The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

        (How to create a bookmark)



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



1,1: Magnetism

1,4: Insight

1,5: Spirit

1,6: Purity

2,1: Breath

2,2: the Spirit In the Flesh



1: The Secret Of Spirit

3: Spirit Within and Without

4: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

5: Spirit and Matter

6: The Experience of the Soul through the Spirit

7: The Experience of the Soul through the Spirit of Another

8: Spirit and Matter, Part I

9: Spirit And Matter, Part I, (continued)

10: Spirit And Matter, Part II

11: Spirit And Matter, Part III

12: Spirit

13: The Conservative Spirit

14: Spiritual Circulation through the Veins of Nature

15: Manifestation

16: The Spirit of Christ

17: The Tuning of the Spirit

The Healing Papers

1,5: Spirit

3: Spirit Within and Without

The spirit of everything and of every being is to be found both within and without. Be it a metal, a stone, a fruit, or a flower, everything has its spirit within it, even if it be in a hidden form; and this spirit continues to exist even after the object has lost its apparent life. Sandalwood keeps its perfume even when dry; the ashes of pearls still preserve that essence which is so powerful. In the stone, which is cold, a spark of fire is hidden. In fruit there is a seed which contains its essence; and in some fruit there is a space, a vacuum which is not devoid of spirit either.

Not many are able to find the spirit in the vacuum, yet in the vacuum a phenomenon can be observed; for instance, in the vacuum of an apple is to be found the essence of the whole fruit. It was not, therefore, only imagination when ancient peoples believed in the spirits of trees and plants, in the spirits of the mountains and hills; for there is nothing existing which has no spirit, although that side of the object is veiled and we cannot see it. We see only the outside, but there is a spirit behind it just the same, and by tracking it we shall find it one day.

The qualities of all things are to be found in their spirit rather than in the things themselves. Ancient physicians, knowing this, tried to extract the essence from certain things by grinding, by burning, or by washing them a great number of times. By doing this they were able to bring out the spirit of the object, and that spirit became a thousand times more powerful than the object itself. Those who are acquainted with alchemy know how to bring out the living part hidden within every substance, every object, and even to some extent their essence; and when this essence is extracted, then all the benefit that can be derived from the object is derived.

Alchemists at one time used a process by which they produced metal out of herbs, and another process by which they extracted the essence of flowers in such a way that one drop of it spread its perfume for miles around. That art seems to have been lost; yet what we can learn from it is that in everything that exists there is a spirit, and that spirit has all the qualities which the outside of that thing shows least.

Astronomers regard the planets they know as accommodations, as worlds, and scientists have considered space to contain certain recognized substances; but if there is one source of all life, then there cannot be an empty space. There must be life, and there is life. Space is not only full of substance, but also full of spirit. In other words, life is one and life represents many; and thus there is not only one life in space, but there are many lives. Since our senses are so limited that we can see no farther than a certain distance, and since we can hear no better than our ears permit, our senses cannot perceive all things and beings, which nevertheless exist. Those who have seen or otherwise perceived such things and beings have described them to us in the form of legends. They have called them fairies and spirits and djinns and by many other names, and artists have also helped people to form a certain idea of such beings. But this does not mean that it is all imagination and that nothing exists save that which we can perceive through our organs of sense. Everything shows itself by its own light. Our eyes are capable of seeing certain forms, and there are other forms which our eyes cannot see; but this does not mean that there are no forms except those which we can see with our eyes.

Ideas, such as that of the other world and of different planes, are taught by philosophers in order to give people some notion of the inner world; but in point of fact there is not one inch of space where no beings exist, beings with a form, even if it is a form that our limited sight cannot see. The reason is that the light with which an object, a form, shows itself is dim in these other forms. It is more clear to our inner perception and it is more dim to our outer sight.

What we see before our eyes is not so clear as the things we see in our thoughts. Only, the sphere of thought is different; it belongs to a different dimension. Our thoughts are clearer to us than what we see with our eyes, for we see our thoughts in detail, and every little detail is clear, whereas what we see with our eyes is mostly only the outline. This is also the reason why one can more easily idealize someone at a distance: the eyes of the heart are more capable of seeing clearly than the physical eyes. Naturally when we are thinking and seeing at the same time, neither what we see nor what we think is clear to us.

What is it that makes man limited and debars him from the vision of objects and beings in the unseen world? In the first place the unseen world is a name invented for our convenience. The seen world is the unseen world, and the unseen world is the seen world; the next world is the same world as this, and this world is the same as the next; only, what is veiled from our eyes, we say is a next step, and we call it the unseen world. But insofar as man is capable of seeing the seen world, to that extent he is also capable of observing the unseen world, on condition that he first sees and observes his own unseen world. And why a person does not observe the unseen world is that he is accustomed to observe only what is before him; he never. turns within to see what is within him.

Those whose sympathy is awakened, those who have fine feelings, those whose thoughts are deep, those whose imagination rises high, will never deny the fact that thought reaches beyond all boundaries of land and water, that feelings are reflected from thousands of miles away. Two souls can communicate, wherever they may be, in one instant. If this is true then the next world is not very far away; the unseen world has not been drowned, it is there, it is before us, and we live and move and make our life in it.

Then after death do we not depart from here? It is a poetic thought to think that there is a next world, it is a beautiful fancy, yet are we not a world within ourselves ? Every next experience is a next world; besides every day is a new world. We need not wait for death to see the next world; every new experience brings a next world into our lives. In order to get an insight into the unseen world the first thing is to open our own sight to the unseen being that is within us. It only means opening the third eye, as it is called in occult terms. Why is it called the third eye? Because it is not two eyes, it is one, it is sight itself. It is in order to look outward that we need two eyes; to look inward we need one eye, and that is sight.

In the unseen world we human beings are as fine as the unseen beings, in the outer world we are as dense as the visible beings. When we are conscious of the physical part of our being, and when we identify ourselves with that part, naturally the other part of our being, which is unseen and similar to all unseen beings, is unknown to us. But that does not mean that we are not unseen beings; we are unseen beings just the same. The subtlety of human nature, the fine perception, the deep feeling, the high imagination, is it not all unseen, is it not our own being? Our being reaches further than birds can fly; our own being is finer than the moth and brighter than the flame. For anything to be visible to human eyes there is a condition: that its form must have a certain degree of radiance; and if it is not radiant enough or if its radiance is of a different character, then human eyes cannot see it. But this does not mean that what human eyes cannot see a human being cannot see; for the real eye is the being, and that is why man calls himself "I", saying, "I am." It is not necessary to develop insight into nature in order to experience the phenomena of a finer world, but one must see with one's eyes and perceive with one's insight in order to live a fuller life, a life of greater perfection.