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 Philosophy of the Soul

2. Manifestation (1)

3. Manifestation (2)

4. The World of the Angels

5. The Soul's Experience

6. The Law of Heredity

7. Reincarnation

8. Man, the Seed of God










The Perfection of Manifestation

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

3. Manifestation (2)


When a ray starts out from the universal Spirit, projecting towards manifestation, it is called Dipak, meaning light, which in its lower manifestation turns into Cupid, the reverse of the word "dipak" in spelling. In Arabic it is called Nur, light, from which words Nar, man, and Ndri, women, are derived.

It is very difficult to differentiate rays from light and light from rays. It depends on our understanding. In the rays light is more separate, more distinct, while light itself is more collected, more together. But at the same time we should remember that the truth cannot be put into words; all we can do is to make an effort to render the mystery of life intelligible to our minds. The distinction between light and sun and rays is most useful, but it must be understood by the light of intuition; then it will become clear.

Take for instance the example of the rain; why must the raindrops also rear poisonous plants and weeds, why should they not fall only upon corn, fruits, and flowers? They fall in all places; and so do the rays coming from the sun. The divine light falls everywhere without distinction just as the rain does.


When science discovered the secret of electricity, on that day science was also discovering the secret of the soul. For the secret of the soul is not far removed from the secret of electricity. The current of electricity is not necessarily the same as electricity. Electricity is the power which is hidden in the current. It is the same with the soul; the soul attracts atoms by some secret current; and that current is the soul itself. It is like one globe over another. There is something within the body, but at the same time it is all collected and gathered in that current; and that current is the ray; it is the divine current.

In the angelic sphere the soul attracts angelic atoms; in the jinn sphere it attracts jinn atoms, and on the earth physical atoms. Thus mankind is clothed in the garb of an angel, of a jinn, and of a human being; but when he only sees himself in the garb of a human being without seeing the other garbs, he believes he is nothing but a human being.


The souls coming out get impressions from souls going back because they absorb, conceive, learn, and receive all that is given to them by the souls leaving the earth. But what really happens is reflection; souls coming from heaven become impressed. It is just like an impression upon a photographic plate; and when they come on earth the photographic plate is developed and finished.

As a rule the reflection of two souls meeting takes place like this; but there is a difference in the qualities of souls. There is one upon which an impression is made instantly, and another soul upon which it takes longer. That is due to the intensity of power and radiation that the soul brings along within itself.

Souls on their way to the earth plane know, and at the same time do not know exactly, that they are on the way to experience life here. There is an impulse to go forward and to experience that which they may be able to experience. That tendency gives the soul strength to advance, and those which are able to advance far enough manifest as human beings.

The soul brings on earth an accommodation for its mind, already prepared in a very negative state, from the world of the jinns that is the plane it gets its accommodation from. It gets a body after coming on earth, but the accommodation is filled later on, after the soul's awakening on the earth plane; it is here that the soul collects everything. For instance there may be one child which listens attentively to music, while another runs away from it; this means that the latter has not got the mold in which music is engraved. It will learn to appreciate music later, but with the first child the mold was already made, and the music it hears will readily fit into that mold.


The soul gathering impressions first builds up the astral being, then attracts both sexes towards each other, manifesting to them first in ether, feeling; then in air, thought; then in fire, desire; manifesting after this into water and earth elements, gathering and grouping the substance from both, choosing a clay suitable for its formation. Generally a soul chooses also its birthplace and family. The soul inherits the father's qualities and the mother's form, in other cases the reverse; attracting the heredity on the father's and the mother's side until it steps on earth as an infant.

A mother seeing the growth of her child, says that her child has gained so many pounds. In fact it has lost as much, for the soul of the child has produced from its immortal nature mortal unconsciousness in order to experience life, and the more the earthly substance is built up, the more the heavenly being is lost, the more feeble it has become and the more the almighty power is lessened.

Sex is determined in every plane where the soul forms its vehicle; first on the plane of consciousness where it emerges as dynamic force or intelligence, then on the plane of the abstract as sound or light, which gives power to man and wisdom to woman. In man this manifests as influence and in woman as beauty. In the spiritual plane it manifests as expression and response, which gives man the fatherly and woman the motherly quality.

When and why was the difference of sex produced in manifestation? One cannot say that the soul of woman or the soul of man was made first, as the soul is neither male nor female. When the soul reaches the point where the distinction of sex arises, it is first male; then if it wishes to become finer, it becomes female. We can see in the kernel of the almond and of other nuts, that where there are two kernels in one shell the female form has been formed from the male.

One sometimes calls men and women who love each other very much two parts of one soul; but this can only be said in the sense that we are all parts of one soul. Between man and woman there can be affinities of the angel plane, of the jinn plane and of the physical plane; many different ties and affinities attract them to each other.

This whole world of illusion could only be produced by duality. In reality there are not two, but one. In order to produce this world, the one Being had to turn Himself into two, and the two had to be different. We have two eyes but one sight, two ears but one hearing, two nostrils but one breath. According to whether the breath flows through the one or the other nostril, it has distinct qualities and faculties; but it is the same breath.

If we hold a mirror in the sunshine, and turn it about, some of the flashes will be stronger, others weaker; some therefore positive, others negative. In the same way the rays of consciousness differ from one another in their energy from the very beginning. Then the ray on its course towards manifestation at once meets the male and the female soul, and the impression of the male and female is made upon it. It may have great creative forces and yet appear as woman because of this impression, or it may be of feminine quality and appear as man because of the impression it has received.

When the soul reaches the physical plane, its sex depends upon the parents, upon the planets, and upon the time. The sex that it takes at the time of formation is not changed later. In the Gulman and Peri sex exists also, though in a lesser degree.

We have passed through the plane of Gulman and Peri [masculine and feminine jinns] , but we are not Gulman and Peri; just as we might pass through Germany on our way to Russia, yet we would not be Germans because we had passed through that country. Those who settle in the world of Gulman and Peri, are Gulman and Peri. They have either no inclination or no power to go further.


The reason for all manifestation is that manifestation is God's nature. By this He obtains His satisfaction through the fulfillment of the purpose of the whole creation. But God's satisfaction is not something He is only conscious of; it is something which belongs to Him but is brought to fulfillment. Joy is something which belongs to us, but it is aroused by a certain emotion, a certain action; so this whole creation, which is an action, brings to God the satisfaction for which it was created. It does not bring anything new to God; it only makes Him conscious of what He is.


It is most interesting to understand how the action of God works in manifestation. For instance, sometimes a person begins to walk about the room, or starts drumming with his fingers, or looks up and down without there being any need for it. Why does he do it? Because the absence of action has the effect of paralysing the activity of the mind; and when the absence of action has paralysed the mind the soul begins to feel lonely and begins to wonder whether it is living or not. But when it begins to walk or to stop, then it realizes that it is alive, because then it lives in the outward consciousness of life. If we think about this more it opens a vast field of knowledge.

Naturally not all motion is caused by restlessness, for there are two states: weakness and strength. When a person is weak, once put in motion he will act and go on acting without any control; the other aspect, however, is strength, and that is quite different.

Manifestation takes place in time and space. The sun, the moon, and the planets all have their influence. Morning, noon, evening, night, and every hour of the day each have their special influence too. The children of one father and one mother are very different from each other in height, in breadth, in appearance, in every way, because they are born at different times. If one brother is fifteen years old and the other five, the difference between them will be very great. Twins are very much alike because there is little difference in the time of their birth. Lambs are all much alike because they are born in the same season; and fishes of the same kind are almost exactly alike because thousands of them are produced at the same moment.

This gives rise to the variety, in which the art of the Creator is shown. Since the beginning of the world there have been no two faces alike. Every artist will draw some faces that are similar; how great then must be the art of that Creator who has made all this variety!

All manifestation is made by the two forces of accident and intention, and by the creative and responsive forces. We can see the forces of accident and intention at work in our lives. For instance, if we intended to go for a walk in the park but met a friend who said, "You must come to my house", and he took us there, we had the intention of going to the park, but accident took us to the home of the friend.

Everything in the world is creative or responsive. When someone speaks he is performing the creative part; those who are listening are performing the responsive part. The sun and the moon, male and female, the fruit and the flower, all represent nature's creative and responsive forces. Is the Creator then not master and able to make everything work as He wishes? The mastery is there, but its working out is in accordance with the impressions which are received from the external world.

When a person has been sitting still for some time he will want to move, to rub his hands, his feet, just to feel he is alive. If someone is very fond of the society of his friends and they are not with him, he will want to go out to see them. It is not really because he wants the friends; it is because if his friends are not talking to him, if he has to miss their activity, he does not feel that he is alive.

A blind man will say, "I am half dead. This external world is nothing to me." He is alive, but because he cannot see the activity of the world he feels dead. If one pondered upon what one's life would be without all the organs to experience the external world, one would see that then one could realize "I am", but nothing else. No doubt if a person is inactive but looks at his hands and feet, he realizes that he is alive; but if he were not aware of this body his feeling would be different.

Those parts of creation that do not have much activity we may call living-dead. The mineral does not feel itself alive because it has very little activity. We consider the insects, birds, and animals to be the most alive because they have the greatest activity, and we sympathize most with them.


The destruction of form during manifestation does not affect the great Breath of God, as the ebb and flow of the sea is not at all affected by the waves, whether they go this way or that way. The manner of manifestation is the same all through, from beginning to end and from God to the smallest atom. For instance as God breathes, so we breathe and so do the animals and birds breathe; and when we see that act of breathing going on in the whole manifestation, in the same manner in which it has begun, then we realize that there is one law, one way in which the whole creation took place and will go on until its end.

We can see how minerals turn into plants, and plants into animals. There are some stones that change their shape every six months or so. They are on the way to becoming plants. And there are plants that are very near the stones, that look very much like stones; their leaves are like stones, their flowers are like stones. There are plants that catch and eat flies.

The plant by its decay produces the germ and the insect. Every fruit that is not used decays and produces many germs and worms. We think that it is wasted, because we think of it as a fruit; but it turns into a higher form of life, into more activity and more consciousness.

From the insects, as their activity increases and as they develop, come the birds. Those birds that are very greedy and eat flesh become heavy and do not stay in the air. Those that do not eat so much fly in the air; but those that eat much flesh remain on the ground and their wings become legs. Then the animals come into being. On some birds one may see that among the feathers on the neck and other places there is some brown hair; this shows that they are becoming animals. The animals evolve until man is formed.

The kangaroo and the monkey are most like man. In some primitive races, which have been human for a relatively short time, one can see the likeness to the animals. Other races have been man for a very long time and are more human.

The wheel of evolution is such that the consciousness gradually evolves through rock, tree, animal, to man. In man it evolves enough to seek its own way back to its eternal state of being. Man is the most active being; he has to do with a great many things. A rock has very little activity, and it lasts long; a tree has a little more activity, and its life is not so long as that of the rock. There are many animals that live much longer than man. Man has the greatest activity, and in him the consciousness reaches its highest point of manifestation. In the human race one also finds that man's face has improved at every period of evolution.

If man and animal are both made of the same substance, why then is man superior to the animal? Man and animal are made from the same element, spirit substance, but man is the culmination of creation; that is, man was made with all the experience of the previous creation. A sculptor, as he practices his art, grows more and more expert. His earlier work is not so perfect as the later. A poet grows more and more skilful in writing verse. His earlier poems are generally less skilful and perfect than the later. When man was manifested the Creator had all the experience of His earlier creation, and all the former creation was so to speak the framework for man, the ideal creation.

The Creator is the greatest idealist. Man can have his limited ideal; the ideal of the Unlimited is far greater, and this ideal is man.

The Perfection of Manifestation

Some of the human race come straight from God, others have come from the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. Primitive man is the result of this evolution. Man in his higher development does not pass through these stages.

It is like the work of a sculptor in India who wishes to model a statue. First he goes to the jungle to get the clay; then he kneads it and soaks it and prepares it. When it is prepared, he does not go back to the jungle to fetch fresh clay for every statue. He has it ready; it is always in process of preparation.

The difference between what parts of God are expressed by plants, animals, and man is in their bodies and minds. The soul is a ray; and as a ray they are all one and the same. But the body is adorned, in accordance with the fineness of the soul which inhabits it, with more or less intelligence; thus animals and plants differ from man, but among mankind one will also find differences of the same kind. Some have a vegetable quality, some an animal quality, some a human, some an angelic quality.

Among Hindus there is a custom, when a couple contemplates marriage, for their family to take their horoscopes to a Brahmin. He may not see very much in the horoscopes, but he is generally a psychologist and he ponders over the question as to what category each person belongs in--whether it is angelic, human, animal, or still denser. If he finds that there is a vast difference between the categories, he will tell them it would not be right for them to marry.

All the time sparks of consciousness are thrown off by the consciousness. They reach to various points of the stages of evolution, and when man is reached, the ideal creation has been attained. It is then that the return journey begins. Man only can return to that light, to that consciousness from which the whole of creation came. Neither the horse, nor the dog, nor the cat will reach that light; it is only man who is the seed of that divine fruit. If you put the rind of an orange in the ground, it will not produce an orange tree. All the lower creation was made for the creation of man, God's ideal creation. In man all creation is contained, and he alone can return to the original source, God, from whence he came.

The perfection of God's manifestation is man. When man reaches perfection, His manifestation is perfect, and without man's perfection, God's manifestation would not be perfect. Perfection is reached when man becomes truly human.

One might ask if plants and animals, mountains and streams, also have a beginning or an apparent individual existence on the higher planes, as human souls have. All that exists on the earth place has its existence on the higher planes too; but what is individual? Every being and object which is distinctly separate may be called an entity, but what one calls an individual is a conception of our imagination; and the true meaning of that conception will be realized on the day when the ultimate truth throws its light upon life. On that day no one will speak about individuality; one will say "God" and no more.

There are many beings, but at the same time there is one, the only Being. Therefore objects such as streams and mountains are also living, but they only exist separately, to our outer vision. When our inner vision opens then the separation is shown as a veil; then there is one vision alone, and that is the immanence of God.