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

6. Light

Light has three principal aspects: the source of all light, the perpetual light, and light in the ordinary sense of the word. The first kind is the light which we perceive as intelligence, the next kind is the light which we see as the sun, and the third kind of light is what we use in our daily life, the light of a candle, an electric lamp, or any such light. Science today considers intelligence to be an outcome of this manifestation, gradually developing through a process of which man is the culmination, man who compared with all other living beings shows intelligence in its fullness. As we understand the word intelligence, it does not convey to us the meaning, "the source of light", except in a very limited form; intelligence in its original condition is something quite different from what we ordinarily understand by that word.

Intelligence can be divided again into three different aspects: intelligence in its original state, intelligence in the process of development, and intelligence in the sense in which we mostly use it, as a knowing faculty of man.

In the first or principal aspect intelligence is the knowing Being, the only Being; in the next aspect it is not knowing but knowledge, the knowledge of being; and in the third aspect it becomes limited because it shows itself through a capacity, and that capacity is the heart of man. To put it plainly, the first aspect may be called unawakened intelligence, the next awakened intelligence, and the third divided and limited intelligence.

In all these three aspects intelligence is one and the same. In the first aspect it is the only Being, in the next aspect it is omniscient, and in the third aspect it is the mind, or what the mind contains. One may be called the intelligence of God, the next heavenly intelligence, and the third human intelligence. The origin of intelligence is pure intelligence, the intelligence of God; but that intelligence is not intelligent, it becomes intelligent; that is to say it begins to feel its existence. It is just like a man who is intelligent, but when he is asleep his intelligence is not intelligent; it is only when he is awake that he knows of his existence. That is another aspect of intelligence.

The next aspect of light, which is the light of the sun, is made of the dense part of the vibrating intelligence which has centralized in one spot, and its nature of being in perpetual motion makes it bright. It is this light which manifests through all things as heat and light. In the light of the sun all things show themselves, and in the absence of the sun we do not see them properly. Also, it is the light of the sun which functions in the moon, and it is the same light which the stars reflect; and if it were not for the moon the whole of manifestation would be burnt to ashes, the sun would be so strong.

Very often a capacity is made for something that is expressive, something that has a strong action, and if there were no such capacity then it would destroy all that is around it until it destroyed itself. The moon, therefore, is the capacity in which the strongest light of the sun functions. That is why it is so cooling to be in the moonlight, because the moon takes the light of the sun upon itself and burns itself; and by doing so it allows the horizon, the spheres, to be lighted while at the same time it is cool. It is just like a talkative person, someone who is very fond of speaking, who will go mad if he has no one near to listen to him.

The third aspect is the light of all things. Each thing, every object, has its own light, all differing in degree. It is this difference which we distinguish as different colors. And every substance, such as iron or gold, shows its light through radiation; but it also partakes of the light of the sun, and in accordance with its faculty of partaking of the light of the sun it shines.

When we consider the question of light in our own lives, we can again divide it into three aspects. First there is the light which shows us an object, the light of the sun or some other form of sunlight such as the light of a candle or an electric bulb. The next aspect is the capability of our organ of sight, our eyes, which see the object. And the third aspect is the radiance belonging to the substance which shows itself, such as phosphorus or radium many other elements and chemicals which do not need other light but show themselves through their own radiance if they are kept in the dark.

Both the light of the sun and light in other forms help an object to be seen, because the object reflects the light that shows it up, but it is also true that an object has a light of its own; therefore if an object is visible it is not only because the other light shows it up, but also because it has its own light.

One can also look at this question from another point of view, and that is that every person has a certain amount of intelligence, but everyone who sees him or speaks to him adds something to his intelligence or deducts something from it; he either gives it to him or he takes it away from him. And a third aspect is that in the light of the intelligence of some people one can see life more clearly. This is not a passing light; it shines on just as the light of the sun shining on the earth is not in any way diminished by it.

The one who adds to a person's intelligence does this in two different ways. One way is that for the moment his presence enlightens the other person's heart; and the second way is that his intelligence kindles the other's intelligence. But neither is done intentionally; they work automatically. An intelligent person brings light to another as a matter of course; if not always, then sometimes. By saying something, by the power of his glance, or by the very magnetism of his presence he kindles to a certain extent the light, if there is any, of the other.

One day a lady said to me, "My husband has changed altogether since he came to see you." I said, "I am very glad." But then some time after I had left that place I received a letter, saying, "He is just the same as before!'

We also sometimes hear people say, "He has confused my mind," "He has driven me crazy," "He has made me more puzzled than I ever was before." This happens because there are people who bring with them shades or clouds which keep the light from failing directly upon our mind. That is why the presence of foolish people is very often stupefying.