Mystic Relaxation is of the greatest importance, for the
whole spiritual culture is based and built upon this one subject.
Yet there is so little spoken and written about it. It has been
experienced and studied by the seekers after truth of all ages,
and it is by the full understanding of this subject that they
attained to greater power and inspiration.
Life is rhythm. This rhythm may be divided into three stages,
and at every stage this rhythm changes the nature and character
of life. One rhythm is mobile, another is active, and the third
is chaotic. The mobile rhythm is creative, productive, constructive,
and through that rhythm all power and inspiration are gained,
and peace is experienced. The further stage of that rhythm,
the active rhythm, is the source of success and accomplishment,
of progress and advancement, the source of joy and fulfillment.
And the third stage of this rhythm, the chaotic rhythm, is the
source of failure, of death, of disease and destruction, the
source of all pain and sorrow.
The first kind of rhythm is slow, the second kind is faster,
and the third is faster still. The direction of the first is
direct, of the second even, and of the third zigzag. When one
says that a person is wise and thoughtful, it means that he
is in the first rhythm. When one says that a person is persevering
and successful, he is in the second rhythm. And when it is said
that this person has lost his head and has gone astray, he is
in the third rhythm. He is either digging his own grave or the
grave of his affairs; he is his own enemy. Everything he wants
to accomplish, however much he wants to advance or progress,
all goes down in destruction because he has taken this third
rhythm, the chaotic and destructive rhythm. Therefore it is
up to us to tune ourselves either to the first, to the second,
or the third rhythm, and accordingly this will become our condition
Have planetary influences, then, nothing to do with our life?
Yes, they have, but how do even planetary influences work on
us? If we have put ourselves in a particular rhythm, these influences
have no power to bring about success or failure. If we only
put ourselves in that rhythm there will be a similar result,
and also the environment will react in the same way. If we are
in favorable or in unfavorable, in congenial or uncongenial
surroundings, it all means that we have put ourselves in that
particular rhythm. When we experience success, good luck or
bad luck, good or bad fortune, it is according to the rhythm
we have brought about.
Where is this power to be found, how is it to be realized?
If a person thinks about it, he can very easily realize it physically,
mentally, and spiritually. There is a time when the body is
in a perfectly calm condition, and there is a time when the
body is excited, when the breath has lost its rhythm, is irregular,
uneven; that is a chaotic condition. And when the body has a
regular circulation and proper rhythm and even breath, then
a person is capable of doing things, accomplishing things. When
the body is restful, comfortable, relaxed, we are able to think.
Inspirations, revelations come, we feel quiet, and we have enthusiasm
and power. In Sanskrit the first rhythm is called Sattva, the
second Rajas and the third Tamas. It is from the middle rhythm
that the word Raja has come, which means the one who has persevered
with his sword and made a kingdom. His rhythm is the middle
rhythm. The first rhythm is sometimes called Sand, which makes
one think of the English saint. From this rhythm comes goodness.
In our life at a certain time one rhythm prevails, at another
the second rhythm, and at still another the third. And yet in
our life one rhythm is predominating through all changes, whether
a person has the third, the second, or the first rhythm.
One who has the first rhythm has always power to accomplish
things. And as it is with the body, so it is with the mind.
Body and mind are so closely connected that whatever rhythm
the mind has, the body has. And the rhythm, which is predominating
in body and mind, that same rhythm is the rhythm of one's soul.
There was a king who when a certain problem was brought to
him by his ministers, used to say, 'Read it again;' and the
minister would read it again. Maybe after four times he would
stop him and say, 'Read it again,' and the minister would do
so. And after he had heard it three times, his answer would
be perfect. But what do we sometimes do when we converse with
people? Before the conversation has stopped, we have answered
them. So impatient are we, and eager to answer and excited about
it, that only one in a hundred people stops to listen to what
another has to say.
It is the wrong rhythm, the chaotic rhythm which brings about
chaotic results. Where does war come from? From chaotic action.
When there is chaotic action, nations become involved in war.
By chaotic action the whole world may be involved in war. People
doubt the religious belief of Christ having saved the whole
world. They cannot understand it. They say that man saves himself.
But they do not realize that one man can ruin the whole world
and that one man can save it. It is by rhythm that he can save
the whole world. When there is a chaotic influence it works
like an intoxicating drink in thousands of people, like a germ
of disease, spreading from one person to another through the
whole country. If that is true mechanically, then psychologically
it can be true that one person's chaotic influence can put the
whole world in despair, though it is very difficult for ordinary
people to understand this.
The Turkish nation was greatly depressed on every side, and
the wars had made the country very poor. With nothing but disappointment
all the time it had gone down and down. And then there came
one man, Kamal Pasha, and his rhythm put life into thousands
and thousands of dead souls who were waiting for some result,
hungry from lack of food, disappointed with every effort. And
one man brought cheer to them all and picked up the whole country.
We can see what happened in Italy, where every action was powerless
because of so many different ideas and parties. There was no
united effort, no concentration. After the fatigue of the war,
there came one man, Mussolini, who lifted up the thoughts of
the whole country. And this is only the outer plane. In the
spiritual plane the effect is still more powerful, only those
who work on the spiritual plane do not manifest to view. What
happens in the political world is known, but in the spiritual
world great things happen and they are not known; but their
influence is most powerful; because of their rhythm.
We see this in the life of Napoleon. Some appreciate his
life and some do not. But nevertheless during his wars he was
the inspiration and power and backbone of the whole country.
It was all Napoleon's spirit. And always, even during the greatest
anxieties of war, he used to have moments of silence, even sometimes
on horseback. And while he was having this silence he would
recuperate all strength lost in the continual responsibilities
of war, and he would feel refreshed after having closed his
eyes. What was it? He had the key of relaxation. It is tuning
oneself to a desired rhythm.
We should not be surprised or laugh at sages who keep one
hand raised up, or stand perhaps on their head with their feet
up, or sit in one posture for a long time. There is some reason
for it. Those artists who know the different ways of the art
of relaxation know how to bring about a relaxed condition in
the body and mind. I myself, continually for about twelve years,
had only three hours sleep at night and sometimes not even that.
And all those twelve years I was never ill. I had all the strength
necessary and was perfectly well because of the practice of
The question is how does one relax? It is not by sitting
silent with closed eyes; for when the mind is giving attention
to the body by thought or feeling, then the body is not relaxed,
because the mind is torturing the body. And when feeling is
giving attention to the mind, then the mind is tortured. And
this torture, even if the eyes are closed, even if we are sitting
in a certain posture, does no good. With relaxation one should
consider three points of view: the point of view of the physical
body, the point of view of the mind, and the point of view of
the feeling. The point of view of the physical body is that
one must accustom oneself to get power over, or to have influence
on, one's circulation and pulsation. And one can do that with
the power of thought and with the power of will together with
breath. By will power one can bring about a certain condition
in one's body so that one's circulation takes a certain rhythm.
It is decreased according to will. One can do the same in regulating
one's pulsation by the power of will. No sooner has the will
taken in hand the circulation and the pulsation of the body,
than the will has in hand a meditation for hours. It is for
this reason that sages can meditate for hours on end, because
they have mastered their circulation. They can breathe at will,
slower or quicker. And when there is no tension on one's nervous
or on one's muscular system, then one gets a repose that ten
days sleep cannot bring about. Therefore to have relaxation
does not mean to sit quiet. It is to be able to remove tension
from one's system – from one's circulation,
one's pulsation, and one's nervous and muscular systems.
How does one relax the mind? The method for relaxation of
the mind is first to make the mind tired. He who does not know
the exercise for making the mind tired can never relax his mind.
Concentration is the greatest action one can give to one's mind,
because the mind is held in position on a certain thing. After
that it will relax naturally and when it relaxes it will gain
Relaxation of feeling is achieved by feeling deeply. The
Sufis in the East in their meditation have music played that
stirs up the emotions to such a degree that the poem they hear
becomes a reality. Then comes the reaction, which is relaxation.
All that was blocked up, every congestion is broken down. And
inspiration, power, and a feeling of joy and exaltation come
It is by these three kinds of relaxation that one becomes
prepared for the highest relaxation, which is to relax the whole
being: body in repose, mind at rest, heart at peace. It is that
experience which may be called Nirvana, the ideal of thinkers
and meditative souls. It is that which they want to reach, for
in it there is everything. In that condition each person becomes
for the time as a drop that is assimilated or submerged in its
origin. And being submerged for one moment means that all that
belongs to the origin is attracted by this drop, because the
origin is the essence of all. The drop has taken from its origin
everything it has in life. It is newly charged and has become