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

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

When the lips are closed, then the heart begins to speak; when the heart is silent, then the soul blazes up, raising its flame, which illuminates the whole life. This idea shows the mystic the great importance of silence, which is gained by repose. It is so little known what repose means, because every person who experiences repose feels that they need it after being tired. Other than this, one never sees the necessity of repose.

Repose has many aspects. There is repose when a person retires from the action of everyday life and finds oneself alone in one's room. The person breathes a breath of thankfulness, after all the interesting or uninteresting experiences, "I am just now alone by myself." It is not an ordinary feeling; there is a far deeper feeling behind it. The meaning is in the certainty that there is nothing to attract one's mind and nothing which demands one's action. At that moment one's soul has a glimpse of relief, the pleasure of which is inexpressible. But the intoxication of life from which everyone suffers is such that one cannot very well appreciate that moment of relief, because every person expects it in the time of retirement from the actions of daily life, rich or poor, tired or not. Does this not teach us that there is a great mystery in repose, a mystery of which a person is very often ignorant?

Besides this, we always find a thoughtful person reposeful by nature, and a reposeful one thoughtful by nature. It is repose which makes one more thoughtful, and it is continual action which takes away thoughtfulness even from a sensible person. People working in the telephone, telegraph, or post office, upon whose mind there is a continual demand, in time develop impertinence, insolence, and lack of patience. They do not become less sensible; lack of repose, which weakens their sense of control, makes them give in to such things.

Thus, repose is not only necessary for a person who walks the spiritual path, but for every soul living on earth, whatever one's grade of evolution and one's standard in life. This is the one thing which must be developed in human nature, not only in grown-up people, but also taught from childhood. Education nowadays thinks so much about the different intellectual things the child will want in life and so little about the repose which is the greatest necessity for the child.

Sometimes cats and dogs prove more intuitive than humankind. Are animals capable of more things than people? No, people are more capable. But people do not give themselves time to become more intuitive; they do not give themselves enough time to repose. It often amused me to see that in New York, where one easily becomes exhausted by the noises of trains, streetcars, elevators, and factories, when a person has a little time to sit in the train or subway, he or she looks at the newspapers; all that action is not enough. If not in the body, then there must be action in the brain.

What is it? It is nervousness, a common disease which has almost become normal health. If everyone suffers from the same disease then this disease may be called normal. What is called self-control and self-discipline only comes from the practice of repose, which is helpful not only in the spiritual path, but also in one's practical life, in being helpful and considerate.

The mystics, therefore, take this method of repose and try to prepare themselves to tread the spiritual path. The spiritual path is not an outward path; it is an inward path one has to tread. Therefore, the laws and journey through the spiritual path are quite contrary to the laws and journey through the outer path. To explain in plain words what the spiritual path is I should say, "It begins by living in communication with oneself." It is in the innermost self of one which is found the life of God. This does not mean that the voice of the inner self does not come to everyone. It always comes, but every person does not hear it. Therefore, to begin one's effort in this path, the Sufi begins to communicate with and to address oneself within. When once one has addressed the soul, then from the soul comes a kind of reproduction, the way the singer could hear his or her song on a disc produced from his or her voice.

Having taken a first step in the direction within, one listens to what this process reproduces: the wakening of an echo in one's being, either peace or happiness, light or form, or whatever one has wished to produce. It is produced as soon as one has begun to communicate with oneself. Now you can compare the person who says, "I cannot help being active, being sad, or being worried, as it is the condition of my mind and soul," with the worker who communes with him or herself.

The Sufis have taught this for thousands of years. The path of the Sufi is not to commune with fairies and God, but to commune with one's deepest, innermost self, as if one blew one's inner spark to a divine fire. Sufis do not stop there, they go still further. They remain in a state of repose, brought about by a certain way of sitting and breathing and by a certain attitude of mind.

Then one begins to become conscious of some part of one's being which is not the physical body but which is above it. The more one becomes conscious of this, the more one begins to realize the truth, which is a sure truth, of the life hereafter. Then there is no longer imagination nor belief, but actual realization of that experience which is independent of physical life. In this state, one is capable of experiencing the phenomena of life.

The Sufi therefore does not dabble with different wonder-workings and phenomena. Once the Sufi realizes the life beyond the physical, then the whole of life is a phenomenon. Every moment and every experience brings to the Sufis a realization of that life which they have found in their meditations.