and hell is within man. All the higher spheres of which man talks are within. Man never realizes nor imagines that he could find the higher spheres within himself.

The analysis of the spirit is simple: the spirit is fine matter and matter is the dense spirit. It is the difference of words. All difficulties that arise come from the difference of words. Words are to cover truth, not to explain it. And it is not truth that can be explained in words. The spirit is likened to the water; matter is likened to the snow. Water and snow are the same, only it is the condition of water that makes it snow. It is a condition of spirit that makes it matter. It is in this process that man must realize, it is through this process that man must come to the understanding to the great fullness of the purpose of life and all that he seeks after through life.

There is a story among Hindus that the lord Indra, the God of heavens, had fairies in his court called upsaras . And their work was to dance in the court of Indra. A fairy went on the earth once and saw an earthly mortal being and she was so much in love that she lifted him up and brought him in the spheres of Indra. And when it was known that the mortal man was brought there, Indra commanded that the mortal man should be dropped on the earth to live the mortal life and the fairy should be sent to the other end of the world to come above her karmas , to go through her karmas. This story conveys that every soul is born to dance before the throne of Indra, which is God. In reality, every action to beauty, to harmony, every action of love, of kindness, of compassion, is the dance of the soul. But when the soul becomes conscious of this dance, then the presence of

Indra becomes clear before that soul. To be in the presence of Indra is to be in the presence of God. It is the greatest joy and happiness, that nothing on the earth can give. As Rumi has written in a most wonderful book, Masnavi where the soul is likened to a flute of reed. He says, “Why does the music of the flute appeal to you?

Because it laments, it cries, it longs for that spirit, for that being which was its stem. This reed was cut away from its stem and holes are made in its heart. That made it cry. It cries to join the stem.” So it is with every soul. The restlessness, the uncomfortable feeling every soul feels, it is always for one and the same reason, though each one gives another reason. One would like to possess earthly wealth; another suffers by the contempt of friends; another says, “I cannot approach my beloved”; another has troubles at home; another has to appear in the court, he has a case in the court. But in reality, there is only one trouble, and that trouble is the sorrow from the spirit. As there is the inclination of every river to go and meet the sea, so it is the inclination of every soul to go and meet the spirit.

In this time, when materialism is prevailing all over, people say that there is a great hunger after truth. Yes, it is natural that people should hunger after truth. The very fact that there is so much materialism makes that every soul feels uncomfortable and begins to long for spiritual attainment. But how do they pursue spiritual attainment? Generally there are two kinds of seekers. There is one kind who is curious, who wonders if there is anything or not, if really there is a soul and a hereafter, if it is really true? They look after some phenomena in order to make it sure. They use psychometry, palm reading, clairvoyance, all such different means. Here there are hundreds and thousands wandering about in madness, looking for phenomena. And there is another one, who is perhaps more intellectual, who says, “I have read this book on occult science. Have you read it?” Here he has seen it in the newspaper, where it was said, “We recommend this book.” After one book they read another, and the end is that they become more and more confused.

Dear friends, is this the way of learning? Is it not enough that from childhood one has to learn in the school? And after having read all those books, all that is there to be read, where does one arrive? At confusion. One does not know which is real and which is truth.

There is a story of a seer in Punjab who became a great poet and saint afterwards. When as a child he was sent to school, the teacher gave him the first figure, alif which means a straight line. And the other children who were learning, they learned many figures. But this child continued to learn this same figure of alif. The teacher said, “Have you not finished it?” He said, “No, I have not yet learned it.”

He was sent home because the teacher said, “He is too stupid.” At home everybody was annoyed with this child who could not learn more than this one line. This lad went away and lived perhaps in the wilderness, in the forest, for a long, long time. One day he came back in his old village where he had been at school. He said to the teacher, “I think that I am beginning to know that figure.” Many children had come and gone since he had been there, so the teacher could not recognize him at first. He said, “Shall I write it?” As he makes this sign, there came a split in the wall. The teacher said, “Here is a man with miracle.” He said, “That is the way one learns in the wilderness.” In everything he had realized this one line, alif: in the trees, in the plants, in the birds.

Friends, there is one thing that is learning, and there is another thing which is unlearning. In other words, rising above what we call worldly learning. Very often what we call knowledge keeps our soul away from the knowledge of the soul, a knowledge which is most essential because the knowledge which is learning is so complex.

People think, “That must be truth; if it is more simple, it cannot be truth. All what we value is complex.” In this way one covers, with one’s own tendency, the truth in oneself, which is one’s own being.

God bless you.

a christmas message from the east from inayat khan

Given by radio in New York to more than two million persons,

December 25th , 1925

As a call of heaven to the earth, as a kiss of the sun to the moon, as a word of God to man is the message of the East to the West.

What does it bring to you, friends? It brings to you good tidings, with gushing streams of love and goodwill, flowing from the East to the

West, with the promise of the breaking of the dawn. East and West, which are as the two hands of the same body, shall come closer together in sympathy and in understanding. While one hand was holding the thinking head, the other hand has been busy at work. It is the exchange of thought and action between the Orient and

Occident which will balance the world.

What does thought mean? Penetration of mind through spirit and matter. What does it bring about? A communication between the knower and the knowledge, between man and life. The intellectually developed person sees but the one side of life. This is what makes the difference between a clever person and a wise man. Wisdom that is gained by learning is only worldly wisdom, but that wisdom which is spiritually gained widens the horizon of man’s outlook, deepens his thought, gives him that heavenly joy which earthly pleasures cannot give, and brings to his heart that peace which is not experienced on earth.

Spiritual wakening does not mean to be religious, nor does it mean to be virtuous in the worldly sense of the word. It means to realize self to its greatest height and deepest depth. This realization makes one feel the whole universe within, and one finds all that one seeks after within oneself. As it is said in the Gayan, “When a glimpse of our image is caught in man, when heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.”

The East must adopt the Western methods of invention, of commerce, of industry. The West must attain to the spiritual realization with lofty ideals of the East. So East and West both will appreciate one another’s fruits of labour. The ignorance which has kept mankind divided in sections of caste, creed, race, nation, or religion will clear away like the mist in the sun, and a bond of sympathy will be established between man and man.

Is the world at peace now? Is humanity really progressing? Is matter all that is there? No. Peace in the world must be brought about; real progress will be made when humanity will advance spiritually. Matter is not all that is there. There is something higher than this. That is the domain of greater realization of the higher consciousness. Will man neglect this, and if he did, how long will he remain contented without it? Sooner or later there will come a time when individuals and the multitude, bound by their predisposition, will search after truth that stands beyond facts. Has the time of slumber ended with the end of the year? Let us hope so. We shall look forward to that day when industrial and commercial development will not alone be the sign of civilization, but when in the realm of spiritual culture civilization will manifest.

W hat education will be given to the coming generations? The ennobling of the soul, the widening of the outlook on life, the raising of consciousness. What will this make of them? Not ascetics, not orthodox, not religiously bigoted people, but souls conscious of brotherhood who will regard the pleasure and displeasure of God in the pleasure and displeasure of man. Their strife will not be a strife only after the treasures of the earth; their minds will think, their hearts will feel, their souls will see life within and without. Will they be worldly people, will they be heavenly souls? They will be both.

They will give to the world what is due to the world, and they will give to God what is due to God.

There must come a day when the followers of all different denominations, be they Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or Jews, will feel themselves at home in the other’s place of worship as they would in their own church, and so they will inaugurate Universal

Worship. As the Sufi says,

A church, a temple, or a Ka’ba stone,

Qur’an or Bible or Martyr’s bone,

All these and more my heart can tolerate,

Since my religion now is love alone.

Now I raise my hands heavenwards and wish,

May God grant you,

Thought that expandeth,

Feeling that deepeneth,

Friendship that lasteth long,

Love that changeth not,

A treasure that ever groweth,

Happiness that endeth not,

Faith that reason cannot shake,

Devotion that endureth all tests,

Light that continually burneth,

Life that liveth for ever.

God bless you.

Waldorf Apartment, Waldorf Astoria Hotel

New York, December 27th, 1925

the purpose of life

Beloved ones of God,

Every living being has a purpose in life and it is in knowing of that purpose that makes every soul able to fulfill his life’s purpose.

Gayan says that, “Blessed is he who knoweth his life’s purpose.”

Be not surprised if you found many groping through the darkness all through life, doing one thing or the other, going from one thing to the other thing all through life , always dissatisfied, always discontented; and everything they undertake is no result. The reason is the absence of knowledge, the knowledge of the purpose of life.

Individuals apart, every object has its purpose. The mission of science has been to discover the purpose in the objects. It is from that discovery that science has come, be it medical science or philosophy, all different aspects of science are the result of discovering the purpose of things. But mysticism is to find the purpose in the lives of human beings; the purpose in one’s own life and the purpose in the life of others. As long as man has not found the purpose, he may have success or failure, he may be seemingly happy or unhappy, but really speaking he does not live; for life begins from the moment that a person has found the purpose of his life.

You will find people with all riches, with position, with comfort, and conveniences through life, and yet they are missing something, missing the main thing which can alone make them happy. That is the knowing of the purpose of their life. This is the very thing they miss and at the same time mankind is ignorant of this. He will have interest in thousand things, he will have interest in one thing and then go into another thing and so on. But he will never come to that point where he finds the purpose of his life. Why? Because he in first place does not look for it.

And now coming to children’s education, education of youth.

Very often the parents never think about it. Whatever seems to them beneficial for the child to do, they recommended it for him to do.

They do not pay attention in the life of the child, of the youth, that he is to find the purpose of his life. How many lives have been ruined for this reason. With every facility the child has been brought up and yet he is kept always away from the purpose of this life. Sa<di , the writer of , says that every infant is born for a certain purpose, and the light of that purpose is kindled in his soul. This is a psychological and mystical secret that man, however unhappy he may be, the moment he knows the purpose of his life, a switch is turned and the light is on. He may yet not be able to accomplish it , but the very fact of knowing the purpose gives him all the hope and vigour and inspiration and strength to wait for that day. If the whole life he had to strive after that purpose, he would not mind as soon as he knows that that is the purpose. Such ten persons are of much greater power than thousand people working from morning till evening, not knowing the purpose of their life.

Besides, what we call wrong and right, good or bad, that is also according to the purpose in life. There is one person whose vocation through life is to write plays and there is another person who is studying medicine. Both have their examination before them.

There is a play advertised and makes them both feel that, “I must go and see it.” The medical student thinks that, “My examination is near, I must study at home, but this is attractive play,” that says, and “Must go and see.” The student who is play writer thinks, “Means to go perhaps beneficial.” Both the same act, both see the same play.

One loses sense of studying. Is not the action but the purpose. The purpose is to see it. The other, medical study, the passing of examination which gives success, not looking at that play.18 The more one will study life, the more one will realize that it is not the action, but the purpose which makes things right or wrong, or good or bad.

And now coming to the purpose of all and that is the ultimate purpose. We begin our lives with an individual purpose. But we come to a stage where the purpose of every soul is one and the same.

And that purpose can be studied by studying the inclination of man.

Every soul has five inclinations it in the depth of his heart. Being absorbed in the life of the world man may forget that ultimate purpose. But at the same time there is a continual inclination towards it. That shows that the ultimate purpose of the life of all persons is one and the same.

One of the five points is the love of knowledge. It is not only the intellectual and intelligent beings who seek after knowledge. But even an infant with every little noise he wishes to know what it is.

Every child in seeing a beautiful colour and line in a picture inquires what it is. And therefore, it may be more or less, but every individual is striving after knowledge. No doubt, in life as it is today, many are put into a situation where they never have a moment to gain that knowledge which they seek after. From morning till evening they have their duty to perform. Therefore, they are so absorbed in it that after some time that hunger for knowledge is gone and their mind becomes blunted. It is not one person, it is thousands and thousands of people whom life has put in a certain situation where they cannot help but put their mind on that particular work and never have time to think about things that they would like to think, that they would like to know.

We have made this life. And what do you call it? Progress? We call it freedom. What freedom? It is not freedom of mind. The mind is thrown into a limited horizon and we call it a sphere . Besides that, in the education every day one finds that the examinations for different things are becoming more and more difficult. Why? in order to make them difficult, not in order for the knowledge, but in order to make less people difficult for it. I happened to ask the captain of the ship if they had to pass an examination? Yes, he said, and every year it is more difficult. I said, what is the reason? He said, “We have to read so much; it is not all useful for my work, it is only to make it difficult. There are so many candidates for this examination that it is made more difficult for them to learn.” If all thought life is to study something only in order to help them to earn bread and butter, then when can they give thought and mind to that his soul is seeking after?

Those who have a little freedom in life, who have time for reading after some knowledge, among them there are many who seek after novelty. They think to learn means to know something we do not know. And there are very few seekers you will find who will see in every idea, however simple, when their mind is put to it, that a revelation arises from it and that it begins to teach more and more things which one had never known. I can tell you my own experience: a couplet of a Persian verse I had known for twelve years. I liked it. It was simple everyday’s outward expression. But after twelve years, one day a glimpse of inspiration came, and that the very couplet became a revelation. It seemed as if there was a seed once and then came from it a seedling and turned into a plant and there sprung fruits and flowers.

The difficulty with so-called truth-seeking people is that when they have a little time to look after it, they are restless. One thing does not satisfy, not… them and so they go from one thing to another thing and so on. And instead of coming to the real idea, they get into confusion because every new idea comes to confuse too.

Someone asked an artist, “Can you make a new picture?” “Yes,” he said, “I can.” He put two horns on it and two wings on the body of a fish. And they said, “How wonderful, this is something no one has seen. Everyone has seen wings on the bird and horns on the beasts.” And so there are many souls who need that novelty. And many are the souls who admire it, and few think as Solomon has said that “there is nothing new under the sun,” specially when we come to the domain of wisdom, of knowledge. For one does not arrive at concentration, contemplation, meditation not by studying many, many things, and going from one idea to another.

And the next inclination is the love for life. Human beings apart, even little insects, if you want to touch them, they escape. Their life is dear to them. What does it show? It shows that every being wishes to live, how much unhappy a person may be, how difficult the life may be. Perhaps in the sadness of a moment a person would wish to make a suicide. But if the person was in his normal condition, he would never think of leaving this world. Not because the world is so dear, but because it is the soul’s inclination to live. As in Gayan is said, “Life lives, death dies.” Since life lives, life longs to live, and nobody for one moment wishes that death should ever take him.

The great prophets, masters, saints, sages, philosophers, mystics, what was their striving? Their striving was to find some remedy to cure man from mortality. But was his mortality his conception or his condition? If it is a condition when seen outwardly, in reality it is a conception. The soul has a physical body in itself as its garb and when it cannot carry its garb any longer, then its purpose is fulfilled and it wishes to leave this garb. For no one wishes always to carry his heavy coat. Even the king feels more comfortable when the crown is put in the cupboard. It is the soul’s happiness when it is free from its physical burden. But it only can be happy when it can be itself. As long as man thinks he is his body, so long he is a mortal being, he is only conscious of his mortal existence. What is it? It is a garb. But this, intellectually understood, will not help. The soul must see itself. The soul must realize itself. And how to do it? In the scriptures it is said, “Die before death.” What is this dying? This dying is playing death. The mystics have practised through their life on earth playing death. By playing it, they are able to see what death is. Then it is not only intellectual knowledge. They see it actually that their soul stands independently of this physical garb. Buddha has called jnana , that means realization. The absence of it is called ajnana, the lack of realization.

One asked Buddha to give example the body between…

Buddha said that a person was clinching to branch of tree in the darkness of night. He was trembling every moment of falling and did not know what was beneath his feet, if was water, a ditch, or a rock.

After the breaking of the morning he saw that the feet were not very far from the ground, he trembled in vain. And he said, “Alas, if I had only known.” And so it is with every person.

Every thoughtful person, when he thinks of that day when he will have to depart from this earth where he has his friends whom he loved once , his treasures, it makes him very sad that there should come a day that he should leave. Not only that, but this makes him most sad to feel that, “Once I am gone, I will be nothing ,” for life does not wish to become death. It is life wants to live.52 But he means ignorance, this means the false conception of life which is gained by the senses, by experiences through the senses. The one who has lived with the senses, realized life through the senses, [thinks] through the senses, he does not know life. Life can be very different from this.

And the third inclination man shows is to gain power in whatever way. Every person strives through life to gain power. The reason is that the soul strives to exist against this the invasion of the condition of life because the life’s conditions seem to sweep away everything that has no strength. When the leaf has lost its strength, it has the tree; when the flower has lost its strength it is thrown away. Naturally the soul wishes to keep its strength. Therefore, every individual seeks for power. But the mistake lies that how much power man may have, it is limited. And therefore with the increase of power, there comes a moment when one sees that there can be another power greater than one possesses. This limitation makes man suffer, man becomes disappointed. Besides when we look at the power that one possesses, the power of this world, what is it?

Powerful countries like Russia, it did not take a moment for this nation to drop down, and with broken nations such as Germany, it did not take long the power to be crushed. If such enormous powers and strengths, built after thousands of years, can be crushed in very short time, what power of it? If there is any power, it is the hidden power, the almighty power. And by getting into touch with that power, one begins to draw from it all power that is necessary. The secret of all miracles and phenomena of sages and masters is to be seen in that power they are able to draw from within. Perhaps you have heard of fakirs and dervishes practising, as jumping into the fire or have cut in the body and healing instantly. But there exists a power even greater than that. But those who can do great things, they do not show them. If they can do small things, they show them.

But at the same time there is this power which gives the proof that spirit has power, power over matter. Spirit is buried under matter for some time. And that makes one powerless.

And the fourth inclination man shows is to be happy. But man seeks happiness in pleasure, in joy. But they are only shadows of happiness. The real happiness is in the heart of man. But he does not look for it. In order to look for happiness, he seeks pleasure.

Anything that is passing, and anything that results in unhappiness, is not happiness. Happiness is the very being of man. Vedantists have called the human soul ananda , happiness, because the soul itself is happy . That is why it seeks happiness. And because the soul cannot find itself, therefore it is looking for something else that will make it happy; but what it finds can never make it happy, perfectly happy. Besides that, sin and virtue, good and bad, right and wrong can be distinguished and determined on this principle. What brings real happiness is naught but virtue. What is called right is that which leads to happiness. That which is called good is good because it gives happiness. And if it is not so, it cannot be good, not be virtue, not be right. Whenever man has found virtue in unhappiness, he has been mistaken; whenever he was wrong, in that person unhappy, miserable, has mistake . Happiness is the being of man. It is therefore that he craves after it.

And the fifth inclination man shows is for peace. It is not rest or comfort or solitude that can give peace. It is an art which must be learned, the art of the mystics by which one comes to experience peace. But one may say, if it is natural for the soul to experience peace, why must one strive for peace by practice, by meditation, by contemplation? The answer is, yes, it is natural to experience peace, but life in this world is not natural. Animals and birds, all experience peace, except mankind, for man is the robber of his own peace. He has made his life so artificial that he is as moved away from what is called a natural life. He can never imagine how very far we are removed from what may be called a normal, natural life for mankind to live. It is for that reason that we need the art to discover peace within us.

It is not by making outside conditions better that we shall experience peace. Man has always longed for peace, and has always caused wars. It was not only that in the ancient times that people sought after wars. And at the same time every individual says, “I am seeking for peace.” Then where does war come from, every day seeking for peace ? Because the meaning of peace has not been understood fully. Therefore, man lives continually in a turmoil, in a restless condition, and in order to seek for peace, he seeks war. If this goes on for many years more, will the same as before; we will not have the peace, for everybody must seek peace within himself first.

And now coming to the question, what is peace? Peace is the natural condition of the soul. The soul which has lost its natural condition practically which belongs to it, is restless, longs for peace. The natural condition of every soul is peace. The normal condition of mind is tranquillity, and at the same time, the mind is anything but tranquil. A87 soul experiences anything but peace.

Now coming to the question which arises in the mind of every thoughtful soul is, what was the reason, what was the purpose for this world to be created, for the manifestation ? The answer is, to break the monotony. Call it God, call it the only being, call it the source and goal of all, being all alone he wished that, “There should be something that I should know.” As the Hindus say that the creation is the dream of Brahma. Call it dream, but that is the main purpose. The Sufis explain it that God, the lover, wanted to know his nature. And therefore, through manifestation the beloved was created, that the love may manifest. And when we look at it in this light, then all that we see is the beloved. As Rumi , the great writer of Persia says, “The Beloved is all in all, the lover only veils him; the

Beloved is all that lives, the lover a dead thing.”

Sufis have therefore called God beloved. But they have seen the beloved in all beings. They have not thought that God is in heaven, apart, away from all beings, but in everything, in all forms, they have seen the beauty of God, and in this realization the main purpose and the ultimate purpose of life is fulfilled. As it is said in the old scriptures that when God asked Adam, “Who is thy Lord?”, he said, “Thou art my Lord.” When briefly explained, it means that creation was purposed that every soul may recognize its source and goal and surrender to it and attribute to that source and goal all the beauty and wisdom and power, and by doing so may perfect oneself. As the Bible says, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven.”

God bless you.

greetings to the statue of liberty

O desire of every soul,

Aspiration of the wise,

Inspirer of nations,

Upraiser of races,

O pride of America,

Statue of Liberty, I greet thee.

O vision of the mystic,

Sword of the prophet,

Deliverer from all pain,

Revealer of life’s mystery,

Example of the United States,

Statue of Liberty, I greet thee.

O dweller of Heavens,

Conquerer of the earth,

Torch bearer on the path of progress,

Awakener of humanity from sleep,

Raise high thy banner and proclaim thy message,

In the freedom of nations is the liberation of the world.

Sufi Centre, 140 West 74th Street, New York

January 1st, 1926

mureeds class

Blessed mureeds,

This evening I have a great happiness of coming together with my mureeds in the Sufi Centre and on this New Year’s Day to wish you all that is best from all directions of life, besides the illumination which you pursue, the object which has brought you together in the Sufi Movement. There are some among you who are mureeds of long standing and there are others who are new. And yet

I do not feel that any of you are new. I feel you have all been known to me, that we have always known one another. As you feel at home in the Sufi Centre, so I feel at home with you.

And now I wish to explain some few things which will be perhaps asked to you by friends whom you will meet after being members of this Movement. In the first place they will ask: “What is

Sufism?” And you will say that Sufism, this word comes from sophia, sophos in Greek, which means wisdom, pure wisdom. Not in the intellectual sense, but in the spiritual sense. The wisdom which is the essence of all religion. And if some of them will say: “Is it

Oriental, Eastern, Muslim wisdom, what is it? Christian wisdom?”, please tell others : “Can wisdom be Eastern or Western? Wisdom is wisdom. It has always been the same, if it is Christian, if it is Jewish, if it is Muslim. No sect can claim that wisdom belongs to him who possesses it.”6 No, Sufism is not a kind of sect or Muslim wisdom or something else, because those who dress divine wisdom in words only go as far as the dictionary, as classification and go no further.

They must wait until they realize what wisdom means. You must not let yourself be troubled by an explanation by others, since you have heard it from my lips.

And now coming to the idea of the Sufi Movement. What is it?

What is its object? What is it composed of ? It is the people belonging to different religions from different nations gathered together in different countries in the world who have made a facility for those who will study and practise, study too and meditate too and receive blessing too. And the more you will be conscious of such groups in other places also, in England, in Belgium, in Italy, in

Scandinavia, in Germany, so that the more you will know that in your studies you are one with them. They all study the directly words coming from Murshid, they all study the same; and inwardly, in concentration, in meditation, in silence, you will join forces with them all, being silence you too will come together in spirit with them all. That is the secret of unity behind it.

And then you will meet people who mock at things called mystical, occult or philosophical and who see the uselessness of it.

Be not surprised, because it is natural. They cannot think differently.

But they can think from what they see. The name occult, mystic and the names such as cults or cultures have been so abused that anyone with serious thought begins to look with suspicion if it is true. And sometimes this suspicion is so powerful that it can take away the faith of the newly faithful. Therefore it is better not to expose one’s belief, which is sacred to us, before those who are not yet ready to understand it. There is no use of exposing it before others. The initiation in the Sufi Order you have received, this is your sacred and secret trust. You need not bring it before others. Let others be interested first in the philosophy of it. And those ready to understand it, bring them to some lectures here, let them be acquainted with it.

And then help them gradually. By forcing your belief upon others, very often you make them antagonistic to the belief, be he your brother or cousin or friend or companion, if he is not yet ready; it would be to the disadvantage of the cause to try to urge upon him a belief sacred to you, and if the other person is not opened to its truth.

The Sufi Order does not give such secrets which should not be spoken to the others. Yet, secrets apart, every word you say, those who cannot understand, they can misinterpret it. Therefore things of mysticism and philosophy apart, even daily affairs, if you were wise, you will not discuss with others.

And that light point of view with which one looks at such a blessing as is given in the Sufi Order, as something like a wonderworking or clairvoyance or clairaudience or spirit communication, you will defend; because you will say light things not to be connected with the Sufi Order. The Sufi Order is a world movement, a world cause, a divine cause; it is not an entertainment, not a pastime, it is not fooling. It is not something that brings before the world phenomena. If it is something, it is the revelation of God, the message of God. And I feel confident and strong although we are so few here in New York, in a city where there are thousands and thousands of people. I do not feel discouraged, for success belongs to truth and truth itself is success. If not today, it will come later.

Besides, what is success that comes like a bubble in a moment and disappears like a bubble next moment. Which success that belongs to the life of the world, from a spiritual point of view we cannot count. The success of the Sufi Movement is sure success, it is a certainty; it is not an expectation, it is sure.

When we look into the past, how many were the disciples of

Jesus Christ? Fifteen, twenty-five, thirty? Could anyone have thought at that time, There will be hundreds and thousands of churches throughout the whole world; and all those Christians, as such they also will be influenced by the teachings of the master. And the fifteen fishermen who perhaps heard or did not hear, stood before the master and perhaps all the time they stood in abashment, what took?

Charm. It is not philosophy . Yet, the voice, the atmosphere, the love that master is still there today.

And so it is, and when we look at another religion, Buddhism .

The message which Buddha gave was before Christ. It still exists and very few others know that there is a larger number of Buddhist than of Christians in the world.24 A wisdom which was given so many thousands of years ago should still last! How many books there are printed by scientists, writers, poets, and they have disappeared, no one knows about them. How many philosophies and dogmas and conceptions were given to the people and then they disappeared and something else came. But that which is given from God, it remains and works through the whole world directly and indirectly.

My mureeds, the more you will realize the Sufi message, the more you will awaken to the fact that it is not a study of books, nor a place of experimenting wonders, nor to dispute and show knowledge in occult science. If anything, it is the capacity, the accommodation, the abode, the temple in which the message of God is given, a message that is to be given at this time.

I wish you again the blessing of God, all illumination and happiness in life and light on your path.

God bless you.

Evening lecture, Lenox Theater , New York

January 3rd 1926

the awakening of the world in the new year

Beloved ones of God,

My subject of this evening is the awakening of the world in the new year.

By circumstances and by the time that is to come, the East and

West, world’s two poles, are wakening and are coming together. The

East is wakening to life’s needs, the West is wakening to life’s purpose. The East is changing its sides and the West is rubbing its eyes: the East is realizing the need of the commercial and industrial development and is considering social and political problems. On the other hand, the West is thinking, wondering about occult and mystic science and is trying to waken to the religious and spiritual ideals.

You may call it involution or evolution, or you may see it as the East going downwards or the West going upwards, but it is a circle, and action only makes a step forward in evolution.

Now taking the circumstances before our view, we see that all such things as wars and disasters and conflicts between nations and races which the world has experienced recently, all these things have wakened man to think and to pursue the deeper side of life. No doubt, the all prevailing materialism and commercialism as it is today keeps man still absorbed in his daily occupations so that he has not sufficient time to attain something his soul craves after. Nevertheless, the people in Europe and in America, whatever be their occupation, more or less they are inclined toward spiritual ideal. No doubt very often seekers after truth who give their precious time to spiritual things become disappointed before they come to realization and when these things are not presented as they ought to be. And when they find that it is not real, what they were seeking after, they think,

What is reality? Worldly occupation is not real, and under the cover of something real there is also falsehood. Then where is reality? A wise person who has become disappointed says, I shall pursue my material life; I am craving for reality, but I give it up. Perhaps someday I shall find myself.

It seems that there are four different kinds of persons who pursue the spiritual path. The one kind is the person who is after phenomena.

He thinks that , In order to strengthen my faith in the hereafter, in the soul, in the deeper side of life, I must have some proof. He is willing to make any sacrifice or to pay any price for it. But when once he sees a proof that there is something wonderful and something different from what he experiences in everyday life, he meets with people who are clairvoyant or mediumistic or who have some such occupation as to tell the future or fortune , or to see at a distance; he sometimes thinks it is true, and sometimes he is disappointed. But at the same time, nothing of all these things brings him nearer to reality, they keep him on the surface; he remains groping at the surface. Or perhaps his patience becomes exhausted and he has found nothing. I spoke with people who give a greater importance to phenomena telling me this day when materialism is prevailing, best to give belief in the spirit and in the hereafter is to give them some proof of the life of the other side, and that we can give this proof by spirit communication. And what has happened is that many have become curious, ten times more curious, and perhaps after one year they are still more curious. And where does curiosity end? It ends in utter communication. They communicate with a relation, and then with a king, and then with prophet. There is no end to it.

And when there is one proof, there are ten mistakes, and in this way it goes on. And those who are not ready to believe, after having thousand messages they will not believe in soul and hereafter. And only spirit messages and plays and phenomena, if they could attract a wise and serious person, it would be different. But that is not so.

It is the sincere seeker who is the first to doubt; and before he comes to the right thing he has perhaps met ten wrong examples and is finished with them.

And there is another kind of person. This kind is wanting a certain knowledge, a knowledge which he does not find in the ordinary learning such as given in colleges and universities. He has finished the learning of grammar and all these books concerned with knowledge and learning. Now he wants another learning of intellectual type; that in the moon there is a shrine; and on the top of the Himalayas in a remote place there is a deserted sacred centre; that there are planet influences over the world; and that before thousand years mankind had a different sense and after thousand years mankind will get still another sense, the features will change and mankind will become quite different. Then this is book figure, believes in this book more than in a living person; and that which tickles his curiosity, he is pleased with it, really intellectual.

He must have something to think about which is not everyday knowledge.

And, friends there’s a third person: for him the letter counts; for him what is first is the law. He wants to know about different religions, dogmas and principles, and fixed virtues and sins, and what is right and wrong as it is written on the record; and this belief is better than the other, and that great teacher is not so great as another teacher; and the other teacher is different from another teacher. He proves it by their lives, he sees their differences from what history tells him or he sees it from one book or another book.

This is something he considers spiritual knowledge. Besides that, the meaning of different symbols which perhaps if ten wise were asked, each wise would give a different answer. These things interest him; he considers that as spiritual knowledge. Out of this, what he can find is nothing but the difference between the aspects of wisdom, which is one in the same. You’ll find this person very often learned and well versed, knowing all the differences that exist between different religions. This knowledge we will call the classical knowledge of spiritual things.

And there is a fourth person, and he has no interest in all those things. He says, I only see the need of the world and I am waiting, waiting for an extraordinary event to occur. Either he is looking to the sky that from there should drop something from the space which not everybody had seen, or he is expecting that something will happen so that everybody would be shaken and everyone would kneel down and would begin to pray. But these things never happen.

Jesus Christ came and spoke to a few fishermen and has gone.

Muhammad fought and was driven out of his country and lived.

Moses taught and gave the law, but the world did not know of him did not know . Nevertheless, what they have given has reached the world directly or indirectly. Some suddenly must be changed in a moment. It is a good ideal but it is a question if it comes true. They are waiting and will wait.

And then there’s a fifth person who really thinks rightly on the spiritual subject: that what is the need of the world and of every individual is that the spirit may waken to reality, that the latest inspiration and power may manifest, that man may find eternal life within himself, that every possibility of expanding one’s sympathy and love may be attained. It is by this ideal, if individuals will proceed in the spiritual path, they will fulfill the words of Christ, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto thee .”

Now to tell you: how does one pursue the right spiritual course?

In the first place we must find out that physically what are the possibilities of experiencing the inner life as closely as one experiences the outer life. There comes the spiritual culture that these very eyes that only can see things of matter are then able to see beyond. There is a quite different sensation, a liberation. There is one experience one makes with the physical body which one calls sensation. Any experience which is made by the senses is called sensation, but that experience which is made by sense is yet which penetrates and reaches further than the ordinary senses and touches deeper than the every sensation is that experience which allows one to attain the first step in the spiritual path. Never think that these two eyes can only see what they see. No, they are capable of seeing further than what they see if one were to explore the truth of life.

Besides that, the physical organs, such as the head and the body, one thinks that the head is to think and the body to work , but one does not see the other possibilities in the physical body, that the body is so constructed that the study of ordinary anatomy is not sufficient to understand . There are nervous centres which are finer than material instruments can examine and feel. And there are finer fluids. There is a finer life which can good be experienced, there is a joy, there is a peace, there is a greater knowledge which can be obtained by the help of some particular organs situated in different places of the human frame. And that shows that as much capable man is to act outwardly with the organs of the body, so much capable he is to use his physical frame to make intuitions and inspirations clear to himself.

One knows from a scientifical point of view that the brain registers thought forms, impressions. But that is what comes from without. But man does not know that there are centres in which intuition is born, instinct is born, not in the human being alone, but also in the lower creation. What teaches fishes to swim without sinking and birds to fly? It is instinct. And where does it come from?

What in mankind we call intuition and which in the lower creation is instinct. The source of instinct and intuition both is to be found within and not without. And the body which is made as capable as it is of working outwardly, so capable it is to perceive intuition. And when that sense is overlooked, naturally one lives but a half life and a certain part in man becomes blunted. When he no more can feel intuition, he no more can believe that he has something like intuition.

Therefore, the real source of knowledge is stopped because his intuitive faculty does not work. Then he finds knowledge outside in books, in discussions. But no words can give that knowledge that one’s self can teach, but can teach when intuition is awakened.

The great gurus and teachers of humanity, the knowledge they have given is little, but their work is to waken the knowledge that the real teacher from within may teach.

Now coming to another aspect and that is the faculties of mind.

Mind has five faculties: memory, thinking, judging, feeling and reasoning. Feeling is the most important faculty. Therefore that part of mind is called the heart. Thinking comes on the surface and that part is called mind. Heart and mind is one and the same thing. It is the surface of the heart which is mind and the depths of mind which is heart. When a person says, I feel in mind a great affection, it is in the heart. When think , I think very highly of someone, it is his mind. A great mystic of Hyderabad said in his poetry that the whole cosmos can become as a bubble in the heart of man if it is sufficiently enlarged. If there is such a possibility that the heart can become like an ocean in which the universe may seem to be a bubble, how great and how mysterious is man himself. His pursuit after little mysteries is in vain. Man is a mystery himself, and such a great mystery if he can explore his mind, dive deep into his own heart and see the phenomena. Then the whole life becomes a phenomena and every moment he would see nothing than a phenomena . No other wonder in this world would surprise him, for this wonder in himself is much greater.

And then there is a moral world which is greater still and which is to be explored within oneself also. If one only knew what a bitter feeling makes and what an affectionate feeling makes, how it separates and how it expands and penetrates through the space and what it brings about, one would marvel in life. You see so many living beings, people moving about with eyes open, and yet their heart is closed to this truth. There is a psychological action which is caused by every person in the whole cosmos. Every little thought and feeling arising in his heart, before it is materialized, manifests on the surface, has its action in the inner world. W hether it is joy or sorrow or harmony or disharmony in the inner world and it all acts on those who know and do not know. A person may feel and not say, or he may say and it may not be heard, or he may do something and it may not be seen and yet what is done has its effects 95, whether it is a wrong or right or good or bad effect. Does man thinks that it is his individual action or thought or feeling, it can have an effect upon the whole cosmos? One never thinks about it, and yet it is so.

A person may do something in the North Pole is in South Pole and go there is waiting there for him. With all the thieves and criminals and treachery and deceit in this world, can you say with open eyes that anyone in this world can get away with anything that was not his right, that did not belong to him? Perhaps on the surface. But then there is the government, an inner government is taken from it, and that government has officials everywhere who will catch one wherever he goes. Every grain of food we eat and every drop we drink, every breath of the fresh air we take, all has its tax which we shall have to pay. That is the moral phenomenon which so few think about. We live in this world intoxicated by what do and want to do and that intoxicates us so much that we do not see further. And there is much to be seen which is worthwhile.

And then we come to the spiritual aspect of our being to be explored. And that aspect is connected with our source and with our goal. Call that God or call it spirit or call it our real self or the absolute, it is one and the same. And by knowing that relation we can know and understand many things. We can understand why we have come here and why we go back and what there is to fulfill in this world and where lies our real happiness and peace. We can understand the meaning of truth which words can never explain, and the relation with and the difference that kept us distant from God, what distance there is.

If man explores the faculties which can be explored in his body and in his mind and the moral effect and influences , if he can realize this he can attain to that spiritual bliss which connects him with one thread with God and which keeps him connected while on earth with heavens and which makes him an entity which is connected with the whole cosmos. It is with this realization that man lives a fuller life. We need not live the life of a wonder worker or of an empty, curious man. What is needed today for us is to live a fuller life by discovering inspiration. If that is our occupation, it is a part of our occupation in life we ought to think we have come here to accomplish.

God bless you and Happy New Year.

Little Lenox Theatre, East 70th Street, New York

January 3rd, 1926

the divine grace

Beloved ones of God,

I would like to say a few words on the subject of divine grace.

That the one who troubles much about the cause, is far removed from the cause. Many wonder, if I am happy in life, what is the cause of it? If I am sorry in life, what is the cause of it? Is it my past life from where I have brought something which brings me happiness or unhappiness, or is it my action in this life which is the cause of my happiness or my unhappiness? And one may give a thousand answers to it and at the same time one cannot satisfy the questioner fully. When people think much about the law, they forget about love.

When they think that the world is constructed according to a certain law, then they forget the constructor who is called in the Bible, love, God is love.

In the first place, when we see 7man’s action from morning till evening to selfishness , whether good or bad actions, one sees that he is not entitled to any happiness or anything good come to him. And that shows that it is not always that God exacts according to a certain law. He does not weigh your virtue on one side of the scale and his grace on the other, and exchange his grace for man’s virtues. The divine being apart, even man in his friendship, in his kindness, in his favour and disfavour, does he always exact what the other one is, or is doing? No. A friend admires his friend for his goodness and defends him for his wrongdoings. What is it? Does he not forget the law when there comes friendship? He forgets it. So in man, instead of using justice and reason in this state overlooks all that is lacking and wrong. Something right comes forward to cover it all, to forget it all, to forgive it all. A mother whose son is accused for having done something wrong, she knows is done wrong and she knows he is against the law, does not mean easy, has not that sense . At the same time there is something else in her which wishes to uplift , to wipe away, clear off . She would spend anything, lose anything, sacrifice anything in order that her son may not be punished. If that in mankind, when we see that in everyday life, according to his evolution, man has a tendency to forget, to forgive, to look at things favourably, to cover all that is ugly; if this tendency is in man, where comes ? It comes form the source, that tendency which is perfection. There is God. It is most amusing to see how people make

God and his actions mechanical and how for themselves they claim free will. They say, “I choose to do this,” or, “I choose to do that,” and, “I have the free will to choose.” This man claims . And at the same time he thinks that God, universe, and all works are a mechanism of the cosmos . It is all running automatically. Man denies that God has the free will and he himself claims it.

People look at it in two ways. They say, “All that man does is recorded, and in accordance to that it is adjusted. On the judgement day, either is the reward of his good deeds or the punishment for his wrong deeds.” Others who are more philosophical and intellectual say, “It is not God but it is the law, the automatic working which brings about a result in accordance to the cause and therefore, what man has done in his past life, he experiences in this life.” And there is a third point of view, that it need not be the hereafter and that it need not be the life before, in order for man to have the experience and the result of his deeds, but that every day what man does is his judgement day and that every day is his result of his deeds. That is true also. There is no doubt that the world is constructed on a certain law, that the works of the whole creation works according to a certain law. And yet it is not all. There is love beyond it, and it is the prophets of all ages who have recognized that part of God’s working and have given man that consolation and hope that in spite of our ugliness and shortcomings we will always live fear where is no exacting reach heaven. There is the grace of God. Many know the grace of God. But what it means? It means a wave of favour, a rising of love, a manifestation of compassion which sees no particular reason. One may say, “Does God close his eyes, has spirit no wisdom ? Why must it be like this?” But come to see in human nature the same thing.

The divine nature can be recognized by human nature. Ask a lover who loves someone, ask him “What is the beauty of that person? What is in that person that makes you love her?” He may try to explain, “It is because this person is kind,” or “because this person is beautiful,” or “because this person is good,” or “because this person is compassionate,” or really he knows what makes him love, he will say, “Because my beloved is beloved; that is the reason.

There is no other reason.” One can give a reason for everything. One can say, “I pay this person because he is good at work; I pay this stone because it is beautiful, but I cannot give the reason why I love, there is no reason for it.” Love stands beyond law, beyond reason. The love of God which works beyond reason, that divine love which is called the grace of God. By this law attained to it.

Grace of God with piety, beauty, spirituality, devotion.42 No one can say, what will draw the divine grace. God apart, can anyone say in this world, “Shall I46 draw the friendship of someone.” No one can say this. This is something which comes by itself. No one can command or attract it, or compel anyone to be his friend. It is natural. God’s grace is God’s friendship, God’s grace is God’s love,

God’s compassion. No one has the power to draw it, to attract it; no meditation, no spirituality, or good action can attract it. There is no commercial business between man and God , God stands free from rules that humanity recognizes. That aspect makes him the lord of his own creation. As the wind blows, of the sea comes when it comes, so the grace of God comes when it is its time to come.

There is a story among the Arabs, that when Moses was going to

Mount Sinai, he saw a man praying, and this man asked Moses, “Are you going to communicate with God?” Moses answered, “Yes,” The man said, “Will you ask about me? Hear I have prayed all through my life, and my life I have been in difficulty, difficult situation hard life to live . I feared God, I was always kind to man always done best, be good to and yet what have I got? Nothing. A hard life always, nothing else.” Moses said, “Yes, I will ask about it.” When

Moses had gone a few steps further, he saw a man who was fully drunken. The man called, “Come along, come here, Moses. Will you take my message to God and ask him what he thinks about me?”

Moses was amused and he took the messages of these two men.

Naturally the answer was, “Moses, you know our law. Naturally this man who has prayed all his life, he will have the reward and this man who has drunk all his time, has his punishment.” Moses comes back and tells this man, “Be of sure and be happy. All you have done will be rewarded.” “I have no doubt,” he said , “I am sure, I have always done sure , God will not forget this.” When

Moses comes to this man, he said , “You have well enjoyed your life, for you there is the worst place.” He man said, “Yes? I am so happy. I did not mind where God puts me. But that God thinks of me!

I think there is nothing better for me.” Then he began to dance, he was so happy. The result was Moses saw both in contrary place where expected . And Moses asked God, “Why is so ?” The answer was that all the virtues of this man were wiped away by that thought of conceit, “Yes, I deserved it.” Since that moment all his virtues were wiped away. The other man, he thought, all the punishment there is he deserved it, his only happiness was that he was reminded by the Lord what was it . This gives a picture. There is law and yet there is something beyond law and that is love.

I have heard people say that, “I am ill,” or “I am suffering,” or “I am going through a difficulty,” or “Things go wrong because of my karma of the past.” I said , “If it is so or if it is not so, your thinking about it makes it still more worse, everything that one acknowledges to be, it becomes worse because one acknowledges it.”

That karma which could be thrown away in one day’s time, by acknowledging it will keep with a person all his life. Some people think that they do suffer or that they go through pain that according to the law of karma may suffer . But when the thought of the grace of God comes and when one realizes the real meaning of the grace of God, one begins to rise above it, and one begins to know that, “My little actions, good actions , my good deeds, all many good deeds I must collect in order to make them equal to God’s mercy and compassion, his grace and his love he is gives at every moment.” One moment compassion cannot be returned by all life’s good actions. The relation of God and man apart, can one return by thought real compassion, love what friend has done to us? Love that friend has , his loving kindness and his compassion at this moment we can never pay for thought sees . In all our life we cannot pay it.

And when we see the kindness and the compassion of God which is always hidden from our view because we are always seeing what is lacking, the pain, the suffering, the difficulties of man is so absorbed in them that he loses the vision of all the good that is there.

We can never be grateful enough, if we saw like this, that it is not the law, but it is the grace of God which governs our life. And it is the trust and confidence in this grace which does not only console a person, but which lifts him and brings him nearer and nearer to the grace of God.

God bless you.

Sufi Centre, 140 West 74th Street, New York, Friday

January 8, 1926


Blessed mureeds,

I would like to say a few words on the subject of mureedship.

To think that to be a mureed is something like being a member of a certain society or club or institution is one thing, and to receive an initiation in the sacred order, in order to reach a spiritual goal, is another thing. And this world which is seen from two points of view and on which two kinds of persons. The one is he who walks on this world looking at the surface after things that attract his mind.

He lives a superficial life. On the same earth, there is another person.

This person will looking and being attracted by all things of the world, still holds to the thought of reality, still looks for it in all things and in all walks of life. Be it business or profession, be it domestic life or friendship or acquaintance, in all things he wants to find a glimpse of reality. That is the person who lives a serious life; that is a different person.

And the same it is to come to the Sufi Movement as member.

That person may stay a member for twenty years, but he will be where he is. The superficial person may live on earth for three hundred years on the earth, he will be a stranger as everybody else.

Therefore, what I wish to say is particularly to those mureeds who had looked after a teacher to try to be mureeds. It might sound to you as something new, something strange, and you may ask why

Murshid gives such an emphasis to this? But it is better that you knew it before rather than knowing it after you have lost your opportunity. This is the most serious thing; but even small things of life, whether you take it seriously and earnestly or not take it , it is that thing earnestness and sincerity, which makes a man a person, a personality.

There are five things asked of a mureed, expected of a sincere disciple. The first thing is the clear understanding of the exercises given to them , for these are not gymnastics nor mathematical examples, theories or conceptions. These are instructions of a sacred kind and they must be carried out with that sacred feeling about them , that they should be considered more than a religious ritual. It is known so in the East. The exercises given by the guru, by the teacher, are valued more than anything else in the world because in these exercises there is a power hidden which leads to the goal.

Outwardly they are exercises, inwardly they are the power about which is said in the Bible, “Straight is the way and narrow is the gate …”.

And now coming to the manner of practising. They must be practised regularly without missing them, because if one day one misses them, one has to begin anew. Not all is lost, but much of it is lost. Besides, they must be done with full attention. Besides one must not speak about them or discuss with others about those practices except to the one who is given the charge of leading the esoteric group. By speaking about them, you lose that real strength that is hidden in the sacred word. And you will avoid the moods that come to a beginner as it comes to a new student of violin.

There comes a day violin sounds too disagreeable, throws away him, tired of it. One day violin nicely played then he thinks: “I shall begin to practise again.” These moods come at a time of despair and distress, that a mureed may give up practising. But in this way he will not get any result from it. If he says, “Now it is enough,” and then after having profited by these exercises, one day it comes to his mind, “I better begin it again perhaps there is something in it,” by that time there is much lost. But besides that loss, this change of mentality, one day one thing and another day another thing, is still worse.

And now coming to the second thing which is most essential and that is the application of those practices in everyday life. If you practice it for half an hour every day and then forget it, it is as many who go to church on Sunday, but what do they do on the six other days? They never think about it. And so if the practices are done once a day and all day long forgotten, then their purpose is not achieved. The practice is like the winding. After that winding the mechanism must work. I do not mean to say that one must meditate all day long, but one must think about it.

And now coming to the third thing which is asked of a mureed and it is the consideration of his duty towards the fellow mureeds.

One might think, “Yes, I have received my initiation and my exercises, that is all I am concerned with; what do I care for the other mureeds?” If we all thought so, then nothing would exist, neither families nor communities nor nations, nothing would exist. The great teachers who come from time after time, and whose work has been with individuals, nevertheless their first and main aim was to unite, to unite relatives together, to unite friends together. It was that unity in the spiritual ideal which was the real principle; they felt in that principle the message of God as lived where Christ said, “Where there are three or four united in my name, I am there.” So the teaching of Krishna 33, who has said, “I live among my devotees.”

The power of joining together in one spiritual ideal is much more than any power conceivable.

In Arabia of the Prophet Muhammad had the destiny to teach the

Arabs who became angry with one another in one moment and as soon as they were angry either on fists or knives were held against one another. Many of them still remain the same. Nevertheless, if two

Arabs were fighting with knives and if a third one comes and says, “Ya Shuyukh, sallu ‘alannabi”, which means, “Think of our

Prophet,” they throw their knives immediately and forget the anger and kiss one another’s hand. In the name of the Prophet they become friends instantly; if not, they think it is an insult to the Prophet.

It is that unity in my mureeds I would like to see. W e are few among us, we have faults, we have shortcomings. For that very reason we must be friendly towards others, forgive them and unite with one another. All that you can contribute to Murshid and to the cause is your unity with one another: to help them in their time of need, to serve them in every small way you can, to be ready to sympathize in the bad time of one another. That will be the practice of Sufism. In that way you will show the result of your practices.

And now coming to the cause. Will you only concern yourself with your spiritual development or will you think that you have some obligation towards the cause, the cause which is infant and perhaps will remain infant from many years to come. An infant lowers infancy worth too.37 There is no time in a person’s life when he needs more care and must more be looked after than in infancy. The Sufi cause is in its infancy. It asks your cooperation, your help in every way. This does not mean that you must leave your work and duties and give all your time and thought to this. No, it only means those who can give one minute of their time, one thought in twenty-four hours to the furtherance of the cause, even that is to be appreciated.

You need not say, “I am unable to further the cause.” The very fact that we are living makes us able to do it. And whatever we can do, it will always help a little. At the same time, to appreciate those who give time, thought, service and life to the cause is not something to neglect. It is your appreciation more than anything else which will help them. But if you will ignore them and only know the Sufi Centre and your practices, but do not know the workers, it would not be the thing as is necessary. Those in whom you will find a sincere devotion and whose service and thought is given to the furtherance of the cause, your appreciation will help and strengthen them to further the cause. As during the war we all said, do our bit; in the Sufi cause, that is the appeal to my mureeds. You are not asked to give all your time and thought to it; one moment to the furtherance of the cause, even a thought would help.

And now coming to Murshid in whose hand you have received your initiation. Is this relation as the relation considered between professor and student in the college or as the relation between general and soldier or as between the chef in the office and the clerk? No. The sympathy of Murshid for his mureeds is like that of a father and mother, more sacred than any relation one can consider. As my Murshid once told me, “There are many things that make people friends, but this one friendship which is in the path of

God and truth is most valuable because it is a friendship that lasts forever,” and Murshid is to be considered the one who stands with you in presence and in absence, in trouble, in difficulty, in sorrow and in joy, always. In this relation a link with Murshid is established and this link which will become a living thing in your life.

There is a story of a mureed, he was a peasant man living in a village, a simple man. And some great saint came and it was made known to the simple villagers that, “Anyone who will see this sage will be allowed to enter heavens without one question about his deeds on earth.” People were curious. Everyone wishes to enter heavens more easily. But this young man, he was not attracted. The teacher, having heard this, that the whole village came to me but this young man, was curious and went to him asking, “Why did you not come to me, judge me before seeing me ? Did you not believe it what people say?” Said, “None of these things.46 It is not that I disbelieve, only that I am already a mureed of a teacher who has passed from this earth and I do not yet know whether he is in heaven or in the other place. By seeing you, I should be privileged to enter heaven, but I should rather prefer the other place for that place becoming heaven once lived with my teacher.” It is with this faith in every age that one arrives to the real stage of realization arrived there . But if the mind is divided, a something, a tree some fruits, many fruits, but not satisfaction . As in every relation, there is some sacredness in it . Even in friendship in the world there is something sacred in it. But then this which is for God and for truth, in the path of the understanding of life, when two persons are united in the initiation, they cannot be a greater, a more sacred relation than this.

To a murshid once a candidate came to become a mureed. He asked, “Will you accept me among your pupil?” “Yes,” the teacher said. “But I am very unworthy,” the mureed said, “I have many faults.” The teacher answered, “It does not matter.” But the mureed said, “If you knew my faults, you would never accept me. Shall I tell you, in order to be sure?” “Yes,” the teacher said, “tell me”. “The first fault I have addicted to drink.” The murshid said, “Is that all?

That is nothing.” The mureed was very pleased. But then he said, “I have a worse fault, and that is that I like to gamble.” “That is nothing,” said the murshid. The mureed was still more pleased. So two, three faults of his he told, and every time the murshid said, “It does not matter.” But then he said, “Now I have accepted you with all your faults, now you must accept one condition from me.” “Yes, of course,” the mureed answered. The murshid said that, “My condition is that you may not do all these things you told just now, but you may not do them in my presence. Now you go.” And he went and teacher knew with all his faults sincere, mureed was deep. And one day he had a fancy to go to the tavern and as he was entering the tavern, he sees before him Murshid. He says, “What do I do, I cannot enter, I must go back.” Another day he goes at a gambling place. He thought, “I have a great desire to gamble after such a long time.” But what he sees is the face of his teacher. So he came back from there.

One day pays homage to his teacher, who asks him how he is getting on with his faults. “Oh,” he said, “I have a great desire to be as I have been, but you never leave me alone; you are always with me. I try to find a moment when you are not there, but I cannot find it.”

Friends, after all, what is the teacher? The teacher is placed before his mureeds as the doll before the child. The child plays with the doll, but by playing with the doll, it learns the duties at home. The murshid is placed before them to sympathize with and to appreciate all that is leading towards the goal. It is not meant that the murshid should be held high forever, that all may consider that, “Murshid is high.” That is not the thing. Think of the teaching of Buddha. With all the teachings he has given, with all the esteem with which his image is placed in the temple of Buddha , his teaching is that, “You become Buddha.” With all that worship is not meant, “You stay in your place and hold Buddha high.” What is meant is, “All Buddha high .”

In upper aristocracy is democracy, is understanding the modern world the meaning of true democracy, which is spiritual aristocracy.

God bless you.

Lenox Theatre, New York

January 10th, 1926

universal worship: the spirit of guidance

Beloved ones of God,

I would like to say a few words on the subject of the spirit of guidance.

The word divine comes from Sanskrit word dowa, or dewa, which means the divine intelligence, the celestial spirit. Therefore, divinity is that aspect of God which comes out of God and forms into the spirit of guidance. The spirit of guidance, therefore, may be called the heart of God, a heart which is stated as accumulator of all feelings, impressions, thoughts, and memories, of all knowledge, and of all experiences.

For an instance, there is a man at the head of a factory, who has been in that factory from the beginning; has had the experience of all kind; of the pioneer work, and how things changed; all thought who brought new experiences, and of the right or wrong results which came out of it. All such impressions have been collected in that one person.

In this mechanism of the world, all that happens, all that is experienced in the way of thought and feeling, it is all accumulated.

Where? In the heart of God. In other words, the mind of all minds and the heart of all hearts is one heart, and that is the heart of God.

Spirit of guidance, therefore, is the name of the heart of God. If there is such a thing as divinity, it is that heart which has all wisdom, and to which all wisdom belongs. The heart of God is the intelligence, and a current of guidance in the heart of every man, because the heart of all has found one heart, and it is that which is divinity.

Therefore, it is not disconnected with the heart of man. The heart of man is an atom which makes the heart of God.

If people have given that name to Christ, it is true also. The heart of the master which reflected fully the divine heart naturally showed the sign of divinity. Many, not understanding this, made this idea exclusive and incomprehensible and by that they have taken away the ground from the feet of the master. By that also another harm has been done, and that is that this idea has taken away the worthiness of man who was made to be the representative of God. The Hebrew scriptures say that man was made on the image of God. Not only that, but the Muslim scriptures says that man was made as the khalif of God, that means the representative.

When one says that man was born from sin, that man is on earth and that God is in heaven, one separates man from God. And this takes away the possibility of perfection of which Christ has said, “Be ye perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.” That possibility of human perfection is taken away by making the idea of divinity exclusive, and remote, depriving man of the bliss of God which was meant for him. Therefore, disputes have risen among the followers of different religions, each of them thinking their teacher the only teacher. For that reason wars took place in all ages, and people have disagreed with one for another; people from one community have called the others heathen, depriving themselves of the bliss which constantly is and which was, this is and always will be, of which Christ has said, “I am alpha and omega, the first and last.” Plainly interpreted, this means that, I was if there was any that gave wisdom, and now who gives wisdom, and will be ever the divine wisdom. The master identified himself with the heart of God instead of that personality which was known as Jesus. And people have limited that divine wisdom, that spirit of guidance, that heart of God, to that personality which came as Jesus. And they have forgotten that word he himself said, that “I was,” which means those prophets and seers, be it Abraham, or Zarathustra, or Buddha, or Krishna, who came before Jesus, he identified himself with them, “I was Abraham first; if there was any wisdom given before, it was given by me, by the divine I, that divinity given before.” Therefore he said, “I have not come to give a new law, but I have come to fulfill the law.” By this he also says that the guidance will continue afterwards. It was only a declaration of that identity in which Christ lived, not in which the people recognized him.

And those two professions which Jesus Christ made, saying to the ones that, “I will come,” and to the others that, “The son of man will come,” it was one answer to two mentalities. To the souls who could recognize his identity, he said, “I will come,” and to them who could not realize his real identity, he said, “Someone else will come, he will come.” Whenever wisdom is not there, Jesus Christ will come. In the real meaning of it is, “I will come in another form just is myself just the same.” It is a puzzle of words only for those who puzzle themselves. For those who want to get out of the puzzle, it is easy and simple. But human nature wants to go in conventionalities , and make truth as difficult as possible.

There is the manifestation of that whole which may be called spirit of guidance in all souls. You distinctly see it in a loving mother, in a kind father, innocent child in a helpful friend, in an inspiring teacher. That in all different aspects where there is compassion, where inspiration rises, there the spirit of guidance manifests. But most it manifests in the words of sage in uplifting humanity with that love and humanity which is the compassion of God .

How few know that there have been teachers such as Buddha and that today half the world adheres to him . And that morning till evening their thoughts go to Buddha, to touch his spirit, to attain to his peace and perfection, which is their life’s ideal.

There was a question of raising a statue, of raising statue in

New York of Buddha . Many poets and writers one more statue of a man who has inspired the world directly or indirectly. It would not be too much appreciation showed to Buddha and East and its wisdom , and yet many have raised objection to it. This gives the proof that the master who came before Jesus Christ, and thousands of years his wisdom has lived in this world, and deepened in souls and hearts of humanity, and lifted them up, that even today he can have an opposition. Imagine what would have been the time when he lived, when they all lived. Was life smooth for them, was it easy for them to serve the world? The greater the service a soul has done, the greater difficulty he has. What about Jesus Christ? After preaching to a few fishermen, no sooner he comes among the intellectual who could discuss and argue, opposition arose, and there came the crucifixion of the Lord.

In the life of Muhammad so little is known to the Western world.

And what is known is in such a corrupted form, that very few understand what tortures the Prophet went through. Three times he was put out from his land by his own people when giving the message of God. Stones were thrown at him, and his head was bleeding. And yet his optimism and hope was such that he said that, “This very ground which has the drops of my blood, this very ground will be the foundation of the mosque.” Nothing would dishearten him, nothing would make him disappointed. For human nature is limited, and man always opposes that which he cannot comprehend, or rise beyond his comprehension.

In reality, the spirit of guidance is to be pictured as one thread, and one string, and all the great masters of humanity who have come are these beads on that string. One spirit and many individualities, one soul and many personalities, one wisdom and many teachers who have expounded wisdom according to their own personality.

But at the same time, wisdom always being one, they may not be compared with different scientists. For an instance, one scientist has discovered a certain philosophy; he says, “I have made a new discovery.” Prophets never said that they had made a new discovery; they have always spoken of one and the same wisdom. They have always said, “What they perceived I perceive, and those who come after thousands of years, they will perceive the same.” And in spite of that, it is always new, for every moment has its own joy. As Hafiz says, “Sing, my soul, a new song that every new moment inspires you with.” Once the soul wakens, and begins to see the truth is always new and renews the soul, giving it perpetual youth that never dies.

Those who find differences in the teachers of humanity, these are of the life they lived. But no matter what life, whether as kings, as fakirs , whether they walked or rode on elephant’s back, whether they were on a throne or in the caves of the mountains, or in deserts, they all had the same experience: realization. If you saw them comfortable and rejoicing, they heard the same note which other ones has heard in tortures, shows having all experiences. Those who were kings, as Solomon those as David and as Muhammad 47, and those who were sages, as Krishna or Buddha, all have different characters, they had the same realization, the same philosophy with human beings . There never would come a dif-ference if they all met. But they are not meant all to meet because they are all one. It was the spirit of guidance which manifested in all these different names and forms.

And now one might ask, how would one look at it from a metaphysical, philosophical point of view? And the answer is that light has three principal currents: one current that takes the central line and shoots out, one current that goes on the right, and a third one that goes on the left. It are these three currents which are the secret of what is called Trinity. In this threefold aspect you can interpret the mystery of manifestation, which is known as perfect inspiration.

The one current of the spirit of guidance which runs on the right is significant of power. It is therefore that those who came under that current, they are called masters. The character of this soul is of power, the one who conquers himself, who fights conditions, who struggles with life, who rises above conflicts.

The story of Daniel in the lions’ cave is the picture of a master, of the magnetism, power and peace that make lions tame. The same power spreads and makes all hard things soft in time. Master, therefore, is a living power. Power of mind, of feeling, of heart; power of spirit which has its influence on all living beings, things and objects. And one cannot imagine the human mind, to what it extends. One ought to have a glimpse of insight to find that power.

In order to arouse curiosity, in books they have pictured masters in caves of mountains or deserts, always sending masters in such a place that nobody can find them. One can read it in books. That is something. Nevertheless it means a living privilege to meet with all who has reached the stage of master or prophet.

And then there is another current, the left current, which is the sign of the saintly inspiration, that passive character which has the desire for service, the overflowing sympathy, the tender heart, the touching personality, an overweighing compassion, a continual forgiveness, a gentle manner, a continual self-sacrifice, and perpetual renunciation.

People have pictured them in stories and traditions, but at the same time, that blessed time, not only same time, is forever, is mankind’s privilege because man does not try to find illuminated souls in humanity; therefore, he wants to read in the book that there are saints to be found in the deserts of Jerusalem. It is a human character. It develops just like certain flowers of fruit that comes.

But as human being is disappointed in himself, he cannot give trust in another . He better goes in the space and worships a God he does not know, or truth. Therefore, those of wisdom and of thought, they have told man, “If you ever wish to worship or adhere a God, there is a temple; is a god put there, an idol of rock; go to him to worship. You deserve it.67 ” Also taught , “Do not go directly in the temple; first walk hundred times around it, then you have deserved to enter.”

And when coming to explain this central current which is prophetic, it is both, the power of the master and the wisdom of the saint, softness and strength both together of this personality .

And this character has the injunction to go into the world, to be in the crowd, to endure the coarse vibrations of men, to go through all experiences of life, and to retain that fineness and delicateness and tenderness which keeps the soul with God, in communication with the spirit of guidance that ever flows and manifests in the form of the message.

God bless you.

Lenox Theatre, New York

Sunday evening, January 10, 1926


Beloved ones of God,

When speaking on the subject of inspiration, I would like to first describe what difference there is between inspiration and instinct.

That which we recognize in the lower creation as instinct is the same which works through the human mind in the form of intuition or inspiration. One may say from a biological point of view that the lower creatures are born with a certain instinct, such as the inclination to fly, to defend themselves with horns, or to bite with their teeth. All are faculties they show, they are born with them; is not only the heritage they bring from their ancestors, they are not belonging to their family only, is a property of the spirit. And from the spirit all living beings get a guidance in the form of an inclination. Whatever we recognize as instinct in the lower creation is inspiration in mankind. Today, as science is increasing and as materialism is prevailing, man is forgetting the heritage that he has from the spirit, and attributes every knowledge and experience to the material existence of the physical world. And in this way he deprives himself of those gifts which could be called his own, he has this right,6 and without which man cannot live a fuller life. One can hardly imagine how much materialism has taken away that inspiration, which is a form of the human mind and which is a property of the soul, because of not recognizing it as such. The other day when speaking with a great writer in Paris, and what surprised me most was to hear from him say, “Is it true that there is an inspiration?” I was surprised to see, here is a writer who has made his name, who has written several books, and who is not sure of inspiration. What is the outcome of it? The outcome of it is that the writing of music, poetry, verses, all this has become a mechanical work. There is no life to it. And it is considered according to its material, commercial value. As soon as the prose or the poetry has been made, the first thought is how will it take, whether it will bring a material success or not. It is for this reason that the inspirational faculty has become limited. He does not do for the satisfaction of his soul, he does not work for the sake of humanity or with a high ideal.

There is much that we can criticize in the music and the prose of today. Very often a writer is considered most successful in the sense of worldly success, but when we look at it , most of it is mechanical.

There is no life to it. It all is outward appearance. In this way, that faculty which makes man a human being and that faculty by which man represents the spirit becomes blunted because man does not pay attention to it.

The believers of the East considered the human body as the sacred temple. If this body is a sacred temple, it must be for a very great purpose, not only to eat, drink and make merry, to pastime and then to have finished with life. It is to accomplish something most worthwhile, something which can be accomplished only by wakening the faculties which are of inspiration. However successful a man of business, of profession, a man who writes music or poetry, may be, but at the same time his work cannot be living, only when it comes from inspiration. Therefore, today we do not find many Beethovens or Wagners or Shakespeares and great ones as those who have passed. And it is for this reason that the time has come when man ignores the divine heritage, the spiritual link with the source and from where can the true inspiration.

Now coming to the subject of inspiration. The first thing that everybody experiences in life is what one calls impression, whether he believes in it or not. But everyone has an impression on seeing a certain person or by looking at a certain condition. One may not believe that impression, but at the same time the impression is there.

The first impression tells man whether he will be successful or not, whether a person is right or not, whether there will be friendship between two people or not. And when this faculty is developed, a person can get an impression of a place and of persons and of spheres of conditions. Impressions come to those whose mind is more still. When mind is active cannot take impressions, for mind is likened to water. When the pool of water is disturbed, one cannot see in it any reflection. At the same time , purity of mind is necessary.

And in which sense? All that is called wrong, it is not wrong because by a certain moral, a principle, is made wrong. It is wrong because of the mechanical action of the mind. That is why it is wrong.

When the mind is kept pure from all that action which disturbs it, and when makes the pure water of the mind dirty than mind is in its pure condition then naturally it can take impressions. Mind is likened to a photographic plate. If several impressions are made upon it, then there can be not other impressions. Therefore, mind is kept pure from all undesirable impressions in order that every impression may be clear.

Then there is intuition, a faculty which is a step forward, which is the next step to impression. Naturally woman is more intuitive than man. The reason is that woman is respondent by nature, and more sympathetic. Therefore, she can perceive intuition more clearly. Very often man may think over a certain thing and not be able to come to a conclusion. He may reason and think and yet not come to a clear understanding. And woman, or any intuitive person, in one moment becomes clear about a certain question, a certain point. That comes from intuition. Intuition is a faculty of a deep heart; in other words, of the heart that feels deeply, be it a man or be it a woman. The quality of intuition belongs to a sympathetic heart. Even animals such as dogs and cats and horses have intuition. The warning of death and the feeling of despair and distress has become known to them beforehand. Very often they give a warning. Those who live with nature often find animals as a medium to give warning of coming dangers. The animals intuitively feel the changes of weather and storms and all sorts of incidents that come. Mankind naturally is more capable of intuition. But only because his mind is absorbed in a hundred things, his deep feelings become so blunted in everyday life and then as he ignores the existence of intuition or inspiration and naturally this faculty becomes blunted. He feels and knows less than animals. The human body is a vehicle, it is a telescope, an instrument by which one can perceive the knowledge of oneself within, of conditions, of others and of everything outside.

There is another form of intuition which may be called dream or vision. Very often people consider a dream as an action of the mind, as an automatic action of the mind without reason . W ell this is not always the case. There is no movement in the mind which is meaningless. Every motion and action has a meaning behind it; every motion is directed toward something with intention or not. There is no movement, there is no action which is not directed from some source or the other. And therefore, there are three kinds of dreams.

There is one dream in which a person sees one’s mind working on the same lines as it worked during the day, at the same time suggesting the past, present or future. Then there is another kind of dream when the mind sees everything quite opposite of what is going to happen. And there is a third condition of the dream where one sees actually happening something of the past, or what is going to happen in the future. This gives one a proof that everything on the physical plane is first formed in the inner planes and it is registered on the mind in the dream. When one is concentrated, one sees the happening more clearly. Also there is a state of dream in which one sees a vision, sees a vision line of a help or . This happens in a meditative condition. A vision is more communicative, more expressive; it is a warning which is given for the future, or an incident of the past is made known. In the vision one can go still further and communicate with the world unseen. But a vision only comes to those who are born with that faculty or have developed that faculty in the mind where becomes fully concentrated.

And now coming to the question, how does one develop this faculty of intuition? The first thing is self-confidence. When there is no self-confidence, one cannot develop this faculty of intuition, because it comes more and more by believing in it. When a person doubts and says, “Is this an intuition, will this really help me, or shall

I be deceived by my own intuition?”, in that case, naturally reason produces a confusion in the mind and intuition is destroyed. There are many intuitive people, and their intuition has been destroyed only by this doubt which rises in their mind, whether their intuition is right or wrong. That is why they lose this faculty of intuition.

Every faculty wants nurturing; if it is not nurtured, it becomes blunted and destroyed; one can no more make use of it. Besides that, a person may in his life receive the value of this faculty; he naturally destroys the faculty of intuition. Also this faculty disappears by the speedy action of mind. When a person thinks of thousand things in a short time, the mind becomes too active and then one cannot perceive intuition, which needs a certain rhythm, a certain concentration.

And a step further from this experience is what may be called inspiration. Inspiration comes to poets, writers, inventors, scientists.

But one may ask, “Where does it come from, and what is its source?

Why to musician, to poet, how not a poet get musician’s inspiration.47 Why must it reach to the same person with whom it belongs?” The reason is that there is a mind behind all minds, there is a heart as the source of all hearts, and there is a spirit that collects and accumulates all the knowledge that every living being has made . No knowledge or discovery that ever is made is lost. It all accumulates and collects in that mind as in an eternal reservoir. This is what is recognized by the seers as the divine mind. In this mind all wisdom can be drawn. The mind of the poet naturally is exalted.

Therefore, it becomes enlightened by the divine mind. From the divine mind all that is needed manifests and comes easily . It may be that a poet, without inspiration, in six months works on a poem.

Nor it gives satisfaction nor to the poet, nor to those who think it is mechanical. And there is another one who in a moment receives the inspiration and puts it down. He never can correct what he has written; he never can change it. No one can change it. If it is changed, it is spoiled. It is something that comes in a moment and it is perfect in itself; it is a piece of art; it is an example of beauty. And it comes so easily. That is called inspiration.

Many have tried to imitate inspirational people in poetry, in scientific inventions. They tried from hours and hours , but they never reached that perfection which has come in a moment’s time.

Those who are inspired, they never searched after it, it came in a mood. All that comes from inspiration is living; it always has its value. There are writings of such poets in the East as Rumi of

Persia, as Kalidasa of India. And now, after thousands of years, since the writings are read by people and it is never old and never people are tired of it. The same with Shakespeare is a living world.

The more time passes, the more it lives, the more it is appreciated. It is ever living, ever new . That is the character of inspiration. And it only comes to those whose minds are still and whose thought is absorbed in the beauty of the work which he has contemplated upon. The musician who knows little of this world but music, his mind is concentrated, focussed upon the beauty of his art. Naturally he will draw the inspiration. So it is with the poet. But when the mind is absorbed in thousand things, that it is not focussed, then it cannot receive inspiration.

And one may say, how inspiration is developed? By concentration. An inspirational poet is he whose mind is fully fixed on the idea he wishes to express; he is floating, so to speak, in the beauty of it; his mind becomes focussed and inspiration mechanically comes to him. A person who troubles about inspiration, who wants to drag it, he cannot get it, it does not belong to him. In order to get it, he must float in the idea, he must give all his heart in its beauty, he must be so positively focussed to that spirit of beauty that inspiration may naturally flow into him.

And now coming to revelation, which is the next step and the last step in this path, revelation which came to saints and saviours of humanity. It is not a story when we hear that the saints spoke with trees and plants in the wilderness, that a voice from the sea rose and the saints heard it, that masters talked with the sun, moon, and stars.

For the deeper a person dives in life, the more he is convinced that all is living, whether living beings or objects, or whether art or whether nature, whatever you see, whatever you perceive through the senses, whatever you can touch, all that is intelligible to you. It may not be seen and it may not be known by you, also is communicating. Once a person begins to communicate with nature, with art, one begins to have the proof of this, that everything begins to speak. As the great poet of Persia, Sa<di , has said, that, “Every leaf of the tree becomes as a page of the Bible when once the heart is opened and once it has learned to read.” When once revelation begins, one does not need to talk; before talking one knows what the other one wishes to say. The condition of the person or the persons before a revealed one are like reading letters . The person may speak to him, but without speaking, he knows. This is not thought reading, not telepathy, not psychometry or clairvoyance as little people think. Revelation is all the phenomena there is. What is it? It is a fuller development of inspiration. When intuitive faculty fully developed, man becomes revealed. All dumb creatures and mute things begin to speak. For after all, what are words? Are they not covers over the idea? No feeling can ever be expressed in words, no idea fully be put in verse. The true glimpse of ideas and feelings can be only perceived in that plane being which is feeling itself.

And how does revelation come? Revelation depends upon the purity of mind. Very often a worldly-wise is not wise in the sense of wisdom. Intellectuality is one thing, wisdom is another thing. All knowledge learned from books and from experiences in the world and collected in the mind is learning is not wisdom. When the light from within is thrown upon this knowledge, then the knowledge from the outer life and the light coming from within make a perfect wisdom. And it is that wisdom which guides man on the path of life.

It is not the intellectuality of today. Man searches for truth. But how does he want to find it? He wants to find it by his head. The brain is the medium instead of the heart. Man today lives in his brain instead of living in his heart. W hen it comes to feeling, he calls it sentimentality. His outside is the realm of intellect, of reason. But when one thinks deeply, what is the reason? Behind one reason there is another reason, and behind that reason there is still another reason.

The deeper we go, the more reasons we will find. If there is anything that can make plain comprehension , it is reason on one side and feeling on the other side. Man in whom feeling is not wakened is awake but asleep at the same time. That which is living is not reason, it is feeling. Many think when the brain is working it is something tangible; one does not see the working in feeling. But really speaking, the feeling takes the part of the engineer and the brain is like the mechanism which is working. The mechanism cannot work without the engineer, so the brain cannot work without the feeling behind it. These two things are needed to make knowledge clear.

When a person cannot understand himself, his own imagination, his own problems deeply, then how can he understand capable the problems of others? Then there is no communication between one person and the other. Today what they call friendship only means a professional interest. And humanity is formed by a certain interest, a worldly interest. Therefore, man does not know what feeling is. The alliances of nations, the unions of working men, all these things are being formed on the basis of interest, “I am your friend if you defend me I you .” The friend is the defender, not the person who defends his question . Then there is no friendship.

Therefore, the feeling which alone is divine in man and which is the proof and sign of the spirit, and which is a divine heritage, when that becomes blunted, naturally whatever life may be, call it civilized, it cannot be civilization.

That day will come when man will live a fuller life, a completer life of high ideals and great principles, when feeling in man will be as much wakened as reason. Bliss because reasoning and feeling.

On that day the knowledge will be spiritual knowledge, not book learning. You can feel everywhere, in colleges, in societies, in clubs, in whatever profession, that every person directly or indirectly is seeking for some knowledge. Man feels that there is a knowledge which is more real. Every person seems to be dissatisfied with his experience of life. He may be most successful in the world, it does not matter. He may be a rich man, he may have a high position, but he is dissatisfied . He is longing for something which will satisfy him. What is it? It is not outside. It is within himself. He will find it on the day when he will waken to the reality of life. Once a soul is wakened to the reality of life, all things matter little. What matters most is that which he understands, which comprehends clearly this: that which satisfies is innermost.

The revealed ones who have given the sacred books, as the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, those who have realized sacred teachings, hundreds and thousands of years have passed and their works have been alive till now. But at the same time, we must know that what they have given in the form of teaching , in the form of teachings, is the interpretation of the living wisdom which cannot be fully expressed in words. One can know that living knowledge when one has experienced it oneself by opening the heart. It is then that the purpose of life is fulfilled.

God bless you.

Little Lenox Theatre, January 12, 1926

the process of spiritual unfoldment

My subject of this evening is the process of spiritual unfoldment.

It is not that a certain soul which is meant to unfold evolves, but every soul evolves in its own time, only the rhythm of their progress depends upon the speed with they evolve. Whether person is inclined to evolve, the inner inclination of the soul is continuing its process.

Therefore, if there is to be seen one person among thousand persons who is taking this spiritual path, the remaining ones are evolving just the same. It is before our eyes that we see such distinction as some going upwards and some going downwards, some forwards and others backwards. In reality all are going forwards, some are going slowly, others more rapidly.

There are four different forms in which people evolve. The one form of evolution is like drunken man, who is drunken, does not know where is going on right or wrong path, does not look around, is enjoying his drink, is joyful and is passing through life. That is the condition of man, blessed souls, they do not know where are going, from where coming, do not see what is beautiful, what is not beautiful, they do not try to distinguish between right and wrong, but drunken. By life’s absorption the journey through life’s path and arrive one day, perhaps falling down thousand times, at same destination in the end. It is wrong to think that the sinners and wrongdoers who we make by man-made laws are deprived of bliss of spiritual attainment. Arrive just the same, only come in own time.

And sometimes a drunken man walks more quickly, may arrive before the other person who was not drunken. We cannot always judge who is going to come there first. Nevertheless, the drunken man has own joy, is the joy of intoxication. But the other joy that sober man experiences, is deprived of that joy, all the beauty that is to be seen, to be noticed on the way, and the bliss of every step that one in life with open eyes. Is deprived of that bliss, is intoxicated with wine he has taken, cares little for anything else. Such is the picture of life, many go along path of life like drunken man, not admit it even, drunken man will not say, “I am drunken,” is quite sure of his feet.

And there is the other person who is taken to the goal while asleep. Imagine this person was taken a journey through a beautiful nature, instead of looking at beauty is asleep, will arrive to same destination, but is not taken that opportunity of enjoying all the beauty that he sees, that there is to be seen. But at the same time he will arrive there where is bound.

And the third aspect is of that person who is going through this path indifferent of it. He also will arrive at same destination, but indifference has him forget, has made him unable to experience many things that could have experienced with sympathy. Many in world not notice, not notice beauty is to be found.

Fourth way person who journeys with open eyes and heart, enjoying everything and sees. Is coming to goal is great benefit, has fulfilled the purpose of life. Therefore is this particular way which may be called the spiritual path, the way you can tread with open eyes and heart, with sympathy and trust, whether sorrow or joy or happiness.

One can enjoy all things in life; everything has its beauty.

However much a person may seem uninclined to spiritual attainment, there is a continual craving which is going on in the depth of his being, and when he feels that irritation thinks, What is it? Perhaps not got enough money, that is the trouble? Goes and works and wants to collect money in order to be happy. Other one when he feels that irritation, Bcause I am lonely, must find some friend, that he will make my life happy.

There is other one who thinks, I must have big position, a high office, that is what troubles me, if that then be happy. No one of them knows the real reason of that irritation and as by scratching, irritation grows more and more. So by satisfying that craving which one feels in the soul, that craving of attaining to something, not knowing what one wants to attain. Have lived one thing and another thing and sees that is more and more dissatisfied. As further goes in pursuit of satisfaction, the more dissatisfied. Not case of one person, of two persons, with thousand hardly one realizes all these pursuits, different things feels, attaining to them satisfied, only perhaps means of going forwards, not the goal, satisfaction not there. Do you think that poor man who has not money, with money was left or continue? Irritation would grow more and more in some way or other because that irritation is for something else, is craving of soul to attain to harmonious condition. There is a story in Arabia, someone came before Alexander the Great and said, “Will you fill this, my little cup, with golden coins?” Alexander thought was a small thing to fill, little cup with gold coins. Alexander said, “Yes”, he asked his treasurer, “Fill it”, and as treasurer began to pour in it, the more coins were poured in it, the wider the cup began to appear, seemed the cup would never fill, always a place left to be filled. Alexander was very surprised, “If continued all my treasure be taken.” Ask the man, dervish, “What magic cup you have there, what is it?” Answered, “This is the cup of desire that man has. This cup, which is always empty, and the more you fill, the more empty it becomes, and is never filled.” The desire for wealth, for power, for position, for pleasure and comfort, for all things belonging to this world, is continuously there. Irritation one feels in soul, one attributes it to desire and thinks, “That restlessness, dissatisfaction I feel comes by lack of this or that”. And so one goes on from one thing to another, spending time, is wrong. And where arrives, if successful or not, in both cases irritation never ceases, continues where person begins his progress in the spiritual line. Many today will say, “Oh, but I am practical”; means not believe in dreams, not in spiritual. Yes, one can say it today, tomorrow he will not say it. Is a condition when is drunken, is intoxicated, says it. Moment he will become sober begins to find craving which remains unsatisfied. Have I not seen during my travels throughout the whole world, scientists, after having made great name and after having seen much of the world, understand the realm of reason and logic, still trying to find out something they did not know, some experience did not make, something they not explored.

There is a beautiful story of old scientist who never believed in God and whose wife had a religion. And when the scientist was ill and old and his reasoning faculties and that stiffness against spiritual things became loosened, asked his wife, “I wonder if there is anything, I will not believe it, but should like to know if there is anything. Never lacked a religion, but do you think there is something? But you are so happy”. Said, “I am happy with the belief I have.” Said, “I cannot have that belief, but I have you and what I can share is your happiness.” If not take directly then indirectly. Not even mankind, but birds and beasts are attracted through the illuminated soul, a soul that radiates spirituality, that has realized the meaning of life, arrived at conviction of life, reality that soul can impart even to unbeliever who has never believed in soul or hereafter. Even such souls becomes satisfied, such souls are even blessed by contact with person who has realized truth.

When the time comes that intoxication of life begins to diminish and man begins to look at life differently, what comes first is a kind of depression, a kind of disappointment in things and beings. Thinks all that had considered valuable lost its value and importance. Begins to see falsehood behind all thought was so real and a kind of depression and disappointment and bitterness begins to come. Not surprised if thoughtful person showing kind of disappointment and change of point of view, that things once considered valuable, important looking from different point of view, is natural. No doubt surroundings begin to say, “Dishes you enjoyed so much, things you valued so much few months ago, what has happened, has some change come to you?” Is so, change has come and person has taken a step forward, is change that comes to him, sort of disappointment; one may show it more or less. The more thoughtful person, the less shows, and the less thoughtful more shows bitterness, according to person’s evolution. There is one who shows it in tears, other in smiles. The one shows in smiles is superior, is the way one should take life.

Is another step, is the stage of bewilderment. One is arrived at that stage then no more depressed or disappointed but amazed at such things that ordinarily no one would be amazed at. It is only because the one who is amazed, his eyes are open. Others see same thing eyes closed, same experience does not touch them. This person feels it and he wonders about it. Then is a continual bewilderment and what causes most is human nature, every aspect of human nature and its very turn and twist, his many phenomenon, life doings for him and he looks at it. Life then becomes so interesting, needs not seek solitude, stands in midst of crowd yet may enjoy every rub and knock, every experience, all amazes him, only makes him smile and wonder. And all such words as kindness, goodness, love, infatuation, connection, all these things have a different meaning for him, meaning is not the same. You might say, “Does become cynical, critical?” I will say not any, since he understands; cynical and critical is much beyond it. Critical that sees the funny state of it, cynical he sees that enjoys, not others knowing it. At the same time is bewilderment and continual amazement at every experience he makes from morning till evening.

Then is a third stage. As soul evolves further, man begins to see reason behind reason, so several reasons, one hidden behind the other, is now attained to them. This reason for everyone, whether agreeable or disagreeable, right or wrong. Naturally can no more blame one soul in this world, worst sinner not blame him, sees behind everything his reason, reason satisfies to do? If sees thousand reasons in support of one, whether right or wrong, nothing for him to say. This naturally makes him tolerant, compassionate, forgiving.

Not because thinks is kind to forgive, or good to be compassionate, or principle to be tolerant, is obliged to be so, but his inner inclination cannot help but compassionate, but forgive, as in case of

Jesus Christ when people brought before master those accused by law of wrongdoings. Master says that, “God will forgive you.” There is not one instance in the life of Christ when he had a revenge or when had a blame for anyone.

And as one develops still further there comes the realm of sympathy when one has understood the reason of all things. Then naturally one is blameless, no blame for anyone else. That blamelessness culminates into harmlessness. Buddha says the essence of religion is harmlessness, the moment you have become harmless you have understood religion. And what is harmlessness? Every person knows so little about harmlessness, everyone thinks to be harmful means to kill someone, everyone has a meaning of his own for every word. There was a soldier from Rabdul. People said before him, “There is kindness.” He said, “What is kindness?”, “Is attribute.” Said, “I pursued once kindness, my horse was ill and called it, feeling of kindness came upon me and killed it.” So every person has his own meeting. When one rises above this realm of forgiveness then there comes a natural outpouring of sympathy, is that time that person really can become sympathetic, for then to feel sympathy no more moral, is nature, not intention, automatically. Will be outpouring of sympathy towards everyone that comes in radiance and atmosphere of that person.

Many will say that, “Is it not a weakening of a character to become so gentle and sympathetic, is not against practical life where has to be vigorous, hard, and crude to stand hardness of life? Or advisable to be so fine, kind, and gentle that everyone can make the most of us?”

Education today quite contrary, tendency of education so qualified is not light is appears or himself be shaken by those selfish persons in this world among whom move that may get the most of it. This is right, but at the same time if each person prepared himself and one harmed then were outside intervention must end in a battle. Manifestation not made for battle, but we have made it battleground.

The meaning of exile of Adam from paradise to be sent in world of toil is the same, that man was born to enjoy the harmony and beauty of life, to experience what was meant by life, has made a paradise into a battlefield, this world of conflict. Not that Adam was exiled, but Adam turned paradise into battlefield. Is it not that have made life difficult for ourselves, is pleasure of God that life so difficult for us? It stands in professional life, in life of science, of art, business, commerce, politics, in all aspects, is nothing but continual struggle. One looks with open eyes perhaps, for every new born to have to find this trouble. Is a struggle in same condition as before as moment is becoming greater. Will come a time before long that will be difficult to live in this world. Only some few, very equipped to strive and to struggle and most inclined to conflict, only will be able to exist and for striking against, for will bring about what is called world destruction.

When see today through more open eyes, the more keenly see this aspect. No direction of life where is smooth, is more and more difficult every moment in the day, nothing but competition, conflict.

And when there is one manner of action and one rhythm same doing through whole manifestation. Those few cannot help, have to go through same way, because life in world is mechanism, we have to run in same way. And besides, do you think that if going how disadvantageous the life as it is this present time proves to be, even then cannot strike others when is put in mechanism. Cannot make another way out of it. The lives that have been made miserable, number of those disturbed so enormous, if thought most unhappy to see this condition. There are many who think that a better time may be brought about. By what? By making unions, by making communities, making different brotherhoods. But cannot be brought about by small efforts. Besides this, in such unions and parties again begin against one another. What is most necessary at this time is spiritual awakening of generality and every effort made to awakening, to lift ideal, spiritual ideal, to peace that will remain and will last, that mission which can be worthwhile. Every one of us can do if thought of it sufficiently. In own lines, be business, politics, education, whatever little, small service, always do a little. And the main thing one can do is to awaken, to awaken oneself and those around one to high ideal and to greater realization of life and to the deeper understanding of truth.

God bless you.

College of the City of New York, 139th Street & Convent Avenue, New York

January 14th, 1926


Murshid’s Words to the Boys


I appreciate this welcome given to me in your college and consider it my privilege to speak to you on the subject of inspiration.

I was very surprised the other day when brought in contact with some literary man in Paris, a well-known writer, asking me: “Do you really think there is such a thing as inspiration?” It amused me for the moment. But at the same time I saw: what else can one expect this day of materialism, when commercialism is prevailing all over. What one is considering is knowledge; he considers what man makes out of his brain and what he learns by experience. The best quality man shows in putting to if is in school is in it.2 He does not see beyond it.

He does not see the other source of greater beauty and harmony, the source from inspiration. Naturally therefore a writer or musician or artist is small, because his resource is only that which he finds in the outer world. And it is not surprising for me to hear if such a thing as inspiration exists, but it gave me the idea how today, in this world of mechanism, human beings such as machines are toiling in whatever walk of life they are destined to be, and forgetting that one direction from where man can draw a greater knowledge. From biological point of view a scientist thinks that instinct is inherited faculty, instinct of feeling. And it is therefore that they attribute that faculty also to material source, is inherited from parents. But really speaking, this faculty which is called instinct is a part of the spirit. It does not belong to the material part; it is a different aspect. 10The same thing which is called instinct may be recognized in man as intuition. If you say “It is inherited in the family, man is born with the faculty of music or of writing,” and shows this inspiration in that particular faculty. In many thousand cases, if one studies this faculty one will find it is not always that one inherits, but that one draws it. It belongs to a certain part of being; it is not material, but spiritual part.

In another way we can perceive the sign of inspiration in the form of impression, and it is everyone who to smaller or greater degree has this capacity of perceiving impression on seeing a certain person, or being put in a certain condition, or when a person is faced to a certain difficult situation in life. If he is respondent he feels impression. Very often a person says, “I have seen that person and I have an impression: he is sincere or, or insincere”. One cannot say what is the reason of this impression, he cannot very well explain it. And very often a person who is still finer says same : Under a certain situation I feel uncomfortable, hopeful, or hopeless, before the result has come and before the time when one will see how it will work out. It comes from an impression in the mind of a fine person.

He begins to feel it. If it is true, it is the first step to inspiration. Very few there are who cannot get an impression. No doubt the life such as we live today, of turmoil, disturbances are so great that we cannot even calculate them, one cannot still one’s mind and this faculty remains the same: a tendency to impression.

You don’t need to inquire about superstition. Where people have agriculture, life near to nature, where there is a possibility to dream and to think, there is a superstition that horses and cows and birds and dogs give a kind of warning before a kind of happening. If there will be robbery, or a fire, or illness, or famine, or any such thing, before anybody knew, they hear it from the signs that animals made.

Today one can laugh at it, one says: it is a superstition. Nevertheless, we will find there is some truth in it the more we study it. If animals are capable of perceiving it, sense of feeling then man, who is a finished vehicle among , is more capable of perceiving inspiration, of gaining knowledge through intuitive faculty. Man, being too busy in outer things, overlooks that one part of learning. He focuses his mind to the outer world. It is therefore that the inner learning is closed. Outer man concerns himself with things, book learning, or with experiences outside; but he never thinks of intuition except as with a woman’s faculty. Woman is more capable of intuition than man, because she is naturally made respondent by nature. But any man with little softer character will also be more intuitive. Intuition belongs with respondent mind. A mind which is not focussed, not concentrated, is not opened to intuition. Mind is likened to a pool water. When the pool water is in disturbed state, naturally the reflection is not seen clearly. But if it is still, the reflection is clear.

That is the condition of mind.

There are two things necessary. One is the purity of mind, the other thing is the stillness of mind. Now you may ask: What do I mean by purity of mind? Purity of water is the condition of water clear of mud. Water is more clear mind is more clear when all elements remain outside, such as worry, fear, anger, passion, which come and take position in it. When they are away mind is pure from it. Therefore, it is according to the purity of mind that reflection becomes clear, as in the pool of water.

Those who are intuitive very often can say that such a thing may happen. They feel it. They are not fortunetellers, not mystic . It is a temperament. It is a certain nature, a person who is capable of feeling things before they occur, a temperament . It is not rare to be found; it is a natural tendency in man. He has only made that faculty blunted. There are many reasons why it is blunted. The first reason is that man begins to doubt his own intuition, fearing if he followed it he might make a mistake. Therefore he wants to feel his feet on the ground, and trusts less in intuition. If he is ready to sacrifice something he will benefit. Perhaps he will have a few times mistakes, sometimes he did not have intuition. But even then by his confidence, by his trust in his own self, he would be able to get intuition more clear. Many people in the world have intuitive quality, but being afraid of making a mistake, doubting their own intuition, they become practical. They want to feel sure on their own feet. But at the same time, there are many who work intuitively without knowing, many businessmen, scientific men, musicians, poets. They don’t know that it is intuition that gives them a certain direction wished . Many explore, many enterprise and attract automatically, do not know, come to success.

A step further is what may be called inspiration. And you may say, where does it come from? Is it closed in the brain, in the body?

As man sees nothing but the intelligible part of himself, that is what he can feel and see, and beyond that he cannot see his existence.

But as one sees that there is a collection of books in the library, all different subjects, so one can also find in the inner existence all the knowledge been experience ever been . It can be known from that source that everyone who gets knowledge gets it. Inspiration is the faculty of mind when mind becomes as clear as a light in a room which is all dark. On a certain corner one finds that one thing.

A poet, a writer, a musician may work at something in six months time and may not get results, not pleases others and himself. But at the same time it is a moment of inspiration, it takes but one moment. When he puts it on the paper it need not be corrected. It is something living, a phenomena which needs not pleaded . Such are the works of great musicians, as Beethoven and

Wagner. In this world today there are perhaps new things every day.

At such times their music is welcome always and always gives a new joy to hear. It is as with the books of Rumi , the great poet of

Persia. That today in Turkey, Egypt, India, people try to write works as Masnavi , or as the books of Hafiz , or that . Many sought on style of Hafiz tried to that . But the books of Rumi are as living water. They have always the same magnetism, they are always as living. Their atmosphere proves to be quite different from a manmade effort of writing books . It is today’s tendency to commercialize mars beauty of all things. But no sooner a writer or a musician, his first thought is whether it will take, or whether people will like it, then to depend upon the majority like and not ourselves . Then it is what the majority likes which is worthwhile.

Then it must come to the level of the majority, it must always pull back his soul’s progress, his spirit’s enthusiasm, and bring it to that point where everyone will like it. If it is in a penny magazine everybody likes it. Naturally it is commercialism which has robbed inspiration, inspiration which can be seen on the music, poetry, literature on centuries thought of humanity.

The other day I was talking with a musician in New York for whom I have a great esteem. He thought a great deal on lines of the furtherance of higher music. Said the method of writing music today. He said, “The melody is obscure, many extend so vastly one cannot hear the melody, no idea of that3.”

When travelling in Russia I met Scriabin who said, “Our music is every day more and more drawing the spirit of music in a new science of harmony. There are thousand notes at the same time. So many people become nervous on hearing it. No spirit is to be found in it. It is obscure.”

Naturally, when those who have to entertain the public by music, writing, poetry, they forget ideal, then their only one thought is, “How will it take?” Financial benefit, how books will be sold, where must arrive.55 In this way in our civilization man is forgetting the best quality in him, with which he can fulfill life’s purpose; that quality becomes blunted.

There are those who do not perceive inspiration, intuitive . But they also can find signs of that faculty and what one calls dreams, vision. If one knew psychologically the meaning of dream, there never is one dream without meaning, which has no influence on present and past and which is not narrative of the future.

The difference between dream and vision is that the vision is of more realistic character. It is a certain temperament which is visionary temperament. People laugh at them, mock at them; they will say, “He is not quite there.” If a person says: “I have seen a vision, I have seen something,” they think: “Has he really seen it?”

Nevertheless, it is their faculty. You will find those who have it, many of them. Psychologically they may remain in obscurity except that they tell others: “I’ve seen such a thing.” But all those things man thought nothing about, every action, every movement, feeling it be physical or mental, it remains, or before wall, or in the waves of the air. It is never lost. There is no motion, no movement, no thought that is ever lost. It is living, even being rhythm.

And now coming to a higher stage or highest stage of development of intuitive faculty. It is called by people of ancient times revelation. They say in the stories of tradition that saints used to speak in the air, and from the space they used to hear the answer.

One wonders: “Why not today, of the past?” Well is reason man is absorbed so much, he is so dense that he cannot believe such a thing to happen. Man is the same spirit and soul, he has the same possibility. Besides, he thinks they have come as stories, does not have patience; before he has interpreted them, he laughs at them. A deep thought and study of nature will bring man to the conviction that there is not one thing in the world which is not communicative: planets, stars, space, or things of matter as birds or beasts, all we see or touch, all which seems beyond perception. No doubt many play with such things. By playing with such things the highest ideal has become lost in the eyes of intellectual people. They call them clairvoyants or mystics and have become so disgusted that they see nothing in it. Nevertheless, life can offer all things: when there is false there is true, where there is truth there is a false side of it.

What one seeks one finds. If you look for truth you will find it. In the end it is existence itself which is truth. Truth is all that exists.

There is a faculty of perceiving. So when one has become respondent, one will find one has become attuned; when a person has realized his real being, he has opened the doors and inspiration is his own property. No doubt it gives insight into life; life becomes as a written letter. One need not look at physiognomy, but every person is communicative, his form, his feature, his every movement, his every turn is communicative. But there are also those who live in this world and yet keep asleep. Sometimes there is so little interest in life.

Even in the train , there is newspaper in the hand, have general talk. There is so little interest in life to look around. The eyes are so closed. There is only interest in limited knowledge, they go no further. It is not that man is incapable; mankind has a much greater capacity than he can imagine. But the first difficulty with man is his lack of belief. It is not belief in religion, in God, or in the hereafter, but he does not believe in himself. He does not know it; he is not concerned with it. In this way, if the world will progress it will involve more and more in materialism. And at the same time, mankind will be robbed of inspiration, intuition, insight, revelation, and communication with life. More than thinks living man, it will only detain man . He will become more and more a machine than a human being, because one direction he has absolutely forgotten, which each one can develop by seeing the possibility of its existence: that there exists something greater, deeper, higher in oneself than what one knows himself to be.

God bless you.

Evening Lecture, Little Lenox Theatre, New York

January 14, 1926

the way of meditation

Beloved ones of God,

All the secret of power and inspiration belongs to the realm of meditation. Often one thinks if it is really necessary for anyone to attain to spiritual perfection by the help of meditation. Is it not enough if one regarded the principle of life with open eyes and lived a life of morals and of goodness, of thought and consideration; is it not enough for one to arrive at the same stage of perfection as one reaches by the help of meditation? Many also think that, “Is prayer and faith and devotion and a religious life not enough for one to arrive at the spiritual perfection? What is the use of striving and struggling about it?” Many have asked me very often. They say that, “But I do not see any meaning in struggling about something which is most sacred, because all other things which are not sacred and which belong to the world want perseverance, efforts, and thoughts.”

In spite of all efforts to things not sacred nature, if energy strive in sacred, in every direction.2 Why should there not be one thing one could obtain without doing anything? Does not desire enough find it, but the one who must find reason do ask such question.

The thoughtful ones who ask such a question, my answer to them is that one must understand first what one wishes to reach by the help of meditation, and discovery itself will answer their question. Does one meditate in order to get a greater power or a deeper insight; does one meditate in order to reach higher or diving deeper? Does one meditate in order to perform wonders and produce phenomena, to perform miracles? Does one meditate in order to become extraordinary? If one does it with these motives, he may have some benefit from it, but it will be very little. The real purpose of meditation is to discover within oneself the hidden faculties which make one’s life fuller. And hardly one among hundred persons realizes this fact. They either think it is to be more spiritual, more powerful, more wonderful, that it is to accomplish greater things.

They think of results. They hardly think of the purpose for which the path of meditation is pursued. Even among those who are meditative people, there is one among thousand who really understands the meaning and purpose of meditation. They are going on with certain practices for their whole life without knowing the same time the real purpose behind it and benefit to achieve from it. The lack of knowledge about meditation keeps even the meditative back from a natural progress. The same is in all walks of life. Rarely a man thinks about the purpose of certain acts. He always thinks about results. He thinks about what it will give him, not if it is meant for him.

In point of fact meditation is an artificial process, it is an art. But is art not necessary in life? If we lived a natural life, we would be in the forest; we should not need houses to live in. We cannot get along without art, for our soul yearns for beauty, wants to find. The birds and animals do not need meditation because they live in nature. They have their natural meditation. They breathe in the open, they fly in the wide space; they look at the sun which is not hidden by high buildings. Feels in higher [?] in space.10 They enjoy all seasons: snow, storm, wind, rain, every aspect of nature gives pleasure and joy. They progress naturally. We, on the contrary, have become dependent upon all comforts we make for ourselves. The atmosphere in the house made by heating is artificial and this is what we breathe. We make clothes to keep ourselves warm, which is again an artificial aspect. After nature has produced food for us in the form of fruits and vegetables and corns, we cook them and take most of the life out of them, making them more digestive and making our system more and more weak and unnatural. If one thinks, I shall tell you is thousand things we do against nature. How has it come? It has come by man’s acting and tendency to indulge in life, whereas his power to resist has become less, did not strongly face nature . So he has made for himself a new world, a new life.

If you will study the country life in many countries where people live with nature and where they live a more natural life, you will find that they are intuitive. Their intuitive faculties work naturally, fully, freely. Their happiness is greater compared with happiness of those who live in great cities. Their worries, their anxieties are less, their energies are not so touched as of those living in town. Their faculty to love is fresh; their tendency to be friends is pure and clear and beautiful. They have not to think about interest when it comes to the question of friendship. Besides, for them friendship is the first thing, business is a second thing. And we see that all spiritual faculties which are developed by meditation are already to be found in them.

Sometimes among them angelic souls are to be found whom deceit or treachery has never touched, who do not know what fright is, who are sympathetic, harmonious, peaceful, respondent, and inclined to do good and to serve. And this will explain to you why we must meditate.

We must meditate in order to discover that original self in us which is more beautiful, more fine and harmonious and peaceful, loving and illuminated, which is illumination itself. It is to find that self, that inspiration and power in us, that we make use of that art which the wise have used in order to discover their spiritual self.

People may mystify things, they may make greater things out of small things and small things out of greater things. This is a human tendency. They say by meditation they talk with angels, they see ghosts, they see fairies, they promise different powers that you can attain to. But what is it? The main thing one can achieve by meditation is spiritual progress, discovering one’s real self. And if it is with this intention that a soul takes the path of meditation, he profits by it. But if there is another intention, then he limits his progress.

In speaking to you about meditation, I would explain the different steps that one has to take in order to attain to higher meditation.

The first step is concentration. And it need not be a concentration of mind to begin with, but even the concentration of the body is necessary: to be able to sit still in a certain position is not always easy for every person. The moment one thinks about it, one finds the difficulty of it. One overlooks this fact in oneself and one thinks, “My body listens to me.” But if one begins to practise, one finds how difficult it is even to sit without moving in a certain position for a certain length of time. Yogis have called it asana , a certain posture by which to control the automatic movement of one’s muscular and nervous system. Very often people, not doing that concentration, go further. But not being prepared, there is no benefit for reason go further.

In concentration there are three different kinds. There is constructive concentration of a certain form, that one composes that form by gathering the atoms that belong to that form, which are to be found in the human brain. The power of will brings them together and creates a form before his mind. This is called visualizing. And as there is the muscular practice which gives a vigour, vitality and force to the muscles, so this practice gives vigour and power and to the mental faculties.

And the other concentration is of an artistic nature. For an instance, one concentrates upon running water and one creates the surroundings of that water out of one’s own artistic faculty: mountains or rocks or green or trees one creates around it. So it is not only one object, but the whole surrounding of a certain picture is produced. This concentration now helps in one’s creative faculties, that one is not only developing the thinking power, but also artistic gift. For instance the difference between these two methods of concentration can be described by giving a musical example. One person concentrates upon a certain note. For a musician this is the easiest thing he can do. And there is another person who concentrates upon a certain theme, not one note sound , but perhaps chords are sounding in the mind of that person. Or in the case of an artist, either he sees one colour or a combination of several colours. Therefore, these two different objects make the concentration different, and the effect of each of these two is different. One is more fortifying and the other is constructive and creative, it helps constructive and creative faculty.

The third kind of concentration is more difficult. This concentration is to personify an abstract thought, a thought of love or kindness or gratefulness or wisdom or inspiration or any abstract thought which cannot be pictured, to make a picture of it. At this modern time man has lost that faculty. In ancient times that faculty was very much seen among ancient people. That is why their poetry is so beautiful, and that is why their writings always are in the form of poetry. For an instance, Hebrew books , Arabic, Persian and

Sanskrit literature, science, art or philosophy, all are written on poetry. One might be surprised today that even science was written in poetry. But they did not take anything if it was not in the form of beauty, even scientific statements. Why should they not be beautiful verses? And one sees today mind to find out secret of it.27 If they are written in plain words, they have not that stimulating effect upon the soul. As man today says, “Can you not put the truth in simple even words? I want to find the truth simply explained.” But what cannot be explained, the best way is to wrap it in wonderful scarves, that one may see it in a beautiful way. It is the beautiful ways one can enjoy, not the higher truth. Man today does not understand this, he has no patience to wait for it. Therefore, he has no stimulance . He reads a book, turns the pages and says, “I am tired of this; I want new ideas.” And so he goes on for years and years. Perhaps one book reads, another book one reads.31 There is no stimulance for the soul. The soul wants rhythm, beauty, music, poetry. In that form truth was given. You can see how all the ancient scriptures were written in verse. Sanskrit all four Vedas the whole

Vedas were written in the form of verse. The wisdom of the whole life was given in poetry, in a beautiful form, not in plain words.

Man today will say it is going round and round, nothing in end, but it is so, is going round . But it is finding in the end, not at once.

If at once one sees, here it is, then there is no joy; joy is not all in possessing, joy is in finding. Not in finding in a beautiful way, there is no joy for him .

Forced by the urging demands of generality, many have used such crude forms. They say, “I am God”. That is all that is there. They use such crude and beautiless statements. All beauty is lost by them.

When one reads the words of Zarathustra, how beautifully truth is given to the world, covered under poetic imagery. W hen a

Mussulman reads Qur’an, his soul is uplifted because what is written there is not put in crude words, but in beautiful poetic prose.

There is a stimulance. The Bhagavad Gita of Krishna is in verse.

And those who have given spiritual messages have been those whose souls were so joyous and happy that the soul danced, and that everything they have given is in the form of dancing. You can see in their words that they were not monotonous people; their soul was enjoying, dancing. And even the soul that reads it and understands it is stimulated it and becomes inclined to dance as they did.

A step further is contemplation. Contemplation is a concentration of an idea, repeated. Very often in the mind the effect of contemplation is that even every blood cell in the body becomes impressed by that idea which contemplation has put into it. There is a story of Mansur , a great sage of Bukhara, that he claimed, “I am the truth” when the clergy of the time wanted to force upon him their religious principles. At that time, when there was a religious government, this man was accused of heresy and the punishment was given to him that everyone who sees him must throw a stone at him; he must be stoned. The interesting part in the story is that every drop of blood that fell on the ground from his head had in it this seal and impression of the word he said, “I am the truth.” It is a simple story but what it says is a wonderful thing. That contemplation can have such an impression upon a person that every blood cell of his body would become a living entity representing that idea which he contemplated upon. Therefore, those who contemplate on a thought of love naturally make every atom of their being love, every action they did, every word they said but love. They may contemplate on power or wisdom, their very being would turn into wisdom, their footprints become the sign of wisdom, their glance will have the influence of wisdom. It is difficult to ever imagine to what extent the power of contemplation has its influence in man’s life. It can change a person altogether.

And a step further is meditation. Concentration and contemplation are acts, but meditation is a condition. For in concentration one has to act, in contemplation also, but in meditation one has to be passive. It is not an action; it is a condition. For an instance, if I were to tell you that just now you are meditating, it is true. Your attentiveness to what I say is a kind of meditation. It is the same attitude you have just now in listening to my words, the same attitude if it is turned before God or a certain condition or to a certain plane, it can be meditation. No doubt one can mystify a simple idea and one can make mystical ideas simple, as one chooses to do.

One can hardly imagine what power there is in passiveness.

Many recognize the power of a person who can be determined and who can be aggressive or who can be angry. One sees there is expression, each action power in it . But one hardly realizes what power can be drawn by passiveness, attentiveness. It is a quite different action of mind. Thinking, concentrating, imagining is one action, and to be passive, to listen and to perceive, is another action is quite so . It is a negative action, but the power it can draw can be much greater sometimes than the power of action.

Naturally, therefore, the meditative draw their power from higher spirits, from entities, from planets, from high souls and from God, as it happens to be. If their heart is focussed to God, they draw their power from God.

Often there is a process of reaching, of reaching God, and that process is taught by the teacher who has the experience of the path.

It is therefore that in the East the importance of the teacher is considered great. Guidance under a teacher is considered more than religion, because religion is exoteric, outer but the esoteric is of greater power . This path is followed under the guidance of someone whom one trusts absolutely. Lack of trust or doubt on the part of the pupil is a hindrance on the path. It is better not to take this path and guidance than to take it and not it because . In this path what is needed is self-abnegation, self-denial, and not mean to deny oneself of all the bliss, beauty and harmony in the world. It is only to deny the thought of oneself. By being under the guidance of a teacher is a process in which one has to go through self-denial.

A teacher one day told his pupil, he asked him , “What you like in this world? Is there anything you love?” “Yes,” said the pupil. He was a peasant boy who lived in the forest. “There is a cow I have loved very much. That is the one object I love.” “A cow,” the teacher said, “Yes, then you must meditate on the thought of the cow.” The pupil went in his room and meditated on the thought of the cow. This was a different method than the way the teacher taught other pupils.

And other pupils came to the school and sat in their room for half an hour or fifteen minutes and then went away. And one day the teacher was asking his pupils to come and he asked, “Where is the new pupil who came? For four or five days I have not seen him. I cannot think he has gone away. He was very earnest.” The teacher said, “I will go and see in his room.” He knocked at the room, but got no answer. The door was closed. The teacher opened the door. The young man was sitting in concentration. When the teacher called him, he answered as the cow would answer. The teacher said, “Come out.” The young man said, “My horns are too long to come out of this door.” The teacher gave him his hand and said, “Yes, come out, come out!” The teacher said to the other pupils, “Your concentration of ten or twelve years is not equal to the concentration of this man of three days. This is the material out of which an ornament can be made.” For any ornament like ordinary medals it is a hard game.

What generally happens is that they concentrate for a few minutes and then become tired and left , and next day begin again and so on.

That is the general process.

There are some who play with it and get nothing out of it. And there are those who seriously go into it; they never come without result. And the result that can be achieved by the power of meditation, one cannot compare it with any other attainment or gain belonging to the earth. A person may say, “But if I do not know what gain it is, why then shall I pursue it?” But I say any little thing of this earth wants much more sacrifice and costs much more than anything spiritual. It does not need strife or thought or energy only; it needs your faith and desire to attain. And if there is anything least costly, it is spiritual attainment, and if there is anything most valuable, it is spiritual attainment.

God bless you.

Sufi Centre, 140 West 74th Street, New York

January 15th, 1926

mureeds class: initiation

Blessed mureeds,

I would like to speak a few words on the subject of initiation.

Initiation is not only a formal ceremony. It is an outside form of something which is meant to take place. As all things in life are appointed and fixed on a certain time, so initiation is fixed on a certain time. And when that time comes, you are brought to your teacher, who gives you initiation. Many in the mystical path have this experience, if not all, that after the yearning of many, many years, to come to some person who will give them his guidance on the spiritual path; that they were brought to him after many years’ time.

Some had visions and warnings in the form of dreams, or in the form of inspiration.

If I were to tell you my own experience, that I was meditative from childhood and that tendency grew by my growing. And there was a certain time in my life when I felt more urge from within to be contemplative. Since I had no teacher whom I could call my spiritual guide, still I had learned as every child in the East, who knows more or less the path of discipleship. But there came a certain time when the inner urge began to be more concrete, more clear; even to such an extent that it became audible, louder than a spoken word, it became visible in the form of vision. And when I was looking for some soul in the eagerness of being guided on the spiritual path, I happened to come in the presence of a soul that at my first sight I recognized that this was the person whom I had seen in my meditations. That was my teacher. No sooner my teacher appeared, I knew this was my teacher.

You need not be surprised about it. In the spiritual path it is natural to have this phenomena. But even in everyday life we have that phenomena. If we are serious, earnest that, in business, in our profession, in our work in worldly life, when we meet someone who is really meant that we must meet, is always a feeling we have always known this person. And if there is not that feeling, then people may come and be together for hundred years and they will remain strangers. And another time, once a person may meet someone and he feels, “I have known that person for thousand years.” The same feeling became more concrete at the first glance on my teacher. I recognized, “This is the same face I have seen in my visions.”

Everyone is not visionary. But as spirit, heart and soul know, if one does not see, one feels it; if one does not feel, one thinks it.

Always there is a sign seen which links up a murshid with his mureed. And where does this link reach? This link is just like a chain.

The teachers who have lived in all different ages, who have worked for humanity, whether they are recognized or not, who have suffered for the cause of mankind, who have sympathized with the difficulties of men worrying in bad times, who have led men from difficult conditions, such teachers, whether on earth or on the other side, this link of initiation unites you with them all. Therefore is said, “United with all illuminated souls who form the embodiment…”8 Therefore, this link of initiation not only unites with Murshid, but with all illuminated souls here before you and in the unseen.

One who has feeling and illumination will see more, cannot help to see more and more every day. But this path of initiation is continued. After one initiation there is another initiation and after is again another initiation. And so it goes on. As the veil is lifted, you go on, further and further, till you arrive at that stage where inner initiation begins. Outer initiation is a preparatory stage of inner initiation, is revelation which comes in the form of revelation.

And now, you may ask, what would bring blessing to initiated ones? The answer is that a steady interest in the path. It is a great pity to watch that in these modern times people seek after truth, but with no patience. They go in one society and then get tired of it; they want some novelty and then they go in another society and then in another and so on. They move from place to place. For them this is just like a variety theatre where one gets changes every week. All their life they change from one thing to another.

Imagine, after so many thousand years since Buddha had come, the Buddhists holding the idea of Buddha! They have not gone back in spiritual development. They have gone forward. After thousands of years since Buddha has come, they even keep up his living teaching; they live with it. And that is the most important thing. If one asked, “What is more important in your life? Is it worldly enjoyment, worldly interest?”, you should answer, “No, all these things are needed in my life, but near to my heart is my spiritual development, my religion, my devotion. That is nearest to my heart.”

If a person goes from one society to another, from one teacher to another, then nothing is gained. Besides, they test the teacher instead of the teacher testing them. Poor teacher is a human being. He must have something wrong. No one in this world is right altogether. If one were right, one would not exist in this world. A human being is subject in all things. When they criticize, they take with them the impression that, “We have seen in the teacher something which is against him.” From twenty teachers, that is twenty bad points.

Twenty points of twenty teachers makes them against God, soul, spirit, and against truth. This is the condition. They all say that they earnestly seek after truth, but they do not know in what way to seek after truth.

Faith is a great thing. The Hindus have taught faith. 13Therefore the ideal of rock, an ideal which is more than ignorant, no knowledge of life, response . If a person can have faith in his ideal, he naturally can have faith in God and man both. The one who is capable of having faith in his ideal, no sign of life he can have faith in a living being then . But the one who has no faith in his living being , he has no faith in anything.

Besides, man is a very quick judge. He very readily judges his brother from his own law and from his own point of view . The child is ready to judge his father, people are ready to judge their professor, their doctor; no one standard of studies according to standard of evolution go readily judge the one who is more evolved.

It is a tendency which is freely expressed; it breaks all the ideal there is, it kills idealism. It is therefore that there are many inventors in the

Western world, but great personalities are not allowed to grow. And if one sees a great personality, there is hardly one who has not the tendency to throw him down, to pull him down. It is a great error of this age; and if it will be continued, great personalities will rarely be found, or hinder personality to become great . Religions and spiritual world apart, even in the political and society world as soon as a man has sprung up and gives an example to ten people, the first attempt is to pull him down before he is known to forty people. In ancient times they crucified and stoned and troubled prophets and mystics. And in this time they pull them down and insult them and criticize and trouble them. It is a great pity just the same.

Worldly things aside, when we come to spiritual things, a certain amount of idealism is necessary. Without idealism there is no religion, no spirituality. Idealism comes of imagination. If not3, one cannot have ideal. For an instance, it is very easy to say diamond and pebble is the same, it is stone. But imagination distinguishes between diamond and pebble. If there is no imagination one can easily say it is stone; it is possible that it is ruby or diamond, what is it!

The initiation received by you, it does not urge upon you a certain discipline of life. You are not asked to follow certain rules or principles, because the Sufi Order leaves the initiates free to choose for themselves their own principles. Nevertheless, it wakens in some form or the other a principle which is there naturally, which rises in one’s heart and which one can follow principle because it comes from oneself. And at the same time, to be without principle means to live without life. Is life only to drink and make merry or to have a good pastime? If it was meant for that, life would have no importance. Anything that gives life importance is principle. Not in the ordinary sense principle, for an instance a community principle or a society principle. I do not mean that principle. I mean inner principle, that your own soul teaches you, that makes you live as you want to live and as you like to live. That is the principle, that is the spirit of all moral that the Sufi Movement teaches; no restriction of food or action. In the Sufi teaching is shown what is best for your spiritual development. There is no restriction, follow this rule.

There is perfect freedom to choose your own way.

Only it is said that initiation must be regarded as the most sacred thing and it is this regard which will help you all on the spiritual journey to go forward. All the exercises given to you, if regarded in that way, will be of greater use and benefit. It is just like a medicine.

One person who gets it with great faith and belief, certainly it will do him good. But another who says, “I do not believe that it does any good, but I take it because my doctor has prescribed it and I have paid his fee, now I must take it,” for him that medicine has no value except what he has spent for it. So it is with initiation. If one thinks that initiation belongs to membership, he will have no virtue of it, but if one thinks is inner part initiation is sacred, it has nothing to do with membership, it is a connection to Murshid and with all spiritual, illuminated souls, a link through which spiritual knowledge is received, a blessing which one keeps as a sacred treasure, when that is the idea, then initiation has value and will give all the benefit initiation can get.

But at the same time there is no wisdom in talking about the

Sufi initiation to those uninitiated, those who cannot understand. If you talk with them, if you say, “I am initiated,” it only makes them think it smaller than it is. It is something sacred which you must keep in your heart. You can say, “I am a member of the Sufi society”; you need to not say, “I am initiated.” It is too sacred to speak about.

When you carry this idea as a sacred thing wherever you go, it will flourish in your soul work, and bring forward fruits and flowers, both of which are the proof of spiritual attainment.

Practices are secondary. The first thing is your attitude to your initiator. The second thing is the practices. The third thing is the study which can explain the inner meaning of your practices.

There will be study groups here. In the study group all things connected with your initiation will be read, and with silence do this soon and that study group will always help you more and more to attain to that bliss for which you have joined the Sufi Order.

God bless you.

Little Lenox Theatre, New York

January 17th, 1926

universal worship: prayers

Beloved ones of God,

I will say a few words on the subject of prayers.

In all ages of human history and traditions we shall find that there has always been a certain way of praying. Before the Christian prayer came to existence there was the prayer given by Moses.

Before Moses, prayers were given by the prophets. Hindus have had prayers for thousands of years; all the Vedantas are made of prayers.

The wise in all ages have considered the greatest importance of the prayer. Prayer is a concentration, it is a contemplation, is a meditation, and it is realization. It is simple and it is most subtle.

Nevertheless, the more one understands, the better one derives benefit out of one’s prayers.

There are many different forms of prayers. One form of the prayer is the praise of God. One might ask, “God, who knows all things, what does he care for a few words of praise that man may bring to him? Does he become exalted by those few words of praise?

God is above all praise man could offer him. It is the smallness of man to think that when he praises him, he becomes delighted. But God, who has no comparison, no words of praise are equal to his goodness and greatness. How can he be exalted by our words of praise?” And the answer is that it is not for God that the words of praise are repeated in prayers. It is true that God stands above all the praise that we can sing for him. But it is for our benefit, our own spirit and soul, that we say the prayer of praise to God. It raises in us that ideal; we become an accommodation for God to abide in it.

There is a saying of a philosopher that, “If you have no God, make one.” He has said it to someone who has no God, but in reality almost everyone has no God. Everyone believes in a God, but to have some God is a second process, is a step further. And to have a God is another thing. The one who believes in God is not necessarily the one who has a God. For the believer says, “I have a God somewhere in my belief.” But if he is not simple enough, if reason troubles him, he wonders thousand times in the day whether it is true that there is such a thing as God. He may try and go to church and count himself among the believers, but at the same time he will wonder very often.

He will consider it a kind of insolence to wonder. Yet his reason will not stay contented; he will wonder about it, if there is such a thing as God. And the one who will wonder, he will never get to God.

Because if one wants to have God one must make one. Therefore, the idolators of all ages made a God suited to themselves : those who thought about a God of strength made a God of strength; those who thought about a God of compassion made a God of compassion.

Made of rock our ideal. The wise made many lessons about the God and told them give certain conception of that God that worshipped, more concrete than God of we know where is he and what is.7 Prayer always helped man to construct God in himself. By the words of praise he made God.

In this age ideal is strangled. There is everything in the world but ideal. After some years this will be felt more and more and more till man will waken to this loss, to this very and this loss,8 and will not know what loss it is. And to get it will be very difficult. It seems that the modern world is losing the faculty of idealizing. Man today counts everything in figures and makes every subtle and fine idea rigid and crude, cut and dry. Naturally, therefore, if one gets an argument like this, “What has God to do with our words of praise?”, one has sufficient reason to give up prayer, thinking, “What is the use of prayer?”

From a mystical point of view one will find that the praise of God does not add to God, but produces in the heart of the worshipper a character, a constructive image, a conception of God which in time becomes the abode of God, which God takes as a vehicle to manifest to the worshipper.

This idea can be pictured by a little story existing among the villagers of the East, that the soul of a great person wanted to manifest on the earth. And it came before Parvati , the goddess, and told her, “I want to manifest. Even before your view I am obscure; but do not see me, I want to be visible.” Parvati said, “Nothing better I would wish for than to feel and perceive your greatness and beauty and influence, but if you can be visible it would be most satisfactory.” The soul which wanted to manifest said, “Will you make a statue of the clay for me to manifest?”Parvati said, “Yes.” “But,” he said, “out of your love for me.” “Yes,” she said. “But out of all the fine feeling you have for me, out of all the praise you have for me?” “Yes,” said she. So all fine feeling and devotion with that feeling and devotion she made an as beautiful statue as possible.

And when it was finished, this soul took that statue as its abode and manifested as same form as was made by Parvati.

It is exactly the same thing with prayer. By prayer you make your own God, and when you have made it, then God wakens in it, abides in it and manifests before your view. Those incapable of making it remain far removed from God, because the art of making an abode of God is the work of the worshipper. It is for God is to abide in it, for the worshipper to make the abode.

Very few know what imagination means. One attaches such little importance to imagination. When one says, “That person is imaginative,” it means he is wrong somewhere. At the same time, if you see the secret behind art and science, you will see it is all the outcome of imagination. Where there is no imagination, there is no construction. Imagination is creative; it is not restricted to a certain limit. Even God is made by imagination first before he is made into reality.

And now we come to the second aspect of prayers. That is to ask for our needs. Often people have argumented about it also. They say, “If God does not know our needs, then how can he be our God?

And if he knows our needs, it is foolish on our part to speak about it.

To mankind we speak about our needs because they do not know what is in our heart. But as God knows what is in our heart, there is no necessity of speaking of our needs.” Very often people think is not wrong to speak before God of our needs. And then there are others who think, “If God knows of our needs and still if he does not grant them, it shows a great cruelty.” Many have given up their beliefs for that purpose.

The answer to this question is that there is nothing in this world that is not known by God. But at the same time, it is not known. Only it is known in the same way as we know, in the way as another knows, and in the way that God must know. So our want is known by us as we see it. To God it is known as we see it, as others see it, and as God should see it. And if we studied the power we have in our hand, we would satisfy ourselves to have what we want, because we see in one way. But perhaps another person who looks at us, he can see in another way we do not see. But God can see in all different ways. And in the way God should see we cannot see, we cannot understand.

Nevertheless, perfection is the desire of every soul; it is a continual yearning to have perfection in every form. What are lacks and needs in life? They are all limitations, lack of perfection. And the desire for perfection, it is the right of every soul. A soul is not to be blamed if a soul prays to God to give to God what is his present need. It is not a fault of an infant if it cries for food. Mother knows when the infant must be fed and when not. But at the same time, it is no fault on the part of the infant to cry when it is hungry. It is no fault on the part of a person if he asks for something that is lacking. His natural asking has influence on the conditions of life. That asking is in a way creative. That something which a person is lacking, that asking put in a form by prayer, is the best and noblest way of asking, for it is not asking anyone else, but asking God. A person who avoids asking for his needs to others, to his fellowmen, thinking that, “God can grant us, just ask God ” he naturally becomes nobler, greater, richer in spirit, for does not humble himself for his small needs before others. He asks from the source which can grant everything, give all things. This asking makes him nobler. But when he has not that source before him, then he asks others and becomes poorer; with all riches he may have, no sooner he asks, he becomes poorer.

There is a story of a peasant. Once the king visited his home and he did not know that it was the king. He was very hospitable, thinking, “This is a traveller who is traveling and passing through this village,” and he was very kind to him. When departing, the king asked, “Are there any difficulties here?” “No,” he said, “we are quite happy and contented with what we get; we enjoy the little means God has given us. Only when there is a famine and our animals cannot live and we cannot work in the ground, then, at such times, we have to suffer.” The king said, “If there was at any time difficulty, I give you this seal, which you must bring to the city. You can show it to any policeman who would bring you to me if you need help in any difficulty. Thank you.37 ” After some years there was famine and the man was in great difficulty. His wife reminded him, “This kind man who came to us, who said if there is a difficult time, come to see me.” The peasant was hesitating. But the children were crying for hunger. So he said, “To relieve them I will go.” When he came to the city he was taken before the king, but he had to wait because the king was busy praying. He did not know that was who had given him and seen, only knew now.39 When he came before the king and said, “The first thing I want to ask is, what were you doing?” “I was praying,” the king said. “To whom?” he asked, “Are you not the king?” The king said, “To the one who is above all.” “Yes,” he said, “so there is someone above you also?” “Yes,” the king said. “Well,” he said, “then I have to say nothing to you; now that I know that there is someone above you also, now I shall ask him who is above you.” The king was very much impressed by seeing this attitude of the peasant in his time of trouble and suffering and need, just by that suggestion that there is someone above the king who possesses all the material needs. The king sent all the money that was necessary quietly to his house, for all that comes, comes from the same source; and so the pride and honour of the peasant was maintained. He had not to bow his head before man, for he credit to that source from where all comes.

Prayer therefore wakens a noble spirit in man, the spirit of independence. He begins to feel as Prophet Muhammad has said, “All are poor except God.” By this is meant that everyone is limited; how much he may have, he is limited. But there is one beyond limitations and that is the source and goal of all things.

By bringing one’s needs before the perfect being, one becomes noble in spirit. And the power of that prayer creates all possibilities to acquire that something which one lacks in life.

And the third aspect of prayers is repentance. A person who does wrong and prides himself of having done wrong is stubborn, foolish, ignorant. There is no way for him to develop, to progress, if he is not sorry for what he has done. His fine sense becomes blunted by wrongdoing, and so he loses something that is living in him by the continual impression of wrongdoing, of his own conscience. When there is something bad in him, he may be walking on earth and living under the sun, but that life which gives a fuller experience and the joy of life is gone. The person who does always right, he need not be here. But this is the place where to do wrong and right both. But the one who does wrong and repents, who wants to do better next time, his conscience is sharpened at every wrong is doing . Perhaps the wrong has done him more good than if he had done right. Deeply wrongdoer more wakened to the right and yet he has become humbled in his conscience. Rightdoer sometimes proud; this right, what should humble.49 Therefore, repentance is a privilege. To be able to be sorry for all that one thinks that was not right, it makes one live more fully, it makes one feel more fully, it makes justice in the heart of man wakened.

To tell another person one’s wrongdoing only means to extend the wrong vibrations still further. One gets out of it nothing but the contempt of the other person. But the one who places his regard of God, in whom he sees perfection and justice, and goes with his sorrow before him who is love itself, who is forgiveness, there is a phenomena and there is a wonderful result coming from it: an upliftment, an unfoldment. Something breaks in one. And it is the wrong which is broken and something comes in the heart of man that is love of God, the forgiveness of God. One feels fortified and stronger and uplifted and more capable of avoiding to make the same mistake again.

And the fourth way of prayer is the way of the mystic, the way of the sages, of the illuminated ones. That way is the best way. To try in order to get near God, to become one with God, and to try in order to understand the relation between oneself and God to forget one’s false personality. In other words, to deny one’s identity, one’s false identity, and to establish the identity of God in that place. That prayer is a miracle. It can make a mountain out of a molehill; it can turn a bubble into the sea. That prayer it is which makes the imperfect one a perfect one.

It is the work of the teacher, the inspirer, the guide on the spiritual path, to give a certain prayer to people to repeat and say so many times in order that that prayer may elevate his soul.

But then there have been prayers of the season, the season of the prophetic cycles . For an instance, the time when Moses gave a prayer, when Christ gave a prayer, when Muhammad gave a prayer, when Krishna gave a prayer, that prayer was for humanity collectively for that particular time. By saying that prayer it lifted souls and gave souls all that was needed during that particular cycle.

It is not only the rigid repetition of prayer, but it is the faith and devotion that one puts in it that counts. There was a preacher who spoke before peasants that, “There is such a powerful prayer that if you say that prayer you can even walk on water.” A person was very interested in that prayer and he walked on the water and came back and was very happy. So he went to this preacher and he asked him in all humility to come and dine with him. He was so grateful for what the preacher gave him. The preacher accepted. And then they went to dine with this man, there was a river on the way. The preacher said, “Where ship where is the boat?” The man said, “I had your lesson; since then I have not brought my boat. We shall say the prayer and walk on the water; all can be . Since you told me that is how I have done.” The preacher saw him doing it. But he had only said about it. It is not knowing, it is believing that counts.

One thousand persons may say the same prayer, but one prayer said with such a faith and belief is a prayer equal to a thousand persons’ prayer, because that prayer is not mechanical. Man is mechanical and he says his prayers also mechanically. If genuineness is wakened in him and if he has faith and belief and devotion, all he says has effect. And that effect will perform miracles.

God bless you.

Lenox Theatre, New York

January 17th, 1926

the god-ideal

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak this evening on the subject of God-Ideal.

Pursuit after the impossible is an inherent nature in man. What man has, he does not care for; what he hasn’t, he wishes to attain.

Whether it has greater value or lesser value, man attaches value to something which he cannot get. And what he can get, how much valuable it may be, its value becomes less. Since that is the nature of man, the ideal of his pursuit which can never be attained, the wise called it God. Many have their own meaning for this word, but this word comes from Hebrew origin, the word yod, which means the source.

Naturally everything is attracted to its source: earth to earth, water to water, fire to fire, air to air. And so that which exists in man as the sign of the source is his soul. The soul is attracted to the source. When the body is in the pursuit of all things that belong to it and all things that attract its physical nature, so the soul is continually in the pursuit of its own origin, and that is the source.

Rumi, the great poet of Persia, says it most beautifully in his Persian couplet, that as a person who has gone away from his homeland and has remained away from his home a long time wakens in the midst of the absorption of his new life and a yearning begins; he longs for his origin, the home from where he came. And so it is with human nature. The earth supplies all things that man’s nature demands except one, and that is his source. And therefore, man remains dissatisfied all through life in spite of all things that he may attain as answers to his desires: pleasure, comfort, rank, wealth. If he has attained them all, still the longing of his soul would remain, for that is for home. Home is the source which the wise called God.

And there is another similar , that a man went in a dark room to search for something, and while searching for some object that he had lost, he began to feel melting in some way, and the moment he found that object, he became melted. And he could not find anything of himself, he only found that object. To his great sorrow and disappointment, he found that object but he did not find himself.

That is the condition of man on earth, that the innermost being of man is that which may be called the source itself, and the outer being of man is what we call man. Being absorbed in things of the world, he loses, so to speak, the sense of the inner being, the innermost being; it becomes melted. What he knows of himself is only that yearning and searching. He may have found what he was searching for and yet he has lost himself. And that which he has found, he can be pleased with it for some time, but then his longing is to find himself.

In answer to this continual yearning that every soul has, the wise have given and taught to humanity God-ideal. And when we see the past and present of the God-ideal, we see a great difference. The past of God-ideal was that man believed in God, and if one among twenty thousand persons did not believe in God-ideal, he dare not say before others that he did not believe, because everyone believed in God. So he could not help saying that he believed in God also. And today is quite the contrary. The disbelief has become the pride of modern man. He thinks it is intellectual to disbelieve, and it is simple to believe, because the believers in God are simple people. And if they are intellectual and if they believe, they do not admit it because other intellectual friends will laugh at it. It is quite the contrary of what was before. Very few know what loss is to humanity that the education which made it easy for man to reach the fulfilment of his life’s purpose has been taken away from him.

Very often I have been amused to meet some people, very intellectual and intelligent and eager to realize truth, telling me about “higher forces” instead of saying God. They say higher forces at least to make it plural rather than to keep it singular. It seems to be more democratic to say many than to say one. And I was still more amused sometimes in conversation when people say, “If the gods will be pleased” instead of God; gods because does not want to admit to believe in God. And yet they cannot help believing it. Therefore, they say the gods will be pleased.

There are many places in Europe where the name of God has been taken out of the books from the education. The reason is that battle is with that idea of God. And yet, if you ask them if they are satisfied, what their conscience says, “No.” They are looking for something; they want to call it by a different name. This name has become too old for them. They would like to call it plural. But it is the duality from which we have to rise to come to unity. Our search is to come to oneness. Their method is to make oneness a plurality, and not once, but hundreds and hundreds of times, always talking with intellectuality about higher forces, many, not one.

And I was still more amused one day to see a person who, after having heard a series of lectures, came to me saying, “Immensely interesting! Quite on the path.15 This is the only thing I value. Only,

I have one condition, that I may not be asked to believe in God.” I told him, “That is very easy. W hen the name of God comes, I shall close my lips.16 ” The man was pleased too . He wanted to believe in God, but he did not want to hear his name nevertheless . And that is one tendency, that is the trend of the modern thought. It is taking a certain direction and you cannot prevent it. It will go as far as it has to go and then, as it has reached its culmination, it will withdraw. But at the same time, no one can help believing in that existence which is beyond comprehension.

And now coming to the idea of different conceptions of God. It is this reason also which has caused so many different religions and sects, each sect having a certain idea of God. There were people who believed in offering their worship to the sun. There were others who offered prayers to fire or water or earth, some to trees; others considered sacred animals and looked at the sacred birds; some made different forms and characters in marble, in stone, or in metal, perhaps with the head of an animal, the wings of a bird, and the body of a fish; and many different forms which they called their particular God.

And how did it come to exist? There were communities, people who could not understand the incomprehensible, intelligent and yet they were not ready to accept something which is within their reach.

And therefore the wise said, “Here is God. Here is a stone made beautiful and this is a certain god.” They thought, “This is better, a god that does not move, that does not run away.” When they long for it at night, in the morning they can open the shrine and bow before it. Nevertheless, it was a lesson for them. Some came for the wise and said they wanted to seek for God. “Yes,” said the wise, “come to this temple, but first walk fifty or hundred times around it till are tired out . Then come in.” Man does not value that for which he has not worked. That which is nearest, that is what he does not want, that is his pursuit . The wise said therefore, “W alk many times around the temple, then come in.”

If Zarathustra said that, “See the beauty of God or worship him looking at the water river , at the sky, at nature,” it is a natural, wise advice. When you will look at the immensity of nature, naturally your mind will become keen, your heart larger, and you will begin to see the signs of God more than in the midst of worldly activity. Everyone who has any experience of being in nature will always accept this, whether he believes in God or not, that nature is inspiring, exalting, uplifting. A feeling comes of expansion of heart being face-to-face with nature and nature a wakening comes to the soul.

But now coming to the idea that if different teachers and wise men have given different ideas of God, it means dividing God-ideal; then where is unity? And to this my answer is that as many souls there are, so many different conceptions of God. And it cannot be otherwise. God apart, we individual beings, we have some who look upon us as friends and others as enemies, and some favourably look at us and some unfavourably, some praise us, others blame us, some love us, others hate us. And therefore we each as individual is friend or enemy, foolish or wise, great or small; to every person each one is different. The mother has thief does not look upon him as a thief but as her beautiful son who toils to serve her and help her. In the same way, what is God? God is a conception and that conception we each have made according to our capacity, according to what we have heard and what we think. One says, “I do not wish to imagine God as an autocratic king or emperor; I wish to imagine God as the beloved, as the lover, as the lord of compassion.” Another says, “I wish to imagine God full of power, without his command nothing can move,” or, “I wish to imagine God as the wisest being who knows justice, who weighs the actions of everyone as the lord of justice.” And the other one says, “I look upon God as the perfection of beauty, all the beauty and harmony there is, is in God.” And another says, “I wish to imagine God to be the friend, the friend in need and trouble and difficulty.” Other says, “I look upon God as king of all beings.” Everyone imagines God in his own way, cannot do otherwise . As everyone in the world has not the same idea of his friend, so it is natural that every person in the world has his particular idea about God, his own conception, which is his God at that time.

Therefore, it is not necessary to be surprised at the Chinese, the old Greek, and the Egyptians, who had thousands of gods. I should say, “That is few. If there should be millions and thousands of millions of gods, they do not make God .” You cannot have a God without a conception. But the source is the same, the source is one. Therefore, God is one.

There have been missions of the prophets who came time after time to give man that conception in order to lift him to the idea of the incomprehensible God. But at the same time they have tried to give the idea of one God. And at the same time they have given to humanity the best conception that could be given at that time. When we read in Qur’an, God pictured among Hindus is different . But God appeared in a Buddhist statue in India is Indian, in China is

Chinese, in Japan is Japanese. It is natural. When man pictures angels he draws them like human beings, he only adds wings to it. Man cannot imagine God’s personality different from man’s personality.

Therefore, with his ideal of man, that ideal he attaches to God in perfection. It is these diverse conceptions of God which caused very often disputes and differences, and different sects were formed and each fought for their God.

This is also the reason which made it necessary for the prophets to teach humanity the ideal of one God and at the same time it was most difficult for the prophets to do. Man is born with two eyes till two see one . He sees everything in twos; he is accustomed to see twos. Everything as seen with two eyes has its dual aspect comparison complimentary shade.46 When I was speaking of an

Indian musical instrument, I was asked, “How does it look like? Does it look like a banjo?” Man cannot conceive of anything that is not like anything. If you say, “I have a notion of philosophical ideas,” you are asked, “Is it something like New Thought or Theosophy or

Christian Science ?” Man wants to compare, to see with two eyes, is born with them . And that which has no comparison cannot be shown in the same way as things of this world are seen, and therefore real always personality of the prophets who came to teach one God preached and warned, reading book called “Think of him as lord, or master, or friend, or beloved,” to give a certain conception of God. And when a person does not see the beauty of the conception of God another person holds, he makes a great mistake.

For he himself has a conception also, perhaps a better conception than the other, but still he has a conception.

There is a Syrian story that Moses was passing from a field and a shepherd boy was sitting there who had just heard of God, now very pleased . He was saying with great devotion and eagerness that, “Oh God, you are so good and great and wonderful, so loving and compassionate. If you were here, I would have you with my milk 55;

I would cook a nice dish for you and I would carried you home on the back of my donkey, kept you warm with blanket . I would have taken care against tigers and lions and wild beasts, and I would never let you go, for you are the dearest.” Moses was amused and said, “Oh lad, what are you saying, what are you saying! God, who is the greatest, the highest, the most powerful, the protector of all, you are saying you would protect from wild beasts? What are you saying?

God, who is the source and goal of all, who is providence itself, bread to everyone you think you can make a dish for him!” And this youth was amazed and perplexed, he thought, “What have I done?”, puzzled, closed eyes and trembling.61 Came inspiration to

Moses , “Moses, what have you done? We have sent you to bring friends to us, not to separate those who are already our friends.”

Man has always a tendency to give his conception or to force his belief on another because he thinks his belief is the one right belief.

He realizes that the other person is an unbeliever or that his belief is wrong. But we do not know. Sometimes those who do not seem to have proper belief, perhaps their belief is better than our own.

Perhaps that person is more spiritual than we ourselves. We do not know.

There is another story when a wife was very pleased one day and prepared a feast in the house. The husband was surprised and said, “My good wife, what is it; is it somebody’s birthday? What are you celebrating today?” She said, “It is a secret.” “But you must tell me,” he said. “No,” she said, “it is a great secret.” “But,” he said, “you seem to be very happy.” “I have never been so happy,” she said.

“Tell me why,” said the husband. She said, “Since I was married, I never thought that you were spiritual.” “Yes,” he said, “and how did you think now that I am spiritual now ?” She said, “Because you never said any prayers, you never meditated, you never did any religious action.” “But how did you find out that I am spiritual?”, he asked. She said, “While you changed sides in sleep you uttered word God.” “Yes,” said he, “alas.” And he was dead. For that which was the greatest secret for him, he did not even want his wife to know; that most sacred thing all through life he had hidden in his heart.

When it became manifest, he would not live one moment longer.

We know not the depth of people’s devotion to God. We judge people from their outward appearance, if they seem more religious from outside, more orthodox, or far removed from religion. But we do not know. Perhaps there is a person who does not show one sign of religion and there may be the spark of devotion, a perpetual fire of the love of God. There may be another person perhaps who in his outside actions appears to be narrow, full of ceremonies, but 70does not know, perhaps whole outside within himself . Those who judge others, their beliefs, their conception of God, are very much mistaken. Their manner, appearance, is cover; one knows not what is hidden behind.

And now coming to another side of the question and that is: a large number of humanity in the world are so-called believers in God. And if we question ourselves if they are all happy, if they are all wise, if they are all prospering, if they are all spiritual? And there is a large number of unbelievers. And if we ask, Are they all prosperous, happy, spiritual, intelligent, progressive, we shall find in the end that we cannot fix a rule. We cannot say belief in God makes a person good or prosper in the world, or evolved; we cannot say that the unbeliever is kept back from progress, prosperity, happiness, evolution. Therefore, this leads us to the question how to profit ourselves by God-ideal and why God-ideal is meant to be the best way to get to truth.

If you are going on a staircase, if you are on the first step and stand there, you may be a believer, but you are not going up, always be . So there are many believers who have a certain conception of God, and they are standing there without moving. Perhaps a person who has no conception of God, he may be moving.

There are thousands of people who hundred times in a day pronounce the name of God, who are perhaps more wretched. The reason is that they have not yet found out the purpose of God-ideal.

It is not merely a belief; first step is understanding . God is the key to truth, God is the stepping stone to self-realization, God is the bridge which unites the outermost life with the innermost life, bringing about perfection. It is by this understanding that the secret of God-ideal is to be realized.

And then there are other philosophical and scientific people who have read many books and who have thought of soul and spirit, who come to understand that if such a thing as God is not abstract idea, call it God or life, what is it? They are the people who have eaten truth without digesting. It is like eating pebbles, which can never digest. They have truth, but they do not profit by it. When you say, “God as abstract being should not be considered just now, not can disputed ,” then the abstract means to you something. But when abstract is nothing, then God is nothing. “To analyze God is to dethrone God,” as in Western philosopher says.

Turning God into abstract is losing the opportunity which is given to man to benefit by the formation of a conception of God. No doubt, what man has constructed is subject to destruction, it is for a certain time. But if he makes use of it, he arrives at realization. But if he destroys that conception which was meant to bring him to the fulfilment of his life, he has lost something which was most valuable.

Many times, by thinking dry philosophy, people go astray; not by eating a false idea, but they go astray by truth which they cannot digest.

The idea is this. When we read in the Bible, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” if that is true, then man is the outermost of his being, for man is the sign of imperfection. But in the innermost of man is perfection. Therefore, man is entitled to perfection by realizing the innermost of his being. But as is identified himself from the time of his birth with his limited being, he has not known himself as anything else but as imperfect being. There is no possibility for him, even by realizing that he is God or deity himself, of attaining to perfection, because his first impression is limitation, is of imperfection. Whatever position he may have in life—he may be a king or name by position or wealth, names, power, wisdom —yet he is limited. He cannot think of himself as anything but imperfect being. That is the position. And the purpose of his life is to come at perfection.

And now how is he to come to perfection? Only by one way, and that is to make first a conception by worshipping God, by thinking of God, by contemplating on the idea of God, by trying to know about God, by attributing all that is there of beauty and power and justice to that perfect conception in himself. By doing this, he will come nearer and nearer to truth, and by the time he has come closer to God he will have lost the idea of his false self, which stood between himself and perfection. And by the loss of this idea, which is called in the Bible self-denial, which Sufis call fana , and which Yogis call laya , by this process he comes to the realization which is the longing to his soul and by the attainment of which he fulfills his life’s purpose.

God bless you.

Lenox Theatre, New York

January 19, 1926

destiny and free will

Beloved Ones of God,

I’m speaking on the subject of the destiny and the free will. Very often we have either one point of view or the other; either we believe in destiny or we believe in free will. And those who believe in destiny, they do not believe in free will. There are certain temperaments also according to experiences one has in life.1 There are some who have worked and have had some success and recognized it as the outcome of the work they have done. Then they think, “If there is anything, it is free will. According to what we have done, so we have achieved results.” And there are others who have done and did not succeed. In that case they begin to see that, “There is something keeping us back from getting that result.” And then they think, “If there is something, it is destiny which is holding us back.”

Many think that it is a sort of laziness to be fatalists and say, “After all it is a superstition.” And there are others who think that free will is a name, it is a conception, it is an idea of the person, but really it is all destiny.

Nevertheless, the idea of free will has its meaning, and this belief has its peculiar benefit in life. At the same time the idea of destiny is profound. Whether a person believes in it or does not believe in it, there is always an attraction about it. The one who reads in the future will always attract a believer in destiny or the unbeliever. The believer goes to him with faith; the unbeliever goes with smiles.

Whether they believe that it is true or not, both are attracted to know about destiny because it is the greatest mystery there is. One’s own life, in which one is most interested, always remains a secret and a mystery, and this mystery is greater than any other mystery in the world. No one can say, “I have no interest in knowing about my life, in knowing why I have that past, why I have that present, and what future I shall have.” That is the greatest desire one has, to know about it.

And now coming to the idea of destiny, whether there is a plan laid out, that every occurrence in life must be according to that plan, and if it is laid out, point of view on what ground, who has laid it out? If it is God who has laid it out, how far it could be just on the part of God to make one so happy and another one miserable, one great and the other small, one enjoy and at the same time the other suffer, living under the same sun, walking on the same earth? And if it is man’s action, in the first place is it the action of the past is the action of the present, and if it is the action, to what degree man is responsible for it? It is therefore that this question takes a person to the depth of life’s mystery, and once this question is solved, a great philosophical problem is solved.

Most often a person has a preconceived idea and this idea he keeps as a wall before him. He does not try to know any further, and is content with what he knows about it. There is no doubt that a man is born with a plan to accomplish in life, not only with instincts or with merits or gifts, but with the whole plan how his life is to be. And there is a saying in the East that you can read the life of an infant from looking at his feet. Even the little feet of the infant show the sign of the plan that he is to go through life.

There is a story that explains a little more the reason,9 the relation between destiny and free will, that there was a seer working as a porter in a rich man’s house. And there is a belief in the East that no sooner the child is born, the angels come to write on its forehead the whole plan of destiny. But this seer-porter was a wonderful man.

At the door, as soon as the angels came, he said, “Stop, where are you going? You cannot go, I am porter here, unless you promise to tell me about the plan.” So the angels told him. He was a strong porter; he would not let them go without telling him. And so every time that a child was born in that house, the porter took down the notes, what was going to happen. And the parents passed away. This was a rich house, but the money was lost for some reason or the other and the children had to leave without having a shelter. And this old porter took on his shoulders to look after them, what little had . But as soon as have little age, all three children of that house went to different countries, and what little they had to spend . And that servant of the house one day thought that it was his duty that he must see how they are getting on. Also for a seer it is most interesting to see the material phenomena of something as has seen inwardly as a vision. That comes as satisfaction with a seer, as an amusement; it is a natural amusement the seer has, that all that he feels inside becomes materialized and when he sees the same on the outer plane it gives him the greatest fun, the greatest amusement.

This man went first and saw a child of this house working as a horse groom. And he was very sorry to see that it is a child of the same house where there were so many horses. So he went to this young man and told him that, “It could not be avoided, it was meant that you should be so. But only I want to give you one advice, because it makes me sad to think that you, in whose house there were so many horses, have to work as a horse groom.” He said, “Here is a little money. You take it and go to the other city and try to work as a horse trainer. And the horses of the rich men may be given to you and you will train them. And I am sure you will be successful.” He asked, “Can I do anything else?” He said, “No, that is the only door.

Perhaps all your life a horse groom if I had not told you this. And anything else you cannot do. This is the only door for you. Do it in a different way and then you will have a success.” The child did so, and he had a success.

He went to the other one and asked, “What is your condition?”

He said, “My condition? I wander about in the forest and bring some birds and sell them in the city. And hardly do I get any money to live.” In those days there was a fashion among kings to keep a certain bird as pet bird with them. That bird was called shabaz , the king’s bird. He said, “You must not look for game bird, you must look for this bird.” The boy said, “If I cannot find it, then I will rather starve and die.” The old man said, “Do you know what your father was and what you are?” “Yes,” he said. “I had bad luck.” The man said, “You will have better luck if only you listen to me. You need not change; your profession is catching birds. But catch shabaz. You can sell it for millions. That is the bird you ought to catch.”

Then we realize what the seer does. A definite plan was made for those two young men. But at the same time, there was a scope for free will to work, but within that plan. And if one did not think of the scope, one would go on on those lines and continue to have a life miserable. Seeing changes scope.31 It is a great lesson and those who can understand this lesson can benefit by it immensely: to see there is a plan and at the same time there is a scope to do better and much better and yet within the plan. Sa<di , the great poet of Persia, has said that, “Every soul is born for a certain purpose and the light of that purpose is kindled in his soul.”

And now the question of a person being born with what they call in Hindu language karma : some action of the past or something he has brought with him on earth, a good influence, or a bad influence, or something that is to pay. No doubt there is a truth in it, and we can see that truth very often. For an instance, a person is placed in a situation where he has to keep, where he has to serve, where he has to sympathize without any intention on his part, as if he has to pay a debt to someone. He may not have the slightest desire to do so, but at the same time it falls on his shoulders; he cannot help it. It is as if the high atonement has determined that it must be so; whether a person does it willingly or unwillingly, he must give his time, his thought, his sympathy and his service to someone else.

Then one sees that a person receives money or comfort or love and sympathy from someone else, whether he deserves it or does not deserve it. That is not the question to be thought about. One is in a situation and one cannot help it. Whether are willing or whether he is not willing, there is something that compels you to do it . He cannot help it. That shows that one is born with that relation of “give and take”. Among Hindu accustomed to say such things as that about children, perhaps friends will say, “We have nothing to get from them,” means the others are children to pay nothing to get from them or same thing can say in others.40 And this makes it clear that man is born with certain obligations, whether willing or unwilling must fulfill obligations . Also this shows that how much powerful person may be, and how great he will be, and how good the circumstances might seem, but when there is to be a difficulty, one cannot help it, there is a difficulty. And then, at other times in life, in spite of all things lacking, there is a way open; we have not to do much and it is all smooth.

That also shows that there is a plan. It is not also qualification and cleverness that makes successful. But is a plan to do times when you are meant to have an easy life and success and all you wish. And there are other times when you cannot help it, but you have to do without them. But one may ask, is it that something is born with a person , or is it the effect of a person’s action on the earth? In answer to this I will say that both. Suppose an artist first made a design in his mind of making a certain picture. And then he has made that picture, so he was inspired by that picture that this suggested him to change the design. And as he went along making that picture, he changed it to such an extent that picture became quite different from the picture what made before. He had thought of putting two horns on a particular figure and now he makes two wings. Instead of an animal bird was . Even to that extent life may be changed by the action. A right action, a good action is productive of power and is creative. And it can help much more than man can imagine.

But then there comes a question that to what extent man can help himself. The answer is that man has two aspects in him. One aspect is his mechanical being where he is but a machine controlled by conditions, by his impressions, by other influences, by cosmic influences and by his actions; everything working mechanically turns his life accordingly. And has no power over conditions, he is just a tool of influences. The more this aspect is pronounced in man so less evolved man is. This is a sign of less evolution. And there is another aspect in man which is creative, in which he shows the sign of being representative of created, in which shows not only part of God, but linked with God, because his innermost self is God. Be not surprised therefore if you hear those amazing stories of the sages, masters, saints and prophets whose command worked in the cosmos and by whose will the generality, the collectivity moved as they wished it to move. It is not to be surprised at. Outwardly every man is almost of the same size. No man is as high as a camel, as stout as an elephant. They vary a little only outwardly. But inwardly there is no comparison of size of the spirit, no comparison of the understanding of man, no comparison to the power and insight that one man has in comparison with the other. One walks, one runs, one flies and one creeps, yet all walk on the same earth, all live under the same sun, and they are all called men same . Nevertheless, there is no man who has not the spark of this power, who has not the possibility of changing conditions by his free will if only he realized what he is. It is the absence of realizing and that makes man a machine.

And now coming to the causes that change man’s life, man’s destiny. It is not only one’s own action but also the thought of another. For instance as my own experience I have seen more than hundred cases where a loving mother is not pleased with her growing child who has not satisfied her. He must always suffer in some way or the other. It is never different. He may be a qualified man, a capable man, but if he has not satisfied his mother that is quite enough for him to keep luck. A keen study will make one understand how things work. But from childhood we have been so absorbed in our own life and our own interest from childhood that we do not think very much how the thought and feeling of those around us act upon us.

A rich man, if he is displeased with his porter or servant and if he speaks with him and reach with insults him, he does not know at that time. And perhaps this servant who is dependent and who is bound to that particular place, who thinks that situation keeps him in a certain position, his feeling is hurt. Now when this rich man goes in his office, to his affairs, he gets that pinprick there. He does not know it. He thinks he has given a pinprick to a servant who could not return it. But someone else returns feeling it. But he does not know that, “This is the answer of the same thing I have done.” The more we think about this, the more we shall believe how God works through all beings, not only human beings but even through animals and birds. And then, when we are able to believe this, we cannot help believing what Buddha has said, that, “The essence of religion is harmlessness.” Harmlessness does not mean to refrain from killing.

One can kill many without killing. In order to kill a person, one does not need to murder him. A glance, a word, a thought can kill a person, and that is worse torture than death. It is this experience that makes one say that, “My very feet, be conscientious that you might tread on the thorns which are lying in your path and that they may sentence 69. O “, not only hum an beings” om itted 70. For Buddha, see List 71. The well-known principle of ahim sa, harm lessness, was already established in

H indu teachings, but was em braced by the Buddha and Jain teachers, and subsequently by m any others complain that, ‘You have crushed me’.”

There is no end to consideration when once a person begins applying . If there is any religion it is in consideration, for anyone for earnestly to consider that feeling that can be touched in a moment’s mistake. If there is any abode of God, it is in the heart of man. If the heart is touched wrongly, it has an effect upon destiny.

And one does not know to what extent destiny can be changed by the feeling of another person. It can change it more than our own feeling.

Always one wishes good for oneself, wishes one has for oneself ; no one wishes to be unhappy. Yes, there are planetary influences, and one might ask, “Who are these planetary influences, what relation they have with us?” The answer is that man is a planet also. And as one planet is related to another, in the same way a planet is related with mankind. Naturally the changing of the condition of the planet, and what is produced by it, and what effect is produced of that planet, that has an effect upon man’s life.

And now the question is, is man so small as to be under the influence of a planet? Yes, outwardly. Outwardly man is so small as to be a drop in the ocean. If the planet is an ocean, then the individual is a drop. But inwardly the planet is a drop in the ocean of man that is the heart of man. Asaf , the great philosopher, says that, “My ignorance, the day you will have finished, my heart will be open, and this whole universe will become a bubble in the ocean of my heart.” The limitation, the smallness, the imperfection, is the outcome of the ignorance and relates it to limitation. And the day when this heart is open, the whole universe is in it, and the source of destiny, its secret and its mystery, are in the hand of man.

73. Inayat Khan is referring to a saying published in his book Gayan in 1923; the saying as published reads: “M y bare feet! Step gently on life’s path, lest the thorns lying on the way should m urm ur at being tram pled upon by you.” (C om plete W orks of

Pir-o-Murshid H azrat Inayat Khan, Sayings I (London and The H ague, 1989), p. 9). 81. For Asaf, see List

And now coming to the question, what is the manner in what believe in destiny and free will? The best way of believing in destiny is to think that all disagreeable things we have gone through belong to destiny and belong to the past. We are free from it. And the best way how to look at free will is that before us all that has to come is the outcome of free will. Look at with to keep before us as a concentration, to think that nothing wrong will touch us, but all that is good for us, all that is best for us, is before us. It is wrong to think that worse things are in store for us, because destiny has kept there karma, and intended that we must suffer, but do put back. All things past destiny, karma is fate back, but the one who has to pay karma day time conscious of karma, he will have to pay a great interest; the more he is conscious of it, the more interest he will have to pay.

In conclusion, one comes to understand that there are two aspects of will working through all things in life. One is the individual will, the other is the divine will. Time when a person goes against divine will, naturally the human will fails and he finds difficulty because he is swimming against the tides. The moment a person works in consonance, in harmony with the divine will, things become smooth. But one will say, “It has not been smooth with great personalities as Christ. From childhood there were difficulties. His father had to go to the forest and when young Christ was brought among people, there were still greater difficulties. And all great saints and sages had great difficulties through life; things were not all smooth for them. Did they work against destiny, against the will of

84. O “to believe” instead of “of believing” to com e” put back. All things past destiny, karm a is fate back, but the one who has to pay karm a day tim e,”

God?” This question also realize the will of God being difficulty on the material plane. In the Bible we read that, “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.” Makes in end not so easy for his will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven, but we always pray, shall pray, so easily done in heaven . That is suggestion teaches us a great lesson. The lesson is that there is a conscious will working and that there is an unconscious will working. That working unconscious is abstract working.99 But conscious working is divine working. It may be called divine will may have difficulty. But at the same time, this difficulty has a meaning to it. In other words, success and failure of God and godly power mean nothing, it is success in the end; as the success and failure of man is nothing, for it is failure in the end. If man succeeds that collected so much wealth, position he wants, what is the end of it? That it belongs to someone else who will snatch it from his hand. Therefore, whether we have success or failure in life of individual, in the end it is failure. But in the case of godly things, whether it is failure or success, it is success in the end. It cannot be otherwise. That is the only gain that is there.

Nevertheless, as Nanak says, that , “The grain that takes a refuge near the centre of the grinding mill is saved,” so is the man who keeps close to God. He draws his power and inspiration from God. And when his life is directed by that power and inspiration, whether he has difficulties or whether he has ease, the way is always smooth, and the end is what it ought to be.

God bless you.

95. See M atthew 6:10 104. For Nanak, see List 105. “that” om itted 106. The source of this quotation has not been found to date

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Little Lenox Theatre , New York

Evening, Thursday, January 21, 1926


Beloved ones of God,

My subject of this evening is the initiation. The interpretation of this idea can be found in the word itself. It is an initiative. As there are flocks and herds of beasts and birds, so there are human beings grouped to move in this or that direction by the power of others. And yet if you asked a person, “Is it the case with you?”, he would say, “No, not with me, but with all others.” And it is difficult for everyone to realize to what extent, without knowing himself, he can move to the right or left, unconsciously, with the crowd. And initiative is that person who takes a step in a different direction, unsatisfied of being held and pulled by the crowd, by associates, by his friends, his relations, by those he is surrounded by. Therefore, the real meaning of initiation is that the person who takes a different direction, or his own direction, instead of the direction to which the crowd pulls him.

The religious people will say he has become heathen, his friends will say he has become foolish, his relations will say he has gone crazy.

In reality, the person has,4 initiation can be explained as three different aspects: one is a natural initiation, the other is advanced initiation, and the other is higher initiation.


The natural initiation comes to a person at any time in his life. It is not to every person, but to some persons. And for this initiation that person need not go to a teacher. It comes when it is time. This initiation comes in the form of a sudden change of outlook on life. A person feels that, I have suddenly wakened to quite a different world.

And yet he is in the same world, but it has become quite different for him. Things which seemed important become less important; colours become paled and the brightness of things disappears. Things show themselves in different values. The value is changed the moment the outlook is changed; the whole thing has changed. It is a kind of change as if you saw through a telescope, that through that telescope you see life quite different.

Sometimes an initiation follows a suffering, an illness, or a loss, or a great sacrifice, or a great blow. As it is said and how truly it is said, that it is from the broken heart that the newborn soul springs up. Therefore, it is not a certain time for such a thing. A person may be young and have that experience, or it may come at any time in life. To some it comes gradually, but then it is a long process; it is a gradual opening of the outlook on life. And to some suddenly something has happened in life that whole life is changed, not only [indecipherable], but outlook on life turning, twinkling of eye, whole thing is changed. In this moment the world has become different; everything has a different meaning and everything has a different value in a moment . That is called initiation, and that is natural initiation.

Now you will ask, How is it brought about, what is its metaphysical, mechanical process? And my answer is that the soul is veiled in covers, one cover over another. And the tearing of this cover allows the soul to come out or allows the soul to rise higher.

Naturally, with a step forward the horizon of its outlook becomes wider and the soul reaches further and life becomes more clear. A person may not be conscious of such a change. But among one hundred persons perhaps one person is really conscious of it. He may ignore it, not know about it, but at the same time it is there.

And every step the soul takes forward in the path it naturally comes closer to God. And coming closer to God means inheriting or drawing the qualities of God. In other words, the soul sees more, hears more, comprehends more, and it enjoys more because it lives a greater life, a higher life.

The great teachers and prophets who had to give a message to humanity, who had to render a service to humanity, had such initiations even in their childhood. As there are symbolical story as the heart of the Prophet was opened and some substance was taken out from it. People take it literally. But the real meaning is that a cover was torn, was broken, and the soul was allowed to reach forward, reach further on the path. There may be many such initiations, there may be one or two or three or four or five or six or seven as the advancement of the person may be.

In the life such as we live today it is very difficult for a person whose outlook is suddenly changed, because the world lives today in a certain pitch and it cannot tolerate the person whose pitch is below or above the ordinary pitch of life. They dislike him, they make difficulties for him, they disapprove of him, of his ideas. If that person has not met any friend, a guide on the path, then that person may linger on in the same plane of thought till nature helps him. But everything else pulls him backwards.

Very often they say certain saints or masters or sages, that

18. Inayat Khan refers here to the Prophet M uham m ad, about whom a story is told that when he was a sm all child, angels cam e and took out his heart and washed it clean of a black spot they did not have an initiation. But they forget that no soul goes further in the path without an initiation.

The first initiation is the natural initiation. And now you will ask what comes from it? Bewilderment, extreme bewilderment. But this bewilderment is not curiosity; the difference between bewilderment and curiosity is great. Curiosity means, Is it true? I doubt. Bewilderment is when a person says, How wonderful, how marvellous, words cannot explain it; it is a phenomenon 24, it is more than a miracle. Maybe it is very simple to another person, quite simple, but to an advanced person it is a marvel5. Others say, How foolish, we do not see anything in it, what have you seen? But what one has perceived, that thing is so marvellous that one cannot explain.

One day I spoke with a very learned man in India, a doctor of philosophy, wrote fifty books and read a thousand books. And when I spoke with him, he was so interested that he thought that really I gave him some new ideas worth thinking about, worth considering. So I thought, if he is so interested, what a great thing it would be if he met my teacher. So I told him, I would like you to see my teacher. He is a marvel, unlike anyone in this world, he is a wonder itself. His curiosity was aroused and he was really wondering, how wonderful the teacher must be of a pupil who interests me like this. So he asked, what is his name? I said, he lives in this city in such in such a place. And he told me, He is my neighbour. I know him for twenty years, know for twenty years, certainly I know him. But if for hundred years he had been his neighbour, he would not have known him.

Such is life. That is the difference of outlook. One person sees a wonder, a splendour, and another person says, What is it? It is quite simple; it is nothing. And the one who says, It is nothing, says simple, he thinks, I am superior, because I see it is simple. And the one who wonders, he looks like a child, because a child wonders at everything. No doubt it is childlike. But it is a child’s soul that sees; it sees more than the soul of the grown-up which becomes covered by thousand covers; only child, in childhood, cannot comprehend .

But in infancy the child can see angelic world, can talk with unseen entities, can see wonderful things of different planes. It is easy to say he is childlike, innocent, or ignorant. But the same time it is the most wonderful thing to be childlike and to have the innocence of an infant. There is nothing better to wish for when there is all the happiness, beauty and happiness to be found.

This bewilderment produces a kind of pessimism in a person, but a pessimism not to be compared with what we call pessimism.

Because what we recognize as pessimism is wretchedness, brings person nowhere but this is another pessimism. As Omar Khayyam says, “Oh my beloved, fill the cup that clears today of the past regrets and future fears. Tomorrow, why tomorrow I may be myself with yesterday’s twenty thousand years.” That pessimism comes. It comes because it is an upliftment, it is a rising. A person sees life from a different angle. The life which seems before standing over one’s head appears to be beneath one’s feet.

A person who says what is it, you cannot call it indifference, you cannot call it independence, and yet it is. It is pessimism; and yet it is not all these three things. There is no word for it in English, there is no word for this. In Hindustan in Sanskrit they call it vairagya, an emotion, a feeling quite different in comparison with all other ways of looking at life, an outlook which put a person in quite

35. For O m ar Khayyam , see List 36. Inayat Khan quotes from the FitzG erald rendering of the R ubaiyat of O m ar crossed out and “seventy” written above 39. For vairagya, see G lossary another world of thought. The values of things seem to become quite changed, the values of conditions become quite changed. But, one can say, what uninteresting life, to be indifferent. But it is not this.

This is most interesting, a feeling that lightens the load of life, the burden of life. What a wonderful feeling it must be! Imagine a little relaxation after the toil of all day when one can just rest for a moment; what upliftment comes, what smoothing vibration comes, how mind feels rested. Well, then if the spirit has the same experience that the load it was carrying from morning to evening, day and night continually, to feel that that load rests on a stone , then this spirit feels for a moment widened. What a blessing it is. Who can . But the one who has experienced it to a little degree, he can comprehend the value of it.

No doubt there comes a time in the life of person, even person initiated a thousand times by nature, that he seeks for a guide walking on the earth. Many say, “Why must there not be God, and no one between? Why should be person a man limited as we are? Why not directly reach that spiritual ?” But I say, “If there is a man who is your enemy, who has tortured your life, and another one who is your great friend, and your teacher who has inspired and guided you, in all these three is the hand of God, inspiration . They have all three guided you in the path of inspiration; they are all three needed in life to go further.” He is your initiator also, the one who has disappointed you, who has harmed you, who has tortured your life. For he has taught you something, he has put you on the road, if not on the right road. And the one who has been your friend, he is your initiator, for he gives you the evidence of truth, the sign of reality. For there is nothing else but love that gives you the sign that there is something living, something real.

And then there is the inspiring teacher, be he a humble man, or an illiterate person, or a meditative person, or a great teacher, or a small teacher, he is what you think of him. For all persons to us are what we think of them. But those who look then as the crowd, if the crowd not on path of initiation.51 If we think of them great or good to us, small, small to us , that is our way to look at things.

If it were not necessary that man should guide his fellow-men, Jesus Christ would not have been put among those fishermen who could not understand; and yet he was guidance for them. And a personality such as Buddha and all others, many of them not even known to humanity (and yet they have done a great deal), and who always are and always will be in whatever name, under whatever guise they work. Their being on earth is guidance to individuals, to humanity. God does not reach directly so fully as he reaches through his teachers. The best way of God reaching human beings is through a human being, not through an angel; but a human being who is subject to birth and death and subject to all faults that everyone has.

The way of the teacher with his initiate is strange. The greater the teacher, the stranger the way. The teacher can test and the teacher can give trials. And the attitude of the teacher can never be understood, never be comprehended, for a real teacher never commits. Neither can one understand which his yes or his no, his meaning is symbolical, its meaning is subtle. Perhaps he will talk in parables; perhaps without teaching perhaps he will teach. Perhaps he will teach more by just a glance than by speaking hundred words.

Perhaps the presence of the teacher is of greater blessing in the life of the pupil than hundred books one has read. Neither the indifference nor the sympathy of the teacher may be taken as they appear to be, for in both there is something else. The more one studies the personality of the teacher, the more one becomes puzzled.

“If we think of them great or good to us, sm all, sm all to us”

The teacher is the initiator of life, he is the example of the subtlety of the whole life, much more difficult than example in life.

It is strange but interesting for you to know that after my initiation in the hand of my teacher I went to see my teacher at a very great distance where he lived. Communications were not as in New

York; there was great difficulty to reach. And after having gone all those miles one could expect some teaching, and there was none. A talk about plantation and about music or concerts or something else.

For six months I was perplexed, Why is it that my teacher does not speak about the deeper side of life; why all the time an ordinary conversation as everybody had? And one day after six months the teacher spoke to me about the different planes of existence. And I was so interested and so afraid that I might lose it, that I took out notebook and pencil as a modern young man. And what do you think he did? He instantly changed the subject before I could write down all he said. And do you think I had the insolence to ask again ? Six months again I had to wait. Thought perhaps hundred books could not give what was given to me without words; that was life and light itself. The presence of the illuminated soul is life itself; it makes one learn and perceive and comprehend something beyond words.

And when the living word is given to you, other words come by themselves. You do not need to read or write. You become the word. “First was the word and the word was God.” Because in the teacher one sees the example of that word. Therefore, initiation under a teacher is a further step on the path.

But many say, “Well, we are initiated by a teacher on the other side.” They have reason and those initiated. But is it not two worlds, you in one world and the teacher in the other? Neither you belong to his world nor he to your world. Yes, it gives you less trouble of regarding the pleasure of a living being. It is more easy to feel that you have someone behind your back who always speaks in your ears, who speaks to you in a dream or vision. It is not wrong and in many cases it is true. There are souls, there are teachers who have perhaps not given what they had to give, who can do better what they had to impart to others. But that too is not the normal process. If this were the normal process then all teachers would have been sent, teaching sent from there. But nor Buddha, nor Jesus Christ, nor Muhammad have given their teachings from there.

Besides is just like saying, “I have great friend on the other side with whom I walk and move about.” But is it a normal condition to be? Does it seem to be something very natural to be on earth, to depend upon this material food, breathe here of this dimension, to have to be in the crowd? Do they move all the time with teacher in the other world? Besides that, if there is such a limited number of teachers that teachers have only to preside from other side, shows God is very handicapped. Very limited number of teachers only lose, those returned from here gone there to send, take on a mission but to keep there, limited in action, to get man.

Much can be said on this question which is much discussed today. This is the prevailing thought this comes from certain direction, not mean no truth in it. This thought is so prevailing that it is depriving man of seeking guidance of fellow-man who is facing the same struggles, the same troubles, who has the same experiences as everyone else. Goes through rejecting him, as Jesus Christ was rejected. And they are looking for someone in the other plane. Many denominations societies and groups have puzzled their head over this subject so much that they have deprived themselves of that living water that takes its natural process through the world of man.

And now coming to the question how did teachers handle the

70. K m .hw .: this entire paragraph was skipped by Km . when she transcribed the lecture into longhand, and the text is therefore very fragm entary. com es from certain direction, not m ean” candidates that came to be initiated? There is a story of a king of

Bukhara who was so tired of life that he thought he would like to devote all his time and thought to the spiritual path, so he left his kingdom and came to a teacher. The first thing that the teacher said to him was that, “Would you go through the different trials that a person has to go through?” “Yes,” he said. “Well then,” the teacher said, “the first work is to dust the house where the disciples live.”

It was rather a difficult thing for a king to begin that work which others could have done willingly. The pupils thought, such a man who has renunciated his kingship, for him to dust the house. They felt so sympathetic that they said to the teacher, “He must be now accepted in initiation.” The teacher said, “Well, I do not think the time has come.” But they said, “We are all in sympathy with this man; we beg you to accept him among all the pupils.” The teacher said, “Well we shall see. One of you must go and when he has dusted the room and put things in the basket, just push it so that his basket would fall out .” So one of them did it. And he said looked at him and said, “Yes, you may do it now. There was another day when I noticed it. Now, you can do it.” They went and told the teacher who said, “The fruit is raw, it makes a noise.” Next time the same thing was done. And he only looked at the person who did it.

And when the report came to the teacher, he said, “He is not yet ready.” And a third time the same insult was done to him. Then he did not even look. He just went on doing his work. When the report came to the teacher he said, “Now it can be done.”

The work for teacher is most subtle work. It is a work of the idea of a jeweller who has to melt the gold first and then can make out of it an ornament. But it has to be melted first, and so it is first the idea, idea must be melted first3. Once it is melted, once it is no more a hard metal but is a liquid, then it can be made into a crown or a ring or a jewel; then you can make a beautiful thing out of it.

And after this there is a step further. When one is finished with the initiations that the teacher has to give, when the teacher’s task is finished, then the teacher says, “Now your way is further.” The teacher does not hold the pupil always. He has his part to perform go already on the path. Then comes the inner initiation. This comes to the person who has become meditative, whose interest has become keen, whose outlook has become widened, who sees life differently, whose conscience is in the habit of reasoning, of expanding.

In this experience no doubt there is always help. As help comes on the earth, so in the unseen world that help then comes. As if suppose we were in a street in a certain difficulty, naturally others would come near it and see if they cannot make it easy for us, number attract . As one goes further one attracts the sympathy of beings who are always busy helping humanity from all planes of existence. The sympathy is attracted of those who are close to the one who is travelling on the path, who give him a hand to go forward. It is that giving of a hand which is called initiation. If I were to tell you, there are so many different initiations. They are as the steps to go upwards.

Only in conclusion I shall mention what is attained through initiation. What one attains is that realization for which we are born, which is our life’s purpose. Unless we approach to life’s purpose, whatever we did, it does not help us sufficiently; it only helps a certain need of ours, but not any further. There is only one thing one really gives all satisfaction and that is to come to the selfrealization. It is not simple and it does not need only meditation and concentration, although these are of a great help in the attainment of self-realization. Is great help without concentration and meditation, of “go already” but meditation, to have it is great help.

Those who think can read a book of yoga they can get to that realization are mistaken. They are mistaken for the reason that it is a phenomena , and it is by this phenomena that one proceeds further.

By a simple study, as people think by a scientific study and then come to realization. But apart from initiation and from meditation a certain life is necessary. And you will ask, What life?

Is it the life the religious people teach, to live so and so? Is it the life of certain principles, of certain dogmas? No, nothing of that. It is a life of a continual process of effacing the self; it is just like grinding something which is very hard; it is a continual grinding of the self, so heavy upon us . And the more that self is softened, the higher a person evolves, and his personality becomes great.

No matter what power a person may have attained and what inspiration, but if there is no self-effacement, there is nothing accomplished. To have the realization, initiation, self-effacement.

The result that initiation brings is self-effacement. And it is selfeffacement which is needed in order to arrive at proper wisdom.

God bless you.

94. Inayat Khan characteristically used only the plural of this word of the sentence m editation”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

January 22, 1926


Blessed mureeds,

I would like to speak a few words to throw a further light upon the question or upon the word Sufism. Sufi is the main word and -ism addition to it, as in English language Buddha is called Buddhism, which does not exist in East. Nothing to do with tradition of Sufi.

Therefore in reality word Sufi stands alone. An origin of this word is in sophos, the Greek word, or sophia, which means wisdom. Wise have existed in all times, therefore Sufism existed in all times. Is not the wisdom that is learned but wisdom as existed it is taught and therefore Sufis have existed in all times of world and history.

Whether called Sufis are not, the knowers of divine wisdom have been Sufis and will always be Sufis. You need not belong to Sufi Movement in order to be Sufi. The one who realizes divine wisdom, whether religious or not. It is not the membership of movement that makes one Sufi, is understanding of wisdom that is Sufism.

And now leaving the word in coming to history. In the traditions of Syria and Arabia we find Sufis have existed before Islam, before the coming of Prophet Muhammad Sufis have existed at the time of

Jesus Christ, only called by a different name. Sufis have existed before that among the mystics of Egypt. There is a in province of hayas called safas in Arabic of Sufis, root of divine wisdom, best thing in world for them. They were not often ascetics. Some of them were in different capacities of life, some industrial men, some men of business, some kings and chiefs of different countries. That shows that Sufis has no restrictions. In order to be Sufi one need not become an ascetic or leave the world, or one need not practise unusual things.

There is a story of Solomon that he prayed to God to grant him his blessing. And he was asked which is the greatest thing that he wants.

Solomon wanted everything, bliss, wealth, all the comfort and luxury there is. It was first difficult for him to distinguish what wants, but put above all those things wisdom and said, “Lord, I want wisdom.” “Do you want wisdom first thing?” “Yes,” he said, and he was given wisdom with all things that he wanted.11 He was not told, “In order to get wisdom, we want to take all things from you.” Same thing in words of Christ, “Seek ye the kingdom of God first and all things will be added unto you.” Which is the kingdom of God? Where is?

Is in wisdom, wisdom is the kingdom of God. By whatever source achieved, by orthodoxy, solitude, crowd, if achieved that, that is all to achieve. Therefore never look Sufism as anything else but that which is essence of all religions, which is wisdom itself.

But distinguish between two things, between wisdom and intellect. Intellect is the knowledge which have gained by our experience, by what see and hear. Learned it. And wisdom is the knowledge which has come new. Maybe followed knowledge gathered from outside, but this from within light thrown on knowledge gained from outside, these two things blending with the other, that makes wisdom. Therefore intellectual men, however learned may be, is intellectual, goes so far and no further. Is another light thrown on knowledge that makes the learning wisdom.

It has never been as is now, but such a large number of people live in their brain. They never touch their own heart. They do not know if have any, and that dry intellectual way of looking at truth and brings them at intellectuality. This craving of intellectuality is stimulating of brain. Give them a story or some conception, or some theory, are delighted with it. But where end? Never satisfied. Have seen hundreds of souls during stay in W estern world, very eager to try and understand truth, but at the same time to get through their brain. In end brain is not satisfied. Many societies therefore, especially those in Western world for security and success of society, have coined, have made many speculations, theory, stories, many ideas in order to mystify curiosity of inquirers. But after all that, how long can they keep them interested? Only as long as they cater. Is catering, giving the curious something to move in their heads. And when have moved it for sufficient time, want something else. Never satisfaction,. You find a thousand brainy people want satisfaction of brain. Is like satisfaction of physical appetite, eats one day, hungry other day. Satisfaction of soul that lasts cannot come by intellectual study. As need food in life, so need intellectual satisfaction. Does not give spiritual inspiration, needs something more than intellectuality and therefore all efforts made in order to satisfy brain, in end prove to be futile. See it today, shall see it in future, same thing. What is wanted today is tuning a heart, awakening of that feeling which makes mankind live fuller life, more perfect life. And without that feeling no knowledge of any use. Sufi schools have existed in countries of Islam, in Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Persia, India. These schools were called Sufi schools. By different names, yet are recognized as such. Teaching given there in realm of own religious teachings, so not shocked at outlook wider than their own. Naturally comes.

As my position to give Sufi ideas in West either in sanctified form or with support with sayings from Bible, natural, the stories of fakirs, dervishes, of the meditative people you hear sometimes exaggerated, sometimes ridiculed. But is Sufi influence which has brought them to that realization or that power or inspiration.

Today in India where there are Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, and

Christians and Jews, even more religions than these five distinct religions, all divided, movements, different sects, it is the house of the Sufis where they all unite. Neither Hindu is Muslim nor Muslim is Hindu, is different from another, feel at home in presence of Sufi.

There is brotherhood of religion. Is Sufi dead? Then on the grave they come. They come with flowers as token of that brotherhood in life. Perhaps healing, he gave power, influence he had on particular village, influence of spiritual guidance. But that is apart. There are different schools of Sufis existing in all these countries I have told.

But now we come to the Sufi message. This message is not a

Sufi message, it is the Sufi message in the sense that it is the message of wisdom, that it is the message of God. It is called Sufi message because it is my destiny to serve in this message. Since my initiation has been from a Sufi school, I was glad to call the message Sufi message. Nevertheless, it is not a message that comes from a certain school or sect or certain people. It is a direct message, the message of God, of divine wisdom which must be given and must be fulfilled.

Name means nothing, but cannot exist without a name. And very often name is a shield before the continual attacks from all sides. If one had no name where would one be? In the first place the port authorities would not allow one to enter the country without showing the passport, without a name; no hotel would allow a person to enter without a name.

But name for us is of no importance. There is a thing behind it living that is beyond all name. And then comes a question of a society, an organization. I will say that in order to put anything you collect, you must have a vessel; in order to travel in the sea, you must have a ship; in order to protect yourself from cold and heat, you ought to have a roof. You cannot do without it.

If I were to tell you, my first ten years, not knowing one person in the Western world, without any recommendation, without any introduction; there was no society, no movement. There was neither

13. A t this point begins Km .’s partial longhand transcription of the shorthand, and therefore in this section the text is m ore com plete movement.16 Having touched this soul, that soul, strived there, helped here , and so on, I commenced the work and continued for ten years.

There was no organization. Many I met and rendered them what service I could. Perhaps never saw again.18 I am glad to have done what I have done for them, not any appreciation on their part. I have mission fulfilled . Only, began to look for seven years , where is that person gone, someone once in life know who appreciated, who

I know would like to know more. But there was no source, no way.

And from the moment a communication was made, five persons came together and studied and meditated and had silence ; one helped the other. A vessel was made in which to put the message.

For us the organization is not a business or industrial need; it is a necessity of coming together, a facility to be together, to help one another. Those ten years, the few souls that could I render my service were so few. With an organization, then perhaps hundred times more persons could have been reached, because then formed in mechanism through which the message could reach to all.

Today the Sufi organization is constructed for special purpose.

What I am today speaking reaches every member in the world, in

Sweden, in Switzerland, in India, any other country . What is taken down is at Headquarters produced and circulated all over, wherever they are studying the message, the same given to the years” m echanism ” 31. H eadquarters refers to the m ain office of the Sufi M ovem ent in G eneva,

Switzerland others . In that way we are in correspondence with one another, that spiritual which person uniting together in order to safeguard the message. That itself is a great blessing.

Are we forming into a sect, a kind of community? That is the last thing I would wish for. But at the same time, we cannot help uniting together , we cannot help helping one another, sympathizing with one another in the same desire of serving the cause of spreading the message. It is a unity in a spiritual interest. We cannot break it fearing that it might form into a community. It is human nature. If it is not a religious, it is a political community; if it is not political, it is a labour community. Is labour community or political party , or here is something else.37 We blame a church or a religion because they have formed into a community. But human being is made like this.

Humankind is made of atoms which want to group together. Let it be rather in spiritual ideal than in hating destroying and troubling one another.

Our principle is to rise above the differences and distinctions.

Teaching is constructed to rise.40 Do we, as Sufi Movement, do any work of converting people, of cutting them off from their own religion? Never. Teach if is Jewish let him go to his synagogue; if he is a Muslim, let him stick to his mosque. This for us is no objection. We welcome them all, come all together ; we respect their religion, their teaching , their sacred book . If this ideal were to be spread in the world, no one with real thought could say that it is the forming of a community or sect. But if this sect were , it is the sect of the whole world, thank God, to which all sects are welcome.46 If

38. Km .hw.; “hating,” om itted 46. H ere Kism et’s longhand transcription of her shorthand ends, and therefore the rest of the text id fragm entary love had this, should welcome and bring to whole world.

And therefore I would like to bring to your notice that there are three distinct works done by Sufi Movement. There is a work of bringing the esoteric ideas to those who are in need of them, who are ready for them; and those not ready, to prepare them for esoteric study. Is this department of whole which is called Sufi Order. Is

Order for this reason, everyone cannot enter it unless given appreciation, that may be guided lines of esoteric path.

And the other work is the work of brotherhood. There is much talked about brotherhood and there are many brotherhoods. But at the same time brotherhood in spiritual path is only brotherhood always reliable. Often many efforts made to bring about brotherhood, is last thing that we see. The differences that divide humanity so many, all come from material life as we live and therefore we can never do, never do work on the lines of brotherhood. But this can be only done by not saying much, brought by living , doing what little we can.

A third aspect of its is the Universal Worship. It was the wish of

Christ and is the wish of Christ, was desire of Buddha, ambition of

Muhammad, ideal of Moses, thought all of all the prophets who came, that there should be worship, which should be universal worship, that all religions, that different sects may be united together. If one can see from their point of view, one can appreciate it beyond words, and is their wish and their prayer of thousands of years which is being fulfilled in this modest activity which is beginning just now, where lights of all different prophets are put on the same altar. Imagine the war taken place between one religion and another, followers of one and the other for so many hundreds of years. One has hated; each thought there is was the best religion. To see on one altar that their candle is lit, their own sacred scripture is read in order to complete the service, that would show the appreciation of one another, respect of another’s religion. By doing this no one need of own religion. One only has to have respect, because all religion is one in the light of truth.

It is a beginning, an activity which is to be world activity. Before or “after” long will be world activity, something that will spread all over world, accepted by all nations sooner or later, that will fulfill wish of great ones, masters. That activity or serving, the more appreciate, the more blessing there is in this activity. Never consider therefore out of place, or discouraged, when see four persons sitting before Universal

Worship. Is going to be the worship of the future. Will be the form, idea prevail all throughout the world. If at Universal Worship not sufficient people, in unseen many is attracted by central current.

Something which is meant to spread things successful. Next need and disappeared . Will grow slowly, will last for centuries, now responsibility. We must be together and apart to defend the cause at time which is at its infancy.

With Murshid the relation of mureed is as with parents and children. It is intended by God that Murshid would play that role in life of his mureeds. Therefore know that when I am here, or I will have gone, my blessings are with you.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Little Lenox Theatre, New York

January 24th, 1926

universal worship: belief

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak a few words on the subject of the belief. When belief culminates, it turns into faith. There are different stages through which belief develops and when a person says that, “I have no belief,” that does not mean that he is not capable of believing, only that he refuses to believe. Belief is not something which with a person is born, it is something which one requires after coming on earth. There is a saying of the Prophet that every person was born a believer and when on earth he becomes an unbeliever. For an instance, when a child begins to learn a language, mother says, “This is called water.” So he says, “Yes, that is water.” Mother says, “That is light,” so he says, “Yes, that is light.” Every word teacher teaches, the child learns; he never refuses. But when a person is grown up, then he has preconceived ideas; he has learned something in the way of reason, logic, experience. And if another person has more knowledge, if he does not reach him through his way of looking at it, he says, “I cannot believe it.” That means that he was born with belief, but now he has arrived at a point where he cannot believe,

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 3. The Prophet M uham m ad because his belief clashes with his reason he has made for himself.

If a person says, “I do not believe in a soul.” “Why?”, he says, “has never seen a soul, never seen. I have always heard about it; people have talked about it, but I have never seen it .” All that touches his senses, all he can feel and touch, that he can believe by touching, feeling, seeing it. But something he cannot touch or feel or see, he says, “It is not within my reach. All that can exist must be intelligible to me. What is not intelligible does not exist for me.” In other words, man makes his own knowledge first and all that comes afterwards, he wants it to fit in with his own knowledge.

I have during my work on philosophical lines very often met people asking me, “What you think about this, that I believe such and such a thing ?” And if I said, “Your belief is right,” then the person is pleased. If I said, “No, your belief is wrong,” then a wall was made at once because it is the nature of man that he prepares his knowledge. As it is a knowledge in himself and as he has made it, whatever fits in with it, he accepts it. If he gets truth, if it does not fit in, he does not take it. His knowledge may be made of false experiences or true experiences. He may believe that in such and such a mountain a fairy descended on such a night of December, founding beautiful colours appeared and that there one should go in order to become illuminated, soul go . Or he may believe that in the heart of Tibet, in remote places, people sit with closed eyes perhaps for hundreds of years, and when a person goes there, a person is exalted. Or he may have a knowledge that near Persia is a country where there are the tombs of the martyrs and that that is the best place where person becomes illuminated. It is only as he believes; whether higher or lower belief, it is a belief. And if a person has made a certain belief in himself, he cannot change it.

There are many others, bigoted in their own belief. They stand on a certain belief, and instead of keeping it in their head, they keep it under their feet. They stand there. Their belief has nailed them to a certain place. They cannot progress because they have a belief.

Belief is like a staircase; it is made to go upwards. If take first belief and stand there, no progress, if on one step, not going further.ff

One belief after another comes to a person as he goes on further in the path of spiritual progress, one greater than the other; one brings one nearer to a greater or higher belief. Therefore, the wise, the illuminated ones, go from one belief to another belief. So they go on until they reach to the ultimate belief.

But at the same time the further a person goes in the path of belief, the more tolerant and compassionate he becomes. I have seen myself in India a most advanced person, who was perhaps greater than the idol of any goddess that Hindi carry in procession in street, walking in procession, singing hymns before goddess, much inferior to himself. Yet singing same songs as others, keeping in rhythm with generality.19 Others say , “I am advanced, I cannot believe your limited belief; it is a narrow belief ”; this person tears himself off from his progress. He does not know that belief is not in saying, “I have a greater or higher belief ”. It is in realizing and in living.

And very often people dispute over their beliefs. And in the end sometimes none of them is convinced. Each has his own point of view. They dispute in vain. Besides, very often a person disputes not because he knows; very often the reason is that he does not know.

Disputes does not attempt.22 If a person knew , he does not need to dispute. He knows, that is all. He can hear a hundred things said against his belief. If he is on the right, he is convinced and he is happy. If hundred people are saying something different, he does not of “If take first belief and stand there, no progress, if on one step, not going further” mind. The one who disputes, in his conscience perhaps he thinks, “I will have strength my belief”; is that why he disputes.

There are four stages of beliefs. There is the first stage, which is the belief of the follower. That belief is just like the sheep: where one goes, all others follow. And that is the belief of generality. If a person is staying in the midst of the street looking at the sky, in ten minutes time hundred persons are looking in the sky. Four persons will attract four hundred, four hundred will attract four thousand: “There is something to be seen, something wonderful in the sky”.

Therefore the number of believers of this class is so great; there is no limit to it. Whether it is a right or a wrong belief, they are only attracted by someone and they follow all. One must begin and they will follow the number.

And there is a second stage of belief and that is the faith in authority. A person believes because it is written in such and such book or said by such and such a person, authority . And it is a little better belief because if a person is not sure of oneself but in some personality, inff a certain sacred book or scripture, because it is said in this, certainly it must be so. It is a more intelligent belief. And the one who refuses to have this sort of belief, he makes a great mistake. It is the second step in the path of belief. If one cannot believe in someone who is more acquainted with certain things, one will never learn. If a person wants to learn singing, he will go to a voice producer and believe what he says. If a person wants to go to a physician, he must believe what the physician says. If he has no belief in the physician, he cannot be fully benefited by his treatment.

And no doubt, belief in a person is greater than belief in a book.

Very often a person says, “But how wonderful. I have read in a book something written, most wonderful. I really believe it”. He believes it to such a degree that if a person says, “It is not so”, he says, “Now is written in the book”, and he believes more what is written in the book than the person.

There is a story of a disciple of a guru, of a teacher, who read in the scriptures that the image of God is in everything, in every being.

One must look at it as such and one must look at the whole life with reverence and with a worshipful attitude. And he believed in it. And he was walking in the street one day and a mad elephant was coming.

Everybody was running away from the mad elephant. Someone said to him, “Away, away, man, mad elephant is coming!” But this person was in the belief that in everything one must see the image of God.

So he bowed before the elephant. The elephant threw him away with his trunk and the young man just escaped death. People took him away and treated him. Afterwards he went to said teacher. The teacher said, “Well, how have you been?” He said, “Well I was trying to do good; I was thinking of God and then I was hurt”. “What did you do?” said the teacher. “I had in the book read that the image of God is in all things, so when the mad elephant was coming, I stood there and worshipped ”. The teacher asked, “Did anyone say to you to do otherwise?” “Yes, a man said, ‘Get away, mad elephant is coming’. But stood on the road I35 with my belief and man not saw and I did not move”. The teacher said, “You believed in the book more than in the living person. Is image of God in all things, why did you not see any image of God in this man? Why did you only recognize his image in the book and in the mad elephant?” Many times in this way people abuse their beliefs. Their belief grows on top of their head. They cannot see their own belief.

The third is the belief of reasoning, that everything one believes one reasons within oneself. This is a greater belief still, but how few there are who reason it out. But there are many who, before arriving at this third stage, begin to reason. This is the third stage. If one begins with this stage, then one cannot get on very well because two stages are left out. Some from childhood begin to reason and if they have no proper guidance, reason will lead them quite astray. It is a great problem today how to bring up children. Mothers begin to realize now that by giving to the children the belief of the family they make them narrow. But at the same time, they cannot substitute, no other belief to give in that place. Therefore children grow up without belief. And to believe afterwards is very difficult.

During my travelling in Europe and other places I saw the great difficulty of this question, that many say, “We were not taught a particular belief. We have not been taken to church. We have no direction in that line. And now we begin to feel a longing to have some belief. But we do not know what to believe. We are too old now to take a new belief.” Belief should be sown in the heart from childhood. Now they are too old. It is just like a person who is at thirty years of age begins to play violin. If he would have begun at five years of age, then only after twelve years time he would have developed the faculty of music. When a person has already made an ego for himself, when come learning and knowledge and when he has become centred on material thought, after thirty or forty years of age to have belief in something is too late, has too much . By that time he would have come from one belief to another in order to come at a high belief. No doubt, for a person who wants to seek truth, it is never too late. But at the same time, loss of time is a great loss; no loss can be compared with loss of time. Life is an opportunity; if this opportunity is lost, it is the greatest loss.

Now the difficulty with a reasoning person’s belief is this, that if reason begins and belief follows, belief will never have a chance to settle. Reason will always crush it. But if belief leads and reason follows, then the belief will be purified and supported by reason and be carried along very far, because there is belief and reason to support it. Therefore reason can crush belief and reason can support it. If reason supports belief it is a great belief; no one can change it.

But if reason crushes, then belief cannot exist. It is therefore that among Arabs it is the custom to give belief to a child even before it knows to speak. Then reason springs up and crushes undesirable elements in it and raises it to a higher grade of knowledge.

But then there’s another stage of belief, a stage which may be called faith. That belief is beyond reason and yet no reason can uproot it. This is the belief which can be called conviction. It cannot be changed when it has culminated in conviction. Where does this belief come from? This belief comes from the divine element in man known as love, as intelligence. It is known as two different aspects.

In reality these two things are one in their essence. If there is no intelligence, there is no love; if there is no love, there is no intelligence. Love springs from intelligence and intelligence lives in love. And therefore these are two aspects of the same thing. Disbelief comes from the lack of intelligence and lack of love. As much more these two things are in a person, so much more there is belief in a person.

For instance, sympathetic person is inclined to believe what one says, to trust; unsympathetic person is inclined to disbelieve, to distrust. In order to trust there must be sympathy. But then there is one thing, that a person may be sympathetic and not intelligent. But perhaps it is hidden behind what one sees, but intelligence is there just the same. Because these two things are one. The conviction, therefore, which cannot be removed by any reason is the culmination of belief which may be called faith.

According to these beliefs, the man who has the first belief of the sheep will say, “Yes, I believe in a soul because they say there is a soul; I believe in God because many worship God; I believe in a hereafter because people say that when they die and say they live somewhere.”

The man who has the second belief, he will say, “I believe in a soul because it is written in the book that there is a soul; I believe in a hereafter because the master has said that there is a hereafter; I believe in God because the master has taught to worship and to pray to the father in heaven.”

And to third person when he is asked, “How can you believe in a soul?”, he says, “Nothing comes out of nothing. There must be something for anything to come out of it. If my individuality is only a body, then from where has it sprung, where is the source of it?

Sense, intelligence, consciousness, does it not all show that I am not only an earthly being, that I am something different, something larger and greater and higher than matter? Have mind, heart, I feel, intelligence, consciousness.ff Is told of a being perhaps which is unseen, which is soul. With the eyes cannot see themselves but others can see them, so it is with the soul. But the soul cannot see itself, as the eyes can see all else but themselves. So the soul cannot see itself, then is invisible . It sees all things, but not itself.” And if one asks him, “But do you believe in a hereafter?”, said , “I cannot have been non-existing before coming on earth. It is the existing which only can exist. And if I have existed before, then afterwards too I shall exist. This is only a phase; we call it life. In a certain form an individual is known by such and such a name, a form in which he has taken such and such a profession. But at the same time, I must have existed before; I cannot be only born from a certain time, born on earth and that it should end at the time I should die. It is therefore that I think there is a life in the hereafter.” And if a person tells him, “Do you believe in God?”, he says, “Certainly. There are different organs of one’s being: hands, feet, head. They each function, yet at the same time they are all called myself; it is one being. If that is true, then the whole universe are nothing but particles of one life and the absolute is one being. God therefore is

50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

“the” instead of “to” this sentence om itted “I have been” instead of “Is” “perhaps” om itted “As” instead of “W ith” “But” om itted “then is invisibke” om itted “he will say” instead of “said” “for” instead of “from ” “shall” instead of “should” “at the sam e tim e” om itted “is” instead of “are” “his” instead of “one” all; all therefore is God. All comes from God and all returns to God, who is the source and goal of all things. God is the ideal on whom

I fix my concentration; I am trying to reach perfection on that perfect ideal which I call God.”

But when we come to a person who has reached the fourth belief, which is faith, conviction, his language perhaps everyone cannot understand. If one asks, “Have you a soul?”, he says, “I am the soul.

God is only my cover.” If one says, “Do you believe in a hereafter?”, he says, “The hereafter I see here; it is not after. The past and present and future I all see at the same moment.” That person lives in eternity; his language cannot be understood by everyone. Reason cannot perceive it because it is beyond reason. The past is for those who have turned their back to it; the future is for those who cannot see it. But for the one who lives in eternity, when he sees back and sees, and he looks forward. Near future to him is another part, is a past which is eternal. And if you will say, “Do you believe in a God?”, he will answer, “Do not ask me are your conception of God.

I live in God, I am in God, and further I cannot say.”

God bless you.

63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69.

“in” instead of “on” “for” om itted “and sees, and” om itted “The” instead of “N ear” “is” om itted “a” om itted “about” instead of “are”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Lenox Theatre, New York

January 24th, 1926

the freedom of the soul

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak this evening on the subject of the freedom of the soul. Man pursues captivity and seeks freedom.2 There is not one single person whom word freedom does not touch,3 and there is not one person who does not long for freedom.

And at the same time, if we look at human life by a magnifying glass, whether man seeks freedom or not, what he pursues is captivity in some form or the other. The ancient people whose imagery was

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote. In the case of this lecture, several lengthy passages were om itted from the longhand transcription, which was probably done in consultation with Inayat Khan.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. a typescript prepared by Sakina Furnée, closely following Km .hw. and noted only in the few cases where it differs.

Notes: 1. Parts of this lecture, highly edited, were incorporated into vol. VII (In an Eastern

R ose Garden, 1962) of the Sufi M essage volum es as “The Freedom of the Soul-2”. In an Eastern R ose G arden, originally published in 1921, had a chapter called “The

Freedom of the Soul”, and the later edition added two m ore chapters (pieced together from different lectures) with that title. captivity and seeks freedom ”; incorporated into N irtan, Bola 58, as “M an seeks freedom , and pursues captivity” (see C om plete W orks, Sayings I (1990, p. 542); the saying written as in the N irtan 3. “There is not one single person whom word freedom does not touch,” om itted able to see m ore than the eyes can see; it is able to hear m ore than the ears can hear.

The soul is able to expand further than m an can journey; the soul is able to dive deeper than the depths that m an can ever touch; the soul is able to reach higher than m an can reach by any m eans. Its life” beautiful, they put an idea in a beautiful form. There comes a Hebrew story that God made a statue of clay, the first form of mankind, and commanded the soul to enter. The soul refused to enter, saying, “In this dark room I am afraid to enter, an imprisonment, a captivity; do you wish me to enter in my grave?” Then God said to angels, “Sing and play and dance,” and the angels sang and played and danced.

And the soul came into an ecstasy and in blindness of ecstasy entered into this body of clay, in which then it was captive. This gives a beautiful illustration, an illustration of the soul in the first place, which is the dweller of heavens and the life of which is freedom. It knows nothing but joy, and sees nothing but beauty. Its own nature is peace, and its being is life itself. It is not intelligent, it is intelligence. It is not a soul, but spirit; it is not human, but divine by nature. And again that soul in captivity. As old Persians have said that no infant is born smiling, the first thing the infant does in coming on earth is crying. It is in exile, it is a captivity. A thousand other reasons people may give for the infant’s cry, but you can read in its trembling, as its cry is a feeling of captivity. It is a difficult experience the moment it has come on earth, it is feeling different, it feels that it is audible by nature and yet its audibility is limited. In the two eyes he can see but so much and no further. Its ears are limited, it can hear but no further. Its eyes limited, it can see but no further.

By nature it is the sight itself, it is hearing itself, but now it depends upon the ears to hear, upon the eyes to see, and that makes its horizon narrow, smaller, its world becomes limited.

Someone asked a wise man, “What is the reason of pain, unhappiness ?” And the wise man answered, “If I were to say in one word the reason of all the pain you see in the world, it is limitation.”

Limitation the cause of it all. One sees that, “My means is scanty.”

Other one says, “My position is not high enough.” Other say, “I lack the love that I need.” Other one says, “I have no learning, or no

6. The story Inayat Khan tells com es from the M uslim tradition 7. “by” om itted through life a lim itation, as a fish would realize being out of water, as a bird w ould realize having its wings trim m ed” friends.” May be twenty thousand different complaints put to that comes out of it. That is the limitation in one word.10 And where does this limitation come from? This limitation comes from a heavenly being turning into an earthly being. To walk on earth without wings is to fly; condition is, he has to walk on the earth.13 There is nothing to be surprised in this life when we see that nearly no one seems to be perfectly happy. A rich man has his tale to tell, a poor man has his story; a wise man has his complaint to make, a foolish man has his own legend. And so everyone has something to say. And what they all have to say is one thing, and that is limitation.

What does one pursue , what does one seek after, is a feeling of freedom, comes with this feeling of captivity. Freedom and yet everyone pursues freedom wrongly. The nature of life is such that whenever one thinks, “That will make me free,” that itself makes him more captive. And he cannot realize it until he gets it, what he wants . As long as he has not got it, he thinks, “That is what will make me free.” And so life goes on. And man goes on in the pursuing of freedom and what he gets? He gets captivity. With all the talk of freedom today, life is more a life of captivity than ever before. Have you ever heard such a thing in the past history that in order to cross the boundary of one’s country, in order to go in other country they have to have trouble of passport. They were free to go in one another’s country. There was more brotherhood then than today. Countries did connect with one another, had relation and connection between them. Yet not go without showing passport. Is not only passport; custom, duty, and many other conventions which

14. “at” added in ink conventionalities? And one m ight ask, is one at hom e in one’s own country, does one feel free there? But even there one is not quite free. Also there are conventionalities, rules, regulations m ade for the convenience of m ankind, but at the sam e tim e m aking the life of m an m ore and m ore difficult.” at once make person think this earth no more for man now, for people, inhabitants of this particular part. Even those, even they do not enjoy that freedom because of ever increasing conventionalities of life.

With all the talk on freedom, have they come nearer to it? No, further every day . Not knowing the real meaning of freedom, chasing the moon, the nature of freedom becoming closer and closer of captivity. Man lives in a captivity because he thinks little.

The more he will think, the more he will find that as he pursues the path of freedom, at every step he goes closer to captivity.

In all ages prophets and masters and thinkers and philosophers have taught that now ultimate aim of philosophy and mysticism was to attain the freedom of the soul. Different ceremonies, religious legends and philosophies are narrative of this truth, the freedom of the soul . Whatever this person is longing for in life, whatever may be his life’s pursuit, his object to attain, behind it all there is only one pursuit and that is the craving of the soul to become free from all bondages. Man does not appreciate this idea when he is absorbed in getting things in life, which things will make him free, perhaps he does not give a thought to freedom, but only gives thought to what he pursues for that moment. Perhaps, if he gave a thought to the real condition of life, he would become different, his attitude would change, his outlook become wider, saw deep in life, free to express his soul’s freedom ; he has to abide by the laws of that particular town.

A com poser has to keep within the rules of harm ony that the other writers of m usic have recognized; he cannot express him self freely. A play writer has to keep to the technique, to observe the poetic rules. Everyone has his lim itation and cannot really express him self freely.” 25. K m .hw.: “they are com ing” instead of “chasing the m oon, the nature of freedom becom ing” 27. “goes” altered to “com es” in ink and he would not attach importance to things he usually attaches importance to.

If one asks what kind of captivity it is, I will say, “For a spider the thin strings of the web are a captivity; for an elephant iron chains are a captivity.” The stronger the person is, the greater the captivity; the greater power he has, the greater difficulty he has before him; the stronger the soul is, the greater the load it has to carry. Therefore in captivity we are all equal. When a person sees only on the surface, it appears as if one person has an easy life and the other has to toil all day, other gay life and as if the other is miserable. But that is the outside. But when we look deep into life, in some way or the other, whether a person looks cheerful or gay, some captivity is hidden behind. We do not know with that person.

In order to understand life’s situation in their life it is not enough to have a glance from outside. W e do not know, form opinion.41 We only see the prisoners; if we saw the prisons, we would be shocked.

According to Jalal-ud-Din Rumi , the great poet of Persia, every soul in this world is exile, an exile who always longs to get out of this puzzle. In one poetry poet has used strange imagery, most beautiful and interesting. Says, “Why is the music of the reed so appealing? Because the piece of reed cries to have been cut away from the stem. Then several holes were made in its heart, music was played. The cry of every soul therefore, audible or not, it is one and the same, narrative of same story cut away from stem, continual pursuit to find it that find myself alone. And friends, whether in solitude or in crowd, the more person is evolved, the more is alone.

You do not need to go to solitude to be alone. Soul has just to rise a little above the ordinary and will feel itself alone in midst of the crowd.

One might ask, “Why is this condition so tragic, why can it not be better?” The answer is, “It is nature .” What is man? Man is a process; the manifestation is a process through which the spirit goes from one condition to another condition, from one pole to another pole. And through this whole process the attempt of the spirit is to find itself. In that process the spirit itself loses its freedom and in this way one loses one’s freedom . Freedom is lost in order to come to freedom. That is the tragedy. But at the same time, in the end it is the happiness, because for the fulfilment of this object the whole creation was intended.

To every thinking soul, to every feeling heart tragedy appeals.

Why? Because tragedy is going on continually. Man would like to get away from tragedy, but what appeals to him is tragedy because the soul is always in that condition; it is longing for freedom when it does not know what it is.

In the Bible and in Qur’an we read, “Die before death”. What does it mean? There is a story Attar has written of Persia which explains this idea beautifully. There was a king and he had a beautiful parrot. The king and queen loved it, was pet and talked with it when had moment free. Was kept in golden cage. No end of attention given to it, queen loved it, king admired it. One day when king was going to forest he asked parrot, “Going to same forest from where brought you, have any message to give to others in forest?”

Parrot said, “Very kind of you, king, pray tell them that I am kept in the cage and am very kindly treated. But my constant yearning is to see myself flying free in that sphere and among you all.” The king said, “Yes, I will give your message.” When king came to forest saw many parrots same tree from where had taken this little parrot.

Looking up and said to parrots that, “Your brother is with me and it has sent you a word that we pay a great attention to it. But it yearns to be with you and to free in this sphere. But does not think that will ever have opportunity. So send you its love.” No sooner the parrots

48. “the” added in type 49. The saying “D ie before death” is actually a hadith (see G lossary) of the Prophet

M uham m ad heard it, they one after another began to drop on the earth and the king was deeply touched and moved by it. Said, “What sympathy, parrots after to hear of the pain of one of them, all of them so touched that dropped on earth.” The king left the soil immediately to give this message to his parrot. Said, “O, parrot, what foolish thing to do, to send such message, dropped one after another on ground, dead.” And parrot heard it and heaved deep sigh and looked up to sky and dropped. King commanded that servants may take this parrot for its burial in golden tray, and when parrot was taken out flew and sat on roof. King was surprised. Said, “This was the lesson you brought me; brothers are not dead, are living, sent me the message.” It means that in order to be free, you must first die. The rituals of the old ceremonies all have this secret as the greatest secret, and it is this which is taught through ceremony philosophy and mysticism. This is the main secret of all those things.

But is it really dying? No, it is playing death. No one dies really.

What dies is death; what lives his life. Life lives, death dies.

Therefore, the art of the mystic is to learn how to play death. Call it meditation, call it contemplation, call it concentration, call it worship of God, it is all playing death.

And what is it in man that must die? It is not his real self; it is the false conception that he has of himself. It is that false conception which brings about all limitation. Man is not really limited as he seems to be. But because there is a cover over his soul, that cover makes him limited. That is why he sees no further. His world is himself, his own environments, his conditions, his impressions, his experiences, all concerning . That is all he knows; he knows nothing beyond. Therefore, what is to be crucified in man is that false self, not real self, and resurrection follows crucifixion. In that way soul experiences its freedom.57 One might ask, “How is it to be achieved?

How can one play death?” And the answer is that we have played life

51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. “m ystics” instead of “m ystic”

and we play life every day. For what is it, the life from morning till evening, if is not a play? The more we study it, the more we shall find it the world is subject to change. Conditions that alter, situations that change from moment to moment. If it is not a play, what is it?

Of course, if one thought it a play, one would not take it seriously. But if we are able to play life, we are able to play death also. Is playing after all. There is story of a dervish. A young met this dervish and was very interested in deep and wonderful talk with dervish. Said, “Would so much like to see again”. “Yes, can.” “Where?” “In village not far.” “Where?” “There is little place near village.” “Name?” “Is called the place of liars.” Amazed man spoke such words of truth in place of liars. Did not think much, went asking for place. No one knew where place of liars. Understand about dervish near graveyard. First question ask was that, “What did make you say place of liars?” Said, “I will show place of liars, come.” And he said, “Now look here, here is the grave of a general, was called a general when lived. Here grave of the slave, who was slave when lived. King, crown, and throne, priest, greatest at that time, where are all? Buried under stone, that is the end.” Were they not liars? Did not tell a lie? Did they not play life? When we are able to play life, death too.61 By playing death the eyes become open; the soul which becomes captive by the folding of the eyes, that soul begins to soar upwards once the eyes are unfolded.

People say that, “Here is a dead man.” But in reality it is the living man. For in order to live, one must die. And what must die?

The death must die, and life must live.

God bless you.

58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64.

“is it” instead of “if is” “that” instead of “it” “that” om itted this passage om itted “closing” instead of “folding” “opened” instead of “unfolded” “The” om itted

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Little Lenox Theatre, New York

January 26, 1926

the awakening of the soul

Beloved ones of God,

My subject of this evening is the awakening of the soul.

Before I proceed on this subject, I must say that word “wakening” is merely used for convenience, to make you see it more clearly. In reality the soul is always wakened, the soul is never asleep. Day and night are two diverse conditions; they are not the condition of the sun. Neither the sun rises, nor the sun sets. It more is our conception. It is more convenient to say the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun. If anything rises and sets, it is the world and not the sun. Day and night are not the conditions of the sun, they are conditions themselves. When the world turns its back to the sun, it is night; when the world turns its face to the sun, it is day. The same condition is with the soul’s awakening. The soul is always awake.

But what is it awake to? A person says that someone is looking with open eyes, but what is he looking at? Is he looking upwards, or downwards, or sidewards? It is the direction to which a person is looking; a person is conscious of that direction. “Soul’s awakening,” therefore, is for convenience. This phrase is used that the subject may become more clear to you.

But before proceeding to the subject, I would like to say a few

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: words what part in us it is which may be called soul? Is it our body, with flesh and bones and veins and blood? No. Is it our mind, with thoughts, imaginations, feelings, emotions? No. Then what is it? It is something which is beyond the body and which is beyond the mind. And when you ask, “Is it conscious?” The answer is, it is conscious, and at the same time, it is not as we know it to be. For consciousness we know as the intelligence. It is conscious of something. Everyone does not know what consciousness means; everyone knows what he is conscious of. For an instance, a mirror with a reflection is not only a mirror, but it is a mirror with reflection. There is something already reflected in it. That means it is occupied, it is not empty. When a person says consciousness, he cannot think of the original condition. He thinks only of the consciousness which is conscious of something. As soon as you distinguish between the consciousness and what it is conscious of, you separate them, you see them as two things, and you separate the mirror from what is reflected in it. No sooner you have realized this, you will come to the conclusion that the soul of the wise and the foolish, of the sinner and the virtuous is one and the same. The wickedness of the wicked and the goodness of the good, the ignorance of the foolish and the wisdom of the wise is apart from the soul. The soul is conscious of it. When a person is conscious of it, at that time he says, “Here is an ignorant soul.” But the soul is the same. It is not the soul which is ignorant, but what is reflected in it is ignorant or wise, but what is reflected in it is either wicked or virtuous. It is according to what is reflected in it. But the same time, one must know that if an elephant is looking in the mirror, the mirror is not the elephant, but one can see in the mirror an elephant. But since man does not know, if man does not know what a mirror is, he can say, “Here is an elephant.” But it is only its reflection, but it is only a mirror when it is free from this reflection. The moment the reflection will be removed, the mirror will be a mirror, as it always is.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

“as” instead of “and” in the m argin, “not” added, in what seem s to be another hand “if ” instead of “since” “, if m an does not know” om itted “but” om itted

And so it is with the soul. Man makes it miserable, wicked, ignorant, wise, or illuminated by being conscious of these things. The soul is neither soul one or the other. The soul is soul only. It is therefore that there comes a great difficulty. Very often people have some certain conception of the soul. They do not see the idea of the mystic. They say, “A wicked soul, a bad soul, a foolish soul.” No, the soul cannot be that. The soul is the soul. It is beyond any attributes.

And now a person will ask where does the soul come from?

What is it then? If it is conscious, what is it? And the best explanation one can give to it is the essence of all things. It is life, but not in the sense we understand life. What we call life is a suggestion of life. The soul is the real life. Reflection is a mere suggestion of the soul, we call that life, living being . We say of one who moves and sees and hears and acts, says here is a living being. But what is living in him is the soul. The soul is not seen; therefore, life is not seen. Life has touched the person. Therefore, one sees the effect of that touch in the person and one says, it is living, it is life. But what we see, that is the suggestion of life, which appears and disappears.

Life is life, it never dies.

Then one may ask, what is intelligence? It is the same problem as consciousness. One knows intelligence as something which is intelligent. But there is a difference between intelligence and intelligent. Intelligence which has the reflection of a certain knowledge becomes intelligent. But intelligence need not know. It is the knowing faculty. As consciousness it need not be conscious of anything. It is consciousness itself. It cannot witness it. For an instance, keep a person in a dark room with beautiful colours and nice pictures, and yet he cannot see them. His eyes are open, his sight is open, but what is before him is not reflected in his sight. What is there is sight, and nothing is reflected in it. So it is with consciousness and the same with intelligence; intelligence which is consciousness and consciousness which is the soul, understood in this way and not wrongly.

Now one comes to ask, where does it come from that in this the materialistic and spiritualistic view differ? A material man today says that you can see even from biology how from the animal kingdom, so from animals man comes. It is a gradual awakening of the matter to become conscious; that matter gradually wakens to consciousness and becomes fully intelligent in man. So far science goes.

A mystic does not deny this. He says it is quite true. But where matter comes from? And what is matter? Matter is intelligence just the same. It is only a process. Just like the seed which is the root in the heart of the flower, root comes within so if in man intelligence manifests, it is the development of matter. But intelligence which is begins with intelligence and finishes in intelligence. Spirit is the source and goal of all things. If matter had not spirit in it, it would not waken, it would not develop. Matter shows that life unfolds it, that life discovers it, that life realizes it, that consciousness which is, so to speak, buried in it for thousands of years. But by a gradual process it is realized through process of the vegetable and animal kingdom and of man unfolds itself and takes its original condition.

The only difference is that in this finishing of the spirit or in this fulfilment of the spirit which manifests in man, there is variety. Such a large number of human beings, millions and billions! And in its origin it is one being. Therefore, spirit is one, unmanifested, and many in the realm of manifestation. Therefore, this appearance of this world is of variety. It gives man the first impression of many lives, and this produces what we call illusion, which keeps man ignorant of the human being. The root from where he comes, the

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

“, understood in this way and not wrongly” om itted “that” instead of “how” “, so from anim als” om itted “does m atter com e” instead of “m atter com es” “root com es within,” om itted “But” om itted “process of ” om itted “unfolds itself in m an” instead of “of m an unfolds itself ” “the” instead of “this” “of ” om itted original state of his being, man does not know. He is all the time in the illusion of the world of variety, which keeps him absorbed and interested and busy, and at the same time ignorant of his real condition, so long as man is asleep to one side of life and awakened to the other, asleep to the inner and awakened to the outer.

In the subject I want to speak this evening, the awakening of the soul is used for this purpose. It is the awakening to the source which is called awakening by the mystic to condition , the awakening to the reality of life.

And now you will ask, how does one awaken to this and what makes one awakened? And, is it necessary that one should be wakened? The answer is that the whole creation was made to awaken.

But this awakening is of two kinds chiefly. One kind is called birth, the birth of the body, when a soul awakens in a condition where it is limited in the physical sphere, in the physical body. This is one awakening and by this man is a captive. And there is another awakening. That awakening is to waken to the reality, and that is called the birth of the soul. First is the birth of the body, next is the birth of the soul, as it is called in the Bible: one to the world of illusion, the other to the world of reality.

But one must know that for everything there is a time and when this is not considered, one makes a mistake. When one wakens a person at two o’clock at night, his sleep is broken; he ought to sleep all night, it was necessary for him. Very often people, not knowing this, try to awaken another person , one’s wife, their husband, their friend, their relation, or their child or father . The one feels very anxious to awaken the other. Often one feels too lonely and one thinks, “He is next to me; he should be awakened too.” It is just the same with the person who smokes, or one who drinks. He enjoys another one having the same experience that he awakens , as it is too dull for a person in a cheerful mood if the other one, so dull that cannot laugh cannot see the joke.

Naturally, therefore, the one who wakens to the higher life, to reality, his desire, his tendency is to waken others. He cannot help it, it is natural, but is this instant most busy in this work . If not, he would have said, “Well, I37 experience it, I37 enjoy it; is it not enough! Why must I trouble with others who stand before me like stone walls?” But they have toiled and toiled their whole life and they have been exiled and flayed and martyred and crucified. When they have wakened to a certain sphere where something I experience, harmony and some peace, and they wish that others may also experience it, may enjoy it in the same way as others.

Not much different from one who drinks, must be as happy as I am in drinking, exact the same;44 very often we are too impatient with people and are unreasonable. Very often we make great mistakes. We want to awaken a person before it is time, the time when he ought to have a sleep. Sometimes we presume to be wakened more than another person and in reality the other is perhaps more wakened than we. But person less evolved sometimes the other one asleep.

As there is the story of a wife who was religious and devotional, and one day she arranged a feast. Her husband asked, “What is it, holy day is it a religious day?” “It is more than a religious day, it is the greatest day in my life,” she said, “There was something which was always keeping me anxious which has left me now.” The husband asked, “What is it?” She said, “Since I married you, I while speaking happy as I am in drinking, exact the same;” thought never touch of spirituality you had no inclination upon anything spiritual or religious.” “Then,” he said, “what makes you think otherwise?” She said, “Today I have realized, now I understand that you are spiritual.” “Do you? How do you know?” said he. “Well,” she said, “do not ask me.” “Now tell me,” he said. She said, “I heard you say the name of God while changing sides in the asleep.” “Did I?” said he, “Alas.” He fell down and was dead instantly. The mystery was too sacred to him, something he could never say in words; his feeling of devotion and worship was so great that no church could contain it. It was vaster than any church, it was greater than the universe. When that mystery was broken, it was as if a sacred seal was broken. He could not stand it and he died.

The other day I was touched to see in a play, where a student of the light of the higher ideal says the word, the sacred word, and dies.

And the beautiful part was that there was a prophet who saw it and said, “He saw beyond and died.” What death means? Turning. The soul is always wakened. Therefore it is always living. What is death?

Death is turning. The soul is turned from one side to another side is death . If there is some beautiful voice coming from behind to which it wishes to listen, then it have turned. It is attracted to some other direction. That is called wakening. It is wakened to a certain sphere to which it are asleep.

It is of no use to do too much in trying to waken everybody. But the same time, everyone is wakening to something, if not to higher truth to lesser. And the one who has the privilege of being wakened can give a hand to the one who is trying to waken, to whatever plane.

It is that giving of a hand which is called in the language of the mystics initiation.

52. Km ..hw.: here a note appears in the m s.: “(N ote: M urshid refers here to Ansky’s play, ‘The D ybbuk’)”; S. Ansky’s play The D ybbuk was first perform ed in Yiddish in 1920, and in the following years was widely produced in translation, som etim es in a m usical version

In order to get a clear idea of wakening, I should like to bring to your thought the condition which we call dream. Many give little importance to it. If a person says that one is dreamy, it means he is conscious of something which is nothing. But is there anything in reality which we call a dream? The real meaning of dream is what is past. But yesterday is as much a dream as the experience of the night.

It is past. But when a person is dreaming, does he think that he is in a dream, does he think that it is unimportant, does he give it any less importance than his everyday life at that moment? He looks at it as a dream when wakened at the other sphere, but will in that sphere not call it dream. When a person was dreaming and he was asked, what about the experience of yesterday, he will say it was a dream. What about everyday life? It was a dream.

The more one thinks of it, the more one will glance in the hereafter, the more one will realize that what is the hereafter, what is behind the veil of death, is wakening to another sphere, as real as this, even more real than this. And what is real? Real is the soul, the consciousness itself. What is as past is a dream; what will come is the hope. What one experiences seems real, but it is only a suggestion. The soul is real. Its aim is to realize itself, the more will touch reality . Its liberation, its freedom, its harmony, its peace, all depend upon its own unfoldment. No experience outside can make the soul realize the real.

And to the question, “Why cannot we see the soul, for we can see the body. From our thought, from that we can think that we have a mind because thought manifests to us in the form of a mental picture.

Why do we not see the soul?” The answer is, “The eyes cannot see themselves. They see all things but themselves.” So it is with the soul.

It is sight itself. Therefore it sees all. But the moment it closes its eyes to all it sees, then its own light makes it manifest to its own view. It is therefore that people take the path of meditation, that path

56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

“But” om itted “to” instead of “at” “. In that sphere he will” instead of “, but will in that sphere” “as” om itted “, the m ore will touch reality” om itted “, from that” om itted “But” om itted by which they get in touch with themselves. With their soul they realize the continuity of life which is immortal life; and they realize the independence of life by getting in touch with their soul.

But now you will ask, “But what about those who come in this world in a miserable condition, and others in a good condition? Is it not something that is in the soul, has innate 65?” It is not what the soul brings in it. It is something it has carried along with it, like the load of the camel which is on its back and not within itself. And so it is with the load of the soul which it brings with it.

And there is a question that, “If the soul is wakened, how does it waken and who wakens it?” We see that the time for nature to waken is the spring. It is asleep all year long and it wakens in the spring. And there is a time for the sea when the wind blows and brings good tidings as if it wakens from sleep. Then the waves rise.

All this shows struggle, shows that something has touched it that makes it uneasy, restless, fits not in its place that makes that it wants liberation, release. Every atom, every object, every condition, and every living being has a time of awakening. Sometimes there is a gradual awakening and sometimes there is a sudden awakening. To some persons it comes in a moment’s time by some blow or by a disappointment or because their heart has broken by something that happened suddenly. It looked cruel. But at the same time, as the result a sudden wakening came and this wakening brought a blessing beyond praise . The outlook became changed, the insight deep; joy, grief, independence and freedom were felt, and compassion showed in the attitude.71 A person who would never forgive, who would like to take revenge, who would be easily displeased, cross a person who would measure and weigh, would when his soul be wakened,

63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74.

in one moment he is a different person. As Emperor Gasnawi of

India has said in a most beautiful line, “I, the Emperor, who has thousands of slaves who are waiting my command, the moment love has sprung in my heart, I consider myself the slave of my servants.”

The whole attitude becomes changed.

Only the thing is to what one wakens, in which sphere, in what plane, to which reality one wakens. Sometimes after a mistake one has done and by the loss that mistake has caused, then outlook becomes quite different. In business, in profession, in worldly life, a certain experience, just like a blow, has broken something in a person and with that breaking of that light has come, a new light has come. But it is not always necessary to awaken by a mistake.

No doubt, awakening very often comes by a blow, by a great pain, by painful condition . But at the same time it is not necessary to look for a blow. Life has enough blows for us, yet looking for them.

There is a story that a peasant girl was passing through a farm while going to another village. And there was a Muslim offering his prayers on his prayer rug in the open. The law is that no one should cross that place where anyone is praying. When this girl returned from that village, this man was still sitting there. He said, “O girl, now what a terrible sin have you committed!” “What did I do?” said she. “I was offering prayers here,” he said, “and you have passed from this place”. The girl asked, “What you mean by prayer?” “Thinking of God,” he said. The girl said, “Yes? You were thinking of God? I was thinking of my young man whom I was going to meet and I did not see you. Then how did you see me while you were thinking of God?” That shows what wakening means, what sleep means. She was asleep to him and awakened to the object she was

75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85.

M ahm ud of G hazni? (fam ily known as the G haznavid)

going to meet. And this man was wakened to something else which was the object of his prayer. He is asleep and she was wakened.

One’s heart is where one’s treasure is. If it values a treasure, it is wakened to it. If it is not wakened to a treasure, it may be wakened to some misery. If its treasure is on earth, it is on earth rather than wakened to something else. With treasure something else is.

In spiritual wakening the first thing that comes to man is a lifting of a veil and that lifting of a veil is the lifting of an apparent condition.

Then a person does not see every condition as it appears to be, but he sees behind every condition its deeper meaning.

As what man generally does is this, that every day about everything that appears before him he has an opinion. He does not wait one moment to look or to have patience; he immediately forms an opinion upon every person, every action he sees, whether it is wrong or right, he immediately forms an opinion without knowing what is behind . It takes a long time for God and weigh and measure, but for man it takes no time without judge all wrong.

When this veil of immediate reason is lifted, then one reaches the cause, is another veil ; then one is not wakened to the surface but to what is behind the surface.

Then there comes another step of awakening. In that, man does not even see the cause, but he comes to the realization of the adjustment of things, how every activity of life, whether it appears to be wrong or right, adjusts itself. By the time a person arrives at this condition he has lost much of one’s false self. That is what brings him there. The more one is conscious of the false self, the further one is removed from reality. Two things cannot go together. It is dark or

86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98.

See M atthew 6:21

it is light; if it is light, there is no darkness. As much is broken of the false conception of self, as much of that is broken, so much more light is thrown . Therefore, on the path a person sees life more clearly. This is one form of awakening.

Another form of wakening is the awakening of the self, that one begins to see, “What does my thought mean, what does my feeling mean, what does wrong mean, what does right mean? What is it, after all?” He begins to weigh and measure all that springs within itself and begins to see correctly . The further one goes, the more one sees behind, the more one is not only living on the surface of life but attached with all planes of existence. This is a new awakening.

Then a person has only to be awakened to the other world; he need not go there. He need not experience what is death, but he can bring about a condition what rises above life. Brings one to the conclusion that there are many worlds in one world, but all is forgotten, length, depth, call it reality ; then he closes his eyes to the dimensions of the outer world and finds within his own self, in his own heart, you are the centre of all worlds. And only what is necessary is turning; it is not wakening, but it is turning.

Man has become motionless, stagnant, by fixing himself to this world in which he is born, in which he has become interested. If he makes his soul more subtle , to turn away from this, he can experience all that is said of different planes, of different worlds, different planes of consciousness. The whole mystery he will find within himself, only by being able to make his soul subtle , soul that can turn, can move.

And you may ask, “How can one make the soul subtle ?” The character of the soul is like water. By being stagnant it becomes

104. Tp.: “to” instead of “with” frozen like ice, not move, so with soul it becomes bound to this world to which it is conscious, cannot move . The soul is not unable to move, but it becomes conscious of what it is conscious and that consciousness holds it. It is like a captivity without understanding 113.

A Sufi poet says the way out of it: “You yourself it is who has made yourself a captive, if you yourself who will try to make yourself free.”

God bless you.

111. 112. 113. 114. 115.

“not m ove, so with soul” om itted “cannot m ove” om itted “without understanding” om itted “have” instead of “has” “and it is” instead of “if ”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and typed reporting

Lennox Theatre, New York

Thursday, January 28, 1926

the continuity of life

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak this evening on the subject of the continuity of life.

Life as we understand it in our everyday life is something quite different from what life is in reality. The part of life we recognize as life is that part which is subject to change, and what is called death is nothing but a change. All that exists is existing and it is beyond destruction; in other words, not only living beings but even objects, in reality, are not subject to destruction, only to change. We call it destruction because things go from one form to another form; is a change because we do not see the continuity of one form turning into another form. Therefore, it is that gap between one thing and another thing, is that gap which makes us think that one form is finished and another thing is another thing. For an instance, we recognize a tree when it is in its original form; when it is dried up and

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .tp. = =

Notes: 1. Km .tp.: 2. Km .tp.: 3. Km .tp.: 4. Km .tp.: 5. Km .tp.: 6. Km .tp.: 7. Km .tp.: 8. Km .tp.:

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s typed transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the type which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. an exact copy of Km .tp. m ade by S akina Furnée. It contains a few editorial corrections in ink, which are noted.

“the subject of ” om itted “form ” instead of “part” “is existing” instead of “exists is existing and it” “are changed” instead of “go” a com m a instead of “; is a change” “between one thing and another thing, is that gap” om itted “has” instead of “is” “and another thing is another thing” om itted its wood is chopped and made into pieces, we call it dry wood no more a tree. But it is the same thing which continues. Perhaps in the form of a tree, form of life we accept it as something living, in another form of life is the wood of it, but something living still3. If the life had gone out of it, sandalwood could not be fragrant, not have effect it has shows that it has gone through a change. It is no longer a tree, but it lives as sandalwood. The same quality was perhaps richer when it existed as a tree, but when it has dried up, it has become more fragrant. At the same time it seems to be dried up, it is of it different thing. This process that it has gone through we have overlooked. What we see is the gap between the sandaltree and the piece of sandalwood. What we see is the two things. And therefore what escapes our eyes, that continuity, we do not recognize and call it destruction, we call it death. But there is not one single object that can ever be destroyed, it is only turned from one thing into another thing. As snow has disappeared is become water; when there is no more water in earth turned into water , it has in earth turned ; when the fire has gone out, there was smoke; when the water disappeared , but there was vapour. It has not gone, it appears again; it only disappears for a while. And as we do not see the continuity of it, we say it has gone. Therefore, we do not relate

9. Km .tp.: “dry wood” om itted 10. Km .tp.: “Perhaps” om itted 11. Km .tp.: “, form of life,” om itted 12. Km .tp.: “but” instead of “in” 13. Km .tp.: “, but som ething living still” om itted 14. Km .tp.: “. Its fragrance” instead of “, not have effect it has,” 15. Km .tp.: “there” instead of “richer” 16. Km .tp.: “, when it is” instead of “to be” 17. “that” added in ink 18. Km .tp.: “a” instead of “of it” 19. Km .tp.: “But the” instead of “This” 20. The tree which provides sandalwood (Santalum sp.) is also called “sandalwood” 21. Km .tp.: “piece of ” om itted 22. Km .tp.: “and” instead of “, we” 23. Km .tp.: “W hen the” instead of “As” 24. Km .tp.: “, it has” instead of “is” 25. Km .tp.: “in earth turned into water” om itted 26. Km .tp.: “turned into earth” instead of “in earth turned” 27. “was” crossed out and “rem ains” substituted in ink 28. “disappeared” changed to “disappears” in ink 29. Km .tp.: “but” om itted one thing to another thing because of the gap. But it is by the lack of our seeing.

There is no intelligent person in the world who does not ask in some time or the other to himself if this life is going to continue.

There is no person with some feeling who ever remains without the feeling that death is a terrible thing. One day we will have to leave this life. Every thoughtful person sometime or the other thinks about it. And the first impression he has is the dread of dying, because for life it is not natural to die, not natural to be non-existent, not to exist.

This you can see even with the smallest insects and germs and worms; they escape your touch, they run away from you, protecting their life; that they are as desirous to live as a human being. Their life may be for a few hours, or for a few days, but they want to live, they will try to live; their effort is to protect their life and continue to live. Besides, all different occupations that man is busy with, he afterwards becomes absorbed in. But the main thing in his occupations is the struggle of life. If it were not for this, there would be many people who would not do any work. Every labour could continue only to live, but because in order to live they must toil, and they cannot help it, therefore they are absorbed in it. But at the same time, whether man is absorbed and does not think or whether he thinks about it, sometime or the other this question comes and man thinks very seriously whether this life is to continue or not.

For many material people, who at times seem to be quite happy and contented, comes a time when they begin to wonder, and as they see death approaching the more and more they wonder if there is anything to hope for, if there is any experience to look forward to.

They may not believe in the soul or in the hereafter, but at the same

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

Km .tp.: “intellectual” instead of “intelligent” “in” crossed out and “at” substituted in ink

Km .tp.: “shall” instead of “will”

Km .tp.: “that” om itted

Km .tp.: “or” om itted

Km .tp.: “that” om itted “afterwards” crossed out and “later” substituted in ink

Km .tp.: “Labour is continued” instead of “Every labour could continue”

Km .tp.: “but because” om itted

Km .tp.: “and” om itted

Km .tp.: “very” om itted

Km .tp.: “this” om itted time they are craving to find some proof, some sign in order to believe that there is something after death.

I have had very often a discussion with some material scientists who very proudly are inclined to disbelieve in the hereafter; they do not believe what is not proved. It is pride of their principle, “We shall not believe in anything that does not prove to be real.”

Nevertheless, behind that pride there is a deep desire to find some proof somewhere that can give some hope that life will not finish after a few years, but will continue, existence will continue. The man who has no hope of existing after death has no satisfaction, he cannot be satisfied. And it seems as if there is a wall behind which he cannot see and he does not know what is there. He is not really willing to believe that there is nothing after death. And yet, since there is no proof, he does not wish to give in to the belief held by the majority that there is a hereafter.

When Buddha went in search of truth, thought upon the main thing his mind was engaged with was to relieve man of this great anxiety that comes to him when he thinks of that day when he will have to leave this place where he has experienced the joys and sorrows. The life, however may have been, the life of riches or poverty, in spite of the difficulties and sufferings one had, one wants to still have more experiences, to exist longer, one does not wish that life must be ended.

I know of a scientist who used to speak with his wife, the day when he was in his deathbed. He used to ask her, “Do you really think that there is such a thing as the soul or the hereafter? I cannot believe it.” He would ask her just the same, he wanted to speak of it because he was in his deathbed, looking to that moment when he thought he would be nonexisting. “If there really was something,

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51.

Km .tp.: “part” instead of “pride”

Km .tp.: “, existence will continue” om itted

Km .tp.: “And” om itted

Km .tp.: “thought upon” om itted

Km .tp.: “which” instead of “that”

Km .tp.: “It” instead of “The life, however”

Km .tp.: “a” instead of “the”

Km .tp.: “have still” instead of “still have” “in” crossed out and “on” substituted in ink

Km .tp.: “asked” instead of “would ask” what proof have you?” he asked her. “Have any proof ?” She said, “I do not want proof. I believe it, I feel it is so.” “How wonderful,” he said, “I wish I could believe as you.” She said, “I have no other proof, I feel there is a soul, there is a life after this life, I feel it.” He said , “If I could feel it.” And this man in the end said to her, “Well, though I do not believe in a soul and in the hereafter, I am glad that you believe in it. At least I have some hope in your belief, that you believe.” He kept to his belief, but at the same time he clung to her, hold his hand, but her belief was not his scientific discovery; what supported her was her intuitive belief, that was the protection, that he always believed him her belief.

Buddha engaged himself all through life just to see this problem more clearly. It is therefore that his teaching is more scientific and more logical than many other dogmas that religious people hold. He did not teach there is a soul. This does not mean he did not believe it. He had the same tendency as the scientists today. He did not wish to admit what he did not see. Buddha does not preach the hereafter in the same way as many others do; Buddha did not teach the ideal of God in the same way as others. He put his teaching in a scientific, logical form and real Buddhism is a scientific, logical and psychological way of looking at life. He first wanted every man to prove to himself that there is a continuity of life, and to be relieved of the anxiety: there will come a day that I will no more exist.

Buddha did not want to give as an intellectual conception what the intellect cannot touch. For this the intellect must not be used, it cannot reach it. That is what the scientist today does want to know, but intellectually. But the intellect cannot touch it. Do I do touch it.

Then one might say, “But then how can one know about it?” In the first place, today’s conception of mind is wrongly formed. The conception of mind is much larger than what the scientist of today conceives of, is made by scientist today . He thinks mind to be something which is in the brain, that there are small atoms which are impressed by the pictures one has seen which bring about a thought.

And that means, after the death of the brain, the mind dies. When we look at it from a physical point of view, mind expresses itself through the brain. The brain makes the mind clear to the senses. The body is the very medium of the mind to express to oneself and to another the contents of the mind.

The other day a learned person asked me if spirit was in the inside nerves. I said, “70 If spirit was so thin as in inside nerves would not spirit call it, not call it spirit. But spirit is inside all things and outside all things.” Spirit is not closed in the body, but is inside the body just the same. But spirit is not imprisoned in the body, it is not closed in the body. Just like the light is not closed in the globe, but the light shines outside the globe as much as inside. So spirit is inside and outside. Spirit apart, mind as much inside as outside the body.

Mind is just like the light.

If mind was so small as to be locked up in brain, it would be very small thing would be less important than the body. It is not the body which is but the real man is mind. “Man” comes from

66. Km .tp.: “D o I do touch it.” (the m eaning of which is unclear) om itted 67. Km .tp.: “Then” om itted 68. Km .tp.: “, is m ade by scientist today” om itted 69. Km .tp.: “very” om itted 70. K m .tp.: “If spirit was so thin as in inside nerves would not spirit call it, not call it spirit. But” om itted 71. Km .tp.: a sem i-colon instead of “, but” 72. Km .tp.: “Spirit is outside the m ind as m uch as inside” instead of “Spirit apart, m ind as m uch inside as outside the body” 73. Km .tp.: “It” instead of “M ind” 74. “was” crossed out and “were” substituted in ink 75. Km .tp.: “would be very sm all thing,” om itted 76. Km .tp.: “of less im portance” instead of “less im portant” 77. Km .tp.: “It is not the body which is,” om itted mana , the Sanskrit word means mind.80 In other words, the ancient people considered mind as man, not his body. Since today man has understood that mind is enclosed in the brain, he considers the body everything that man has, he identifies himself with the body instead of with the mind. He does not see that the mind is independent of the body. That is where comes the difficulty to understand the continuity of life, because man limits life into this form of life which is more limited. Mind is not so much limited as the body. For an instance, a person who is deficient, deaf or blind or without hands or feet, he is capable of thinking, of imagining; he is capable of grief, to have power, he feels things; he can be an inventor, a great scientist . This shows that mind is independent of the body. There is a connection between the mind and the body; as dependent on body, inspiration limited also . But in reality mind is independent of a body. As soon as one realizes this, one begins to see that one does not live in the body, but that one lives in the mind. That even when the body rests when man is asleep, then mind works; and what one calls dreams, they are the action of the mind. “But” one says, “is not the brain working in the sleep?” Yes, sometimes, or very often the brain is the medium through which we make what is going on in the mind more clear for ourselves. But mind is not imprisoned in the brain. You will see many people who have their intuitive quality developed seeing what is going on in another country, or what is going to happen, or what is past, in their dream . Is it the brain which has left the body and has gone to see? No, it is the mind, and independent of the brain. The brain cannot go out of the head and go in another country to see what has happened. During the war, how

78. For m ana, see G lossary 79. Km .tp.: “for” instead of “m eans” 80. This etym ology is not standard 81. Km .tp.: “with” om itted 82. Km .tp.: “to” instead of “into” 83. Km .tp.: “to have” instead of “of ” rather than “tist” 85. Km .tp.: “; as dependent on body, inspiration lim ited also” om itted 86. Km .tp.: “the” instead of “a” 87. Km .tp.: “the” instead of “then” 88. Km .tp.: “in their dream ” m oved to earlier in the sentence, after “developed seeing” 89. Km .tp.: “which is” instead of “, and” many mothers knew on the day when their son was wounded, did actually see their son in that condition and the telegram about it was sent afterwards. How many wives of soldiers have seen the tortures that the soldiers went through in the war? There are many sympathetic souls who saw from a distance, sympathetic, good person with tender heart, kind feelings, is really open to those impressions which come. It is not the work of the brain, it is the work of the mind.

If the real man is mind, then after the death of the body, mind does not die; as after the sleep of the body, mind is still working. But one will say, “Can mind live independently of the body? Can mind work independently of the brain?” The answer is yes. 96You will say that life is not interesting. But you do not know that.96 The position is different. If an Eskimo had to put on another dress in a tropical country in India, he need not be worried about it. In the tropical country he may walk with the dress of that country. What is the physical body? It is a dress; it is a dress which the spirit has put on itself. When the dress has worn out, it does not mean that the spirit is dead. But since man identifies himself with the dress—I mean with the body— he cannot see himself in a different form than what he knows himself to be: a physical body. May intellectually know differently from it,100 and yet he depends upon the physical body to believe that he is living. In the absence of the physical body he cannot believe that he lives; he does not know life without the physical body. But at the same time, if the Eskimo was sent to the tropical country, he would be very glad to adopt the dress of that country and to get rid of his dress as an Eskimo.

90. Km .tp.: “; they had actually seen” instead of “, did actually see” 91. Km .tp.: “that” om itted 92. Km .tp.: “know” instead of “saw” 93. Km .tp.: “those who have a” instead of “sym pathetic, good person with” 94. Km .tp.: “they are” instead of “is” 95. Km .tp.: “m an” and “m ind” both typed, one over the other 96. Km .tp.: these two sentences skipped in the tp., added later by hand 97. “with” crossed out and “in” substituted in ink 98. Km .tp.: “— I m ean with the body— ” om itted 99. Km .tp.: “M any” instead of “M ay” 100. Km .tp.: “from it,” om itted 101. Km .tp.: “m an” instead of “he”

As further a soul approaches towards his source, so it has to give up all that belongs to the place where it first lived, because the man’s life is such that in every plane the soul comes to live, it borrows a garb from that plane in order to live there. Therefore, the soul knows its life after the garb it has put on itself and lived with it and forgets its identity. Because the soul knows that garb, sees the garb; and the condition is that as soon as the soul has to go to another plane of existence, condition,107 it must throw off the garb belonging to the other plane of existence. The soul does not become any less, it is the same soul. Its senses, its workings are the same as they were in the other country. But it is capable of doing more, of perceiving more, it has a greater freedom, because the garb of the lower world makes more limited as the garb of the higher world.

The higher the soul rises, the more independent it becomes; the lower it comes, the more dependent it is. The picture of Christ on the cross with hands nailed and feet nailed, what does it mean? It means the soul, who was independent, who was free to act freely, to move freely, on this material plane has become crucified, hands and feet nailed. That is the symbological meaning of Christ on the cross.

Everyone has to go through this more or less. The more the soul is wakened, the more it is in the same position. The less the soul is wakened, the less it is aware of that secret. That is the picture of the soul’s limitation. The soul is as helpless on this plane, as imprisoned and limited, as free it is by nature; in other words, a king who is exiled from his kingdom.

Naturally, as the soul proceeds toward the goal, its freedom becomes greater, its joy becomes greater, it becomes more able to do things. There is a saying of a lover who says, “I reach thee before my feet can reach thy dwelling place, and I see thee before my eyes can reach thy spheres.” What does it mean? It means that the soul

102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109.

Km .tp.: “the” instead of “a”

Km .tp.: “its” instead of “his”

Km .tp.: “its” instead of “the m an’s”

Km .tp.: “lives” instead of “lived”

Km .tp.: “that” instead of “the”

Km .tp.: “condition,” om itted

Km .tp.: “than” instead of “as” the word order changed to “it is free” in ink identifies himself as the spirit and says that I can see further than my eyes can see, I can go further that my feet can reach.

All limitation one experiences belongs to the physical world and on the physical world one can experience it by living in the heart.

A wakened heart is able to experience to some degree the same life when one lives in the hereafter. The one who can see without eyes, who can see more than the eyes can see, who can hear without ears, who can enjoy more than the senses permit to enjoy, that person begins to experience here what is in the hereafter. He experiences his life more keenly and more freely, his experience is more profound than the experiences gained by the senses.

Nevertheless, the question remains, “Are we going to exist in the hereafter without this body?” Many will think, “If we exist with the mind, has the heart,115 still we are not the same. It is very sad.” But it is not sad. It is only sad when we see it in that way, when we identify ourselves with the body. But the more we can experience life independent of the senses, the more we are able to think and know that we have our being there as complete as it is here, and that it is even more complete. Because, after we have been here, all the experience gained from here has made us more complete. But one asks, “Has one eyes there to see, has one ears to hear, has one there this same magnetism by which we can feel an individuality, or does it become nirvana , that is, nothing?” Many are frightened by the word nirvana. But it need not be entering into nirvana immediately passing after this world. All can reach in nirvana here in physical life, one need not go out of individuality,120 as

110. Km .tp.: “itself ” instead of “him self ” 111. Km .tp.: “with” instead of “as” 112. Km .tp.: “than” instead of “that” 113. Km .tp.: “the life of the soul” instead of “it” 114. Km .tp.: “which” is written by hand above “when” 115. Km .tp.: “has the heart,” om itted 116. Km .tp.: “there” om itted 117. Km .tp.: “can” om itted, but added by hand 118. For nirvana, see G lossary 119. Km .tp.: “after passing away from ” instead of “passing after” 120. Km .tp.: “O ne need not go out of the individuality, one can reach nirvana here in the physical life” instead of “All can reach in nirvana here in physical life, one need not go out of individuality,”

Buddha experiences . Yet he was divided , as Jesus Christ and all prophets and masters reached nirvana while the body was there. They were recognized as a distinct entity; they were not in the clouds or in a mist. One need not become nothing. Nothing becomes nothing.

But then one asks, “Is there any end to the hereafter, or does it continue always?” My answer is that birth and death is not only such as we recognize on this earth. There is birth and death at every hour of the day; at every minute there is a suffering through which we enter and pass and we do not know. This life is such an intoxication for many, they are so absorbed that they do not know the thousand births and deaths they pass through. A keen observer of life sees that every moment of life is a birth and every moment of life is a death. The one who lives a deeper life and sees life more keenly will know how many times he has died and how many times he was born. In one moment we lose our courage, in another moment we feel disappointed or full of all enthusiasm, raise voice in another moment dumbfounded , all hope and enthusiasm, they have all gone. What is it?130 Then the change of experiences in life: springs and falls, successes and failures. Then the emotions, the affairs of the heart: hopes, experiences and feelings are reared and destroyed by conditions, by people. If we go through all these births and deaths and continue to live, there is no doubt that we shall continue to live.

And the life of the other side is comparatively much longer than the life here because of the limitation. One will not doubt if I say that the life of snow is shorter than the life of the water.

Has become snow for some time, runs into water.137 So life in the hereafter is the real life, it is like the water, and life here is like the snow. One has experienced this life which is in the form of snow, and one thinks, when the snow will end? But the snow will become water, it will become the same as it was before. And if one says, does the life of the water last longer, the answer is yes, longer than snow, it is water . But very often people say, but what will be the end? But they do not know that they are asking the end of something which has no beginning. End belongs to something that begins, but something that has never begun will never end. End is only a conception of change. We call death of the body something and is the change. What we recognize as death is only the end we know is no end because there is no beginning. The life has never begun and will never end. This is the conception of eternity. But at the same time, this is rising above a conception because our knowledge is limited. Knowledge is made of conceptions 146, and if we rise above it then we rise to the knowledge beyond it, that is the knowledge of eternity.

One will ask, “How can we partake of this knowledge?” My answer is, “You can attain to this knowledge by looking at life in the face.” But when the wrong method he learns a wrong thing, a wrong knowledge. If a person wants to look at the moon, he must not look at the earth but at the sky. If one wants to attain spiritual knowledge, one must not attain to knowledge by the same intellectual knowledge as learning history and grammar. That is where people make a mistake; especially those in an intellectual way they try to attain spiritual knowledge. They are looking at the earth in order to see the moon. But the moon is seen in the sky. It necessary is to raise the sight and to look in the sky.

In order to get spiritual knowledge one must close the eyes to the outer world, one must let the sight see the inner life. But one says, “There is nothing to be seen. Thousand times I close my eyes in the church. I sit there for a long time.” I say you have not been sufficiently patience . It is closing the activity of the mind. If the mind is active when the eyes are closed, then there is not concentration. The spiritual knowledge is reached by closing the eyes and the mind at the same time. In the Eastern imagery they call it “diving into the depths of the heart”. In order to get the spiritual pearls one must dive deep within oneself. All concentrations and meditations are taught as a process, as a way to reach that experience, to get in touch with the innermost self. And the benefit one derives by it is more than words can say. Inspiration, power, courage, joy, strength, guidance, all comes once a person has understood and practised the way of diving deep within himself.

God bless you.

Sufi Centre, New York

January 29th, 1926

mureeds class: attitude 2

Blessed mureeds,

I would like to speak a few words on the subject of our attitude towards others as the members of the Sufi Movement.

Our attitude towards these societies as occult, mystical, or philosophical societies, must be a Sufi attitude. If not, we shall be the same and act the same as everybody else. If we look at them with critical eye, there are many things that we shall criticize, and by doing so we shall hurt their members in some way. Then there are those who look at them with a friendly idea which shall change their minds. Also we shall be answered in the same way as we speak. To throw a stone in the mud is to get splashes upon oneself. At the same time there is good in everything; nothing can exist without some good in it because it is the power of good that allows everything to exist. Even what we call devil cannot exist if there were not some good part in him. It is the little good in him that makes him exist. If he were altogether devil, he could not exist. If there is a little society, or a movement are twenty hundreds and thousands of members

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: others as the m em bers of the Sufi M ovem ent.” added as a title 3. Sufis use the word m ureed (or m urid) to indicate an initiate (see Glossary) attracted to it, that means there is some good. If it is not honey, it is gum or glue; it is something. If you do not look at it as honey, others do it; let them take it.

Besides, we can respect ourselves by proving that we respect others. We do not need to follow the teachings of other societies or other people. We do not need to admire them; we need not be insincere about it, not try to say good things about people we do not know. Nevertheless, we should always avoid speaking against them.

And if anyone spoke about our movement and about the teachings given in the Sufi Movement favourably, so much the better if they are pleased; and unfavorably—then it is time that we are put in a test whether we can prove better than the person thinks. If we give way, it proves that his criticism is right. We ought to prove by our example, by what say, act what we are, not by words. If they do not know us, if they cannot understand us, they might live three hundred years in order to understand us. We only have to take it all, to assimilate it all.

There are two qualities, the quality of earth and the quality of sky. If it is earth, whatever you throw in it, it brings out. If it were fruits or grains or thistles, all come out, because it is hidden dense beneath our feet. But the sky which stands over our head, its character is different: whatever goes into assimilates, it is gone. The man is both, earth and heaven. His earthly qualities - - - - - - - -14 but his heavenly part takes all as it comes that is undesirable, assimilates it . It does no longer exist, no longer take seedling it has disappeared, it has gone, eliminated.

The other day I had a dinner and I was asked what do I mean by spiritual attainment? It is a deep question to be put at a dinner table.

Instead of telling them in big, thick words of occultism and psychology and deep mysticism, I answered in the appropriate words of the evening and said, spiritual attainment is for a man to become a person. A soul is born an individual, but that individual is not necessarily a person. It is the evolution of individual which culminates in a personality. But you might say, is a personality such a great thing as that? W hat we have read in books is to get out of a personality. That too. But out of which personality? Out of the false conception of personality. Development of true personality is going towards the fulfilment of the purpose of life. Our great poet

Ghalib says that, “No doubt everything is difficult, however simple it may seem to be. But it is difficult even for a man to become a person.23 ” To become a hermit, a monk, or very orthodox person, or to know of dogmas and rituals, all these things are for some purpose. But the way is not the goal. I do not mean that all these things are wrong. Only all these things are the way, they lead to something. But if, in spite of taking of all different ways, one does not arrive at that goal, he has lost his time, he has lost his time, he has fooled of his time and lost his opportunity. The further one advances, the more one comes to understand that there are many opportunities in life, but life itself is the greatest opportunity. And the further we go in the path, the more we can look at the time we have passed with repentance, and that is the real repentance; and the repentance is that, why did I not consider the value of opportunity?

Childhood, youth, middle age, age, all is opportunity. Life is not without opportunity. Whatever be the condition, poverty, riches, failure, success, all is opportunity. A person may profit more by pain than by joy, even sometimes more if he takes that opportunity, if he appreciates it. Therefore, in the path of spiritual attainment, the life becomes such an opportunity that its value is much greater than a

22. For G halib, see List in Km .hw. person can conceive of. And to lose that opportunity by meaningless doubt, useless thought, fanciful feelings, worthless actions, is undesirable. The more we value the opportunity of life, the more we can profit by it. We must be conscious of this fact from morning till evening, that we are placed in life to become fully profited; and in all situations of life, if we can watch for this opportunity, the purpose of our life becomes fulfilled. Those who do not understand this principle, for them life is a burden. But for those who understand, this burden is ease . He thinks, this burden is my opportunity. You may ask what opportunity is, what comes out of it? But as soon as a person begins to know his opportunity, there can come nothing else but benefit out of it. Whatever came out of it will be your benefit. As the wise have always said, all that happens, always happens for the best. Sometimes things seem how worthless, sometimes things against our desire, sometimes they are as we wish them to be. This at the same time which point of fact, they all are fulfilling the message of destiny and therefore it is the only thing that is best for us. But this we only realize if we are wakened to this secret of life.

And now about your attitude to those around you. What you think about that? Those who do not value your point of view, who do not appreciate your efforts in the spiritual path, who cannot understand you, and yet you are placed in that surrounding, in your home or in the place where you work, or they are your friends around you. You must not urge upon them your point of view, not show your attitude. That is a wrong tactic. To show in every way that you are more evolved than they, that you are different from them, that your ideals are loftier than theirs, to be exclusive, is not the right thing to do. If your ideal is loftier, if your feelings are deeper, your thoughts higher, be thankful that you have them. But do not show your treasures, “look at my diamond” or “my ruby” or “my emerald”. If it is appreciated you do not need to say this diamond is so valuable.

You do not need to talk and others diamond so valuable about it, you may just as well not show them if they are greater or better qualities. By acting as they all do, by being friends, or chum or equal, certainly you will win the heart affection. And that will do much more good than by keeping aloof and exclusive, thinking different from others. The more we are evolved, the more we must bend like a fruitful tree. The tendency of the tree that bears fruit is to bow low.

And now your attitude to those to whom you have a certain duty.

If you considered it only a duty, it is nothing but captivity, slavery.

But if duty becomes your pleasure, then it is a virtue. Then if you please others, you satisfy yourself. But one might think, If I do not consider it my duty, you must awaken to the fact that it is your duty.

It is of no use ignoring that there is such a thing in life as duty. But you will say, “Why? I do not need to consider my duty to those around me,” then what about others? And my answer is you have a duty towards all, not only to your relations and to your friends, but to strangers and to everyone you meet in life there is a duty; and to all those with whom you have to do in life, whether they seem more living or fixed in a place, you have to take it all smoothly and with great pleasure. Then you will look at it differently and find pleasure in duty. It is very easy to say, I do not like duty, I go away from it. It is also easy to say, I do not consider my duty towards this person. But that does not take you away from the fact that somewhere you are bound by duty. It means only a regard, a regard to what is right.

And if one asked, W ell, but what is right? The answer is that whatever you consider at a certain time right is right. If not, discuss about right the whole life, never to understand of right.38 Right of today is not right of tomorrow. Therefore, for today there is a right and for tomorrow there is another right which tomorrow will just.

In this world we are evolving every day, evolved conception, right

32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

“with” instead of “and” “diam ond so valuable” om itted “others’” instead of “heart” “showing” instead of “thinking” “and” om itted “only m eans” instead of “m eans only” this sentence om itted “which tom orrow will just” om itted and wrong different . It is not necessary that the today right is the right of tomorrow at the same time . As sincerely we see a thing right, then that is right just now.

And now coming to the question of our attitude toward those who belong to the Sufi Movement, members . This attitude should necessarily be more tender, more gentle, and more sympathetic for the very reason that destiny has brought us together. That is the reason behind it. Destiny has not brought us together without purpose. And even our sympathetic attitude towards one another shall become a power without this great struggle . We should not look for struggle; life itself is struggle. And if we allow the struggle to be greater, it only means that we are going backwards. Among mureeds there is this opportunity of practising right manner, right attitude. So do others in world.47 You will find some who appeal to you, others not do not come up to your ideal; there will be some who will seem to have shortcomings, some will think much of their talent, of their evolution. But if you will think that they all have gathered together to be benefited by one another’s evolution. If you are more evolved you will be thankful that they may share your evolution. If you are less evolved, you will share their evolution, more evolved.

The sign of the evolved one is modesty, humility, gentleness. By that a person shows evolution, not by saying that I know this or that , I have read twenty thousand books, and by disputing about all those matters. Sympathy is the key to all things. And if we waken that heart quality within us in everyday life, we shall be profited by evolved conception, right and wrong different” it so much as words cannot explain. Because by sympathy and goodwill we partake of all that is worthwhile in this world; from morning till evening we are making a profit, we do not know what it will amount to. A person can calculate the interest that comes from his money in the bank, but he does not know the interest from sympathetic attitude that is shown to all those around him from morning till evening . No wealth can be compared with it. No one can steal it, it is your own, and you can depend upon it. It is a living wealth which is a phenomenon itself.

My mureeds, therefore I wish to emphasize again to you that this is not a movement of occult powers or of psychic phenomena… in the mist. Those are all secondary things behind , and you are not pursuing them. That we have united together in the initiation of the

Sufi Order in order that we may come to that stage one day, quickly or slowly, how it happens to a person, that stage where we begin to express that divine personality, the spark of which is hidden in our hearts. If we have attained this, we have fulfilled the purpose of being human beings, and what else do you want? We do not wish to perform wonders; that is not our wish or aim. It is to become what our deepest feeling wants us to be one day. We must become that to what our soul is guiding us and yearning to be one day. We must work towards the fulfilment of that particular desire.

53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.

“of ” instead of “from ” “from m orning till evening” om itted “and” om itted “phenom ena” instead of “phenom enon” a row of dots indicates m issing text “behind” om itted “we” instead of “you” “But” instead of “That”

Yes, you will continue your practices, your meditations and studies, and use them in your everyday life, and know that the blessing of your Murshid is always with you.

God bless you.

61. S ufis use the word m urshid to indicate a spiritual guide; here, it refers to Inayat

Khan him self, and thus the upper case M; for m urshid, see G lossary

A typescript prepared by Kism et Stam

Detroit, February 1st, 1926

message given over the radio by inayat khan

Beloved ones of God,

The message that I am destined to bear to you is not the message of the East to the West but the message of heaven to the earth, the message of God to man. It is time now that humanity may be warned, not necessarily by a particular creed but by wisdom’s message, which is the essence of all religions, to waken to that reality which is the underlying truth of all religions.

What humanity has needs no increasing, for it increases all the same. The plant of wealth bears fruits in abundance if only it was reared attentively. What we need to consider today is the question, what makes us poor in spite of all treasures that the earth can hold for us?

Man knows so little about the purpose of his life, and so, through success and failure both, he remains discontented, and yet he does not know what his soul is yearning for, what really the purpose of his life is. The one who really knows the purpose of his life is really blessed. Some think duty is the great virtue, others think riches is the greatest boon; some, thinking life here is for four days, prepare for the hereafter, and some think, who knows what will come after this?

The only thing is to make the best of the present. Each of these have their own way and that is the best for them, but each individual has a certain purpose in life peculiar to himself. His heart cannot rest until this purpose is realized. Even the knowing of one’s life purpose

D ocum ents:

Km .tp.= = br.

= a typescript m y Kism et Stam . M ost likely, a text was prepared in advance for this radio address, and therefore it did not need to be taken down in shorthand, and Km . m ade this typescript from that text. a typescript prepared by Sakina Furnée or under her supervision, alm ost identical to Km .tp. a printed brochure, with a lightly edited version of the talk, followed by som e explanatory m aterial.

Notes: 1., br.: “to” om itted 2. Br.: “his” instead of “one’s” gives a soul a renewed inspiration and power to accomplish it. As it is said, “Blessed is he who seeth the star of his soul as the light that is seen in the port from the sea.”3 The ultimate purpose of all souls is one and the same; that is, to realize the inner being, thereby to rise above the limitations of the life on earth.

An instinct is an inborn wisdom in the lower creation, so is intuition in man; the finer the man the greater is his intuition, though every fine soul more or less gets an impression of persons and conditions and of affairs. No dream, how much meaningless it may seem, is ever without meaning. But vision which is manifest in sleep or in wakened condition often illustrates the actual condition. It is the intuitive which are inspirational. Without inspiration art, poetry, music are as nothing. It is the inspired ones whose works live for centuries and retain the same charm forever. Revelation is the culmination of knowledge. Life is communicative, but there is no communication between the soul and life when we do not see and hear with the eyes and ears of our heart. Once we begin to see and hear, we shall say with the Sufi that every leaf of the tree becomes a page of the holy scriptures , for the soul has opened its eyes and has begun to read.

Much on this subject can be said and it is never said enough. But time is limited. So now I must thank you for your response, my invisible audience.

God bless you.

The Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 1st, 1926

the freedom of the soul

Beloved ones of God,

It is my privilege to speak to you this evening on the subject of the freedom of the soul—man in pursuit after freedom seeks captivity.

The more we study life the more we shall find that the various ways that we adopt in order to come to freedom very often lead to a greater captivity. Leaving the life of individuals we come first to nations. The life as it is today, a person cannot go from one nation to another nation without showing his passport. He is not free; he is a captive. There are a thousand conventionalities which is to meet before can enter other country.3 And one might ask, is one at home in his own country? Does he feel free there? But even there he is not quite free. There are conventionalities, rules,4 regulations made by convenience of mankind, at the same time making the life of man more and more difficult. Today an architect is not free to express his soul’s freedom, is to abide by the laws of that particular town. A composer has to keep within the rules of harmony that the other writers of music have recognized, cannot express himself free. A play

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et S tam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. the phrase “— m an in pursuit after freedom seeks captivity” om itted “nation” om itted this sentence om itted, which accounts for its fragm entary wording “and” instead of “, rules,” “for the” instead of “by” this entire passage om itted, accounting for it fragm entary wording writer has to keep to the technique, poet to observe the poetic rules, anyone has limitation, cannot express himself freely. Reason: not yet understood the real meaning of freedom.

They say in the East that an infant cries the moment it is born on earth and the reason of its cry is that the soul finds itself in another world, a world of captivity. The ancient Hebrew traditions have pictured it more beautifully. They say God made the body of man first from clay and then commanded the soul to enter into this statute.

And the soul refused to enter into this prison saying, “I have always been free. I will not be imprisoned in this prison.” God said to the angels, “Sing and dance.” Hearing the songs of angels, the soul went in ecstasy, and in its mad ecstasy it entered this captivity.

If one were to ask me what is the reason of the misery one experiences on earth, for each misery one will give a certain cause.

But if I were to answer in one answer the reason of all miseries, it is limitation. If one has freedom on one side, there is limitation on the other. And it is the limitation of every kind which can keep man miserable in spite of all things of this earth he may have. 10But the greatest limitation is not to be able to express one’s predisposition.

In other words, the soul is able to see more than the eyes can see. The soul is able to hear more than ears can hear. The soul is able to extend much further than man can journey. The soul is able to dive deeper than the depth that man can ever touch. Soul able to reach higher than man can reach by any means. It is therefore the soul realizes continually through life a limitation, as a fish would realize being out of water and a bird would realize being its wings trimmed.10 How much man is absorbed in his everyday life, he is almost drunken by all that he sees and perceives and by all that he occupies himself with, and yet with that drunkenness ask him to sit quiet and feel himself and be sober for a while and say if you are really happy, the answer will be, “No, there is something lacking.”

You can ask a man living in a palace or in a hut, ask a wise man or a foolish man, whatever be his profession or occupation, if he is really contented. The answer will be no, although he does not yet know what it is that keeps him discontented. It will be difficult for a thoughtful soul to answer. Perhaps thoughtless ones will be ready to say something. As reason is at the call of man, as soon as a person thinks, “Why am I discontented?”, the reason tells him something: because you have not as much money as you should have, or as much comfort as you ought to have, or because you have not got the position which you should have, or your friends are not convenient, your enemies are troublesome, or because you are not in the environment in which you ought to be. But there is always a reason behind a reason. And what is this reason? Reason is a screen.

Behind it there is something else hidden. As long as a person depends upon reason he does not know his mind. Reason changes; point of view changes too . Today this is his reason while so unhappy, and then he will find another reason why he is so unhappy.

And if you find behind all different reasons that man can give for his discontentment, it is one reason, a continual yearning of the soul to experience that life of fullest expression in this outer sphere, which in this captivity on the earthly plane the soul is deprived of.

Rumi , the great poet of Persia, whose book Masnavi is considered a living scripture—in the East from childhood Rumi’s scripture is taught, in Arabia, Persia, Egypt, a living scripture which always touches the deepest depth of man—he says that the soul is likened to a reed. This reed which is made into a little flute, holes are made into its heart. And it cries remembering that day when it was one with the stem, when it was attached to its source and when it drew its life from that source to which it was attached. The day it was separated from it, the first thing man did was to make holes in does not seem to belong here 20. For Jalal-ud-D in R um i and his Masnavi, see List his heart, and that made it cry. And its cry became that music which pierced into the souls of those who heard it. It made them cry also.

And furthermore, Rumi says, “Why do people weep over my words?

It is for the same reason that as a piece of reed I have become separate from my source. And mankind has made holes into my heart. Therefore, what comes out of me is that lamentation which becomes the music which appeals to the waking souls.” Is it not true, the great musicians of all ages and the great poets and thinkers, mystics and prophets who have made appeal to the human heart, is it not that it is the power that they had in the depth of their heart which has come from realizing that separateness and from discovering that natural yearning which is in every soul?

And now one may ask, But what is the soul? Today in this world of science and when materialism him is so much prevailing, that there are fewer every day who even believe in such thing as soul.

They say, “Is it not the body? That is the only thing about us that we know. And after death what is there? And if there is soul, we have never seen it.” My answer to them is that nothing comes out of nothing. This is the idea, that human being is the flower of this tree of manifestation, and that intelligence has developed gradually through mineral, through vegetable and animal kingdom, and so has manifested more fully through man. But is it not intelligence, after all, which was the source of all things? How can matter develop into intelligence? If they take half the process, half they forget. It is intelligence which is the source. And it is the captivity of intelligence in the matter which we see. Therefore, we see manifestation begins from matter. And as it manifests in man we think man is a development of matter. In reality, man identifies himself wrongly with the material part of his being, for the body is only a cover over the real man. Real man is soul itself. But one says, “I don’t see soul,

I see my body.” My answer is, the eyes can never see themselves; they can see all other things. As soul is intelligence, it can see all

23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

other things, but cannot see itself. The very fact that it cannot see itself makes it the real self. Besides, all things that we can point out, which are intelligible to ourselves, we call them “my table,” or “my chair,” so we call our body “my body”. Naturally the body is not the self. But as man does not know himself, he thinks the body is the self. If an actor were to play on the stage with a mask, those who will recognize him will recognize him with the mask. They don’t know what is behind. So it is with the soul. Manifestation of the soul is only seen through the body. Therefore, one identifies oneself with the body, which keeps one ignorant with soul.

Now coming further into this subject, if soul is intelligence, where does it come from, what is it in essence? All the scriptures of the past agree, as well as the philosophers of all countries, that the source and goal of all things is the intelligent one. But if it is the intelligence itself, why call it intelligent one? Because it is a being; it is not a thing, not a condition. It is first the being, and then all conditions and all things. It is a great mistake when man considers himself a being, a person, and recognizes his own personality, and when it comes to the source and goal of all things, he says it is a force, it is an intelligence. And a person wants to go away so much from the idea of recognizing a person behind all, that they like to say gods instead of God. Instead of calling him the divine being, they say the forces. They would like to turn into plurality the source and goal and which remains through the whole process and all stages of evolution one and the same. The oneness of the spirit is so great that even in this world of variety, where there are millions and billions in the form of man, yet every man is unique. No one has his like anywhere to be found in the world. This nature is the proof that behind this manifestation, behind this world of variety, there is one spirit and there is one being.

One might ask, what relation then the soul has with this being whom we call God? The relation between a soul and the spirit is the same as there is between the sun and the rays. There are many rays

29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

“of the” instead of “with” “a” instead of “the” “people want” instead of “a person wants” “the” om itted “and” om itted and yet it is the same sun. Only it is a manifestation of the sun which has taken a form of variety. In the centre it remains the same one being, but in spreading out it becomes many. You may call it many rays, but at the same time it is the same sun, it is one. But then one will say, Then what is this individuality? Individuality is a condition which the soul goes through, it is three conditions that soul passes in order to become a finished human being. The first condition may be called the angelic world, a world which is closest to the sun. Man has pictured angels in his own form and attached two wings and put them on clouds, but what else could he do? Everyone is capable of imagining anything according to his own way of thinking. No one can think of a new thing. There is no such thing as new. According to the saying of Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun. It is the novelty of imagination that is new.

In reality it is every soul who has to pass through the angelic plane. There is no soul, however wicked, who has not the effect of that plane through which it has passed. The character of that plane is innocence, joy, love, sympathy, harmony, beauty. Those who are more impressed by that plane show on the earth also angelic qualities. Sometimes we call them simple people. Sometimes we say they are innocent. And sometimes we call them old souls. And they show the traits of goodness and beauty throughout life. A clever man says, “He is too good to live.” Perhaps they are not so perfect in this world as this world wants them to be. But at the same time there is much one can appreciate in those people who have innocence as their principal quality. When we study the life Christ and the great ones, the greatest thing in their personality was innocence and simplicity.

We are in a habit to seek for complexity, greater learning, greater wisdom in complexity. We ignore the beauty of sympathy and the virtue of innocence. If anyone were to ask me to tell what is the sign of spirituality, I would say innocence.

As the soul projects itself further, it touches that plane of genius.

Inventive quality, poetic gift, music, inspiration, talent of writing, and all such things, they belong to the plane of genius. There are many in this world who are genius. But at the same time, they cannot make a success because they are not practical, although they are qualified enough to live in this world; nevertheless, they are great just the same in the work that they are gifted . In my travelling throughout the Western countries I had the privilege of meeting some great personalities, specially some musicians. And they impressed me as just the same thing that is in the East: that a great person is great person all over, not only in what he does, but in what he is.

Perhaps in action is done something great, but by doing that he has become great in his person. That is a most interesting thing to notice. I saw the wife of Debussy telling me, “I have to see the publisher for him, interesting to see the publisher to see. He is only capable of writing.” The worldly things he could not manage perfectly.

Scriabin was not a rich man, but his soul was so engrossed in music, so interesting to talk on the subject of music and connection to spirituality. But at the same time, on the question of worldly things, he knew very little about it. I do not mean to say that man must be angel or genius, I only mean to say that there are persons who show the deep impression they have on their soul on planes they have passed through. One has a deeper impression and shows the qualities of that plane; another one does not, not show those qualities.

And so, by passing through these two planes, the soul manifests on the surface that is the physical plane. The soul that functions perfectly on the physical plane is the well-balanced soul. I do not mean by well-balanced soul what is called a practical man or man of common sense. For a man to be a complete personality it is not sometimes the common sense and practicality which is necessary, but

35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.

For D ebussy, see List

For Scriabin, see List

an insight into the deeper life that is wanted in order to give man balance.

The greatest error of the modern education is that it qualifies man to become qualified to guard his own interest in the life of competitions. But are what are they doing? They are making life more and more difficult. Imagine! In this country, the United States, which is a happier country than many in the world, what struggle it is for every person, rich and poor both; how the minds are absorbed from morning till evening in order to keep the little work they have.

Their nerves are shattered, their lives become short, and at the end of their life they begin to think, “Have we lived? We don’t know the world, we don’t know life.” The amount of struggle to go through for everyone is a great question to consider, unless studies life.

Numberless persons I have met who do not know what they do next week. Today is all right. Next week they do not know. Life is becoming uncertain, the burden is becoming greater. What do they say? That we are progressing. But towards what? Freedom? No, towards captivity. The greater and greater load of duty and responsibility is put on our shoulders. Perhaps it is worst in Europe, perhaps it is worst in the East, greatest of all.

And the cause of it all is the lack of the understanding of freedom.

One must see in another direction in order to see the moon; one must not see the Earth, one must see in another direction. You will read in the Bible, also in Qur’an, also in Vedanta, one and the same thing, and that is: die before death. What is it? It is something that the man today does not know, he does not care to know. The central theme of today’s life is self-asserting. When a person speaks about himself he wants to make himself ten times more important than he is. He cannot help it; if he does not do so, the others will not understand. I have heard one man say to the other, “Your modesty is your greatest misfortune.” Every man has to be self-asserting, continually to guard

48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54.

“prepares” instead of “qualifies” “by guarding” instead of “to guard” “are” om itted “unless studies life” om itted “A” instead of “The” “worse” instead of “worst” “, greatest of all” om itted his interests in order to live only. For there are many who toil from morning till evening and guard self-interest and think about nothing else. And what is it all for? In order to exist. Even germs and worms exist and enjoy life much better. Birds fly in the air; they are quite happy. Man is loading his heart with thousand troubles, making his responsibilities greater, and what does he gain? Nothing in the end.

His health is spoiled, his spirit wrecked. In the end he does not know where he is. He does not know where is his spirit. If he has nothing here, he has not anything in the hereafter. The whole thing is nuisance. Many die in this spirit and have never given thought to the deeper side of life. Not that they did not care for it, but they could not do it. They had too much to do in life. That die before death, that does not mean making a suicide. It only means to play death. And by playing death one can soften that self-asserting ego which is man’s worst enemy. And no one can imagine, unless he had practised, what benefit he had derived by crushing this worst enemy. If thoughtfully said: to make war with another is war, and to make a war with oneself is peace. To play death means self-denial; I do not mean by self-denial to deny all the beauty and all the comfort and happiness of this earth, for if a person denied all the beauty and comfort of this earth, still he may remain egoistic what denied his ego.

There is a story which explains this idea more clearly. A king had a pet parrot. The king and queen loved it, admired it, took great care of it. One day the king was going in the woods for shooting. He said, “Please, parrot, I am going in the same woods from where you were brought, is there some message I can said to your fellow creatures?” The parrot said, “Yes, I would be much obliged if you take my message. Tell them please that I am very unhappy since I have left you all. I long for that freedom which I experienced in the woods and association with my fellow creatures. Although the king and queen are both sympathetic to me, they keep me in a golden cage.” On arriving in the woods, the king looked and said, “Parrots, one of your brothers is in my palace and it has sent you a message.

It is unhappy since it has left you and longs to be in this sphere where

55. 56. 57. 58.

“For” om itted “in this spirit” om itted “ignorant” instead of “egoistic” “say” instead of “said” it was free to dwell. But it does not know that ever it shall be free.”

On hearing this, the parrots dropped on the ground one after the other. And the king was so impressed by it. Instead of killing more birds, he went home. He said, “So many lives I have ruined by giving this message.” The king came near the parrot and said, “How foolish to give these this message! W hen I told it, one after the other they dropped on the earth and were dead.” The parrot looked up, heaved a sigh and dropped. The king said, “I thought the parrot was foolish, but I think I am foolish to say this. Now I have lost the last one.” The king commanded that the parrot be taken and buried in ground, taken to bury . The servants came with a gold tray and took the dead bird out of its cage. But as soon as it was out of the cage, it flew and sat on the roof. The king asked, “What is it, parrot, you surprise me.”

The parrot said, “My friends did not die. They played death. They gave me the lesson which I asked them to give.”

There is no freedom without death. This is the secret of the Sufis, of thinkers, of mystics, of those who have arrived at the knowledge of reality. Instead of waiting till after death, they have played death here is on earth. And they have arrived at this knowledge by experiencing actually this condition, playing, dying before death.

And you may say , Is it so difficult? Is it really difficult? In answer

I say no. In the first place a good actor on the stage is one who forgets himself entirely. A good musician is he who forgets himself.

At the time when he is in music, his soul becomes music. He is not there. Everyone who has done great works in life has practised selfdenial. W ithout self-denial no one has attained. Is it not playing death? It is. It is a sort of death when a person does not think of himself, but of the thing that he wants to accomplish. There are many in this world who do not know how far they have reached spiritually, even in doing material things.

One day in my travellings I was the guest of a man who was a businessman. All his life he did nothing but making a success in his business. When I came I talked with him and he spoke with me the deepest philosophy one could speak. This gave me the proof of what

59. 60. 61. 62.

“these” om itted “in ground, taken to bury” om itted “is” om itted “ask” instead of “say”

I have always believed, that whatever you do, whatever you do thoroughly, it means you have played death. What patience is needed to accomplish anything, what sacrifice is needed. How much one has to be absorbed in it, how much to think about it. The one who does it knows it. Even through worldly things a person comes to understand philosophical ideas, spiritual truth. If things are done thoroughly. But jack of all trades and master of nothing accomplishes nothing, whether it is material or spiritual.

Nevertheless, the time has come that the deeper side of life must not be denied. One must not keep ignorant of something most interesting, most important: that is, to know the real meaning of freedom and to understand the purpose of life.

God bless you. m ore”, which, however, does not fit in the context

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 2nd, 1926

the purpose of life

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak on the subject of the purpose of life. I must apologize, having forgotten my subject yesterday; therefore, today I must speak on the subject of yesterday, the purpose of life.

It is said in the Persian literature by the great poet Sa<di that every soul is born with a certain purpose ad the light of that purpose is kindled in that soul. Therefore, every person comes in the world with this purpose to accomplish and when he cannot accomplish that purpose, how much successful he may be, he remains discontented.

In the first place, success is difficult to be obtained if that was not the purpose of that soul. But even if a soul who was not purposed to take a certain line, and if was successful in that line, it means that he could have done better in another line. There are hundreds and thousands in this world who never think about the purpose of their life. They toil from morning till evening unceasingly and remain discontented and grudging about the work they are doing. And perhaps they never might have success and even to this day wonder if this is the purpose of their life. And no one can ever be content, even if he lived for five hundred years in this world, if he does not know the purpose of his life.

There are four different ways that people take in order to

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. For Sa<di, see List accomplish something in life. One way is the way of duty. This person attaches a great importance to something that he considers his duty and he recognizes what is right and wrong from that point of view. He considers his duty as the great virtue; the accomplishment of it is the greatest acquirement, be it a worldly duty or social work, or a work of another kind, e.g. a political work. But as long as one is absorbed in the idea of duty, he considers that accomplishment of duty as an attainment.

And there is another way, which is the way of pleasure. Man says life on earth is four days, a transitory condition and passing state. Why not enjoy ourselves and be gay? As they say it, drink and make merry. What one has enjoyed, that is his own; what one has experienced, that he has seen. He does not know what will happen, what is to follow, he is concerned with the moment, the present and that he considers his life’s purpose.

And there is a third person who has another way, that is the way of religion. He things that life in this world, anyway, will pass, but that it is the hereafter that he must think about. If we prepare for the hereafter we have accomplished something, but what is attained on the earth must be all left here. We go there empty handed. It is natural that in youth, the thoughtful earns for his age; therefore, in his lifetime the thoughtful soul works for the hereafter.

But then there is the fourth way, and that is the way of collecting wealth. One says, “If there is anything important, that is to collect wealth.” If one is rich, one can give to others to get things, spend one’s money for charitable purposes, enjoy life, accomplish one’s duty with greater facility. So that is best.

But in reality each of these four ways is right for the one to whom it belongs. It is in vain that the man who has one of these ways criticizes the others. He does not know his way is better for him 5.

Naturally a religious man would criticize a person who collects money all his life. “What is he doing, collecting money? He ought to be religious and godly also!” And the man of pleasure will be criticized by the man who loves his duty and sacrifices all comfort and convenience of life in order to accomplish it. Those who are made for a certain life are made for it. The horn is not made to sound as the clarinet, and the flute is not made to sound like a drum. Each instrument is for its own purpose, used for that particular sound which the musician expects from them. From each we must expect to accomplish the purpose of his life and not to look at others. That is where we make mistakes, and we very often criticize the others not knowing the right way. Even a person who enjoys a glass of wine, he criticizes the other one who lives on vegetarian diet. He says, “How foolish to give up this pleasure. Imagine what is the use of it all, to sacrifice it all! We are here for four days only. Why trouble about it?”

And now coming to the question if these ways are the only ways in each soul’s journey towards the purpose of life. Now these are the four royal roads, but each person has his own way. Each person is as an instrument that has to play its part in the symphony of life, and when he is not in his proper place and not doing his proper work, he is not satisfied, nor are the others satisfied with him. There are many people in this world who are wrongly placed in life. All tragedy in life is being wrongly placed. People may be in comfortable surroundings, highly placed, they may have wealth, all the qualifications, ability, education, and yet either they are discontent or they make others uncomfortable. Why? Because they are wrongly placed, in the factory, in the office, in the house, in their business place. However much this person is occupied, if that is not his proper place, if he is not accomplishing the purpose of his life, he is doing wrong without knowing it, he creates unhappiness for himself and others. Do you not hear your friends say, “I am not content with the work I am doing, or with the life I have,” compelled to leave if not tired of life, that, “I have everything and yet I am not content.”

In answer to all these things, if were to explain why, I will say they are not on that line where they are accomplishing the purpose of their life. It is just like the flute played in the place of the baritone, and the drum played in the place of the cymbals; it is out of place.

When man is out of place, he does not feel at home. He may be at home, but he is not at home. He may be in his own country, but he is not in his place. Many leave their own country for the same reason.

They feel, “It is not my place.” Many are quite happy away from their country, their birthplace. What does it show? It shows that the situation in life which enables one to accomplish his life’s purpose is his home. He is at home in that situation. May be comfortably housed, in wonderful office.

Right and wrong, good and bad also can be interpreted according to the purpose of life. That which leads to the purpose of life is right, and that which takes one away from the purpose of life is wrong. All that enables man to arrive at the purpose of life is good, and all that pulls man back from arriving at the purpose of life is evil. For instance, there were two students; one was a student of literature and the other was a student of medicine. Both were preparing for their examination. There was a play in that town where they lived. Both wished very much to go and spend a pleasant evening, but since for both their examination was before them, one of them said, “We cannot spare one moment.” The other one said, “What does it matter?” They did go one evening, and that evening was spent in the pleasure of looking at the play and it was lost for study. One felt the loss; the one who was student of medicine gained nothing by it. The other was inspired, was helped by it, and got many ideas from the play he saw. Is on the action, action which draw , leads you.11 If a certain action leads you to the purpose of your life, it is good, but if it draws you away from it, it is evil. Apparently one thing may seem evil, but in reality it is different; one thing may seem good, but in reality it is the opposite.

Very few will look at right and wrong by this point of view.

Those whose beliefs are fixed by principles prescribed to them by religion follow the law of the community. But one comes to the right point of view when one looks at evil, good, right and wrong from the point of view of the purpose of life. Then alone there is a right

9. This sentence om itted in hw. the opposite” conception of the distinctions man has made between good and evil.

There is a story that a religious man was offering his prayers to the God of heavens in an open field and a village girl was passing by that way. And the rule of the orthodox is that no one must pass where a religious person is praying. When after some time the girl returned by the same way, this man, as he had finished his prayers, said to the girl, “How foolish, oh girl, to have passed by this way while I was praying!” The girl was astonished, and said, “Did I? I did not know.

But,” she said, “what were you doing?” “I was praying to God.” She said, “Praying to God? I was going to see my young man, and in his thought I could not see you and I cannot understand how could you see me when you were thinking of God.” One lost his purpose, the other got it. Her sin was virtue and the virtue of this man was sin, for he did not pursue sincerely the way he had taken. She accomplished the purpose of her life and the man did not.

There is another angle of looking at this, that even little things that one takes in hand to finish them during the day, which amount to nothing, if impatiently one does not finish them, and puts them away, one loses even more himself than actual loss. The value is not in action doing , but in accomplishment of it. These little things accomplished give greater energy and power and inspiration than the thing itself. It is the spirit with which we work and it is the thought and inspiration put into it, with which we will and hope to accomplish it, it is that which counts, and the person who cannot do little works cannot do big things also . Besides, those who do big things, the best way for them is to make them small, and those who do small things, the best way for them is to make them big. The secret of success and failure from a psychological point of view is very subtle. Often it is failure which brings failure; often it is success which leads to success. It is the impression of success which adds to a person a greater power to accomplish something, and it is the impression of failure which takes away from the inspiration, from the power of man, and makes him feel two times worse. The person who fidgets about his work and thinks, “I am not content with it, not satisfied, not interested in it,” lives a useless life. Whatever work one has undertaken one should accomplish it. But at the same, time the wisest thing possible is to distinguish that work which calls from the innermost being.

One may ask, Why should only the religious man, the priest be called for religious, spiritual work? Why should not every soul be called for a certain work? In reality, every soul is called. Not every soul hears, not every soul is hearing of the call. It is most important; it is never too late and never too early to hear that call. It is worthwhile even to hear that call of the purpose of life even at the end of one’s life; even then one can accomplish something. It is better than not hearing it at all.

And now coming to the purpose of the collective life. Each person has a particular purpose in his life to accomplish, but there is a purpose that can be accomplished by all. There is no soul who can remain without accomplishing that purpose sooner or later. That purpose is spiritual attainment. It is a great mistake when people say that the unbelievers and wicked ones and the materialistic people will remain backward on the religious and spiritual path to the purpose of life. No, they are born for it. Sooner or later they will be attracted to it. That purpose for every soul is one and the same purpose, that is returning to that divine glory and spiritual grandeur, returning to that heavenly splendour and to that eternal peace. That is the purpose of every life, and it is in returning towards that purpose that our lives are occupied. Often we do not know it. Do you think that those who never think about spiritual attainment remain in the same place where they are? No, they are going forward, even if they do not know it. If one does not seek spiritual attainment, the spirit seeks him; he is not left out.

Only, there is a difference of his coming to the spiritual realization and the other four different ways. One person comes to spiritual attainment just like a drunken man who has drunk and is walking through a certain road, he does not know which road it is and where it leads to, he cannot enjoy all that is around him, he is

16. 17. 18. 19.

“of ” om itted “even” om itted “between” instead of “of ” “O ne person com es to spiritual attainm ent just like” om itted only taken by intoxication. He knows only what he knows, what his mind is focussed to; he is deprived of that beautiful journey he could had made if he were sober. At the end he has arrived at the same place. Is this not the condition of many persons going through life: through success, failure, sorrows, pains? And yet the conditions of their life are pushing them on going, not knowing where they are going. Yet life is pushing them forward, bringing them to the end to which they are bound. There are not many ends; the final end is the same. The most wicked, the greatest sinner is only deprived of his pleasure, of the way he would have seen, of the state of the place. He could have valued things of value, admired things of art, enjoyed beauty and harmony. Instead of that he was drunk, he was intoxicated. Perhaps he fell down twenty times and was lifted up; perhaps he was laughed at by people in that way that was taken. That is the same picture of life. Who does not know where he goes is pushed by destiny, but must arrive at the same end where all must come.

And there is another way, which is the way of the businessman.

He buys and sells; what he gives is returned to him in some way. He is interested in buying and selling, he passes his time in business, and the honesty and intelligence and wisdom he shows in business, that brings him to the same point. And that is the way of a good person, a person who is quite sympathetic and honest, he who wants to do what little good he can to his fellowmen, is the businessman.

Because, even if he will not search for good, he sells at a just price, he will be keen, he loves business as such.

No soul can get away with anything that does not belong to him, and if one gets away the higher government will trace him. If he goes away from one country in another country, it is the same government there. And therefore immediate success and failure must not be regarded. Really speaking, the law of giving and taking is so great and so true that we must always take what is given and give what we take. Nothing we can take from this world without paying the price for it. If not advanced in cash, if not in cash, the bill will be

20. 21. 22. 23.

presented to us sooner or later. Whatever we borrow of whatever worth from this earth, we shall have to pay in thousand different ways. We do not know it. If we knew it, we would first have to recognize the justice of all things. So one person goes on further. The more honest one is in business, the better one goes; the less honest one is, the less one is to favour. But with give and take one makes the journey, and one arrives at a stage where one finds spiritual attainment.

Yes, there is one remark one can make on this subject: There are those who are in habit to attain success by dishonesty, by injustice, and there will be punishment. And there are those who cannot make success by honesty and with goodness. If they want to be honest and good, they will have failure. Share their own success there will be punishment. What is earthly success? It is a robe given to him who is deprived of goodness. Those who make a success with honesty and with justice, their success depends upon the amount of justice they put in their work. If it is less, success is less also.

Once I had a wonderful conversation with a businessman who told me his business philosophy. He told me he took precious stones to sell in rich people’s houses and sometimes, he said, there was a temptation, especially when he took them to a rich man’s house, and a lady was especially pleased with a stone. Then he thought, “I want to ask much more money for it than its real value.” “And,” he said, “whenever I did it, that day I could not sell, I could not have success, because something within myself when asked that price. Not influence of selling. Furthermore he said, “I cannot understand it.

There are so many businessmen who would never allow such a success and opportunity to be lost.” I said, “Yes, it is so. They who are who can attain success in that way; they can be successful, but not you. But your success, even if was less than that of others, as the success of an honest man is as good.” A man whose conscience is satisfied and whose heart is contented is much greater, incomparably greater than others. been crossed out of “They who are”

W hat is worldly success, after all? One day you may have gold and silver in the hand; it is snatched away another time. Purse of man a thousand evils has cost every day and has never been anyone’s friend. One day man has to leave all there from where he has got it and success is nothing if a person loses that great wealth which one finds within oneself, that restful condition of one’s conscience, that comfort of one’s heart, that power and enthusiasm to do greater and better work. If that is lost, what is the use of earthly success?

The third kind of person who goes towards a spiritual attainment is like a person who is asleep. There are many who know not where they have come from and where they are going. Many there are who are so much unsure of life, who do not know even what they are living for and what they must do. Perhaps they work all day long, perhaps they know their responsibility, perhaps they know their duty, perhaps they make a success, and yet they do not know what they are doing. This is not an example rarely to be found. Among one hundred persons, there are perhaps ninety who do not know their life, who do not know what is before them in store. What does our modern education provide for this lack of knowledge? We are taught history, grammar, geography, mathematics. This is our qualification.

Are we taught what is in us, how treat us, to bring about rest, comfort, peace, how to bring about inspiration, how to develop at least that power which can help us to go further? Education does not help us. And then, those who wish to know this knowledge, they wonder about it and want to see how to attain to it. If he is a simple person, he is led into wrong things, into spirit communication, where tables move, lanterns fall down, or into clairaudience. Sometimes, as long as their curiosity is satisfied, they go there and think it is something. The intelligent ones will say it does not satisfy them. They want to read, not what is taught in the university, that not will satisfy their curiosity. They want to read about a mahatma who for twenty years in the Himalaya has sat in meditation in a remote place. 32They

27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

For m ahatm a, see Glossary influence from planets, great influence. And that in Atlantis there is something wonderful after hundred years man’s face becomes face of bird. Say something new, not in university, is interesting those who cater, give something to make success. Spiritual ideal ruined in one side road by those wonders or curiosity. persons who think that read some occult , psychic book, have read this book, have read Yoga book. Do you believe in this or other useless talk?35 Nothing is accomplished by it; such is the condition, and that is where the seekers after truth have to go. Therefore, it is natural that those who are sincerely wanting to attain spirituality become tired, disappointed, and rather do everyday work in the factory or in the office than do something useless. Nor testify reason nor spirit.40 The actual condition, therefore, is that the hunger is ever so great for spiritually in America, where materialism has taken hold of the country and commercialism is prevailing. People have enough of it, to think that all is comfort, convenience is all. They must have something different, and yet they do not know what we must have.

When this is the condition, the purpose of life, naturally, is not satisfied, is not accomplished.

Now to say, in conclusion, what can satisfy the purpose of life?

The first step must be taken towards the purpose of our individual life, be it a profession, a business, or whatever enterprise it may be; to go through it, never to sacrifice it, never to leave it, never to get tired of it. Once accomplished, this gives greater power and greater inspiration to accomplish that purpose of life which is the purpose of all life.

Now you may ask how to attain to that purpose of life? My answer will be that what you are seeking for is in yourself. Only instead of looking outside we must look within ourselves, and how we can proceed to this accomplishment is that all your senses, such as sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, must be suspended for some moments in order to put a screen before the life which is outside.

And by getting into concentration and by developing that meditative quality, sooner or later we will get in touch with the inner self, which is more communicative and talks louder than all noises of the world, which gives joy and which creates peace and produces in you a selfsufficient spirit, a spirit of independence, of true liberty, the wisest democracy and best aristocracy. The moment you get in touch with yourself within yourself, you are in communion with God. It is in this way, if God communication is ever sought rightly, that the spirituality is attained.

God bless you.

Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 3rd, 1926

the secret of the spirit

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak this evening on the subject of the secret of the spirit.

I must explain first what is meant by spirit. There are four different explanations of the same word. One explanation is the essence. The spirit of rose means the essence of rose. The spirit of camphor means essence of camphor. And the second meaning of the spirit is as understood by many who call the soul that has left the body on earth, who has passed to the other side, they call it spirit.

And the third meaning of the spirit is the soul and mind working together make spirit. It is used in this sense when a person says, “The fellow seems to be low-spirited,” which means his mind and soul both are depressed. The one who says it may not define it in this way, but it is meant in this way. And the fourth meaning of the spirit is the soul of all souls, the source and goal of all things and beings from which all comes and to which all returns.

And now coming to the first meaning of the word spirit, the essence. The essence of flowers is honey, the essence of milk is butter, the essence of grapes is wine, and the essence of learning is

D ocum ents:

Km .sh.


Km .hw.


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: originally the fourth rather than the third m eaning; how ever, in Km .hw. it appears as the third, and in the lecture which follows it appears as the third, and so it has been left that way m eaning and two paragraphs have been inserted wisdom. Therefore wisdom is as sweet as honey and as nourishing as butter and as exalting as wine. Because in this essence which is wisdom there is honey, there is butter, there is wine.

There is a difference between intellect and wisdom. And very few define it, as very often people muddle these two words. Instead of saying wise they say clever. Instead of saying clever they say wise.

Wise and clever are two persons. Perhaps the wise one is clever, but the clever one is not wise. A person can be intellectual and yet not wise. But the wise can be intellectual also. Wisdom is composed of two things, outer experience and inner intuition. Outer experience is learning, inner intuition is inspiration. Learning and inspiration is wisdom. Learning alone is intellectual knowledge.

I was amused hearing a person say that, “I have written fifty books on philosophy and I have read perhaps five hundred books of all sorts and I have not yet come to understand, what do you mean by truth.” I said, “I am not surprised. Perhaps the more books you will read, the further you will be removed from truth. And the more books you will read the more your intelligence will be covered by veils of darkness.” I said, “Is truth in a book? Has anyone learnt truth from a book?” I do not mean to say learning has no place. Learning has its place in life. But learning is not all. There is something besides to perceive in order to realize wisdom. It is the book learning that makes people think very often they must know something new.

When I speak like this, as I am speaking, do you think it is not something which you have always heard, always known? Is it not simple? They make their own difficulty. Solomon has said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”3 So it always is and always will be.

The higher truth, the simpler it is. The simplest thing in life is the ultimate truth. As people make a confusion between clever and wise, between intellect and wisdom, so people make a confusion also between facts and truth. Everyone is ready to defend his argument from the knowledge that he has received from one moment’s experience. But what is a fact? Fact is a transitory truth. In other words, fact is a cover over truth. As long as a person is finding truth in facts he is groping into a darkness. One may say, “Has fact some

3. Ecclesiastes 1:9 4. A typed version of Km .hw. suggests adding “the” here, which seem s right relation with truth?” Yes, fact is the shadow of truth, as pleasure is the shadow of happiness. Neither is pleasure happiness, nor is fact truth. Often I have been asked by inquisitive people, “But can you explain what is truth?” And after trying hard I thought the last thing was to write on a little brick “truth” for them to hold in the hand, and to say, “Here is truth,5 tangible truth your hands can feel.” Do not consider it an exaggeration if I say that truth is that which cannot be spoken in words. And that which is spoken in words is not necessarily truth.

And now coming to the other meaning of the word spirit, this mechanism of the physical body, which works from morning till evening without winding, as a machine, and which stands through all the turmoil of life and which bears all the difficulties and which endures through everything that falls on it, one day falls flat, and that steam or electricity, whatever there was which kept it going, seems to depart suddenly. A physician says, “His heart failed, he died,” or, “The person was ill, he died,” or, “He could not endure the pressure of blood, or tension,” or something you like, as an explanation of death. It means the person who was active and sensitive is no longer active nor sensitive. The most important thing that was in him has left. So far the physician tells you. But what was there, he does not know. He will say heat, electricity, or something which has left him.

And now from the point of view of a mystic what has left this body was the person. This body was not the person. This body was a mask over that person. And when this mask is thrown, that invisible person has become visible. Not he, but only the mask has been thrown. He already is what he was. If there is a death it is the removing of the mask.

And now comes a question, how does it take place, how does it happen? And the answer is that there is a magnetic action between the person and the mask. It is the strength of the physical body which holds the spirit, and it is the strength of the spirit which holds the body. The physical body holds the spirit because it only lives by the life of the spirit and without spirit it is dead. And as every being, however small, struggles for life, this physical body tries to hold on to the spirit, and it holds on to the spirit to the last, as a lover of gold would hold it tight in his hand until his hand was paralyzed and he can no longer hold it and lets it drop. It does not mean he does not want it, it only means he cannot hold it any longer. And now from the part of the spirit, as long as the spirit was interested in the physical body, it held it, it permeated through it, embraced it. But no sooner it felt that it does not want it any more, it dropped it. It found that it has no purpose with it. And these both tendencies can be seen among persons, studied by understanding persons. There are persons who have perhaps reached an old age when they are doing nothing in the world, and yet each atom of their body is consciously holding the spirit or unconsciously to live any moment that they can possibly prolong their life. And so long as their strength allows them to hold the spirit, they live, and they live to a very old age. And there is another tendency to be seen, that there are some tired of life. They see no importance in this life of the earth. The value of things has become less in their eyes. They are disappointed in this transitory and changeable condition of the life on the earth. In the spirit they are feeling something quite different. Their tendency is to give up their physical bondage of the body. They would be glad if the spirit was separated from it. And yet the body unconsciously clings to the spirit just the same and keeps them as long as it can hold. This unwilling spirit, imagine, is held by the body.

In conclusion, death means separation of the body which is nothing but a garb over the spirit. The separation is between the body and the spirit. And now a person asks, “After this separation what follows?” The body which is left on the earth by the spirit is no longer living in the sense we understand life. And yet it is living. It is as if the fire was in the stove and even after the fire was extinguished the warmth was there. There is the smallest degree of spirit, but there is a life in it. Where there is no life, life cannot be created there. Life must come out of life. Life cannot come out of death. Even living creatures, worms and germs are coming out from added in lh. this dead body. How can life come if there was no life? There is a life, not in the sense we understand, but it is living just the same. I bring it to your notice in order to say there is nothing in this world which we can call without life, or dead. Every thing, every object that seems without life has somewhere some life there. And even after it is destroyed it is still living. If germs and worms manifest out of the dead body, we think it is finished. No, it is continued still; life is continued in various forms. It is never ended. It is ended that imprisonment that we recognize as such and such a person. But its existence is still going on, even its mortal existence, even the mask which was nothing.

And now we come to the spirit. That was the living part and it goes on living. When we say, “He has gone to the other world,” the other world is our conception and it is a beautiful conception too.

If I said that there is a great revolution taking place in the scientific world, it does not mean that the scientific world is outside of this world. Our great development in the mystical world does not mean that we are out of this globe. It is a conception, it is a beautiful way of putting it, and it is the best way one can do. “In the other world” means a world which is veiled from our eyes, our physical eyes, but that world does not mean a world far away from us and that which is not within our reach. The living and the dead, all are in the same space; we all live together, we all are together. Any veil separates us, the veil of this physical body. Separation is of not being able to see one another; there is no other separation.

One need not reach the seventh heaven in order to reach those who have passed. The one who really cares for them where there is a connection of love and sympathy, that itself causes nearness.

Maybe two persons are living in the same house, working together, speaking together, seeing each other every day, every hour, yet they may be as far apart from one another as North Pole and South Pole.

Two persons thrown by destiny miles away so that they cannot reach one another by life’s difficult situations, and yet they can be closer by one another than anyone outside can ever be. If that is true, that which fits the context gives a proof that those united together in their spirit, they may be thrown apart in the world, yet close together, that nothing stands between them. And therefore those who have departed from this earth, when there is a connection with someone on earth they are close together just the same. Nearness is nearness of the spirit, not of the physical body.

There was a talk about the sati . Sati in India was a custom that some wives devoted to their husbands used to be cremated with the husband. And there was a great horror about it. People thought differently. Someone spoke to me about it. I said, “Whether a person is cremated or buried, when two souls have become one, whether they are on earth or whether one is gone to the other place, still they are united. If person was living, that living person was dead here, living there where there is real unity. There is no separation. Nothing can separate two souls if they are really united.”

And now coming to the third meaning of the spirit, the mind and the soul together. One might ask, is the mind and soul together which makes the spirit, is that the part of one’s being which lives? I say not a part, but all. Overcoat is not a part of our being; it is an overcoat, it is an extra thing. It becomes a part, but it is not necessarily a part.

Real being is the spirit, the mind and the soul together. And if I were to explain further what mind means, I would say mind means a thinking quality, the reasoning quality, the quality of retaining thought, memory, and feeling. And if you were to ask what difference is there between mind and heart, I would say the surface of heart is mind, and the depth of mind is heart. It is the same thing.

When we realize mind profoundly, it is heart; when we look at heart superficially, it is mind. In other words that which profoundly touches the deepest depths of being is action of heart, which we feel in the centre of the body. That which makes our brain act is our mind. Nor mind is brain, nor heart is this piece of flesh in the breast.

Heart and mind is one and the same thing. Soul together with the

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

For sati, see G lossary

heart or mind makes spirit. But one might say it is uninteresting to live as spirit and not as a body. It might seem uninteresting because the person has not experienced on this earth how to be able to live independent of the physical body. It is on this ground that all mysticism has been based, how to be able to live independent of the physical body, how to live on earth as spirit, even for five minutes a day. This gives a conviction of being able to live and yet independently of the physical body. It is an experience unlike any other experience in life, an education in the highest knowledge. It produces faith that gives ultimate conviction which nothing can change once a person has realized how, without the physical body, he can exist. It is not only a matter of existing, but existing completely, fully. Soul is not dependent upon the eyes to see. It sees more than the physical eyes can. It is not dependent of ears; it hears more than the ears can. Therefore, the knower of spirit masters a far greater inspiration, deeper by being able to exist independent of the physical body.

Yes, it is very easy for a person having material knowledge to speak of those fanatics who sat in the mountains, wandered about thinking on spiritual things, who lived in the dreams and veems. It might appear so. But they did not do what everyone does. They left the life of business and profession and politics and social life for the sake of deeper experience. It is not necessary that everyone follows their example, but one might benefit by what they brought us. This is the time when West and East are coming closer together. It is the communication of ships and railway train, post office, wireless which brings us together. It is not only that, but now there is an interest for

Eastern philosophy, especially for literature and poetry. I am sure the more East and West will come closer together the more there will be an appreciation for the music of the East, which is spiritual and which stands for the mystical idea and loftier ideals of the East.

Although, it seems to still some time we have to wait.

23. The word appears as “veem s’ both in sh. and lh., but the word is unknown; Inayat

Khanuses the word again in his lecture of February 7, 1926, q.v.

There was an attempt in New York to put Buddha’s statue somewhere in New York, a very good attempt even from a social point of view. Imagine for Western people to admire a thinker of the

East who lived thousands of years before Christ and an impression left on millions of people who adhere him as lord and saviour. It could establish a greater friendship, a noble idea. But there was opposition from a larger number of people who did not want it. This will pass. It is necessary now that we must waken to be benefited by the fruits of the lives of people in East and West. There is much that the West can give to the East. It has laboured along certain lines and the fruits of this work to use of East. And there are fruits which

Eastern people have won for years and years which will be of greater and greater use and once people will have realized more, as years will pass.

And the special thing that can be learned from the experience of those who have investigated life’s secret in the East is the way of getting in touch with the spirit, realizing spirit. Someone asked me, “What do you mean by spiritual attainment?” I said, “By spiritual attainment I do not mean wonder-working or communicating with spirits. It simply means to become conscious of one’s own spirit.” No doubt, those who wish to mystify things make out of simple things complexities. But those who wish to serve the world in the path of truth change complex things in simplicity. In simple form we have to realize the truth.

And now we come to the fourth meaning of the spirit, the meaning of the spirit as the source of all things and goal of all things, something to which all are bound and to which all will return. It is that spirit which is called by religion God. And the best way of explaining spirit is that it is likened to the sun, the center of all life.

But is the sun so small as it appears to be? No. Then what is the sun?

25. This date inaccurate, as the Buddha lived around six hundred years before Jesus

C hrist

The sun is all. The part of sun that we recognize as sun is the centre of it. But sun is as far as its light reaches. Therefore, real sun is the light itself. But because there is a spot which is the central spot we call it sun. The light has centralized itself there. But then the sun has other aspects, such as the rays. Our souls are rays of that sun. Is the ray different from the sun? No. It is the sun itself. And what are we?

We in our inner being are source and goal itself. It is only our ignorance of it that keeps us ignorant of our own being. And the idea is that every atom of the universe, having come from the sun, in other words, from the divine sun, makes every effort to return to it. The tendency of the waves is to reach upwards, and mountains pointing upwards, of birds flying upwards. The tendency of animals is standing on their hind legs. The tendency of man is standing upright, ready to soar upwards. The expression of man is angel with two wings ready to fly upwards. In spite of the law of gravitation, we are attracted upwards. The science has known the law of gravitation, but the mystic knows the other law, which is a law gravitation too, but in the other direction. Not only every soul is attached to that direction, but every atom of this world going through all different processes known by biology in order to come to that state, to return to the spirit. Therefore, it is not necessary to be frightened by going towards

God, or by trying to attain the spirit to lose one’s identity, one’s individuality. A fear like this is the same as the experience of someone on the top of a mountain. A kind of fright comes to the mind when a person is looking at the immensity of the spirit. It is the immensity of it that gives a fright. In the same way a soul is frightened of spiritual attainment, because of the immensity, of the largeness and depth it has. It frightens the soul. It thinks, “Am I going to lose myself ?”, because it has this false conception of its smaller self. The other day I said mystics try to die before death. And I explained, to die before death is to play death. That means to get above this fright. This fear only comes from the false conception of self. The day it is removed from one’s eyes one begins to see the immensity of life, all that one sees is nothing but one simple vision of God’s majesty.

God bless you.

Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 4, 1926

the art of personality

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak this afternoon on the subject of the art of personality.

There is a difference between individuality and personality, as there is a difference between nature and art. As much as nature is near to man’s soul, the art is closer to his heart. If it were not so, man would have preferred to live in the forest, he would have roamed about in nature and would have been quite satisfied in the wilderness, he would have found the greatest charm wilderness can offer and in the beauty which is to be seen in the forest. But instead of all that, man has created a world for himself, a world which he has made for himself, and in that world is made a nature of his own imagination, a nature which he calls art. If that is art, on the art much depends, and people may say, “Is it not an imitation of nature?” Yes, it is an imitation of nature. You might say, “Then it is not as great as nature.” But I may say, “Both nature and art, both are made by the same artist.” The nature is made directly by the artist and the art is made indirectly through the pen of the artist. Nevertheless, art is the finishing of that beauty which begins to manifest in nature. A person who has not come to this conception of art, he does not yet know the divinity of the art.

And now coming to the question, what art has to do with personality? Personality is art itself and the greatest art. Once a lady told me and said, “My parents brought me up just like a plant in the wilderness, naturally growing.” I said, “It is a great pity,” and she was surprised. What is education, what is culture, what is selfdevelopment? It is all art, it is all the way for individuality to culminate into personality. In the ancient times, the religious education and human culture in every form mainly had personal culture as the central theme of education. And today we are expected to learn mathematics, geography, history, and something else, and never the art of personality, which is of the greatest use in life. Apart from its spiritual significance, in our everyday life we see a salesman who is pleasant, who is courteous, whose manner is well, be a successful salesman. If a seller lacks manner, he may have all beautiful things in his shop, seller will be repellent , he will have no success. If in the office a clerk , a secretary, an assistant, a supervisor, if his personality is charming, if he has a kindly manner, if is a sympathetic attitude, he will win the affection of all, everything will be light, everything will go smoothly. If that person lacks the art of personality, with all qualifications he may have, the most capable person he may be, yet things will not run smoothly.

And so it is at home. Whether man or woman a person may be a barrister, a solicitor, or doctor, or most qualified person, but if there is no art of personality, if that art is not developed, he can be disagreeable and unpleasant in his own home and in all walks of life.

The art of personality is the main thing to develop, and if that is not developed, a person has missed a great deal. In the old countries, especially in the East, they lived on tradition and their regard. Their ancestors have not titles for great works, but especially for art of personality. Today, during this time of modern civilization, man has become regardless of this art of considering equality of man, but is working in other direction. Instead of raising above this reasoning level of best man, wants to go below and join level of worst man. When you hear worldly quality is beautiful thing sounds very nice, religious, philosophical. But what is life? Is life not a symphony, every person not a note in this symphony? Suppose want to hear music, every note the same note, and when note person played on violin same note, how would have enjoy that music? Is equal to all notes, equal, no music. If all persons the same, no symphony. The way of understanding equality is different way, a way of rising to best, highest pitch. Everyone can rise to that pitch, if want to. But since man takes way of least resistance, falls to level which is level of average person. And it must be remembered that disregard of this principle, which is called art of personality, may lead the present generation.

This modern civilization, where can be nothing but disappointment, especially where materialism is prevailing all over, nothing to think but matter, and in itself keeps person away from the art of personality. Then if this art was not introduced and if the love of this art has not been given, then what happens? The human beings becomes not any better than the lower creation. Is a human being greater because he possesses wealth, or because he has read many books, or because he has learned much, or because capable in one’s size, and is he therefore greater as a human being? No. This

16. Km .tp.: “will” instead of “can” 17. Km .tp.: this entire long passage (“In the old countries… was not introduced) is om itted from the typescript, possibly in consultation with Inayat Khan 19. Km .tp.: “being” instead of “beings” 20. Km .tp.: “or because capable in one’s size, and” om itted all side things.21 Man is greater as from an individual he has become a person.23 If a tree in the forest grew in the garden in the same way, the gardener would say, “You are not welcome here, you do not fit in with the surroundings here; this is a garden, this is not a forest.”

But besides that, the art of personality is not only something that a person should learn in order to become pleasant to others; the art of personality fulfills the purpose of life. And now comes the question, what is the art of personality? Do you call art of personality mannerism? People who put on different ways of expression, an extra politeness, a society rhythm? Not at all. That is a falsehood that people adopt and being unnatural and acting unnaturally. Instead of giving a better impression, they give a worse impression. It is something which spontaneously expresses itself. You do not need to act in a certain way, you do not need to put on something. It is the expression of yourself and yet will express the art of personality.

Besides, the sign of the great is to express the art of personality.

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, a person may have developed themselves to that manner and it is wonderful to watch. Without having learned to come to it, have arrived at that stage.30 When in

India I was very fond of seeing the celebrities known in our country.

And one day I heard that a great wrestler was visiting our town.

Myself I never had approved of something that makes one win and the other fail, but because this man was a celebrity, I wanted to see

21. Km .tp.: the sentence, “This all side things.” om itted 23. Km .tp.: here appears a passage not in the sh.: “Very few of us distinguish between individuality and personality. Individuality is that which we have brought with our birth.

W e are born as a separate entity, that itself m akes us an individuality. But personality is som ething that is acquired; it has not com e with us, it is som ething we gain.” This m ay have been added in consultation with Inayat Khan 24. Km .tp.: “from ” instead of “in” 25. Km .tp.: “Is it putting” instead of “People who put” 26. Km .tp.: a com m a instead of “and” 27. Km .tp.: “which is” instead of “and yet will express” 28. Km .tp.: “it is the sign of the great” instead of “the sign of the great is” 29. Km .tp.: “him self” instead of “them selves” 30. Km .tp.: this sentence om itted 31. Km .tp.: “W hen” om itted 32. Km .tp.: “M yself,” om itted him, and went to see him . One could have expected very little from the personality of a wrestler. But in this personality, instead of all strength, muscular and nervous strength, there was such a kindly manner, such a sympathetic look, attitude such an outgoing attitude, and there was such a serenity that I thought, even a wrestler, who does the most material and physical work, everything of could show that it is his personality and is not something material that has made him great. It is his personality.

And one thinks , “If a person has a personality, why must he develop it?” But even a diamond must be cut. It has the light in it, yet cutting is required, wakened . It cannot show that glow and that brilliancy before it has been cut. The same thing with personality.

Now one may ask, “43 How personality is regarded, in how many different aspects ?” The first aspect of personality is the action, the movement. Very often, before a person has spoken a word, he is achieved a movement which has caused a jar upon the delicate sensibility of a person who sees that and who may have founded an opinion of that person before he has known about him, only by his movement. In one’s own movements a person shows his state of mind person is , unless he has the power to control. One can always show it that stubbornness, weakness, foolishness; all things can be traced even when a person walks, or sits, or stands up. Those

33. Km .tp.: “, and went to see him ” om itted 34. a pencil note in the m argin suggests “in spite” instead of “instead” 35. Km .tp.: “attitude,” om itted 36. Km .tp.: “everything of ” om itted 37. Km .tp.: “is” om itted 38. Km .tp.: “which” instead of “that” 39. Km .tp.: “And” om itted 40. Km .tp.: “m ight ask” instead of “thinks” 41. Km .tp.: “, wakened” om itted 42. Km .tp.: “Then” instead of “Now” 43. Km .tp.: for the question, Km . originally typed “H ow is personality required”, but then wrote in hw. “regarded, in how m any different aspects” above the crossed out “required” 44. Km .tp.: “has” instead of “is” 45. Km .tp.: “it” instead of “that” 46. Km .tp.: “form ed” instead of “founded” 47. Km .tp.: “one m ovem ent” instead of “one’s own m ovem ents” 48. Km .tp.: “person is” om itted 49. Km .tp.: “show” instead of “always show it that” 50. Km .tp.: “even” om itted who can recognize a person in the twinkling of an eye, for them it is not necessary to study physiognology1. One movement to them shows whether a person is evolved or unevolved. And when this is not directed and not taught, and when this science is not understood, naturally a person acts outwardly, for this was even all that he does in every movement he makes till his outer movement makes an impression upon his spirit, turning his whole being into wrong personality.54 Very little attention has been given to this by the education to this fact .

And now coming to the other aspect of personality which belongs to speech. The more we understand about speech , the more we shall know that for every word there is a time and that you cannot speak every word at every time ; for every thing one says there is a place. The very thing you say in its own place and which is a fitting thing, it would be good. But it becomes wrong when it is spoken in a place which is not its place. People do not generally think about it. Very often people are outspoken, they do not mind when they speak, what they speak, where they speak. A person who has no control over his speech becomes like a kind of machine which goes on and goes on and goes on, without any will at the back of it.

Remember that not only this they do not gain the affection of others and the approbation of others, but they repel others, become

51. The word appears in this form both in the sh. and the tp.; it is apparently a conflation of “physiology” and “physiognom y”; corrected in ink to “physiognom y” 52. Km .tp.: “his m ovem ents are” instead of “this is” 53. Km .tp.: “when this science is not taught,” instead of “and not taught, and when this science is” 54. Km .tp.: “A person m ay m ake such m ovem ents that will m ake an im pression upon his spirit and turn his whole being into wrong.” instead of this passage (“naturally a person… into wrong personality.”) 55. Km .tp.: “education” instead of “the education to this fact” 56. Km .tp.: “this” instead of “speech” 57. Km .tp.: “you cannot speak every word at every tim e” om itted 58. Km .tp.: “word” instead of “thing one says” 59. Km .tp.: “And everything” instead of “The very thing” 60. Km .tp.: “generally do not” instead of “do not generally” which seem s uncertain 62. Km .tp.: “this,” om itted 63. Km .tp.: a com m a instead of “and” talkative, things kept secret, any word give out . They cannot keep any secret because they have to say it, they have the habit to say, they have no control about it.

Once a woman went to a healer and said, “Can you help me, I am in a distress?” The healer asked, “What is the matter?” She said, “When my husband comes home, he is in such a state that there is always a disagreement.” “Oh,” said the healer, “that is the easy thing to do. I will just give you these magnetized lozenges. W hen your husband comes home, you take one in the mouth and keep it.”

When the husband came home, tired and fatigued, and he was inclined to war as usual, but she was quiet and did not answer. He was grumpy for a little while, but then became quiet. And so the home became more harmonious. Then, before the lozenges were finished, she went to that healer and said, “Give anything give me one more packet of these,” and he answered, “Lady, learn from this that it is not the lozenges, it is the keeping quiet, it is the lips closed against man . When your husband is tired, he does not know his mind. And when you do not encourage him to quarrel, he will not quarrel.”

The art of personality is not so difficult to learn. It is to learn to be thoughtful. Those who say much very often say so little. Others who say little, but they say much. It depends upon how it is said. In the Bible is said, “First was the word and the word was God.” That shows what power the word has. If we control our own speech, if we know how to use a word, we know the chemical science of life and utilize it to the best purpose in life. Sometimes a person can change a situation by one word and others cannot change it by

64. Km .tp.: “becom e talkative, things kept secret, any word give out” om itted, and therefore the filled-in words that would m ake sense of the passage m issing 65. Km .tp.: “always is” instead of “is always” 66. Km .tp.: “easiest” instead of “easy” 67. Km .tp.: “and” om itted 68. Km .tp.: “the” instead of “that” 69. Km .tp.: “G ive anything,” om itted 70. Km .tp.: “closed lips” instead of “lips closed against m an” 71. Km .tp.: “but” om itted 72. See John 1:1 73. Km .tp.: “own” om itted 74. Km .tp.: “use” instead of “utilize” hundred hammers. There is a way to hammer and break the rock that is the way of the hammer and there is the way of the water. If the rock is in the way, the water will not hammer, the water will surround it, will run smoothly over the rock and make the way on the top of the rock, and in this way the waves will proceed.

If one only knew the art of personality. If a person is upset, among ten people who want to console him there are nine who will upset him more and there is rarely one who will console him. That also belongs to the art of personality.

And then we come to another aspect of the art of personality and that is sympathetic and right thinking. By right thinking, all that one says and does naturally becomes right, because the root of every speech and action is in the mind. Naturally, by right thinking one speaks rightly and acts rightly; one cannot do otherwise. But what generally happens is that one never thinks about right thinking in connection with oneself; always one thinks about it in connection with others. If there is any wrong, it is in the other one. And the most wonderful thing is that the one who is most in the wrong is the one who sees most the wrong in others. That person who is full of wrongs, you will see, that person knows thousand wrongs about thousand people. That is person who is most wrong.79 Besides, our experiences make us so pessimistic that if anyone said that , “I have seen someone, such a nice person and kind and good person,” we begin to doubt and think ; unconsciously our first thought is, “Can it be true? It cannot be true; there is no such a thing as good in this world.” And as soon as a person says, “I have seen such a wicked person,” everybody is interested, because they believe it, it can be.

75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84.

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

Km .tp.:

“a” instead of “the” “that is the way of the ham m er,” om itted “it” instead of “the rock” “its” instead of “the” the preceding sentence om itted “that” om itted “person” om itted “and think” om itted “the” instead of “this” “, it can be” om itted

That shows that our experience always with wrong and hardly expect after having experience that there can ever be right.

And now coming to the fourth aspect of the art of personality; it is feeling. The great drawback of modern civilization is that man today thinks what is balanced and what is practical is to think with the brain, to reason out things. But to feel with the heart, he thinks, that is not practical, that is not a common sense. Therefore, today a normal and balanced person is the one who lives in his brain and the one whose heart is developed is called a fanatic or impractical.

Imagine, after reading the lesson in the Bible that God is love, we come to realize that the one who has less God in him is more practical and who has more God in him, he is good for nothing.

When there is a discussion among intellectual persons arises 89, it is understood to keep apart sentimentality, “Just discuss on the point, recite facts that keeps your reasoning clear.” But this takes away the beauty of life. The art of personality is in that profound deep feeling which directs every thought, speech, and action of man.

When Jesus Christ told to the fishermen that, “Come hither and I will make you the fishers of men,” he spoke to those who were absorbed in catching fishes at the seashore brought with him . “Come here, I will teach you (in other words)93 the art of personality.” It is therefore not a subject which I bring before you, it is a subject which Christ taught. And it is the art of personality which the prophets proved in their own lives to be of the greatest importance and impression. The impression Buddha has left upon millions of people in the East, who

85. Km .tp.: “That shows that we hardly expect any experience that” instead of “That shows that our experience alw ays w ith wrong and hardly expect after having experience that there” 86. Km .tp.: “, which” instead of “; it” 87. Km .tp.: “a” om itted “arises” and following unclear sym bol om itted 90. Km .tp.: “recite facts,” om itted 91. See M ark 1:17 92. Km .tp.: “brought with him ” om itted 93. Km .tp.: these parentheses in the tp., apparently indicating these words not part of the quotation 94. Km .tp.: “And” om itted 95. Km .tp.: “and im pression” om itted keep his statue in their temple and see the expression of God in

Buddha, what is it? Is it the theories and dogmas and teachings he has given? No, it is his personality which has given such a deep impression upon people that for centuries they have held it sacred. It has proved to be more precious than anything in the world.

It is not a subject of which one can say it is no lighter than any other subject. On the contrary, it is a subject of the greatest importance. There are millions of Muslims; on hearing the name of the Prophet, hearts touched their eyes are full of tears. What is it?

Is it the teaching the Prophet giving same fundamental teaching, not everyday ? What touches is the personality of the Prophet; his personality has given one the deep impression which never can be erased, which remains there still. The art of personality, therefore, is a magic. The fishermen among whom Jesus Christ had to walk were incapable of knowing the greatness of the master and not ready to understand the message he had brought. And yet they used to stand spellbound in the presence of the master; they used to be deeply impressed by the personality of the teacher. What was it? It was not a new teaching they received. It was the example before their eyes.

The Sufis in all ages considered this of the greatest importance. The Yogi theory of asceticism has nothing to do with the art of personality. It is another thing. But the wise of all ages who thought that God himself has manifested in the form of man, and from an individual develops into a person, and he develops as a soul and in that is the fulfilment of life’s purpose.

Is not therefore the main education but the central point in religion and in whole life. What is religion taught for? In order make man a personality. For every man is not a personality.

96. Km .tp.: “im age” instead of “statue” 97. Km .tp.: “the” instead of “their” of “lighter” 99. Km .tp.: “hearts touched,” om itted 100. Km .tp.: “has given” instead of “giving sam e fundam ental teaching, not everyday” 101. Km .tp.: “of ” instead of “in” 102. Km .tp.: “the art of personality” instead of “this” 103. Km .tp.: “who” instead of “and” 104. Km .tp.: “they see in this” instead of “he develops as a soul and in that is” 105. Km .tp.: this entire sketchy passage (2 paragraphs) om itted, possibly an editorial decision of Inayat Khan and Kism et

And now coming further on this subject, I will come to that metaphysical point whether man can be divided into two aspects, a machine and an engineer. The part in man which is a machine may cover that spark which may be called an engineer, and in that case man may be subject to all influences, such cold and heat, wind and storm. All are condition, person’s success, failure, difficulty is because own a machine often. When any way machine is turned, at that moment happiness comes to him, if not is happy. Is quite natural, is end of conditions. But then there is another part in man that is a divine spark, is that spark which makes him engineer, which gives command over this machine instead of allowing machine subject outer influences. Gradually gets any time own influence upon this instrument. In this the art of personality lies, in this secret of art of personality. One condition is slavery, other mastery. In first condition one is naturally placed; in next condition, one is brought by a development.

And now one might ask, how does one learn the art of personality? You must learn art of personality in the same way as one learns the art of painting or drawing. In the first place, first one learns how to draw a straight line, a horizontal line, a circular circle, a curve. And in learning the art of personality it is the same.

How to say a thing, and how not to say a thing, and how to avoid to say a thing, and how to say a thing and not to say a thing, and how to say without saying it a thing .

Then one learns the art of light and shade, which is the next thing. And that light and shade is how to hide a certain part in conversation or in action and how to make the other part brought to prominence. And then there is colouring. There is a great variety of colours. The artist has not seen it.113 Every feeling, every thought, every idea has its particular colour. And when a person knows how

107. Km .tp.: “You m ust learn art of personality” om itted 108. Km .tp.: “first” om itted 109. Km .tp.: “circular” om itted 110. K m .tp.: “to say a thing without saying it” instead of “to say without saying it a thing” 111. Km .tp.: “or in action” om itted 112. Km .tp.: “how” om itted 113. Km .tp.: this sentence om itted many of these colours there are and when he composes it in all he says or does in life, then it becomes an art of personality. It is nothing if a person has collected diamonds, or if he has got pearls, or if he has got rubies. W hat is it if he has not developed in his personality that precious quality which makes a person precious?

What is it? All those things are nothing.

There are four different grades through which one develops in the art of personality. One grade is when a person has become thoughtful. Then thoughtfully he begins to observe his thoughts, to see his actions. The second grade is that not only he observes his thoughts and sees his actions, but he is able to control it . The third grade is that a spontaneous outflow of sympathy comes from the person, that it is natural, that his attitude is outgoing, that his personality attracts and that his personality becomes a blessing. And the fourth grade is a grade where no effort has to be made to make the art of personality by the artist . In this grade the artist becomes art itself, and whatever he did, it all becomes a beautiful picture.

God bless you.

114. Km .tp.: “with them ” instead of “it in” 115. Km .tp.: “and” instead of “or” 116. Km .tp.: “different” om itted 117. Km .tp.: “thoughtfully” om itted 118. Km .tp.: “them ” instead of “it” 119. Km .tp.: “by the artist to m ake the art of personality” instead of “to m ake the art of personality by the artist”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting

Evening, Detroit

February 4, 1926


Beloved ones of God,

This evening I will speak on the subject of inspiration.

Inspiration comes from intuition and intuition in man is the same which we recognize in the lower creation instinct. The tendency of a bird to fly without having been trained in it, a tendency of a fish to swim, the tendency of bull to defend itself with its horns, a tendency of a serpent of attract its food by breathing deep, all these things were never taught to the lower creatures, they are born with it, they have in them, and it manifests as instinct. Intuition, therefore, is not a rare gift, it is a natural thing in man, and it is the same thing which we recognize as instinct in the lower creation.

We hear in the ancient stories that the horse used to give warning of death and danger, theft and robbery, and that dogs and cats used to give signs of different happenings. Is not a thing of the past; we do not know it because live far of nature. Those whose life is agriculture in the East or West, and those who live close to nature, they believe, even today, that the animals know of a death, of a danger beforehand.

It is not that know of death and danger beforehand, but they know even more than that. A horse rider of long experience told me one day, it was so interesting to hear, that as whenever this person was in danger the horse sought him by its restiveness. The horse was restless, tried to let rider know that was a danger before him.

He who lives in the cities does not know about it because mind so absorbed in things and because we have so little intuition that even we helped pet animals in house to be less inspirational. Dogs and cats

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later.

Notes: 1. Exceptionally, there seem s to be no transcription of this shorthand in either handwriting or typing; because of this, the text is fragm entary, although it is possible to m ake out m uch of what was said living in cities, moving in crowd, tuned to such vibrations that also lose intuition because are away from nature, are not in their place.

But we human beings were not made to live in crowded cities as we live. Life not natural in way far from that life which was meant for us and which would have kept us natural and normal beings. But condition in which live at present not natural, not be called normal beings when look at laws of nature. Imagine those who have to work and toil, have to be most of the day in artificial atmosphere made by steam heat, do not know what fresh air is. If for two or three hours in day is not enough. At night must also sleep in place where atmosphere is artificial. Covered and overtly, covered by artificial clothes, eating food after having boiled, having taken strength out of it. Weaker and weaker in digestive powers; cannot even digest cooked food. Not only that, but we who are offspring of nature or perhaps are the finishing of manifest human beings are far removed from nature. It is perhaps worse than the exile of Adam and Eve from

Garden of Eden. Their exile not in crowd as we are, we in crowded city, they only on the earth.

Naturally, therefore, that among one hundred persons hardly one who believes in such a thing as intuition, and among those who believe that is such a thing as intuition do not always follow intuition. Are afraid their intuition may lead them wrongly. In order to be practical, a man of common sense must have feet on ground, in other words not believe in such thing as intuition. Nevertheless, intuition is natural faculty in man, is inborn and without this nothing is accomplished. Art, music, and poetry apart, even scientific discoveries have intuition at the back of it. The inventor may not know it, but get by intuition just the same. In this wonderful country where so many inventors discovered wonderful things, maybe do not know where comes from, perhaps outcome of study and brain, but is not always that. Their brain has worked under direction of intuition, do not know it. There are rarely some great inventors in the world because some have natural intuition and the others have too, but do not know.

A person says, “I once thought that could use my intuition and thought some certain things felt came from intuition, in end found that was not my intuition.” But need not be effort of a mystic, is from mystic that we learn, if did not sacrifice our benefit in order to get self-confidence, greater benefit still, lose that faculty of intuition.

Effort not be really intuition. Very often intuitive people, by fearing maybe intuition not right, have lost, faculty has become blunted.

And now the question is what sort of person is more capable of intuition? It is the fine person, sympathetic person, sensitive person, concentrated person who is more capable of intuition. And a gross person, dense person, material person, person who is confused, his intuition is buried within himself. One may ask, Where does intuition come from? Intuition belongs to the inner planes of existence, but intuition is felt in certain part of one’s nervous centres. A person who makes his body dense by unwholesome food and by an irregular life, the fluids in nervous centres where intuition manifests become frozen. Therefore, he has intuition but cannot perceive it because nervous centres become dense, cannot respond to call of intuition.

And you will see the truth of this, that some days a person is more intuitive than others, whether because dense food or life not regular or that person who never had intuition received a blow from life and there was something that was frozen becomes melted and liquid which was in nervous centres was quitted and suddenly became intuitive.

Woman by nature is more intuitive than man because her principle, her natural principle is receptivity, she receives intuition.

And man with fine qualities, sympathetic, artistic, poetic, musical, of fine perception, can receive intuition more than others. There is another reason also why a person cannot feel intuition clearly; mind is likened to a pool of water, and when water in pool disturbed not take reflection clearly. It is in the calm water that reflection is clear.

When person is worried and troubled and when mind is not tranquil and is disturbed cannot receive intuition for is in a confusion. And the life today causes this confusion to everybody. This life of turmoil from morning till evening, one has to fit in with time. As soon as one awakes in morning, one thinks about time, and life as busy as is today, one cannot even have his meals with rest, with tranquil. Must look in watch three times in meals, has to catch train or tram and put his mind to that. Shows that mind is torn to pieces by life that one leads today. There is no such thing as peace and tranquil, and since one does not experience it, one does not ask for it. One does not know the joy of it. When children are born and brought up in that, do not know anything else but that turmoil, do not know what life of peace means, are deprived of that great bliss which is inner knowledge. Comes by the source of intuition.

And now we shall inquire if intuition is a gift that can be found in some few people or intuition is thing that can be found in everybody. There is a form of intuition which you can see in every person, which is called impression. Every person more or less gets an impression on seeing another person. He gets an impression whether this person likes me or does not like me, friendly inclined or antagonistic, good person or whether wicked. In order to get an impression one needs not be very intuitive. A normal amount of intuition in person makes him see, but at the same time sympathetic person who is honest and person who loves truth and is straight in his feelings, that person is naturally intuitive.

When we go a step forward, the next step to intuition is inspiration. What can musician without, do without inspiration? It is not only a musician or poet but a writer, a scientist, a teacher, a professor, a doctor or lawyer, politician, all these need inspiration. In all walks of life inspiration of greatest importance and yet how few think about it. I was most surprised the other day in Paris, talking with some literary persons, a very well-known writer in France asked me a question, “Do you think that there is such a thing as inspiration?” Imagine, this shows to what extent has penetrated through the mind of people. The writer who could make a name through the whole country and yet not be sure that there is such a thing as inspiration. Often it is so, because music or poetry or writing or anything, it is all food before the market, it is all used in the form of commercial. As soon as writer begins to write the agent who sells writing says, “It will not take, you must write something that will take, that will bring us some money. If is too deep, too high, not give success, must not write.” Naturally writer writes something to please every man in the street, remains there, not pursue inspiration.

Therefore, instead of going upwards, humanity is going downwards.

I then was keen about knowing what is the cause of it all. Let us see in their writings, and when I saw it seemed is more form than style.

Ancient people had quite different, not they write opposite meanings, put in blurry words, pleased before the market. If success has come then success leads to success, a writer becomes great.

During my visit I frequented in New York in order to see all the theatres, sought what is the note of the stage. And to my great surprise what did I find is limited pitch, neither does play writer strike a deeper note, nor high note, keeps to limited pitch. Why?

Because to please the audience. The whole thing depends upon making a success, making a success with generality. Therefore, have to squeeze any inspiration. Then play before people that people may like it. People will like what can but by that not elevated, there is no progress in it. To make progress is one thing, to help to make progress another thing. No attempt by writer, readers, philosopher, by anyone, in everyone, in what work of life to give push to humanity to rise her and go further. Then will not be a better day.

Yes they will make success, but how long that success last? That success is feeble, is always confronted with competitions, does not depend upon real merit. Or perhaps merit has become something that is recognized by everyone or is no merit. Merit is limited.

A poet may write a poem for months and cannot be satisfied, nor others can be satisfied by it and the same poet perhaps may receive by intuition in two minutes a poem which is poem satisfactory to him and to all those who will read it. There is no effort spent over it, has come just like a stream of water has uplifted the poet who has received it. That is what is called inspiration. When writer says have worked hard, writes so many lines. May dig the ground, do better by working hard, will be profitable. Inspiration does not want working hard. By inspiration working becomes smooth, inspiration gives ease, neither is hard to express inspiration nor hard to read inspiration. In both cases gives ease, uplift, happiness. The great musicians,

Wagner,, Beethoven , whose music today we hear and want to hear, why? Because has come from inspiration. The words of

Shakespeare very living, you cannot correct, improve them, cannot do any better. We had in the East writers like Jalal-ud-Din Rumi and

Hafiz of Persia who have once written a thousand of poems, imitate that style but no one could produce that inspiration. Today is living deciphered; the sh. sym bol looks like “always” or “real” 3. For Beethoven and W agner, see List 4. For Jalal-ud-D in R um i, see List 5. For H afiz, see List and after three thousand years will be living still. The older it is, the more precious will become, as the old wine, for what comes from inspiration is living, comes from the spirit; that is why source is different from the source that one gets other knowledge from.

One might ask, Where does one get inspiration from? In order to make it more intelligible I would picture it in form of room where are all things, beautiful imageries, wonderful symbols, beautiful verses, there are splendid themes. What has to do is to throw searchlight in dark room. With poet in dark room, inspiration of music on that department, because searchlight, which is the art of the poet or musician, has a connection with the store of music or poetry or whatever be the seeking of the soul and that connection automatically brings one in contact directly with the things one seeks for. In order to make this idea more simple, I will say that inspirational person wanted a special desk for his room to write. He got a fancy of going to find this desk and he followed his impulse immediately and as goes out he did not to go two blocks, saw in showroom, saw desk wanted that not be found in whole city. That was the desk for him. Is not accident that one brought there, is his desire, one’s contact with a particular thing of his desire, that magnetic attraction this person and object he wanted, both together. The other day someone asked me, “But what about those who have not got what they want? What they want if have not?” I said, “Do you really think not got? If really wanted would have got it.” You do not need to pity a musician have not inspiration, beam in darkness; if wanted inspiration would have had it. Wanting is not other thing, but do not know how to want. We think we want things but do not know how to want them. Inspiration is birthright of every man and yet every man has not got it. It only means either does not believe in it, if believes does not look for it, or if looks for it he looks for it as man who looks for the moon on the ground instead of looking in the sky. Those who say inspiration can be got from beauty outside in nature, not at all, is not the source, but that helps one to rise to that condition where one can receive an inspiration. But the source of inspiration is within oneself, not without; the harmony and beauty outside help one to come to that pitch where inspiration becomes easy.

There is another form of intuition which may be called dream, and there is another form of dream which may be called vision. There are four aspects of dream. One aspect is the production or reproduction of the same impression which one had during the day in the exact form or in an irregular form. The second aspect is the opposite picture of the actual condition. If one is going to be happy, sees himself unhappy in the dream; if successful, sees failure in dream, and that is the opposite condition of mind. And the third aspect of dream, which is symbolical, is a very wonderful aspect.

This person symbolically sees the past, present, and future in accordance to his particular stage of evolution. The finer, the subtler the symbolism, and the grosser, the grosser the symbolism. For a poet there will be a poetical symbol, which he alone can understand better. For mystic will be mystical symbology; for musician, musical symbolism. But so interesting to think that one begins to know different languages, a language which conveys much more than words can say.

In the fourth aspect of dream is seen the actual occurrence from distant past or present or future. Vision is special gift and greater gift.

It has special nature and character, it may appear when person is in wakeful state or when half asleep or in the dream. Vision has special mission and special significance; may be warning, teaching, consolation, it may mean uplift and initiation in deeper, greater mystery.

But the best and highest form of inspiration is called revelation, when the whole life becomes communicative. But life is, if we only knew it, that not only human beings who stand before you, like reading letters can see what person was, is, will be, but you can hear the trees sing and the rocks cry. Do you think that stories of the past, such as we hear, that the saints spoke with trees and plants, were only legends of the past? No, are legends of the past which have gone out of the favour of the most, but who still remain in favour is not past, is present, is quality of the soul or rather the opening of the soul that communicates with all things, with all beings, because all things, all beings are communicative. And one might ask, How can one prove it, how is it possible that things and beings should communicate? We can see it in a small way, how person who is sympathetic, kind, sacrificing, loving, deep in feelings, feels with his friend, the pleasure and displeasure of the friend become manifest to the heart of friend, need not be spoken in words. Why? Because is a link of sympathy, of there can be link of sympathy between two devoted persons, and if by that opened condition of their heart those able to perceive the state of one another, is it not possible for loving and sympathetic person who extends his sympathies to all, even germs and worms?

Will not perceive condition, need not have magic power in order to communicate with things, one has only to let the natural growth of sympathy extend. What is generally done in life that conditions of life and interest in life influences the outspreading of sympathy in certain direction, stopping it from spreading and from extending. But those who know the value of the expression of the heart, they understand what it means. It means to become one with all beings and with all things and it is the oneness with beings and with things that brings about a communication, this communication which is called revelation.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 7th, 1926

the control of the mind

Beloved ones of God,

This afternoon I will speak on the subject of the control of mind.

The tendency to be worried over nothing and the tendency to become anxious for little things, to be fidgety, and to be restless, to be afraid, and to be confused, and the tendency of moving about without any reason, the tendency of speaking without purpose, the tendency of being sad without any motive at the back of it, all these things come owing to the lack of the control on mind. And now you will ask, is there any other effect besides the effect that is made upon one’s own personality? Yes, all weaknesses, errors, and mistakes that man makes against his own wish, all these come from the lack of control over his own mind. And if there is a secret of success, the key to it is the control of mind. Intuition, inspiration, revelation, all come when mind is controlled. And all worries, anxieties, fears, and doubts come from the lack of control.

One might ask, what is mind? Today the idea of mind is divided into two different parts. There is one part of humanity which considers mind as something still inexplicable, and another part of humanity who considers mind as an action of brain. All that is registered in the brain is impressed on the atoms of brain. And it is the composing and decomposing of these little pictures in the brain that brings about a thought. It is a very limited conception of mind.

If voice is such a great thing that it reaches through the wireless miles

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text, the longhand in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: beyond, mind is finer than the voice. It cannot be limited and restricted to the brain, although brain is the medium by which thoughts are made clear. Mind according to the mystic is the real man; the body is a garb which man wears. This word comes from

Sanskrit origin; in Sanskrit it is called mana. They call it marn also.

And from that comes man. In other man, man means mind. It is true too. When a person says the fellow is sad, the man seems downhearted, the man seems courageous, seems enthusiastic, wellbalanced, all these attributes belong to his mind. What a person is, is not his body, but it is his mind. As there is a saying, what you are speaks louder than what you say. That means the voice of mind reaches further than the spoken word and has greater effect than a spoken word, as it is mind which creates atmosphere. One often wonders why it is that one feels uncomfortable in the presence of someone without having done any harm, or that one feels excited in the presence of someone, and that one gets out of tune in the presence of someone , or tired, or confused in the presence of someone. Why is it? It is the effect of that person’s mind. The mind that is going into a fire, that mind creates the fire in the atmosphere.

Everyone in that atmosphere is burning also in the same fire. The mind that is restful and peaceful, it emits its effect giving rest and peace to those coming in the atmosphere of that mind.

Once I asked my spiritual teacher how we can recognize the godly. And my teacher replied, “It is not what he says and it is not what he seems to be, but it is the atmosphere that his presence creates. That is the proof. For no one can create an atmosphere which does not belong to his spirit.”

The first thing about the mind we can learn is to know that mind is independent of the body as far as its existence is concerned. But mind is enriched by the experience man gets through his senses. No doubt, mind is within the body, but without the body also, just like the light is within the lantern and without the lantern also. The body is the lantern in which there is the light. But the light is not covered

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

For m ana and m arn, see G lossary

by the lantern, but the light is independent of the lantern. It shines out. And so does mind. Neither the brain is mind, nor the piece of flesh in the left breast of man is the heart. Only, the feeling is felt more deeply in the breast, and the thought is made more clear in the brain. In other words, spectacles are not necessarily eyes; spectacles only enable one to see things more clearly. But the sight is independent on the spectacles. But the spectacles are dependent upon the sight. So the body is dependent upon mind, but mind is independent upon the body. Body cannot exist without mind, but mind can exist without the body. The mind is the invisible being of the body. It is as its seat in the physical being, and it is that seat which is called brain, as the seat of feeling is the heart. Neither mind therefore is visible, nor is heart. Mind is the surface of the heart, and heart is the depth of the mind. It is two aspects of one and the same thing. Very often we confuse these two words, the heart and the mind, not knowing that they are one and the same, only they are distinct in this way, that thinking belongs to mind, and feeling belongs to heart.

Mind can be explained as five different aspects. The first aspect is the power of thinking. And thinking can be divided into two parts: automatic thinking and intentional thinking. Automatic thinking is imagination, and when we think with intention that is called thought.

Both thought and imagination have their place in life. A person who does not allow his imagination to work is as much mistaken as a person who does not allow a thought to act. Many laugh at an imaginative person. They say he is in the sky, he is in the clouds, he is floating in the air, he is flying in the space, he is in his dreams and veems . But all works of art and music and poetry, they all come from imagination because imagination is a free flow of mind. Mind is allowed to work by itself and brings out the beauty and harmony

14. This word, used by Inayat Khan in an earlier lecture (February 3, 1926), is unattested in the O ED and has not been found in any other dictionary to date it has. And when it is restricted by a certain principle or rule, then it does not work freely. No doubt, among artists and musicians you will find many who are dreamers and impractical people. But that does not mean they are backwards in their gift. Perhaps their impracticality in a way is a great help that they accomplish something practical people cannot accomplish. One need not follow their example, but one can appreciate it just the same. Besides, no one has believed in God, no one has loved God, and no one has reached the presence of God who has not been helped by his imagination. Those who come with arguments before the believer and say, “But where is God? Can you show me? How can you conceive of God? How do you explain God?”, they are the ones without imagination. And no one can give them one’s own imagination. And can anyone believe in the belief of another? If one believes in anything one must do it oneself. And that belief is formed of what? Of imagination. A philosopher says that if you have no

God, make one. And no one has ever reached God who has not been able to make God. Those who trouble about the abstract God, they have no God. They only use word God. They have the truth, but they have not God. But truth without God is not satisfying. You ought to reach truth through God. It is that which gives satisfaction. All the strength that one derives from food, if it is given in one pill, perhaps it would keep a person alive, but it would not give the joy of eating.

If one took the pill of truth, maybe that a part of his being would be satisfied, but that is no satisfaction. The idea of God fills a person.

That idea he first must make in himself, he must make it with his imagination. If he is not willing to imagine, if he is only waiting for

God to come before him, he ought to wait a long time. And if he wants to find the truth of life without the idea of God, it is having a pill which will keep him alive, but it is not food.

The next aspect of mind is memory. Memory is likened to a photographic plate. It takes impressions, and the impressions are there. And when a person wishes to recollect something, this faculty helps him. It is within his reach. As soon as he wants to recall an

“fills” experience, he, so to speak, puts his hand on that particular plate which had taken the impression of a certain experience. There is no experience taken from the sight of smell, or hearing, or touch, or taste which is lost. But every little experience gained once, be it for a moment, is impressed upon the memory, and the plate of that picture is there. But some say, My memory is not good, I cannot remember things; I am absent-minded. The reason is that they have lost the control over this faculty. But the impression is there. Very often a person knows , I know it, but I cannot recall it to my memory. In other words, in his mind he knows it, but in his brain it is not yet clear. For instance, the name of a person, the face of a person, that a person has lost his memory then he says, I think I know it and yet and I cannot make it clear. That means that my mind that knows it, it is there, but I cannot make it clear in my brain.

The third aspect of the mind is the retaining quality, to retain a thought. Those who concentrate, they practise to retain a thought, an impression. But those who do not practice concentration, they automatically retain things of great interest, things that impressed their mind most. It is therefore that some carry with them a fear which perhaps from childhood is there. It is carried along through life. Some have a sad impression of disappointment. They carry it throughout life, they retain it in their mind. Mind is keeping it alive by revivifying it, by keeping that impression, an impression of revenge, of gratefulness, of success, of failure, of love, of admiration.

It is kept there, and the mind cells give food and means for it to be living. Sometimes this is helpful and sometimes this is against one’s life . Now the psychologist calls it a fixed idea, and is always ready to call it insanity and also to put it on the list of the insane. But it is not insanity, it is everyone has got it. It is one of the attributes of mind. It is a faculty, a quality, to retain what likes to retain or happens to retain . No doubt, sometimes it is a fact that it may seem

18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

“, or” instead of “of ” “says” instead of “knows” “if ” instead of “that” “and” om itted “oneself” instead of “one’s life” “also” om itted “it is” om itted “a thought” instead of “what likes to retain or happens to retain” to be insanity. But insanity only comes from the abuse of that faculty.

But it is not only that. But any faculty can be abused and a person can become unbalanced by it.

The fourth faculty of mind is reasoning. This is a department of mind which is always balancing and which is always enlightening, enlightening in this way, that mind asks why has that person done it?

Mind says, That person is senseless, that is why he has done wrong.

That is what mind says as reason. What mind knows it says immediately. Person can often show has been so.26 But what mind says because may not always be right. It may be a wrong reason also. But at the same time, there is some answer all the time. And it is very wonderful to watch the trick of the reasoning faculty, that when another person has done something wrong , reason says because that person is wicked; he has done ten wicked things, now he has done another wicked thing. And when oneself has done a wicked thing, reason says, because it could not have done otherwise. I could not help it. Reason takes side of the ego. Reason is a slave and a servant of mind. It is ready at the call. Mind only has to turn its face to reason, and reason stands there as an obedient servant . It may not be right at all, but it is always there. No doubt, there is always a reason behind a reason, and if we penetrate the thousand veils of reason we can touch the reason of all reasons, and we can come to an understanding that the outer reasons cannot give.

And by that we understand all beings, those who are in the right and those who are in the wrong. They say the apostles in one moment’s time were inspired to speak in many languages. It was not the

English language, the Hindustani or Chinese language, it was the language of every soul. When a person has reached that state of mind where it touches the essence of reason, then it communicates with every soul. It is not a great thing to know thirty languages. If a person knew hundred languages and did not know the heart of man, he knows nothing. But there is a language of the heart. Heart speaks

26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

this sentence om itted “because” om itted “wrong” om itted “a person him self ” instead of “oneself ” “I” instead of “it” “slave” instead of “servant” to heart. That communication makes life interesting. Two persons may not speak, but their sitting together is an exchange of lofty ideal and harmony.

And it will interest you to know that when first I became initiated in the hands of my spiritual teacher in India, I was as eager as any man could be to assimilate, to grasp as much as can. Day after day I was in the presence of my teacher. But he did not once talk on spiritual matters. Sometimes he spoke about herbs and plants, about milk and butter. I went there for six months continually every day to see if I could hear anything about spiritual things. After six months, one day the teacher spoke to me about the two parts of a personality, the outer and the inner. And I was overly enthusiastic. The moment

I heard I took out a notebook and pencil. As soon as I did it, my teacher changed the subject, go on to other things. I understood what it did mean. It meant in the first place that the teaching of the heart must be assimilated in the heart. The heart is the notebook for it. If it remains in the outer notebook, it will remain in the pocket.

If it is written in the heart, it will remain in the soul. Besides this, one has to learn that lesson of patience, to wait, for every knowledge comes in its own time. I asked myself further, in six months time to come in a place after a long journey to make, was it worthwhile going there every day and having heard of nothing but trees and butter? And my deepest self answered, yes, more than worthwhile, for there is nothing in the whole world more than the presence of the holy person . If it is not said in theories, it is in the atmosphere. That is a living teaching and which is the real upliftment.

And now we come to the fifth aspect of mind, the heart, which is the feeling. But thought, reasoning, maintaining of thought, and memory, all these faculties are nourished by this one faculty, and that is feeling. People divide today intellectuality and sentimentality. But in reality intellectuality cannot be perfect without sentimentality. Not the thinking power can be nurtured, nor the faculty of reasoning can

32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

Abu H ashim M adani (see List)

be sustained without a continual outflow of feeling. In this age of materialism we seem to have lost the value of feeling. We know the name heart, but we have never seen such a thing. We don’t know of its existence. We don’t use it. We don’t see its importance. But really speaking that is the principal bank, that is the root of the plant of life.

The heart quality is something that sustains the whole life. All virtues such as sincerity, respect, thoughtfulness, consideration, appreciation, all those qualities come by heart quality. If he has no heart, a person is not capable of appreciating, nor of being grateful, nor capable of expressing his own soul, nor of receiving favour goodness, and help from another. A person without heart quality remains selfish, even foolishly selfish. If he was wisely selfish it would be worthwhile.

People say very often, “But we have no time to show our heart quality, we have no time to allow the heart to develop. We are so busy.” But one can be busy every day long, every moment of life, every minute from morning till evening, but everything we do we can do it with our whole heart, express it from the depth of our heart.

When the heart quality is shut out, then all one does is lifeless.

Mind is likened to pool of water. When the water in the pool is troubled, it cannot take reflection. So is mind. When mind is troubled, it is confused, it cannot take reflection. It is the stillness of mind that makes one capable of receiving impressions and of reflecting them. In the Persian language the mind is called a mirror. Everything that stands before the mirror appears, reflects in it. But when it is taken away the mirror is pure. It does not remain. It is so long in the mirror, as long as the mirror is focused to it. So it is with the mind.

They develop by concentration, contemplation, meditation, that quality in mind which makes it still at times and active at other times, which makes it reflect what it sees at one time, and makes it avoid every reflection, that no outer influence can touch it. The mind is trained by the master trainer by diving deep, by soaring high, by expanding widely, and by centralizing the mind on one idea. And once the mind is mastered, a person becomes a master of life. Every soul born, from the time it is born is like a machine, subject to all

38. 39. 40. 41.

“favour,” om itted “we” instead of “one” “It develops” instead of “They develop” “reflection” instead of “influence” influences, influences of weather, of all that works through one’s five senses. For instance, no one can pass through a street without seeing the placards and advertisements. His eyes are commanded by what is before him. He has no intention of looking, but everything outside commands the eyes. So one is constantly under the influence of all things of the outside world, which govern without him knowing. A person says, “I am a free man, I do what I like.” But he never does it.

He always does what he does not like, many times. The ears are always subject to hear anything that falls on them, whether it is harmonious or not disharmonious. And when he sees, goes he cannot resist. And so man is always under the influence of life. Then planetary influences, then living influences of those around. And yet man says, “I have free will, and I am a free man.” If he knew to what extent he is free, he would be frightened of his life.

But then there is one consolation, that in man there is a spark somewhere written in his heart which alone can be called a source of free will. If this spark is greater a person has a greater vitality, a greater energy, a greater power. All he thinks comes true, all he says has impression, all he does will make an effect. W hat does a mystic do? He blows this spark in order to bring this spark to a flame, till it comes to a blaze. This gives him that inspiration, that power which enables him to live in this world the life of free will. It is this spark which may be called the divine heritage of man, in which he sees the divine power of God, the soul of man.

Spiritual quality, therefore, is the developing of this spark. To become spiritual means by blowing this spark you produce light from

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

it, and see in this light the whole life. And one is more able to think, to feel, and to do by bringing the inner light to a blaze.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Aldon Manor, Jefferson 8100, Detroit

February 7th, 1926 (evening)

a few questions

Murshid’s words after the service of Universal Worship at the apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Low.

I would first like to answer a few questions. If you all will write down any questions concerning the lectures I have given, written in a few words.

Q.: How can one learn to gain control of the emotional self ?

A.: By developing will power. You might ask how to develop will power. I answer: by little practice of self will every day. For instance, if you have to make a choice between resting comfortably in the day or going to the office if something is pressing, to attend to your work.

By that little self-discipline, self-control, this will power will develop. Or when you are placed in circumstances which you wish to put off with food or room, not help or train,4 such circumstances under which you are compelled to live, to take them easily, to go through it.

By meeting difficulties, will power becomes stronger and you get a greater power and control over the emotional self. Then,5 besides, balance between action and repose is also very necessary.

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

K ism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. For the U nversal W orship Service, and M r. and M rs. Low, see List 4. K the w ord “train” could also be “turn”, and is followed by three m ore sh. om itted

Q.: What is the secret of the spirit?

A.: The secret of the spirit is to discover the soul within. Once it is discovered the secret is found. That secret is to identify oneself with the spirit rather than with the body. Naturally, the greater the inspiration and power and influence, the greater things one accomplishes, great things ; as well as that, one reaches the highest goal.

Q.: You stated that the object is distinct from the mind. Is this so?

A.: Yes, it is so. All that the senses can perceive is outside, but all that the mind can perceive is inward. That means imagination rises from the mind and the mind can perceive it. Feeling, memory, concentration, reason, all these things are felt by mind. And it is therefore that mind is not only the brain. Mind is the invisible being of man, and you can call mind more of the being of man than the body. When we compare body with mind, it is just like a coat a person wears.

Q.: When a person sees many visions in sleep, is that any development?

A.: When a person who sees visions, it is a type of person, a peculiarity of a person. Every person is not visionary. It is a particular type of person. If he develops thinking, visions may manifest. It can benefit the person very much. But in order to read visions, one must have mystical light to throw upon life and understand the meaning of visions.

And now a few words: this I want to say about the Sufi work in

America. It must be understood that Sufi Movement is not a creed, nor we have any desire to form into a creed. But it is the message, a message which must be given at this time, which belongs to this time.

And the fulfilment of this message is the purpose of world recreation, a world reconstruction. That being the case, those belonging to the

Sufi Order not only wish of developing themselves, but serving

6. 7. 8. 9.

“great things” om itted “of ” om itted “who” om itted “: this” om itted humanity.

This message has three aspects. One aspect is Universal Worship, which three years ago has been introduced in America. And today, lately when I visited in New York, something which was perhaps going on taking place before four or five persons, now took place before hundreds of people. Everyone who comes and sees it says that this is the service, the form which is for this time. Those who have no special interest for religion, even they are interested. And what is the reason of it? The reason is that for each time there is a particular form of worship. Universal Worship is the form of this time. It is meant by the embodiment of all the masters that now this form of worship must have universality made. Besides that, this is something which has the blessing of Christ and the help of all the great ones who have come on the earth. Whether they were appreciated or not, they have done their duty. It is the same message which Christ has brought.

And now it is the broadening of the outlook of humanity to appreciate it. This will be the form of worship in the whole world. Never imagine for one moment that something which takes place before five persons is something which no one knows in the world. This is to be the worship of the whole world. It is only a matter of time. My mureeds will realize that this day will pass. The more the inspiration and sacredness of this form which is recognized, that it will spread through the whole world. It now is spreading in Switzerland, in Norway and Sweden, in Germany, in England. The reason is not only the form; it is the magnetism, the blessing, the sacrament which comes of it, which is for the world .

Everything in its beginning is small, is it not so? When Buddhism started in India, people wanted to sweep away and bit from it.

Buddha had to leave his country. And the time came when whole India searched after Buddha. The message left with the fishermen, intellectual had crucified the master that message, it did not die, it lived; but it reached the whole world, if not directly, indirectly. It cannot help reaching. The Ten Commandments of Moses give with Chr. have forgotten . Now the foundation of the whole national law is built upon those Ten Commandments. When Muhammad’s head was bleeding when his own people stoned him while he was preaching, and killed some of his disciples, and when he was going to be exiled, he said, “On this very earth, a house will be built where God’s prayer will be inaugurated.” Remember, therefore, that the beginning of everything is small. That which is truth and comes from God has a greater power behind it than anyone can imagine. Universal Worship in however small a way is the beginning of a new era which is meant for the world, to unite in it Jewish people, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, all, uniting them in praying to one and the same God, respecting one another’s scriptures, regarding one another’s teachings, able to appreciate their own faith much more, seeing one fundamental one. In all ages fights and wars have taken place for the reason of difference of religion. Today differences and distinctions still exist, keeping people prejudiced against one another.

In order to get above, there is this universal understanding of all religions which Universal Worship is something to promote.

In all periods people have sacrificed their lives and stand in battles. My friends and mureeds will not have to do that. They will have an easier time. In this time of civilization, if people do not like it, at least they will not exile them from their country. Our difficulties are less in some way, in some way they are more. In this way the difficulties are greater, that the hearts are hardened more than before.

A spiritual call in ancient periods used to appeal to many. And those to whom the appeal reached, they gave themselves

20. K m .hw .: “who intellectually had grasped the m ost” instead of “intellectual had crucified the m aster,” where “C hr.” is probably an abbreviation for “C hristians” wholeheartedly. But today in order to penetrate persons, one has to penetrate their brains first, and it takes a long time to reach their hearts. They have enough reason, argument, logic. But by penetrating their brains one does not get in touch with them. It is outside. It is not the profound depth of their being. Our difficulty is that we have to stand before iron walls. They had to stand before loving hearts or prejudiced hearts. Just now it is not the same thing. Just now a person says, “Is it true, is it not true? Am I going that way?” And it takes him perhaps ten years to find out. Even mureeds may be in this thought, “Is it the right or the wrong path, or is it all right that I am in this path?”

This is another time when the mind has its work, the heart works very little. Nevertheless, what is meant to spread in the world will spread.

Therefore, remember that Universal Worship, which has been just now performed here, is of a very, very great significance. It will be inaugurated before thousands. You will see before long.

Then there are two other activities. One is the brotherhood, which is necessary more than ever before. At the same time, many people are tired of hearing about it. They say, “There are so many brotherhoods, no more shall be brothers in end . If all these brotherhood divide us, where will it end?” That is true too. But our idea of our brotherhood is not only brotherhood in name, but to see from a spiritual point of view. Looking for a spiritual point of view, we cannot be but brothers. But in order to realize this, we ought to practise it in our own spheres.

And the third and most important thing in the Sufi Movement is the esoteric part. The first initiation is only a blessing. After having received that blessing, there is a second and third initiation, and so it goes on. As more and more initiations one receives, the closer one is taken in the confidence of the teacher, the more one is given exercises, practices of breathing, of concentration, of contemplation, that you may express divine personality. Of course, this is the greatest opportunity. If one looks at it and values it, to the extent sacred is

25. 26. 27. 28.

one “very” om itted “no m ore shall be brothers in end” om itted “our” om itted “from ” instead of “for” sacred, the more sacred the more it proves to be sacred. It is more sacred than anything else in the world, think to be united with

Murshid in the thought of light and truth.

Murshid’s duty toward his mureeds is like the duty of parents towards their children: mother’s compassion and father’s interest. Not only in spiritual growth, but also in worldly affairs, remember of

Murshid is with you. But when Murshid is away, he is with you still more. For the very fact that Murshid goes away so much more near he is to his pupils. One might do think, “Murshid takes so many pupils in the world to think of .” From a spiritual point of view, this does not count. As large is the circle of mureeds, so large is the heart of

Murshid. As it is not true that parents many children give all their love to one child. Their love to each one is the same, also not love diminished . The same thing is with the teacher. There may be thousands of pupils. In the spiritual sphere there is a wider scope, and the heart of Murshid is not limited to a certain number. Therefore, you must know that Murshid is joyous in your joy, and sorrows in your sorrow, but is with you.

After this, I shall say God bless you. sacred the m ore” 31. For Murshid, see G lossary (here referring to Inayat Khan him self) instead of “also not love dim inished”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Twentieth Century Club, Detroit

February 8th, 1926

mystic relaxation

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak on the subject of mystic relaxation this evening. Call it mystic relaxation or meditation, it is one and the same. I have called it mystic relaxation in order to make less complicate,1 more explanatory. Very often people are puzzled about the word meditation because so often it is used and by so many people who have different ideas about it. By mystic relaxation the meaning becomes simple and clear.

From a physical point of view there is one condition, the condition of contracting and stretching, which enables man to bring the inner vitality outside. Relaxation is a contrary condition. Either the energy is brought on the outer plane or the energy is put to repose in its natural, normal condition. When a person lifts something heavy, does something with determination, he brings that energy which is within into his physical body. It expresses through his muscles and nerves.

When a person is asleep, that energy is put to repose. This energy being valuable, most precious, when it is used outwardly it brings outer gains; when it is used inwardly, it brings about inner attainments.

Meditation is reached by two stages. The first stage is concentration and the next stage is contemplation. After having

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: reached these two stages, the third stage is meditation. What comes after is the realization.

Nothing in this world can be thoroughly accomplished without a concentration, whether it is business or profession, or whether it is spiritual work. Those who cannot make a success in life, in business or profession, are the ones whose concentration is not right. And many of those who have succeeded in their lives, the mystery is that their concentration is great. They may not know it. There have been so many great inventors in the United States who have produced wonderful works. Perhaps they themselves do not know that it is from their concentration that they have been able to produce wonderful things. Some are naturally born with that gift, and it is because of that gift that whatever they have undertaken, they make a success of it. If one is an artist, by the help of concentration he can produce wonderful works. If one is a scientist he can accomplish wonderful things in science. If one is a poet, poetry will be easy for him to write. If one is a mystic, mystical inspiration will flow to him. But without concentration, how much qualified a person may be, in the first place he cannot be qualified, but if he were, he cannot make the best use of the qualification he has. It is by the power of concentration that he can express himself fully.

Concentration can be regarded from a metaphysical point of view in three aspects: reflecting, constructing, improvising. The first kind of concentration is to reflect any object that one has placed before oneself. This is the mirror quality of mind that enables one to concentrate in this way. A person who is impressed by a certain thing he has seen without him, trying to concentrate upon it, he holds it in mind. In other words, he has focussed his mind on that object with which he is impressed, and his mind is doing nothing but reflecting it.

The other kind of concentration is constructing, in other words composing. For instance, if an artist was told to make a most fanciful picture, he creates in his mind the face of man with the horns of the buffalo and with two wings of a bird. The material is there in his mind. He has only to put it together in order to produce a certain form.

This is constructive concentration. This is visualizing, in other mind making mind to produce something under the direction of the will.

The third aspect of concentration is improvising. If a poet is asked to write a poetry on the rosebud, the poet begins to improvise. He brings there a dewdrop, and he produces the picture of dawn, and he brings there a gentle stream of water, and builds a beautiful background to it. This is the third stage of concentration.

Very often what people think about concentration is closing the eyes and sitting quiet in the church, and that also once in a week. And while doing it they don’t know where their mind is going out. They themselves are in the church, but they don’t know where their mind is.

There is a story of a teacher. He had many disciples working under him. He taught them concentration. To each he gave a different work. A new disciple came, a good and simple and innocent sort of man. The others thought, “What can he learn in the spiritual path?”

And when the teacher asked him, “Is there anything you like, that you can call your favourite?” “Yes,” he said, “There is a cow in my house.” “Yes,” the teacher said, “then think about that cow. The other pupils are sitting in their room. You have a room, sit there and think about it.” The other pupils can closed their eyes five minutes, ten minutes. Then they were annoyed and got away. This man sat for a very long time. The pupils could not understand why they did not see this new man in all their games, conversations, plays that they had around there. One day the teacher asked, “Where it is that new pupil?

Where is he gone?” They said, “We have never seen him, only the first time he came.” The teacher said, “See in his room.” They went. But they got no answer. The door was closed. The teacher went there, and what does he see? This pupil was sitting concentrating on the object given to him. The teacher called him by his name. He answered in the tone of the cow. The teacher said,“Come out.” He answered, “My horns are too large to come out of this door.” The teacher said to his pupils, “That is called concentration.”

In the Bible it is written, “self-denial”. What people think is that it means not to eat, not to drink, to give up all that is beautiful and good in life, to go somewhere in solitude never to appear again. It is a wrong interpretation of a true teaching. Self-denial is self-effacing; it comes from self-forgetting. If you will study the man of our surroundings, you will find that those who are happy are happy because they have less thought of self. If they are unhappy it is if they think of themselves too much. A person is more bearable when he thinks less of himself, and a person is unbearable when he always thinks of himself. There are many miseries in life, but the greatest misery is self-pity. That person is heavier than rock, heavy for himself and heavy for others. Others cannot bear him. He cannot carry himself. When this disciple thought of the cow he had no thought of himself. There was no other than the cow. It is no easy thing to do, to forget oneself to that extent. If one did it, what a wonderful power one has created within oneself. It is a great mystery. It gives power over heaven and hell. Omar Khayyam says in his Rubaiyat that, “Heaven is a vision of fulfilled desire; hell is the shadow of a soul on fire.”

Where is that shadow? Where is that vision? Is it not within ourselves? It is we who hold it. Therefore, heaven and hell are what we have made for ourselves. And if this can be changed, it cannot be changed by something else but concentration.

But there is even a greater significance of concentration than this.

It is that the creative power which man possesses and which man has as a heritage from God, that creative power begins to work wonders.

For instance, when a person thinks that, “I should like to eat fish at dinner,” when he comes home his housekeeper had cooked fish that evening. And when he was thinking of apple pie, when he came home he found it; it was ready there. That is the phenomena of concentration. He does not know, but it worked in that way. The man who thought of those dishes, his thought struck the mind of the housekeeper. And the housekeeper brought it for him. Imagine what great power it is. One need not think on one’s desires. The very fact of having the desire, concentration works it out and materializes it.

9. For O m ar Khayyam and his R ubaiyat, see List 13. Inayat Khan characteristically used only the plural of this word

I knew a person in India, a sage; to him many people used to go.

And he would treat them so coldly that they would go away, because he did not want publicity. Nevertheless people went. And someone would say, “I have got a case in the court and I have no money. I am in great distress. I am a poor man.” The sage says, “Tell all about it.”

The man told everything about it. There was a pencil and paper. The sage wrote, “I don’t see any fault of this person. Therefore, the case must be dismissed.” The sage said to this man, “Go.” This man was surprised the sage did not say any prayers for him, that he did not bless him, but that he sat there and wrote down a sentence and then told him to go away. And when this man goes to the court, to his great surprise, what does he find? That the judge says the same words this man had written. The words were written in the akasha , means in the spheres.

Such is the power of concentration. There are many stories told at the East about fakirs, dervishes, sages, mahatmas . Many ask if they are all true. And if they are true, how it can be done. They want scientific explanation. In the first place they say something scientific has not been discovered (in their accomplishments). But maybe one day it will in science be discovered . Nevertheless, as much there is truth, so much there is falsehood also, because anything can be imitation. There is gold and there is imitation gold. There is silver and imitation silver. So there is imitation of truth also. Therefore, naturally all that one sees as a most wonderful, surprising thing, it is not all so wonderful. But at the same time there are things which are more wonderful than one can imagine. And where does it belong? It belongs to the power of mind. And where does it come from? From the source of all things. It is the power of God.

But even in the attainment of the union with God it is concentration which helps. There is a story of a boy who was sent to the school. And the teacher gave him the first lesson, which is the figure. In Eastern language it is called alif , which means “one”

14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

For akasha, see G lossary

For fakir and m ahatm a, see G lossary

For alif, see G lossary and “a” . The other students learned it, and many other letters. But the boy was drawing the same figure all the time. The teacher saw him do it for two, three any days. He was surprised. The third day teacher asked, “Now have you finished the lesson? Shall I give you another lesson?” But the boy said, “It is not yet complete, this .” The teacher was annoyed with him. He said to the parents, “This boy will never learn. It is better to take him away. He is stupid. He continues to write the same thing for three days, and he refuses to learn further.” The parents brought him home. They were very annoyed with the lad.

When the lad saw that the parents were so annoyed and displeased with him, one day he escaped and ran away. He did not show himself for a very, very long time. And one day he appeared in the same school where he had learned his first lesson. He said to the teacher, “You don’t recognize me. Now you will be surprised that I am still writing the same first lesson. I have not yet taken the second lesson.

I come for it now. I have been practicing the first. Shall I write it?”

When he made this sign there came a split in the wall. The teacher said, “For God’s sake, don’t write again!” The meaning is that he contemplated on that form. And he saw that form in the tree, in the plant, in the whole nature he saw that one figure. By that his concentration became perfect, and his power became so great that there was nothing he could not do. Very few know what secret is hidden behind the power of concentration.

And now coming to the contemplation which is the second stage of concentration. Contemplation is the repetition of a certain idea, and this repetition produces the materialization of that idea, in other words materializes that idea. Those who have been able to make great works in the world have been contemplative people. Often they don’t know it. It is a continual repetition of a certain idea which creates that idea, which brings it about in the physical world. For an instance, those who can contemplate on health can bring about that perfect health which

19. the 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

In Arabic (and also Farsi and Urdu), the first letter of the alphabet is also used for num ber one

no medicine, nothing can give. Those who contemplate upon inspiration will show great inspiration. Those who contemplate upon strength and power develop strength and power. One cannot arrive at this stage unless one had accomplished concentration, because concentration is the first stage. And one must proceed gradually to the stage of contemplation. The idea that now Coué25 preaches about saying that, “In every way, every day, I am getting better,” it is something he discovers today which has been known to the thinkers for thousands of years. Upon this the whole method of mysticism has been based. And he skips the first part, concentration, because other part is contemplation, if not accomplished first stage, concentration.

One might ask to what extent contemplation can help? In answer to that I will say nothing in the world is impossible for the contemplative person to accomplish if only he knew how to contemplate. No doubt it is gibberish to those who don’t understand on the subject. People say, “What relation man’s mind has with affairs outside? Perhaps one can heal oneself from illness. But if there is an affair outside which is going wrong, a monetary affair or a business or industry, what connection that has with the mind?” And my answer is that all that exists, whether it is business or commerce, all that is visible and invisible, all that seems to be outside is in reality in your mind. It is outside because your eyes see it outside, but it is within you because mind surrounds it. It is accommodated in your mind. Mind is an accommodation of the world which is outside.

A Hindustani poet says wonderfully about this. He says, “The land and sea are not too large for the heart of man to accommodate.” In other words, the heart of man is larger than the universe. If there were twenty thousand universes, the heart of man could accommodate them. But man, unaware of his inner being, impressed by outer limitations, remains under the impression of his weakness, limitation, smallness. And that keeps him from using that great power which he can find within himself, this great light with which he can see life more clearly, only because he is unaware of himself.

And the third stage is meditation. This stage has nothing to do

25. For C oué, see List if not accom plished first stage, concentration” with the mind. This is the experience of the consciousness. Meditation is diving deep within oneself, and soaring upwards in the higher spheres, expanding wider than the universe. It is in these experiences that one attains the bliss of meditation.

And one might ask, “By attaining all these things, what benefit do we get by it?” Perhaps we are more concerned with benefit than ever before. In no age people have been so anxious of making benefit as today. They say, “Time is money. If there is a benefit I will give my life to defend a piece of ground, sword and gun . I will take the life of my fellow men to save a little ground under his feet. That is a tangible benefit. It remains for my children to hold, to touch, to feel that it is there.” They will give his life for it. Tell something which is beneficial and everyone will listen, but if it is in the clouds they do not know it. Time is precious. Something they don’t know, they can’t believe in it. It does not mean that man today is less inclined to make a sacrifice. It is not so. He is as ready to make sacrifices same as before thousand years, or even greater sacrifices man can make today.

Only man is not sure what he can get by it. He is so concerned with gain. He always has gain before his view. That which does not show immediate gain and that of which he does not know properly what it is and how much it is, he thinks, “Well, perhaps there is something without sacrifice. I shall get it4.”

It is strange. When people go to the voice producer in order to develop a tenor voice, they work six, nine years and listen to everything the voice producer says. They make grimaces, everything, all sorts of noises they will make in order to develop tenor voice. But when they come to a spiritual man, they ask him whether he can tell of concentration on tea table. Taking tea they ask, “W hat about meditation?” In one sentence they want the answer. I have seen it and gun” om itted a series of dots in the text travelling all these years. They consider it like a newspaper talk. It is not gained in this way. The knowledge is attained in accordance to one’s ideal about it. It is greater than religion, more sacred than anything in the world. The knowledge of self is like union with God.

Self-realization is spiritual attainment. Can this be gained by a light conception of it? It is the deepest thing one can get, the highest thing one can reach, the most valuable thing to attain to. It is therefore that in the East a person does not look for these things in a book, nor a real teacher writes a book on these things. Yes, he writes philosophy, he prepares minds to appreciate. But he does not say how to do it.

To my greatest regret I saw while travelling in the United States people looking for books on this kind, wanting to buy books about

Yoga, Yogis, some attainment. Many lost their head by reading such books. They cannot keep balance. They try to do what is in the book.

It is just like going in the drug store to get some pills of Yoga to attain spirituality. As there are many who look in the mirror to be clairvoyant, who cut crystal or something in order to see the depth of life. They make something light of the highest and best and most sacred things.

This path is only pursued by those who are serious. These ones who go to this society, this institute, that occultist group, they don’t know what they are doing and what they are looking for. High knowledge is not to be got going in twenty places and being disappointed in the end, because they went into it lightly, came went foolish seem go how stupid it was.

There is a story of a Brahmin to whom a Muslim said, “I am a worshipper of God who is formless, and here you are praying to this idol of God.” What Brahmin said, “If I have faith in this idol it will filled-in words which would m ake sense of this phrase m issing answer me. But if you have not faith, even God of heaven will not hear you.” If we don’t attach ourselves seriously to things, then those things laugh at us. Even the things of the world, if we take them seriously we will gain serious results.

There cannot be anything more serious than spiritual attainment.

If that is taken lightly, a person does not know what he is doing. One must not go into these things, rather than go and come back emptyhanded. To come back disappointed from the spiritual path before reaching the final goal, to come back for that power is the worst possible thing. To go bankrupt does not matter. One can pick up again what one has lost of the world. It does not matter. But the man who has gone into the spiritual path and has turned back, that man is to be pitied. It is the greatest loss, a loss that can never be repaired.

God bless you.

india, india

India, India, the land of my birth,

To compare with you there is no place on the earth.

In the spring I left home and I come in the fall,

In my deepest despair I heard your call.

Your sacred river, your holy shrine

Your sublime nature, your spirit divine,

Your moonlight night and your glorious dawn

Your beautiful sunset and your promising morn,

Your wonderful landscape and your blue sky,

They touch my innermost and I heave a deep sigh.

Dreams of your poets and your singers’ cry

Still ring in my ears and lift my soul high.

Grandeur of your princes, wisdom of your sage,

D ocum ents: nb.1 nb.2

= =




Km .tp. = a working version of the poem w ritten in one of Inayat Khan’s notebooks. another, slightly later version of the poem , also in one of Inayat

Khan’s notebooks. a version of the poem in Sakina Furnée’s handwriting. another, later version of the poem in Sakina Furnée’s handwriting, indicating various versions, showing alternatives. a typewritten version of the poem by Sakina Furnée, existing in two different, identically worded copies (except the second indicates “M urshid Inayat Khan” at the end). a typed version of the poem m ade by Kism et Stam , indicating the final version of the poem . This version of the poem is first presented without footnotes, and the in presented again with footnotes to indicate all the variations in wording. an early typescript of unknown provenance =

Notes: 1. A note by Kism et Stam reads: “This poem on India was begun and m ostly m ade in the train from Chicago to San Francisco in the beginning of 1926,“ on which Sakina

Furnée has added: “The original in M urshid’s handw riting was sent to Saint C loud” (Inayat Khan’s residence, now part of Suresnes, was originally part of Saint C loud); we have put the finished poem first, followed by the footnoted com parative version

Ideal of your women, their dignity of age.

Angels would humbly bow low if they saw my land,

If the world knew her spirit, all would kiss her hand.

I have for many years wandered away from home;

Dear, dear India, soon to you I come.

Take me in your arms, my motherland so blessed,

Away from worldly strife in your bosom to rest. ——————-India, India, the land of my birth,

To compare with you there is no place on the earth.

In the spring I left home and I come in the fall,

In my deepest despair I heard your call.

Your sacred river , your holy shrine,

Your sublime nature, your spirit divine,

Your moonlight night and your glorious dawn

Your beautiful sunset and your promising morn,

Your wonderful landscape and your blue sky,

They touch my innermost and I heave a deep sigh 9.

Dreams of your poets and your singers cry

Still ring in my ears and lift my soul high.

Grandeur of your princes, wisdom of your sage,


2. Nb.1, nb.2, “there’s” instead of “there is” 3. Nb.1, “back” added 4. Nb.2: these two lines om itted 5. Nb.1,2,, “rivers” instead of “river 6. “nights” instead of “night” 7. Nb.1: “your” om itted 8. “landscapes” instead of “landscape” 9. Nb.1, Sk.hw.1: “They all draw m e so m uch that I wish I could fly”; sam e as, indicated as an alternative; “They draw m e so m uch that I wish I could fly” instead of “They touch m y innerm ost and I heave a deep sigh”; nb.2: “They all touch m y innerm ost, I heave a deep sigh” 10. N b.1,2, “great” before “poets” 11. N b.1: “that” before “still” 12. N b.1, 2: “lifting” instead of “and lift”

Ideal of your women, their dignity of age.

Angels would humbly bow low if they saw my land,

If the world knew her spirit, all would kiss her hand.

I have for many years wandered away from home;

Dear, dear India, soon to you I come.

Take me in your arms my motherland so blessed,

Away from worldly strife in your bosom to rest.

Sufi Centre, San Francisco

February 16, 1926

the sufi movement

Blessed mureeds,

I wish to express my great joy in finding myself here in this centre in San Francisco among you all. I have a special respect and value in my eyes of this centre because this is the first centre, established by our blessed Murshida 4.

Since the message has been given in the Western World, since then the Sufi Movement has spread throughout Europe, and now this particular society of ours is spreading also in the East.

For some time in England the Sufi Movement has worked. And then the International Headquarters of the Sufi Movement were established in Geneva. Geneva, being the centre of international organizations, such as the League of Nations, made it easy for us to choose this place like Geneva,6 where the representatives of all nations come together. As I have established in France, I have travelled throughout the whole year; I7 stay in Suresnes during the summer.

And we have summer school there for three months where the members from different countries come to know one another and

D ocum ents:

Km .sh.


Km .hw.


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. Sufis use the word m ureed to indicate an initiate; see Glossary 4. M urshida R abia M artin (see List) study and practise.

We had the great happiness of having Murshida Martin visit the summer school year before last on her way back from India, where she has received such a cordial welcome from Sufis and others, that which all in the Sufi Movement must be proud of it. Besides,

Murshida is pioneer in the Sufi Movement in every way; she is the first mureed after my coming to the Western world, the beginning of the whole movement. And now that the movement is established and spreading, we recognize her importance to be greater and greater. We have the privilege of being with Murshida in San Francisco. Often, as they say, a prophet is not worshiped in his own place . She has to make great efforts in making a way, whereas a foreigner could do the same more easily. Nevertheless, you will recognize the value of

Murshida’s stay here, the spiritual value. And for the very reason that such a soul is here, you will try your best to support the movement and further the cause in this part of the world.

It is three years, a long time, since I was here. But at the same time, my thoughts were here. Those who have felt them, they know it.

The very fact that my being away keeps me closer to my mureeds. But

I could not have let it go longer. Therefore, this year, in spite of many difficulties, I determined to come to the States and today I am here.

During this past three years I went to Germany and the centre is created in Berlin. In France some lectures were given, interest created, are some mureeds.15 Other mureeds are scattered in different places in Germany. But in Munich a centre has been established. In

Germany in , however, the movement is in its infancy. Nervous conditions of people in Germany, mind sensitive, difficult life. At the

11. See M ark 6:4 conditions of people in G erm any, m ind sensitive, difficult life” moment the Sufi message comes there as a healing for many souls.

I went also to Sweden and Norway and Denmark, where centres have been established, all three places . The response in Norway was very keen, in Sweden slow but sure. In Denmark it is easy to work. In short, Scandinavia is a very good field for spiritual work. People are away from the midst of the commercial world; their vibrations are different. They readily respond to the spiritual call. The only difficulty there was the winter—I wanted to get away as soon as I could.

Therefore, after a short stay, I came back to France. Our movement there is doing very well.

In Holland the Universal Worship is organized in different places.

The esoteric work is going on very well. Baron van Tuyll0, the national representative, is working wonderfully well. The services the people of Holland have rendered to us are worth recognizing.

Not only from Holland but from many other parts of the world mureeds have been sent on mission and they have carried on that mission most faithfully.

Other efforts are been made in Belgium and further the cause. In

England the movement is growing. In Switzerland it is progressing very well. Mrs. Meyer , the national representative has had this year for Christmas more than seven thousand Sufi pamphlets spread throughout Switzerland and Germany as a gift from people to become acquainted with the movement. And my books have been translated and published in German language. There is a book “Notes of the Unstruck Music” translated in Italian language which is spreading very well. You will be surprised to know that in Italy there was a great success, specially success I had was in Rome. You might think Rome, where is the Vatican and the Roman Catholic atmosphere, how could free thought enter there? But a spiritual centre had been there for many years and the atmosphere had been prepared

20. For Baron van Tuyll, see List 22. For M rs.M eyer, see List indecipherable there . It gave me the right setting as if the word spoken there resounded and reached every corner.

On coming to New York I have given three lectures in New

York and some more lectures in another part of the city. A new interest has been created for the Sufi Movement. Universal Worship was inaugurated and has been brought before the public. And then I visited Detroit, where an interest has been created ten times more than it was before when I visited Detroit.

Only our difficulty is that we are in need of workers. And it is now for you, my blessed mureeds, to be ready and to see your way how you can be of service to the cause. In San Francisco we hope and we wish that the cause will spread. Though our success must not be compared with the worldly success of those working on these lines. A success that comes today and tomorrow disappears is not our success.

We do not care for it, we do not work for it. In principle, our success is our own satisfaction of having done spiritual work. Besides this, something will remain and will continue for centuries. We cannot expect it to be as successful as business or industry which begins to show fruits in a little while. Our work is to cultivate the ground, to sow the seed and leave the harvest to the owner of the farm.

Murshida is living example all difficulties, standing before stone walls, have all patience can ever have, she has got.31 Now is the time for the mureeds to stand by her and do everything possible to make the message known in all parts of the United States. When you have once done that, the second duty that comes is to try and spread it in other parts of the world. But the first work is to spread it in United States.

I need not tell you how much important it is for the message to be spread at this moment. But for the very fact that the message has come part” have all patience can ever have, she has got.” om itted at this moment when it is needed by humanity; that is why it is sent.

Therefore, you will not look upon Sufism as a matter of study or research. Our occupation is much more than that. Our occupation is the spreading of the 34message. It is God’s message which must be given to the world. We have not before us such motives as wonderworking or occult powers or bigoted beliefs or dogmas.

Our work has three aspects. One aspect is the individual progress.

Today education has ignored that progress. Education today is just like is mass production. So there is uniformity. They do not think about individual progress. And therefore, instead of going upwards they are going downwards. Individual progress means spiritual progress. And each must have his own particular way of developing.

And with the guidance, with the spiritual teacher, there is that facility given by Sufis.

The other aspect is unification of religions, the study of how unity and tolerance is created in the minds of people, that may tolerate one another’s religion . At this time, when people do not seem to be bigoted, but at the same time they are not very tolerant unconsciously.

If you ask them, “Are you tolerant?”, they say, “Of course I am.” But if it comes to action, collective action, then comes prejudice. Just now in New York there was a proposition made to make a statue of

Buddha. And if perhaps fifty persons said to has be built, perhaps thousand said it must not be done. Imagine, America, which stands for international ideal, made of people of different nations, envied centre of all different countries to seek own religion , who could respond to the call of no matter which denomination. Then if such a thing is happening here, how much more it must be in other countries. And yet for a person who studies life, sages are not less than any other

33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

people. But there is thousands of statues of generals, politicians, statesmen. And what they all said? Make a war. And what the statue of Buddha suggests? Peace. If there are a hundred statues of generals to give the inclination of war, one statue of Buddha would give a little balance. That is all. To give gratitude to rest with and to appreciate a man from another country who lived perhaps before

Christ and who gave his whole life to the service of divine wisdom. Is it not therefore necessary that the world be awakened to spiritual ideal?

Very often people say that I speak simple subjects, simple things.

But it is never spoken enough. Even if they know it, thousand times it must be brought to their ears in order to know and be impressed by it. Even simple things are never spoken too often. My mission this time in America is no doubt for my mureeds. But the same time I have come with the intention to give the message to a larger public. And every effort has been made and everything that can be done we try to do in order to bring the message to a larger number of people. It does not matter if they do not come to the Sufi Movement. If one heard of the teaching and if they are of some use in his life, our mission is fulfilled. We are not working to make new members. We are working to bring divine wisdom to the ears of people. Our society is a means to make to ourselves more convenient to give the message to people.

Our society is a means by which it is easier to give the message.

God bless you.


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco

February 18th, 1926

the vision of god and man

Beloved ones of God,

It is my happiness and privilege to give my first address before the citizens of San Francisco, on the subject of the vision of man and the vision of God. By men we understand individuals, but by God each person has his own meaning. To one God means the abstract, to another God means a personal God, and according to another there is no God. In this age of materialism, an ever-growing materialism, ideal has become so obscured that the light of it is not to be found as in any period of history. People in the past had wars and battles, they killed and robbed, and in many ways showed primitive nature. But when it came to ideal, to God, they all surrendered to it, they all believed it. Today many question as soon as there comes the idea of

God. Among the so-called civilized nations today, there are some where word God is erased from the textbooks, that in no school word

God may be mentioned. And those who have been trained in those schools have grown up with the idea there is no God. And when there comes a thought there must be something, or even when there comes in their mind a conviction of being some God, they call it, in everyday language, powers, higher powers, or gods, turning it into plural which is singular, bringing the highest nature of humanity to variety. Many others, after having been educated in science and literature, think it is

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

A highly edited form of this lecture appeared in volum e (1967) of the S ufi

M essage series, first chapter, “The Vision of G od and M an” (pp. 11-15).

Notes: unintelligent to believe in God or to use word God. They think it is used by so many primitive and simple people who are not intelligent.

We must forget the name of God ideal. Or perhaps they call it by some other name. And so a way which has been made for thousands of years by great masters has been blocked by the pride of man.

The other day I was lecturing in Europe somewhere, and after a series of lectures a man comes to me and says, “All your lectures appeal to me most. I think every word was true. I always thought so.

And I would be most happy to follow your guidance, on one condition: that you did not use name God. For a man like you, who can touch the depth of life, a man of high principle and lofty ideal, you don’t need that old name which every simpleton knows and believes in. We are making a new life today; we look at it in a different way.” And I said, “New? There is nothing new under the sun.4 The new is in your conception. It is new to you because you did not know it before. He why new to you, to someone else it is not new.” Besides, a material scientist finds out one thing today and says, “Here is a new discovery.” Another says, “No, it is not true, here is another discovery.” And so it goes on. Every ten years, twenty, fifty years there is a new discovery. One scientist does not think like the other one. They belong to the same school sometimes, and yet each has his own idea which does not agree with the other. When we come to the mystics and thinkers who looked at life from a spiritual point of view, they all agree, be it Yogi, Sufi, Hindu, Christian, it does not matter.

Whenever they arrive at a certain stage of understanding they all agree, they all have the same experience, they all have the same realization to which they all come in spite of all differences. In dogmas such as

Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish religion and Christian religion, the differences are of forms. Those who look at them on the surface, they see differences. But the one who sees behind the surface, he sees one and the same truth hidden behind all different religions which were given at different times by different masters. Therefore, naturally, the expression is different. But when one comes to the essence it is all one

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

See Ecclesiastes 1:9

and the same. Those who are spiritually evolved, they come to the conclusion that they do not differ in beliefs.

No doubt, one must understand the real meaning of belief. Very often it is belief that keeps man back from spiritual attainment. Very most often it is belief which helped man to go forward. Belief is like a staircase. Each step takes you to go forward. But when you stand at a certain place of the staircase you do not progress. Belief feet on the ground nailed and keep them on a place where there are millions of believers in God. So there are many simple ones who do not get a full benefit out of belief. But it does not mean that belief has not its place.

It only means they do not understand the real meaning of belief. What they understand is to stand on a certain place of a staircase is not a belief. As a person evolves, so his belief evolves, goes to one another until he comes to that stage of belief that he harmonizes with them all different believes them all , that he is not against any belief. Yet he is not nailed down, he is above all different beliefs.

Very often a person says, “Well, I cannot understand what is God.

Can you explain God to me?” If God were to be explained he would not have been God. To explain God is to dethrone God.

Besides that, God apart, anything fine and subtle, gratitude, love, devotion, can you explain it in words? How much can be explained?

Words are too small to explain great feelings. And how can God be explained in words? Nevertheless, in the language of metaphysics, the absolute is the omniscient spirit, the essence of intelligence, or intelligence itself in its original condition. In the East they call it nur, which means radiance. And the nature of radiance is to centralize. And it is the centralizing of the radiance which illuminates. Physically expressing, one can say the sun is the centralized all-pervading radiance. Therefore, the sun we can point out is only the centralizing of that light. In reality sun is all. In the form of light it is the sun, and sun not only in that centre. But in our houses and outside our houses,

13. The word nur m eans “light” in Arabic; see G lossary in window wherever the light reaches it is sun. Only its manifestation is indirect, but it is all sun. The all-pervading intelligence, when we look at that as centralized intelligence, we call it God, because it is the centralizing which is the first point. From that manifestation begins. In order to manifest it must first be centralized.

It is that which makes it an entity, which the wise have called God.

But that does not make it a separate being from the manifestation, as the sun cannot be a separate being from the sunlight. Light is as much the sun we point out before us. Therefore, manifestation is God as much as God is the origin and source of manifestation.

Now when we study the sun, there is the sun and there are rays.

In the rays the sun is manifest in variety. But what are the rays? It is the sun. It is only an action of the sun after the radiance has been centralized. The first action is to project itself, manifests in the form of various rays. And if I were to explain what are we, human beings, and what is God, I would say our relationship with God is the same as the rays with the sun. Each soul is a ray of the sun who is God. But one might say, what part of our being is the ray? Is it our body, our mind, our soul? My answer is, it is our soul which is the ray. Its nature is, whichever sphere it touches it attracts from that sphere a garb in order to cover itself, to make a life in that particular sphere. Therefore the soul, in order to make its life on the physical plane, borrows a garb and covers itself in that garb. And it is this garb which we call our physical body, a clay which has been made for many centuries, which has been kneaded for many centuries in order to make the body of man, a clay which has once been a rock, which has once manifested as the tree, the vegetable kingdom, the clay which came once as animals and birds, that same clay which in finished form has given the soul of man a garb which he calls his body.

It is in this belief that the mystic differs from the scientist, but not in the understanding of the process. The scientist believes in the same process: from dense earth has gradually developed mineral and vegetable. Biology is formed on this principle. The origin of the body

14. 15. 16. 17.

“, in window,” om itted “where” instead of “after” “to m anifest” instead of “m anifests” “a” instead of “the” which the soul takes for its use the mystic does not attribute to that garb, but also attributes to that spirit which takes the garb upon itself.

It does not belong to dense earth. It belongs to God. It is the ray of the sun. And is the ray separate from the sun? Never! So man is not separate from God. One only sees in this material world that one lives on food, that one eats, that one needs air and water. One does not see any other source of one’s life. But in reality all these things which sustain man’s body only sustain the garb which is earthly. Its real sustenance is different and belongs to that source from where it comes and to which it is attached. It is from there that man draws every moment of his life all the strength, life and illumination. Therefore, the proper name for God is origin. Word God comes from jod in

Arabic, which means origin. When man neglects the knowledge of self and of God he only knows about the garb he has, then he does not know about himself. Whatever be his knowledge and qualification, it all is pertaining to the garb he is wearing. And it is in the understanding of the spirit and soul that man really acquires the knowledge of self and of God.

The question is, is this only the one garb that soul wears, the physical garb? No. In order to come to this plane of earth the ray, the soul, must pass through two different spheres. The first sphere may be called angelic sphere, the next the sphere of the genius. But one may ask, I do not see it, if I have got a garb also from these other spheres.

Yes, one can see it also if one studied human nature minutely. Eating, drinking, sleeping, all these faculties come from the physical world.

But then there are other faculties, the appreciation of poetry, love for music, the tendency to invent wonderful things, all intellectual pursuits and phenomena come from the world of genius. In ancient books they speak about the jinns. That sphere of genius is called jinn.

Poet, thinker shows the garb of that sphere in his work, the work he

20. Yod, which is probably what Inayat Khan had in m ind, is a H ebrew rather than an

A rabic letter, and is the initial letter in the divine nam e, which Orthodox Jews never pronounce; it is not, however, etym ologically related to the word G od, which is of

G erm anic origin 22. For jinn, see G lossary does in the physical world. That garb is hidden. But where? It has become his mind. Therefore mind is the inner garb, body is the outer garb which covers it. The mind is the garb which man has brought from the sphere of genius. But even before this we had one garb: it is from the angelic sphere. Saw any sign of it? Yes. The love nature in man, the devotion, the idealistic tendency, innocence man shows, all these qualities together with love of beauty, the love belong to the sphere of angels, the angelic sphere. Always innocence goes together with loving nature. A person who is very loving is very innocent. A person who is very clever is least loving. For the very fact that he is very clever he has no love; then love is buried in cleverness. I do not mean to say that innocence is the most valuable quality. Every quality is valuable in its place. Nevertheless, innocence is an angelic quality.

Great prophets, saints, sages, those who have healed the wounds of humanity were most innocent people. Innocence is the proof of spirituality. A person, how much clever he may be, without innocence he cannot be spiritual. Spirituality produces innocence. The garb that man has brought from the angelic sphere shows in the form of unselfish love, devotion, high ideal, worshipful attitude, love for beauty. For every infant, from the time it opens its eyes, the first tendency it shows is love for beauty; beautiful colours, beautiful things, all attract it. Perhaps it does not see beauty as we do, because our sense is spoiled by experience and ideas. But the infant comes with a natural sense of beauty. That which is really beautiful strikes the infant and it loves it.

Rumi says in his great book called Masnavi that the reason why a child cries the first thing after it is born on earth is because it realizes its exile from the higher spheres. Because it finds itself in a different sphere, in different world, it is unhappy. Then the soul seems captive in this mortal body. There is a beautiful Oriental story, a story which explains symbolically the idea of captivity of the soul in the body. They said God made a statue of man, of the first man, and asked the soul to enter into this body. And the soul refused, saying,

23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

For Jalal-ud-D in R um i, see List

For the Masnavi, see List

“Lord, I do not seek imprisonment in this physical body.” Then God asked angels to sing and dance. And on hearing the song and with the rhythm of the dance the soul went to ecstasy and in that condition entered the body. Rumi says that why every soul longs to attain something is because it is an exile, it is a captive in this physical body which it has considered for a while itself, with which it has identified itself, but which is not itself. It is only a garb. But because it has identified itself with this garb, it is unhappy. It has lost that freedom which belonged to it, which was its own.

And now coming to the vision of man. The vision of man is small, is narrow, because of his limitation in this physical body. In other words, the eyes cannot see further than the mind can, and the mind cannot see further than the soul can. Because the soul is dependent upon the mind, the vision becomes limited. And because the mind is accustomed to experience through the body, the vision of mind is limited. It is the vision of the perfect one, by this captivity, which has made individual. In other words individual means the limited experience of the soul. Whether man knows it or does not, whether he believes it or does not believe it, there comes a time that he finds nothing pleases him. He once thought it was because he had no money that he got unhappy, or because he had not comfort. He thought that if he had a comfortable home, everything nice, congenial surroundings, it would be all right. But when it comes he is dissatisfied just the same. Does that dissatisfy is in innermost of man’s being that outer reasons only for a moment satisfy him. But there is that continual craving which is the lack of freedom; the soul which is a captive in mind and body and cannot express itself fully, not experience life fully, because it has accustomed itself by identifying itself with its garbs to be ignorant of oneself . What is spiritual attainment therefore? The attainment is the discovering of the secret by uncovering the soul from these garbs.

No one can say how God looks upon the world, how God sees

28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

“does” om itted “was” instead of “got” “no” instead of “not” “It is because of the” instead of “D oes that dissatisfy is in” “itself ” instead of “oneself ” “Spiritual” instead of “The” life. But at the same time there are souls who attain to the divine vision. In other words, their outlook becomes God’s outlook. In

Hindu language it is called akhlak Allah , which means the manner of God. When man has reached the stage of spiritual attainment where he has got the outlook of God, then his manner becomes the manner of God. The grade of man’s evolution, the wider his outlook on life.

The wider his outlook, the higher he stands. But at the same time, as we see all men, they care little to distinguish themselves as life is today. We see it in this world, in the modern world. It seems the pitch is become smaller and smaller, the pitch of human understanding.

Why it is so? Because of the lack of individual progress. As man is busy with mass production, the general tendency is to have all on the same level of understanding. They all read the same newspaper as if that person were afraid that an idea should be thought out. Place be afraid remain in the same pitch. And even if there is a person who had the tendency to go forward, he is considered dreamy, funny, strange. In same place there is no encouragement to individual development. Therefore, society keeps the progress of the whole within a certain pitch and does not allow it to progress more.

And now the question comes that if God is absolute, what is the use of worship, of praying, of believing in some God in any form of king or judge or creator, of superior being? What is the use of it?

This is very easy to read in the book of belief that it is the absolute which is God; it is abstract. That means no one or nothing or everything and all things. Yes, this idea is true. But this idea is larger than the mind. Mind wants to understand. The brain cannot understand it, cannot realize it. Many intellectual persons lost the way by reading in the book “God is abstract.” That means move where come

34. Inayat Khan uses the word “H indu” to m ean “Indian” and not just for the religion; here he m ust refer to U rdu, a language spoken in his hom e as he was growing up, where this term (originally Arabic) appears 35. For akhlak Allah, see Glossary nothing, because they have not arrived at that stage of evolution where they can assimilate such idea. Before getting at that stage they have swallowed a pill they can never digest. On top there come people who have new ideas and thoughts, and they give the same kind of lesson. They say that, “You are God, I am God.” In that way their insolence becomes more and more. The lofty ideal of God, the ideal which lifted seekers of all ages, is being lost. Those who have come to a conclusion, who arrived at realization, they do not speak about such things in connection with God ideal. They realize it in their heart and keep quiet. But those who have just God idea in the brain, who speak about it and touch it, they do not touch ideal. And where do they go? They go to nothing. There is a saying that if you have no God you must make God.

There is a story of the prophet who was passing through the fields. And he saw a young shepherd boy saying to God, “Since I have heard your name, God, I felt such love and devotion that I am longing to see you once. If I saw you, if I found you once in my life, I would cover you in a warm blanket, and guard you against cruel animals in the forest. In the pool of water and I would give you a bath. I would look after you and do everything possible to keep you pleased and happy.” The prophet heard and said, “How foolish, oh boy, to think you will protect God from cruel animals, God who is the creator of the whole manifestation, that you will feed God. God is the source of nourishment to all, the sustenance of all.” And this boy became horrified. He was trembling because he did not know what to think about it. Not big enough to understand the prophet’s language. Now he did not know, “Where is he?” A few steps further a voice from within came, “Oh prophet! We have sent you on this earth to bring our friends to us, not to separate them. It does not separate our friend, he worshiped us in his own way. So all our worshipers do.”

In the first place, man can only conceive of a certain idea in the way he is able to conceive. For instance, if you tell about fairies, no one will think them like trees or plants, but like human beings. If an

44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

The prophet in this story is M oses (see List)

artist is told to paint the picture of an angel he will paint it in the form of a human being. He will put two wings, but his thought it is to paint it as a human being. He will conceive it in the same form with which he is accustomed, which is dear and near to his mind. Naturally, every man conceives the idea of God differently. One conceives of God as the judge. He does not see justice in the world, so he sees it in God.

Another conceives of God as the creator. Man knows himself is a creator, so he thinks God is the perfect creator. It is natural that man makes God, thinks God the best. Therefore, really speaking, whether people of the same religion or not, of the same nation or not, each person has his own God, the God the way he looks at him. It is the first step in the spiritual path, it is the first way to proceed: to have one’s own belief. It is not right on the part of one person saying, “Believe in my God.” Perhaps another person is not capable to believe in the same way as he does. But he believes in his own way. Let him believe that way. After all, it is a first belief in God. It is nothing than a garb. That garb is made by our own idea. Man who such makes stand before us. Is not capable, or imagination before primitive statues, do not want God high. Here is statue of God. In order to kindle that tendency to imagine, idealize, to worship, wise have used.

Would thoughtful person have with standing this? Chinese mistaken,

Greek, Hindus?52 No. If anyone believed that there are as many gods as many people there are in this world, it is true too. Each person’s

God is as he looks at him. Behind is God, one and the same God of all. In this way everyone proceeds. First of all there is the conception, first the imagination. If he wants to use another person’s imagination, the wise said, “Well, take this little picture I will give you. There is your God.” Because he saw this person had no imagination. And it is a pity that it is not only in the past that people were primitive. Today the imagination is still worse. Man has become a machine. From morning till evening he toils; he has very little time im agine, to idealize, to w orship, in olden tim es the wise and said to those who were not capable of im agination, ‘H ere is a statue of G od.’ Those who used these statues, the C hinese, the G reek, the Hindus, were they m istaken?” to imagine. He would be another man, fancy . To the present people, if there has been made any scientific discovery, it is most wonderful, secret of nature . But it perhaps give in a simple statement.

Formerly things they were expressed in the realm of poetry, in the form of music, in symbolical pictures, something that a person should think and this person should penetrate and understand, that his soul should be touched after it unfolded itself by the fineness of it. The great scriptures of the past were given in the form of poetry, of music, never in crude form.

Today a man comes and says, “Will you tell me truth. I want truth in simple words.” But truth is never been told in simple words.

Besides that, that which can be spoken in words cannot be truth. Truth must be distinguished from facts. When it comes to truth, words cannot explain it. Who claims does not explain; cannot be explained in words.61 It is something which must be realized, which must be discovered. Sometimes when I meet those who want to find tangible truth I feel inclined to write new that on a piece of stone “truth”, and to give it to them and to say, “Hold it fast! Here is tangible truth!”

Now coming to the question, how do we benefit by the belief of

God, how is the knowledge of God acquired, if belief in God is sufficient. The thousands and billions of people who believe in God, are they all progressive and all happy? It is not so. Belief is the first step. But the second step is to know the relation between God and man. In order to understand this, one must be able to concentrate, to contemplate, to meditate in order to forget that false identity which one has conceived in one’s mind from the time one is born on earth.

All different methods that sages and seers have given to humanity help one to forget that false conception of oneself. And the best method

54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65.

adopted in order to discover truth is the knowledge of God. By making proper use of it in prayers one says, in concentration, one practises. In one’s concentration, meditation, one benefits by means of God ideal, and one comes to the self-realization which is the fulfilment of life’s purpose.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sufi Centre, San Francisco

February 19, 1926

mental purification 1

While speaking on mental purification I should say that as much necessary it is that the body is cleansed and purified, so necessary or perhaps more necessary it is that the mind is cleansed and purified. All impurities cause disease; also the irregularity of the working of the physical system. The same thing is with mind. There are impurities which belong to mind which cause different diseases also, and by cleansing the mind one helps to create health in body and mind both.

I mean by health natural condition. And what is spirituality? To be spiritual means to be natural. Very few think so. So many think to be spiritual means to be able to work wonders, to be able to see strange things, wonderful phenomena. And very few know how simple it is, that to be spiritual means to be natural.

Mental purification, therefore,3 can be made in three different ways. The first way is the stilling of the mind, because it is the action

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

O = a typescript of uncertain provenance, possibly from Km . but show ing uncharacteristic editorial changes. It contains all the m aterial filled in in

Km .hw., which are not noted, and other changes which are. = a typescript m ake by S akina Furnée or under her supervision, m ade from and containing all the changes there, which are not noted, and som e further editorial changes in ink, which are.

A highly edited form of this lecture form ed the basis of the first two chapters (pp. 99107) in Mental Purification in volum e (1961) of the Sufi M essage series.

Notes: 4. “activity” instead of “action” of mind which very often produces impurities. The stilling of the mind replaces impurities out of it. It is like tuning the mind to its natural pitch. Mind is likened to a pool of water. If the water in the pool is undisturbed, the reflection is clear. And so it is with mind. If the mind is disturbed, you do not get intuition, inspiration clear in it. Once the mind is still, it takes a clear reflection as the pool of water does when the water in the pool is still.

This condition is brought about by the practice of physical repose.

By sitting in a certain posture a certain effect is created. Mystics had in their science different ways of sitting in silence and each way has a certain significance. And it is not only imaginary significance. It produces a certain result. I had met personally and through other persons many experiences of this question, that how a certain way of sitting changes the attitude of mind. And the ancient people knew and they found different ways for different persons to sit. There was the warrior’s way, the student’s way, the way of the meditative person, the way of the businessman, of the labour man, the lawyer, of the judge, of the inventor. Imagine for the mystic to find out this for ages and to have had the experience of this for thousands of years, that what a great effect it makes on such a person, specially on his mind, the sitting in a certain posture. We experience it in our everyday life, but we do not think about it. In a certain way we happen to sit and feel restless. And in a certain way we happen to sit and we feel peaceful. In a certain position sit makes us feel inspired, certain way gives enthusiasm and certain way of sitting makes one feel

5. O “deplaces” instead of “replaces” (the OED shows “deplaces” as a “very rare” form , and perhaps “displaces” was intended) 8. “signification” instead of “significance” 10. O “that” om itted 14. O “especially” instead of “specially” unenergetic, no enthusiasm. By stilling the mind by the help of a certain posture, one is able to purify it.

The second way of purifying the mind is the way of breathing. It is very interesting for an Eastern person to see how sometimes in the

West in their inventions they apply those principles unknown to them in mystical realms. They have got a machine which sweeps carpets, which sucks up the dust. It is the same system inside out. The proper way of breathing sucks up the dust from the mind and puts it out. The scientist goes so far saying that the person exhales hydrogen 22, the bad gasses are thrown out by exhaling. The mystic goes further saying not only from the body, from the mind also. If one knew how to take out, one can take out more than one can imagine. Impurities of mind can be thrown out by the right way of breathing. Therefore, mystics combine breathing with posture. Posture helps the stilling of mind, breathing helps cleansing of mind. Therefore, these two things go together.

And the third way of purifying the mind is by attitude, by right attitude towards life. That is the moral way and the royal road to purification. A person may breathe and sit in silence with a thousand postures, but if he does not have the right attitude towards life he will never develop. That is the principal thing. And one might ask, what is the right attitude? The right attitude is this, that how favourably one regards one’s own shortcomings. Most often one is ready to defend oneself of one’s faults and errors and very often, even knowing that is shortcoming, fault, is ready to defend himself and is willing to make his wrong right. But one has not that attitude towards the others. He takes them to task when it comes to judge them. It is so easy to disapprove of others. It is so easy to take a step further and to dislike others, and not at all difficult to go a step further and to hate

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. “hydrogen” crossed out and “carbonic acid” substituted in ink “right” crossed out and “usual” substituted in ink

others. And while one is active in this manner, one does not think to do any wrong. It is a condition that develops within. One only sees it without. All the bad that accumulates within, one sees in another person. Therefore a man is always in an illusion, he is always pleased with himself and always blaming another . And the most wonderful thing is this, that it is the most blameworthy who blames most. But if it is said in the other way, because one blames most, one becomes most blameworthy.

There is beauty in form, in colour, in line, in manner, in character.

And in some persons it lacks, in other persons it is more. And it is only the comparison that makes us think that this person is better than the other. If we did not compare, then every person would be good. It is the comparison that makes us think one thing more beautiful than the other. But if ever see at his see the beauty that is in it. Very often our comparison is not right for the very fact that what we determine today in our mind as good and beautiful, we are liable to change that conception with a month’s, a year’s time. That shows us when we look at it, we are capable of appreciating it, if that beauty manifests to our view.

There is nothing to be surprised when one arrives at a stage that one says, “This all I see in this world, it is all worth while; I love it all in spite of all pains and struggles and difficulties; it is all worth while.” Another says, “It is all miserable, life is ugly; there is no speck of beauty in this world.” These both are right from their point of view.

They are sincere. But they are different because they look at it like this. Each of these two have their reason to approve of life and to disapprove of it. Only the one benefits himself by the vision of beauty

29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. “to do” crossed out and “one does” substituted in ink

Km .hw., “a” om itted “if it is” crossed out and “it can be” substituted in ink “it is” added in ink “in” added to m ake “within” “at” added in ink

and the other loses by not appreciating it, and not seeing the beauty in it. By a wrong attitude, therefore, a person accumulates in his mind undesirable impressions coming out of people, since no one in this world is perfect. Everyone has a side which can be criticized and wants repairing. When one looked at that side, one accumulates impressions only which make us more and more imperfect, because they collect imperfection, and then that becomes our world, accumulated shortcomings, errors . And when the mind has become a sponge full of undesirable impressions, then what emits from it is also undesirable. No one can say ill of another person without making it is own, while the one saying ill of others is ill himself.

The purification of mind, therefore, from a moral point of view must be learned in one’s everyday life, to try and look at things sympathetically, favorably, by looking at other persons as one looks at oneself, putting oneself in their position instead of accusing them at the sight of their infirmities. Souls on earth are born imperfect and show imperfection, and for this they develop naturally, coming to perfection. If all were born perfect, there would not have been the purpose of this creation. And manifestation has taken place so that every being here may from imperfection rise towards perfection. That is the object and joy of life, and for that this world was created. And if we expect every person to be perfect and conditions to be perfect and all things to be perfect, then there would be no joy in living and no purpose in coming here.

Purification of mind, therefore, is to purify it from all undesirable impressions, not only of the shortcomings of others, but we must arrive at that stage where one forgets one’s own shortcomings too.

I have seen some righteous ones accusing themselves of their errors

41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51.

“and” om itted “looks” instead of “looked” “only” om itted “accum ulated shortcom ings, errors” om itted “also” appears after “undesirable” “person” om itted “because” instead of “while” “others” instead of “other persons” “others” instead of “them ” “from ” instead of “for” “too” om itted until they have become error themselves. All the time concentration of error, it means engraving upon the mind the error. The best principle, therefore is to forget others and to forget ourselves and to put our mind to accumulate all that is good and beautiful.

There is a very significant occupation of the street boys in India.

They take the earth from a certain place and they have a certain way of finding in that earth some metal such as gold and silver. And all day long their hands are in the dust. But looking for what? Looking for gold and silver. In this world of imperfection, when we seek for all that is good and beautiful, there are many chances that we become disappointed. But at the same time, if we keep on looking for it, not looking at the dust but looking for the gold, we shall find it. And once we begin to find it, we shall find more and more. There comes a time in the life of man where he can see some good in the worst man in the world. And when one has reached that point, if the good was covered with a thousand covers, he will put his hand on what is good, because he looks for good and attracts what is good.

And now we come to the phenomena of the pure mind. The pure mind does not create phenomena only , but is phenomena itself. A man who thinks of having a good fish, nice fish fried, in his office, finds cook did the same thing, made a nice fried fish. What is it?

Reflection of the pure mind. It was just a thought, this man was not concentrated; a thought just passed through his mind, but it took the right direction. In other words, struck the mind which was responsible for it, to prepare it.56 A man who wanted to look for a certain bracket for his room, who did not know where to go in the city and where to find it. He had his idea it should be like this. And as soon as he goes out, the first shop that his eyes fall upon has that bracket there. That is the only thing necessary for him. Perhaps throughout the whole city he could not have found it. But his mind brought him to the object he desired. Where all comes from? It all comes from purity of mind.

52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

“becam e” instead of “have becom e” “, therefore,” om itted “or” instead of “and” “only” om itted this entire passage om itted “he” instead of “who” “does it com e” instead of “all com es” “all” om itted

Besides that, mind is likened to the water. Even to look at a stream of pure water, running in all purity, it is a greatest joy one can have. Drinking the pure water is the greatest joy. And so it is with the mind. The contact with the pure minded, association with the pure minded is the greatest joy, whether he speaks or not with you. There comes out of him a purity, a natural purity which is not man-made but which belongs to the soul and gives you the greatest pleasure and joy. There are others who have learned to speak and entertain and their manner is polish and fineness and their wit exaggeration in artistic speech . What is it all? If there is no purity of mind, nothing can give that exquisite joy after which every soul yearns.

And now coming to the question, they say pure minded were very often seems to be too good to live and very often seems to be void of common sense. Very often 65pure minded seems not belonging to this world. Yes, it is true. But it is not the fault of the pure minded, but it is the fault of the wicked world. That world has gone from bad to worse. Anyone that shows purity of mind begins to be an outcast and shows to be incapable of doing whatever he can do. But what does it matter? One can just as well be pure minded and wise at the same time. The difference between wise and clever is this: the clever cannot be wise, but the wise can be clever.68 The pure minded can work in worldly matters also, as thoroughly, as capably as a worldly man. But the one without the pure mind may be able to make a success in the world, but not an everlasting success.

When we come to the question of success and failure, there is no principle upon which this is based. It is not true to say you must be honest and good and pure minded in order to make a success. Very often the opposite, but the same time not the opposite, in order to be fineness and their wit exaggeration in artistic speech” 63. “a” added in ink 65. “the” added in ink 67. “that” crossed out and “who” substituted in ink 69. “the” crossed out and “a” substituted successful. Very often the dishonesty and lack of purity of mind brings one to a great failure. And if there can be said any rule pertaining to this, that rule is that the one who makes a success through honesty and through goodness, his success depends upon honesty and goodness. The day he will lack, it will go down.70 And the one who makes a success without honesty and goodness, the day he is honest and good, he will have a failure. Because their paths are different. The whole attitude of mind works upon one’s life’s affairs.

It is most wonderful to watch. The more you think about it, the more it will prove to you that the success and failure absolutely depend upon one’s attitude of mind.

I was very interested in hearing from a friend who was a seller, salesman of a big firm of jewellers. He used to come to me to talk philosophy. He said, “It is very strange. I have seen so often on arriving in a house where I thought they are able to pay more than the actual price of things, when I was tempted to ask a much greater price than what I knew the price to be, and every time I gave in to this temptation, I did not succeed. And again I was encouraged to do the same when I saw my fellow salesmen, who sold a stone to someone who took a liking to it, perhaps for a four times more price than it had . Why did they succeed and why do I not succeed?” I told him, “Your way is different. Their way is different. They can succeed by dishonesty; you can succeed by honesty. If you take their path, you will not succeed.”

Therefore, sometimes the one who is busy developing mentally, by mental purification may have to go through little sacrifices, little failures. But they are only a process towards something really substantial, really worth while. If he is not discouraged by a little failure, he will certainly come to a stage when success will be his.

Purity of mind sets forth springs of inspiration which otherwise are kept closed. And it is through inspiration that one enjoys and

70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. “a” om itted “m ore price than it had” crossed out and “its worth” substituted appreciates all that is beautiful and creates all that is good for the joy and pleasure of others.

Once I visited the studio of a painter. I have sat there for fifteen minutes and such a depression came upon me that I asked the widow of the painter that, “What was the condition of your husband, who made these pictures ?” And she said, “A terrible condition, his spirit was torn to pieces.” I said, “That is what his pictures show,” and the effect is that whoever sees those pictures gets the same influence.

If we have the purity of mind we create purity. In all we do, art, politics, business, music, industry, we pour out the purity of mind even to such an extent that those around us, when we see strangers, friends, they all have part in our joy. They say diseases are infectious.

But I say the purity of mind is infectious. Also its effect creates purity in others. Some keep it for a long time, others keep it for a short time.

It depends upon the mind.

And now coming to the idea, what are the ways that the Sufis prescribe towards the purification of mind? Repetitions of the sacred names of God, prayers, sitting in a certain posture, breathing in a certain rhythm, focussing one’s mind on a certain object of concentration in order to become single-minded, and the changing of the attitude towards life. All these things are practised to bring about desired results. ——————-Q.: Murshid, would you please repeat what you said about the searchlight?

A.: What I said, the mind is a storehouse, a storehouse of all the knowledge that one has accumulated by studies, by experiences, by impressions, through any of the five senses. In other words, every sound, even once you have heard it, is registered there. Every form that your eyes have seen, only a glimpse of it, is registered there. And when our heart is pure, it projects the light of the soul just like the light is projected from the searchlight. And the most wonderful phenomena is that this light is thrown by the power of will on that particular spot in the storehouse I call mind, on this spot which you want to find. For an instance, you have seen a person ten years ago once and this person comes before you and you look at this person and you say, I have seen this person, where? In that moment your will throws the light of your soul on that picture that was once made on your mind ten years ago. It still is there. You had all forgotten it, but the picture is there. The moment you have desired to see it, the light of your soul projects its light on that particular spot, and the most wonderful thing is that there are perhaps a million of pictures. Why must your light be put on that particular image? That is the phenomena . It is that the inner light will have a great power; it is a power which is creative by nature. And therefore, when it throws light, it throws it on that particular spot.

Q.: Murshid, would you kindly help me? What subconscious mind is?

A.: I very seldom use word subconscious mind. But by word mind

I mean subconscious mind. What I have said just now, there is a storehouse. That storehouse is the subconscious mind. In that storehouse there are things and they live, living things. And so all thoughts and impressions are living also. There is nothing in the mind that dies. It lives and lives long. But when we are not conscious of it, it is in our subconscious mind. For an instance, a person was told that he must go and see his friend on such a day on this time. He had written it in his notebook. But then he forgot it. In his daily occupation there comes a moment when he thinks, “I ought to be in that place! I have not gone there. I have quite forgotten. I must have been there.

79. Inayat Khan characteristically used only the plural of this word; “phenom enon” instead of “phenom ena” 83. O “of ” om itted 84. Inayat Khan characteristically used only the plural of this word; corrected to “phenom enon” 86. “the” added in ink 87. “an” om itted 88. “on this” crossed out and “at such a” substituted in ink

Why am I not there? Why did I forget it?” Now this idea that has come to his memory was in his subconscious mind. And as his will wanted to know, it came up. He knew without doubt that he had an engagement, that he was meant to be there. Only, for the time being, been forgotten. Where was it? In that part of his mind which some call subconscious mind. The more words, the more complications make . Higher mind, lower mind; I should say, mind.

Q.: What becomes of this storehouse after death?

A.: It comes to greater life, a life more real than here. For an instance, a pupil who was very interested in spiritual exercises and metaphysical questions once went away from me and then became a businessman. All his time was taken in business. He forgot me altogether. For ten years he never did his practices. One day I happened to go in the city where he lived. And then he remembered his old teacher who had come again. After he heard the lecture, all things which he was taught ten years before, it all became living for him; must too eager to come, but it all became alive in one moment’s time. He said, “It is all living to me. Please tell me what to do.” He was so eager to do things now. And so it is. All that is in the mind, all one has never thought about, all one never troubles about, is there and when one has leisure from worldly occupations (at death comes leisure), it all becomes living. Therefore, the realization they say about heaven and hell, have made in ourselves what we have accumulated in our mind, in the hereafter mind will be all our own.

Today our mind is in us. In the hereafter we shall be in our mind. And therefore that mind which is mind just now, in the hereafter will be the world. If it is in heaven, is heaven; if it is in the other place, is to “he” in ink; “it was” instead of “m ust”, changed in ink to “he was” the other place. It is what we have made it. No one is attracted and put there. We have made it for ourselves, for our own convenience.

What we have sought after we have collected. A valuable dress, if it was really important, it is there. If you find out that it is not important, that it is foolish, it is there just the same.

Q.: Do useless things take a form in the mind?

A.: Well, everything has a form. But it has a form akin to the source of impression. Now, for an instance, a painting, a picture is a form.

Not only, but music also is a language that the eyes do not see, but the ears see it. So mind accumulates all such forms as sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all different tastes. We do not see them, but they are in a form distinguished by us, in the mind registered . The eyes do not see that form. But mind sees them actually in the same way as one had once tasted. In mind, they are all intelligible to mind in the same way, exactly the same, as intelligible to mind as when it came through different senses.

Q.: Do various impressions remain together 103?

A.: Yes, they do. Because, what is individual? Individual is a unit.

When different physical organs cannot any longer hold the spirit, then they fail and the spirit has finished with them. The body departs, the spirit remains. The spirit is as much of individual as much the person was individual in the physical body. After the physical body has gone on, the contrary impressions are more distinct because the limitation of the physical body has fallen away. The physical body is a great limitation. If it has fallen away, individuality becomes more distinct, more capable of working than on the physical plane.

Q.: End to growth then?

A.: Yes, there is nothing which begins and does not end. All that

101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107.

begins must end, but at the same time, no comparison of age of physical body have as one experiences in hereafter. The same three stages one has experienced forward, the same three stages one has to go back. Is not go back, but going forward in order to come to physical world, penetrate the angelic, jinn, and then the physical. If the physical body keeps away, then one is in the jinn sphere just the same, got to go, is there. If the genius keeps away then angelic sphere.

Therefore, age of inner sphere, inner sphere incomparably longer than ages one experiences in physical body. Of course, idea more stated by reading The Soul: Whence and Whither 108.

God bless you.

Headquarters, San Francisco, p.m.

February 19, 1926

mind distractions removed by superior concentration

Beloved Ones of God,

When speaking on the mind and how to keep it away from disturbing thoughts by the power of concentration, I would like to explain first what do I mean by mind. There is a great confusion on this subject. Material minded person says the mind is brain and brain is the mind. And those who claim spirituality, they have their different ideas about mind. In reality, mind is apart from the brain, mind is separate and independent of the brain. Mind works through the brain, and mind uses the brain. Brain is registered by the mind in the brain; its action of the mind is made clear by the brain. Nevertheless, mind is not limited or restricted by the brain except that we are accustomed to work with our mind through the medium of the brain. Mind is the surface of the heart, and the heart is the depth of the mind. Therefore, mind and heart are two names of the one thing. If you call it mind, that its depth is heart; if you call it heart, then its surface is mind.

And now I must explain the five distinct qualities of the mind. The first and principal quality of the mind is thinking. And thinking is of two kinds, that is imagining and thinking. Often people confuse these two words also. They say, “I imagine so,” and “I think so.” These two

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. Km .hw. “Sufi C enter” added things are distinct and different. Automatic action of mind is creative of imagination. And when mind is directed with will, it is thinking.

Imagination, therefore, is an outcome of the automatic action of mind.

Thought, therefore, is a result of intentional thinking. Thoughtful man, therefore, is not imagination , nor imaginative man is thoughtful. Both things have their place. A person who is accustomed to think and who is not capable of imagination is removed far from that beauty which is expressed in poetry and music. It comes from imagination. When mind is given a free hand to do as it likes, it, so to speak, dances and out of its gestures creates a picture, call it art, poetry, music. In whatever form it expresses itself it is beautiful. Therefore, behind art and creation, music and poetry, there is imagination as the source and power of creation. And when a person thinks, that is another action.

At that time he controls his mind, either consciously or unconsciously, and directs it according to his own will. He becomes reasonable, exact, and thoughtful. Both an imaginative and thinking person may go to extremity and may fail. To keep the balance which brings about desired results. An imaginative person can become a dreamer and may not use his will in thinking. And so many times artists, poets, and musicians too, they lose their balance, they no more are practical, they lose their common sense. At the same time, in their particular work they too are wonderful. It is not to be surprised, therefore, that a most wonderful artist, or a great poet, or a splendid musician has not a common sense. He has not the common sense because he has not learned to think. He has practised imagination, and that which imagination gives he has got.

A thinking person also may think and think and may be confused by his own thoughts. As the other day I was amused seeing in a park in San Francisco Rodin’s Thinker. In his form and feature there was anything but thought. And on further reflection still one can call him a thinker because he thinks hard. So there are many thinkers who think hard and by that they become thoughtless.

And now we go further in explaining what is the second aspect of mind. That is memory. The work of memory is not creative but

5. 6. 7. 8.

For R odin and his fam ous statue, see List perceptive. Its work is to take impressions and to gather them. So far as science goes, scientist says that the atoms of the brain are impressed by every impression that comes through the senses. And it is that which is kept in the brain, and one gets them when one wants them. But it is not true. At the same time it is a symbological explanation. The scientist has pictured it as it is in the inner plane. But because they do not admit the inner plane they want to explain it in physical terms and they call it brain cells. It is true in essence, but it is not in the brain, it is in the mind. But that does not mean that the body is not impressed by the mind. Everything that goes on in the mind, it has its effect upon every atom of the body. In that sense, if the brain is impressed by a certain impression it is not wrong. But the real impression is in the mind. Mind is a storehouse. In one’s storehouse memory is a department that gives all that once in the senses; as every experience through life, all that the eyes have seen, and one has smelled, or one has heard, or tasted, or touched. And if we go little further, even there are impressions in the memory which do not belong to this earth. But that is another subject and should be treated on another day.

And now coming on the third aspect of the work of mind, and that is the mind control, the thinking, the concentrating power. This is done in two ways: by the help of memory and by the help of mind.

The concentration that is done by the help of memory is a negative or passive concentration. It requires little effort to concentrate by the help of memory. The Hindus taught this concentration by placing certain gods and goddesses before man and telling him to look at it and, “Close your eyes and think about it.” By looking at a certain object the memory was reflected by it. Memory reflected it, and that reflection was the concentration. That is one kind of concentration: to take an object from the outside, and to hold that reflection in one’s memory. It is the negative concentration.

And then there is positive concentration. That is creative. This concentration comes by thinking. When you say, “Think of a tree, or plant, or flower,” mind has to create atoms in order to make that form.

Therefore, it is positive. It wants will power, a greater action of mind to concentrate upon an object which mind has to make. Mind has to work; it is not only concentrating, but creating and concentrating.

There are some who have a natural power of concentration and there are others who lack it. But the mystery of success in all directions of life and the secret of progress is to be found in the power of concentration. It is not only progress and success that is gained by it, but spiritual attainment is the result of concentration. And very often one sees that there are those who make efforts to concentrate and cannot concentrate well, and others who do not know that they concentrate, be it in business, and who do it. They do much better than they who close the eyes in a church or room in order to do concentration. By prayer and by meditation and by different other exercises, religious or spiritual, is meant to develop the power of concentration.

There is a very amusing story I remember now, in the East, a custom in the Muslim church, that one man leads the prayers and hundreds and thousands of men stand behind him. And they make up their mind first before offering their prayers that, “We join the thought of our leader.” And there was a great mystic who would not go in the church to pray. He was always in prayer. He did not need to go to church. But there was an orthodox king reigning who had decreed that all must attend to the prayers. So this man was compelled by the police to go and join. When he was praying, half went , in the middle of the prayers, he went out. And that was a great crime. He was brought before the court to be judged. He said, “I could not help it.

The leader went to his house because he had forgotten his keys. When

I was praying, I was without this leader in the mosque. So I went out.” That showed that what external form is and what the inner spirit.

If there is no life the body is a corpse. And so the form is for the spirit to use. And as long as there is spirit in a religious form it is a

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

beautiful form, and when that religious form has life in it. But if there is no spirit at the back, how much beautiful the form is, it is of no use. That is what the saying in the Bible indicates, “It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.”

Now I come to the fourth aspect of the mind, and that is the reasoning. This is a mathematical faculty, a faculty which weighs and measures and sees angles, whether they are right or wrong. And it is this faculty which makes man responsible for his actions. If he is not individual he is nothing but an atom moved by influences. Weather conditions move him, or climatic influences, or personal influences, he is nothing but an instrument. But if he is held responsible for his actions it is for this one faculty of mind that weighs and measures and reasons out things. Nevertheless, the reasoning of one person is not the same as the reasoning of another person, and the reason of this moment is not the same as reason of another moment. Something that is right just now not right tomorrow, maybe not because reasoning will change. And they who dispute over reasonings, they do it in vain because the reasoning of every person is different, and the reasoning of every person is good for him at that time when he reasons. And to urge and force one’s own reason on the mind of another is an unnecessary thing. The best way to educate a person is to develop reasoning instead of urging upon him one’s own reason.

And that is what many do.

And now coming to the value of reason. Reason is the most valuable thing and at the same time the most worthless thing. It is worthless for this reason, that it is a slave of mind. And as soon as mind says, “Have I not done it right?”, reason comes before this mind and says, “Yes, you have done right, because you ought to have done it.” That is the reason. It gives mind reason to do right or wrong both. If one went and asked criminals in the jail their reason of having done wrong, each one would have a reason. At the same time,

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

See John 6:63

if one is accused for a crime or not accused is just the same. And if we go further in looking at reason we shall see that reason is nothing but a veil and a series of veils, one veil with another veil at the back. Lift veils and even at the end there is reason just the same. But as further you go in reason, the more thorough and the more substantial reason there is. It is the surface of the reason which is unreliable, but the depth of reason is most interesting. Because the depth of reason is the essence of wisdom. The more you understand reason, the less reason you will seek, because there is nothing to reason. You know it already.

It is the unreasonable man who always accuses every person’s reason.

The more reasonable a person is, the more he understands the reason of everyone. Therefore the wise can get along with the wise and foolish both, but the foolish one cannot get along with the foolish and the wise one. The essence of reason is the knowledge of God. And therefore if there is any divine knowledge to be found it is in the essence of reason that one can find.

And the fifth aspect of mind is feeling. If this faculty is not open, then how much clever and wise a person is, he is incomplete, he is not living. Mind begins to live from the moment that feeling is wakened in it. Many use word feeling, but few of us know it. And the more you know it, the less you speak of it. It is such a vast thing that if there is any sign of God it is in feeling.

A person came to me, “Oh, I have been very sympathetic once, but some way or the other I have become hardened. What is the reason of it?” I said, “You tried to get the water from the bottom of the earth.

But instead of digging you dug in the mud and you were disappointed.

If you have patience to dig till you reach the water then you will not be disappointed.” Very often a person imagines that he is feeling, that he has sympathy. But if he had it, he would be the master of life. Then he would want nothing. When this spring which is in the heart of man is once open, it makes one self-sufficient and it takes away that continual tragedy souls have to meet with in life. And that tragedy is limitation. Very often it is the lack of feeling that paralyzes the four other aspects of mind. It is the feelingless person who is incapable of thinking freely. What makes one thoughtful is feeling. A man may be of powerful mind, but if he cannot feel, the power of his mind is limited. Because power is in feeling, not in thinking.

Very often people come to me and say that, “I have thought about it and I have wanted it, but I never got it.” And I have answered, “You have never wanted. If you had wanted you would have got it.” They do not believe. They say, “I think that I have wanted it.” Yes, but to want it enough is another thing. If a person went and stood before a bank and said, “All the money, come to me,” will it come? He imagines it that he wants it, because he does not believe it. If he believed it, it would come. But who wants it, he believes it. And it is that belief that brings it.

There is a story of Shirin and Farhad , a very well-known story of Persia, that there was a stonecutter and he was labouring in making a memorial for somebody. And there he saw a lady who was to be the future queen of the Shah. And he said to this lady, “I love you.” A stonecutter, a labourer in the street, to have asked for the hand of a lady who was to be the future queen. It seems, a man without reason, but not a man without feeling. Feeling was there, and the claim came with feeling. This lady said, “Yes, I will wait and see if your claim is true and tell the Shah of Persia to wait if your claim is true.” She told him to make a way through the mountains. He went, one man with hammer and chisel. He did not ask if he was able to do it or not. There was no reason; there was feeling. And he made the way which hundreds of people would not have made in a year. Because every time he hammered the rock he called out the name of Shirin, the one he loved. He made the way. And when the king asked, “Is it made?” “Yes,” they said. The king said, “Alas, I have lost my chance, what shall I do?” Someone in the presence of the king said, “I will see what can be done.” He said to Farhad, this stonecutter, “How wonderful is your love and devotion. It is a phenomena . But have you heard anything? Shirin is dead.” “Is she dead?”, he said. “Then I cannot be living.” He fell dead too on the news, on hearing it.

28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

For the story of Shirin and Farhad, see List

Inayat Khan custom arily used only the plural of this word

The connection of this story only is in the power of feeling. That at this time what is lacking in people is the feeling quality. That they all wish to think from their brain, to work from their head, not from the heart. Neither can one imagine and create beautiful art nor think and make wonderful things, nor can one keep in memory something beautiful, nor retain thoughts and concentration, if there is not the feeling at the back of it. Besides, all these words, as gratitude, or thanks, or appreciation, if there is no feeling behind, how much politeness comes in this world without spirit behind . Today fineness is so misunderstood. People only learn the outer manner. If there were feeling behind all they say, life would be worth living.

By concentration what we achieve is to direct one’s thoughts to a spiritual object, that worries and anxieties may vanish and man may become single-minded, poised, and balanced. And it is in this way that his insight will become keen and his powers will become great. ——————-Q.: What is doubt?

A.: Doubt is a destructive element. It is likened to the shadow that produces dampness, that takes away sun. The sun has no choice of searching that place. It is covered from the light. Doubt is a darkness which covers the sun.

Q.: Are the Sufis concerned to attain feeling?

A.: Yes. Sufis are most concerned with feeling. Rumi’s system from beginning to end is the development of that sympathetic faculty, not only concentration. We must practice day and night in every little thing we do. Suppose everything we do not like it. If we did everything we had to do willingly, with pleasure, if we would answer everyone from friend to foe, that sympathetic faculty develops. The power of sympathetic nature stands through all tests and trials of life.

“how m uch politeness com es in this world without spirit behind”

If we are evolved or not, there is no end of the tests and trials.

Q.: Would you give a definition of concentration?

A.: As I have said, thinking hard, rigid thinking, is a wrong thing.

When a person thinks of a table or chair, it does not give anything. I should think, why not think upon things one does it life? That is the best way of concentrating. If one does domestic work, why not concentrating upon things one is doing? That is the first step. To put mind and heart in it. It will make the weight of life lighter and it will light one up. But if a person is displeased with anything and he does it, well, that is the beginning of destruction. Because he has to do it, if he is not pleased in a condition and must do it, if he is not willing to do it, that is the tragedy of life. If one is powerful enough to throw it out of one’s life and not to do it, still better. But if one is not powerful enough to throw it out, then to take patiently. That is the difference of the master and the saint. The character of the saint is to take the cross and carry. And the work of the master is that false he throws it away and pushes it away and goes alone. It does not matter what he sacrifices and what he meets. Both ways are beautiful.

Anyone can take, but taken willingly, sympathetically.

Q.: What is the best remedy for a wandering mind?

A.: Natural concentration. That is not to force the mind. To let mind work naturally first, and to let mind think on things that mind is

38. 39. 40. 41.

“concentrate” instead of “concentrating” “false” om itted “If one takes, then to take” instead of “Anyone can take, but taken” “m eans” instead of “is” inclined to think. Why must mind think on things on which it is not inclined to think? It is unnatural. It is like eating things one does not like to eat. It will not assimilate, not give good results. Anything one loves, to have such things must think about. Then one can concentrate.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Oakland, California

February 20, 1926

spirituality, the tuning of the heart

Beloved Ones of God,

It is my happiness and privilege to address the people of this city for the first time, speaking on the subject of spirituality, the tuning of the heart. Before speaking on spirituality I must first explain what do

I mean by spirituality. There are people who consider spirituality as orthodoxy, or piety, to be religious, to be a priest, to be a monk, a hermit, to fast, or to live a life of a certain discipline, to adopt of certain form of worship. All these outer forms, a person may have all these forms and not be spiritual, and nothing of these a person may have and be spiritual. And those who seek spirituality in such outer forms are mistaken, because spirituality is far from that. Real spirituality, therefore, is spirit consciousness. To be spiritual means to be conscious of spirit, as a material person means a person who is conscious of matter. Therefore, it is not a religion, or orthodoxy, or outer form, or a certain kind of life which means spiritual life. It is to be conscious of the spirit that makes one spiritual.

Then there are others who think those who perform phenomena, miracles, wonderworks, are spiritual. It is not so. Many who are capable of performing phenomena are not different from a magician.

Then there are others who say to be spiritual means to tell fortunes, or be clairvoyant, or to see wonderful things. It is not necessary that

D ocum ents:

Km .sh.


Km .hw.


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: one ought to do wonderful things, to see wonderful things in order to be spiritual. Then there are others who imagine to be spiritual means sitting in the caves of mountains, or roaming about in forests, or to appear and disappear. All these things are but fancies of the imaginative. To be spiritual means to be oneself, to be one’s natural self. And that shows how many of us are ourselves. If we were ourselves we would all be spiritual. But we are not ourselves, are far from ourselves, is it not true? The way a great Indian poet expresses this idea that, “To accomplish things apart, for man to be a man is the most difficult thing.” That means for a human being to be a human being is the greatest difficulty. Yet he is born a human being. The first thing he ought to be is the thing he is not. He is anything but a human being. He is willing to be a solicitor, a doctor, a professor, but a human being, that is a thing he thinks of last, and even mostly of which he does not think.

People say that nowadays there is a great tendency in the world to discover spiritual truth, that there is an inner spiritual awakening.

Yes, I admit it. And then again they say that in America there is to be found a great thirst for spiritual attainment. That is true also. But what direction it takes? Very often it takes wrong directions. Those searching after truth either think that the best thing to find a belief in the spirit and in the hereafter is mediumship, to become ourselves a medium or to go to a medium, and when he has found the proof, to communicate with the dead, then he has found the proof of the spiritual. They wreck their nervous system; many go out of balance.

They think that in that is the way which leads to spirituality. But it leads to destruction.

Then there are others who wish to pursue the spiritual in the same way as the person in the university and college. They want to read all things in the book. They think if there is anything like a spiritual attainment, one book must tell us about it. If they go to the library and read all the books there are throughout the whole life, they cannot touch spirituality, because it does not come from books. Reading helps one sometimes to waken and yet every person does not know what to read. And what is happening today? There are thousands and thousands of people in the United States who are reading one book and another book and another book till their mind is so confused that they do not know what to believe and what not to believe. Among them there are many who think what is the best way is the intellectual way. But what is intellectual? Is reading really intellectual? And are all books the same? They only confuse a person. Very often they read the books of ten horrors on the same lines which puzzle a person’s mind so much that he does not know where he is. Often people have come to me and said, to help me to have confidence in them because for ten years they have been reading occult books. Instead of confidence, I have to guide them on the path to erase what they have learned first . Perhaps they are not willing to have it erased. They think they have gained a knowledge by reading hundred books.

What knowledge? Is it spiritual? Besides that, very often intellectual pursuit gives them whether the idea that there are such masters and such mahatmas and such saints in the Himalayas, in the caves of the mountains. They never think he can be in the crowds. But it interests them most when he is in a place where nobody can reach. They think he cannot be in the restaurant to take his dinner, he must be in the cave of a mountain, one on outside . Imagine! Why was this world created, why are we born in this world, among this world, if this world were not a school to develop the soul and arrive at a stage which is life’s purpose! Man has lost confidence in his fellow man. He expects spirituality from the dead, from the trees, not from man. He has no confidence in his brothers.

And there are others who are interested in the meaning of symbology. The particular symbol means this, another gives a great substituted 13. For m ahatm a, see Glossary revelation, another is a great mystery. Where is spirituality to be found? Is it not in the heart of man? Instead of in their own heart people want to look in different places, or certain symbols. Yes, symbols are expressive of that , but the direct way is within oneself.

One day I was very amused. In an English traveling near

Bournemouth, I was brought in a place where they said I must speak and that it was an important place. So I went there. And the man who brought me there, he said, “Now here in this corner you can feel, that is the secret.” Imagine, in that place was and there spirituality, not in man!

Those who make an occupation of spirituality take advantage of people’s ignorance. Then they cater, they feed them. Come along, are gay, fanciful, that have more spiritualism, willing to.20 They say to any person, “You are a medium.” So those who take this as a profession, they work to tell everyone, “Come along! Be more fanciful, more imaginative, more superstitious.” They feed curiosity.

Does it lead anywhere? They are lost. They are never spiritual. It is everywhere to be found, not only in America; also in Europe it is the same condition.

And now coming to the actual subject, the difference between spirit and matter. Once a young Italian who did not believe in God or soul was traveling with me in the ship, and he thought perhaps I was a priest. He said, “What is do you believe in anything?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “What is your belief ?” I said, “It cannot be said.”

Since he was antagonistic he said, “I don’t believe in anything. Quite natural, nor do so wish.24 If in anything I believe it is in eternal matter.” I said, “My belief is not far from yours. What you call eternal matter, I call eternal spirit. What you have named matter, I have named spirit.” It is a dispute over words, the understanding is the same. The difference has come by disputing over words. What is spirit

16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

A word seem s to be m issing after “English”, perhaps “train”

is the fine matter, and what is matter is the dense spirit. In other words, there are two names and one subject, call it water, call it snow.

When it is crystallized, it is snow. If you don’t like to call it water, call its snow, if you wish to distinguish. You may call it with two names.

There is no objection. It is a matter of choice. If one chooses, no matter.25 In Christian Science also it is said that matter is spirit just the same. If you choose to call it no spirit, then matter is spiritual just the same. If you say both things, it is right too. Truth is in understanding, not in expression. Men who have strengthened their truth and have fought, and arrived at nothing. And very often those who do not more understand the subject, they argue for the reason that they want to know it. But they don’t want to know honestly about it. It is another way, to argue, then they know the other idea also. They oppose the other one to see what the person says. Then they know the other idea also. It is a kind of robbery. They have a now thirst for argument. Who will not understand will never understand, how much it is true. He who understands, you tell him and he will understand. It is the matter of evolution. Besides, there is a tendency in everyone to think that, “The other one must look at things as I do.” But it is impossible. If it is a friend, if it is a wife, a husband, a brother, a sister, or a companion, the other one must understand as I. But maybe they are at different stages of evolution, they cannot understand.

Leave them alone. For some it is good to sleep, for others it is good to waken. If it is no virtue to waken everybody. It is the greatest crime to make awake those who ought to sleep. To make everyone spiritual is not a right mission. The best would be to do help wherever a

25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

For C hristian Science, see List

person is, not try to bring to pitch . He will come naturally. To put one on the right track, that is enough. Very often people who are interested in spirituality urge on those in their surroundings. They are mistaken. Those who are urged are sometimes more spiritual. Man is a great mystery, and we know so little about it.

During my travellings in India, for nine years I travelled in the pursuit of the illuminated ones, to the living wise men of the East.

And you would be surprised to know that how different illuminated souls live under the guise of an ordinary person, that no one can ever distinguish them as different from others. Many of them are bearing in the same way as everybody does, sitting in the same places, saying the same things that anyone else would say. Neither they show any difference in outward appearance nor in speech or claims. Find that great beings.40 And at the same time, if you could see them, they are so different from others as there is difference between earth and sky.

I will tell you about my own teacher. Once I met a learned man, a doctor of philosophy with a great many degrees. And I spoke to him on the deeper side of life. And he became so interested in me that he thought much about me. And I thought if I were to tell him about my teacher, how much more interesting it would be for him. If I make such impression on this man, how much more my teacher will be for him, and how he will appreciate my teacher . I told him, “There is a wonderful man in this city; he has no comparison in the whole world.” “Yes,” he said, “are there such people?” “Yes.” “I would so much like to see him. Where does he live?” And I told him in such and such a part of the city. He said, “I live there also. Where is his house?

I know all the people there.” “Well, I know that house.45 What is his name?” So I told him. He said, “For twenty years I have known this man, and you are telling me about him.” I thought, “For hundred years you would not have been able to know him.” He was not ready

38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46.

Abu H ashim M adani (see List)

to know him. If people are not evolved enough they cannot appreciate, and they cannot understand persons. The greatest souls they cannot understand. They sit with them, talk with them; there is the contact of the whole life, but they do not see. Use another person, in one moment, if he is ready to understand, he do make a benefit out of it. Imagine, he had known my teacher for twenty years and did not know him. I saw him once and became his pupil forever. One might ask, “Was this man not learned, not intellectual?” I say yes.

Then what was lacking? He saw him with his brain. I saw my teacher with my heart. We pursue after spirituality with brains; that is where we are mistaken. Spirituality is attained by the heart.

And now coming to the question, what do I mean by heart? Is this the nervous centre in the midst of the breast, the small piece of flesh that doctors call heart? No. The definition of heart is: heart is the depth of the mind; mind is the surface of heart. That which feels in us is heart, what thinks is mind. It is the same thing which thinks and feels, but the direction is different. Feeling comes from the depth, thought from the surface. But when the thought is not linked with the feeling, it is just like a plant rising up from the earth, yet its root has not gone deep in the earth. Thought without feeling is powerless, thought just like a plant without a deep root. A tree, the root of which has gone deep in the earth, is stronger, more reliable. So the thought deeply rooted in the heart has greater power. Therefore, the heart is the factor through which spirit and spirituality is to be attained. Man’s being can be divided into three aspects: the body, the heart, and the soul. The heart is a globe on the soul, and the body is a cover over the heart. But one might say, “Is soul so small as to be covered by the heart, and is heart so small as to be covered by the body?” It is not so.

The soul is within and without.

For an instance, the light is covered by the globe, and the globe is covered by another cover. And yet, is the light covered? The light shines out just the same. The light is not under the cover. It looks to

47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52.

“and” om itted “U se” om itted “m akes” instead of “do m ake” “after” om itted “it” instead of “this” “thought” om itted be under the cover, but it shines out. So is the soul. The globe does not shine out. It is the light that takes the colour of the globe. It is the soul that is larger. At the same time, the light is within the globe. The soul is within the body just the same; it is exactly the same thing as the light within the globe and the globe within the cover. And at the same time, the light is outside the cover. And the power of the globe is shining outside the cover just the same. Therefore, the power of the heart is greater than the power of the body, and the power of the soul is still greater. But as long as one is ignorant of it, one does not realize the truth. Imagine what power heart quality has. The little hen with its young ones, if there comes a horse or elephant, it is ready to fight.

Otherwise, it will run away, but with its young ones it is ready to fight with the elephant. Heart quality at that time is blooming. It is feeling.

At that time its power is so great that it is ready to fight with anyone.

A hunter’s story is told in India, that he was after a she-deer, and it ran far into the woods. And this hunter pursued it. And when she comes near her young ones who were waiting for it , she did not run further.

She forgot the hunter. At that time she has no fear, as soon as the heart quality is wakened in the presence of her little ones. That is nothing one will not sacrifice, not accomplish, one will not face when heart quality is wakened. All cowardliness and weakness, misery and wretchedness comes when heart quality is covered and man begins to live in his brain. Lions turn into rabbits when the heart is not living.

Very few understand the power of the heart. If once the heart is wakened, there is nothing that one does not accomplish. It gives all the force and power that one needs, besides inspiration and illumination too , to attain anything one wants.

One might ask, Is it not natural to attain spirituality? Does it not come without any effort on our part? And if it was not natural, then what is the use of attaining spirituality? This is a right argument. But my answer is, spirituality is not only for human beings, but also for the lower creation, for every being. Not spirituality in the sense we

53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58.

“And” om itted “her” instead of “it” corrected by hand to “had” “There” instead of “That” “force and” om itted “too” om itted understand, but in the sense of being tuned to one’s natural pitch. Even birds have their movements of exaltation. At the setting of the sun, the rising of the sun, the breaking of dawn, or in moonlight, there come times that even birds and animals feel exalted. They sing and dance and sit on the branches of the tree in exaltation. Every day this exquisite joy they feel. And if we go still further and if we have eyes to see in those forms in which others do not see life, in the rock, or the tree, we find that there are times that even the trees are in a complete state of ecstasy. Those who move in nature, who open the doors of their heart, whose soul by coming in contact with nature, they find nature singing, nature dancing, communicating. It is not only a legend, a story of the past that saints used to speak with the tree. It is an actual fact. It is the same today as in the past. Souls are of the same nature.

It is the same. Only as this day we have become unbelievers, we have no confidence in life. We have become material, we have closed our eyes to what comes before us. Today souls can become saints and sages just as before. Are the stars not as before? They communicate today also with the one who is able to understand. But we have turned our back to nature; we live on an artificial world; there is no selfconfidence in us, no belief. Naturally we have not become material, but we have become matter. Therefore, those who ever have attained to spirituality, they have attained by awakening the quality of heart.

Sufis in all ages, mystics of India, Persia, Egypt, have considered the wakening of the heart quality as the principal thing in life. For all virtues that the priest can teach, realize and prescribe, the virtues told to practise in life, they come naturally when the heart becomes open.

You need not learn virtue. Then virtue becomes one’s own. All virtues as they are taught by people, how long do they last? People practise difficult.64 If there is any virtue it must come by itself. Therefore, spirituality is natural. And if animals and birds can feel spiritual exaltation, why not we? Except this, we don’t live a natural life. I

59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64.

cannot take time by explain what I mean by natural life. In short, I must say we have tried in civilization, in life, to be as much removed from nature and natural life as much possible, breathing artificial atmosphere against climatic influences, eating food which we have made and improvised in making it, turning it quite different from what nature had made it. W e made it by cooking, and making it different, quite different from the way nature has given it. Besides that, the deeper we go into the life of the community and study , the more we find that we are not on the track as we ought to be. We seem to have lost in our own individuality. We have called it progress, a progress to a certain condition. And there we begin to feel that we are in a puzzle. And now has come a time, and every day it comes more and more, that there is a realization of this fact, that thinking people and wise people who are just and honest say we are not progressing, but we are in a puzzle. And the door of this puzzle we are looking for. I spoke with a great scientist and in spite of all his knowledge, what did he say? He said we don’t know where we are. This invention we have discovered, but we don’t know how to control it to the best advantage of life.

Inventions apart, first question how to make the life as best as we can, how to make the best of this opportunity which is passing from us. Every moment lost, it is not that the money is lost, but a moment lost is now incomparably more valuable. As more and more man will realize, so more and more he will come to the conclusion and to the realization that he has gone and gone thinking that he was progressing, but that he has been moving in the same puzzle. If he found the door only , that door which is called by the wise spiritual attainment. How much educated one may be, progress made how much one has collected, accomplished, how much power

65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74.

and position gained, it will not keep everlasting except one thing, and that is spiritual attainment. Without this there will always be dissatisfaction, uncompatible feeling.

No knowledge, power, position, no wealth can give that satisfaction which spiritual attainment can give. There is nothing more easy, and nothing more difficult in the world. Difficult because we have made it difficult. Easy because it is the easiest thing possible. All other things one has to buy and pay. We have even to buy the water.

But for spiritual attainment we do not need to pay a tax. It is ours, it is our self. It is discovering our self, finding our self. And yet what one values is what one gets with difficulty. Man loves complexity so much. He makes a thing big and says that is valuable. If it is simple he says it has no value. And ancient people, therefore, knowing human nature, when a person says he wanted spiritual attainment, he was told, yes, for ten years go around the temple, walk around it hundred times in the morning and hundred times in the evening, and go to the

Ganges and fill your pitcher, fill with the water of the Ganges for five or ten years , then you will get inspiration.” That is what must be done with people who will not be satisfied with a simple explanation of truth, who want complexity.

Very often having been asked, “You must show us a tangible truth,” as they say in American language, “you must show us….” I very often thought how would it be if I wrote a little brick, “Truth,” and if I gave it to them saying, “Hold it fast! Here is tangible truth.”

The fine people, when they write a letter, they expect their friend to read between the lines. Even the subtle feelings of the human heart cannot be expressed in words. How then can anyone expect truth to be spoken in words? That which is spoken in words can never be truth. People do not distinguish the meaning of fact and truth. They always muddle between truth and fact, and very often the greatest error one makes. Says if a person has a crude nature, or insolent nature, or a stone brain, he says, “What do I care? What do I care how anybody takes it? I simply tell the truth. It does not matter if person hurt.” But truth is the finest thing and most beautiful. If you tell the truth, must it hurt anyone? If it hurts anyone, can it be the truth? The truth must raise a person, must illuminate a person, must be the most beautiful thing on earth, harmonizing, uplifting, inspiring; it cannot be hurting, it cannot be hurtful. If it is truth, it is the greatest healing there is. Therefore, people interpret truth in the form of facts, and they muddle between word truth and fact as between pleasure and happiness. When they are pleased they say happiness4, and when they are happiness they say, “I am pleased.” But pleasure is far from happiness. A small thing can give pleasure, but in order to be happy one ought to get at that pitch where there is the everlasting happiness.

Pleasure comes and goes. It is the shadow of happiness. It is not happiness. So people muddle between cleverness and wisdom. Of a wise person they say, “What a clever man!” And of a clever man they say, “How wise he is.” A worldly person is not wise, he is clever. And a wise man is not necessarily clever, although he is perfect wisdom.

Cleverness is a shadow of wisdom. Wisdom is the light.

No doubt, in all ages in the East seekers after truth have sought the direction of those who have already acquainted themselves with the path in order to tread the path in that direction with their guidance. Today a man comes and says, “I do not wish to follow any guidance or advice. If the book can tell me, I shall read it. Tell me just now. I shall do it.” Imagine! In order to develop your voice you went to the teacher of voice culture and do a thousand practices before with open mouth, and sing thousand kinds of different grimaces you would never like to do . In order to develop voice you have to do thousand things which sound foolish to do , in order to sing one day.

82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91.

“whether person is” instead of “if person” “between” placed in parentheses, and “the” written “‘I am happy’” instead of “happiness” “happy” instead of “happiness” an elipsis (…) instead of “perfect” “they sought” instead of “in that direction, with” “before” om itted “m ake” instead of “sing” “m ake” instead of “do” “to do” om itted

And what comparison is there between spiritual attainment and singing? If singing rightly takes so many years practice and so much concentration and so much discipline to the orders of a teacher, how can a spiritual teacher tell at the dinner table what spirituality means?

They ask, “Will you tell in one word how can one attain spirituality?”

Is it such a simple thing?

Besides, who can tell it, and how can it be told? It is something to discover from oneself. The teacher can only put on the track to attain to that realization which is called spirituality. No doubt, according to the idea of the people of the East, the responsibility of the spiritual teacher is greater still than of parents to their children. From the time of birth their thought is centered in the well-being of the child. Even when one is grown-up, in the heart of the parents the child is the same; they are interested in everything the child does. The child may not care for them, but they will understand. He may be far away, yet the heart of the mother will always be craving for the welfare of her child from the distance. So with the teacher. The spiritual teacher under whose guidance a pupil places himself will be fulfilling to them like the place of mother and father both, and even more. Their welfare is his religion. It is his spiritual responsibility. For the spiritual teacher there is no other religion. He is not necessarily a priest. All the duty he has is to be anxious about the welfare and well-being of those who sought his guidance, who go under his direction. It is therefore that the great ones, such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Moses,

Muhammad, or any others who come from time to time to serve humanity in a small way or great way, their service has been a service of love and affection to raise humanity by their own example, by their own ideas, by their own love. That what they have taught is not so important. It is given beyond words as love and light. That is the sacrament in the church. It is a same in the form of love and wisdom.

What has come in words or by the lips is very little, so simple.

Now if you compare the Bible or any spiritual book with a writer

92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97.

“he” instead of “one” “him ” instead of “them like” “father and m other” instead of “m other and father” “That” om itted “, so sim ple” om itted “N ow” om itted of today, there is no comparison, because the value it is not in the capacity of the writing , its value is in the personality of the teacher, the wonderful soul who from time to time served humanity to progress. Whether they are known or unknown, whether mankind has forgotten them or holds them still, they have done their duty and always do. And those who take such an opportunity of benefiting by their teaching, by their thought, are the blessed ones.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sufi Centre, 1373 Post Street, San Francisco

February st,1926

universal worship : the divine grace

Beloved Ones of God,

I would like to speak to you on the subject of the divine grace. In all religions it is mentioned there is such thing as divine grace, and very seldom the right explanation of divine grace is given. And therefore the idea of divine grace, which is central and most important in life, specially in the spiritual path, remains obscure. And in this age when science is on the foremost, and reason and logic are the wings to progress, at modern times naturally an idea like divine grace is left in the church. If anyone asks, “Where is divine grace?”, the answer is, “It is in the church,” because one does not know where it is. By the increase of intellectuality, books have become intellectual explanations which have swept away that idea which prophets and saints gave to people as a hope to look forward to something worthwhile. Today in books, as there is the constitution of states, the rules of the community, so there are laws of God, which at once makes a rigid picture of God to be subject of law. That God is sitting, so to speak, on a throne just like a judge in the court, whose work it is to observe the law which he is reading in the book. He cannot do anything except observing that law. So one pictures God subject to his laws, who must punish, who must do according to that law, whatever it be, whether it is a religious law, there is a law to which God has to submit. Do not think for one moment that I wish to tell you by this

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. For U niversal W orship, see List that there is no such a thing as law. For all the science and knowledge that comes to us is all the knowledge of law, the hidden law or the law which is manifest. It is by learning this law that we acquire what we call learning. Law governs nations, and law is given in religion. But at the same time, is law the only thing there is, or is there anything else? There is love above law. They read in the Bible that God is love. But that they forget. What they remember is the law.

Then again there is the intellectual pursuit of man who thinks that, how can God punish, or how can he give a reward? It is the karma. What one has done in the past, that we have to pay in this life.

If we suffer it is owing to karma. Therefore, our punishment we have made ourselves. But now comes a question, if there is a punishment we have to accept without knowing our fault, it is unjust. We don’t know what we have done in the past. We only see the punishment. We don’t see the fault. Even in this court of man there is that justice that a criminal is told that for this crime, this punishment is inflicted upon you. But when it comes to the karma of the past, a person has come here because he happens to be here; then for him to go into a punishment because it is the law of karma, suffering for something he does not know, it seems to be a great injustice, seems to be no law about it.

Besides that, according to the psychological point of view, when a person justifies the miseries of life by saying because it is of my past actions I must go through it! The other day I met a person who was going through an illness, a suffering, and we had a conversation. He said, “I take it all kindly, knowing that it is the karma of the past I have to bear.” I said, “It is always good to bear. But to justify a misery to continue it in life is just like disarming oneself against one’s worst enemy.” After all, the soul is happiness himself. Why one seeks for happiness is because one seeks for itself. Unhappiness is unnatural self. If a person is not himself he is unhappy. Happiness, therefore, is

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

See John 4:8

For karm a, see G lossary

not acquired, it is realized, it is discovered. Anything that is against happiness, a person thinks it is law. He only holds fast on that misery in order to continue throughout life. Many think, “It is the law.

Because it is on my shoulders, I must carry it on through life.” It is wretched. And when we come to understand the nature of love, it is quite different. A friend you love, his faults you do not observe. You do not exact his doings. And you always wave off all the little things he does. You even defend him for his faults. Why? Because you love, you do not see them. And it is a little spark of love which manifests in man. When he is kind and loving to someone, he forgets everything he does. He does not judge that person with a rod. And when a person is unfavorably inclined, even when a person does right he says it is wrong. He has a thousand reasons to give because it is wrong. It is lack of love. When there is love he does not see wrong. Then it is lack of love which makes everything wrong. Besides that, is there anyone with thought and wisdom who can stamp actions, making them wrong and right? It is the time and place which makes each action right and wrong. An action which is placed in a wrong time is wrong, and the same action in the right time is right. And an action in the wrong place is wrong, and the same action in the right place is right. It is not the action; it is the time and the place that makes it right or wrong.

Besides that, according to what law do we judge? Every person have always either the law of the community, or of the nation, or the law of religion, or certain law but which law is the divine law? In order to see the law of God one must be God himself; it can only be seen by the one who is perfect. Besides, that man who looks from a higher point of view, whose outlook is right , whose look into life is deep, do you think who judges? It is the most foolish person who judges first; the wiser you become, the less you judge. What does it show? The higher you go, the less becomes the law, the more becomes your love. either”

And now coming to the question what does it mean by the grace of God? The grace of God is the love of God. And what is the love of

God? God’s own nature, his own being. If anything, God is love. And what is love? Love is that which stands above law. Can anyone say that my good actions, my virtues, my piety or spirituality has won the grace of God? Nothing. Do you think that a little praise can please

God so that his grace can fall upon man? That he can win the affection of God, or can man be so pious that his piety is so great that he can win God? What is man in comparison to God? He is like a drop in the ocean.

There is an Oriental story that makes this idea clear. Once Moses was passing through a town going to Mount Sinai. And he saw a man who was pious and who was performing his prayers always punctually, and who was observing the laws of God. He asked Moses, “Why is it that I am so wretched in life, doing everything to please

God? I observe my prayers and try to do all that is good in my everyday life.” Moses said, “I will ask about you.” And as he goes further there is a drunken man with a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other. He says, “Moses, come here! Where are you going?”

Moses says, “To the mountains.” So this man says, “Ask God also what he is going to do with me. I have never done one good thing in my life, except this that I am thinking .” The prophet went and brought the messages from there. He saw the pious man and said, “For you, there is the best place. Be not afraid.” The pious man says, “Certainly! What else could I expect? All my life I have tried to be good.” And to the other man the prophet said, “For you there is the worst place.” “Is it?”, said he, and with his bottle and glass in the hand he began to dance. “God knew that I exist, such a sinner as I am, and yet God remembers me. What wonderful thing it is.” And he jumped and danced and laughed and was gay. And there came the time when the places of both were exchanged. The prophet said, “God

17. For M oses, see List promised one thing….” “Yes,” God said, “it was so. This man thought he could please us because of his virtues and prayers and goodness. But what does it amount to in comparison with one moment’s grace and the favour of God!” Imagine, if there were not the air to breathe, no water to drink, no space for us to be in, no sun shining! Do we pay tax for us ? For good health, and joy, and peace, do we pay? Everything for us, is it not the grace of God? Imagine our actions from morning to evening, and at the same time every moment, directly or indirectly, the support, and protection, and lifegiving influence which comes from the source and goal of all things.

Can we pay for it? And if, what can we pay?

About the other man, said God, “Yes, he was pleased and that is what pleased us. It was not his action, it was his pleasure, his gratitude, his thankfulness. That is what pleased us. We do not make a law for ourselves. What pleases us sometimes, pleases sometimes for one moment we can be pleased. And sometimes we are displeased. Nobody can understand.” If our pleasure is so subtle and so fine and so difficult to conceive, for one moment think of the pleasure and displeasure of God; imagine what pleases God and what displeases him. If it is such thing as good health, exaltation, spiritual evolution, if it is any such thing as soul’s unfoldment, as the opening of the heart, the deepening of the soul; if it is such thing as the clearing of the vision, the understanding of life, it all comes with one thing, and that is the divine grace.

God bless you. som etim es for”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sufi Centre, San Francisco

February, 1926

mental purification 2

This should repeat or perhaps add something to the same subject which I spoke the other day, on mental purification.

It is the most difficult thing to forget what one has once learned.

There is one thing, learning, and another thing, unlearning. The process of spiritual attainment is in unlearning. People consider their belief their religion. Really speaking, belief is a stepping-stone to religion. Besides, if I were to picture belief, it is just like a staircase that leads to a higher realization. But instead of going upon the staircase, if a person should rise, then his belief is no good. It is just like flowing water that does not run any more. People have made their belief rigid, crude,4 and therefore instead of being benefited by their belief, they are going backwards. If not, I should have thought that all those believers in God, in truth and hereafter, should be better off than the unbelievers. And what happens is that they are the worst,

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. = a typescript prepared by Sakina Furnée or under her supervision, m ade from Km .hw. and therefore showing all the differences there, which are not noted, and som e additional editorial changes, which are noted.

A highly edited version of this lecture appears in the Sufi M essage volum es, vol. IV, part (London, 1961), which, because of the m any editorial changes, is not included in these notes.

Notes: 2. “on” instead of “a”, reordered in ink to “on to” good” because they have nailed their own feet with their belief.

And very often I am in a position where I can say very little, specially when a person comes to me with his preconceived ideas and wants to take my direction, my guidance on the spiritual path. And at the same time his first intention is to see if his thoughts fit in with mine and if my thoughts fit in with his thoughts. He cannot make himself empty to the direction given, wants to see if it fits in my thoughts with his. He has not come to follow my thoughts, but he wants to confirm to himself that his idea is all right. Among hundred persons who come for spiritual guidance, ninety come out of that tap.

What it shows ? That they do not want to give up their idea , but they want to be confirmed that the idea they have is all right.

Spiritual attainment from beginning to end is unlearning what one has learned. But how to unlearn? What one has learned is in oneself.

Yes, one can do it by becoming wiser. The more wise you become, the more you are able to contradict your own ideas. The less wisdom you have, means the more you hold a fast grip on your own ideas. In the wisest person there is willingness to cede by others. And the most foolish person is always ready to stand to support his own ideas. The reason is that the wise person can easily give up his thought; the foolish holds on to it. That is why he does not become wise, because he sticks to his own ideas. That is why he does not progress.

Mental purification, therefore, is the only condition by which one can reach this spiritual goal. In order to accomplish this, one has to look at another’s point of view. Whether that person is less in evolution or more does not matter. One can easily let oneself go for a moment and try to see from another’s point of view. And that is what a person does not do. Man always rejects that one thing and that is to should go have to look from another person’s point of view.15 For in reality, every point of view is our point of view. The vaster we become, the greater realization comes to us, the more we see that every point of view is all right. And the more we see from the point of view of others, the more we are able to expand ourselves to the consciousness of another, it does not mean that limit ourselves to our own point of view, able to expand to others . Our consciousness becomes as large as two persons. And so it can be as large as thousand persons when we accustom ourselves of seeing from another point of view, always to try and see what he thinks about it. And by that do not necessarily have to lose own point of view. Do not mean to say that we must lose, only tell to see from point of view of another. By that we do not lose ourselves. And comes by moving habit every day to try and see how another person looks at the same thing, when we look at from certain point of view.

And the next step in mental purification is to be able to see the right of the wrong and the wrong of the right, and the evil of the good and the good of the evil. It is a difficult task, but once one has accomplished this, one rises above good and evil. You must be able to see the pain in pleasure and the pleasure in pain, and the gain in the loss and the loss in the gain. And what generally happens is that anyone is blunted to one thing and that his eyes are open to another thing. And that one does not see the loss or that one does not see the gain of it . If one recognizes the right, one does not recognize the wrong, if the good, not know the good of it . That is mental

17. altered in ink to “the realization which com es” m ore” of view, able to expand to others” of view.” 22. a sem icolon (;) instead of “, and” purification, that impressions such as good and bad and wrong and right and gain and loss and pleasure and pain, these opposites which block the mind, must be cleared, can be cleared out by seeing the opposite of these things. Then you can see the enemy in the friend and the friend in the enemy. When you can recognize poison in nectar and nectar in the poison, that is the time when death and life become one too. Opposites no more remain opposites before you. That is called mental purification. And those who come to this stage, those are the living sages.

And now the third field of mental purification. It is to identify yourself with what you are not. By this you purify your mind with impressions of your own false identity. I will give you an example.

There is a very interesting story of a sage in India. The story begins by saying that a young man in his youth asked his mother, who was a peasant woman living in a village, “What was the best occupation, mother?” And the mother said, “I do not know, son, except that those who searched after the highest in life, they went in the search after God.” “Then where must I go, mother? In anything in the world, I would rather pursue God ,” he said. Intuitively felt what Christ has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and….” “Yes, son ,” she said, “I do not know whether it is practical or not, but so they say, the best pursuit is the pursuit of God.” He said, “Well, mother, give me leave, I will go somewhere in the pursuit of God. Where must I go, mother?” “I have heard in the solitude, in the forest.” So he went there for a long time and lived a life of patience and solitude. And once or twice in between he came to see his mother. Sometimes his

30. “the” crossed out in ink and… .’” om itted; see M atthew 6:33 m other, give m e leave, I will go som ewhere in the pursuit of G od. W here m ust I go, m other?” “ I have heard’” om itted patience was exhausted, his heart broken. Sometimes he was disappointed in not finding God. And each time the mother sent him back with a stronger advice. When at the third visit he paid 41, “Now it is a long time since I am there.” “Yes,” said his mother, “now I think that you are ready to go to a teacher.” So he went to see a teacher. And there were many pupils learning under that teacher.

Every pupil had a little room to himself for meditation. And this pupil also was told to go in a certain room to meditate. The teacher asked, “Is there anything you love in the world?” This young man, from childhood being away from home, having not seen anything from the world, could know no one except that he knew the little cow that was in the house. He said, “I love the cow in our house.” The teacher said, “Yes, then think of the cow in your meditation.” All the other pupils came and went, and sat in their room for fifteen minutes for a little meditation; then they got tired and went away. But this young man was sitting there from the time the teacher told him. The teacher said, “Where is he?” They said, “We don’t know. He must be in his room.”

They went to see him; the door was closed and there was no answer.

The teacher went himself and opened the door and there he sees the pupil sitting in meditation, fully absorbed in it. And when the teacher called him by his name, he answered him in the sound of the cow.

The teacher said, “Come out.” He said, “My horns are too large to pass through the door.” The teacher said to his pupils, “Look here, this is the living example of meditation. You are meditating on God and you do not know where God is. He is meditating on the cow and he has become the cow. He has lost his identity. He identifies himself with the object before him, object on which he meditates.” That is our difficulty, friends, that we cannot come out of a false conception.

All the difficulty in our life is that.

I will give you another example, that once I was interested in helping a person who was ill, who had gout for twenty years. And for

40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45.

“W hen” om itted “said” instead of “paid” “then” om itted “him ” om itted “has identified” instead of “identifies” “object” om itted twenty years this woman was in bed; she could not move her joints.

I came to her and told her, “Now as you will do this and I will come after two weeks.” And when after two weeks I came, already she begins to move her joints. And I said, “Now after six weeks I will come.” And in six weeks begins to move her joints much better she got down from the bed and had a still greater hope of being cured.

Nevertheless, her patience was not so great as it ought to be. One day she was lying in bed and thought, “Can I ever be cured?” The moment she had cared with that thought, she went back in the same condition, because her soul had identified itself with a sick person.

For her to see her self well-being, she could not imagine it, that she could be quite well. She could not believe her eyes that her joints could be moving; she could not believe it. People can be well in their bodies but not in their minds. Very often, therefore they hold to an illness which they could get rid of. And the same thing is with misery.

Very often a person who is conscious of misery attracts miseries.

They are their own misery. It is not that misfortune is interested in them, but they are interested in misfortune. Misfortune does not choose people; people choose misfortune. They hold that thought and that thought becomes their own. When a person is impressed that he goes downwards, he goes downwards; weight is helping him to sink.

Therefore, the third aspect of mental purification we have just now explained is to be able to identify oneself with something else. Of course the Sufis have their own way of teaching it. Very often one has the idea of one’s spiritual teacher, and with that idea one gains the knowledge and inspiration and power that the spiritual teacher has. It is just like a heritage. There is a story of a pupil and a teacher, that a candidate came to a great teacher and said, “Will you accept me as your pupil?” Said, “Yes, why not?” He said, “Perhaps you do not

46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55.

know, I have great many faults.” Said, “Do not mind, what faults have you?” “Great gambler.” “Does not matter at all, does not matter.”

Then he said, “But I get drunken, teacher!” Said, “Oh, that is all right.” Just two, three faults he explained, said, “Does not matter.”

Teacher said, “Will you accept my condition now? I have accepted all your faults, you must accept my condition.” “Yes.” Teacher said, “You may not do any of your faults in my presence. In my absence, you may do it.” “Quite easy, can manage it,” and so he went. And after some time he once wanted to go to the tavern, and as soon as comes near tavern, saw the face of his teacher. Then he went one day, he thought, “Well, have not gambled for long time.” To gambling house, sees the face of the teacher, could not go there. Comes back to teacher. Says, “Have you done any faults anymore?” “Could not do it, could not get rid of you, wherever went, you were also.” That is the idea.55 The one who cannot concentrate himself so much as to forget himself and go deep into the object on which he concentrates, he will not succeed in mastering concentration.

The fourth mental purification is to free oneself from a form and have the sense of the abstract and abstract sense . Everything suggests to the eyes a form, everything does , even so much that a person whom one has not seen, if his name is mentioned, one makes a form.

Even such things as fairies and spirits and angels, as soon as name is mentioned, they are always pictured in a certain form. It is that which gives you a hindrance to attain to the presence of the formless. And therefore this mental purification is of a very great importance, that is to be able to think of an idea without form. This of course is attained by great concentration and meditation. But once it is attained, it is most satisfactory.

And the fifth way is to be able to repose your mind. In other words, to relax your mind. Imagine, after having toiled for the whole day, how much the body stands in need of rest, and how much more mind must stand in need of rest; has worked too, brain, mind has worked . Mind works much faster than the body; naturally, the mind

56. 57. 58. 59. 60.

“and abstract sense” om itted “does” om itted “they are” instead of “nam e is” “O f course this” instead of “This of course” “; has worked too, brain, m ind has worked” om itted is much more tired than the body. And every person does not know how to rest one’s mind. When you are asleep the mind goes on just the same. What you call dream is nothing but the action of mind.

Mind is busy and therefore mind has never a rest. And then what becomes after a little time is that mind becomes feeble; having no rest it loses memory, the power of action, it loses reason. And mostly the worst effects are brought about by not giving the mind proper repose. If such infirmities as doubt and fear happen to enter in the mind, then a person becomes restless, he never has a rest. For at night mind goes on the same impressions the track of the same impressions. Very few know, as simple as it seems to be, the resting of mind and how wonderful it is in itself. And what power, what inspiration comes as a reaction from it, and what peace one experiences by it. And how it helps for the body and mind, that the spirit is picked up once the mind has had its rest. And the question how to rest the mind will be answered that the first step toward it is the relaxation of the body. If one is able to relax one’s muscular and nervous system at will, then mind automatically is refreshed with the body . Besides that, by the power of will to throw away anxiety, worries, doubts, fears, putting oneself in a restful state, it is accomplished by the help of breathing properly.

There is a great magnetism produced by having stilled and purified the mind. And the lack of it produces the lack of magnetism.

Those whose mind is not purified and stilled, their presence becomes a source of unrest for others and for themselves. And they attract little because the power of attraction is lost. The person is tired by their presence, and their atmosphere causes uneasiness, discomfort. They are a burden for themselves and for others.

61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71.

“not every person knows” instead of “every person does not know” “his” instead of “one’s” this passage (“W hen you are… is busy.”) om itted “happens” instead of “becom es” “having no rest,” om itted “And” om itted “the sam e im pressions,” om itted “And” om itted “with the body” om itted “this will be” instead of “it is” “Every” instead of “The”

Once the mind is purified, the next step is the cultivation of the heart quality, which culminates into spiritual attainment.

Q.: What to do if one has the desire to go into these things, but if one’s life is too busy?

A.: I have heard from many person saying they have the greatest desire to give their time and thought to spiritual things, but because they have not attained to the manner of living so that their mind will be free to keep these things, still they think they cannot take up anything spiritual. And I saw the reason of their argument, that it is quite true that in this world as life is today, it is difficult to move without money. Material things apart, even spiritual things one cannot do without money. If I were to give you the same lecture and if I would not be sitting in a room, it would not person come . And so it is if the newspaper had not the advertisement, if a notice was not printed, you would not be known; perhaps two persons or three persons obliged me to be kind enough to listen to me. It is therefore natural that a person thinks like this and he is not to be blamed. But at the same time, when we look at it from a different point of view, we shall see that every moment lost in waiting for spiritual attainment is the greatest loss conceivable. And besides, one may go on thinking that, “The day will come when I shall change my life and give in to something higher, spiritual,” and that day will never come. I should say that what one has today, just now, instead of saying, “Tomorrow

I will do it.” If not one repents. Life is assimilating; time passes.

Hours, months, years slip by before one realizes that they have hw. only, and they are on separate papers from the m ain lecture 73. “still” crossed out in ink becom ing” in ink 75. “be” crossed out in ink and “have” substituted 79. “give in to” altered in ink to “go into” slipped. And to the one who understands the value of time, spiritual attainment is first. As Christ has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of

God and all these things shall be added unto you.” I do not say, let all things go in order to pursue spiritual things. But at the same time, that spiritual attainment does not deprive one of material gains. One has only to fix before one the spiritual things first; the other comes along . And in order to become spiritual it is not necessary that you must give up worldly things or all that is good and beautiful and valuable from the point of view of the material world. Solomon with all his wealth was not less wise. You need not give up all you have in order to become spiritual. If you think that, it is a great pity. But to wait, saying, “Till my ship comes I shall wait, then I shall become spiritual,” who knows when the ship will come? It is never too late to go into the spiritual path, and it is never too early. The best thing, therefore, is the moment you think that, “It is already too late, I must begin,” one must begin and go through all the tests and trials of this path, confident that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished once the spiritual path is taken.

A.: Mental purification is to be able to see the two opposite things, good in evil and evil in good. Why is evil a greater reality than good?

Both the same, is we who have made it evil and made it good; is our conception, is our way of looking at it. We can look at good and make it evil as is our conception. Therefore to say is no such thing as evil, call it all good, is one and the same thing; we turn it into two things.

Besides, as have said, everything in its wrong place is evil, everything in its wrong time is evil. Is time and place that turns things from good to evil and from evil to good.

Q.: Is it the right thing to do to see ideal in a picture?

A.: It is natural to see ideal in a picture. But to get above it is to try

81. See M att. 6:33 question, not included in Km .hw. dies”, but this does not m ake sense in the context and get to the essence. In other words, there is one way of hearing the musician which is to think of the form, the technicality, the form of it. And the other way is to grasp the feeling, the sense that it suggests.

So it is with life: that we can look at life in one way and see it in different forms and make a rigid conception of it, or to see it so that this could suggest the essence of it. Now, for an instance, a person comes to you and speaks a thousand false things. And then you go over it and think, “This was false because it was composed like this.

It cannot be true, it cannot be reasonable.” That is one way. The other way of seeing it is when one says, “It is false from top to bottom,” and not to see it in detail. This is quite enough, and it has saved a great trouble of your mind, not trouble mind because you have just seen it. Sometimes a person says, “You are my friend, my acquaintance. All right, I am going to find out how you work.” That is one way of realizing . The other way is to see the person and by one glance to know what the person is. And then it is finished. That is the idea. Very often mureeds come to me for the spiritual training and those who are not sure of their mind come to me and say, “I was very interested in what you said, but I want to read more of your books, of your teachings, before I give myself under your guidance.” It amuses me very much. This person has seen me and had an impression, whether wrong or right, whatever impression. And now that impression is not enough for this person, and he wants to read my books. What is a book? After all, it is a dead thing. The living book this person has seen and that has not given confidence to that person. But perhaps in six months’ time, when I have gone to Europe, that this person will fit in with this idea, “It is that,” or “It is not that.” This is called not being sure of oneself. It is looking at anything in form instead of looking in spirit. Once he sees, he knows, “This is my friend.” If he waits for six months time, he will not find his friend, he will not find him in all his life, the one who is not sure of himself. If in one glance

88. the “ian” at the end of “m usician” crossed out, to m ake “m usic” 92. Sufis use the word m ureed to indicate an initiate; see G lossary in context one says, “This is my friend, I can trust him,” it makes one brave, venturous, and that makes one come nearer to the essence. It will give generosity, liberality. If not, one is small and narrow and confused.

One does not know oneself. So thousands and millions of souls are buffed along in the sea of life, not knowing where they are going, looking not sure of themselves. The moment a person says, “I don’t know you, perhaps I will know you someday,” that person will never know you, or all his life he is not sure.

95. Although the sh., hw. and tp. all have “buffed”, none of the m eanings of the verb “buff” (O ED) fit the context, and it seem s likely that “buffeted” was said

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand, longhand, and typewritten reporting

Headquarters, San Francisco 22nd February, 1926

the value of repetition and reflection

Beloved Ones of God,

I would like to speak on the subject of the value of repetition and reflection, that for special thousand of years the secret of repetition has been known to the mystics, that they found the greatest mystery was hidden of the form of repetition and on that a science, called mantra yoga , was formed by the Yogis in India. The Sufis, at the same time, have worked for ages in the lands of Syria, Palestine and

Egypt on the question of the repetition of words.

In the first place, what attracts us most is the repetition of any experience that we have made. If you are in the habit to go to the park,

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .tp. =

Km .hw. =


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s typewritten transcription of the body of the lecture, m ade shortly after the lecture w as given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the type which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Kism et S tam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand of the qa.s, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. a typescript perpared by Sakina Furnée or under her supervision, which follows the Km .tp., but also has som e editorial suggestions in ink, which are noted.

Notes: 1. Km .tp.: “. For thousands” instead of “, that for special thousand” 2. Km .tp.: “. They found that” instead of “, that they found” 3. Km .tp.: “in” instead of “of ” 4. Km .tp.: “a” om itted 5. For m antra yoga, see G lossary 6. Km .tp.: “founded” instead of “form ed” 7. “of the form of repetition and on that a science, called m antra yoga, was form ed by the Yogis in India” reordered in ink to read “the Yogis in India founded thereupon that science called m antra yoga” 8. Km .tp.: “with the science” instead of “on the question” you have perhaps made an association with a little bench in that park , and you will be always attracted to it whenever you go there.

You have experienced the magnetism of the place in whole park.

There may be a better place, but that place where once you sat, you will sit there again, and the oftener you sit there, the oftener you will be attracted to sit there. Then there are simple songs that one has heard in one’s childhood. They are already lost from your memory. You may become a great lover of music, but when that song is sung which once you have lost in your childhood, it brings to you a new joy and such a desire to hear it again. And you cannot compare it with the best music in the world. There are things one eats or smells as a perfume, after having experienced them once or twice or thrice, they grow with one, one begins to like them so much that the one who has never experienced them is surprised to think what joy there is to like a thing like this. That is also repetition. Friendship, familiarity, acquaintance, all these are repetitions. Sometimes one is very uncomfortable in the train, going with strange people one does not know , but after having seen them once or twice, one becomes so accustomed to their presence that sympathy wakens and one becomes friends. Therefore, the whole life is based upon the principle of repetition.

Therefore, things that help one to be illuminated and to attain to spirituality are prescribed by the wise to be repeated. Therefore,

Brahmins have repeated their mantras, Jewish people, Muslims also, have repeated their chants. It is by a misunderstanding afterwards from which Protestant religion comes that they stuck on that one

9. Km .tp.: “m ade” om itted 10. Km .tp.: “there” instead of “in that park” 11. reordered in ink to “always be” 12. Km .tp.: “to the park” instead of “there” 13. Km .tp.: “in whole park” om itted 14. Km .tp.: “heard” instead of “lost” 15. Km .tp.: “as a perfum e” om itted 16. Km .tp.: “one does not know” om itted 17. Km .tp.: “to” om itted 18. Km .tp.: “Therefore,” om itted 19. Km .tp.: “M uslim s also,” om itted and “and M uslim s also have m ade use of the science of repetition” added at the end of this sentence, after “Jewish people have repeated their chants” 20. Km .tp.: “that in the” instead of “from which” 21. Km .tp.: “com es that” om itted 22. Km .tp.: “to” instead of “on” hint against vain repetitions . But it is not against repetitions, it is against vain repetitions. The Protestant clergy took it up and made it against repetitions. Science of repetition remains with Protestants , just as well not repeated, there was nothing to repeat.24 Therefore, very often in country like Switzerland and other places where there is a

Calvinistic spirit they do not understand this. And yet they do not know that on repetition the whole life is based. Even going to the church and saying the prayers is repetition. And that saying of Christ not to make vain repetitions, that was because in ancient times in the

Orient there existed a custom of using the name of God in every little thing that they said. It almost became a slang. Every truth or lie, in order to support it, they said “by God”. Therefore, the God word became so cheap that Christ had to say avoid vain repetitions. But when a repetition is used for a spiritual realization, it is quite a different thing. And now there is going a wave in this material age when people are beginning to recognize from a psychological point of view such an idea as Coué34 has used, that by repeating you are well, you are well, be well, one becomes well. People come at home with this idea, about what the mystics of all ages have thought, and they say it is useful somewhere. But the more they will understand, the more they will find that there is much in repetition if one only explored it.

There was a Mugal emperor, Zafar , who was an exquisite poet,

23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

See M atthew 6:7

Km .tp.: this sentence om itted

Km .tp.: “countries” instead of “country”

Km .tp.: “The” instead of “And that”

Km .tp.: “, that” om itted

Km .tp.: “that” om itted

Km .tp.: “word G od” instead of “G od word”

Km .tp.: “a” om itted

Km .tp.: “And” om itted

Km .tp.: “com ing” instead of “going”

For C oué, see List

Km .tp.: “you are” instead of “be”

Km .tp.: “at” om itted

Km .tp.: “which” instead of “what”

Km .tp.: “Zafa” instead of “Zafar”; for Zafar, see List the greatest poet of the time. He wrote sad poetries and he died in the utter sadness. And if I were to tell you my own experience.

Imagine that while travelling in Holland, a friend, very practical and wide-awake, was taking me to country home to lunch. And when sat in train told him how once I lost the station and went far away from place to get down, and while telling lost that station. Instead of coming there for lunch, we arrived at dinner. This will show you that there is a psychological action of everything we repeat. Good omen and bad omen also depends upon repetition. A person who is just going in his automobile, if you tell him about an accident, it means to put the wheels of his automobile on the same track leading to an accident. And why does success repeat itself and why does failure repeat itself? There is always success after success and failure after failure. It is repetition too. It forms a rhythm. There is nothing that succeeds as success, and once you have failed, again you will fail and again. And if I were to go deeper into this subject, I should say that the moving of the world is also a repetition and is that repetition that forms a rhythm . And the rising and setting of the sun, and the waning and waxing of the moon, the changing of the seasons, and the rhythm that the waves take and the speed with which the wind blows, all this works according to the law of repetition. Since repetition is a movement, is a mobile movement—it is mobile because it goes forward—so even for the spiritual progress or for material success, and it is used by the mystics as the greatest secret.

There many ways of concentration, but the best way of concentration is the repetition of a word. For an instance, if a person wants to concentrate on balance, he cannot make a form of it before his mind because it is an abstraction. But if he closes his eyes from all other things and repeats to himself balance, balance, balance, balance,

39. Km .tp.: “his” instead of “the” 40. This plural of poetry, in the sense of “poem s”, is unattested in the OED 41. Km .tp.: “the” om itted 42. Km .tp.: this entire passage (“And if I… you that.”) om itted 43. the “s” at the end of “depends” crossed out in ink 44. Km .tp.: “also is” instead of “is also” 45. Km .tp.: “by which a rhythm is form ed” instead of “and is that repetition that form s a rhythm ” 46. Km .tp.: “and” om itted 47. Km .tp.: “, and” om itted balance, naturally each time he repeats balance it makes a picture in his innermost, a picture of balance. And in everything he does, he sees that picture reflected in it. Therefore, his life becomes balanced. Very often parents, not knowing this, call a child naughty. It is impressed by it; it knows it is naughty, so it goes on to be naughty. So it is with friends and relations and with those around us, when not knowing the psychological effect of our speech with them, we turn them from bad to worse. If you said to your business partner, “Is it not dishonest, which you did?”, that means you have made that person dishonest.

The first thing he did was less; you have completed it by saying.

Every kind of accusation of dishonesty, of lack of kindness or affection or love, if you make that accusation, you make a person that of which you accuse him, ignorant of this fact . Very often people enjoy saying to another person something they want to be changed in that person. If you said to anyone , “You have been very unkind to me,” or that , “You have not been just,” or, “Very cruel,” you have made that person more unkind, more cruel, more unjust. And that person cannot help being more unkind, will be worse . It would have been much better not seen to have not said anything, not to have taken a chance of making that person better. For all that you acknowledge, by repetition of words you make it worse.

Acknowledging is giving light to something. If you do not take notice of things, things die because you have not given them life. By noticing you give life to things which may not be profitable to you.

There is the simple one, the clever one, and the wise one. The simple one does not see into human nature. And the clever one, he sees it, and what he sees, he says. And the wise one, he sees and he does not say, and it is that which makes him wise.

48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

Km .tp.: “The child” instead of “It”

Km .tp.: “when” om itted

Km .tp.: “what” instead of “, which”

Km .tp.: “, ignorant of this fact” om itted

Km .tp.: “rejoy” [sic] instead of “enjoy”; “rejoy” expanded to “rejoice” in ink

Km .tp.: “som eone” instead of “anyone”

Km .tp.: “that” om itted

Km .tp.: “will be worse” om itted

Km .tp.: “seen,” om itted

Km .tp.: this “not” om itted “away” added in ink

Km .tp.: “life” instead of “light”

In the East they give a great consideration in giving names to children, to horses, to animals, because that word is repeated so many times. The name of a person is repeated so many times and that repetition brings about the same result as the name is. For instance, if you give a person name Lucky, always called him Lucky, he must become Lucky one day. By this I do not mean to say Armstrong is always a strong man. I only wish to say that the name has a great effect for the very reason that it is repeated. But then there are sages, there are those who have concentrated and whose mind is powerful, and if they give a certain name to someone with a certain meaning, that name has a great effect; it is like giving a life which is in that name and that life begins to grow in that person. 63I myself had experience in giving certain names to certain people.63 It is like throwing a certain seed in the ground and that seedling bears fruits and flowers . The meaning that is in the name works after days and years and brings about most wonderful results, not seen by one person but by hundreds of people . From the moment the name is given, the whole life is changed, because name is a thing by which from morning till evening person is called and suggestion is there . If it is given by a person with power and inspiration, it has a wonderful effect.

And now coming to the spiritual development. There are different influences which may be considered as spiritual influences, and such we need in our life, such as the influence of kindness, the influence of compassion, the influence of providence, inspiration, cure, health, wisdom, power, and so forth. And these influences being spiritual influences, the mystics have names for them, for each of these influences, and they call them the sacred names of God. There are perhaps hundred such names, or more, that the mystics use, and each

60. Km .tp.: this passage om itted 61. Km .tp.: this passage om itted 62. Km .tp.: “But then,” om itted 63. Km .tp.: this sentence om itted 64. Km .tp.: “certain” om itted 65. Km .tp.: “flowers and fruits” instead of “fruits and flowers” 66. Km .tp.: “which” instead of “that” 67. Km .tp.: “, not seen by one person but by hundreds of people” om itted 68. Km .tp.: “, because nam e is a thing by which from m orning till evening person is called and suggestion is there” om itted 69. Km .tp.: “which” instead of “that” of these names have been practised by the mystics for thousands of years, and the effect of these names sometimes works most wonderfully.

In Hyderabad it so happened that a sage wanted to meet the king and he could not. The secretary said, “The king is too busy to meet everyone who comes.” The sage said, “All right, as the king will not receive me, I will receive the king.” By the repetition of a certain sacred name for about six weeks, a condition was brought about that the king came to visit the sage. I have seen it myself.

There was just a few months ago a case where a young man was to be engaged to be married to a princess. But it was all in his mind, nothing was outside. The state was against it, the church was against it, the family was against it, and the man’s own financial condition was against it. So there was no chance from anywhere. This person, in utter despair, wanted to make a suicide. And then he came in contact with a spiritual teacher, and he said to him, “There is no other way, not in the world, except suicide.” The teacher said, “There is a way, repeat this word and it all will be well.” In three months time all difficulties and troubles fell away; he got his heart’s desire. There is nothing that cannot be accomplished if a person has faith. When he takes that direction, he knows that benefit that comes from the law of repetition.

The thing is this that when a person repeats to oneself something, whether a good word or a bad word, whatever it is, he is engraving that idea in his innermost; and that idea engraved in his

70. For H yderabad, see List 71. A note in the file in the Biographical Departm ent says: “In the paragraph ‘And now com ing to the spiritual developm ent…’ is written the story of a young m an who wished to m arry a princess. All circum stances were against. By repeating a sacred word given by M urshid a way was opened and he got his heart’s desire. The photo of this young m an, Prinz… (G erm an prince) exists in the Biographical D epartm ent”; to date, this photograph has not been found 72. Km .tp.: “And” om itted 73. Km .tp.: “the young m an” instead of “he” 74. Km .tp.: “not” om itted 75. Km .tp.: “will know the” instead of “knows that” 76. Km .tp.: “this,” om itted 77. Km .tp.: “him self” instead of “oneself ” innermost, is reflected in akasha , in the sphere . On every person that person meets it will be reflected. For an instance, a person who repeats kindness, kindness, kindness, kindness, kindness, kindness, if he meets the most cruel man in the world, the kindness that is engraved upon his heart will be reflected upon the man, and that man cannot do but kindness to this man . Besides this , a person who has repeated kindness so many times in his life, whoever he will meet will say, “That is a kind person,” because by saying kindness he has become kind.

Of course one may overdo it, and one may do it wrongly; and that must be avoided. And one may try to experience it before one is ripe enough to experience it. For an instance, one may hear this lecture and go before the bank and may say money, money, money, money, money, and one may come to me and say, “I repeated thousand times money, but money has not come”; that person has not proceeded rightly. Besides that, to make use of such a wonderful thing for the attainment of earthly things is very foolish, because life is an opportunity, and when that time is lost, it is lost forever. And when we use this knowledge for things not worth while, again then the time is lost.

Therefore, it always proves worth while if it is used towards the attainment of spiritual knowledge. We do not know, if we use this secret by attaining of earthly things, whether they are good for us or whether they are bad for us. Very often we love to have this or that, but if it is not good for us, we may just as well not have it. There is the best moral principle which we read in the Bible, “Seek ye first the

78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. “the” added in ink

For the word akasha, see G lossary

Km .tp.: “space” instead of “sphere”

Km .tp.: “do” om itted

Km .tp.: “act kindly” instead of “kindness to this m an”

Km .tp.: “this” om itted

Km .tp.: “m ay” om itted

Km .tp.: “profited” instead of “proceeded”

Km .tp.: “opportunity” instead of “tim e”

Km .tp.: “again” om itted

Km .tp.: “only” instead of “always”

Km .tp.: “for”instead of “towards”

Km .tp.: “for the attainm ent” instead of “by attaining” kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” In order to seek the kingdom of God, it is not needed giving up the things from the world. Whether we have them or do not have them, are above things the first thing is to seek the kingdom of God. Here in

America I heard many people tell, “If my financial situation will be right, for my whole life I will set to work on spiritual lines.” Many wise people told me “If the money situation is all right, I will do it.”

I quite understand that it is true, and that it is necessary in country like this, where cannot exist for one moment without being in financial obligation, is reasonable person says, not wrong . But at the same time, when we look at life which is passing—this moment we have once passed will never come again—when we think that if we let our life pass in the pursuit of earthly things alone, and wait before looking at something higher, it will perhaps be too late. Earthly things only last as long as the life of this body lasts. In a moment it has gone. Who knows, the wealth one has collected by someone , in whose hands it goes? At the same time, we must remember that Solomon with all his wealth was not less wise. We need not give up all these things; only mean by pursuing God we need not lose the things of the earth; they all follow. But one need not absolutely find upon spiritual path, not say, “After I have finished the acquirements, then I shall take the spiritual path.” That is a dream which may never be accomplished. If you want to take the spiritual path, you must take it just now, at this moment, and at the same time think about worldly obligations. One may just as well earn money and make a profit by it and experience all the comfort, goodness,103 that is there; it does not matter, as long as you pursue the spiritual path.

And now you will ask, “In what way by repetition one attains to spiritual knowledge? Is it that by repeating the name of God that one comes to spiritual knowledge?” Not necessarily. But at the same time, by repeating a certain thing, you forget yourself and at the same time , in forgetting yourself you are forgetting the false self, and it is in forgetting the false self that there is the secret of spiritual attainment. Spiritual attainment apart, even great musicians and poets, those as Beethoven and Shakespeare,107 the secret of their great work was that they forgot themselves in their work. In order to give life to anything, you must make a sacrifice, and in spiritual attainment, it is by the sacrifice of the false self that one comes to the real self. And there are many who are so afraid and say, “If we lose ourselves, what do we gain? It is only a loss.” It is not losing the real self, but the false conception of oneself. Even something like a person who is dreaming. He is so interested in the dream that if somebody comes to waken him, he says, “No, no, let me sleep.” He forgets that wakening will be another experience. But his great interest is in the dream, still same experience . So it is with some people; they are afraid to lose themselves and they forget that it is only the false conception of themselves. Many people at the imagination of the spiritual idea are very afraid, as been afraid on the top of a high mountain when looking back on the immense space. It makes him fear because he has always seen narrow horizons. The wide horizon has an effect which gives him a shock. The same it is with those who are accustomed of the false conception of self.

The best way of losing self is by the repetition of a certain sacred word, which one gradually loses the conception of the false self,

104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115.

Km .tp.: “does attain” instead of “attains”

Km .tp.: “that” om itted

Km .tp.: “at the sam e tim e” om itted

Km .tp.: “those as Beethoven and Shakespeare,” om itted

Km .tp.: “And” om itted

Km .tp.: “It is” instead of “Even som ething”

Km .tp.: “waking” instead of “wakening”

Km .tp.: “, still sam e experience” om itted

Km .tp.: “ideal”

Km .tp.: “som eone is” instead of “been”

Km .tp.: “to” instead of “of ”

Km .tp.: “gradually m akes one lose” instead of “one gradually loses” expressing at the same time the idea of the real self, a foundation upon which life will be built for ever and for eternity. ——————-Q.: Ask to explain about personality and individuality?

A.: Individual is born individual; a person is made. Personality is an art, individuality is nature. If an individual has brought on earth no goodness, no kindness, no evil, there is nothing good or bad about him at all. But that is not what man is meant to be. Man is meant to be what it is intended to be. And now leaving this question here and must proceed on the question of art: what is the art? Not only an imitation of nature, art is the finishing of nature through man is the art . Therefore, what individuality does not express is finished in personality. Is wrong which say contrary, is made by man; yes, crowded city, but whatever man makes in the form of art, beauty and harmony is the polishing and finishing of the creation. It is made by God through man. Certain things God makes and other things man makes. What God makes through man is to the greater perfection of art. And so is personality. Man is not meant to be born only individual, separated from another. He is meant to have regard for another, care for another, to sacrifice his life for another. It is for this that man was born. If he had only to be a living creature, there are dogs and cats, tigers and lions enough. Man is born to finish an art, a beauty, which is created in this world. It finishes not by only being man, but by being personality.

Q.: What is the meaning of false and real self ?

A.: The meaning is this, that there is an actor who is acting on the stage the role of a slave. He acts on the stage in that form. But in reality he is not conscious of being a slave. It is but as he acts. That is om itted necessary for every soul. Also,122 that is why every soul is here. In its real condition it is what it is. But outwardly it is different, a painter, or actor, tall, or short, or whatever it is outwardly. That is only the outer self. If then one is only conscious of that, then one is only conscious of the false self. The moment one becomes conscious of the real self, one lives like an actor, inwardly conscious of what he is, outwardly acting what he has to play.

Q.: Is reflection included in repetition?

A.: Yes. But repeating is like recording on a talking machine. It goes on repeating. The same things can be repeated thousand times if they are repeated hundred times. These words automatically repeat afterwards. Naturally the effect comes out. It is not only reflection, but it gives power at the same time.

Q.: Even mechanical repeating has effect?

A.: The repeating of the word mechanically has not effect to have the word . But at the same time, when the thought is put into the word, it becomes limited, but more powerful. It is finished. For instance, if one thinks about goodness in thought , in the first place, one cannot picture it, one cannot make it move in the mind. But as soon as one repeats goodness, goodness, goodness, goodness, the idea of goodness becomes perhaps limited by putting it into words, but by the very fact of repeating that power will manifest in thousand different ways. Wherever one will go, before the most wicked person, one will see goodness coming out of this person, because it reflects and projects goodness in the heart of the wicked person. He cannot help being good, because it is reflected in him.

Q.: How to attain freedom? shorthand (but not the answers)

A.: All freedom will come. Besides,130 freedom is your nature, freedom to come . Freedom is there within your reach. It is most difficult and the easiest thing at the same time.

Q.: Is it necessary to repeat the word loudly?

A.: Audible repetition has a great effect, although it is not convenient.

For instance, if a person is repeating a certain word, others in the same house may hear it. But at the same time, if he whispered it softly it has also effect. The louder it is said the more effect it has, but one has to consider those around one. Besides it is a secret which is not for everybody, because not everybody understands. It may just as well not be ridiculized 132.

Q.: Which punishment would you advise for a child who has fits of unkindness?

A.: It is good for children to repeat “I will be kind” a hundred times before being allowed to go out. It is the best punishment. It is a great punishment to do . The child does not like to do it.

Q.: What is meant by the word akasha 135?

A.: Akasha in English language is the sky. In Oriental language it is not only sky, it means accommodation. For instance, the ear is an akasha for the word to enter and echo, the eyes are an accommodation for objects which stand before them to be reflected, the heart is an accommodation. These are all akashas.

Q.: Could one not just as well make a child write a hundred times “I will be kind”, as to let him repeat it?

A.: Writing has not that powerful effect as there is in repetition.

Q.: If one repeated the word destroy, one would be destroyed by it?

129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135.

This is a rare but attested form (O ED )

For akasha, see G lossary

A.: Instead of word destroying…we do not need to use it nor to think about it. There are so many things which destroy in life that we may just as well not destroy ourselves. The only thing is to always think a right thought, put into a word and to repeat that right word against.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

San Francisco, Sufi Centre

February 23, 1926

insight: the realization of the higher self

Beloved Ones of God,

I am going to speak on the subject of insight, seeing the higher self, this afternoon.

Insight is likened to a telescope. From a distance you can get a wide horizon before you, and when you are close to things you get a limited horizon. By getting a smaller scope of horizon things are clearer because you see things in detail; and when there is a larger horizon then things are not in detail, but then there is a general outlook. And the same law must be considered with the insight.

When you look at a person you get a glimpse of the person's character, and when you look at an assembly you get a feeling of the assembly. And as there is a long sight and short sight developed in a person, so there are persons who have one of these two qualities. There is one who sees deep in the character of man, and another who gets a general feeling. And those who can get a general feeling, they have only to visit a country, a city, a place, and the vibrations of the whole city can be felt by them. But the

D ocum ents:

Km .sh.


Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Som e of the m aterial in this lecture, highly edited, along with m aterial from other lectures, form s the chapter M ental Purification, Insight (pp. 215-220), in Volum e

IV of the Sufi M essage series.

Notes: probably said balance can be achieved by developing these two views: the closer examination of persons and objects, and a general idea of things.

The heart is the telescope of the soul, and the eyes are the telescope of the heart. Just like when seeing through the spectacles it is the eyes which see, not the spectacles, so when seeing through the heart and through the eyes, what sees is the soul. The eyes have no power to see; the eyes have the power to help the soul to see.

The moment the soul departs the eyes do not see. And so even the heart is a telescope which helps one to perceive, to conceive all that one seeks. But at the same time the heart does not see; is the soul which sees.

The faculty of seeing needs direction. For instance, in order to look at the right side or left side or before or behind, you ought to direct the eyes. And this directing is the work of the will. In twentyfour hours of the day and night, it is perhaps five minutes or fifteen minutes the most that we see under the direction of the will. But all the other time we automatically see. In other words our eyes are open, our heart is subject to all that can be seen and we catch unknowingly the different things that attract our eyes and mind. All we see during day and night is not all we intended to see, but we are compelled by the life around us to see. It is therefore that the thinkers and sages of the East in ancient times used to have mantles put over their heads. And they did not see anything or anybody in order to control the sight. The Sufis of the ancient times used to keep their heads covered for many, many years. And in doing so they developed such powers that their one glance would penetrate rocks and mountains. It is only the control of the sight. Yogis in all ages have worked not only with their mind but even with their eyes to attain to a stability of glance, that they go direct their sight to anything they wished to examine, they wished to penetrate. Eyes, therefore, are the representatives of the soul of the surface, and they speak to a person more than words can speak, and they are signs to one who reads at what plane of evolution the person is. A person does not need to speak with you. His eyes tell you whether he is pleased or not, willing or unwilling, whether he is favourably inclined or unfavourably inclined. Love or hate, pride or modesty, all can be seen in the eyes, even so much the wisdom and ignorance, anything, manifests through the eyes. The one who can trace the condition and character in the eyes certainly communicates with the soul of another person.

It is not very long ago in Hyderabad there was a mureed 6, a pupil, rather an intellectual pupil, and he liked to talk. And the teacher was interested in his intelligent inquiries. And so the teacher helped him to talk, whereas it is the custom in the East that the pupil holds his tongue before his teacher. One day the teacher was in a condition of exaltation and this pupil as usual wanted to discuss and argue, which was not agreeable to the teacher in that time. He said in Persian language khamush, which means silence. And the pupil became silent; and he went home from there and was silent, and when after week silent. And no one since then heard him speak, no one in the house, outside, nowhere he ever spoke. Years passed by, and the man was still keeping silent. And there came a time when his silence began to speak aloud. His silent thought would manifest and his silent wish would become granted; his silent glance would heal, his silent look would inspire. His silence became living. It were the spoken words which kept him dead all this time. The moment the lips were closed, the silence in him began to live; his presence was living. In Hyderabad people called him Sheikh Khamush, the king of silence, or the silent king.

By this I wish to say that everyone has the eyes, but to make the eyes living, it takes a long time. For eyes see so far and no further; it is the heart connected with the eyes that can see further still. If the soul sees through them, it sees still further. But now how to get them focussed?

6. Sufis use the word m ureed to indicate an initiate; see Glossary 8. For kham ush, see G lossary 11. The ungram m atical construction “it were” is a com m on error in D utch speakers of

English, but not in Indian speakers of English, and so m ay com e from Kism et rather than Inayat Khan

And now coming to entirely another question. If you wish to look at the moon you must look at the sky instead of looking on the earth. And if one wants to look heaven one must change the direction of looking. That is where many make a mistake. And today in the United States where there is a very large number of students seriously engaged in finding the truth, many among them are mistaken in this particular thing, that in order to see what can be seen within they want to look without. But that is a natural tendency. When a person looks for anything he wants without, he naturally looks for inner attainment also on the outside. And one will say, “How can we look within and what shall we see?” In the first place, to a material person “within” means in the body, inside the body. In reality “within” means not only inside but also outside the body, both. This can be seen by the light inside the globe. The light is inside the globe, and it is outside the globe too. So is the soul: it is inside and outside too. So is the mind: it is inside, and outside too. It is not restricted inside the body. In other words, the heart is larger than the body, and the soul is larger still. Still the soul is accommodated with the heart, and the heart is accommodated with the body. That is the greatest phenomenon which it is very difficult to explain in words.

There are intuitive centres, and in order to see into the intuitive centres one has to turn the eyes back, to turn the eyes within. Then the same eyes which are able to see without, they are able to see within. But that is only one phase of seeing. The other phase of seeing within the eyes cannot see; it is the heart which sees. And when you are able to see that way, the pain and pleasure and joy and sorrow of every person that comes before you manifests in your own heart, you actually see it. You see it even more clearly than your own eyes can see. But that is the language of the heart. The eyes do not know it.

Besides, when once the heart begins to live, another world is open for experience. For generally what one experiences in one's used only the plural of this word, so this is an unusual instance everyday life is all that the senses can perceive and not beyond it.

But when once a person begins to feel and experience subtle feelings of the heart, one lives in another world, walking on the same earth and living under the same sun. Therefore, be not surprised if you find any beings walking on this earth, living in another world. It is as natural as anything can be for man to live in his heart instead of only living on the earth. The people in the East call it sahab-i-dil , that is, master minds.

And then if one goes still more within, one begins to live in the soul. Inspiration, intuition, vision, revelation are natural to this person. The soul begins to become conscious of its own domain.

And it is the same kingdom of which is spoken in the Bible, “Seek ye the kingdom of God first.” It is the soul which begins to see.

Seeking further, what enables one to attain to this stage is the way of meditation under the guidance of the right teacher.

The first thing to do is to get the control of the glance. The next thing to do is to get the control of feelings. And the third thing to do is to get a control of the consciousness. If these three things are attained, then one begins to look within. Looking within helps so much for a person to look without, that the same power with which the heart and eyes are charged begins to manifest outward. And the one who looks within, when he looks without, all that is within manifests without. His influence is healing and consoling, influence uplifting and soothing. Besides, the sight becomes penetrative, that not only human beings but even objects begin to disclose to this person their nature, character and secret. As Sa<di0 says that, “Each leaf of the tree becomes a page of the sacred book the moment your vision is clear and your eyes can read.”

15. For sahab-i-dil, see G lossary 16. See M atthew 6:33 instead of “Seeking” 20. For Sa<di, see List

Q.: What is psychism being to experience 22?

A.: These are new terms, psychism. And therefore in making use of this term, myself I do not know. Very often people claim being clairvoyant, seeing spirits, is psychism. If I were to give my explanation I would say that psychic is the soul bound to the earth longing to free itself. Psychism therefore, if I were to give an explanation of it, would be the process by which a soul can unfold itself, that its wings may no longer be bound, but become free to fly upwards.

Q.: Why is it that psychic people are mostly negative people?

A.: The idea is this, that generally a person is coarse and dense on this earth. That is the general type. And in that coarseness and denseness is no inclination for spiritual attainment. If he is not coarse and dense, then perhaps he is ignorant of the other path. He is capable of something, but he has not yet taken a step in that path.

Then there remain some who are not coarse and dense but who are fine, fine by nature, nervous temperaments, keenly intelligent.

Well, such persons are called negative, specially when they become gentle. Either they are self-assertive, powerful, or they are gentle.

But if one understands what power there is behind gentleness, mastery in fineness. It is the sharpness that makes the soul a sword.

The power of the sword is that it is fine and that it is sharp.

Q.: When the eyes are not in good working order, does that hinder the development of the soul? Have the Sufi practices connection with the cure of the eyes?

A.: It deprives the soul from free expression. Just like the body is a vehicle for the soul to experience life, so the eyes are the direct vehicle to direct itself . Suppose if the pen of the writer is blunt, it

21. The word “psychism ” was used with various m eanings in the latter half of the th century (see O ED ), but is rarely used today 23. This question does not appear in the sh. 25. This question is not in the sh. is not the writer’s fault; it does not make the qualification of the writer any less if the pen is blunt. Specially for the development of spiritual attainment the practices which are given have not connection with the cure of the eyes. That is another department.

Q.: Is your object to make all those who come to you your pupils, and to gather them in your movement?

A.: When I look at the world with the idea I have these goods to sell I see that everyone in the world is my customer. There is not one person who is not. That is the picture . The second point is this, that there comes the psychology of different persons. There comes a person and says, “Well, that is something very beautiful which concerns the deeper side of life will help . I would like to be benefited by it. But I do not wish in any way to be affiliated with you or with the organization . I am against societies and organizations.” The most wonderful thing is that he could be against something I, with my spiritual attainment, would not be promoting if a society was such a bad thing. I would be the first thing to run away from it. Besides that, it is a little vanity for people to think that, “I am free.” They do not know the sense of freedom. If they knew what freedom is! The very fact that you cannot attach yourself is the lack of freedom. I will tell you my story. I was invited to speak at a church. When I went in that church the priest of that church thought it the best occasion to advertise his church; he thought it was a best advertisement than anything else. Because he thought I can do my word in the

29. This question does not appear in the sh. not appear at all in the hw.; it seem s to say: “W hy did got this society field or som ething. Som e sense turned against society, organization. W onderful [?] is the only be against it.” conversion . So he said, “Will you be anointed?” I asked, “What is it?” He said, “To put some oil.” I said, “Put some oil, or water, or anything.” So oil was put on my head and I was confirmed in that particular religion. This man was pleased because he gained his object, and I thought, “I joined not a new church, I am a member of all churches.” Can anyone change us if we do not change? W hat can join us we do not want to join? We are at the same time joined with heaven and hell both, with the worst and the most virtuous person. We are linked with one another. If the races and lands are different, what does it matter? In spirit, in consciousness we are all one. We cannot be different. Those who say, “I do not want to join, but I want to get all the benefit,” it is all unfriendliness. We cannot help them. They are not ready to be helped. Besides, if they do not want to join, what do I care if they joined a society or class? I come to gather people, if to society is for humanity . If I gather them in a society or movement convinced , it is that it may spread throughout the whole world closer to . For the same reason the ship exists, and the post office, and the telegraph, and the radio is going . All these things help. It is all organization. And the East has understood and it will understand more and more the benefit of it, the benefit to broadcast the teaching. That is the idea of a society.

We who are working to try to make the different creeds meet, we do not want to form another creed to add to the creeds. That is lost work, if we did worthless things, if we meant or thought to do business or money making. But to do higher things, and not doing the higher things is the worst thing possible.

Besides, there are mureeds who come to a teacher and then they think, “It is very interesting, but I shall or shall I not join?” And then some have said, “Yes, I am very interested in your lectures and for hum anity”

I have read your books, but I am not yet sure. I want to read more of it in order to become your pupil.” That surprises me more than anything else. That a dead book will convince them more than my living self, in my presence. The dead book will one day convince them, a day not before I am gone to another country. Besides that, the one who does not trust in the living person but in the book, this person is not yet deep enough. I think, spiritual teaching apart, even in friendship, if there is anything that binds two persons it is trust.

In order to trust you do not need to be acquainted for six months.

Then you can wait for the whole life. The real friends, they are either friends in one moment time . That is the way that friendship is. The spiritual guidance is a friendship too, however, a spiritual teaching journey . Once my murshid told me, “There are many things that cause friendship between different persons.

But the friendship in the spiritual path is the greatest friendship. It cannot be compared with anything else. It is above all things of the earth, which will always last.” If one does not take it in this way, then a spiritual teacher is like a professor in the university. He is for a certain time there. There is not that sacred, deep feeling. For a deeper character and nature, there is a deeper friendship connection.

Therefore, in the East they look at it from a different point of view.

There is a story of a pupil in the East who was a villager and who was very interested in spiritual things. He was the pupil of a teacher. One day there came another teacher in that village, and the villagers were made known that, “Those who come to hear this teacher, they will have the doors of heaven open for them.” This wonderful young man did not come. All the others came to see this new teacher. This teacher was wondering why this young man did not come. He said, “I would like to see him.” And he says to this journey” indicate a spiritual guide; see G lossary; here Inayat Khan speaks of Abu H ashim

M adani (see List) young man, “Everyone in the village talks about you; you seem very interested in this idea, and you did not come to see me.” He said, “Teacher, forgive me. It is not antagonistic toward your teaching. Only that my teacher has passed away from this earth. I do not know yet if he is in heaven or in hell. If by your kindness I went to heaven, and if I did not find my teacher, heaven would be hell for me. W hatever that place would be, it would become my hell.” If there were not that confidence and faith, then a person may read many books and discuss over them the whole life till he became deaf and dumb, and not arrive at that stage. Is easy and yet so difficult.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sufi Centre, San Francisco

February 23rd, 1926

mental purification 3: the distinction between the subtle and the gross

Beloved ones of God,

I am to speak this evening on the distinction between the subtle and gross. There is a verse in the Bible, “It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.”2 So what we call living is subtle, what is death is gross ; in other words, what is dense is gross , and what is fine is subtle.

It is true as it is said among Hindus that there was a golden age, then a silver age, a copper age, and an iron age. Certainly we are in the iron age. So much grossness we find now that never before in

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Km .tp. = a typescript m ake by K ism et Stam from her handwritten transcription (Km .hw.). It shows all the differences from the sh. noted under Km .hw., which are therefore not noted, and a few additional differences, which are. The typescript does not include any questions and answers. = a typescript m ade by S akina Furnée from Km .hw., showing all the differences from the sh. in Km .hw., which are therefore not noted, and a few m ore, which are. Sk. also m ade som e further changes and suggestions in ink on the typescript, which are also noted. The typescript does not include any questions and answers.

This lecture, highly edited, form s the basis of C hapter IV, “The D istinction between the Suble and the G ross” (pp. 113-119) of Mental Purification in volum e IV (1961) of the Sufi M essage series.

Notes: 1. Km .tp., “III” added (m eaning this is the third lecture in the series on M ental

Purification) 2. John 6:63 any period of history there was such grossness and denseness as mankind shows today. And how it has come is by the law of gravitation. When the consciousness is absorbed in the gross matter, then the person gravitates towards the earth. When the consciousness is released from the gross matter, then it gravitates towards heaven.

I do not mean to say that people were not gross before two thousand or three thousand years. But when you study traditions, you will find that they were very fine and subtle in perception, more than we are today. Our contact with earth and earthly things has made us more rigid. They were more placid. And if you want to find it out, you have only to study ancient language, such as

Sanskrit, Zend, Persian, Hebrew, and see the manuscripts of the ancient times and the way they explain things. Maybe that they are quite strange to our mentality and perception as it is today , and yet their fineness is beyond words.

And I am afraid we are going from bad to worse, and that we are becoming grosser every day. If we only realized that how far we are removed from what may be called fine perception. No sooner a person has come to understand subtle things only by mathematical calculations, he has come in a dense sphere. He does not want to become fine. And the spirit, which is the finest thing, he wants to make it gross to make it intelligible.

Friends, therefore it is of the greatest importance to develop, in order to attain to spiritual attainment, to develop fine perception.

I have seen some people going into a trance or diving into a deep meditation, and yet lacking fine perception, and then it is of no value. They are not really spiritual. Really spiritual person must have a mentality like liquid, not like a rock, something that is moving, not crude and dense.

7. “as it is today” om itted 10. “to develop” crossed out in ink (as it is repeated later in the sentence) 11. “A” added in ink 12. “a” added in ink

And now I come to the metaphysical side of it. There are two experiences of life. One realm of experience is sensation; the other realm is exaltation. And by these two things, what is experienced?

By these two experiences one tries to experience happiness. But by sensation or in the form of sensation what is experienced is not necessarily happiness; that is pleasure. It might give a moment the appearance of happiness, but it is only a suggestion of happiness.

Now exaltation is something that the mystic experiences. And those who have not been mystics, they experience it also, but they do not know what it is, and they cannot distinguish between sensation and exaltation. Furthermore, sometimes exaltation is the outcome of sensation. It is possible. But at the same time, exaltation that depends upon sensation is not an independent exaltation.

As much we need sensation in life to make our experience of life concrete, so much or even more we need exaltation in order to live life fully. The lower creation, such as birds and beasts, also have glimpses of exaltation. They do not only rejoice in grazing and in picking grains, in making nests or in flying in the air, in singing and in running about in the forest, but there are moments when even birds and beasts feel exaltation. And if we go into this subject deeper, we shall say the same as what Prophet Muhammad has said in Qur’an. There is a most wonderful couplet, a sura , which says that there are moments when even rocks become exalted and trees fall in ecstasy . If that is true, man, who is made to complete the experience that any living being can have, he must experience exaltation as much as he experiences sensation.

And now coming to the idea, what do I mean by sensation? The admiration one has of line and colour, the preference one has of softness in structure, the appreciation one has of fragrance and perfume, the enjoyment one gains by tasting sweet and sour and

17. For sura, see G lossary 18. The closest verse in the Qur’an to this seem s to be sura verse 6, which reads (in the Yusuf Ali translation, see List): “And the herbs and the trees - both (alike) prostrate in adoration.” pungent, the joy one experiences in hearing poetry, chanting, and music, all these experiences are manifest in the realm of sensation.

Therefore, the world of sensation is one world; the world of exaltation is another world. And these two worlds are made for man to experience and live life on earth fully. And imagine with this possibility and this opportunity in life, man continues to live life of sensation, forgetting that there is a life besides it, a life that can be experienced here on earth, and something that completes life’s experience.

And now I shall explain to you, what do I mean by exaltation?

There is a physical aspect of exaltation which comes as a reaction or result of having seen the immensity of space, having looked at the wide horizon, or having seen the clear sky, the moonlight night, and the nature seen at the dawn. Looking at the rising sun, watching the setting sun, looking at the horizon from the sea, being in the midst of the nature, looking at the world from the top of the mountain, all these experiences, even such an experience as watching the little smiles of an innocent infant, these experiences lift you up and give you a feeling which you cannot call sensation.

It is exaltation.

And a still higher aspect of exaltation is a moral exaltation: when you are sorry for having said or done something you did not like to do; when you have asked forgiveness, and humbled yourself before someone before whom you were inconsiderate. You have humbled your pride then. Or if you felt a deep gratitude for someone who has done something for someone ; you have felt love, sympathy, devotion which seems endless and which seems so great that your heart cannot accommodate it; when you have felt pity for someone so much that you have forgotten yourself; when you have found a profound happiness in having a humble service to someone in need; when you have said a prayer which has come from the bottom of your heart; when you have realized your own

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. “a” added in ink “and” crossed out in ink “the” crossed out in ink

limitedness and smallness in comparison to the greatness of God; all these experiences give man a lift up. And the moment when one feels these experiences, one is not living on earth, one is living in another world, the joy of such experiences is so great. And yet these experiences can be gained without paying anything, and sensations cost something. W e have to go to the theatre, pay in order to go to entertainments. They all cost something; they cost more than they are worth. And exaltation, which is beyond price, comes by itself, no sooner you have shown a leaning towards it.

That is all. It is a matter of changing your attitude.

Once I visited a great sage in Bengal in India. I said to him, “What a blessed life is yours, that gives pleasure and happiness to so many souls.” But he said that, “How privileged I am myself that a thousand times more pleasure and happiness comes to me.”

Exaltation is a purifying process. A moment’s exaltation can purify the evil of many years, because it is like bathing in the

Ganges, as Hindus say. It is symbolical; exaltation is the Ganges. If one bathes in it, one is purified from all sins. It does not take much to feel exalted : a kind attitude, a sympathetic trend of mind, and it is already there. If you took notice of it, the moment your eyes shed tears in sympathy with another, you are already exalted, your soul has bathed in the spiritual Ganges.

It comes by forgetting self and by destroying selfishness. But remember, we can never claim ourselves to be unselfish. How much we may be unselfish, we are selfish just the same. There only is wisely selfish. If we show to be selfish, it is just as well to be wisely selfish, profited by it . It is the same as we call unselfish. It is profitable to be that instead of being foolishly selfish, because the former gains and the latter loses.

And now coming to the third aspect of exaltation. The third aspect of exaltation comes by touching the reason of reasons and by

26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

Km .tp., “exaltated” typed, later corrected to “exalted”

realizing the essence of wisdom, by feeling the depth, the profound depth of one’s heart, by widening one’s outlook on life, by broadening one’s conception, by deepening one’s sympathies, and by soaring upwards to those spheres where the spiritual exaltation manifests.

Today a man of common sense or a person who is called a practical man is the habit to laugh at the idea that a certain person has dreams, that a certain person has the experience of ecstasy, that a certain person experiences what they call trance. But there is nothing to be surprised , nothing to laugh at. And yet all these things are laughable when done by those undeserving, and mostly those claim such things, say gone into trance or wonderful vision and so they show themselves extraordinary and look for approbation into others, do exaggerate their experiences. Those who really experience these things, they do not need to tell people, “I had this or that experience.” Their own joy is their own reward.

No one should recognize it; the less others know, the better it is.

Why must person show ourselves to be different from others? It is only vanity. And the more vanity, the less progress in the spiritual path, because it is the worst thing in the spiritual path to try and show oneself to be different from others. Would you believe, if I were to tell you that some of the great masters of humanity I have seen walking in a religious procession with anyone else. And most of those walking around quite ignorant, and quite enthusiastic procession. I knew met this master procession. Masters do not wish to know it.43 Those who are really evolved, they are glad to act as everyone else acts.

34. “at” added in ink 36. words added around “those” to read “it is those who” in ink extraordinary” om itted

For the novelists this make coarse it is beautiful for them to explain masters to be in the caves of the Himalaya or to be moving about in the forest somewhere where one cannot go and find them, always keeping aloof and remote , that no one can reach them, always may have curiosity about them . But, friends, every soul has a divine spark. And therefore, if there is any higher stage of human evolution, it is for human being, not for those outside of the human world. And if they are outside the human world, there is no relation between us and them. The great spiritual souls have lived in the world, in the midst of the world, and proved to be the greatest masters. Imagine the life of Abraham, of Moses, the life of Jesus

Christ, and again the life of Muhammad in wars and battles, and yet as exclusive and remote, as spiritual as anyone could be. And

Krishna, picture him in Brindaban , and the fighting in the battle, giving a scripture of the world . If they had all lived in the caves in the mountains, we would not have been benefited by them.

What is the use of those holy ones who never see, never experience from morning till evening the tests and trials in the dense world, where at every move there are thousand temptations and difficulties, thousand problems. What can they do, those who are outside the world, for us, we who are exposed to thousand difficulties at every moment of our life? And they are increasing.

W ith the evolution of the world, the life is becoming heavier, more difficult. No, the mastery, the holiness, the evolution must be shown here on earth. It is very easy to be exalted in the seventh heaven. But exaltation experienced and imparted to the others here on the earth is exaltation which is worthwhile. changed to “Bribdaban” in ink; for Brindaban, see List 50. “the” crossed out in ink

And now coming to the grossness and subtleness of human nature. The heroes, kings, masters, prophets, those who won the heart of humanity, they have been fine in perception and fine in character. They have not been gross, crude . And at the same time, their fineness was simple; there is a side to it always so simple. And at the same time, it is so subtle; that is the beauty of it. A person who can say without saying and one can do without doing is a subtle person, and that subtlety is worth appreciating. One who sees and does not see, knows and does not know, the one who experiences and does not experience at the same time, the one who is living and yet dead, that is the soul who experiences life fully. ——————–Q.: Is horoscope a science?

A.: Yes, horoscope is a science, there is no doubt about it. And there is a science of numbers and its mystical significance. But at the same time, I considered it as one of the fine sciences.

Q.: It has become so popular that one can hardly imagine that it is really a science.

A.: That there is always something false standing by the side of the real. And there can be nothing existing in this world that has not false side to it. Both are existing at the same time. And so there, as there is a possibility of astrology being real science, also of astrology not knowing that science. That is with all things.

Q.: Is the knowledge of astrology intuition or knowledge?

A.: Well, now coming to this subject, not only astrology, but even an as concrete science and as medicine, its beginning is always intuition. I can show a thousand proofs that medicine today we have as a science, promoted and improved by scientists who perhaps never think about intuition, that this had its origin in intuition. If

56. 57. 58. 59.

“, crude” om itted “That” om itted “as there” om itted “its origin is” instead of “that this had its origin” such a science as medicine can come from intuition, it must be very fine perception which with the science of astrology was learned. It is a science which has come, as many other sciences, from intuition.

Now the other idea is that every soul has its relation with the cosmic mechanism which is working, and in relation with that cosmic mechanism a soul continues to live, each . Therefore, the soul is always under the influence of this whole cosmic influence working. And those who have gathered some experience, no doubt they have perhaps one thousandth of the real science, or even less than it . But still it is a science, if really studied. The third part is that I would rather not ask anybody what would happen to me next year. Perhaps the less known, the better it is. To know that something evil will come, that means it is an impression which grows and works. Maybe that brings a worse result than if one had not known it. But I would be very interested if someone said, because last year this happened because the planets were in this condition. But I would not like to hear about it a year before, unless the astrologer had a very good news. But he has not always a good news. On the contrary, if there are fifteen bad remarks, there are perhaps five remarks that make hopeful. Because life is such. There are more pains than pleasures. Now the fourth idea about the same question, I want to tell you that one need not be a seer in order to make astrological predictions. If it were so, every astrologer would be a seer. But if one is a seer and astrologer at the same time… because intuition helps in every science. But if a person were a real seer, he need not have the help of astrology. He knows it. He need not be dependent upon the calculation of numbers to throw his own light on present or future. He knows more than the astrologer knows. He does not only know, but he can change it too. Therefore, seer is one thing and astrologer is another thing.

60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66.

Q.: Is it better to have desire, or is indifference preferable?

A.: It depends upon what we desire. If we much cherish a desire, we must keep away from indifference. Desire is fulfilled by motive power. Motive power is at the back of it. Indifference is the weakening of motive power. If a person wants to have money, and if he says, “What does it matter?”, his indifference will ruin his motive power. And whether indifference is right or wrong depends.

If you wish something and you are indifferent to it, then you are your own enemy. But if you are indifferent to something that wants you, then indifference is the best thing to help.

Q.: But as a general rule is it better to have desire, or interest?

A.: It all depends. That is why I say a living person is better than a book. One may perhaps show in my books a thousand contradictions in my own words. That is the large of.68 If you pin yourself to the words, it is small, if to all corners of world.

Indifference is as good as interest, only it must be used when it is required. Sometimes interest is required, sometimes indifference is profitable. For instance, you are in a situation where people laugh at you. Something that you want to accomplish, and people mock at you. Or perhaps people antagonize you don’t like you, or people are apt to criticize you. If you put interest in all these things, you will lose you work, lose your way. You should have not interest in it. Be indifferent in that situation. But then you have a business, you have to see someone to promote your business, to get more customers, to advertise it, to get connections. It all will come about according to your interest. The more you will have interest, the more profitable it will be. If you are indifferent about it, then you defeat your own cause. I was very amused visiting a certain province in India, that I went in a shop to buy something, and the man in the shop was smoking his pipe, sitting with cushions

67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73.

“m uch” om itted “That is the large of.” om itted “, if to all corners of world” om itted “laugh” instead of “m ock” “antagonize you,” om itted “have” instead of “put” “no” instead of “not” in his shop, cross-legged. I said, “Have you got this thing?” He thought for a minute or two and said, “I don’t think I have it.” He did not take the trouble to make himself sure, yes or no. I should have thought he would have some enthusiasm to have a chance of selling. I asked, “Where can one get such a thing?” He said, “I don’t know.” I said, “I would like so much to get this.” He says, “I don’t know.” He would not bunch . He remained quite comfortable in the place where he was sitting. I greeted him and thanked him for this kind silence and indifference, and I went to the next shop to him . And there I found what I wanted. Imagine, shopkeeper easily knew in shop of other man, eager to sell, but that lethargy, that indifference. It is all right, indifference, if you sit in thought in a forest, not care for shop.77 But if one has a shop, or if one has to do a business, no interest is foolish. Indifference and interest must be studied, used properly. Both are useful.

Q.: Do Orientals not promote desirelessness?

A.: Well, I should think whether Orient or Occident, the moment you come to desirelessness, you must go in the forest, you must not live in the world. At the same time, desirelessness is a sign of evolution. But at the same time a person who has to live in the world, if he has no desire, he must act as if he had desire. A seer, a sage acts like an actor on the stage; he must play the rôle, whenever rôle he is put into. That is what makes him, of course superior to others, that others who are also playing the rôle, now that are there if there are in a wretched condition, in an inferior condition, they think, “I am inferior.” But this blessed soul does not think so. In all conditions, he keeps his spirit high. He knows, “I am playing a rôle.

It is all right.”

74. Although “bunch” appears in both sh. and hw., it seem s likely that Inayat Khan said “budge”, a word which m ay not have been fam iliar to Km .

Q.: How could one cultivate intuition?

A.: By having self-confidence and trust in intuition. Very often people who are fine and are capable of intuition lose that faculty by not having confidence in intuition. Sometimes they are doubting, fearing, thinking, “My intuition will not come right, I shall be put to a loss.” And in order to escape that position of having the loss, they lose their intuition. And their loss is greater. If they sacrificed their gain once or twice or thrice, if they would hold on to intuition, they would have success in life, whatever they will do… so developed in the depth of their hearts. In other words, in order to follow intuition, to be brave, to be courageous. A person who says, “Is it true? I don’t know,” he confuses himself, he makes the intuitive faculty blunted. This is not everyone who is ready to lose. They will rather lose intuition than lose anything in the world. I have heard from many people, “It is too dangerous to follow intuition.” I say, “Yes, it is true, when you do not distinguish between imagination and intuition. But it is the only way to come to that stage where you can trust intuition.” If have this a person learns riding on the bicycle by falling once or twice or thrice. The same thing with intuition. If a person fears, then he loses that faculty.

Besides, it is the fineness, sympathetic nature, good action, right thinking, fineness of perception, all these things help a person to be intuitive.

God bless you.

81. 82. 83. 84.

In both sh. and hw., a series of dots indicate m issing words

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sather Gate Bookshop, Berkeley, California

Wednesday, February 24th, 1926

the mystic poets of persia

Beloved Ones of God,

I consider it my privilege to speak on the question of the

Persian mystic poets to the citizens of Berkeley.

Persia is known for its mystical poets and in the East the first and the last education is to study the Persian poets, to understand them and to follow their philosophy.

Among the Persian poets, Jalal-ud-din Rumi is considered to be the greatest. Then there is Hafiz, Jami, Firdausi and Omar

Khayyam, some very well-known to the people in Europe.

Although Omar Khayyam is known to people so much that almost

D ocum ents:

Km .sh.


Km .hw.1 =

Km .hw.2 =

Km .tp.



Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand w hich do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. a second longhand transcription m ade by Kismet Stam , with a note at the end: “copied from the stenographic notes by Kism et, Territet, 21 N ov. 1958”. As the differences from the shorthand here are editorial, they appear only in the notes. a typ e s c rip t m a d e f ro m K is m e t S ta m ’s se c o n d h a n d w ritte n transcription, and identical with it (and therefore not noted), with the sam e note at the end. a typescript m ade by S akina Furnée or under her supervision, copied from Km .hw.2 and nearly identical with it, with the sam e note at the end. It is noted only in the two instances where it differs from Km .hw.2.

Notes: 1. Sather Gate is the m ain entrance to the cam pus of the U niversity of California at

Berkeley 2. Km .hw.2: “the” om itted 3. For Jalal-ud-din R um i, H afiz, Jam i, Firdausi, O m ar Khayyam see List 4. Km .hw.1: “who is” instead of “som e” 5. Km .hw.2: “O ften” instead of “Although” in every house there is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by

FitzGerald to be found. But at the same time, he is not always understood rightly. They enjoy reading his poems, but very often they misunderstand. The style which Omar Khayyam has adopted is a Persian style, which was adopted by Hafiz and by other poets also. But this style came from the time of Solomon, only in Persia it was given in Persian language. If you read the Songs of

Solomon, you find the same symbology, the same way of expression: “the divine beloved” and “the glass of wine,” and “the spring”. And the same style was adopted by Persians and even till now by the poets of India. By “wine” it is meant something quite different from what people understand. By “beloved” is meant something quite different, by “countenance of beloved” is meant something quite different.

In the first place, the reign of Islam prohibited every free expression of philosophical ideas. It was against religion to speak esoteric or mystic things plainly. Besides that, in the East they do not appreciate if a fine idea of philosophy, of mystical thought, is expressed in plain words. They say, therefore what is most beautiful must be expressed beautifully. It is all right for things of the world to be expressed rigidly. But something fine and elevated must be expressed in a right form. Therefore all beautiful things in the East are in poetic form.

Now coming to Jalal-ud-din Rumi, who was a most educated, cultured soul, and who occupied a very high position in the state.

He was inclined to write poetry and was a great student of ancient

6. For Edward FitzG erald and his translation of the R ubaiyat, see List 7. Km .hw.1: “But” om itted 8. Km .hw.1: “the” instead of “this” 9. Km .hw.2: “the” added 10. Km .hw.1: “psalm s” instead of “songs”; the book of the O ld Testam ent is called “The

Song of Solom on” 11. Km .hw.2: “which” instead of “wine” 12. Km .hw.2: “som ething” m issing 13. Km .hw.1: “, therefore,” om itted; Km .hw.2: “som ething” instead of “, therefore,” 14. Km .hw.2: “that” instead of “what” 15. Km .hw.2: “all right for” m issing 16. Km .hw.2: “that m ay” instead of “to” 17. Km .hw.2: “that” instead of “a right” 18. Km .hw.2: “that” instead of “write” manuscripts. One day in his house there came a dervish, a wanderer, while Rumi was busy with his manuscripts. The first thing this wanderer did was to take away these manuscripts and asked to talk with him. Rumi was greatly surprised by an action of this kind. He was a man of manner, of fineness, of politeness.

But at the same time, he was tolerant and he tried to understand what this man wished to say. He said, “Are you looking for truth in these books ? And how long will you look for it? You have looked for it so long. And will the remaining of your life also be given looking for truth in manuscripts? Truth is living. Books are dead. Have you thought about the source and goal of your being?

Have you considered the purpose of life? Have you observed the inner laws, the hidden laws of nature? Have you thought about life?

Have you dived within yourself in the profound depth and found some mystery hidden there? Have you penetrated this world which is called matter, this world of illusion? Have you tried to see what is hidden behind?”

And Rumi, who was so cultured, so educated, was bewildered to hear these sincere words coming from the lips of the wandering dervish. The dervish said that, “If God is anywhere to be found, it is in the heart of man. If there is anything that has inspired , it is the glance of the master. If there is anything that is exalting, it is the realization of the spirit. If there is anything that gives happiness, it is the realization of self.” Rumi heard it with modesty, with humility, and wanted to hear more. This dervish said, “What is spoken in words is not necessarily truth; truth cannot be spoken in words. Truth is not taught or learned. Truth is discovered. It is the tuning of the soul, it is the raising of the consciousness that makes one realize truth.”

19. Km .hw.2: “and” instead of “while” 20. Km .hw.2: “very” instead of “greatly” 21. Km .hw.2: “of ” m issing 22. Km .hw.1: “this book” instead of “these books” 23. Km .hw.2: “have” m issing 24. Km .hw.1: “And” om itted 25. Km .hw.2: “the rem aining of your life also will you keep on” instead of “w ill the rem aining of your life also be given” 26. Km .hw.1: “is inspiring” instead of “has inspired”; Km .hw.2: “is inspired” instead of “has inspired”

Rumi then followed this dervish. And everyone in the family of

Rumi and of his friends, they were all against this, because 27mystic to the people is a queer person, one who is quite strange , who is not of this world, and whose ideas are different. The language of the mystic is quite different. His ways are strange. His ideas do not correspond with the ideas of the practical man. Naturally, they thought Rumi was going backwards instead of going forwards.

Rumi had to give up his position, and wandered with this wanderer, whose name was Shams Tabriz . After following Shams Tabriz for some months, when everyone blamed Rumi for his action full of error in following Shams Tabriz, then one day the master disappeared, and it left Rumi in a very great sorrow. On one hand he gave up his position and his work; on the other hand, the teacher whom he followed had left him. But that was the initiation, that was the birth of the soul for Rumi. He looked at life then from the quite a different point of view. And his heart which had listened to his master so attentively became a reproducing and talking-machine record. All that was once spoken began to repeat itself. And Rumi experienced wonderful upliftment, great joy, great exaltation. And in order to make this exaltation complete, Rumi used to write verses, and the singers used to sing them ; and then, when Rumi heard the beautiful verses sung by the singers with their rabab, the Persian instrument, he experienced such stage as known by

Yogis as samadhi. He distinguished then in different kinds of experiences. In Persian language it is called wajd.

Man today has become so material that he is afraid of any other experience than the experiences of the senses. He thinks what he

27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

Km .hw.2: “a” added by hand

Km .hw.2: “som eone quite strange” instead of “one who is quite strange”

For Sham s-i Tabriz, see List

Km .hw.2: “while” instead of “when”

A.o.d.: “the” om itted

Km .hw.2: “them ” om itted

For rabab, see G lossary

Km .hw.2: “states” instead of “stage”

Km .hw.2: a colon instead of “as”

Km .hw.1: “in” om itted

For sam adhi and w ajd, see G lossary

Km .hw.2: “the” om itted can experience through the senses is a real experience. And what is not experienced by the senses he thinks that it is something unbalanced , something to be afraid of, going into deep waters, something not normal, at least it is untrodden path. Very often man is afraid that one falls into a trance or a feeling which is abnormal. And those who experience them are fanatics, who have gone out of their minds. But it is not so. Thought belongs to mind, feeling to heart. Why must one think that thought is the right thing and feeling is wrong? All different experiences of the meditative persons are of thought and of feelings. But I should think every poet who receives inspiration experiences a joy which others cannot experience. It is a joy which belongs to inspiration, and the poet knows it. A composer, after having composed, is filled with a certain joy, a certain upliftment. The others, they do not know.

Do you think a poet, of musician, by this has lost his mind? On the contrary, he becomes more complete. His experiences wider, deeper insight, keener , fuller life than the life the other man lives. A life of sensation is void of the experience of exaltation.

Even religions , prayers, rituals, ceremonies , they were intended to create exaltation, because that is the need of life.

Exaltation is as much necessary or perhaps more necessary than cultivating thought, thinking. Rumi therefore had many disciples

39. Km .hw.2: “the” om itted 40. Km .hw.2: “a” om itted 41. Km .hw.2: “he does not experience with” instead of “is not experienced by the” 42. Km .hw.2: “it” om itted 43. Km .hw.2: “unpleasant” instead of “unbalanced” 44. Km .hw.2: “an” added 45. Km .hw.2: “who” om itted 46. Km .hw.2: “But” om itted 47. “the” added 48. Km .hw.2: “this” instead of “a” 49. Km .hw.2: “don’t” instead of “do not know” 50. Km .hw.2: “N ow” added 51. Km .hw.1: “or ” instead of “of ”; Km .hw.2: “or a” instead of “of ” 52. Km .hw.1: “H e experiences a wider, deeper, keener” instead of “H is experiences wider, deeper insight, keener”; Km .hw.2: “H is experience is wider, deeper, his insight clearer” instead of “His experiences wider, deeper insight, keener” 53. Km .hw.2: “H e experiences a” added 54. Km .hw.2: “This love” instead of “A life” 55. Km .hw.2: “religion” instead of “religions” 56. Km .hw.2: “sym bologies” instead of “cerem onies” seeking guidance under him. And through this deep sorrow and then a bewilderment that came to Rumi, and from that another outlook came to him. His vision became different. At that time he wrote that most valuable work which is studied in all countries of the East called Masnavi e Manavi . In this work, Rumi as his peculiarity has tried in his verse to show the mystic vision, and to explain what prophetic mission means. Many in the Western world have never thought on the subject of the prophet and his work in the world. What they know about prophet is those mentioned in the Old Testament, who prepared the world for the message of Christ. But the meaning that Rumi wishes to express of prophetship is the meaning of that word which Christ has said that, “I am Alpha and Omega, I am first and last.” Rumi wishes to express that the one who is “first and last”, was, and is, and will be.

And you must not limit him in one period of history.

And then he explains that the words of the prophet are the words of God himself. That it is one end of the flute of reed which is open outside, and one end is in the mouth of the musician, the player. He wishes to say with this explanation that the flute is in the mouth of God, and the other end of the flute is the lips of the prophet. For the Muslims have never called the mission that came from Muhammad, Muhammad’s mission . They always speak of kab Allah , means ‘word of God’. The person of the prophet has been removed, the meaning of the message is there. Therefore the Muslims also never call their religion Muhammadanism. They

57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72.

Km .hw.1: “And” om itted

Km .hw.1: “the” instead of “a”

Km .hw.1: “and” om itted

Km .hw.2: ”which is” added

For Masnavi e Manavi, see List

Km .hw.2: “has” instead of “as”

Km .hw.2: “. H e” instead of “has”

Km .hw.2: “verses” instead of “verse”

Km .hw.2: “the” added

Km .hw.2: “the prophet” instead of “prophetship”

R evelation 21:6

Km .hw.2: “end” m issing

Km .hw.2: “teaching” instead of “m ission”

Km .hw.2: “They” m issing

Km .hw.2: a colon instead of “speak of”

Km .hw.2: “Kalam uillah” instead of “kab Allah”; see in G lossary kalam Allah do not wish to call it with the name after the Prophet. They call it

Islam; it is ‘peace’. And they are very offended if you call their religion Muhammadan religion. They say the Prophet was the instrument through whom God expressed himself . God is capable to speak by any instrument, all are his instruments. They do not bring the personality forward, they say it is the spirit of God which must be brought forward. The original words of Rumi are so deep, so perfect so touching that when one man repeats the words of Rumi, hundreds and thousands of people are moved to tears . They cannot help penetrating. That shows how Rumi was moved, to have given the living word. Yet many wanted to make him a prophet. But he said, “No, I am not a prophet, I am a poet.”

Hafiz has written about Rumi when he says that, “I am not capable of writing the verses of Rumi. W hat I can say is that he is not a prophet, but the one who brought the sacred book.” In other words, he wants to say that he was a prophet. No poet of

Persia has given the picture of metaphysics, the inner path of evolution and higher realization so wonderfully as Rumi has, although his poetry is not so beautiful as the poetry of Hafiz.

73. Km .hw.2: “nam e” instead of “call” 74. A.o.d.: “of ” instead of “after” 75. Km .hw.1: “that” instead of “it” 76. Km .hw.2: “an” instead of “the” 77. Km .hw.2: “Through G od he expressed him self” instead of “through w hom G od expressed him self” 78. A.o.d.: “through” instead of “by” 79. Km .hw.2: “O ne m ust” instead of “They do” 80. Km .hw.2: “they say,” om itted 81. Km .hw.2: “word of Rum i is” instead of “words of R um i are” 82. Km .hw.2: “so perfect,” om itted 83. Km .hw.2: “lifted to prayer” instead of “m oved to tears” 84. Km .hw.2: “O ne” instead of “They” 85. Km .hw.2: “This” instead of “That” 86. Km .hw.2: “That is why” added 87. Km .hw.2: “verse” instead of “verses” 88. Km .hw.2: “is that” m issing 89. Km .hw.2: “was” instead of “is” 90. The word “was” underlined in all docum ents, indicating it was em phasized while speaking 91. Km .hw.2: “and” added 92. Km .hw.1: “inner” om itted 93. Km .hw.2: “often” instead of “although”

In explaining about the soul, Rumi says that the melodious music that comes as a cry from the heart of the flute of reed brings to you a message. The flute wants to say that, “I was taken away from the stem to which I belonged. I was cut apart from that stem and several holes were made in my heart. And it is this that made me sad. And my cry appeals to every human being.” He means by the flute soul, the soul which has been cut apart from its origin, from the stem. And that stem is God. And that the cry of every soul, whether it knows or does not know, is constantly to again find that stem from which it is cut apart. And it is this longing which those who do not know interpret as the lack of wealth, or position, or something else. But those who understand it , they find the real meaning of this longing, and that real meaning is coming nearer, closer to the source, that the branch longs to find its stem.

The poetry of Hafiz has inspired the poets of Persia as well as of India. Our great poet Rabindranath Tagore also gives the

Persian colours sometimes in his poems. And it is that colour which has made his poems so popular.

They say Hafiz was a disciple of a master, and some of the disciples were told to meditate at certain times of the night. And while in meditation, the teacher called Hafiz, and it was at that time that the teacher inspired him. He had reached that moment where he could inspire anyone in a moment. And they say there were ten others whose name were Hafiz too. So the teacher called ten times “Hafiz”. But each time this one Hafiz came. The others were sleeping instead of meditating. This is symbolical. The inspirer is calling us from every corner. But we all do not respond. The voice is always there. The light is there. The guidance is there. But we are not always ready to respond, not always willing to respond, and not always open to the call. It is not only the story of Hafiz, but I think it is the story of every soul on earth. Hafiz proved to be the example of this story in which it is said that he was inspired ten times. But I should say, he was inspired 111 hundred times. The peculiarity of his work is that he is an artist.

He makes word-pictures. He has insight into life and looks at life from a psychological point of view. But at the same time, he sees the whole of life as the phenomenon of love, harmony and beauty, and sees all the different aspects of love, harmony and beauty.

Whatever they be, he weaves them so beautifully in the form that it makes a most beautiful picture. From beginning to end his phraseology is peculiar. He uses words such as “wine,” “bird,” “the goblet,” “the beloved,” “the beautiful countenance of the beloved,” “the running river,” “the rising spring,” “the clear sky,” “the moon,” “the sun”. And then in these poem there is a continual reproach of the lover to the beloved. And there is the indifference. This indifference of the beloved,122 so beautifully expressed that it almost seems that while writing these poems the poet’s soul was dancing. There is such musical inspiration that every line of his poetry is a strain of music. And the word “wine” is used in different moments. But according to the mystic, the life is wine. And at the same time each person drinks a wine peculiar to himself.

Hafiz pictures that the whole world is a winepress, and every person takes a wine akin to his own evolution. The wine of one is not the wine of another. Besides that , he wishes to express that every person who is quite more evolved, or ignorant, honest or dishonest, all of them whether he has the realization of it or not, whether he has a great belief, or whether he has no belief. In every case he has taken a certain wine. And it is that intoxication of that wine which is his individuality, and that, as a person changes, so he changes by drinking another wine, that it is the certain wine which changes the outlook on life. So every change in life is like taking a different wine.

Then Hafiz praises those who have come to a high realization. He says that, “Be not fooled by the patched garment of the wandering dervish,” that “under the patched sleeves most powerful hands are hidden.” Then he says, “The bareheaded, without a hat,143 have a crown over their head, if you knew.” By this he means that once a person has taken into him the thought of reality, it is not only that it ennobles the soul, but it gives to him a spirit which is a kingly spirit. It is like being crowned. It is an inspiration and power which he calls in his poetry “intoxication”.

Then among the great poets of Persia there was Sa<di , who has written among many other works the most popular work, his

Rosegarden , Gulistan, and Bustan . Sa<di was a different temperament. Sa<di was a lover of humour, and was most simple.

He begins simply in his Gulistan a prayer, in which he says that, “Let me not show my infirmities to others but to you, Lord, my judge. For you are the judge, and you are the forgiver. You choose whatever you like, whether to be judge or forgiver.” The way in which beautifully he proceeds in this prayer, which he writes in Gulistan is wonderful, and so simple, and yet it has touched thousands and thousands of people.

Once, someone went to a bookshop where Sa<di was sitting, and the bookseller was not present. And when asked for The

Rosegarden of Sa<di. And he said, the Sa<di asked him , “Do you like it?” He said, “He is really a frivolous poet.” And Sa<di liked it so much that Sa<di presented him with that book. He wanted to

144. Km .hw.2: “the” instead of “a” 145. Km .hw.2: “, a” instead of “and” 146. For Sa<di, see List 147. Km .hw.2: “The R osegarden” instead of “his Rosegarden” 148. Km .hw.2: “and” om itted 149. “and Bustan” om itted; for R osegarden, G ulistan, and Bustan, see List under Sa<di 150. Km .hw.1: “H e” instead of “Sa<di” 151. Km .hw.2: “pictures” instead of “begins” 152. Km .hw.2: “You” m issing 153. Km .hw.2: “to be” m issing 154. Km .hw.2: “in which” m issing 155. Km .hw.2: “the way” instead of “which” 156. Km .hw.2: “and so” m issing 157. Km .hw.2: “it” m issing 158. Km .hw.2: “and thousands” om itted 159. Km .hw.2: “this” instead of “a” 160. Km .hw.1: “som eone cam e who” instead of “when”; Km .hw.2: “then they” instead of “when” 161. Km .hw.2: “the Sa<di asked him ” om itted 162. Km .hw.2: “so he” instead of “Sa<di” 163. Km .hw.1: “he” instead of “Sa<di” give book ; he said, the word “frivolous” was the praise of it.

That shows that from the beginning till the end in the words of

Sa<di there is no such thing as assuming to be a philosopher, or a thinker. There is simplicity, it is natural, and yet so mirthful.

After these poets there came many others, and they adopted the same methods. But the living words of these three poets have always lived among the mystic poets.

Firdausi has proved himself to be a very great mystic. There was a need of a book of traditions in Persia. And the Shah of

Persia asked for such a book. But it was not to be found; then he asked Firdausi if he could write it. And by his mystic powers proved he could send his soul into the past and get glimpses of the past, and write a tradition of Persia. And the whole Shah

Nameh has been written by the help of the inner vision.

But that proved not only to Persia, but to all human beings, that the soul is more capable than man knows it to be. Once the soul has penetrated this dense matter and lifted the veil of the world of illusion, the soul can reach further than man can ever imagine. The whole Shah Nameh makes the ancient history of Persia, and gives an account how shah after shah came and reigned over Persia, and all about their lives.

The idea that the Sufi poets are the poets of Persia were

Sufis, is true. But those who have thought into these subjects, they never had any sect. They were above any sect. As Hafiz again says

164. Km .hw.1: “and while giving it” instead of “he wanted to give book”; Km .hw.2: “and” instead of “he wanted to give book” 166. Km .hw.2: “a” added 167. Km .tp: “the” om itted 168. Km .hw.2: “And” om itted 169. Km .hw.2: “But” m issing 170. A.o.d.: “proved” om itted 171. Km .hw.2: “in” instead of “into” 172. For Shah N am eh, see List 173. Km .hw.2: “has been written” m issing 174. Km .hw.2: “the” m issing 175. Km .hw.1: “But” om itted 176. Km .hw.2: “he” instead of “that” 177. Km .hw.2: “this” instead of “the” 178. Km .hw.2: “keeps” instead of “gives an” 179. A.o.d.: “Sufi poets are the” om itted that, “The temple of the deity , the Hindu deity, and the mosque of the Muslim, are one and the same.” They never had such differences as the followers of religions have. They always have the influence that attracted the people of all different denominations to the central truth beyond the boundaries of caste and creed.

God bless you.

180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185.

Km .hw.1:

Km .hw.2:

Km .hw.2:

Km .hw.2:

Km .hw.2:

Km .hw.2:

“the deity” om itted “whether it is a” instead of “the” “or a” instead of “and the” “the” om itted “they” added “attracts” instead of “attracted”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

San Francisco, Wednesday

February 25th, 1926

man the master of his destiny

Beloved ones of God,

It is my great privilege and happiness to speak to the audience of San Francisco again at this platform invited by our most sympathetic friend Mr. P. Elder who always has given accommodation for those interested in philosophy.

I will speak on man, the master of his destiny. If you say, as the

Hindus of ancient times said, that man brings with him his karma of the past, that is true. And if you say that before coming the destiny was designed for man, that is true also. That is the conception of the religion; the other is the conception of Hindu philosophy. As anything man makes is intended for a certain purpose, naturally all that God makes is intended also for a certain purpose. As Sa<di says, that “Every soul in this world was born for a certain purpose, and the light of that particular purpose was kindled in that soul.” And then again we see that however good or bad a person there is in this world, a very much important or useless person there is , each has its place in the scheme of the

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. = Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Km .hw. = K ism et S tam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics.

Notes: 1. Inayat Khan had given a series of lectures at the Paul Elder bookstore (see List) in 1923 4. For karm a, see G lossary 5. For Sa<di, see List universe. Some are tortured and some torture, and some are pleased and some are the source of pleasure. It all fits in when you look at this whole manifestation as one scheme, working at a certain purpose. Each being is a part in a great scheme of the creation; when once you look at the life and you will see that each person by his merits and faults, and by his right doings and wrong doings, is accomplishing the purpose of the whole scheme of life. No doubt, the one is working like a poison would work in the system, and the other is working like nectar. The work of the one is goodness and compassion and forgiveness; the work of the other crudeness, coarseness, tyranny, and yet each is doing his part without knowing it, contributing to what is wanted to be done in the scheme of nature. Therefore, the idea the Orientals have had in all ages, that the fate of a person was made before his coming on earth, it shows that every person was made to fit in with the mechanism of the universe. He was made just so that he would take the place which was intended for him to take ; whether deserving or undeserving, whether pleasant or unpleasant, he takes that place.

But then there is a question that Why must God be good to one and cruel to the other, in order to make one happier, and some give happiness to others and some cause misery to others. Why is it? Why is there no justice? Why are not all persons the same? But we see this according to the human point of view. We take each individual before us and see his life, not connecting him with the whole scheme of nature. We are not capable of understanding what is the purpose of the whole manifestation; not thinking about it from another point of view, we sometimes misjudge the creator. As

Jesus Christ was asked, “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents? Why person blind to wrong or ?” The master answered, “No, it is only that the works of God may be become manifested.” The work of God is the whole scheme of nature. In order that the whole scheme of nature may work harmoniously and bring about that result, it is therefore that every person was made such as he is. That was the answer of the master and no one can give a better answer.

And now coming to the Hindu idea that every person who is placed in a certain place in life is there because he has done something wrong in the past; that is why he is placed in worst condition, it is his karma according to which he is put in a place where he is to pay his debt. It is more consoling to certain temperaments. They say, “I am content with my condition, perhaps

I have done something in the past which is not right; therefore I am placed in this condition.” Many people going through illness or misery or suffering are yet content, thinking, “This punishment is inflicted because we have done wrong in the past.” No doubt there are arguments for and against it. In the first place, it relieves God of his responsibility, which man puts upon God, that God in heaven is kind to one and not to another. But then there is another side of it, that even man, if he gives a punishment to another person in court says, “You have done such and such things, which was wrong according to this law, do you admit it? It is therefore that this punishment is given to you.” But we do not know what we have done in the past life, for which we are given a certain punishment.

In this way the law of God becomes feeble, becomes wrong to those who do not know what they have done in the past, why they deserve such a thing, such a miserable life. They become very much perplexed; they would like to know what they have done.

16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.


See John 9:1-3

Then there is another side of it to the question that what we call right or wrong, or good or bad according to our idea, may not be the same according to the divine law, because we make our own right and wrong according to our own conception, and it is we who estimate, who value a person as we see that person from our own limited idea of good and bad. And therefore, according to God, the sins and virtues and right and wrong may not be the same, and man, who does not know about that right and wrong, is not responsible for having done it, does not deserve that punishment, not even knowing what he is going through or why he is having that punishment.

And now, if we throw a little more light upon the subject of the karma, the real karmic exchange is the meeting of the souls in the higher planes; for instance, the soul coming to manifestation and the soul going from manifestation. These souls meet; there is exchange of what this soul coming from the source brings and what the soul coming from the earth and going towards heaven gives what he has brought from the earth to the soul coming towards the earth. For instance, there was a man who was running away with a purse of gold on horseback and many rode after him. There was police coming. He stopped at a place and could not take this purse of gold farther and there came along an acquaintance who said, “Where are you going?” He said, “Take this horse and this purse also.” The acquaintance was glad to take the horse and the purse both, and by the time he went farther on the horse with the purse, until he was captured by the police. The police said, “You have taken it, you are arrested as you are coming on the same horse.”

This is the picture. The law is that everything that we possess and that belongs to a certain plane must be left in that plane. For instance, when the soul returns to the higher spheres coming from the earth, it must leave this garb, the physical garb borrowed from the earth, it must leave on the earth. But with earthly body not go

23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

“of it,” om itted “that” om itted “m ean” instead of “be” “the” om itted “who was” om itted these two sentences m issing in the other plane, must go with . Same thing is the law of karma.

All good and bad experiences made, one goes back with them, souls coming from earth take up this and this soul must unload itself in order to go further, and it gives them, hands them over to an eager soul in order to go further. This soul takes, therefore, good or bad or whatever there is; it takes it, and what it takes, it has to pay for it.

When it comes on earth it must pay for it. This is the philosophical part of it . The soul who has handed over this load is purified by it.

It leaves its body purified from the earthly burden which it had carried on throughout its life on earth. But the burden remaining is given to the soul coming this way. When it is poetical, people call it a reincarnation of Shakespeare, because same speaking, who has got the burden of Shakespeare on earth, all this knowledge got as a heritage of Shakespeare. When he comes on earth he comes with the quality of Shakespeare, his tendency is the same. Not only an offshoot of Shakespeare, but his image. Therefore, Hindus call it reincarnation.

And now coming further on the same subject, the question if free will has to do anything in life, or whether it is only that the destiny works and the free will does nothing. A very difficult question to explain in words. In the first place it is true that a design which is once made does not keep the same as time goes on. It changes, time changes it and the working of it changes it, and at the same time what changes in it is the embroidery of it, the design remains the same. If an artist planned in his mind to make a certain picture and before putting it on the canvas has the whole idea in his mind, that is the first design. Then he takes pains to draw it; as he draws it, the lines inspire him to do it differently from what he had first planned. No doubt, the purpose for what he is making is not yet altered, the inspiration is there, but every line suggests him some improvement, to add something or to make some change in it.

It is possible that the picture becomes entirely different from what

29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

he had thought before, making it while being inspired by the picture, changes his plans. So it is with man. It is our thought, speech and action which has the influence of changing the plan by being more harmonious, more enthusiastic, good, patient, persevering. Sometimes when it is accomplished, we obtain something much better than we intended it to be, we obtain a success greater than we had imagined. Or sometimes the action, thought and planning, these all heighten and widen, making it different from what we had intended once. Every success and failure has much to do with our own life also and opens before us the possibility of changing life.

When we look at life from a metaphysical point of view, we see in every soul a divine spark, and this spark, which represents the creator, may be called the free will, independent of the plan of destiny. We can have influence, if not to this flame and blaze, that would have a power to change the plan made before . But those who only believe in free will and do not think about the destiny, they are very often mistaken because very often a most scientific person, a persevering one, most qualified, has no success.

He may work for years; the success is not his portion. Something is missing there. Very often in business, in industry, in worldly matters, people who are simple and unqualified do , at the same time success comes to them without ambition . They do not pursue success, but success follows them. There are many instances such as these to be found, and that shows that destiny has a great deal to do on one’s life, that one is bound to destiny in every movement one makes in life.

And there is a side question if planetary influences have anything to do with destiny? Yes, it is true, the whole scheme of nature is linked with human beings as well as with planets. There m ade before” m issing, just a series of dashes is a particular relation between a man and a certain planet because every planet extends its light currents on the earth and is connected with every soul in some way or the other, and therefore the whole cosmos is so made that every planet is working in accordance with each soul. And there is a question if souls have an even power on the planet as the planet on the soul. Planets have power on souls because planets are stronger in spirit than souls, because it is a collective spirit which has a greater power over the individual spirit.

But at the same time, an individual, spiritually evolved, who has attained to a certain mastery over his personality and has a great influence upon the planet also. In the Orient there are stories about the prophets, that at the death of a prophet or the death of a great sage, the planetary system was in many ways affected, and soothsayers saw this great change coming to the whole cosmos. But this shows that when an individual expands his soul towards perfection, the soul can grow so strong and powerful, so illuminated, that it has power even on planets. But at the same time, I would never advise anyone to depend entirely upon the prediction made by anyone on a horoscope. I think that in order to reconcile oneself with what has happened in the past, one can be consoled with the horoscope. But when it comes to see the future, very often it has an effect upon a person and his future if something bad is predicted by the astrologer, and if he goes on by that impression, it becomes more concrete , avoid it . It comes true because thoughts and fears and doubts bring it about, working together with the prediction of the astrologer. Nevertheless, astrology is a science, and must be recognized as such. Those who know it rightly can find out things that are of great importance.

Man is an engineer and at the same time a machine. A part of his being is machine, especially when free will is absent in him, when he is moved by influences, subject to climatic changes, when he feels influences, planetary influences, when he is subject to

43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

conditions in order to speak or feel. And that part which is engineer in man is his divine heritage and is his soul, his spirit. If the soul is awakened, illuminated, then man has a deeper insight, a deeper power to meet with influences opposing his plans. And in our language we call this as free will, but very often people understand it wrongly. Very often people are impressed by another, by what others have said, and then they say, “It is our free will.”

They are working under influences of others and think it is free will. Very often, many who claim free will are the least free in life.

They only claim free will, but do not know what it means. There are many influences they do not know, thinking they are working by their own free will. In reality, it is not such a simple thing as that. In order to have the engineer part in man, that divine spark must be blown to a fire that it may blaze and illuminate the path in life.

Very often people think that by being a positive person, by acting powerfully, by being determined and having a strong will, we can surmount above all difficulties. It is not always so. Very often by fineness, gentleness, stillness, by still perception one can accomplish greater things that we can accomplish by strength or power. There are very few who understand today and value the fineness, gentleness, the value of still perception. They only believe in power, in determination, and it is because materialism has made people so rigid and crude that they have almost lost the fine way of working. The other day I looked at Rodin’s statue of a thinker. I was amused to see that with musculature such as he had, and the expression, the hard expression he had, he did not know what is thinking . That is called hard thinking. That is what many people do, as also they attach value to hard working, saying, “I worked hard.” Is it hard working that brings about wonderful results?

Sometimes soft work is needed and there hard work is not wanted.

Hard thinking is not necessary there; maybe is this not necessary to be exerting one’s will. Will has its place, thought has its place,

49. 50. 51. 52. 53.

For R odin and his Thinker, see List action has its place, feeling has its place. They should be kept in their own place, as a wise engineer utilizes steam power, and makes use of different instruments. If only people strong will, then may loose his will with same force wants to rise, may fall.

Mastery, therefore, is the understanding of life more and acting wisely.

And now coming to the question, what the spiritual thought or what spirituality has to add to the mastery in life. Spiritual attainment is the real mastery and gives mastery on life, and the person who has conquered the whole world is not yet a conqueror.

Who has conquered himself is the conqueror who possesses all the world and has got the treasure which is his own, a treasure which no one can ever take away and that treasure is the knowledge of the self.

By spiritual attainment there comes a power which one need not draw from any other source except from within, which gives one confidence in doing anything worldly or spiritual. Spiritual attainment gives one an inspiration and wisdom, it gives insight into life and clear understanding, which enables to understand life’s situations much better than one would do otherwise. Besides, anything outside, a business or industry or anything mastered, but that is not enough. The self must be mastered first in order to accomplish anything else to a greater advantage. No doubt it is true that the one who wishes to attain to spiritual mastery must do anything, the littlest thing in the world, thoroughly and with patience. That which works against mastery is the doubt, and lack of self confidence, lack of trust. And what helps mastery is the intention of finishing every little thing one takes on to finish 62, and the confidence of being able to finish it, whatever be the conditions,

54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

and perseverance which does not fail and which withstands all arrests with patience.

Those who have attained spiritual realization, they have not only been able to accomplish all things for themselves, their conduct, their thought has helped many to accomplish things in their lives. There is a story of Shivaji , a young Indian venturer who started his life as a robber, and one day came to a great sage and master and asked his blessing, that he may be successful in his next trip. The sage looked at this young man and said, “Yes, you have my blessings, but come again.” So he went away and succeeded, and the enthusiastic young man arrived and said, “I had success in my robbery by your blessing. Will you bless me for the next trip?” The sage said, “You must become more powerful, a little robbery will not do. Get three or five other men together.

Going together, a greater robbery will so be gathered.” Some friends of his were inclined to the same things, and he took them for the next trip. When he came back, he said, “By your prayers and blessings I am very successful.” The sage said, “It is still not yet powerful enough. Get a hundred robbers to work in the next trip.”

These hundred robbers became so powerful that on hearing the name of the gang, generals and all those in that country shook and trembled when hearing of them. The sage said, “Now make an attack on the Mughal possessions. Why must they have Mughal possessions? Go there and take it.” So he went and took the Mughal possessions, and so in a few years time made a little kingdom. The next intention he had was to conquer whole of India as an empire.

This robber was a young man, but he did not live long. If not6, he would have established an empire throughout the whole country. In the history of India, this remains as an example of an ordinary man who came to accomplish great things. Mastery was learned from a master, who brought him to that stage. But if he had been discouraged at that time, that force and courage which was to make a kingdom was lost. It was the preparing of that soul, it was an action which was only a cover over something that was to come from this young man; sustained, it developed to accomplish great things. If it was another person, a righteous and pious person, the sage would have seen it and said, “Come here and sit, meditate, the world is nothing.” The sage saw that , “There is power, energy, will, youth, determination; something can be accomplished from it.” He made the machinery go on working and a great thing was accomplished.

This proves that spiritual attainment in all aspects, whether individual for himself will always help to accomplish great things, because the mystery of mastery in life is in spiritual attainment.

God bless you.

Sufi Centre , San Francisco

February 26th, 1926

mental purification 4: mastery

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak on the subject of mastery. The life is purposed to attain to the mastery and it being the motive of the spirit, and it is by this motive at the back of it that the whole universe is created.

Through different stages from mineral to vegetable and from vegetable to animal kingdom and from animal to man is the continuing waking of the spirit towards mastery. Man shows in the first place by his using the mineral kingdom and utilizing the vegetable kingdom and controlling the animal kingdom for his service, he shows that in him that spirit is wakened by which the whole universe was created. His power of knowing, of understanding, of utilizing to the best advantage, this is the sign of mastery. In the whole creation man shows in his life that mastery.10 But at the same time, it must be known that there is one enemy that man has, and that enemy is limitation. And in any realizing the spirit of mastery and in practising it, this spirit of limitation always is a hindrance.

Those who have realized some time or the other in their lives this principal object with which man is born, they have then tried to develop that spirit of mastery in order to perfect themselves. And the process of going from limitation to perfection is the process which is called mysticism. Repeating it again, I will say that mysticism means developing from limitation to perfection.

All pain and failure belongs to limitation; all pleasure and success belongs to perfection. Among those whom you know in your own surroundings , you will find some who are unhappy, dissatisfied with their lives , who make others unhappy, are those who are more limited. And those who can help themselves and help others and those who are happy and bring pleasure in the life of others, are those who are nearer to perfection.

And by knowing this, we must now find out what do I mean by limitation and what do I mean by perfection? These are only conditions of the consciousness. When one is conscious of limitation, one is limited; when one is conscious of perfection, one is perfect. Because it is the same one who is limited in the limited consciousness who is perfect in the perfect consciousness. In other words, there was a son of a rich man who had plenty of money put in his name in the bank. But he did not know, and when he had the

15. Km .tp., the ”s” at the end of “surroundings” om itted desire to spend some, he found in his purse very little money. This made him limited. In reality, his father had put a very large sum in the bank. But he was not conscious of it. It is exactly the same case with every soul. Every soul is conscious of what it possesses and is unconscious of what is put in his name. In other words what one has within one’s reach, one is conscious to be one’s own. But what does not seem to be within one’s reach, one considers to be outside. It is natural also. But wisdom opens a door to look out, to see, “If it is not meant or if it is also meant if I knew it.”

Sometimes the mystery of life is known to any person; he may not be a mystic, but if his time comes, he knows it.

One day I was very interested that a man who did nothing but business all through life and made himself rich—he was perhaps one of the richest men of the country— wanted to show me his park. A beautiful park he had around his house in the open . While

I was his guest we were taking a walk. He said, “This is a park I have; it is wonderful to come here in the morning and evening.” I asked him, “How far does your park extend?” And he said to me, “Do you want to know it? Do you look at the horizon from here?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “All this ground is mine and the sea besides.

All that you see.” It was a wonderful answer. This answer was the example of the theory I have spoken; he was not only conscious of what he possessed, but of all that was there. He did not make a dividing line between what was his own and what was besides. It is a mystery and for every person it is difficult to look at life in this way. But I wish to tell you that even this man, who was in business, this man who never thought of mysticism, also could arrive at that conception which the mystic finds out after the meditation of years. It was purely a mystical conception.

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. “to be” crossed out and “of being” substituted in ink

Km .tp., “m astery” instead of “m ystery” (probably a m isreading)

When dervishes address to one another— sometimes dressed in this patched coats , and sometimes they are scantily clad, sometimes they have food and sometimes not—they address one another saying, “O king of kings, emperor of emperors.” It is the consciousness of what is king or emperor which is before them, as the boundary of their kingdom is not limited. All the universe is their kingdom. It is in this way that a soul proceeds towards perfection by waking the consciousness, raising it higher. 33When you are standing at foot of mountain, what you see is narrow horizon compared with horizon you look at from the top of mountain, is exactly the same.33 When the soul evolves spiritually, it rises to a height where it sees a wider horizon. Therefore, its possession becomes greater. But you might say, “By looking at the horizon, it does not become our possession; what we possess is what we call our own.” Now coming to other question.34 But first

Columbus saw America. He did not possess it first. But the possession came afterwards. The first thing is to see. Afterwards one does possess . But if we do not see, how to possess? And without seeing your possessed , it is not your possession.

There are two different ways, or perhaps two different angles from which you must look at perfection. One way is likened to a straight line and the other way is likened to a horizontal line. The way which is likened to a straight line is the raising of the consciousness within. And one might say, “How does one raise this cousciousness ?” First of all by concentration one raises

28. For dervish, see darwish in G lossary in this patched coats” 37. “to” crossed out and “can we” substituted in ink consciousness within, which means one is able to see concretely and to be conscious of something which is apart from one’s physical body. A person may be conscious of a poetry , a word, a picture, an idea, or something. A person being conscious of it, if one can be so conscious of it that one can lose one’s limited body out of one’s consciousness for a moment, that is the first step.

Although it seems very easy, it is not so easy. When a person begins to do it, no sooner person closes his eyes in order to concentrate than thousand things come before him. Besides, this physical body becomes to be restive. It says, “This person is not conscious of me.” And then a person getting nervous and twists and turns in order to be conscious of the body. The body does not like a person to be unconscious of it. Like a dog or a cat, it likes that one is conscious of it. Every kind of nervous action comes in the body. It feels like moving, turning, scratching, or something. As soon as one wants to discipline the body, the body does not want to take discipline.

The second stage is that instead of being conscious of a thought, one is conscious of a feeling which is wider still. Because thought is a form, and even mind sees the form. But feeling has no form. Therefore, to fix your mind on a feeling, and to keep it with the intention of keeping it, is not an easy thing. If once a person has done it, and one has not given oneself to the restiveness of mind, then no doubt one feels uplifted and has gone further.

This is the boundary of human progress and further than that is divine progress. And you may ask me, “What is divine progress?”

When you go further still, then instead of being active, you become passive. That is a state to be passive. There you do not need concentration; what you need there is meditation. There you get in touch with that power which is audible and visible within you, and yet one is ignorant of it, that power which is busy moving toward

43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

Inayat Khan often used the word “poetry” in the sense of “poem ” “to be” crossed out in ink

materialising its intended object. And once you come in contact with this experience, you no more can say once in your life that there is such a thing as an accident. That you will see that all what happens is destined and prepared, when you catch it in its preparatory condition before it has manifested on the earthly plane.

And if you go further, there is consciousness in its aspect of being pure intelligence. It is knowing and yet knowing nothing.

And knowing nothing means knowing all things, because it is the knowing of things that blunts the faculty of knowledge. In other words, when a person is looking in a mirror, his reflection covers the mirror and in that mirror nothing else can be reflected.

Therefore, when the consciousness is conscious of anything, it is blunted; at that moment it is blunted, or, in other words, it is covered by something that is conscious of. The moment that cover is taken away, it is its own self, it is pure intelligence, it is pure spirit. And in that condition its power, life, magnetism, force, its capacity, is much greater, incomparably greater than one can imagine what it is , except that one by the help of meditation reaches that condition. And if you go higher still, it is not even consciousness. It is a kind of omniscient condition which is the sign of inner perfection.

This is one direction of progress I have explained. There is another direction of progress, that is to see oneself reflected in another. When you are friends with another person, naturally your sympathy, love, friendship, makes you see in another yourself, and this gives a person the inclination to sacrifice. No one will make sacrifice for another except when he is oneself. If this feeling develops, it extends further, not only with friend, with neighbour, but with stranger, with anyone with the little beast and bird and insect, as Buddha has said that harmlessness is the

50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. “what it is” crossed out and “it to be” substituted in ink “he” crossed out and “the other” substituted in ink

Km .tp., “with anyone,” om itted, perhaps inadvertently essence of religion , not help being harmless once in at-onement with all living beings. And it gives you insight into another as much as the other person knows about himself. You know about him as much as he knows, or even more. This is the simplest phenomena of this consciousness, not to work wonders. It brings you a quick proof that about another person one knows as much as he knows himself.

But then there is another moral proof, that you become friends with the wise and foolish, with the virtuous and wicked more and more, like you attract them to you. You cannot help it. Sympathy is so powerful that even enemies sooner or later become melted. It is not only a story when they say that Daniel was sent to the cave of the lions and the lions were calmed. But in order to see this phenomena , one need not go to the mountains; in this world there are worse than lions: good natures and bad natures, possible and impossible people, and if you can tame them, you have accomplished something; for it required a greater power than calming lions. One can think of the different ideas, agitated ones, antagonized ones, blunted ones, ignorant ones, drunken with falsehood or with jealousy, all sorts of poisons; there are many in this world. And it is only one power, the power of your sympathy, that assimilates all poisonous influences. It assimilates them; it takes away their poison, and it does not hurt you. You sooner or later purify them, revivify them, melt them, mould them, and direct them toward their purpose of life.

61. Inayat Khan used this word in its etym ological sense, at-one-m ent, and it is typed in this way in both typescripts 63. Inayat Khan characteristically used only the plural of this word; Km .tp., “phenom enon” instead of “phenom ena” 65. “like” crossed out and “as” substituted in ink “m ountains” 68. the “d” on the end of “required” crossed out and an “s” substituted in ink, m aking “requires”

The world seeks for complexity. If I were to give a lecture how to get this magnetism in order how to make people listen to you, tamed by their piety and in order to draw them to you, if I were to give twenty exercises to do these things, there can be a great success for me. But if I told you simple things like this, that is, the deepening of your sympathy, the wakening of that sympathetic spirit in you, which is every power and magnetism there is , and the expansion of which means spiritual unfoldment, then there will be few to understand. For human beings, they do not want simple teaching, they want complexity.

And then there is another stage of expansion and that stage is trying to look at everything from another’s point of view also, also trying to think as the other person thinks. This is not an easy thing also because from one’s childhood one learns to think so that one stands upon his own thought. One does not move 79so whether own right or wrong to another thought; the very fact that oneself has thought it, one must keep on itff . Therefore, know that it is a sign of expansion to be able to see from the child’s point of view, or from the point of view of the foolish person, how he looks at things. And the most interesting thing there is only needs one to be tolerant in order to see from point of view of another and to be patient. In that way one extends one’s knowledge to such a degree that no reading can give that knowledge. Then you begin to get from all sources; from every plane you will attract knowledge as soon as the mind becomes so pliable that it not only sticks to its own point of view. thought it, one m ust keep on it”

In my books I have called it unlearning. If you say, 83“This is a very nice person,” and another who comes and says “This is not a nice person, you are quite wrong,” the general tendency is to stick to that idea. But the greater evolution is to see from his point of view also. He has a reason to it; maybe he is too unevolved to see, or he is more evolved, or less interested in the other person, or something. But by seeing from his point of view you do not lose your own; your own point of view is there. But the other point of view is added to yours. Therefore, your knowledge becomes greater. It wants a great tolerance and it wants a great stretching of the heart, and sometimes it pains when you stretch it. But by stretching the heart and by making it larger and larger, you turn out of your heart the sacred book.

And the third aspect is to feel another, because a person is different from what he appears very often and from what he thinks as soon as you get to his feelings very often . Sometimes a person that acts quite different to his feelings, and says quite differently about the feelings. And if your feelings can the feeling of another, it is a high aspect. You become a very high personality and the feelings of another can tell you much more than his words and actions can; and sometimes they can give you quite a different opinion of a person than if you had only seen that person and heard that person speak.

83. Km .tp., “‘This is a very nice person,’ and another who com es and says,” om itted, probably indavertently 86. Km .tp., “a great tolerance and it wants” om itted 87. Km .tp., “greater” instead of “great” 90. “different” changed to “differently” and “to” crossed out and “from ” substituted in ink

And if one has arrived here, human evolution finishes and divine evolution begins. Then a person no doubt gets insight in what happens in the spirit in man. If he is going to succeed or what happening, going to be happy , or what is he going to accomplish. Because there is something going on within that person preparing his plan of tomorrow. And you begin to touch it and begin to get the impression of it. And that impression is so clear sometimes as anything visible and audible could be.

And if you go further, then you unite with everything 101. In this consciousness distance remains no distance; if you can extend your consciousness so that your consciousness touches of the consciousness of another, then not only the thoughts of that person but the whole spirit of that person is reflected in your spirit. Space does not matter; your consciousness can touch every part in the world and every person at whatever distance he may be.

And if you go still further, then you can only realize that you are connected with all beings, that there is nothing or no one who is divided or separate from you. And that you are not only connected by chains with those you love, but with all those you had known and do not know, but connected by a consciousness by which binds you faster than any chains. Naturally, one begins to see then the law working in nature, one begins to see that this whole universe is a mechanism working towards a certain purpose.

Therefore, the right and wrong one, the good and bad, they are all bringing about one desired result, by wrong power and by right power, a result meant to be, which is the purpose of life. to be happy” 100. “of ” crossed out and “for” substituted in ink 101. Km .tp., “anything” instead of “everything”

Then, naturally, one holds oneself back from that priestly spirit, “You are wrong,” and “you are right.” But one gets the sagely spirit, saying nothing, knowing all, doing all, suffering all things. This makes one friend of all and servant of all. And with all the realization of mystical truth and spiritual attainment, what one realizes is one thing, the only thing worth while, and that is to be of some little use to one’s fellow men.

God bless you.

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sufi Centre, 1373 Post Street, San Francisco

February 26, 1926

sublime knowledge and the removal of barriers in the path of life

Beloved ones of God,

I will speak on the subject of the result that is attained by the sublime knowledge. In the first place, the result of spiritual attainment is so vast and great that words can never explain it for the very reason that all that words can explain is limited, is learned or taught or bought or sold, and that which cannot be learned or taught and which cannot be bought or sold is something higher, which cannot be put into words. Only, the first thing one begins to see in oneself is that words such as “I cannot” or “It is impossible” or “I am helpless” or that “It cannot be done,” these thoughts cease to exist. Naturally, a soul becomes positive. He says, “If it is difficult today, tomorrow it will be easy,” “If it cannot be done just now, afterwards it can be done.” This optimism comes not only in imagination, but in the spirit it springs; its root is in the spirit and it strengthens man immensely in accomplishing things. The fear of death that every person has, more or less, disappears, and if fear of death disappears, there is no other thing that frightens the person,

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

O =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et S tam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. a typescript of unknown provenance, identical in w ording to K m .hw., and therefore not m entioned in the notes.

Notes: altered to “The R esult that is O btained by the Sublim e Knowledge” for that is the thing that frightens one most. Many say, “I am not frightened of death,” but they will not continue to say that when death is before them.

A story is taught in India, that a woodcutter used to say in his times of self-pity, after having worked all day long, he used to say, “Oh, what life! What a terrible life, having to work all day long in the hot sun cutting the wood; I wish I were dead.” And sometimes he used to say, “Oh death, why do you not come? I would rather die than live such a life.” And one day death got pity on him and appeared before him. And the moment he looked at the death, he was so frightened that he began to beg him to leave him for some time in this world, that he would never invoke his name again, that he very much liked to live a few days more on earth. So it is with everyone. They call death when death is not present, but when death comes, then they are frightened. It is the spiritual soul who as a result of spiritual attainment begins to come above all fear. As

Ali has said, “Fear no longer remains in the heart of the spiritual ones.” For fear is like the darkness, and the illumination is light.

When illumination comes, obscurity disappears.

The person who has arrived at spiritual attainment, his doubts cease to exist. And without spiritual attainment, however intelligent man may be, he still has doubts. And very often, the more clever a person, the more doubting he is. And you will find among the most intelligent ones, they cannot make a decision.

They cannot make up their mind, for they doubt. And doubt is the decay which destroys every action. And there is only the thing that raises one above doubts, and that is not belief, but conviction.

And conviction comes by spiritual attainment.

You will very often see a most learned man, who has studied several books and who is most intelligent, say, “I suppose it is so” or “It can be so” or “It may be so.” The mystic never says that. The mystic says, “It is so” or “It is not so.” There is conviction. It is

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

For Ali, see List

spiritual attainment that gives conviction to a person. Have prophets and sages said, “There may be a hereafter, there may be a soul,” or “Perhaps there is a Judgment Day,” or “Perhaps there is a

God”? No. They have said, “It is so.” It is not that they have said, but they have known. Besides that , the soul begins to see a way to immortality, and it therefore does not doubt or fear. It looks open-hearted to what is coming.

Spiritual attainment also makes the sight penetrating. In other words, before the eyes of the spiritual person, objects and people unfold themselves. They reveal their nature and character and secret. It is just like a master chemist; whatever drug, everything that is there, he knows how to utilize it, how to make medicine out of it, how to prescribe it. So before a spiritual soul everyone stands with the record of his nature and character together with his past and present and future. Every person is as a written letter. But a letter is no comparison, for a letter is dead; here is something living, something more communicating, most revealing. A letter can reveal very little, but a person reveals thousandfold more. All that the words can never express is confided to the spiritual soul in the twinkling of an eye.

Very often people are deluded by the great compassion, by the graciousness, fineness, saintliness of a spiritual soul. But they see in their negativeness a lack of power, but it is not truly so. On the contrary. Even behind the refinement, behind that saintliness and marrowness and behind that sympathetic and compassionate attitude, a great power is hidden, a power of resistance, a power of accomplishment. Only they do not make the most of their powers.

But the greater you are, the more spiritual you are, the less you use your powers too . It is like a child soul and the ripened soul. If you give money in the hand of a child soul, and that person will

13. Although “m arrowness” is not established (OED ), it appears in all docum ents, but its m eaning is not clear in context go in the shops and different places and will buy things that when attracting him and waste that money and in a short time he will have over nothing. And a ripened soul who has got the same amount of it, he will use it more slowly, more thoughtfully, and make the best of it, give happiness to himself and to others by it.

And so the spiritual person neither makes use of his inspiration nor of his power for any little worldly things. He is more economical than if the same power, or one hundredth of that power, were in the hands of an unrefined soul. For an instance, a person who would know about all his surroundings, and if he were still inquisitive and still so small as to speak about it to everybody what he saw, would be abusing of that insight. And it is the same thing which everybody does. Man is most inquisitive of knowing about another; he cares very little of knowing about himself. And if bad is spoken of anyone, everybody listens, not only but with it . But if good is spoken of anyone, then everybody begins to doubt, because think no such thing as goodness, we have never heard.

That is human nature.20 Therefore, the smallness of nature is first to be shaken off, has to get rid of it . When morally one rises above the tendency of giving one’s thought and time in knowing people’s conditions and affairs without having to do anything with it, speaking about them, forming opinions about people, all this when it is given up, then a person rises above and becomes entitled to spiritual attainment. And a person who is childish enough to use them, if he had any powers, in wonder workings or in accomplishing things of everyday worldly nature, he abuses spiritual power too.

The other day a scientist asked me if there were any way of raising a pen which is lying on the table higher by spiritual

“bad after it” magnetism. I said, “Nothing to a mystic is impossible. But why to spend time to raise the pen, where there are so many human beings to be raised higher? This would bring about a much better result that raising the pen higher.”

What people wish to do today is that they want to get spiritual insight and power and use it towards their material advantage. They think, “If that can make was more profitable in our worldly things , that is worth gaining.” That is like spending pearls to buy pebbles. Therefore, cannot buy good pearls and cannot pay pebbles.29 They could better pay pebbles with pennies than to spend spiritual pearls for pebbles.

What business and industry and all other things require is effort, perseverance, qualification, intelligent working. If you do it that way, you are successful. But to try and think that spiritual attainment must be only for worldly success is a very small aim to be accomplished, have very great . Spiritual attainment is success itself. All things come to him ; if he is a businessman, he is bound to be more successful. But he must not try to attain spiritually because succeed in business. The accent must be on spiritual attainment, other thing follows as a matter of course. But on the other hand, businessman can be successful without spirituality.

There are many very successful. Spirituality must not be used or must not be attained with any other intentions, must be attained for sake of spirituality. Other things must come behind.35 As Christ has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things shall be added unto you.” Therefore, in all professions, for a

“that” 36. See M atthew 6:33 writer or a poet, industry or a political person, or in any other profession, or if you are an inventor, spiritual attainment will always help in every direction. But it must not be attained because you must be successful in a certain direction, not because wanted to help something. Helps person spiritually.38 Because that makes the course longer; then it takes a longer time. Besides, spiritual attainment is success itself there is no greater success than spiritual attainment because it is the finer success, a success which reflects in everything you do and brings about fruitful results.

Therefore the ancient people have called it the philosopher’s stone, that whatever the philosopher’s stone touches, whether it is steel, iron, or copper or brass, it turns into gold. In other words, whatever the heart of the spiritual person touches, it turns into life.

Morally a person who has attained spirituality need not cultivate sympathy, for sympathy comes without his cultivating, as a matter of course. A spiritual person cannot be other than sympathetic. It is a continual outpouring of love that manifests by spiritual realization. It goes out to the wise and foolish both, to good and wicked both, as Christ’s forgiveness was always ready for the wicked, his affection always for the good.

It is love manifesting in different aspects, as compassion, forgiveness, kindness, graciousness, as affection, as sympathy, it is one and the same. And in the end a spiritual person does not see in another person a separate entity. His realization makes him feel, “It is myself.” Therefore, he cannot wrong another person once he begins to see the other person as himself. And no one in the world seems to him different and distinct to himself, but he sees in him the various aspects of his own being. It is in this way that the spiritual soul expands and attains to perfection.

God bless you.

37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

“industry” om itted this passage (“not because… spiritually.”) om itted “spiritual attainm ent is success itself,” om itted “steel,” om itted “spiritual attainm ent” instead of “attained spirituality” “outflowing” instead of “outpouring”

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand and longhand reporting

Sather Gate Bookshop, Berkeley, California

February 27th, 1926

the secret of breath

Beloved Ones of God,

This evening I am to speak on the subject of breathing. It is very little known in the world what mystery lies in breath. Since the last religious conference which took place in the Chicago exhibition , since that time, after the lectures of Vivekananda have been heard, there has come an inquiry, a tendency to know what is meant by Yoga. And some uninitiated who did not know the importance and sacredness of the idea, gave out books, gave something in the form of books which cannot be given in books, which has been taught for thousands of years in the East, handed down from teacher to pupil, trusted to those who were initiated.

Initiation means a trust. Therefore do not, please, think that I am speaking this evening on the subject of the science of breath. I am speaking on the subject of the mystery of breath.

In the first place, it is clear to those who know or do not know medical science that after the whole mechanism of the body

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Km .hw. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. W here the two actually differ, the shorthand is placed as the text and the longhand is indicated in a footnote.

Kism et Stam ’s longhand transcription of her shorthand, m ade shortly after the lecture was given, and filling in m any deliberate gaps in the shorthand. The words in the longhand which do not appear in the shorthand are in italics. Tow ards the end of the lecture extensive revisions were m ade, undoubtedly in collaboration with Inayat Khan, and so the text is difficult to decipher.

Notes: 1. Sather Gate is the m ain entrance to the cam pus of the U niversity of California at

Berkeley 2. The W orld’s Parliam ent of R eligion, where Swam i Vivekananda spoke, took place as part of the C olum bian Exposition of 1893 in C hicago 3. For Swam i Vivekananda, see List becomes a corpse being that the breath may depart and the body may…8 . That means that, however much perfect the mechanism of the body may be, in the absence of breath the body is a corpse. In other words, what is living in the body, or what makes it living, is breath. And how few of us realize this fact. We go on day after day working, busy with everyday life, absorbed in the thoughts we have before us, occupied with business, pursuing motives before us , and yet ignoring the principle upon which the whole life is based. And if one comes out and says, “Prayer is a very important thing,” people begin to think, “Yes, perhaps.” If one says, “Meditation is a great thing,” people say, “Yes, it is something.”

But when one says, “Breathing is a great secret,” one says, “Why, I have never thought about it. What is it, after all?”

As far as science goes, one knows of breathing as air breathed in and breathed out. When it is breathed in, one gets oxygen from the space, and when it is breathed out, one throws hydrogen into the space. When one goes still further one knows that breathing keeps the lungs’ capacity and the organs of breath going, and that digestive gasses are drawn in, and that one gets a greater digestive power. And on the basis of that principle now it is seen some years that people are beginning to use breathing in the physical exercises; also the latest discovery that physical exercises without not efficient together with breathing exercises make the body healthier, greater profit doing physical exercises together with breath . It is for some years that voice-producers have given greater importance to breath. In reality, the breathing itself is voice and the whole voice-construction depends upon breathing. Then

10. K m .hw.: “hydrogen” underlined; in a later typed version made from Km .hw., “hydrogen” crossed out and “carbon dioxide” written in the m argin as a correction that physical exercises without not efficient” again, some physicians begin to see that many different illnesses of nerves, character or of lungs or different nervous centres can be often helped by breathing. This is coming out as a new culture.

People find out that wrong or right cultures. There seems to be a general awakening towards the science of breath. And those who have practised breathing in connection with physical culture or for the improvement in their particular condition, illness or weakness, they have found wonderful results, every day are finding wonderful results . As a now invention they say that breath is connected with everything on earth: with voice-production or healing, or curing of the nervous conditions, or developing the muscular and nervous system. And that is so far that the science of breath has reached.

But when we come to the mystery of breath, it is another domain, altogether different. In order to come first of all to the meaning of breath according to the mystic’s point of view, the perceptible breath which the nostrils and hand can perceive as air drawn in and air going out, this breath is only an effect of breathing. It is not breath. For the mystic breath is that current which takes the air out and brings the air in. The air is perceptible, not the current. The current is imperceptible. This is what the mystic calls nafs , which means the self, not called breath, is the self, the very self of man. Besides atman is the soul and means soul . In German the same word is used for breath . They do not know, but it is the same word. The word of the mystics, the self,

17. 18. 19. the 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

second one could be “that” or “right”

For nafs, see G lossary

For atm an, see G lossary

The G erm an word for breath is “Atem ” the soul, and in Germany is used the soul without them knowing; still is the soul . That shows, if there is any trace of the soul, it is to be found in breath.

Naturally, it being the self, it is not only the air which one exhales causes that action in the air but it is a current which, according to mystics, runs from the physical plane into the innermost plane, a current which runs through the body, mind and soul, touching the innermost of life and at the same time coming back, a continual current perpetually moving in and out. This gives quite a different explanation of the breath and gives you the importance of something which very few people consider so important. And it makes you understand that the most important part of being is breath, a being which reaches the innermost of life and reaches outwards on the surface, that means touching the physical planes . Only, the direction of breath is in such dimension, that dimension which today science does not recognize, a dimension which is recognized by mystics, a dimension which is mentioned by mystics by saying “within”.

The other day I was lecturing in England, and there came a very wonderful scientist, and he heard the lecture and was very interested by lecture . He comes and asked , “I am very interested, but there is one thing that puzzled me very much.” He said, “I cannot understand word ‘within’. What do you mean?

Within the body? We can only understand inside the body.” That is where comes the difficulty of a common understanding between science and mysticism. It will finish. It is only a momentary difficulty. It will only take a few more years . Once scientists mystics….

31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

“and” om itted “for ‘breath’” instead of “the soul” “still is the soul” om itted “causes that action in the air,” om itted “plane” instead of “planes” “by lecture” om itted “asks” instead of “asked” “puzzles” instead of “puzzled” “years m ore” instead of “m ore years” “O nce scientists m ystics …” om itted

If I were to give a philosophical explanation of this dimension,

I would give as an example the simile of the eyes, that what is it in the eyes of ours which can accommodate the horizon of so many miles? The size of the eyes is so small, and they can accommodate such a large horizon. Where does it accommodate? It accommodates within. That is only the example one can give. It is a dimension which cannot be measured, but which is accommodating, which means an accommodation. The accommodation of the eye is not a recognized dimension. Yet it is a dimension, the same way there is a dimension of mind. One can think deep, feel profoundly. One can be conscious of life and still more deep. And one cannot point it out, because it is being abstract. If there is any word, it can only be said as far as I am saying, that there is a dimension which can only be called “within”. And through that dimension a current runs from the innermost plane to the physical plane, and there it keeps life living.

And therefore, if I were to say that breath is the soul and soul is the breath, there is nothing wrong about it.

The picture of God and of souls is that of the sun and its rays.

The rays are not different from the sun, the sun is not different from the rays. Yet there is one sun and many rays. The rays have no existence of their own; they are only an action of the sun. They are not separate of the sun, and yet the various rays make an appearance of so many different things . The one sun gives the idea of one centre. So it is with God and man. W hat is God? The spirit which projects different rays, and each ray is a soul.

Therefore, the breath is that current which is a ray, a ray which comes from that sun which is the spirit of God. And with this ray there is the sign of life. And what is the body? The body is only a cover over this ray. When this ray has withdrawn itself from this cover, the body becomes a corpse. Then there is another cover which is the mind. The difference between mind and heart is as the surface and the bottom. It is the surface of the heart which is mind, and it is the depth of the mind which is heart. Only, the mind expresses the faculty of thinking, the heart of feeling. That is a garb within, a garb worn by the same thing which we call breath.

Therefore, if the ray which is the breath has withdrawn itself from the body, it still exists, because it has another garb, it has a garb within. The outer garb was the body, the inner garb is the mind. It still continues to exist. And if it is lost in that garb which is called mind, then there is another garb, finer still, called the soul.

Because breath runs ever through all these things, body, mind, and soul.

The Yogis, they say, have learned very much of the secret of breath from the serpent. It is therefore that there came a custom that they called the serpent the sign of wisdom. Shiva , the lord of

Yogis, has in his neck a necklace of serpent. That shows it is the sign of mystery, a sign of wisdom. There are cobras in the forests of tropical countries, specially in India, who sleep and rest for six weeks. And then one day it wakens and it breathes because it is hungry, it wants to eat. And its thoughts attract food from wherever it may be. From miles food is attracted from its thoughts. The breath of the cobra is so magnetic so that the food is helplessly drawn, a doe or deer or any animal is drawn closer, fowl even.

It is so strongly drawn that even from the space it comes down, helplessly drawn, and falls into its mouth. It makes no effort. It just breathes, it opens its mouth and there comes its food in its mouth.

And then it rests for eight weeks again. Besides this, it shows such a might in its construction that without wings it flies, and without feet it walks. And if there is any animal which can be called the healthiest animal, it is the serpent. It is never ill. Before it is ill, it dies. And if there is any animal that lives long, it is the serpent.

44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53.

For Shiva, see List

And it is said by those living in the country places in the tropical countries that cobras can take revenge after twelve years.

It remembers. If you once hit the cobra, it always remembers. That shows its memory, its mind. It has a mind. It knows the person.

Besides, music appeals to the cobra, and music appeals to intelligent men. The more unintelligent the man, the less music appeals to him; music has such relation with intelligence. That shows that every sign of intelligence, of wisdom, of power is to be seen in the cobra. The mystics have then studied the life of cobras.

And they have found two wonderful things. One thing is that it does not waste energy. The birds fly until they are tired. Animals are running here and there. The cobra does not do it. It builds a hole where it lives and rests. It knows the best way of repose, a repose which it can continue as long as it wishes. We cannot do it.

We human beings are the least of all creatures who know about repose. We only know about work, not about repose, because we attach all importance to the work, never to rest. Because we do not find anything in rest, but everything in work. The world of rest we do not see.

Besides that, the breathing capacity of the cobra is naturally such that no other creature shows. That capacity goes as a straight line throughout its body that gives its energy. Cobra straight…57 The current which it gets from the space, that runs through it, and gives it all the light and energy and radiance and power. And compared with the cobra, all other creatures are awkwardly built, cobra straight line…

The skin of the cobra is so soft and of such silky structure. And in a moment’s time it goes out of its skin and is new, just like born anew. The mystics have learned from it. They say, “We must go out of the body just as the cobra goes out of its skin; we must go out of our thoughts, ideas, feelings, like the cobra does with its skin.” They say that , “We must be able to breathe so rhythmically, to control our breath as the cobra does. We must be able to repose and relax in the same way as the cobra can. And then it is possible that to get all we want.” As Christ has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you.” The same thing that is at least added to the cobra: all that it needs, to man also can be added if he does not trouble about it. As Sa<di , our great poet, has said ever , “Myself,” he says, “you worry so much over things that you need, but know that the one who works for your needs is continually working for them.

But you worry over them because it is your disease, your person, that makes you worry all the time.” And when we look at life more keenly, it is the same thing. Our worry about things, it seems, is our nature, our character; we cannot help it. Sometimes if we did not worry, we think we were not living. It becomes such a part of our nature to worry that if we had no worry, we doubt if we are really living. Mystics therefore have for thousands of years practised it, practised the control of it , the balance of it, the rhythm of it, the expanding of it, the lengthening of breath , the broadening of it, the centralizing of it. By this great phenomena have been accomplished. All the Sufis in Persia, in Egypt, in India, have been great masters of breathing. And there are some masters who are conscious of their spiritual realization at every breath they take in and take out. With every breath a consciousness of their plane of realization is attached.

62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75.

M att. 6.

For Sa<di, see List

A person who really knows how to work with breath, and if he is not lazy, there is nothing he cannot accomplish, if cannot say of anything that it is impossible, he cannot say it. Only it requires work; it is not only a matter of knowing the theory, but it requires the understanding of it. The adepts, mystics, therefore do not consider breathing as a science or as an exercise; they consider it as the most sacred thing. It is like religion. And in order to accomplish that practice any discipline is given by a teacher, obey it, do it.

But there is the great difficulty. I found sometimes in my travellings and teaching when I had been speaking about these things, that people come with preconceived ideas. They are just willing to learn, but they do not want any discipline about it.

But to work in the military there is a discipline, in the factory, in the office there is a certain discipline, in the study in the university, everywhere there is discipline. But person will have everywhere any discipline, but not in spiritual things.85 If the voice producer says them to make such grimaces, such faces, “Open your mouth so much, stand before the mirror and make this terrible face or not ,” people will do it. But when it comes to spiritual attainment they make difficulties. They think so little of it that they do not want to make any sacrifice, thinks to the least have everywhere any discipline, but not in spiritual things.” “attainm ent” m ust have been singular for . Because they do not know where it leads to, they have no belief. On top of it, there are false methods which are taught here and there, and people are commercializing that which is most sacred and beautiful and joyous people find out majority can be pleased, work with imaginations if think that majority fanciful.

Make out of it a business when person ever another thing. Have gone in from much appear in factory. I got nothing from it all, it is case. Today there is so much said that people in America lingering with truth. No doubt about it. Doubt it not because people in America so much of materialism, already tired of it.

Experience something else, but at the same time the situation is such that greater demand, what is new keeps mostly. Quite different then from what seeking after on one said spirit communion people say no, much better if communicate with those who have gone are wrecked every person spiritual communication. Is not right may be many who are only pretending to do so, only business. Are who come out as clairvoyants, see future? In that way the higher ideal is brought down till the last depth. And it is this time that the real thing should be introduced, seriously studied, experienced, realized by practice.

That a great service to humanity can be done 98here in this land of America, such a service can be rendered if a few people with real sincere desire of searching, with patience, with endurance, with full confidence to esoteric teaching came. It would be of such great use to the whole land, a service to God beyond price . And the one who seriously does it, to him the longhand version, and therefore the connective words which would m ake sense of the passage are m issing. doing of this service is a greater pleasure than anything in the world. And I do not think that there is a small number among people who would be quite willing to give their lives, their thought, and their time, if they knew what they can accomplish.

But to make them know is the difficulty. To have that confidence and trust of the study of breath. It wants only patience. And it wants, before all, confidence. If no confidence cannot develop, that is what Catholic Church called faith. The real faith is confidence, when person has confidence is the faith. Even no medicine of doctor could if no confidence in doctor. In East secret of spiritual attainment have great confidence, before begin with confidence in spiritual things, the first they are ready for it.102 In other things, yes, they will doubt, in business, in industry, if a person says. But in spiritual things there is no question. In the mind of the wise and of the foolish and could be there is no question about the value of spiritual attainment. If you ask wicked person say, “Yes is something more spiritual, only I am unfortunate cannot do has confidence in it, recognize it.”

And what is today necessary to have wakened first, is the confidence. First thing missing, at least one thousand seekers, have truth and would you believe they at most who see that…109 When a person comes with doubt and confusion and suspicion, he does not know what is true and what is not. spiritual things are considered first. The people are ready for it.” instead of this whole passage, “If no confidence… they are ready for it.” This passage was not transcribed in the longhand version, and therefore the connective words which would m ake sense of the passage are missing. omitted

Perhaps read fifty books, perhaps five of some use, all are not.

Mind confused. Book of Yoga at drugstore, this kind of object can buy anywhere, bottle of something, so many bottles. Perhaps has gone to twenty different societies, perhaps visit six or ten mediums, such confusion about does not know which to believe, which not.113 True, his mind is not yet clear. What can I do with him or he with me? Is the condition said, no call spiritual progress.114 When there is a confusion, when twenty or hundred thoughts are muddled up, nothing is clear then 117.

The Buddhists, for thousands of years, have taken one line, studied it with patience, with endurance, nothing to keep up in it.

The Hindus, the same thing. What is required today is a constant effort on a single line with patience and endurance to attain to the realization of truth.

God bless you. om itted

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting

Headquarters, San Francisco

February 28, 1926


Beloved ones of God,

I would like to speak a few words on the subject of belief.

Many understand by belief a certain conception they have about things of earth and of heaven. And some understand by belief their particular religion and some understand by belief their particular opinion on a certain question. And very often people mix the two words, sometimes use word faith for belief and sometimes word belief for faith. And in reality both these things are one, but belief culminates into faith; therefore, belief is not necessarily faith.

When a person considers the belief of another he looks upon it and especially in this material age, as an imagination. He does not give any greater value to the belief of another except that thing that is his personal opinion. And even this may extend to such degree that even if person meet the greatest master or mahatma in world, conversation by him would be to see whether belief of mahatma same as his own. Has been great interest to me.

I meet generally people of all different grades of evolution and talk with them, and out of hundred persons I see there are ninetynine who when having conversation with me want to know if I believe the same as they believe. They have not the least desire to try and know my belief separately, without comparing or turning to fit in with their own. Ninety-nine wish to know if their preconceived idea fit in with their belief, not alone with me, but with everybody they see. What does show? Does show progress,

D ocum ents:

Km .sh. =

Kism et Stam ’s shorthand reporting of the lecture, with m any gaps to be filled in later in the longhand transcription. H owever, in this case apparently no longhand transcription was m ade, or it has been lost, and therefore the text is fragm entary.

Notes: 1. For m ahatm a, see G lossary evolution or involution. And how does it come? It comes from the present tendency that every man has, that what he knows is all there is. Or at least what he conceives of is all there is and what perhaps he imagines or speculates is all there is. And if other person’s idea fits in it, if not such, they believe in something different.

Today man is more stuck to his belief than person in ancient times. Nevertheless, if we were to describe this belief, we shall divide it into four different grades. There is one belief which is based upon the belief of majority that, if majority believes there is some such a thing as God, then majority believes it, many of them believe it. If ask upon, cannot say anything else, then only this, “Because all others believe it.” A belief of this kind is to be found more among people than the beliefs of other kinds. And to what extent that temperament is to found in world? Cannot imagine unless special study of psychology of the crowd. How one person can become the man of the day in one moment, and after falling of the eve this person can fall beneath the eyes of everyone. Last morning so popular that called him the man of the day, and is not six beat over that thrown on the ground. Knowing, understanding?

Never! All go like sheep, is just like kind of mechanism working, making all crowd going together, believing in something, all do.

Do not think for one moment this was the condition of the past, but the very condition exists today; this day same thing.

And when we come to the religious belief, this belief has been the means to arrive at the fulfilment of life’s purpose. That belief has been fought for these last few years so much by material world, that of ever growing commercialism. This belief seems to be swept away. I do not mean to say where is right or wrong life for you. Do wish to say, among civilized nations today name God erased from the books in the school. No allowed to read the name

God in the school, is antagonize against God not church. By that think we have become more civilized, advanced than people of the past, but I do not see what civilization that can be when look at it from moral and social point of view.

Today capable of causing more deaths than ever before.

Imagine lives lost in the war past, just like a nightmare to whole humanity. Imagine, mothers not brought up children in order to lose them. Peace being lost not only of nations but of heart. A sweetness should exist between man and man. Lost even among neighbour nations, alliance only for interest of each nation. No such alliance that could sustain itself beyond the differences. All based on physical, material conditions.

What come from, from the lack of belief ? We are going from bad to worse. Other day, lecturing in Europe, intelligent man came to me, all search of lectures. Observed closely, first do come to us to acquire the knowledge of spiritual attainment, come to acquire the knowledge. One condition, if not teach the name of God. Not dispute with him, not refuse him. But at the same time, what does it show? It shows and means that wise of all ages have adopted the method which has been called the royal road. No one had against anything, against God, whether Moslems, Jews, Christians, Parsis, when God’s name said all believed in one God. That link to rub it out because more advanced shows a method, a way built and made by humanity. Centuries and centuries rubbed out, do not know another way worth attaining.

Now coming to explain what next belief is. Another belief is based on authority. I say, “I believe in Muhammad, or Christ, or in particular script , I have trust in it.” Is belief as an anchor, does not move in a moment by the movement of the crowd. Anchored in certain particular belief. Provide more than wise person whose belief moves about by the moving of the wind.

Then third kind of belief and that belief rests on reason. One says, “I do not believe because crowd believes.” Another, “because said in script but because I reason it, which is my reason for my belief .” Is a greater belief but at the same time that is not all the belief there is. But even reason changes. Today reason says one thing, after these months are gone down this reason changes again.

3. 4. 5. 6.

the word “sweetness” is difficult to decipher the word “search” is unclear “G od’s nam e” is not clear; it could be “G od and m an” “script” is probably and abbr. for “scripture”

Reason after all? Is servant of mind. If person wants to do right reason comes as his side, says, “Yes, you are quite right”; reason supports both, right and wrong. Do you suppose those criminals say, “We have no reason”? They have their reason. Does not fit with the judge, law. Therefore, always the belief of the one which is based upon the reason is changeable. At the same time is superior at the second belief, spoken just before.

But if you go further, there you come in the realm of intuition.

It is not only intuition, but something more than intuition. Not reason, but more than reason. There comes a time in our life when soul touches something within, gives a belief, not a belief but conviction. Not any reason can take away from you something established on a much more strong basis than reason. And may come early in life or later in life, but the one who enquires spiritually, he will arrive at that belief. When this comes is that tone which may be called faith.

That is not a faith which today person has and tomorrow something different taken it away. Faith is something which always remains. Besides, the power of faith is such that in all things, in everything, you try to do right, pure work, and it enables one to accomplish one’s life purpose. Very often there are people who do not know that the other person is more evolved than them, want to force their own belief upon other. It may be the wife or husband, think, “My friend got not spiritual enough, what I believe is something much greater than friend believes.”

Really speaking, one must le