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. Background on Sufism

2. Sufism--The Spirit of All Religions

3. Sufism--Beyond Religion

4. Sufism: Wisdom Of All Faiths

5. Different Schools of Sufism

6. The Intoxication of Life

8. The Path of Initiation

9. Reincarnation

9. The Interdependence of Life Within and Without

11. The Truth and the Way

12. Sufi Mysticism, I: The Mystic's Path in Life

13. Self-Realization: Awakening the Inner Senses

14. The Doctrine of Karma

15. The Law of Life: Inner Journey and Outer Action

16. Sufi Mysticism, II: The Use of the Mind to Gain Understanding

17. Sufi Mysticism, III: Preparing the Heart for the Path of Love

18. Sufi Mysticism, IV: Use of Repose to Communicate with the Self

19. Sufi Mysticsim, V: Realizing the Truth of Religion

20. Sufi Mysticism, VI: The Way Reached by Harmonious Action

21. Sufi Mysticism, VII: Human Actions Become Divine

22. The Ideals and Aim of the Sufi Movement

23. Working for the Sufi Message

24. The Need of Humanity in Our Day

25. The Duties of a Mureed

26. The Path of Discipleship

27. Divine Manner, I

28. Divine Manner, II

29. Our Sacred Task: The Message

30. Sufi Initiation

31. What is Wanted in Life?



Social Gathekas

15. The Law of Life: Inner Journey and Outer Action

All that comes to a person in reality is arrived at. By this I do not mean to say that a person does not make it, create it, earn it, deserve it, or that it does not come to one by chance. All that comes may come to a person in the above five ways, but at the same time in reality a person arrives at it.

The above-said things are realms through which a certain thing comes. But what brings a thing about is the person him or herself. This subtle idea remains hidden until a person has an insight into the law of life and notices clearly its inner working.

  • For instance, one could say that a person came to a certain position or rank or into possession of wealth or fame by working for it; yes, outwardly it is true, but many work and do not arrive at it.
  • Besides, one might say that all blessings of Providence come to one if one deserves them, but one can see so much in life which is contrary to this principle. There are many in the world who do not deserve and yet they attain.
  • With every appearance of free will there seems to be helplessness in every direction of life.
  • As to what one calls chance, there is so much against it too. For deep insight into life will prove that what seems to be chance is not in reality chance. It seems to be chance, as illusion is the nature of life.

But now to explain more fully what I mean by arriving at a certain thing: every soul is, so to speak, continually making its way toward something, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. What a person does outwardly is an appearance of action, an action which may have no connection with one's inner working which is like a journey.

Not everyone knows toward what one is making one's way, and yet everyone is making their way. Whether one is making one's way toward the goal one has desired or whether one is making one's way toward quite the contrary goal which one has never desired, one does not know.

But when the goal is realized on the physical plane then a person becomes conscious: "I have not worked for it. I have not created it. I have not deserved it. I have not earned it. How is it possible that it has come?" If it is a desired object, then perhaps one gives the credit to oneself and tries to believe, "I have in some way made it." If it is not desirable, then one wants to attribute it to someone else, or suppose that for some reason or other it has happened like that.

But in reality it is a destination at which one has arrived at the end of one's journey: you cannot definitely say that one has created it, one has made it, one has deserved it. or that it has come by accident. What can be said is that one has journeyed toward it, either consciously or unconsciously, and has arrived at it. Therefore, in point of fact no one, in one's desirable or undesirable experiences, has departed from the destination at which one was meant to arrive.

Nevertheless, what is most necessary is to connect the outward action with the inward journey, the harmony of which certainly will prove to be a cause of ease and comfort. This is meant in saying that one must have harmony within oneself. And once this harmony is established, one begins to see the cause of all things more than one sees it in its absence.

One might ask in what way harmony could be established between the inner journey and outward action. What generally happens is that a person is so much absorbed in the outward action that his or her inner attitude becomes obscured to view. The first thing necessary is to remove that screen that hides from one's sight the inner attitude. Everyone is conscious of what one does, but not conscious of one's inner attitude: in other words, everyone knows what one is doing, but everyone does not necessarily know towards what he or she is going.

No doubt, the more one is conscious of the inner attitude the less becomes one's action. For thought controls action, but it only gives a rhythm and a balance to life. Compared with a person who is capable of running, not knowing where one is going, another is better off who is walking slowly, but knows toward what one is going.

There are two distinct parts of one action. There is an action of our inner life and there is an action of our outer life, the inner being and the outer being. The outer being is a physical action and the inner being is our attitude.

Both may be actions of free will, but in a certain way they both prove to be mechanical or automatic actions. No doubt the inner action has a great power and influence upon the outer action. A person may be busy all day in doing a thing, but at the same time if the attitude is working against him or her, they can never have success in work.

A person by their outward action may deserve a great prize, but for their inner action may not be deserving. Therefore, if these two actions are contrary to one another, there is no construction and there is no attainment of the desired results. The true result, the desirable result, comes by the harmony of these two activities.