The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

Volume

Sayings

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

THE SUPPLEMENTARY PAPERS

Heading

Unity and Uniformity

Religion

The Sufi's Religion

The Aspects of Religion

How to Attain to Truth by Religion

Five Desires Answered by Religion

Law

Aspects of the Law of Religion

Prayer

The Effect of Prayer

The God Ideal

The Spiritual Hierarchy

The Master, the Saint, the Prophet

Prophets and Religions

The Symbology of Religious Ideas

The Message and the Messenger

Sufism

The Spirit of Sufism

The Sufi's Aim in Life

The Ideal of the Sufi

The Sufi Movement

The Universal Worship

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

God is Love

Two Points of View

The Kingship of God

Belief in God

The Existence God

Conceptions of God

Many Gods

The Personality of God

The Realization of God

Creator, Sustainer, Judge, Forgiver

The Only King

The Birth of God

Three Steps

God the Infinite

God's Dealings with Us

Dependence Upon God

Divine Grace

The Will, Human and Divine

Making God Intelligible

Man's Relation to God

Divine Manner

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

The God Ideal

Making God Intelligible

Sometimes the question is asked, "How can we make God intelligible?"

You can make a chair intelligible by touching, by looking at it, and seeing how it is made. You make a house intelligible by seeing how it is made. You can make a tree intelligible by seeing how it is: its stem, fruits, leaves, appearance, then what comes out of it. The word intelligible means through our senses we feel a thing, we know a thing, we have a conception of a thing; that is to make it intelligible. To make anything intelligible is to make a concrete conception of it.

And now the question is how to make God intelligible? It is impossible to make God intelligible, really. But, at the same time,

  • it is in order to make God intelligible that the Egyptians made the Sphinx;
  • it is in order to make God intelligible that the fire-worshipers offered homage to the sun;
  • it is in order to make God intelligible that people have made idol worship,
  • and it is also in order to make God intelligible that people esteemed their divine ideal with their devotion, as those worshipers of Jesus Christ.

All these forms are attempts on the part of man to make God intelligible. Man can only make God intelligible in the form that seems to him the best. That form must be seen by him, must be imagined by him, and must be known by him. If he knows that form as a person, he calls it Christ, or some other name he gives to it.

  • He makes him the king, because he thinks that the king is the greatest person. He gives him the throne and crown.
  • He calls him the Master of the Day of Judgment, because he knows there is no justice in this world, so he thinks God must be the Judge.
  • He thinks all that is beautiful, surrounds him with angels, conceives the form of angels as human beings.
  • He pictures God in the form of man.
  • There have been attempts of putting all sorts of things on one being. The Chinese used to make a dragon to which all things were attached -- fish, lion, tiger, man, everything that existed -- in order to make one form intelligible to serve as a symbol suggesting and teaching many things.

Every effort is a failure, but every effort to make God intelligible is worthwhile.

Now there have been two stages of making God intelligible. One stage was idol worship, and the other stage was ideal worship. One was the primitive stage, a stage in which God was made manifest in an unusual form, but at the same time intelligible. A further stage was that they made God an ideal.

Instead of making Him a God of forms, they made Him a God of attributes. And then they said all the beauty, goodness, wisdom, and justice belong to Him. All things that we can conceive in our mind, we give those things to God, and consider all those things in God in their perfection. That is the highest form of making God intelligible. That all that our intelligence, our mind thinks as beautiful, as good, as valuable, to see all that in perfection in One Being, and to idealize that Being as the greatest and the highest of all beings: that is what we call making God intelligible. But, at the same time, in the spiritual path that is the first step. In the religious path that is the last step; in the spiritual path that is the first step.