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 in Life

2. Divine Wisdom

3. Life's Journey

4. Raising the Consciousness

5. The Path to God

Four Stages of God-Consciousness

6. The Ideal of the Mystic

7. Nature

8. Ideal

9. The Moral of the Mystic

10. Brotherhood

The Ideal of Brotherhood

11. Love

12. Beauty

13. Self-Knowledge

14. The Realization of the True Ego

15. The Tuning of the Spirit

16. The Visions of the Mystic

17. The Mystic's Nature

18. The Inspiration and Power of the Mystic



Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

16. The Visions of the Mystic

That which a mystic cannot see or does not see before his eyes, he sees in space; and therefore if a thousand people say, "This does not exist", yet for the mystic it does exist. While they depend upon the objective world one day to produce their thought in a material form, the mystic sees it already in space. Naturally his faith becomes more firm and powerful, whereas the faith of those who depend upon the objective world becomes weaker every time their wish does not come true.

When a person says of something that it is not there, the mystic says, "It is there; it is before me; I see it." But because the other cannot see it he is confused; thus the same idea that confuses the one confirms the other in his faith.

This is how a mystic builds steps to climb to his final destination, which is the real meaning of resurrection; whereas the man who has not made any steps, no sooner loses touch with the objective world than he is lost in space. And the mystic finds steps already made in space to help him in his climb upward, but the other finds himself lost when once the garb of the objective world is discarded. Then the soul feels no ground under its feet, while the mystic has already attained his goal.

When a mystic sees something before his eyes in space, does he see it in the three-dimensional space or in a space of more dimensions? This space of three dimensions is reflected by the space which is in the inner dimension. This inner dimension is different; it does not belong to the objective world; but what exists in the inner dimension is also reflected in the three dimensional space.

So in reality what the mystic sees in space is something which is within; when a mystic closes his eyes he sees it within; but when he opens his eyes he sees it before him. That which he sees within himself is reflected in the outer space. When everyone else depends upon his two hands for making or preparing things, the mystic sees time preparing them; and therefore time and space are the hands and the feet of the mystic. Through space he climbs, and through time he accomplishes.

As there is a season for everything, as there is a fixed time for nature to manifest, so there is a season for every happening. Good luck, bad luck, rise, fall, health, illness, success, and failure, all depend upon a certain time. There is a time for every season as well as for every experience; and as there is a time for birth so there is a time for death. Every thought, every action, and every condition has a birth and death, and each has a fixed time. And when one has become convinced of the fact that every happening is brought about by time and is fixed at a certain time, then naturally one develops faith, and then one believes that what is not realized today will be realized tomorrow, some day.

The great drawback we find in humanity today is its lack of patience: if people can accomplish something at once then it is all right, but if not then they think that it cannot be done. Only if anything can be done quickly can it be done; if it cannot be done as quickly as one expects this means that it cannot be done at all. There are thousands of people today who already accept failure before failure becomes apparent, because they have no patience to wait for success to come. Although success may be preparing, yet they are in such haste that they would rather turn the success into a failure than wait for it; the reason is that this mystery, which is the mystery of the mystics -- that everything depends upon a certain time -- is forgotten by most people.

Time uses conditions to bring about certain results; and very often a seemingly bad condition is preparing a good issue, and a seemingly good condition may be preparing a bad result. Frequently, therefore, a person who depends only upon objective phenomena makes a mistake, is deluded. The mystic sees in both adverse and favorable conditions that which is going to happen. He does this by believing in the action of time and space, and by believing that there is no such thing as coincidence or accident. It is only because we are unaware of where an action has started, of what has brought it about, and of what is preparing, that we call something a coincidence or an accident; in reality there is no such thing.

Every happening, whether it comes by our will or by a higher will, is prepared, is directed by wisdom. If it is not directed by our individual will it is directed by a greater wisdom, and it brings about a greater result. The mystic therefore awaits that result which is brought about by time and space through different conditions.

For the divine mind time and space exist and yet do not exist. For a great musician sound is the breath of music, and yet in order to play or to compose music he must divide sound into different grades and notes, and that produces beauty. The divine mind is also interested in this composition, this music of the whole creation; therefore it is in the division of time and space that the secret of the whole of manifestation lies. If the divine mind were not interested in the manifestation God would not have been the Creator; God is the Creator because of the interest of the divine mind in creation.

This brings us to the question of the word and silence. The mystic realizes the power of the word, and at the same time the splendor of silence. The word can do so much, but even more can be accomplished by silence. Great phenomena are produced by those mystics who know the power of the word and how to use it, but even greater miracles are performed by them through the splendor of their silence.

Life is the answer to the mystic's question. With every question that arises in the heart of the mystic he has but to look at life before him and it answers him. Even a question about some business or industry is revealed to the mystic just by looking at a tree. Someone is laughing, someone is crying, someone is talking, someone is working, and every one of those actions is an answer to what the mystic wishes to enquire into.

No sooner does a sound fall on his ears, no sooner are his eyes cast upon any object, condition, or individual, than the answer to the question which has arisen in his heart comes to him. The mystic need not go to a palmist to ask what is going to happen, he is not in pursuit of soothsayers, the mystic need not consult horoscopes; the whole of life, everything he looks at, is the answer to his question. And if he does not wish to look at the objective world he has only to close his eyes and find the answer within himself. The objective answer is waiting for him in the outer world, and the answer from the inner voice is waiting within. Thus he has two ways open to him for receiving an answer to his questions. Can one be surprised, therefore, if the mystic closes his mouth and speaks to no one for years on end? Why should he speak to anyone? What should he ask? There is nothing to ask.

In different ages and in different countries people have adopted methods such as looking at random in the scriptures to find the answer to their question, or consulting the cards, or looking in the teacup and such superstitions: anything that suggests something to them, such as seeing a black cat or a turtle or a snake, or hearing the sound of a certain bird that predicts something. The mystic does not need all this. Everything all the time is answering his questions. Life is such a mystery that there comes a time when we begin to see that every action, everything that is going on, is an answer to that which is going on within ourselves.

For instance a man is walking in the street, thinking about his business or his domestic affairs, and then suddenly a horse becomes restive and breaks the carriage it was drawing, upsetting the coachman. Now these are two different things. The man is thinking about something, and the horse with which he has nothing to do upsets the carriage. It is another thing altogether, but at the same time for the mystic everything is connected; there is no condition which is detached from another condition.

Every condition has a correspondence, a relation with another condition, because for a mystic there is no divided life; there is only one life, one Being, and one mechanism which is running. And therefore a mechanism is always running in relation to another mechanism; however different and disconnected they may seem, they are not disconnected. One has only to see it, then all is revealed to one; but in order to see it one has first to open the mystic eye.

What questions has the mystic to ask? The greater the mystic, the fewer his questions. The further he goes on this path, the fewer his questions become. For the more questions one has, the more unmystical one is, because questions are born of the restlessness of the mind. The restless mind wants to find an answer somewhere; and as more peace comes, the questions become fewer. The nearer, the closer to peace one comes, the fewer will be one's questions. By finding peace, by finding light, by finding harmony and joy, questions are reduced to nothing. Then there is no longer any question. The moment the mystic has reached this stage where he has no questions, he himself becomes the answer to every question.

At one time I wanted to take a friend to meet my murshid. This friend was a very material man, restless and pessimistic and doubting and skeptical. And every day I urged him to come with me to see my murshid. "But," he asked, "what can he do for me?'I said, "You can ask him something." He said, "I have twenty thousand questions to ask, when could he answer them?" I said, "You can ask one or two of the twenty thousand, that is already something." "Well," he said, "one day I will see."

And indeed, some time later he came along, but the moment he reached my murshid's presence he forgot every question and did not know what to ask. He was sitting quiet, spellbound, breathing the atmosphere of the master's presence; he had no desire to ask a question. And after the interview, when we were leaving the house of my murshid, he again began to feel inclined to ask twenty thousand questions, this time of me, and when I asked him why he had forgotten them there, he only answered, "I cannot understand why."

Where do questions come from? Very often they come from the restlessness of the mind. And does an answer satisfy them? Never.

During my travels I went thrice to San Francisco, and each time I saw a lady who always asked me the same question. And each time I answered her, and each time when I came again she asked me the same question. This meant that for fifteen years there was a question and there was an answer; but that answer was never heard. One ear heard it, and the other ear let it out again; and the question remained there alive.

A question is a living being, it does not wish to die; the answer kills it, and therefore those kindly souls who wish to cherish the question, keep the answer away, although the question calls out for an answer. Do not be surprised, therefore, if for twenty years a person asks a question of two thousand other people and gets two thousand answers. It does not mean that the answer he gets does not satisfy him; it only means that he does not wish to have the answer. He only wishes to cherish the question.