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

1. Science and Psychology

2. Suggestion

3. Suggestions Through Impression and Belief

4. Suggestion through Various forms of Impression

5. Suggestion by Word and Voice

6. Suggestion by Movement

7. Suggestion in Practice

8. Attitude

9. Magnetism

10. Physical Magnetism

11. The Magnetism of the Mind

12. The Magnetism of the Heart

13. The Magnetism of the Soul

14. Spiritual Magnetism

15. Psychology, the Master of Mind

16. Twin Souls

17. Nature and Character

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

Vol. 11, Psychology

16. Twin Souls

There is a belief which comes from ancient times, and that is the belief in a twin soul. Some people wait for this phenomenon and search for it; and sometimes this belief is the cause of much unhappiness during the greater part of their lives because they have not yet found their twin soul. What is a twin soul? One might say that a proper answer is the twin soul of a question: every person is a question and every person is an answer, and when two people meet and one of them is a question and the other is the answer to that question then they are twin souls. But unfortunately what very often happens is that either two questions meet or two answers.

Twin souls can belong to three distinct spheres:

  • to the angelic sphere,
  • to the sphere of the jinns,
  • and to the sphere of the earth.

Two people may have inherited from their childhood, or brought with them from the moment of their birth, qualities that fit one another. They need not be of opposite sex; they can be personalities of the same sex; they can be friends or partners in life, it does not matter. It is two souls; one answers the other's question, as every person is a question and at the same time an answer. These two souls who have brought with them qualities which already fit one another, become friends the moment they meet, and in coming together they find a satisfaction they have never experienced before, because all their life there has been a question and suddenly it is answered. This may come about early or late in life, but there comes a time in the life of most souls when they meet someone who is the answer to their soul's question.

Souls need not know what question they are, and naturally they do not know it, but they are a question all the same. Neither do they know what the answer is, but when it comes they know that it fits, they know that it is satisfying, and unconsciously they know that it is the answer to their question. It may be that the two were friends before they came on earth or, as many call it, in a past incarnation, but there is no doubt that a contact had been established before their coming to earth, and that is why the moment they meet they think that they have known each other for many, many years.

Very often people do not realize it when they meet their twin soul, and very often they know it and yet do not feel sure.

There were two sisters who were so devoted to each other that it seemed that there was one world made for these two sisters and another quite apart from it. They used to call one another "my twin soul." There have been men who have worked together throughout their lives, who have striven and suffered and planned together, and when one of them passed away the other followed him. They were twin souls.

One might wonder whether it is not an error of the soul to be born like this, because the conditions are often so unfavorable for twin souls; but whether circumstances are favorable or unfavorable, their satisfaction lies with one another and for one another if they are twin souls, and therefore it is not an error. It is never an error for a person to have been born on earth, to have to struggle all his life in order to gain the results that he wanted; it is natural.

There is a well-known story in India about a young Brahmin who after his marriage went on a pilgrimage, while his wife stayed at home. And after two or three months some mischievous man brought her the news that her husband had died. He wanted to create a commotion in the house and see how Brahmins mourn. But the moment this young bride heard of her husband's death she passed away herself. And after six months the young man came home from his pilgrimage and heard what had happened, that on hearing the news of his death his wife had died. No one saw a tear or heard a cry; he only closed his lips and from that moment he never spoke to anyone, he never saw anyone. It was as if he had drunk the news like a bowl of poison. People were anxious about him and kept guard over him, but one day he escaped and went to the place where his wife had been cremated and where ever since a fire used to glow every night; many people had seen this. He went closer to this fire, and before those who had followed him could reach him the fire leaped up and made three turns around him, and he fell down dead.

Not only in man, but even among animals and birds one can see this tendency.

A man who was very fond of shooting told the story that once he shot a bird, and before he could reach it to pick it up another bird came down from the tree to see if it was really dead. It moved it with its beak, and when it found that its mate was dead it fell dead too. It need not only be human beings that find their twin soul; even the animals and the birds, even the lower creatures can find it--and much sooner than human beings, because human beings are so absorbed in themselves.

Then there are twin souls of another kind which belong to the earth, the world, the human sphere. The nature of these twin souls is different; they must develop to become twin souls. And what develops them is the situation in life that brings them together; they are drawn to each other by providence, and circumstances cause them to meet. As they develop they become twin souls, just as in one shell one can sometimes find two almonds. The shell has been the situation, the circumstances, the mold which has brought them together in order to go through life tolerantly.

There is a lesson to be learnt from this: that each of those two almond kernels has a curve, some part of it is removed, is gone, in order to let the other grow. If the two almonds had pushed one another they would never have grown. It was done by reciprocity; it was as if they said, "I will let you grow," "I will let you grow too," "Some part of my being will be held in check," "We shall grow as one almond." But when that conception is not there, then there is no chance of growing together; that is the lesson which mankind has to learn.

The almonds can grow together, but souls cannot grow like that, for each soul has its Nafs, its ego, and each soul wants to push itself forward. It does not mean that man has no love, but that man puts his ego before love; that is the general feeling. One may not realize it, but it is so; and that is why those who are meant to become twin souls are often denied that privilege only because they will not give in to one another.

What is friendship? Friendship is sacrifice. What is love? Love is regard for the pleasure and displeasure of the beloved; if that is not there then one does not grow. No one can be selfish and at the same time loving; these two things cannot go together. Either one or the other.