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. Mysticism

2. The Mystic

3. Realization

4. The Nature and Work of a Mystic

5. The Secret of the Spirit

6. The Mystical Heart

7. Repose

8. Action



Four Meanings of Spirit

1. Essence

2. The Soul After Death

3. Mind and Soul Together

4. The Source and Goal

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

5. The Secret of the Spirit

1. Essence

The first meaning of the word spirit is, as I have said, essence. The essence of flowers is honey, the essence of milk is butter, the essence of grapes is wine, and the essence of learning is wisdom. Therefore wisdom is as sweet as honey, as nourishing as butter, and as exalting as wine.

To rise above things in life one must try to get to the essence. In other words, there is one way of listening to a musician and that is to consider the form, the technique; and the other way is to grasp the feeling, the sense that the music suggests. So it is with life.

  • We can look at life in one way and see it in different forms and make a rigid conception of it,
  • or we can see it so that we get the suggestion of its essence.

For instance a person may come to us and express a thousand false feelings. And then we go over it in our mind and realize it was all false because it could not reasonably be true; this is one way. The other way is to see immediately that it is false from first to last, without going into details. This is quite sufficient, and because we have immediately seen it we have saved our mind a great deal of trouble.

  • Sometimes a person says to another, "You say you are my friend; all right, I am going to find out what you are like, how you work." That is one way of looking at it.
  • But the other way is to look only once at that person and, by that one glance, to know what he is worth; that is all.

If one can do this it will make one brave, venturesome, and will bring one nearer to the essence. It will impart generosity and liberality; otherwise one remains narrow and small and confused and in this way thousands and millions of souls are buffeted along on the sea of life, not knowing where they are going, because they are not sure of themselves. If a person says, "I don't know you, but perhaps I will know you some day," that person will never know anyone, for all his life he will be unsure.