The difference between consciousness and the soul is that the soul is like a mirror, and the consciousness is a mirror which shows a reflection in it. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Way of Illumination The Soul Whence and Whither - Manifestation
What does this soul, conscious of
its progress towards the goal, realize? It realizes with every veil it
has thrown off a greater power, an increased inspiration, until it arrives
at a stage, after having passed through the sphere of the jinns and the
heaven of the angels, when it realizes that error which it had known, and
yet not known fully; the error it made in identifying itself with its reflection,
with its shadow falling on these different planes.
It is like the sun looking at the sunflower and thinking, 'I am the sunflower', forgetting at that moment that the sunflower is only its footprint. Neither on the earth-plane was man his own self, nor in the sphere of the jinns, nor in the heaven of the angels. He was only a captive of his own illusion, caught in a frame; and yet he was not inside it, it was only his reflection. But he saw himself nowhere, so he could only identify himself with his various reflections, until his soul realized, 'It is I who was, if there were any. What I had thought to be myself was not myself, but was my experience. I am all that there is, and it is myself who will be, whoever there will be. It is I who am the source, the traveller, and the goal of this existence. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Way of Illumination The Soul Whence and Whither - Conclusion
All the myriad colors in the universe are but the different grades and shades of light, the creator of all elements, which has decorated the heavens so beautifully with sun, moon, planets and stars; which has made the land and water with all the beauties of the lower spheres, in some parts dull and in some parts bright, which man has named light and shade. The sun, moon, planets and stars, the brilliance of electricity, the lesser light of gas, lamp, candle, coal and wood, all show the sun reappearing in different forms. The sun is reflected in all things, be they dull pebbles or sparkling diamonds, and their radiance is according to their capability of reflection. This shows that light is the one and only source, and the cause of the whole creation. 'God is the light of the heavens and of the earth', the Qur'an says, and we read in Genesis: 'And God said: "Let there be light", and there was light'. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism of Sound and Music Form
There is another most interesting aspect in studying the nature of the mind: that every mind attracts and reflects thoughts of its own kind -just as there is a part of the earth which is more suitable for flowers to grow in, and another part of the earth more suitable for fruits, and yet another part where weeds grow. Thus a reflection that fails from one mind upon another only falls upon the mind which attracts it. This is the reason why like is attractive to like. If a robber or a thief goes to Paris, he will certainly meet with another thief. He will easily find out where the thief lives; he will recognize him at once, because his mind has become a receptacle for thoughts of the same kind. As soon as their glances meet a communication is established: their thoughts are alike. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism of Sound and Music The Form of Thought
One might ask: 'Cannot a form
be reflected upon a blind person's mind?' Yes, but it will remain incomplete.
If a thought is projected on a blind person he takes only half of it, for
he will not have that part which he should give from his own mind, and
so he only takes the reflection which is projected upon him. Therefore
he has a vague idea of the thing, but he cannot make it clear to himself,
because his mind has not yet formed that idea.
The form of a thought which the mind holds is reflected upon the brain, and made clearer to the inner sense. By inner sense is meant the inner part of the five senses. For it is outwardly that these five organs give us an idea of five senses, but in reality there is only one sense. Through the five different outer organs we experience different things, and this gives us the idea that there are five senses. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism of Sound and Music The Form of Thought
No doubt for a seer it is not
necessary to read the thought from the visible form of a person, because
he cannot be a seer if he is not open to reflection. Every thought is reflected
in him, which makes things even clearer. Besides that, he need not see
the picture of the thought on its visible form in order to know it; the
atmosphere tells him. The thought itself calls out: 'I am this thought!',
whatever it may be, for thought has a language, a voice, thought has breath
and has life. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism
of Sound and Music The Form of Thought
Question: Would you explain further what role the brain plays in thinking. Answer: The brain may be likened to a photographic plate. The thought falls upon the brain just as a reflection falls upon the photographic plate - both one's own thought and the thought of another. Then there is another process, and that is that the thought is developed like the photographic plate. What is it developed with? Is there some solution in which the photographic plate is to be put? Yes, and that is the intelligence. Through one's own intelligence it is developed and made clearer. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism of Sound and Music The Form of Thought [the whole lecture is worth reading in this regard]
We read in the tenth Sufi thought
that perfection is achieved by the annihilation of the false ego. * The
false ego is what does not belong to the real ego, and what that ego has
wrongly conceived to be its own being. When that is separated by analyzing
life better, then the false ego is annihilated. A person need not die for
it. In order to annihilate this body, in order to annihilate the mind a
person has to analyze himself and see: 'Where does "I" stand? Does it stand
as a remote, exclusive being? If it is a remote and an exclusive being
then it must be found out'. The whole spiritual process is to find this
Once this is realized, the work of the spiritual path is accomplished. As in order to make the eyes see themselves one has to make a mirror to see the reflection of these eyes, so in order to make this real being manifest, this body and mind have been made as a mirror: that in this mirror this real being may see itself and realize its being independent. What we have to achieve by the path of initiation, by the way of meditation, by spiritual knowledge is to realize this by making ourselves a perfect mirror. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Mysticism of Sound and Music The Ego [the whole lecture is worth reading in this regard]
Question: Does a person immediately
after death identify himself with his mental body, or still with the dead
corpse? Answer: The mental body is just as the dead corpse. There is no
difference, because the one is built on the reflection of the other. For
example, one does not see oneself different in the dream when the mind
is in a normal condition. If the mind is abnormal one can see oneself as
a cow, or a horse, or anything. But if the mind is normal one cannot see
oneself different from what one knows oneself to be. Therefore the mental
being is the same as one sees oneself in the dream. In the dream one does
not see the loss of the physical body. One is running and eating or enjoying
in the dream; one does not realize the absence of this physical body. The
same thing is in the hereafter. The hereafter does not depend upon a physical
body to experience life fully. The sphere in itself is perfect, and life
is experienced perfectly. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The
Mysticism of Sound and Music The Ego [the whole lecture is worth reading
in this regard]
This world is a house of mirrors, the reflection of one is mirrored upon another. In this world where so many things seem hidden, in reality nothing remains hidden; everything some time or other rises to the surface and manifests itself to view. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan The Art of Personality Character-Building
Sometimes by constantly dwelling on the faults of the enemy one impresses one's own soul with the same faults, and focuses them upon the soul of the enemy;if he lacks these faults, they may by reflection develop in him and cause him to become a still more bitter enemy. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Moral Culture Our Dealings with our Enemies
Very few people can hold a thought, but many are held by a thought. If such a simple thing as holding a thought were mastered, the whole life would be mastered. When once a person gets into his head, 'I am ill', and when this is confirmed by a physician, then his belief becomes watered like a plant, then his continual reflection of it, falling upon his illness like the sun, makes the plant of illness grow; and therefore it would not be an exaggeration to say that, consciously or unconsciously, the patient is the gardener of his own illness. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Health
Mental purification can be done in three different ways. The first way is the stilling of the mind, because it is very often the activity of the mind which produces impurities. The stilling of the mind removes impurities from it; it is like tuning the mind to its natural pitch. The mind can be likened to a pool of water: when the water in the pool is undisturbed, the reflection is clear; and so it is with the mind. If the mind is disturbed, one does not receive intuition, inspiration, clearly in it. Once the mind is still it takes a clear reflection, as the pool of water does when the water in the pool is still. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification Mental Purificaion
And if one goes further, there
is consciousness in its aspect of pure intelligence. It is knowing and
yet knowing nothing. And knowing nothing means knowing all things. Because
it is the knowing of things that blunts the faculty of knowledge. In other
words, when a person is looking in a mirror, his reflection covers the
mirror and in that mirror nothing else can be reflected. Therefore when
the consciousness is conscious of anything, it is blunted; at that moment
it is blunted, or in other words it is covered by something that it is
conscious of. The moment that cover is taken away, it is its own self,
it is pure intelligence, it is pure spirit. In that condition its power,
life, magnetism, force, its capacity, are much greater, incomparably greater
than one can imagine. What it is cannot be explained except that by the
help of meditation one reaches that condition. And if one goes higher still,
it is not even consciousness, it is a kind of omniscient condition which
is the sign of inner perfection.
This is one direction of progress. There is another direction of progress; that is to see oneself reflected in another. When one is friends with another person, naturally one's sympathy, love, friendship, make one see oneself in the other, and this gives the inclination to sacrifice. No one will sacrifice for another except when he is oneself. If this feeing develops it extends further, not only with the friend, with the neighbor, but with the stranger, with the beast and bird and insect; one is in at-onement with all living beings, and it gives one as much insight into another as the other person has into himself. One knows as much about him as he knows, even more. This is the simplest phenomenon of this consciousness; not to work wonders. It brings a quick proof that one knows as much about another person as he knows himself. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification - Mastery
When the mind is troubled it
is confused, it cannot reflect anything. It is the stillness of mind that
makes one capable of receiving impressions and of reflecting them. In Persian
the mind is called a mirror. Everything in front of the mirror appears
in it; but when this is taken away the mirror is clear. It does not remain.
It remains in the mirror as long as the mirror is focused on it, and so
it is with the mind.
The quality in the mind which makes it still at times and active at other times, which makes it reflect what it sees at one time and makes it avoid every reflection at another so that no outer reflection can touch it, this quality develops by concentration, contemplation, and meditation. The mind is trained by the master-trainer by diving deep, by soaring high, by expanding widely, and by centralizing the mind on one idea. And once the mind is mastered a person becomes a master of life. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification The Control of the Mind
When a man's consciousness
reflects heaven, that man is in heaven; and when a man is conscious of
torture, pain, and suffering, he is in the place of suffering. Man makes
his heaven or his hell for himself. How many in this world you will find
who keep their illness by thinking about it all the time, by being conscious
of it; and one sees many who might become well after having suffered pain
for some years were it not for the consciousness of the pain being held
by them, not as something new but as something which has always been there.
Nothing belongs to a man unless he is willing to hold it. But when he becomes accustomed to holding a certain reflection without knowing the nature of it, in time that reflection becomes his master and he becomes a slave of that reflection. And so it is with the worries and anxieties and sorrows which people have on their minds. Many say, 'I cannot forget', because they imagine it. It does not mean that that person cannot forget, but that he is holding on to something which he does not wish to throw away. If a man would only realize that it is not that someone else is holding something before him; it is he himself who holds it. Some memory, something disagreeable, something sorrowful, some severe pain, anxiety, worry, all these things a man holds in his own hands and they are reflected in his consciousness. His soul by nature is above all this. It is an illusion whose place is beneath the soul, not above, unless a man, with his own hands, raises it and looks at it.
When one considers the psychology of failure and success, failure follows failure. And why is it? Because the consciousness reflecting success is full of success, and the activity which goes out from that consciousness is creating productive activity; so if the consciousness has success before its view, then the same reflection will work and bring success; whereas if the consciousness is impressed with failure, then failure will work constantly, bringing failure after failure.
Very often pessimistic people speak against their own desire. They want to undertake some work, and they say, 'I will do this, but I don't think I shall succeed in it.' Thus they hinder themselves in their path. Man does not know that every thought makes an impression on the consciousness and on the rhythm with which the consciousness is working. According to that rhythm that reflection will come true and happen; and a man proves to be his own enemy by his ignorance of these things. The mistake of one moment's impulse creates a kind of hindrance in the path of that person all through his life. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification The Mystery of Sleep
Where do the differences between people come from? From within. From their activity. And how does agreement come? By the stillness of the mind. It is noise which hinders a voice that we hear from a distance, and it is the troubled waters of a pool which hinder us seeing our own image reflected in the water. When the water is still it takes a clear reflection; and when our atmosphere is still then we hear that voice which is constantly coming to the heart of every person. We are looking for guidance, we all of us search for truth, we search for the mystery. The mystery is in ourselves; the guidance is in our own souls. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification Silence
Everyone receives an impression
on seeing a certain person or looking at a certain situation. One may not
believe that impression, but all the same it is there. The first impression
tells a man whether he will be successful or not, whether a person is right
or not, whether there will be friendship between two people or not. And
when this faculty is developed, a person can get an impression of a place
and of persons and of conditions. Impressions come to those whose mind
is still; those whose mind is active cannot take impressions. For the mind
is like water: when the pool of water is disturbed, one cannot see any
reflection in it.
Thus purity of mind is necessary. In which sense? All that is called wrong is not necessarily wrong; some things are called wrong because of a certain moral, a certain principle, originated by the mechanical action of the mind. When the mind is kept pure from all activity that disturbs it, then it becomes like pure water. Very often the water of the mind is polluted, but when the mind is in its pure condition, then naturally it can take impressions.
The mind may be likened to a photographic plate. If several impressions have been made upon it, then there can be no other impressions. That is why the mind should be kept pure from all undesirable impressions in order that every impression may be clear. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World Mental Purification Insight (2)
It is most interesting to watch how the phenomenon of reflection between animals and man manifests to the view of one who observes it keenly; and it explains to us that language is an external means by which we communicate with one another, but the natural language is this reflection which is projected and reflected from one to another. And this is the universal language; and once this language is understood not only can one communicate with human beings, but even with the lower creation. It was not a fantasy when people said that the saints in ancient times used to speak with animals and birds; it was the truth. Only, they did not speak with them in language such as we use in our everyday life; they spoke in that natural language in which all souls communicate with one another. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World The Mind World - Chap. 1
The phenomenon of reflection differs in its nature and character, especially by reason of the nature of different personalities. In the first place, the person whose thought becomes reflected in the heart of another may have a concrete form in his thought, may be able to hold it as one design or a picture. In that case the reflection falls in the heart of another man clearly; but when the mind is so weak that it cannot hold a thought properly, then the thought is moving and it cannot reflect the mind of another properly. If the mind of the person is not in good condition, then the picture there is not clear. If a person's mind is not clear, if it is upset or too active, then that mind cannot convey the reflection fully.
The mind can be likened to a lake. If there is a wind blowing and the water is disturbed, then the reflection will not be clear; but when the water is still the reflection is clear. And so it is with the mind: the mind which is still is capable of receiving reflection. The mind which is powerful, capable of making a thought, a picture, holding a thought, can project its thought beyond any boundaries that may be standing there to hinder it.
Does the heart reflect the mind or the mind the heart? In the first place it should be known that the mind is the surface of the heart, and the heart is the depth of the mind. Therefore mind and heart are one and the same thing. If you call it a mirror, then the mind is the surface of the mirror and the heart its depth; in the same mirror all is reflected. 'Mirror' is a very good word, because it applies to both the mind and the heart. If the reflection comes from the surface of the heart, it touches the surface; if it comes from the depth of the heart, it reaches the depth. Just like the voice of the insincere person: it comes from the surface and it reaches the ears. The voice of the sincere person comes from the depth and goes to the depth. What comes from the depth enters the depth, and what comes from the surface remains on the surface.
Nothing can separate two minds which are focused on one another. No person with an affectionate heart, with tender feeling, will deny that two sympathetic souls communicate with one another. Distance is never a bar to this phenomenon. Have we not seen in the recent war the womenfolk of the soldiers, their mothers, their wives, their children, linked with their dear ones fighting at the front and feeling their conditions and knowing when a soldier was wounded or killed? Many will say that it is the thought which reaches. But at the same time even the thought vibrations in the profound depth become a picture, a design. One thought, one particular design, one particular picture becomes reflected, and because it is so mirrored upon him, the other person feels it in an instant. Reflection is not like a conversation. In a conversation every word unfolds the idea more, and so the idea gradually becomes manifested; but in the reflection, in one instant the whole idea is reflected, because the whole idea is there in the form of a picture, and it is mirrored in the mind which has received it.
This theory helps to reveal the mystery that lies in the connection between the living and the dead. The idea of obsession may be thus explained, that a reflection of the thought of someone on the other side, held fast by a living creature on the earth, becomes an obsession. Very often it may happen that when a young anarchist has assassinated someone, in the end one finds that there was no great enmity between him and the person whom he killed. The mystery behind it is that some enemy of the person who was killed, on the other side, reflected his thought in the passive mind of this young man, who through his enthusiasm and strength felt inclined to kill someone, himself not knowing the reason. One finds such cases among anarchists especially. Owing to their extreme points of view their heart is in a condition to be receptive; they can receive a good reflection or a bad reflection, and act accordingly.
Is it possible for a person living on the earth to project his thought on those who are on the other side? Every religion has taught this lesson; but the intellectual evolution of these times has not grasped it fully. For instance, among Hindus there is a custom today of offering to the dead all that they loved in the form of flowers and colors, in the form of natural environment, river, stream, mountain, tree. Of all that their dear one loved, they make an offering to him.
Among some peoples there is a custom of making delicious dishes, of burning incense, and preparing flowers and perfume; and then after offering it to the dead, they partake of it themselves. Because, however strange it may seem, if they partake of it, it is their experience which is reflected; and therefore it is right for them to partake of it though it is offered to the dead, because it is through them that the dead receive it; they are the medium for the offering. It is the only way in which they can give it.
This teaches another idea, that those who mourn over their dear ones certainly continue to give pain to those who have departed; because from this world, instead of having a better experience and reflecting it to them, they gather pain and offer it to their dead. The wisest thing that one could do for those who have passed is to project the thought of joy and happiness, of love and beauty, of calm and peace. It is in this way that one can help the dead best. One may ask if one can influence a soul that has passed beyond this world to such an extent as to make him exert a special action on the mind of another person on earth. It is a thing possible in theory, but why trouble that spirit? If you are able to influence that spirit, why not influence this person who is on earth?
At the present time, when materialism is increasingly prevalent, very few recognize the cases of obsession. Very often those who are obsessed are sent to the insane asylum, where they are given medicines or different treatments, the physicians thinking that there is something wrong with the brain of the person, with his mind; that something has gone wrong with his nerves. But in many cases this is not so; it is only the outcome of it. When once a person is obsessed, naturally he has lost his rhythm, his tone, and therefore he does not feel himself, he feels queer. A continual discomfort causes a disorder in his nervous system, causing thereby different diseases. But at the root of it there is obsession.
Obsession can be caused not only by the dead, but also by a living person; in the case of the former it is called obsession, in the case of the latter it is called impression. But what generally happens is that the souls who are attached to the earth are either earth-bound, or the inspirers or the protectors of the earth. The love of those inspirers and protectors of the earth comes like a stream. No doubt it could come to individuals, but actually it is mostly for the multitude; therefore it cannot be classed with what we call obsession;it can be called a blessing. But the other souls, who are earth-bound, when they reflect it is for the reason of a want; and however great a reason or a want may be, it is imperfection, because it is limited. Besides, creation is a phenomenon whereby every individual must have his freedom, to which he has the right. When he is deprived of that freedom by obsession, however much helped, that person remains in a limited condition. Furthermore, it is possible that obsession may become most interesting, and if the obsessed one is cured of his obsession he does not feel himself. He feels that some life that he has experienced for a long time has been taken away from him.
The inclination for automatic writing comes from a mediumistic tendency. A person who has a mediumistic tendency is naturally reclined to automatic writing. The reason is that by automatic writing he begins to feel in connection, he forms a connection with souls floating in the air. It does not matter what soul he contacts, from that sold he begins to take the reflection; and then he begins to put it on paper. There are some who, if once they have become interested in a sold on the other side, focus their attention on this particular sold. Then a connection is formed, and it is natural that day and night, or on many occasions, communication is established. But there is danger in this play. It is interesting to begin with, but later it can be most difficult to get rid of.
The story is known of a person who had put himself in spirit communication so profoundly that the spirits would not leave him alone for one moment. It was just like a telephone ringing at any time of the day. And the most curious thing was that he used to live with them; he used to say, 'I don't want you. Go away, go away.' But they came again. Day and night the poor man was exposed to the telephone ringing. He could not protect himself once he had laid himself open to them. He had focused himself on the other world, and then he could not close the doors.
Besides this, it is a great strain on the nerves because the nerves must be fine in order to get a communication. The intuitive centers in the body are made of free nerves, finer than one can imagine. They are not matter, they are not spirit; they are between. When once these fine nerves have become sensitive, then the communication is open with the other side. But then the difficulty is that the gross vibrations of this earth are too hard on the nerves; and the nerves cannot answer the demands of this gross world, this material world; they become too free. The result is a nervous illness.
It was for the benefit of some mediums who were used by the great explorers of spiritualism that I showed my disapproval of that line; not as an unbeliever nor as someone who makes fun of these things, only for the welfare of those simple ones who are made use of, and whose lives are ruined in order that the others may find out some secret of it. But what secret do they find after all? Nothing. It is not the spectator who will find the secret of a play, it is the player himself. That is where the joy is. If they want to experience, they must experience themselves and take the consequences. But this way of taking a young, inexperienced, mediumistic person and profiting by his ruin neither brings a blessing nor does it bring the knowledge which they seek. In short, either a communication between living beings or a communication between the living and the souls who have passed from this earth is in the reflection, a reflection which depends upon the power and clearness of mind. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World The Mind World - Chap. 2
Apart from the mystical process,
one sees people in one's everyday life who have perhaps repeated in their
minds the thought of pain, of hatred, of longing, of a disappointment,
of admiration, of love, unconscious of the work it has done within themselves;
and yet a deep impression of it has been produced in the depths of their
heart, and that becomes projected upon every person they meet. One cannot
help being drawn to a loving person, and one is unconsciously drawn to
an affectionate person; one cannot cover one's eyes from the feelings of
hatred that come from someone; one cannot ignore the feeling of pain that
comes forth from a person, for the pain is engraved in his heart.
This is the phenomenon of reflection, reflection of one mind upon another. There are people who may sit together, work together, live together for their whole lives, and yet they may be closed to one another. It is the same reflection. If the heart of one person is closed, its influence is to close the heart of another. A person with closed heart will close the heart of others everywhere he goes. Even the most loving person will helplessly feel the doors of the heart closed, to his greatest regret, not knowing what has happened. It is an unconscious phenomenon.
Therefore pleasure and displeasure, affection and irritation, harmony and agitation, all are felt when two persons meet without speaking a word. It is our words which hide reality. If it were not for our words, the phenomenon of mirror-land is such that it would seem as if the whole universe were nothing but a palace of mirrors, one reflecting the other. If we do not see it, it does not mean that we cannot see it; it only means that our eyes are not always open, so we remain ignorant of the condition.
If this is true, there is nothing in this world which a person can hide. As the Qur'an says, on the Day of Judgment your hands and feet will give evidence of your doings. But every moment of the day is a Judgment Day. We need not wait till Judgment Day to see this phenomenon. We see it, we experience it always, yet we do not pay sufficient attention to it. Whenever we have a kind feeling, goodwill towards someone, or irritation, agitation, an antagonistic, hostile inclination, we cannot keep it from another. And this is sufficient for us to know that innermost truth, that absolute truth of the whole universe, that the source is One, the goal is One, life is One, and the many are only its covers. . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World The Mind World - Chap. 3
One can change the condition of the
mind of a person who is repeating the same reflections over and over, by
giving him quite another direction, a direction which would interest him
What we must first accomplish in life is to clear the reflections from our own heart, reflections which hinder our path. Once a business man came to me and said, 'Well, I cannot understand. There is some sort of bad luck with me, so that I always fail, and I cannot understand why I fail. I went to spiritualists, I went to clairvoyants, I went to people who make one's horoscope. Some said one thing, some another thing; now I cannot make out what is right.' I told him, 'The right and wrong is in yourself. Listen to yourself. Find out what is going on in your mind. Is it not the memory of the loss that you have had? It is a kind of continual voice going on in your heart. The astrologers will say it is something that is around you; the spiritualists will say that some ghost or spirit is behind it. There may be ghosts or there may not be, but what really happens is that in your heart a voice is saying, "You have failed, you have failed, you have failed". Can you make this be quiet, be silent? As soon as you get rid of this reflection, all will be well with you.' He said, 'What must I do? How can I do it?' I said, 'Determination. Promise me that from now on you will never give a thought to your past failures. Past is past, the present is present. Proceed with hope and courage; all will be well.' . The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World The Mind World - Chap. 4
The phenomenon of reflection is such that every action, every thought, is reflected in oneself, and there starts a production. Something is produced, something which gives a direction to one's life and which becomes a battery behind everything one does, a battery of power and of thought. There is a saying that man's real being speaks louder than what he says. It shows that in this phenomenon of reflection every person is exposed to all the mirrors, and there is nothing in the world which is hidden. What one does not say one reflects. So therefore there is no secret.
The words used by Solomon, 'under the sun', are for both night and day. The real sun is the intelligence; and in the light of that sun all mirrors, which are human hearts, reflect all that is exposed to them without any effort on the part of man. This is the reason why the desire of a person, if it is a real wish, becomes fulfilled sooner or later; for it is reflected, and through that reflection it becomes living. That reflection gives it a life, because it is not in a dead mirror; it is in a living mirror, which is a human heart. It is nothing to be surprised at that if a master of a house wished to eat fish, the cook had the desire to bring it. It is natural. It is nothing to be surprised at if you have just thought of a friend and the friend happens to come to meet you while you are going to do something else. It is unexpected outwardly; inwardly it is arranged, because your reflection rising in the mind of your friend has arranged your meeting.
Someone asked me once, 'In the hereafter shall we meet those around us here?' I answered, 'Yes, we shall meet in the hereafter those whom we love and those whom we 'hate.' He was rather pleased with the first thing, but much displeased with the other. Then I explained further: 'You think of two persons, the one whom you love most and the one whom you hate most; you cannot help thinking of them. You can either be praying for the friend or cursing the enemy, but you will be thinking often of both. And the most wonderful thing is that those whom you love or hate in life, you meet unexpectedly; without any intention on your part you attract them.' He asked, 'What shall we do?' I said, 'The best thing is not to hate anyone, only to love. That is the only way out of it. As soon as you have forgiven those whom you hate, you have got rid of them. Then you have no reason to hate them, you just forget.'
It is this reflection which we see in the success and failure of business. When one person goes to another on some business, he reflects. If he has failure in his mind, he reflects failure in the other person. From all around, what comes is the condition of bringing about a failure for him.
If a person goes with success in mind, he reflects success in the heart of every one whom he meets, and nothing comes out of it but success. Therefore it is those who are obsessed by failure that have failures; those who have the impression of success that have success. We read in history that there have been heroes, generals, kings who had success after success;and there are many examples to be found in our everyday life of those who have failure after failure. There is no end to their failures. Everything they touch is shattered. Why? Because destruction is there. They have it in themselves; it is only reflected in all things that they touch.
The great Hindustani poet Amir says, 'My eyes, you have the light of the Perfect One, and you cannot see. It is not the lack of light in you; it is only because you keep covered.' Man is continually seeking for a clear vision, wanting to see light, and yet he covers his very eyes, the sight which has divine light in it, by covering his heart.
No one can teach anyone, nor can anyone acquire that power of seeing clearly. Man is naturally a seer. When he does not see it is surprising. The seers do not only see an individual when the individual comes before them; they are capable of seeing, if ten thousand persons are sitting before them, all as a multitude and each as an individual. The reason is that the larger a mirror becomes, the more reflections it accommodates in itself and therefore in one person a multitude can be reflected at one and the same time, the hearts, and souls, and minds, and all. No doubt it begins with seeing the reflection from one; but as the heart expands, so it takes the reflection of the multitude.
It is in this that there is the mystery of the spiritual hierarchy; it is only the expansion of heart. Do we not see this in our everyday life? There is one person who says, 'Yes, I can love one person, whom I love; but then I cannot stand the others.' It is only the limitation of the heart. There is another person who says, 'Yes, I can love my friends; those with whom I feel at home and feel a contact; but not the strangers; I cannot love them; before them I am closed.' And he really is closed before strangers. He may be a loving person, but in the presence of strangers his love is closed.
In proportion as the heart becomes more free of this limitation, naturally it becomes larger; because the capacity of one's heart, as Asaf has said in his verse, is unimaginably great. Asaf says that if the heart of man were expanded, it would accommodate the whole universe in it, just like a drop in the ocean. The heart can be so large that it can hold the whole universe--all. And the heart that can hold all, can see the reflection from all; because the whole process of evolution is getting larger. Getting larger means getting freer from limitations, and the outcome of this condition is that the vision becomes clearer.
How can the minds of the multitude be reflected in the heart? In the same way that the picture of a group is taken on the photographic plate. There may be a crowd, but the photographic plate will take them all; if it cannot take them, then it is not large enough. The heart is capable, like a photographic plate, of taking reflection; if it cannot take them, it means it is limited, it is too small. The whole of life is an absolute intelligence, it is a mirror-land in which all is reflected. When we think of it deeply, we find that in the daylight we close our eyes and sleep. The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Healing and the Mind World The Mind World - Chap. 5
The heart, which is called
a mirror in Sufi terms, has two different actions which it performs. Whatever
is reflected in the heart does not only remain a reflection but becomes
a creative power, productive of a phenomenon of a similar nature. For instance
a heart which is holding in itself and reflecting the rose, will find roses
everywhere. Roses will be attracted to that heart, roses will be produced
from it and for it. As this reflection becomes stronger, so it becomes
creative of the phenomenon of roses. The heart that holds and reflects
a wound, will find wounds everywhere, will attract wounds, will create
wounds; for that is the nature of the phenomenon of reflection.
Very often people have superstitions about a lucky or an unlucky person coming to the house: a lucky person brings good luck, and an unlucky person brings bad luck. What is it? It is only that the one who reflects bad luck creates bad luck. Wherever he goes he produces bad luck in his environment. A mistress of a house said to a sage, 'Since this maid has come to my house, every day glasses break and saucers break, and things become spoiled and destroyed.' The sage could see the reason of it. He said, 'As long as she lives in your house that will continue.' One often finds that a person joins a business, an industrial office, and perhaps he has not much means, but he has himself; and since he joined it there has been greater and greater success every day in that business, that industry.
The more we think of this phenomenon, the more we find that if there is anything that is reflected in our mind, we reflect it on the outer life; and every sphere that our heart has touched, it has charged that sphere with that reflection. The best explanation of the word reflection would be in the projection of a picture from a magic lantern upon a curtain; that curtain reflects the picture which the magic lantern has thrown upon it. And so the whole of life is full of reflections. From morning till evening we are subject to reflections. The association with the restless gives us restlessness. A certain person may not speak to us, but because he is restless our heart reflects it; and so the contact with a joyous person makes us reflect joy. The whole day this goes on with us, without our knowing it.
Sometimes the person whom we reflect has gone from our sight, but we are still reflecting him. That is the reason we can give for some tendency to do harm, or laugh, or cry without reason; it is all from reflection. A man whose heart is reflecting joy, wherever he goes will make people happy. The sorrowful, the troubled ones, the disappointed, those heartbroken, they will all begin to feel life; food will be given to their souls, because this person is reflecting joy. And the one who reflects pain and depression will spread the same in his environment, and will give pain and sorrow to others. And life is such that there is no end of pain and sorrow and trouble, and what we need is the souls that will reflect joy in order to liberate those in trouble, sorrow, and pain.
There is another aspect of this reflection, and that is what one thinks one becomes. One becomes identified with it; and therefore the object which is in one's thought becomes one's own property, one's own quality.
A person observing this phenomenon of reflection once had an amusing experience when he went to see a king's footman. When he went into the house of the king's footman he was very surprised to see that it was arranged on the model of the palace. The way the footman came forward, the way he took him into the house, the way he made him sit, his manner, every word he spoke, were kingly. What was it? Being the whole day in the presence of the king, he was reflecting the king. A child who is impressed by soldiers from childhood acts like a soldier; when he is grown up he becomes a soldier. The quality of a soldier is developed in him. The child who has thought of an artist and has been impressed by an artist, by his art, his personality, that reflection has grown in him; and as he grows up, that quality of the artist develops and he turns into an artist. And when you read the history of great poets, philosophers, musicians, and their rare merit, has it only come by their studies and their practices, by the gift that is in them? Very often it has come by the impression that they have received from someone. A reflection which has been developed gradually in their heart, has produced in their soul the qualities which belonged to the one they are impressed by.
There are numberless examples of this to be found in the history of the world, but especially in spiritual work; work which cannot be accomplished by a whole life's study, nor completed by the meditation of a hundred years in the solitude. To try and attain spiritual knowledge by meditation or by learning only is like saying, 'I will make a language in my lifetime'. But no one has been able to make a perfect language in his lifetime; it is tradition which makes a language, it is during centuries that people have developed language. It cannot be made by one person alone; it is something that each person has inherited, acquired. And so it is in reflection that a person develops the attribute belonging to the object which he holds in thought.
There are examples to be found in the world of people who by retaining a thought have created on the physical plane its manifestation, its phenomenon. The reason is that the phenomenon is not only a picture as produced in the mirror, but that reflection in the heart is the most powerful thing. It is life itself, and it is creative. Therefore the person who has understood the secret of reflection, has understood the mystery of life.
Is a reflection a conscious action on the part of the reflector, or does it work subconsciously? It works in both ways. It works sometimes by a conscious action on the part of the reflector, but it always works subconsciously. For instance a person with a pious mind, good thoughts, a peaceful spirit, his spirit is what one is trying to reflect. It is reflected in those who come in contact with him, and they take it with them. Some absorb it and keep it, and others lose it. But the idea is this, that when one is not conscious of which reflection to keep and which reflection to give away, one will take perhaps a reflection of sadness or sorrow and all undesirable reflections, and may keep them within because one receives them. Therefore one must know that the whole of life is a life of reflections; from morning till evening we receive reflections. From those near and dear to us, from those who dislike and hate us, and from those on the other side who have passed. We are always exposed to reflections.
One might ask if it is a good thing to receive reflections. But you cannot help receiving them. You may consider it a good thing or a bad thing; but it is what it is. If our heart is clear we receive it consciously, and the reflection is distinct. If it is not clear we receive it unconsciously, and the reflection is not clear, but we cannot help receiving it. For instance, if there is a gong and a piece of wood, both will receive vibrations. But one is sonorous and will resound, the other will not resound; yet both are affected by the vibrations just the same. If the heart is clear enough to receive reflections fully and clearly, one can choose for oneself which to retain and which to repel.
A clear vision depends upon
a clear heart, open to reflection. Jelal-ud-Din Rumi begins his Masnavi
by speaking about the mirror-quality of the heart; also by telling that
this mirror-quality sometimes disappears when a kind of rust covers the
heart. And then he goes on to tell us that by purifying the heart from
this rust one makes this mirror of the heart clear to receive reflections.
Speaking about the science of telepathy, my Murshid once said, 'It is reflection. If your heart is clear, then you must only know how to focus it, and you need not do anything else. It is a mirror and all that is before it will be reflected in it.'
Therefore it is not surprising if the seers see the soul of every person as clearly as an open letter; for it is the nature of sight. If the sight is perfect, it must see whatever is before it; it cannot help seeing. It is not that the sight desires to see; it is natural that if the eyes are open, all that is before them is reflected in them. So the seer cannot help seeing the soul of another, perceiving the thoughts and feelings that a person has. If he made an attempt to do it, it would not be right. The heart is the soul's private chamber; no one must intrude upon any one's privacy; no one has a right to try and find out the thoughts and feelings of another person. But as the eyes cannot help seeing what is before them, so the heart, once made clear and pure from the rust, then sees as the eyes see.
But the eyes can set: so far and no farther; the dimension which is before the eyes is different. Before the heart there is another dimension, and that is the heart of man. While the eyes see the surface, the heart sees the depth of a person. Never, therefore, think that a real mystic does not see into a person's life; never think that a mystic is unable to see a certain side of a person's nature. No, he sees all, if only his heart is clear.
But now the question is: what is the rust? What is it made of? The rust is made of the dense outcome of the mind itself; it is its dense part which comes to the surface, and thereby covers it, covering at the same time its mirror-quality. The heart becomes covered by confusion, fear, depression, by all manner of excitement that disturbs the rhythm of its mechanism. As the health of the body depends upon its tone and rhythm, so the health of the heart depends upon the regularity of its tone and rhythm. A man may be virtuous in his actions, pure in his thoughts, kind in his feelings; at the same time if he has ups and downs, then the rhythm is not kept right. Then he cannot see the reflection clearly; for the mirror is clear, but when the mind is continually moving the reflection is blurred, the reflection does not show itself clearly.
Once we think of it, we begin to see what a wonderful instrument this human personalty is for perceiving and experiencing life fully. If there were a mirror sold for a million dollars which showed the condition of thought and feeling of every individual, there would be a great demand for it. The man who made that mirror would certainly get numberless orders, even at a million dollars, for such an invention. And here man has it and is unaware of it. He does not believe in it, therefore he neglects it. And as he does not believe in it, he would rather spend that much money and buy a mirror, than try and cultivate a thing in which he does not believe.
He does not believe in himself; and as he does not believe in himself, he does not believe in God. His belief in God is mostly superficial. Numberless souls believe in God, and yet they know not if He really exists. They only believe because others believe in God. They have no proof, and they live their whole life without a proof of the belief in God. And there is no way of getting proof of God's existence, except by becoming acquainted with oneself; by experiencing the phenomena which are within one; and the greatest phenomenon that one can experience, which is one's heart. Could anything, therefore, be more interesting in life, more precious to give life to, than the thought that you could be an instrument for knowing all that is in the person who is before you, his nature, his character, his condition, his past, his present, his future, his weakness, and his strong points? Nothing in the world could be more interesting and more precious than arriving at this stage, than experiencing this; more precious than wealth, or power, or position, or anything in the world. And this is something which is attained without cost, even without the hard work which man does for his livelihood. When we think of this we feel that man thirsts for water, standing near the stream. What man thirsts after is within himself; and what keeps him from it, is the lack of belief in himself, in truth, in God.
People try to study the outer life. But for this study the sight must be the first thing. This outer sight can show the surface of things; it is the inner sight that is the seeking of the soul. Science as we know it is built on the study that one has made of the things which are visible, which are on the surface; and therefore that study is incomplete.
That study can be completed by seeing the inside of things. For even the beginning of science can be traced as the outcome of intuition. The ancient physicians used to follow wild animals, such as the bear and others, who sought for different herbs when they were in need of a cure for some illness, because their intuition was clear. Physicians used to live the life of solitude, the life of meditation, they used to live a pure life; and from that they got their inspiration; and from that inspiration they knew what to give in order to cure different diseases.
The science which we have today is borrowed from what was once known to them, although it was not called science at that time. It is a heritage of the ancient people which we call science; but its beginning was intuition. And if ever a scientist today discovers something new, something wonderful, he is again indebted, not to the outer studies, but to intuition. If this is true, then the faculty of intuition must be developed, the heart must be made clear, so that even if someone is not a spiritual person but a man of science, he could be benefited in his study and practice in life.
The soul is likened to the
caterpillar. As a caterpillar reflects all the beauty of colors that it
sees, and out of it turns itself into a butterfly, so does the soul. When
in the angelic world, it reflects the angelic beauty, manifesting itself
in the form of an angel; when in the world of genius, it reflects the jinn
qualities, covering itself thereby with the form of a jinn; when in the
world of man, it reflects human qualities, manifesting itself therefore
in the form of man. If the caterpillar is impressed by one form or by a
number of forms of leaves and flowers and colors, it reflects them, and
it becomes them. Very often you will see that a caterpillar has the color
of its surroundings, the leaves or the flowers or whatever is near to it;
it becomes that; it does not take the color and the form of trees and flowers
which are at a distance, which it has not touched. Such is the condition
of the soul. It partakes of the quality of all that it comes into contact
with, color and perfume, reflecting it and in time becoming that which
This proves to us that the mirror-quality of the heart does not only show when the soul is on the earth, but it shows it from the beginning of the soul's adventure towards manifestation. Therefore the soul's captivity and freedom both come from itself. Kudsi, the great Persian poet, has said, 'It is thou thyself who becomest a captive, and again thyself who becomest free from this captivity.' Both these things, captivity in this body of clay, and liberation from this dense earth, the soul brings about itself; and it brings them about by one law, and that is the law of reflection. There may be different ideas, dogmas or speculations, expressed by different wise people as to the soul's coming on earth, as to the soul's return from here. But the thoughtful souls, however different they may be in their conception of the divine law of nature, cannot deny for one single moment this principal law working as the most powerful factor in the soul's journey towards manifestation and in the soul's return to the goal.
Therefore naturally a mystic thinks, 'What is past is past, what is done is done; I do not trouble about it. What I am concerned with, is to make the present moment as I wish it to be, and to make the road which leads to my destination in the future easy for me.' On this principle the whole of mysticism has been based.
The Sufi concerns himself little with what happened yesterday. Yes, if the knowledge of yesterday has a relation to the things of today, if that knowledge can help him to make life better, in that case alone he consults the past; but not for the sake of the past. As Omar Khayyam says:
'Tomorrow? Why, tomorrow I may be
Myself with yesterday's sev'n thousand years.'
which means, 'If I lived for seven thousand years in the past, what is it to me just now?'
The greatest problem that faces
man is, 'Today, just now, how can I make my life best for myself, for others?'
If he occupies himself with this science, there is not one single moment
that he can spare. It will occupy his whole life to make the best of just
now. And after all, it is just now which repeats, and it is now which makes
Besides, it is the science of reflection, the study and practice of which brings a person to that attainment which is the quest of every soul. As Zeb-un-Nissa, the Persian poetess, says, 'If thou thinkest of the blooming rose, thou wilt become a rose; and if thou thinkest of the crying nightingale, thou wilt become a nightingale. Such is the mystery of life. If thou thinkest of the divine Spirit, thou wilt reflect It and thou wilt become It.'
Why does not a mosquito turn into a butterfly, for a mosquito also sometimes dwells among beautiful plants and flowers? Because the mosquito is not interested in listening; it is interested in speaking. It does not learn, it teaches. So it remains what it is. The caterpillar on the contrary is silent. It silently meditates, moves gently, quietly sits and meditates. That is why in the end it turns into a butterfly.
One might ask why it is that one soul reflects the properties of a murderer and the other those of a saint, both souls being' equally divine. As the caterpillar, which first reflects and then becomes what it reflects, so it is with the murderer and the saint. Thus a murderer reflects a murderer because he has gradually tuned himself into that reflection. By trying to erase from his heart sympathy, kindness, tenderness, by trying to be blind to that aspect of his own being, and by trying to cause harm and hurt to another, he has gradually developed in that way. And very often a young murderer is reflecting somebody's thought, either on this side or on the other side. Very often quite innocent people are arrested as anarchists who have no enmity towards the person whom they have killed. It has only come as a reflection on the mind, projected by someone who was an enemy, and this person has simply become an instrument. But when one asks if he is not responsible for it, the answer is yes; for he prepared his mind for that reflection.
There are many teachings, doctrines,
speculations, and ideas as to the hereafter to be found; but if there is
anything that could explain the nature and the character of the hereafter
it is one word, and that is reflection. From whatever point of view one
looks at it, it is one thing, and that is reflection, either from the point
of view of the one who believes in heaven and hell after death, or from
the point of view of the one who believes in reincarnation which follows
after death. For there is not one place built like a town for those who
have done good deeds, so that all the good people should be in one town
called Heaven or Paradise; while there is another town for the ones who
have been sentenced to the other place.
In the first place each individual has his own way of looking at life, and according to his attitude towards life, according to his outlook on life, there is his hereafter. And therefore the heaven of one person cannot be the heaven of another, neither can the hell of one person be the hell of another person. As there are different ideals of different people, so there is a particular world of every person. And what is that world? That world is his spirit. And what does that world contain? That world contains all that the spirit contains.
The soul is likened to a photographic plate. A photographic plate may contain the reflection of one person or it may contain a reflection of a group or a view of thousands of souls. It is capable of accommodating in itself the reflection of the world before it. So is the soul. Then, one says, what is the hereafter? The hereafter of each one is what his soul contains. If his soul contains a heaven, the hereafter is heaven; if the soul contains something else, then the hereafter is that.
Some people ask, 'Is it not the soul which comes as a reincarnation?' Yes, a soul; certainly a soul comes. But what soul, which soul? A soul which has a reflection in it. It is that reflection which is its reincarnation. But if this is so then one might ask whether it does not make everything unreal, just like the play of shadows. But is it not that? If it is not the play of shadows, then what is it? If man finds reality in unreality, if that is consoling for him, he may console himself for some few days. But unreality is unreality. Unreality will not prove satisfactory in the end, because satisfaction lies in the knowledge of truth. For the time being, if unreality satisfies one, to think that this is real, one may continue to think in that way. But it must .be said that in the end this will not prove to be real. In order to avoid future disappointment one must find it out soon in one's life if one is to be capable of grasping and then assimilating the ultimate truth.
What is the condition of the soul that experiences the conditions of heaven or hell in the hereafter? The condition of the soul is that it is surrounded by what it has corrected. As Christ has said, 'Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'; so whatever the soul has treasured in this life, it is that which is the future of that soul.
What difference is there between these two distinct ideas, the first that the soul goes on in the wheel of reincarnations, going from one thing to another, and the second that after death the soul experiences heaven or hell, and so it goes on towards God? There is only the difference of two different ways of looking at this one particular soul. The one who calls personality the soul, sees that personality continuing from one condition to another; he thinks that the personality which he has once seen has not ceased to exist in the world, but is going on with its reflections repeatedly, one after another. And when he sees that personality as soul, he calls it the chain of several reincarnations, one after another. The other person, who sees the soul as independent of personality, who considers personality as the garb of the soul but not the soul itself, then sees
The influence of the dead is the same as the influence of the living, but even stronger. Their spirit throws its reflection upon the mirror of man's mind, and man acts as the spirit wishes, knowing all the' while that his wishes are other than the spirit's. The intensity of spirit obsession is much greater than that of the influence of a living person; for the living are themselves subject to influences and obsessions, and their own self is an obsession to them, reflecting the various pictures of their own life upon their soul; but the spirits, from whom the burden of external existence is removed, are much more powerful, freer, and more inclined to obsess others. Spiritual Liberty Life After Death Obsession
The external self, the mind
and the body, have confined a portion of the whole consciousness; the same
portion is in reality the soul. It is as if a line were drawn upon a cloth
marking off a part of it as separate from the whole. Or it is as if we
were to stand before a curtain with a small lantern so that the light of
the lantern falls upon the curtain and forms a patch upon it. In like manner
the impressions of the mind and body are reflected on the soul and separate
it from the whole consciousness. Upon the soul is reflected the happiness
or misery, the joy or sorrow of the external self, but the soul in itself
is neither sad nor joyful. The soul is neither subject to birth and death
no: does it increase or decrease; it neither evolves nor degenerates.
If we stand before a mirror clothed in rags the mirror holds the reflection of our rags, but it is not itself in misery. If we stand before the mirror covered with pearls and diamonds the reflection of our pearls and diamonds falls upon the mirror, but the mirror does not turn into diamonds or pearls. So is it with the soul: it is neither a sinner nor is it virtuous; it is neither rich nor poor. All life's joy and sorrow, ups and downs, are reflected for the time being upon the curtain of the soul, and after a time pass away. Therefore both the joy and sorrow of yesterday are nothing to us today. Spiritual Liberty Life After Death The Philosophy of the Soul
The souls coming out get impressions
from souls going back because they absorb, conceive, learn, and receive
all that is given to them by the souls leaving the earth. But what really
happens is reflection; souls coming from heaven become impressed. It is
just like an impression upon a photographic plate; and when they come on
earth the photographic plate is developed and finished.
As a rule the reflection of two souls meeting takes place like this; but there is a difference in the qualities of souls. There is one upon which an impression is made instantly, and another soul upon which it takes longer. That is due to the intensity of power and radiation that the soul brings along within itself. . Spiritual Liberty Life After Death Manifestation (2)
All things exposed to the eye are
reflected in it for the moment, and when the eye is turned away the reflection
is in it no more. It had received it for the moment only.
Such is the nature of the soul. Youth, age, beauty, ugliness, sin, or virtue, all these are before the soul when they are exposed to it during the physical or mental existence; and the soul, interested in the reflection, may be for the time attracted and bound by the object reflected; but as soon as the soul turns away it ix free from it. Metephysics Our Constitution - The Soul Itself Alone
The Experience of the Soul Through
the Heart of Another
The mind is like a mirror, and every thought coming into the mind is reflected in this mirror. If a mirror with a reflection in it is focused on another mirror, the same reflection will be found in that mirror.
So it is with the mind. For the mystic who has developed enough to do it rightly, it is a simple task to take the reflection of the mind of another, or to throw the reflection of his own mind on the mind of another. The former is called thought reading, the latter is called mental suggestion; and by developing this power a person can communicate not only with the living, but even with spirits. The question is who should do so and who should not do so. If it is not advisable for a little child to go in a crowd, that does not mean that the same should be applied to a grown-up person. Therefore the unselfish and wise may learn this in order to make the best use of this attainment. Metaphysics - The Experience of the Soul - The Experience of the Soul Through the Heart of Another
The Experience of the Soul Through
The heart is as a globe covering the light of the soul, and its different emotions are different colors of this globe. Every emotion is produced by a certain element. While experiencing life through the heart, the soul at that moment thinks: I am sad, or glad, or afraid, or humorous. In fact it is its momentary experience. When the influence of a particular element is changed the emotion has expired and the soul is as pure as it was before. Nothing touches it. It is pure by nature and it always remains pure. If ten people in turn look in a mirror, the mirror shows everyone his face reflected in it and it is clear enough to take every other reflection. In the end the mirror is as clear as before; no face that has ever been reflected in it has left an impression on it.
There are nine different emotions which the soul experiences through the heart, and these are influenced by corresponding elements, thus:
Fear ether and air
Courage fire and air
Indifference ether, fire, and earth
fire and air
The Experience of the Soul Through
the Heart of Another
The soul sometimes experiences life through the heart of another. In the case of a living person it is only done when he is master of harmony and concentration. But a spirit that has left its body on earth and passed away to the other side becomes master, for it has one vehicle less of the many vehicles that keep the spirit captive.
The secret of experiencing through another person's heart is to focus one's own heart on the heart of the other. This is easily done by love, and sometimes by concentration, but concentration and love combined give mastery over it. The heart is pictured by the mystics as a mirror, and as the reflections of one mirror can be reflected in another mirror, so it is with hearts. The heart which perceives reflection from the other heart should be without any reflections in it, by which is meant it should be pure from any other thought or feeling at the time. But the heart which throws the reflection has a much more difficult part to play. It has to force its own reflection through a heart which may perhaps be full of reflections.
Therefore reading the thoughts of another, or knowing the feeling of another, is not so difficult as sending a thought to another or expressing one's feeling to another. It requires strength of will, good concentration, and the right way of directing the reflection, with fineness or purity of thought and feeling.
The Experience of the Soul Through
The soul has two different sides and two different experiences. One side is the experience with the mind and body, the other side is the experience of the spirit. The former is called the outer experience, the latter the inner experience. The nature of the soul is like glass, transparent; and when one side of the glass is covered it becomes a mirror. So the soul becomes a mirror in which the outer experiences are reflected when the other side is covered.
That is why, however greatly blessed a person may be with outer knowledge, he is not necessarily gifted with inner knowledge. In order to attain to inner knowledge the Sufi covers the other side of the soul, so that its mirror part may face the spirit instead of the outer world. As soon as he is able to accomplish this he receives inspirations and revelations.
There are people who are by nature intuitive; they are sometimes called psychic or clairvoyant. It is accounted for by the other side of their soul naturally facing the spirit within. One may call them extraordinary or exceptional, but not mystical; for the mystic does not desire that position. By concentration and meditation he gains such a mastery that he can cover the soul from without to take the reflection within, and he can cover the soul from within when he requires the reflection from the outer world to its full extent. Balance is desirable, and mastery is the goal to be attained.
Why believe that what we think is right, and no one can be right who thinks otherwise? We should remember that another person does not see as we see, because each one sees only a reflection of the highest Ego that works in man though he is unconscious of it. To him it is right, but to the other it need not appear right. It is only right for that one person, for that one moment; later it may not appear so. The Limited being cannot claim the perception of the Unlimited; thus we cannot regard our own will as being the universal Will unless our will is in harmony with the will of God. In an Eastern Rose Garden The Will, Human and Divine
How little man knows while he is in the intoxication of individualism! He thinks, 'I am a separate being; you are another; there is no connection between you and me, and we all have our own joys and free will'. Did man but know it, his life is dependent not only on the objects and things that keep the body alive, but also on the activity of a thousand minds in a day. Every time a man laughs it is the reflection of his mind, controlled by the power of another person's mind. Why does he feel sometimes sad, sometimes glad, sometimes cheerful, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes tired without reason, sometimes depressed and exhausted? We meet so many minds throughout the day and night which are reflected in our own mind; and so the thoughts are changed, seemingly without reason, yet the whole activity of life depends on these thoughts and is changed according to them. In an Eastern Rose Garden Mind, Human and Divine
The way of strengthening the will is knowing how to group and to scatter mental vibrations at will. This can only be done by forming a mental picture of the grouped vibrations, making every possible effort to hold this picture steady, keeping the mental plane so occupied with its reflection that no impression from the external world can enter. Only those who by will-power can scatter the mental vibrations find the way towards the Universal Spirit, and to them the divine light is disclosed which is hidden behind the mind. This light can be found in every creature. Sufi Teachings Health and Order of the Body and Mind - Self-Control
In the dream the state of the mind has two different aspects. When the mind is not expressive but responsive and is not acting in a positive but in a negative rhythm, then it becomes visionary. That mind is visionary which is apt to catch the reflection of whatever other mind falls upon it. Thus it may catch the reflection of a living person's mind, or of a deceased person's mind, of a spiritually advanced person, or of a very ordinary person. That mind lies open like a piece of uncultivated ground which a person may turn into a farm or into a garden; in that soil he may sow seeds of flowers or only seeds of thorns. Sufi Teachings Health and Order of the Body and Mind - The Mystery of Sleep
If one considers life, one sees that
it is an eternal journey. The more one is loaded with burdens on one's
shoulders, the heavier the journey becomes. Think how the soul, whose constant
desire it is to go forward, is daily retained by ties and continually more
burdened. One can see two things: as the soul goes on it finds chains on
its legs. It wants to go forward - and at every step it is more attracted;
so it becomes more difficult to go forward.
Therefore all the thinkers and the wise who have come to the realization of life have taken renunciation as a remedy. The picture that the sage makes of this life is the fable of the dog and the piece of bread. A dog carrying a loaf in its mouth came to a pool; it saw the reflection of the bread in the water, and thought that there was another dog. It howled and barked, and lost its bread. The more we see our errors in life, our petty desires, the more we find that we are not far from the fable of the dog. Sufi Teachings The Privilage of Being Human - Renunciation
We can see this in the East.
The wish of every person there is to do without. They will rather eat with
their fingers than with fork and knife; they will rather eat on the floor
than at a table; they will rather go bareheaded than wear a hat, and they
will rather go barefoot than wear shoes. All their present backwardness
is because they have lost ambition for advancement. When they had ambition
they too progressed, and at one time they were first in civilization.
When the wise people had reached that point the time of renunciation began, and the reflection of the wise fell upon the foolish. Not only the wise men who had some reason for it practiced renunciation, but also the foolish. They had no reason for it, but the influence of the wise affected them. They are all in a dream, without ambition, lazy. Sufi Teachings The Privilage of Being Human Ambition
When he invokes the Names of God,
man forgets his limitations, and he impresses his soul with the thought
of the Unlimited. This brings him to the ideal of Unlimitedness. This is
the secret of life's attainment.
Man is the picture or reflection of his imagination. He is as large as he thinks himself, as great as he thinks himself, as small as he thinks himself. If he thinks he is incapable, he remains incapable; if he thinks himself foolish, he will be foolish, and will remain foolish; if he thinks himself wise, he will be wise, and become wiser every moment; if he thinks himself mighty, he is mighty. The Unity of Religious Ideals Religion The Effect of Prayer
The Zoroastrians, even today, worship the god Ahura Mazda by looking and bowing to the sun. The symbolical meaning of this is the worship of the light, and especially one Light which has not its like anywhere, which shines upon all things, and by which all things are reflected, and upon which the life of the whole universe absolutely depends. This was the lesson given in ancient times to prepare men's minds to become fond of light, that the soul may unfold some day, and the light from within, the Eternal Sun, the reflection of which on the surface is the sun, may be vouchsafed and be worshiped. Prophets and Religion Zarathustra The Symbol of Zunar among Zoroastrians
There is a story told in Arabia that the angels descended from Heaven to earth and cut open the breast of the Prophet; they took away something that was to be removed from there, and then the breast was made as before. It is a symbolical expression, which gives to a Sufi a key to the secret of human Life. What closes the doors of the heart is fear, confusion, depression, spite, discouragement, disappointment, and a troubled conscience; and when that is cleared away, the doors of the heart open. The opening of the breast, really speaking, is the opening of the heart. The sensation of joy is felt in the center of the breast, also the heaviness caused by depression. Therefore as long as the breast remains choked with anything, the heart remains closed. When the breast is cleared from it, the heart is open. It is the open heart which takes the reflection of all impressions coming from outside. It is the open heart which can receive reflections from the Divine Spirit within. It is the openness of heart, again, which gives power and beauty to express oneself; and if it is closed, a man, however learned, cannot express his learning to others. Prophets and Religions The Sufis Conception of God - The Opening of the Breast of the Prophet
There is another stage, where this bewilderment brings a man to see the reflection of the One who has taken possession of his heart. This means also to see one's Beloved in everyone, even in one's enemy. The Beloved is seen in all things, and then the bowl of poison given by the Beloved is not so bitter. Those who, like Christ, have sacrificed themselves and suffered for humanity, have given an example to the world, revealing a God-conscious soul which has reached the stage where even an enemy appears as a friend, as the Beloved. And it is not an unattainable stage, for the soul is made of love and it is going towards the perfection of love. All the virtues man has learned, love has taught him. Therefore this world of good and bad, of thorns and flowers, can become a place of splendor only. The Path of Initiation Sufi Poetry Farid-ud-din Attar
Without humor life is dull and depressing. Humor is the reflection of that divine life and sun which makes life like a day full of sunshine. And a person who reflects divine wisdom and divine joy adds to the expression of his thought when he expresses his ideas with mirth. The Path of Initiation Sufi Poetry Muslih-ud-din- Sadi
There seems to be no trust between
nations, no sympathy, except for their own interest. And what is the outcome
of it? Its impression falls as a reflection, as a shadow upon individuals,
turning them also towards egoism and selfishness. The Path of Initiation
The Problem of the Day World Reconstruction