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

9. The Interdependence of Life Within and Without

This subject can be considered from three different points of view: in the first place, consider how our physical body expresses all of which it partakes, such as food. drink, and medicine. If a person has grosser food or finer food or purer food it is manifested outwardly. If a person does not consider this, it is also manifested outwardly. The body shows the same nature which it has inherited from the earth to which it belongs. For the nature of this earth is such that when it takes the seed of flowers it produces flowers and when of fruits, fruits, and when it takes the seed of poison it produces poison. All different things are produced, but it is what it has taken that is the result. There is nothing that one eats or drinks or that this body takes which will be so assimilated altogether that this body will not manifest it outside. This is the meaning of this subject in the consideration of our physical body.

And when we think still further, we shall find the action of the body on the mind and the action of the mind on the body. And that must be understood first by considering how intoxicants have a reaction on the mind. Something quite material and physical, when taken, affects the mind, which is not material. The mind in point of fact is much greater than what the scientists today consider it -- the brain.

The word "mind" comes from the Sanskrit word Mana, and from this word the English word "man" comes. Therefore, really speaking, what is a human? What is one's mind? In the words of Jesus Christ a person is as one thinks, a person is one's thought, a person is one's mind. Therefore it is not always the body, to which a person attributes so much, that is one's identification; one's true identification is one's mind.

All that one partakes of even physically, in the form either of food or intoxicant, has not only effect upon the body but upon the mind. Not only what the body partakes of, but also what the mind partakes of through the senses, has its influence on the body. For instance, all that one sees is impressed upon the mind. One cannot help it, it is mechanically done, that impression is recorded. All that one hears, smells, tastes, or touches, has not only its effect upon the body, but also upon the mind. That means that one's contact with the outer world is such that there is a continual mechanical interchange going on; every moment of one's life one is partaking of all that one's senses allow one to take in.

Therefore, very often, the person who is looking for the faults of others and who is looking at evil, though the person not be wicked, yet he or she is partaking, without knowing it, of all that is evil. For instance, a person is impressed by a deceitful person. Now the result of that impression is that even when the person casts his or her glance upon an honest person he or she will have the impression of deceit. And it is from this that all pessimistic attitude comes.

A person once deceived is always on the lookout; even with an honest person they look for deceit; the person holds that impression within. For instance, a hunter who has come from the forest with a slap given to him by the lion, when he comes home even the caress of his kind mother frightens him because he thinks the lion came.

Consider how many impressions, agreeable and disagreeable, without knowing the consequences, we partake of from morning till evening. In this way, without a person meaning to become wicked, he or she turns wicked. For, in point of fact, no one is born wicked. Although the body belongs to the earth, yet the soul belongs to God. And from above everyone has received nothing except goodness. With the wickedest person in the world, when you can touch the deepest depth of his or her being, it is nothing but goodness. Therefore if there is any such thing as wickedness or badness, it is only that someone has acquired it, and it is natural since every person is open to impressions.

No doubt the secret of what may be called a superstition of the omen, which exists in the East and sometimes also in the West, is in the impression. For instance, there have been beliefs that if you hear the sound of a certain bell there will be a death in your surroundings, or if you see such a person good luck or bad luck will come to your family. People have sometimes believed blindly, and gone on believing for many, many years. Intellectual ones thought there was nothing in those superstitions and have ignored them. But at the end of the study one will find that the secret of all those superstitions is nothing but impressions, that it is only that whatever the mind has taken through the senses has its effect, not upon the body alone, but also upon one's affairs.

There is the science of physiognomy or phrenology, which goes so far as saying that what one acquires helps to form the different muscles of the features and head, according to what one has taken into one's mind. And it is written in the Koran that every part of one's being will bear witness to one's action. I should say that it does not need to bear witness in the hereafter, it bears it every hour of the day. If one examines life, one will find that the mind and body are formed from what one takes from the outer world.

In the words of Christ, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." All that one values is that which one makes in oneself; one creates in oneself all that one values. No doubt when a person is an admirer of beauty he or she will always partake of all that he or she sees as beauty: beauty of form, of color, of line, and beyond that, beauty of manner and of attitude, which is a greater beauty still.

No doubt at this time in the condition of the world people ignore very much the beauty of culture and fineness. No doubt it gives warning that the world, instead of going forward, is going backward, because civilization is not only industrial development or material culture. If that is called civilization, it is not the right word for the right thing. And the explanation of civilization is not very difficult to give: it is progress toward harmony, beauty, and love. When one goes back from these three great principles of life, one may be very creative, but at the same time it is not civilization.

No doubt every race and every creed has its principles of right and wrong, but there is one fundamental principle of religion and one in which all creeds and all peoples can meet; that principle is to see beauty in action, in attitude, in thought, and in feeling. There is no action upon which there is a stamp this is "wrong" or "right." But what can be wrong or wicked is what our mind is accustomed to see as wrong or wicked because it is void of beauty.

Therefore, the one who seeks beauty in all its forms, in action, in feeling, and in manner, will impress their heart with beauty. All the great ones who have come into the world from time to time to waken humanity to a greater truth, what did they teach, what did they bring? They brought beauty. It is not what they taught. it is what they were themselves.

The intellectual understanding of beauty, or talking about beauty, is not enough; one cannot talk, one cannot speak enough about it. Words are too inadequate to express either goodness or beauty. One can say a thousand words, and yet one will never be able to express it. For it is something which is beyond words, and the soul alone can understand it.

The one who always follows in one's life, in every little thing one does, the rule of beauty, will always succeed, and will always be able to discriminate between right and wrong and between good and bad.