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. Illusion and Reality

2. Capacity

3. Vibrations (1)

4. Vibrations (2)

5. Atmosphere

6. Light

7. Intelligence

8. The law of Rhythm

9. The Threefold, Dual, and Unique Aspects of Nature

10. Spirit Within and Without

11. Spirit and Matter (1)

12. Spirit and Matter (2)

13. Spirit and Matter (3)



Vol. 11, Philosophy

3. Vibrations (1)

All existing things which we see or hear, which we perceive, vibrate. If it were not for vibration, the precious stones would not show us their color and their brilliance; it is vibration which makes the trees grow, the fruit ripen, and the flowers bloom. Our existence is also according to the law of vibrations, not only the existence of our physical body but also of our thoughts and feelings. If it were not for vibrations, drugs and herbs would not have any effect upon us. If any explanation of electricity can be given, it is that its mystery lies only in vibrations. Vibrations are productive and produce electricity; electricity is composed of vibrations. In other words that aspect of vibration which produces form could not do so if it could not first produce light. The Bible hints at this when it says that first there was light and that then the world was produced. Light is the first form, all other forms come afterwards.

Vibrations can be understood both as cause and as effect. Vibration causes movement, rotation, circulation; but on the other hand it is the rotation of the planets and the circulation of the blood which cause vibration. Thus the cause as well as the effect of all that exists is vibration.

It depends upon the speed of the vibrations as to whether a thing is visible or audible, perceptible or imperceptible. Everything that is visible is audible at the same time, and everything that is audible is visible also. If it does not appear so, this only signifies the limitation of our organs of perception. What our physical eyes cannot see we say is not visible; but this only means that it is not visible to us; in itself it is visible. And what we cannot hear we say is not audible; but it is only inaudible to our ears; in itself it is audible.

This means that everything has its sound and its form. Even things which are perceptible by us though not visible have a form. In the first place they could not be intelligible if they had no form; although they have no physical form they have a form just the same, and it is through that form that we can perceive them. If our physical eyes do not see that form, the eyes of our mind can see it and recognize it. This explains to us why there are things which are felt and things which are seen or heard. It is only a difference of vibrations, and of the planes on which the vibrations take place. Vibrations cause life to take form; and it is the different degrees of vibrations which make that form either visible or otherwise perceptible.

What we know about vibration is only what we perceive through man-made instruments; what is moving beyond this we do not recognize as vibration. But as there is no other word this is the only one we can use for it, for it is the same force which sets everything in motion on the physical plane, and this continues on all the other planes of existence, setting them all in motion. It also explains to us that it is vibration, a certain degree of vibration, which brings to the earth the things of the inner world, the world that is perceived though not seen; and a change of vibrations takes away the things that are seen into the unseen world.

What we call life and death are both a recognized existence within a certain degree of vibrations. For instance when a person says, "This leaf is dead", what has made it dead is the change of vibrations. It has no longer the same vibrations that it had when it was on the tree; and yet it has not lost its vibrations, it still has them. Thus according to the vibrations it is not dead; it has only changed into a different rhythm of vibrations. If that leaf were dead then herbs would not have any effect upon a man when he takes them as medicine.

And so it is with the dead body of an animal or a man. We may say that life has gone out of it, but it is only the life which we recognize as life that has gone out of it, for we recognize as life only a certain pitch of vibrations; anything beyond it or below it we do not recognize as living. Yet it has not died; it is still vibrating. It is still going on, for nothing can exist and not vibrate, and nothing can vibrate and not be living in the real sense of the word. One might say that there is no movement in a dead body, that there is no heat in it, but do we not use fish and flesh of slaughtered animals as food? If these did not possess any life we would not be benefited by eating them, for it is only life which can help life to go on. If they were really dead, if all the property which is called life were gone from them, they would do us harm instead of good. This shows that though we call them dead there is some life left in them, and that this change is only a question of degree in the vibrations.

When a fruit has decayed, when a flower has faded, there has been a change of vibrations. It is wonderful to watch a flower when it is still a bud and to see how it grows every day, how it vibrates differently every moment of the day until it comes to such a culmination that it begins to radiate, reflecting the sun. Besides its color and form we can see something living in the flower, something sparkling. It can best be seen when the flower is still on the plant. And then, when it has reached its culmination, it begins gradually to fade, and that again is according to the law of vibrations. But even when its petals have dropped there is still a form of life left, for even in the dry leaves of the rose there is a fragrance, and from the dried rose-leaves an effective medicine can be made. This medicine has a certain action on the blood and it also nourishes the intestines; it is most purifying. In ancient Greek medicine the rose was used in many ways. It is very cooling, it cools the blood as well as being very strengthening.

There is a great difference between the eating of fresh vegetables and of preserved vegetables, a difference of vibrations. The former are nearer to our life, and the latter which have gone further from our life have less influence on us. And so it is with everything. When we begin to see life from this point of view it will appear that birth and death are only our conceptions of life, that there is no such thing as death and that all is living. It only changes from one form to the other, subject to the law of vibrations. The difference in the vibrations of dead and living bodies is a difference of their speed; it is a difference of rhythm.

Furthermore, the different stages of life such as infancy, childhood, youth, and old age, and the different tendencies arising naturally out of them, are all phenomena of vibration. Strength and weakness, the tendencies to action and repose, all come from the different speed of the vibrations. And it is no exaggeration to say that hidden behind every illness are wrong vibrations which are its came; vibrations are the cause, and they are also the effect. It is interesting that a scientist should have reached this conclusion too and tried his best to use it in medical science. He did not have long, but if he had he would surely have accomplished something wonderful. By this system he tried to discover the nature and character of diseases, and to treat them according to the law of vibrations. No doubt its development will be the work of perhaps hundreds of years of experiment, but even to initiate such a method is a step forward. The greater a thing is, the longer it takes to develop. Some people are already benefiting from this system, though it will be a long time before it is brought to that perfection which will make it the way of treatment, surpassing everything else.