The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



1. The Palace of Mirrors

2. The Phenomenon of Reflection

3. Wazifa

4. Reflection upon the Mind

5. Reflection

6. Heart Reflections

7. The Mirror of the Heart

8. Soul Reflections

9. Reflection in the Hereafter

10. Reflection of Ancestors

11. Reflection of a Teacher

12. Reflection of Others

13. Reflection of God

The Story of Una



A Reflection Is Creative

Become the Reflection

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

6. Heart Reflections

A Reflection Is Creative

The heart, which is called a mirror in Sufi terms, has two different actions which it performs. Whatever is reflected in the heart does not only remain a reflection but becomes a creative power, productive of a phenomenon of a similar nature. For instance a heart which is holding in itself and reflecting the rose, will find roses everywhere. Roses will be attracted to that heart, roses will be produced from it and for it. As this reflection becomes stronger, so it becomes creative of the phenomenon of roses.

The heart that holds and reflects a wound, will find wounds everywhere, will attract wounds, will create wounds; for that is the nature of the phenomenon of reflection.

Very often people have superstitions about a lucky or an unlucky person coming to the house: a lucky person brings good luck, and an unlucky person brings bad luck. What is it? It is only that the one who reflects bad luck creates bad luck. Wherever he goes he produces bad luck in his environment.

A mistress of a house said to a sage, "Since this maid has come to my house, every day glasses break and saucers break, and things become spoiled and destroyed." The sage could see the reason of it. He said, "As long as she lives in your house that will continue."

One often finds that a person joins a business, an industrial office, and perhaps he has not much means, but he has himself; and since he joined it there has been greater and greater success every day in that business, that industry.

The more we think of this phenomenon, the more we find that if there is anything that is reflected in our mind, we reflect it on the outer life; and every sphere that our heart has touched, it has charged that sphere with that reflection. The best explanation of the word reflection would be in the projection of a picture from a magic lantern upon a curtain; that curtain reflects the picture which the magic lantern has thrown upon it. And so the whole of life is full of reflections. From morning till evening we are subject to reflections. The association with the restless gives us restlessness. A certain person may not speak to us, but because he is restless our heart reflects it; and so the contact with a joyous person makes us reflect joy. The whole day this goes on with us, without our knowing it.

Sometimes the person whom we reflect has gone from our sight, but we are still reflecting him. That is the reason we can give for some tendency to do harm, or laugh, or cry without reason; it is all from reflection. A man whose heart is reflecting joy, wherever he goes will make people happy. The sorrowful, the troubled ones, the disappointed, those heartbroken, they will all begin to feel life; food will be given to their souls, because this person is reflecting joy. And the one who reflects pain and depression will spread the same in his environment, and will give pain and sorrow to others. And life is such that there is no end of pain and sorrow and trouble, and what we need is the souls that will reflect joy in order to liberate those in trouble, sorrow, and pain.

Become the Reflection

There is another aspect of this reflection, and that is what one thinks one becomes. One becomes identified with it; and therefore the object which is in one's thought becomes one's own property, one's own quality.

A person observing this phenomenon of reflection once had an amusing experience when he went to see a king's footman. When he went into the house of the king's footman he was very surprised to see that it was arranged on the model of the palace. The way the footman came forward, the way he took him into the house, the way he made him sit, his manner, every word he spoke, were kingly. What was it? Being the whole day in the presence of the king, he was reflecting the king.

A child who is impressed by soldiers from childhood acts like a soldier; when he is grown up he becomes a soldier. The quality of a soldier is developed in him. The child who has thought of an artist and has been impressed by an artist, by his art, his personality, that reflection has grown in him; and as he grows up, that quality of the artist develops and he turns into an artist. And when you read the history of great poets, philosophers, musicians, and their rare merit, has it only come by their studies and their practices, by the gift that is in them? Very often it has come by the impression that they have received from someone. A reflection which has been developed gradually in their heart, has produced in their soul the qualities which belonged to the one they are impressed by.

There are numberless examples of this to be found in the history of the world, but especially in spiritual work; work which cannot be accomplished by a whole life's study, nor completed by the meditation of a hundred years in the solitude. To try and attain spiritual knowledge by meditation or by learning only is like saying, "I will make a language in my lifetime." But no one has been able to make a perfect language in his lifetime; it is tradition which makes a language, it is during centuries that people have developed language. It cannot be made by one person alone; it is something that each person has inherited, acquired. And so it is in reflection that a person develops the attribute belonging to the object which he holds in thought.

There are examples to be found in the world of people who by retaining a thought have created on the physical plane its manifestation, its phenomenon. The reason is that the phenomenon is not only a picture as produced in the mirror, but that reflection in the heart is the most powerful thing. It is life itself, and it is creative. Therefore the person who has understood the secret of reflection, has understood the mystery of life.

Is a reflection a conscious action on the part of the reflector, or does it work subconsciously? It works in both ways. It works sometimes by a conscious action on the part of the reflector, but it always works subconsciously. For instance a person with a pious mind, good thoughts, a peaceful spirit, his spirit is what one is trying to reflect. It is reflected in those who come in contact with him, and they take it with them. Some absorb it and keep it, and others lose it. But the idea is this, that when one is not conscious of which reflection to keep and which reflection to give away, one will take perhaps a reflection of sadness or sorrow and all undesirable reflections, and may keep them within because one receives them. Therefore one must know that the whole of life is a life of reflections; from morning till evening we receive reflections. From those near and dear to us, from those who dislike and hate us, and from those on the other side who have passed. We are always exposed to reflections.

One might ask if it is a good thing to receive reflections. But you cannot help receiving them. You may consider it a good thing or a bad thing; but it is what it is. If our heart is clear we receive it consciously, and the reflection is distinct. If it is not clear we receive it unconsciously, and the reflection is not clear, but we cannot help receiving it. For instance, if there is a gong and a piece of wood, both will receive vibrations. But one is sonorous and will resound, the other will not resound; yet both are affected by the vibrations just the same. If the heart is clear enough to receive reflections fully and clearly, one can choose for oneself which to retain and which to repel.