The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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And now coming to the idea of spirit, what is it, how do we define it? The answer is: if we define spirit it cannot be spirit; the spirit that can be defined cannot be spirit. The best definition of spirit is "that which is not matter." The chemical world has applied the word spirit to the essence taken from anything; symbolically this expresses the same meaning, though in this way "spirit is brought into matter. When one takes a bottle of essence and says, "There is spirit", it is true symbolically; but in realty spirit means something that our senses cannot perceive. It is spirit in the sense that it is essence, but in the sense that it is perceived it cannot be spirit.