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Volume I - The Way of Illumination

Section III - The Soul: Whence and Whither?

Part II


After the soul has passed through the sphere of the jinns it arrives on the physical plane. What helps this soul to come on to the physical plane? What opens the way for this new-coming soul to enter physical existence? The coming soul enters the physical sphere by the channel of the breath. Breath is the power at the back of every action. It works as a battery, which keeps the physical mechanism of the human body going. The secret of birth and death is to be found in the mystery of the breath. What is Cupid? It is the soul, which is being born. Before it appears on the physical plane it is pictured by the wise as a cupid or angel; it is an angel, for the soul itself is the angel.

Duality in every aspect of life, and on whatever plane, is creative; and its issue is the purpose and the outcome of the dual aspect of nature. The affinity which brings about the fulfillment of the purpose is the phenomenon of Cupid; in reality it is the phenomenon of the soul.

When the soul is born on earth its first expression is a cry. Why does it cry? Because it finds itself in a new place which is all strange to it. It finds itself in captivity, which it has not experienced before. Every person, every object is new, and is something foreign to this soul; but soon this condition passes away. Soon the senses of the infant become acquainted with the outer life which so continually attracts its attention. It first becomes interested in breathing the air of the world, then in hearing the sounds, and then in seeing the objects before it; then in touching them and then its taste develops. The more familiar the soul becomes with this physical world the more interested it becomes; though sometimes it shows homesickness in the fits of crying that it so often has during its infancy. It is not always illness; it is not always that it is crying for things outside. No doubt, as it grows it longs for things outside itself; but it often cries from the feeling of having been removed from a place which was more pleasant and comfortable, and having come to a foreign land of which it knows so little. It is this which causes the infant to have fits of crying.

The wisdom of nature is perfect; and there is no better vision of the splendor of the divine wisdom for the thinker than a child in its early infancy. If the senses of an infant were developed, as are the senses of a grown-up person, it would lose its reason from the sudden pressure of the physical world falling instantly upon it. Its delicate senses would not have been able to stand the pressure of so many and various and intense activities of this world. How marvelously the wisdom behind it works, the wisdom which is the evidence of the divine Protector, Father, Mother, Creator, the support and protection of all; so that the senses of the child develop gradually as it becomes more familiar with life. The more it knows the more its mind expands; and it cannot know more than its mind can grasp. So that in every way an infant is protected in both mind and body.

When the soul comes into the physical world it receives an offering from the whole universe; and that offering is the body in which to function. It is not offered to the soul only by the parents, but by the ancestors, by the nation and race into which the soul is born, and by the whole human race. This body is not only an offering of the human race, but is an outcome of something that the whole world has produced for ages; a clay which has been kneaded a thousand times over; a clay which has been prepared so that in its very development it has become more intelligent, more radiant, and more living; a clay which appeared first in the mineral kingdom, which developed in the vegetable kingdom, which then appeared as the animal, and which was finished in the making of that body which is offered to the new-coming human soul. One may ask, 'It is not true then, as some scientists say in their biological study, that man has risen from the animal kingdom?' Certainly it is true; but true in the sense explained above.

We need not understand by this that every rock turned into a plant, and every plant into an animal, and every animal into a man. The soul is direct from heaven; it functions in a body, and it is this body through which it experiences life on the earth more fully. Rocks, trees and animals, therefore, may not be considered as the ancestors of the soul. It is the body which is the outcome of the activity of all these different kingdoms, which are the development of one another. A question arises, 'Why must a soul function in a human body? Why not in an animal, bird or insect?' The answer is that it does so function. Every soul is not the same ray, has not the same illumination, the same far-reaching power, or the same volume of light; and therefore it is true that souls do not only function in a human body, but in all forms, however insignificant and small.

What about rocks, mountains, seas and rivers? Are they not the outcome of the soul? Nature in general in its various aspects is the materialization of that Light which is called divine Spirit; but not everything in nature has what man understands by soul, for he recognizes only that ray which functions in the human body as a soul. He does not recognize the ray which functions in the lower creation to be the same, although it comes from the same source. There are two things: there are the rays, and there is light from which they spring. If the rays are the souls of living beings, then the light of that same divine Sun is the spirit of the whole of nature. It is the same light; but not divided, not distinct, as are the rays which we call souls. Why has nature its different aspects? If the spirit behind it is one, why is everything in nature separate and different? Creation is a gradual evolution of that light which is the source and goal of all beings. For instance, plant-life is a development of the mineral kingdom, animal life of the vegetable kingdom, and human life the culmination of this evolution. But this culmination is only the finishing of the vehicle which the soul uses; by this evolution the soul is not evolved. This evolution only means that the soul has adopted a more finished instrument in order to experience life more fully. No doubt the better the instrument the greater the satisfaction of the soul. When one looks from this point of view at the whole creation one feels it to be the truth that not only man, but the whole of manifestation, was created in the image of God.


The soul which has already brought with it from the angelic heavens a luminous body, and from the sphere of the jinn a body full of impressions, functions in the end in the human body which the physical plane offers it; and it settles for some time in this abode. This completes what we understand by the word individuality. These three planes, which are the principal planes of existence, are called in the terms of Vedanta: Bhu-Loka, Deva-Loka, Svar-Loka, meaning three worlds: Bhu-Loka the physical world, Deva-Loka the world of the jinns, and Svar-Loka the world of the angels. The human being therefore has all three beings in him, the angel, the jinn, and man. What man acquires on the earth is the experience gained by the means of his senses, an experience which he himself goes through; and it is this experience which  man collects in that accommodation within himself which he calls the heart. The surface of the heart, which is the collection of his knowledge, he calls the mind. This word comes from the Sanskrit Manas, mind, and from this word 'man' has come.

Man shows the signs of the angelic heavens and the sphere of the jinn by his tendencies; his tendency towards light, truth, love and righteousness; his love of God; his seeking for the truth of life. This all shows the angel in him.

In his longing for beauty, in his attraction towards art, in his love for music, in his appreciation of poetry, in his tendency to produce, to create, to express, he shows signs of the sphere of the jinn. And the impressions which constitute his being, which he has brought as a heritage from the sphere of the jinn, which have been imparted to him by the souls on their way back towards the goal, he shows as something peculiar and different from what his family possess.

No doubt it often happens that a child possesses qualities of his ancestors which were perhaps missing in his parents, or even two or three generations back; however, this is another heritage, a heritage which is known to us as such. I might express this by saying that a soul borrows a property from the spheres of the jinn, and a more concrete property from the physical world; and as it borrows this property, together with this transaction it takes upon itself the taxation and the obligations as well as the responsibilities which are attached to the property. Very often the property is not in proper repair, and damage has been done to it, and it falls to his lot to repair it; and if there be a mortgage on that property that becomes his due. Together with the property he becomes the owner of the records and the contracts of the property which he owns. In this is to be found the secret of what is called Karma.

What makes the soul know of its own existence? Something, with which it adorns itself, something which it adopts, possesses, owns and uses. For instance, what makes a king know that he is a king? His palace, his kingly environment, people standing before him in attendance; if all that were absent the soul would be no king. Therefore the king is a palace, and it is the consciousness of the environment which makes the soul feel, 'I am so and so.' What it adorns itself with makes it say, 'I am this or that.' Otherwise by origin it is something nameless, formless.

On the earth-plane the personality develops out of the individuality. The soul is an individual from the moment it is born upon the earth in the worldly sense of the word; but it becomes a person as it grows. For personality is the development of individuality, and in personality, which is formed by character-building, is born that spirit which is the rebirth of the soul. The first birth is the birth of man; the second birth is the birth of God.

The law that governs the soul's manifestation may be divided into three parts: that of the angelic heavens, that of the sphere of the jinn, and that of the world of man, or the physical plane.

In the angelic heavens there are no distinct impressions; but there is a tuning. The soul is tuned to a certain pitch by the law of vibration, high or low according to the impression it receives from the souls coming back home. In this tuning it gets, so to speak, a tone and rhythm which directs its path towards the world of the jinn. Souls in themselves are not different in the angelic heavens, as they are immediately next to that of the divine Being. If there is a difference of souls in the angelic heavens, it is the difference of more or less radiance, and the longer or shorter scope of their range.

That which attracts souls from the sphere of the jinn to the human world is what they receive from the souls who are homeward bound. In accordance with this they take their direction towards the physical world. If I were to give this idea in a more expressive form, I would say it is like a person whose heart is tuned to love and light, and to the appreciation and admiration of beauty. He will certainly take a direction towards a greater beauty, and will seek such friends to be with and learn from as seem to him in some way similar to his nature or ideal. This is an example of the soul which is attracted from the angelic heavens to the sphere of the jinn. A person who has studied music and practiced through his life will certainly seek the association of musical friends, artists, singers, composers and lovers of music. Among these he will find his friends, his comrades; and so a soul from the sphere of the jinn is directed according to its love for certain things on the physical plane. This shows that God does not thrust certain conditions upon the souls going towards manifestation, but in this manner they choose them.

A person may say, 'But no soul can have chosen miserable conditions for itself!' The answer to this we find before us in this world. Many here cause their own miseries; they may not know it, they may not admit it; nevertheless many of man's joys and sorrows are caused by himself. This does not mean that this is the only law that governs life. This is a law which answers the question that rises out of common sense. But if one raised one's head from this world of illusion and looked up, and asked God, 'Tell me the secret and the mystery of Thy creation,' one would hear in answer that every thing and being is put in its own place, and each is busy carrying out that work which has to be done in the whole scheme of nature. Life is a symphony; and the action of every person in this symphony is the playing of his particular part in the music.

When the war was going on all people were called to arms, and were placed where they were needed regardless of their profession, qualifications or moral standard. The reason was that the 'call of the purpose' was the first consideration. If there is anything which will bring peace to the thinker it is the understanding of this. The thought, 'I am suffering now because of my sins in a past life', may bring an answer to the inquiring and reasoning mind and stop it from rebelling for the moment. But will this take away the irritation that the misery is causing in the heart? Will that mind ever excuse God for having so severely judged him? He may own his mistakes of the past, but will he ever believe in God as a God of love and compassion, as a God of mercy, or as a God of forgiveness?


The soul comes on earth rich or poor, ripened or unripened, through three phases where it has either enriched or lost its opportunity. It takes light from the angelic heavens, knowledge from the sphere of the jinn, and it inherits qualities from its parents and ancestors on the earth-plane.

Of the things which it has collected on its way to manifestation on the earth it has made that accommodation which is called the mind. The body in which the soul functions on the physical plane also contributes to the soul the properties of all the worlds to which it has belonged: the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal kingdoms. It is for this reason that man is called a universe in himself; for man consists in himself of all that is in heaven and all that is on earth. The Quran tells how God made man His representative on earth, His chief in whose care the universe was given.

Man shows in his life traces of all the conditions through which the clay that makes his body has gone. There are atoms of his body which represent the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom; all these are represented in him. Not only his body but his mind shows the reflection of all the kingdoms through which it has passed. For the mind is the medium between heaven and earth. Man experiences heaven when conscious of his soul; he experiences the earth when conscious of his body. Man experiences that plane which is between heaven and earth when he is conscious of his mind. Man shows by his stupidity the mineral kingdom, which is in him, thick, and hard; he shows by his pliability the vegetable kingdom, by his productive and creative faculties, which bring forth the flowers and fruits of his life from his thoughts and deeds. Man shows the traces of the animal kingdom in him by his passions, emotions, and attachments, by his willingness for service and usefulness. And if one were to say what represents the human in him, the answer is all things, all the attributes of earth and heaven; the stillness, hardness and strength of the stone; the fighting nature, the tendency to attachment from the animals; the fruitfulness and usefulness of the vegetable kingdom; the inventive, artistic, poetical and musical genius of the sphere of the jinn; the beauty, illumination, love, calm and peace of the angelic planes. All these put together make man. The human soul consists of all. And thus culminates in that purpose for which the whole creation has taken place.

The soul manifested on the earth is not at all disconnected with the higher spheres. It lives in all spheres, but knows mostly one sphere, ignorant of the others, on which it turns its back. Thus the soul becomes deprived of the heavenly bliss, and conscious of the troubles and limitations of life on the earth. It is not the truth that Adam was put out of the Garden of Eden; he only turned his back on it, which made him an exile from heaven. The souls of seers, Saints, masters and prophets are conscious of the different spheres. It is therefore that they are connected with the worlds of the angels and jinns, and with the Spirit if God.

The condition of the former is like that of a captive imprisoned on the ground floor of the house, he has no access to the other floors of the building, and that of the latter is that he has access to all the different floors of the building  wherever he may wish to dwell. The secret of life is that every soul by its nature is an Asman or Akasha, an accommodation, and has in it an appetite; and of all that it takes it creates a cover which surrounds it as a shell, and the life of that shell becomes dependent upon the same substance of which it is made. Therefore the shell becomes susceptible to all influences, and subject to the laws of that sphere from which it seeks its sustenance; or rather, the sustenance of the shell. The soul cannot see itself; it sees what is round it, it sees that in which it functions; and so it enjoys the comforts of the shell which is around it, and experiences the pains and discomforts which belong to the shell. And in this way it becomes an exile from the land of its birth, which is the Being of God, which is divine Spirit; and it seeks consciously or unconsciously once again the peace and happiness of home. God therefore is not the goal but the abode of the soul, its real self, its true being.

There are five spheres of which the soul can be conscious. What are these spheres? They are the different shells, each shell having its own world.

The first sphere of which man becomes conscious after his birth on earth is Nasut, a sphere which is commonly known as the physical plane. How are the comforts and discomforts of this sphere experienced? By the medium of the physical body; and when there is something wrong with an organ of the senses the soul is deprived of that particular experience that it would like to have on this physical plane. The physical body is susceptible to all changes of climate and becomes dependent in its experience and expression, thus making the soul dependent and limited. Therefore, with all the riches that the world can give, man, who is only conscious of this sphere is limited. 'God is free from all wants, it is ye that are needy,' says the Quran.

Malakut is the next sphere, the sphere of thought and imagination, where there is a greater freedom and less limitation than is experienced on the physical plane. A man with thought and imagination can add to life that comfort and beauty which is lacking on the physical plane. And the more real his imagination becomes the more conscious of that sphere of mind he proves to be. This sphere of mind is his world, not smaller than this world, but much larger; a world which can accommodate all that the universe holds, and still there would be a place in it to be filled.

The third sphere, Jabarut, is a sphere in which the soul is at home. In the waking state the soul of the average man only touches this sphere for a moment at a time. Man does not know where he is at that moment. He calls it abstraction. Do they not say when a person is not listening that he is not here? Every soul is lifted up to that sphere, even if it be for only a moment, and the life and light with which the soul is charged in that sphere enable it to live on this earth the life full of struggles and difficulties.

Nothing in the world could give man the strength that is needed to live a life on the earth if there were not blessings from heaven reaching him from time to time, of which he is so little aware.

The other two spheres are experienced in sleep; but they are not different spheres; they are only different because they are experienced in sleep. They are Malakut, which is experienced in dreams the world of mind, of thought and imagination; and Jabarut, the state of deep sleep when even the mind is still. This sleep frees the suffering patient from pain, and gives to the prisoner freedom from his prison; it takes away from the mind its load of worry and anxiety, and removes from the body every exhaustion and tiredness. Bringing to mind and body repose, rest and peace; so that after man has wakened from his deep sleep he feels comfortable, rested, invigorated, as if a new life had come to him. One would give anything in the world to have a deep sleep, though so few know its value. That state of Malakut is reached while in the waking state by the great thinkers. The great inventive minds and the gifted artists; and it is experienced by the seers and sages. It is to experience this that all the concentrations are given by spiritual teachers to their disciples. This fuller experience is also called Lahut.

Still another experience is Hahut, a further stage which is experienced by souls who have reached the most high spiritual attainment, which is called Samadhi in Vedantic terms. In this experience a person is conscious of Jabarut while awake; and this state he brings about at will. Though for the sake of convenience these spheres are explained as five spheres, yet chiefly they are three: Nasut, the plane of the world of man, Malakut, the sphere of the jinn and Jabarut, the angelic world.

Now there is the question if a soul by rising to all these spheres becomes conscious of the sphere of the jinn and of the angelic heavens, or if it only sees within itself its self-made world of mind, and the spheres of joy and peace within itself. The answer is first it sees its own world by rising to the sphere called Malakut. It experiences the joy and peace which belong to its own heart. And which are of its own being. But that is only one part of spiritual attainment. This part of the attainment is the way of the Yogi. The way in which the Sufi differs from the Yogi is in his expansion; and it is these two sides of the journey which are pictured by the two lines of the cross, the perpendicular and the horizontal. The perpendicular line shows a progress straight within from Nasut to Jabarut, experiencing one's self within; but that which the horizontal line denotes is expansion. The Sufi therefore tries to expand as he progresses; for it is the largeness of the soul which will accommodate all experiences and in the end will become God-conscious and all-embracing. The man, who shuts himself up from all men, however high spiritually he may be, will not be free in Malakut, in the higher sphere. He will have a wall around him, keeping away the jinns and even the angels of the angelic heavens; and so his journey will be exclusive. It is therefore that Sufism does not only teach concentration and meditation, which help one to make one-sided progress, but the love of God which is expansion; the opening of the heart of all beings, which is the way of Christ and the sign of the cross.


Every person shows from his earthly heritage a nature, which is one of four types: The first is that of the idealist, who lives in the world for his ideals; a man of principles, intelligent, modest, moderate in everything, patient; and a man with refined manners, dreamy by nature, or a deep thinker; a man of dignity who guards his reputation as one would take care of a thin glass. His contact with the earth is like that of a bird who builds its nest upon a tree in the air, descends to the earth to pick up a grain when hungry, and then flies off. He dwells on the earth because he is born on the earth, but in reality he lives in his thoughts. The earth and all that belongs to the earth is his need, not his want.

The second type is that of the artist; an artist not necessarily by profession, but by nature. Artistic by temperament, this man shows discrimination in his love; he is distinct in his likes and dislikes; subtle, clever, witty, observing conventions, and yet not bound by them; one who notices everything, and yet does not show himself fully; elusive by nature, yet tender and affectionate; fine and simple, social and yet detached. He is like a deer in the woods, who is one moment in one part of the forest, and at another quite a distance away. One may think by coming into contact with him that one has got him, but at the next moment one will find him far away from one's reach. This is the type of man of whom many say, 'I cannot understand him.'

The third is the material man, material in his outlook, devoid of the love of beauty, concerned only with what he needs, clever but not wise. He lives all through life in the pursuit of earthly gains, ignorant of the beauty life can offer, looking hopefully from day to day to that gain for which he is working. One might say that he is waiting for the day when his ships will arrive.

The fourth is a man with mundane desires, who enjoys his food and drink; what he thinks about is his bodily comfort, his momentary pleasures, his passing joys; the slave of his passions and captive to the things of the earth. He is uninterested in every thing but himself. He belongs to no one, nor does anyone in reality belong to him. He is happy-go-lucky by nature, yet susceptible to depression and despair. One might say that he lives to eat.

These four different qualities belong to the body that the earth offers to the soul; the third and fourth classes more than the first and second. It is thus that one can trace back the origin of this clay that the soul has adorned and called 'myself'; this clay that has passed through so many different conditions while being kneaded. It developed through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms and then of it was made the image of man. 'Verily in man is reflected all that is on the earth and in heaven.'

The questions, why do souls come on earth? why has this creation taken place? what is the purpose of this manifestation? may be answered in one word: satisfaction; for the satisfaction of God. Why is God not satisfied without it? Because God is the only Being, and the nature of being is to become conscious of being. This consciousness experiences life through various channels, names and forms; and in man this consciousness of being reaches its culmination. In plain words, through man God experiences life at its highest perfection. If anyone then asks, 'What is man's duty if that be the purpose?' the answer is, that his most sacred duty is to attain to that perfect consciousness which is his Dharma, his true religion. In order to perform his duty he may have to struggle with himself, he may have to go through suffering and pain, he may have to pass many tests and trials. By making many sacrifices, and practicing renunciation, he will attain that consciousness which is God-consciousness, in which resides all perfection.

But why must man suffer and sacrifice for God? At the end of his suffering and sacrifice he will find that though he began to do so for God, it has proved to be for himself. It is the foolishly selfish who is selfish, and the wisely selfish proves to be selfless.

Now comes the question how this consciousness may be attained. It is to be attained by self-realization. First man must analyze himself, and find out of what he is composed, He is composed of spirit and matter. He consists in himself of the mineral, vegetable and animal worlds, the jinn and the angel; and it is his work to balance all these knowing that he has neither been created to be as spiritual as an angel, nor to be as material as an animal. And when he strikes the happy medium he will certainly tread the path which is meant for a human being to tread, the path which leads straight to the goal. 'Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way'; narrow because any step taken on either side will lead to some other path. Balance is the keynote of spiritual attainment. In order to attain to God-consciousness the first condition is to make God a reality, so that He is no longer an imagination. No sooner is the God-ideal brought to life than the worshipper of God turns into truth. There is no greater religion than truth. Then truth no longer is the object of his seeking; then truth becomes his being, and in the light of that absolute Truth he finds all knowledge. No question remains unanswered; that continual question that arises in the heart of man, 'why?' then becomes non-existent, for with the rising of every' why?' rises its answer. The moment a man has become the owner of a house, then he becomes acquainted with all there is in it; it is the stranger who finds it difficult to find any room in the house, not the one who lives in it; he knows about the whole house. What is rooted out in the quest of truth is ignorance; it is entirely removed from the heart, and the outlook becomes wide; as wide as the Eye of God; therein is born the divine Spirit, the spirit, which is called Divinity.

The sphere of the jinn has as many worlds as there are planets in the universe; as many and as different from one another as the planets in the universe; yet not so far apart, not so much out of communication with each other. The heaven of the angels is created on the same model. But is it on the model of the heaven of the angels that our universe has been molded, and also that of the jinns? What is the life there? What is it like? It is difficult to explain, and difficult to put into words, but for example one might see the difference in the life of the birds which can fly over seas and forests, over hills and dales, and feel in tune with nature, and express their joy in song. Then the deer in the woods dwelling in the caves of the mountains, drinking water at the natural springs, moving about in the open spaces, looking at the horizon from morning till evening, the sun their timekeeper and the moon serving as their torch. And then imagine our lives, the lives of human beings in crowded cities, days in the factories and nights indoors away from God, away from nature, even away from self; a life fully absorbed in the struggle for existence, an ever-increasing struggle to which there is no end. There is the picture which helps us to imagine what life the angels live in the highest heavens, what life the jinns live in the middle heaven, and to compare our life as human beings in the universe with their lives.

Are there suns, are there moons, in their worlds as in ours? Yes, this outer solar system is the reflection of the inner solar system. What difference is there between time, our conception of time, and the idea of time they have there? There is an incomparable difference. No words will give the exact idea of the comparison between these conceptions of time; but for the sake of convenience let us say that our year is the hour of the jinns and the moment of the angels.

Are there angels and jinns of longer and shorter lives, as with men on earth? Certainly there are; but there is no comparison between the length of their life and that of the human being. Are there differences among the jinns and the angels as among men of different kinds? Indeed there are; but among the jinns not so many as among men; still less among the angels.

What about the time that every soul spends in the heavens of the angels and the sphere of the jinns? The speed of every soul is different. It is according to the speed with which they manifest; it is a different dimension. The difference in speed is like traveling on the earth, sailing on the water, and flying through the air. Difference in speed between different souls may be likened to one child advancing in its thought so that it may learn in ten years things which another could not learn in a hundred years of life on the earth. Nevertheless, as they say, 'Slow and sure.' Souls with balance and rhythm throughout their manifestation learn and experience much more than by a rapid run through the heavens.


The word Akasha in the language of the Hindus is expressive of a meaning that explains its object. Akasha means accommodation; not necessarily what man calls the sky, although the sky is an accommodation. On the model of the Akasha the whole creation has been based. The organs of the senses, the ears, the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth are all different aspects of Akasha and thus is the human body constructed. The purpose of this construction can be found in its own nature; as the purpose of the ears is in hearing, of the nostrils in breathing, of the eyes in seeing, so is the purpose of the whole body.

The purpose of the body is to experience life fully. The body becomes a vehicle for the intelligence by which it is able to experience life fully. In order to make sound more audible people build domes and other places where resonance is produced and the voice and the words become more clear. So the construction of the body is intended to make all that is perceptible clear. By nature the body is the vehicle of the intelligence or the soul, by which it experiences life fully. But as man has lived for generations a life of increasing artificiality, he has moved farther and farther from nature; therefore this vehicle which was made a perfect instrument to experience life fully has become less and less capable of attaining that object. It is this incapability of experiencing life fully, and the innate desire to experience it, which makes the soul strive for spiritual attainment. What man does not know he thinks does not exist; in this is to be found the origin of materialism. But the tendency towards spiritual realization remains there as an innate desire which is consciously or unconsciously felt by every soul, whether spiritual or material. It is for this reason that even a material person has a silent craving in his heart to probe the depth of the very spiritual ideal which he disowns. The work of the senses is to experience, to taste, smell, touch, hear, and see; but besides these senses there is the inner sense which is one sense. It is by experiencing through the different organs of the senses that this one sense becomes many senses. It is the same sense which hears, smells, tastes, feels, touches; but because it experiences life through different organs, man divides one sense into five senses. The depth of that sense which is the inner sense is more subtle than one can imagine. When that sense finds a free expression it not only experiences life more keenly through the organs of the senses, but it becomes independent of the organs of sense. It penetrates through life deeply, and as Kabir says, 'It sees without eyes and hears without ears.' The reason is this: that all that exists is contained in an accommodation, in the Akasha, and by being in Akasha the nature of all things is revealing.

In fact there is nothing in this world which does not speak. Everything and every being is continually calling out its nature, its character and its secret; and the more the inner sense is open, the more it becomes capable of hearing the voice of all things. In every person this sense exists, but for the most part, hidden, buried; and its being buried gives discomfort, for it is something which is living, the only living being there is. The idea of the 'lost word' has its secret in this; when once this inner sense has broken the walls which keep it enclosed, it breathes the freedom and happiness which belong to the soul; the soul attains. Every discomfort, from whatever source, comes through the lack of understanding. The more the inner sense is covered, the more the soul finds itself in obscurity. It is for this reason that the sign of the enlightened soul is readiness to understand; therefore these souls are easy to conciliate. When a person himself understands better, he can make another person understand better also. But when a person is perplexed himself, instead of making another person understand, he confuses him. In this way differences are produced.

The organs of the senses are the Akashas or accommodations of grosser and finer nature. The finer the organ the more perception it has; the grossness takes away from the organ its power of perception.

This shows that the body may be likened to a glass house made of mirrors. In Persian language the poets have called it Aina Khana, meaning the 'temple of mirrors'. The eye stands as a mirror before all that is visible; it reflects all that it sees. The ears are the accommodation for the re-echo of every sound that falls upon them; in other words they are the mirror of every sound.  The senses of touch and of taste are grosser than the senses of sight and hearing. At the same time their nature is the same; all the different sweet, sour and salt savors, and the feeling of warmth and cold, are perceived by them, and they stand as mirrors in which taste and touch are reflected. Therefore, as one sees oneself reflected in the mirror, so this body stands as a mirror in which every experience of the outer life is reflected, and is made clear. If the mirror is dusty it does not reflect the image clearly, so the experience of life is not clear when the body is not looked after according to the spiritual point of view.

The Sufis say that the body is the Temple of God; but the right interpretation of this saying would be that the body is made to be the Temple of God; a temple cannot be called a Temple of God if God is not brought and placed there. So it is natural when a soul feels depressed that there is something wrong with the vehicle. When the writer wishes to work, and the pen is not in order, it annoys him; there is nothing the matter with the writer; it is the pen which is not right. No discomfort comes from the soul; the soul is happy by nature; the soul is happiness itself. It becomes unhappy when something is the matter with its vehicle, which is its instrument, its tool, with which to experience life. Care of the body, therefore, is the first and the most important principle of religion. Piety without this thought is of little significance.

The soul manifests in this world in order that it may experience the different phases of manifestation, and yet may not lose its way and be lost, but may attain to its original freedom, in addition to the experience and knowledge it has gained in this world. The different exercises that the Sufis and Yogis do in order to enable the mind and body to experience life more fully, exercises such as fasting, pose, posture, movement, they all help to train the body, that it may become a fitting vehicle for the experience of life. Wonder-working, such as psychometry, feeling the atmosphere of places, of objects, of people, comes when the body is also prepared for it.

A person may be intelligent, clever, learned, good or pious, and yet his sense of perception may not be fully awake. It must be remembered as the first principle of life that manifestation was destined for keener observation of life within and without.

The greatest unhappiness that a person feels is from lack of mastery; the unhappiness comes when knowing his mastery he yet cannot practice that which he knows. Sadness comes from limitation, limitation in different forms: lack of perception, lack of power over oneself, or over conditions, or from the lack of that substance which is happiness itself, which is love.

There is sometimes lack of understanding, though there may be love, or lack of love through lack of understanding; there may be both things and lack of power. If love has reached perfection it will attain all three powers; when love becomes power, it becomes understanding. The nature of love is as the nature of water in the depths of the earth. If one does not dig deep enough one finds sand, not water; but when one digs deep enough one finds water. Many lovers of God lose patience, trust and hope; they have touched sand and not reached water, but when they have dug deep enough they find pure water.

As there are different organs of senses, so there are five centers of inner perception. These centers are seats of the intuitive faculties. Two among them are of great importance: the heart and the head. If the Sufi training differs from that of the Yogis, it is in the training of both these centers together, by which the Sufi achieves balance. The head without the heart shows dry intellect. The heart without the head represents an unbalanced condition. Balance is the use of both these faculties. The Sufi training is based upon this principle.

The centers may be likened to the space that one finds in the apple. It is an Akasha, an accommodation, where not only scent, touch, hearing and sight are perceived, but even the thought and feeling of another; the condition in the atmosphere, the pleasure and displeasure of one's fellow man are perceived, and if the sense of perception is keener, then even past, present and future can be perceived. When man does not perceive in this way it does not mean that it is foreign to his nature; it only means that the soul has not developed that power of perception in his body. The absence of such fine perception naturally causes depression and confusion, for the soul longs for a keen perception; and it feels confused, and at times agitated, owing to a lack of a fuller perception, as the person who is blind feels nervous agitation, because the inner longing is to see, and when the organ of sight fails he becomes agitated.

This is generally the cause in many souls who feel restless. And the life man lives is a life of artificiality, it works against him. It is not necessary to read the ancient traditions to find out the truth about this. Today in the people who live a less artificial life, a more simple life, a life in and near nature, the intuitive faculties are more keen, and these people show a greater happiness.

The centers become blocked by certain foods and by living a more materialistic life. They are located in certain places; and as there are some plants in the caves of the mountains where the sun and the air do not reach, and it is difficult for the plants to live, so are the centers of perception located in the physical body; the body is nourished by food, but these centers remain without any nourishment.

The physical body is made of matter, its sustenance is matter; but the centers of perception are of still finer matter, and though they are located in the physical body, no nourishment can reach them, except that which is drawn through the breath, the fine substance which is not even visible. In the language of the mystics it is called Nur, which means light. The body does not only want food, but also breath, in other words vibration, and that vibration is given to it by the repetition of sacred words. The sounds, the vowels, and the composition of the sacred words is chemical, and it is this process which was called by the ancient philosophers Alchemy. These centers are the Akasha or domes where every sound has its echo, and the echo once produced in this Akasha or Asman reaches all other Asmans which exist within and without. Therefore the repetition of a sacred word has not only to do with oneself and one's life, but it spreads and rises higher than man can imagine, and wider than he can perceive. Verily every action sets in movement every atom of the universe.

When once the inner sense has become keen it shows its development first by working through the organs of the senses. The vision becomes clearer, the hearing becomes keener, the sense of touch felt more keenly, the sense of taste and smell clearer. Therefore among those who tread the mystic path one finds many who are sensitive, and become more sensitive as they develop spiritually. As the standard of health known by the average person is much beneath the mystical ideal, so to the uninitiated the sensitiveness of a person of mystical temperament may often seem peculiar. At the same time when this sensitiveness is developed by spiritual training, and is under control, it manifests as the first quality in the life of a seer. The body, which covers the soul, keeps it blind by depriving it of its freedom of expression and of keener perception. It is like a captivity for the soul. When the centers of the body are awakened and at work, then the soul experiences life more clearly, and naturally clouds which give depression clear away. The soul begins to look forward to life with hope, with trust, and with courage; and thus attains that power and understanding which is needed in the struggle through life.

When a little more advanced, the intelligence begins to see through the eyes what every eye cannot see: the finer forces of nature manifesting in color and form. There are many who talk much about this, and some who know and say little, for they do not see wisdom in speaking about something which their neighbor does not see. And among those who speak much about seeing things which others do not see, there is hardly one who really sees.

There is no doubt that, as the sight becomes keen, first the colors of different elements working in nature manifest to the view; secondly, the atmosphere that is created around man, which is composed of semi-material atoms also becomes manifest. This is what is called the aura. The different colors of this aura express the meaning, for there is nothing in this world which is without meaning. The one who pursues the meaning of life in all its aspects hears again in the end the Word which was once lost for him. No doubt the life of a sensitive person becomes difficult, especially when one has to live among the crowd. It is for this reason the Brahmins lived an exclusive life, which has been criticized by some who do not know the meaning of it. Different practices of breathing are a great help in training both mind and body to make them more perceptive, in order that they may become fitting vehicles to fulfill the purpose of life.


The mind is made after the body. It is therefore that its form is that of the body. We read in the Old Testament that the heavens were made after the earth; the real place where the heavens are made is within man. The mind is made of all one learns, one experiences, one loves and one remembers. It is therefore that man is that which his mind contains. If his mind contains a sorrow, a man is sorrowful; if his mind contains joy, he is joyous, if it contains success, he is successful; if it contains failure, failure awaits him, everywhere he moves he finds failure. The mind is an accommodation in which man collects all that he learns and experiences in life. In short, man is his mind. How true therefore the claim of the Dervishes when, sitting on the bare earth cloaked in rags, they address one another, 'O King of Kings, O Monarch of Monarchs!' That is their usual way of addressing one another. Their voice is that of true democracy; for this claim of theirs is the expression of their being conscious of the Kingdom of God. The mind is not only the treasure-house of all one learns, but it is creative by nature. The mind improvises upon what it learns, and creates not only in imagination, but it finishes its task when the imagination becomes materialized. The heavens and the infernal regions are both the creations of the mind and are experienced in the mind.

But the question arises, is the body not born with a mind? did the mind not exist before the body? Yes, it did exist; it existed as Akasha or accommodation. Was this accommodation formed on any special model or design? The first design of this Akasha is molded upon the impression that falls deeply upon the soul, the soul coming towards manifestation from the infinite Spirit. If we picture the infinite Spirit as the sun, The soul is like its ray. The nature of the soul is to gather on its way all that it can gather, and to make a mold out of it.

It is this impression that has helped to form the first mold of the mind. It manifests its original nature and character through the body with which it is connected and identified. The impression of the nature and character of the parents, of the ancestry, of the nation and race, follows after the first impression that the soul has taken on its way. If it happens to be the impression of one personality, falling upon the mind going towards manifestation the distinct characteristics of a certain personality who has lived in the past will show clearly in the life of that person. It is in this that the secret of the doctrine of reincarnation, which the Hindus hold, can be recognized. There are souls that come from the Infinite existence to the finite, and there are souls who return from the finite existence to the Infinite, and their meeting-ground is on the way. It may be one impression or it may be several impressions which help to mold this Akasha, which, after it is once connected with the body, becomes the mind; for the mind is not complete until it is filled with the knowledge and experience the soul gains by the help of the physical body.

The mind is not the brain. The mind is a capacity, an Akasha, which contains all the experiences we have in life, all the impressions we gain through our five senses. It is not only within the body but also around the body. But the centers of perception reflect every thought and feeling, and then men feels that the mind is within him. In point of fact the body is within the mind, and the mind within the body. As the eye sees an object before it and reflects it, so the centers of perception reflect every thought and feeling. For instance man feels the sensation of joy and depression in the center called solar plexus; however, this does not mean that joy or depression is there, but that this center is sensitive to such experiences.

The mind for the sake of convenience may be called a substance, but a substance quite different from physical matter in its nature and character. There are some objects which give more resonance to sound, and there are other objects which respond less to sound. There are sonorous objects, such as metals of different kinds which reproduce sound clearly, and then there are stones and solid wood which do not respond to sound. Such is the difference between mind and body.

The mind is a much better vehicle for the intelligence than the body. Therefore, though the mind experiences life even through the material organs of the senses, yet it is itself more perceptive, and can experience life in its different aspects apart from the body. In other words, the mind can see for itself; it can even hear without the ears, for the mind has its own eyes and ears. Though it needs the physical eyes and ears to see and to hear, yet there things which the physical eyes and ears cannot see and hear; the mind sees and hears these. The more independent the mind is made of the outer senses, the more freely it perceives life and becomes capable of using the outer organs of sense to their best advantage.

To the question: if the mind has a form, it may be answered that the mind has the same form as that with which the soul is most impressed. And what is the form with which the soul is most impressed? One's own. That is why, when man says 'I', he identifies himself with the form which is most impressed upon his mind, and that is his own. But the mind is a world within itself, a magic world, a world which can be very easily changed, very quickly altered, compared with the physical one. The phenomenon of the mind is great, and wonders could be performed if only one had the key of the mind in one's hand. The difficulty is that man becomes so fixed in his physical body, that he hardly realizes in life that he has a mind. What man knows of himself is of the body, through the mind; verily man is his own mind.

The mind is not only the Akasha which contains all that one learns and experiences through life, but among five different aspects of the mind, each having its own work, there is one aspect which may be specially called the mind and which shows the power of the creator. All that we see before our eyes, and all objects made by the skill of man, every condition brought about in life, whether favorable or unfavorable, all are the creation of the human mind; of one mind or of many minds. Man's failures in life, together with his impression of limitation, keep him ignorant of that great power which is hidden in the mind. Man's life is the phenomenon of his mind; man's happiness and success, his sorrows and failures, are mostly brought about by his own mind, of which he knows so little. If this secret had been known by all, no one in this world would have been unhappy, no soul would have had failure. For unhappiness and failure are both unnatural; the natural is what man desires; the only question is: how to get it? The words of Emerson support this idea: 'Beware of what you want, for you will get it.'

The whole of life is continual learning, and for the one who really learns from life, the knowledge is never enough. The more he learns, the more there is to learn. The secret of this idea is in the Quran: 'Be! He said; and it became.' The Seers and Knowers of life do not only know this theory, but by their life's own experience.

The mind has the power of creating; it creates all, but out of what does it create? Out of Maya, a substance subject to change, to death and destruction. However, the power of the mind is beyond question, and it teaches us that mostly our unhappiness and failures are caused by our own mind, more than by the mind of another; and if caused by the mind of another, our mind then is not in working order. The knowledge of the power of mind is worth knowing when the moral conception of life is understood better; when man knows what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, and judges himself only, and sees these two opposite things in his own life, person and character. For when man sees the folly of another, and wishes to judge another, then his sense of justice is not awake. The great ones whose personality has brought comfort and healing to their fellow men were those who only used the faculty of justice to judge themselves; who tried to correct themselves of their own follies, and, being engaged in correcting themselves had hardly time in life to judge another. The teaching of Christ, 'Judge not, lest ye be judged', will always prove the greatest example to be followed.

The mind is a magic shell in which a design is made by the imagination, and the same imagination is materialized on the surface. And then arises the question, 'Why does not all that man thinks come true, why is not all he wishes realized? The answer is that by man's limitations he so to speak buries the divine creative power in his mind. Life confuses man so much that there is hardly one among a thousand who really knows what he wants; and perhaps there is one among a million who knows why he wants it; and even among millions you will not find one with the knowledge of why he should want it, and why he should not want it. With all the power of the mind one thing must be remembered that man proposes, and God disposes. This will always prove true when man stands against the will of God Almighty. Therefore the path of the saints in life has been to seek with resignation the will of God, and in this way to swim with that great tide, so that with the accomplishment of their wish the purpose of God may be fulfilled.

The key to the mind is the knowledge of life. There is only one real knowledge. It is learnt in one moment; but the nature of life is such that we forget. The key to the mind is the knowledge of life; in other words, it is the psychology of life, and there is rarely a person who knows the psychology of life profoundly. Man has the faculty of knowing, but he is so absorbed in life that he does not give time to practice the psychology of life, which is more precious than anything in the world.

By psychology is meant that before uttering a word a man should think what effect it might have on the atmosphere, upon this person, on the whole of life. Every word is a materialization of thought; it has a dynamic power. If one considered one would find that every little thought, every little feeling, every movement one makes, even a smile, or a frown, such a small thing has its effect. If one knew the effect of every cause before bringing that cause into thought, speech, or action one would become wise. Generally man does everything mechanically, influenced by the conditions of the moment, by anger or depression; so every man in life lives a life without control, in other words, without mastery. What we learn through spiritual knowledge is to gain mastery, to learn what consequences our actions will bring. A man cannot be perfect in this knowledge; all souls have their limitations; but it is something to strive after, and in this is the fulfillment of God's purpose. Even this knowledge alone does not make a man capable; practice is necessary and practice may take a whole life. Every day man seems to make more mistakes; this is not really so, but his sight becomes more keen.

But what of those who do not think of all this? Every change of mood or emotion changes their actions, words, and thoughts, and so they can never achieve what they have come to accomplish; all their life is passed in failure and mistakes, and in the end they have gained only what they have made. So it is always true that life is an opportunity; every moment of life is valuable. If one is able to handle oneself one has accomplished a great deal.

The mind has different aspects which are distinguished as different departments, which have their own work to do. First, the heart which feels, and which contains in itself four other aspects of mind; second, the mind which creates thought and imagination; third, memory; fourth, the will which holds the thought; fifth, the ego, that conception of mind which claims to be 'I'. There is no mind without a body, for the body is a vehicle of the mind; also it is made by the mind, not the same mind, but by other minds. The child does not only inherit the form and feature of his parents and ancestors, but also their nature and character; in other words their mind, which molds its mind and body.

The mind is not only the creator of thought, but it is the receptacle of all that falls upon it. The awakened mind makes the body sensitive to every kind of feeling. The sleeping mind makes the body dull. At the same time the fineness of the body has its influence in making the mind finer, and the denseness of the body makes the mind dense. Therefore the mind and body act and react upon one another. When there is harmony between the mind and the body health is secure, and affairs will come right. It is the disharmony between mind and body which most often causes sickness, and makes affairs go wrong. When the body goes south and the mind north then the soul is pulled asunder, and there is no happiness. The secret of mysticism, therefore, is to feel, think, speak, and act at the same time, for then all that is said, or felt, or done, becomes perfect.

The different minds in the world may be likened to various mirrors, capable of projecting reflections, and reflecting all that falls upon them. No one, however great in wisdom and power, can claim to be free from influences. It is like the mirror claiming, 'I do not reflect all that falls upon me.' Only the difference between the wise and the foolish is that the wise man turns his back to what he must not reflect; the foolish not only reflects the undesirable thought, but most proudly owns to it.

The mind is creative and the mind is destructive; it has both powers. No thought ever born of the mind, be it even for a second, is lost. Thought has its birth and death like a living being, but the life of the thought is incomparably longer than that of any living being in the physical body. Therefore man is not only responsible for his action, but also for his thought. Souls would become frightened if they had a glimpse of the record of the thoughts they have created, under the spell of their ever-changing moods. As the prophet has said, this life of the world which was once so attractive will one day appear before them as a horrible witch; they will fly from it, and will cry, 'Peace, peace.'

It would not be an exaggeration if one called the mind a world; it is the world that man makes and in which he will make his life in the hereafter, as a spider weaves his web to live in. Once a person thinks of this problem he begins to see the value of the spiritual path. The soul learns on the path in which it is trained not to be owned by the mind, but to own it; not to become a slave of the mind, but to master it.


It has been asked of the sages and thinkers of all times by the seekers of truth that they should explain the meaning of the word 'soul'. Some have tried to explain it and some have given answers which are difficult for everyone to understand. About the meaning of the word soul many statements of thinkers differ, though all mystics arrive at the same understanding of the idea of the soul. As the air, by being caught in water, becomes a bubble for the moment, and as the waves of the air, being caught in a hollow vessel, become a sound, so Intelligence, being caught by the mind and body, becomes the soul. Therefore, intelligence and the soul are not two things. It is only a condition of the intelligence which is the soul. The intelligence in its original aspect is the essence of life, the spirit, or God. But when this intelligence is caught in an accommodation such as body and mind, its original nature of knowing then knows, and that knowing intelligence becomes consciousness.

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 Arabic word Ruh and the Sanskrit word Atma mean the same thing: soul.

There is another word 'sole' in the English language, which means one or single; although different in spelling, yet it is expressive of the same idea, namely, that the soul is that part of our being in which we realize ourselves to be one single being. When one thinks of the body, it has many organs; when one thinks of the mind, it has various thoughts; when one thinks of the heart, it has many feelings; but when one thinks of soul in the right sense of the word, it is one single being; it is above division, and therefore it is the soul which really can be called the individual. Very often philosophers have used this name for the body, mind, and consciousness, for all three.

Sufism may be related to the word Saf which means purity. This purity is attained by purifying the soul from all foreign attributes that it has acquired, thereby discovering its real nature and character. Pure water means water which is in its original condition; if it happens that there is sugar and milk in the water, then the one who wishes to analyze it will separate the elements, and will try to see the water in its pure condition. Sufism, therefore, is the analyzing of the self, the self which has for the moment become a mixture of three things, of body, mind, and soul. By separating the outer garments of the soul the Sufi discovers the real nature and character of the soul, and in this discovery lies the secret of the whole life.

Rumi has said in the Masnavi that life on earth is a captivity of the soul. When one looks at the bubble in which the air has been caught by the water, one sees the meaning of Rumi's words that something which is free to move about becomes a captive of the atoms of water for a time, and loses its freedom for that moment.

Man in all conditions of life, whatever be his rank, position or possessions, has trouble, pains and difficulties. Where do these come from? From his limitations. But if limitations were natural, why should he not be contented with his troubles? Because limitation is not natural to the soul; the soul, which is by nature free, feels uncomfortable in the life of limitation. In spite of all that this world can offer, when the soul experiences the highest degree of pain it refuses everything in order to fly from the spheres of the earth, and seek the spheres of liberty and that freedom which is the soul's destination. There is a longing hidden beneath all the other longings which man has, and that longing is freedom. This longing is sometimes satisfied by walking in the solitude, in the woods, when one is left alone for a time, when one is fast asleep, when even dreams do not trouble one; and when one is in meditation, in which for a moment the activities of body and mind are both suspended. Therefore the sages have preferred solitude, and have always shown love for nature; and they have adopted meditation as the method of attaining that goal which is the freedom of the soul.

The Zat, the primal Intelligence, becomes captive to knowledge; that which is its sustenance limits it, reduces it; and pain and pleasure, birth and death, are experienced by the intelligence in this captivity which we call life. Death, in point of fact, does not belong to the soul, and so it does not belong to the person. Death comes to what the person knows, not to the person himself. Life lives, death dies. But the mind which has not probed the depths of the secret of life becomes perplexed and unhappy over the idea of death. A person once went to a Sufi and asked him what happened after death. He said, 'Ask this question of someone who will die, of some mortal being, which I am not.'

Intelligence is not only a knowing faculty, but is creative at the same time. The whole of manifestation is the creation of the intelligence. Time and space are both nothing but the knowledge of the intelligence. The intelligence confined to this knowledge becomes limited, but when it is free from all knowledge, then it experiences its own essence, its own being. It is this which the Sufi calls the process of unlearning, which purifies and makes the intelligence free from knowledge. It is the glimpses of this experience which are called ecstasy; for then the intelligence has an independent joy which is true happiness.

The soul's happiness is in itself; nothing can make the soul fully happy but self-realization. Phenomena which the intelligence creates by its creative power becomes the source of its own delusion; as the spider is caught in its own web, so the soul is imprisoned in all it has created.

This picture we see in the lives of individuals and of the multitude. Motive gives power, and at the same time it is motive which limits power; for the power of the soul is greater than any motive. But it is the consciousness of the motive which stimulates the power, and yet robs it of its power. The Hindus have called the whole phenomenon of life by the name Maya, which means illusion, and once the true nature and character of this puzzle if realized the meaning of every word of language becomes untrue, except one: Truth, which words cannot explain. Therefore the soul may be considered to be a condition of God, a condition which makes the only Being limited for a time. And the experience gained in this time, with its ever-changing joy and pain, is interesting, and the fuller the experience the wider becomes the vision of life. What one has to experience in life is its true being.

The life which everyone knows is this momentary period of the soul's captivity. Beyond this man knows nothing, therefore every seeming change that takes place he calls death or decay. Once the soul has risen above this illusive phase of life, by surmounting all that exists apart from itself, it experiences in the end that happiness for which this whole creation took place. The uncovering of the soul is the discovering of God.

The word intelligence as it is known by us, and spoken in everyday language, does not give a full idea; especially the word intelligence as used by modern science will only convey to us something which is the outcome of matter or energy. But according to the mystic, intelligence is the primal element, or the cause as well as the effect. While science acknowledges it as the effect, the mystic sees in it the cause. One may ask, 'How can intelligence create this dense earth which is matter? There must be energy behind it.' But this question comes because we separate intelligence from energy or matter. In point of fact it is spirit which is matter, and matter which is spirit; the denseness of spirit is matter, and the fineness of matter is spirit. Intelligence becomes intelligible by turning into denseness; that denseness being manifest to its own view, creates two objects: Zat, the self, and Sifat, what is known by the self. And then comes of necessity a third object, the medium by which the self knows what it knows: Nazar, the sight or the mind. The Sufi poets have pictured these three in their verse as Bagh, Bahar, and Bulbul, the garden, the spring, and the nightingale. And it is these three aspects of life which are at the root of the idea of Trinity. The moment these three are realized as one, life's purpose is fulfilled.

As matter evolves so it shows intelligence, and when one studies the growing evolution of the material world one will find that at each step of evolution the natural world has shown itself to be more intelligent, reaching its height in the human race. But this is only the predisposition of what we call matter which is manifested in the end; and everything in nature, even in the vegetable world, if we could see it, is the seed of which the root is the evidence, and thus the intelligence, which is the effect, is also the cause.

checked 3-Mar-2006