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



The Bogey-Man



Amin, the Faithful Trustee





Scene Two

Scene Three

Scene Four

Vol. 12, Four Plays


Scene Three

Ballroom in Aunt's house.

Aunt, assisted by Helen, receives the guests, who are announced by the names of the characters they have assumed. Shah of Persia, King Tut, Queen of Sheba, Emperor Akbar, Greek Philosopher, Dante and Beatrice, Yusuf and Zulaikha arrive and are announced and received by Aunt and Helen.

(Enter First Queen of Egypt.)

Butler. The Queen of Egypt, consort of King Tut.

(Enter Second Queen of Egypt.)

Butler. The Queen of Egypt, consort of King Tut.

First Queen (to Second Queen.) You were not the consort of King Tut. I was his consort.

Second Queen. Not at all, it is I who was his consort.

First Queen. Nonsense! You don't know what you are saying.

Helen. Let's ask him which was his Queen. He has just risen from his grave. (She is seen asking King Tut.)

King Tut (looks slowly and carefully at both Queens. Scornfully) I don't think that either of them has ever been my Queen. (Turns away.)

(Enter American Indian. Helen greets him.)

Helen. Were you an American Indian in your past life?

American Indian. No. I don't know what I was in the past, but for the last twenty years I have had an American Indian guide.

Helen. Do you mean a living guide?

American Indian. No, a spirit.

Helen. How did you find a spirit guide?

American Indian. I began by hearing taps at the door for a year before this guide appeared to me, and since then he is always with me.

Helen. How wonderful! And what does he look like?

American Indian (with importance) Just like me!

(He walks about and is welcomed by all.)

American Indian (to First Guest) Are you a medium?

First Guest. No.

American Indian (to Second Guest) Are you psychic?

Second Guest. Not yet.

American Indian (to Aunt) Are you a clairvoyant?

Aunt. I don't even know what you mean by clairvoyant.

American Indian. If you want to know you must go to a seance and hear the trumpet medium. (Continues conversation.)

Butler. Monsieur Jules Ferrier!

(Enter Ferrier, a workman, looking nervous. Aunt greets him, and introduces him to Helen.)

Helen. How extraordinary! Among all the kings and queens you come as a plain workman! Were you that in your past life?

Workman. I don't know anything about my past life, and I only know what I was in this one before I joined the Four Hundred.

Helen. And what was that?

Workman. I was a workman.

Helen. But have you always been a workman?

Workman. No, before that I was a barber in England.

Helen. And before that?

Workman. Oh well, before that I was a chimney-sweep.

Helen. You amusing man! But how did you get into society?

Workman. Oh, I made a lot of money in the war, and now I am invited and received everywhere. But, to tell you the truth, I don't like the life. I feel out of place. I feel lonely, too, and I should like to marry. Do you know of any nice girl to introduce me to?

Helen. Have you been married before?

Workman (nodding his head and looking mysterious) The past is past; the present is present; it is the future that we look forward to!

Helen. I asked if you had been married before.

Workman (impatiently) Suppose I had been married twenty times before, what about it just now?

(At this moment Una is announced. While Helen greets her, the Workman looks at her with interest.)

Helen. What a pleasant surprise to see you at last? Are you really here? I can't believe my eyes? But why aren't you dressed? What are you supposed to be?

Una. Myself.

Helen. Yourself! What do you mean by that?

Una. Self means always self; it cannot mean any other.

Helen. You have the queerest ideas, my dear! (Aside) What fun it would be to introduce that odd man and this simple girl to each other. I will, presently.

(Snake Dance)

Helen (to Workman) There is a young lady over there whom you would like. I am going to introduce you to her.

Workman (eagerly) Right you are! I am sure I should like her! For among all these kings and queens we're the only two who are dressed simply.

(Helen introduces them to each other. The Workman holds out his hand, but Una draws back slightly; then puts out her hand, but without looking at him.)

Workman. I'm glad to meet you, Miss.

(Una remains silent, her eyes cast down.)

Helen. Now you two must excuse me, I have other things to do. (She leaves them. They sit down.)

Workman. I wonder, Miss, how it happens that among all those who are here, only you and I are so simply dressed. I suppose you don't know your past incarnations any more than I do mine? I am so glad to have found you among all these smart people.

(Una still silent, looking down.)

Workman. Can you dance, Miss? Everyone can but me, it seems. I should not mind trying if you would be my partner, for I am sure we should make a good pair.

Una (as if waking from a dream) Dance? I never dance. (Aside) I feel my soul dance when my body is still.

Workman (to himself) She seems to be in the clouds. I'll try my luck.

(Enter Helen.)

Helen (to Una) Please come and sing, or dance.

Una. Don't ask me to take part in it. I am enjoying looking on.

Helen. But do take part!

Una. The spectators alone know reality.

Helen. Come and do something.

Una. What shall I do?

Helen. If you can't sing, recite something.

Una. Very well. (She recites)

"I have loved in life and I have been loved.
I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of Love as nectar, and have been raised above life's joy and sorrow.
My heart aflame in love set afire every heart that came in touch with it.
My heart hath been rent and joined again.
My heart hath been broken and made whole again.
My heart hath been wounded and healed again,
A thousand deaths my heart hath died, and, thanks be to Love, it liveth yet.
I went through Hell and saw there Love's raging fire, and I entered Heaven illuminated with the light of Love.
I wept in love and made all weep with me,
I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men,
And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes.
The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear,
With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved, I shook the throne of God in Heaven.
I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of Love
'Disclose to me, I pray thee, O Love, thy secret.'
She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear,
'My dear one, thou thyself art Love, art lover and thyself art the Beloved whom thou hast adored.'''

Workman. How nice, Miss! I enjoyed your poetry so much. I could not understand what it was all about. What interested me was one word. You know what that was, don't you?

Una. No, which?

Workman. "Love," that is all there is to think about. All these people here are all interested in the same thing: love.

Una. I do not know it yet. To me it seems a blasphemy to hear it on the lips of ordinary people. I don't know a being on earth who is an example of this word.

Workman. You are talking of big things. I don't mean that at all. What I know about love is to be cheerful and gay. See how happy the other people are. Why should not you and I be the same?

Una. Gaiety is not my way of being happy. What are these pleasures to me?

Workman. You are too serious for me. What's the use of being so melancholy?

Una. If I do not join in the gaiety, it does not mean that I am melancholy. I seek happiness in myself.

Workman. But I want you to seek it in me. For you know how I feel when I look at you. You are trying to hold me off by talking so brilliantly, but you look so beautifully when you are sad that I feel like kneeling at your feet. But you know that the thing I want most in the world is to see you laughing.

Una. You can see many people here laughing. You must enjoy it with them. (To herself) Poor man, why does he not look for his gaiety somewhere else?

(Turns away and leaves him. Walks across stage. Stands still.)

Una. O human nature! It is a continual study to see the different directions that the mind takes. Yet how few there are whom you can really call human beings. Alone at home, alone in the society of others. I suppose to be alone is my lot. And it never wearies me. Life in the world is most interesting to me, but solitude away from the world is the longing of my soul.