We find in the Bible the words: 'In the beginning was the
word, and the Word was God,' and we also find that the Word
is Light, and that when that light dawned the whole creation
manifested. These are not only religious verses; to the mystic
or seer the deepest revelation is contained in them.
The first phrase conveys to us that if anything exists that
we can express, we can express it only by what we term 'Word'.
The second phrase explains another aspect of this mystery, which
is that to enable the soul, surrounded by the darkness of this
world of illusion, to come to the light, first the word was
necessary. This means that the original Spirit was concealed
in the mystery of the word, and that in in the mystery of the
word, the mystery of the spirit was to be found.
Here is a thought, which may be pondered over for years,
each time with fresh inspiration. It teaches that the first
sign of life that manifested was the audible expression or sound:
that is the Word. When we compare this interpretation with the
Vedanta philosophy, we find that the two are identical. All
down the ages the Yogis and seers of India have worshipped the
Word-God, or Sound-God, and around that idea is centered all
the mysticism of sound or utterance. Not alone among Hindus,
but among the seers of the Semitic, the Hebraic, races the great
importance of the word was recognized. The sacred Name, the
sacred Word, were always esteemed in the Jewish religion. Also
in Islam, that great religion whose mysticism the West is only
beginning to discover, one finds the doctrine of Ism ur-rasm
which translated is the 'doctrine of the mystical word'. The
Zoroastrians, who had their religion given to them long before
the time of Buddha or Christ, and who have lost many of their
teachings through the changes of time and conditions, have yet
always preserved their sacred words. Sanskrit is now considered
a dead language, but in the Indian meditations called Yoga,
Sanskrit words are still used because of the power of sound
and vibration that is contained in them
The deeper we dive into the mystery of life the more we find
that its whole secret is hidden in what we call words. All occult
science, all mystical practices are based upon the science of
word or sound. Man is a mystery in all aspects of his being,
not only in mind and soul, but also in that organism which he
calls his body. It is his body, of which the Sufis say that
it is the temple of God. This is not a mere saying or belief,
for if man studies his body from the mystical point of view,
he will find it to be much more subtle and far-reaching, and
much more capable of doing, understanding and feeling, than
he believes it to be.
There are faculties of the soul which express themselves
through certain centers in the body of man. As there are parts
of lands to which water never reaches and therefore they never
become fertile soil, so it is with these centers when the breath
never reaches them. They are intuitive, they are full of peace
and balance, they are the centers of illumination, yet never
have they been awakened, for man has breathed only in those
parts of his body by which he can eat, and live, and perform
action. He is only half alive, if his existence is compared
with the fullness of life that can be obtained by spiritual
It may be compared to living in a great town and not knowing
that there are many beautiful things that one has never seen.
As there are many people who travel to distant lands and do
not know their own country, so it is with man. He is interested
in all that brings beauty and joy, and yet does not know the
source of all such things in himself.
Man breathes, but he does not breathe rightly. As the rain
falls on the ground and matures little plants and makes the
soil fertile, so the breath, the essence of all energy, falls
as a rain on all parts of the body. This also happens in the
case of the mind, but man cannot even perceive that part of
the breath that quickens the mind; only that felt in the body
is perceptible, and to the average man it is not even perceptible
in the body. He knows nothing of it, except what appears in
the form of inhalation and exhalation through the nostrils.
It is this, alone which is generally meant when man speaks of
When we study the science of breath, the first thing we notice
is that breath is audible; it is a word in itself, for what
we call a word is only a more pronounced utterance of breath
fashioned by the mouth and tongue. In the capacity of the mouth
breath becomes voice, and therefore the original condition of
a word is breath. Therefore if we said: 'First was the breath',
it would be the same as saying; 'In the beginning was the word'
The first life that existed was the life of God, and from
that all manifestation branched out. It is a manifold expression
of one life: one flower blooming as so many petals, one breath
expressing itself as so many words. The sacred idea attached
to the lotus flower, is expressive of this same philosophy.
It is symbolizing the many lives in the one God, and expressed
in the Bible in the words: 'In God we live and move and have
our being'. When man is separated from God in thought, his belief
is of no use to him, his worship is but of little use to him;
for all forms of worship or belief should draw man closer to
God, and that which makes man separate from God has no value.
What is it that makes a word sacred or important? Is not
every word as sacred and important as another? That is true
– but for whom is it sacred? For the pure and exalted souls
to whom every word breathes the name of God, but not for the
average man. There are souls who are at that stage of evolution
in which every word is the sacred name. But when a teacher gives
a method, it is not given to the exalted souls but to beginners,
and therefore words are selected and given to pupils by the
Guru or teacher, as a physician would give a prescription,
knowing for which complaint and for what purpose it is given.
Hafiz says: 'Accept every instruction thy teacher giveth, for
he knoweth which is thy path and where is thy good'.
Great importance is given by the mystics to the number of
repetitions, for numbers are a science and every number of repetitions
has a certain value. One repetition means one thing and a few
more mean something quite different, as in medicine one grain
of a drug may heal and ten may destroy life. When Christ commanded
to abstain from vain repetitions he was not, as is often thought,
referring to the sacred name as used in worship or religious
practices. There was a custom among the Semitic peoples, and
it still exists in the East, of the constant use of the name
of God by people in the street or market place. They would bring
it continually into commerce or business, into quarrels and
disputes, and it was against this abuse of the most holy name
that Christ was speaking.
In repetition lies the secret of power, therefore it is a
great mistake when people take the ways of spiritual culture
lightly as an everyday interest, as a little hobby, and learn
from a book or from some slight instruction given to them. If
they attempt to practice from such knowledge only, they are
risking their lives. Imagine a center, which should be awakened
at a certain time of evolution being awakened before that time
is reached. It would be a disaster!
There are certain words which attract a certain blessing
in life. Some attract power, some bring release from difficulties,
some give courage and strength. There are words which can heal,
others which give comfort and ease, and again others which have
greater effects still. Now when a person in need of peace and
rest uses words that bring courage and strength, he will become
even more restless. It is just like taking medicine which is
a tonic to cure a high fever.
Then there is another question, namely: what makes a word
powerful? Is it the meaning, the vibration, the way it is used,
or the knowledge of the teacher who teaches the pupil to repeat
it? The answer to such a question is that some words have power
because of their meaning, others because of the vibration they
produce, others for their influence upon the various centers.
And there are some words given by saints, sages and prophets
which have come inspirationally from God. In them is all blessing
and the mystery of how to acquire all that the soul desires
in life. If there exists any phenomenon or miracle it is in
the power of words. But those who know of this power and who
possess it never show it to others. Spiritual attainment is
not a thing to be brought before people to prove that it is
real, or as a show.
What is real is proof in itself, what is beyond all price
or value does not need to be made much of before people. What
is real is real, and the precious is precious in itself: it
needs no explanation nor pleading.
The greatest lesson of mysticism is to know all, gain all,
attain all things and be silent. The more the disciple gains,
the more humble he becomes, and when any person makes this gain
a means of proving himself in any way superior to others, it
is a proof that he does not really possess it. He may have a
spark within himself, but the torch is not yet lighted. There
is a saying among the Hindus that the tree that bears much fruit
Words have power to vibrate through different parts of man's
body. There are words that echo in the heart, and there are
others that do so in the head, and again others that have power
over the body. By certain words definite emotions can be quickened
or calmed. There is also a science of syllables, which has its
own particular effect.
Wagner did but repeat the teaching of the mystics of the
East when he said that he who knows the law of vibrations knows
the whole secret of life.