Insight shows itself in different aspects: in impression,
intuition, inspiration, dream, and revelation.
How does one get impressions? All impressions reach the brain
through the nerve centers. They are mostly taken in by the breath;
but by this one does not mean the breath inhaled through the
nostrils. He who is able to get an impression of a person need
not wait to see how he will turn out; he knows it instantly.
Very often one may have a feeling at first sight, whether someone
will be one's friend or prove unfriendly.
When someone comes and tells me, 'I am very interested in
your philosophy, but before I take it up I want to study it.'
He may study for a thousand years and he will not get to that
insight. It is the first moment: either you are my friend or
not my friend. When two persons meet a confidence is established;
one does not need years in order to develop friendship.
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
Intuition is still deeper, for by intuition one gets a warning.
Intuitively one feels: this person will one day deceive me,
or turn against me; or he will prove faithful to me, sincere,
to be relied upon. Or in this particular business I will have
success or failure. One knows it. But the difficulty is in distinguishing.
The right intuition; that is the great question; or as soon
as intuition springs up, reason, its competitor, rises also
and says, 'No, it is not so.' Then there is conflict in the
mind and it is hard to distinguish, because there are two feelings
at the same time. If one makes a habit of catching the first
intuition and saving it from being destroyed by reason, then
intuition is stronger and one can benefit by it. There are many
intuitive people, but they cannot always distinguish between
intuition and reason and sometimes they mix them up, for very
often the second thought, being the last, is more clear to one
than the first. Therefore, the intuition is forgotten and reason
remembered. Then a person calls it intuition and it is not so.
Reason and intuition are two competitors, and yet both have
their place, their importance, and their value. The best thing
would be first to try and catch the intuition and distinguish
and know and recognize it as intuition; and then to reason it
Besides, those who doubt intuition, their intuition doubts
them. In other words, the doubt becomes a wall between themselves
and their intuitive faculty. And there is a psychological action:
as soon as intuition has sprung up, doubt and reason have sprung
up too, so that the vision becomes blurred. One should develop
self-confidence. Even if one proves to be wrong once or twice
or thrice one should still continue; in time one will develop
trust in one's intuition and then intuition will be clear.
Women are naturally more intuitive than men. The reason is
that a woman is more responsive by nature and more sympathetic;
therefore she can perceive intuition more clearly. Very often
a man may reason and think and yet not come to a conclusion,
to a clear understanding, while a woman, or any more intuitive
person, in one moment is clear about a certain question, a certain
point. That comes from intuition. Intuition is a faculty of
the heart that feels deeply, be it of a man or a woman; the
quality of intuition belongs to a sympathetic heart.
The intuition of dogs and cats and of horses sometimes seems
to be more clear than that of man. They know when there is going
to be an accident, when death is going to occur in the family.
They know beforehand and give people warning. But people are
so busy in their daily occupations that they do not respond
to the intuition of the animals. People in the East believe
that small insects know about happenings and give a warning
to those who can understand it; and it is true. Besides, birds
always give a warning of storm and wind, and of rain and the
absence of rain. Mankind naturally is more capable of intuition,
but because his mind is absorbed by a hundred things, his deep
feelings become so blunted in everyday life that he ignores
the existence of intuition or inspiration, and so this faculty
itself becomes blunted and he feels and knows less than the
animals. The human body is a vehicle, a telescope, an instrument
by which one can perceive the knowledge of one's self within,
of conditions, of others, and of everything outside.
The question is how does one develop this faculty of intuition?
The first thing is self-confidence. When there is no self-confidence
one cannot develop this faculty of intuition, because it comes
more and more by believing in it. When a person doubts and says,
'Is this an intuition, will this really help me, or shall I
be deceived by my own intuition?' then naturally reason produces
confusion in the mind and intuition is destroyed. There are
many intuitive people, and their intuition has been destroyed
only by this doubt which arises in their mind, whether their
intuition is right or wrong. That is why they lose this faculty
of intuition. Every faculty needs nurturing; if it is not nurtured
it becomes blunted and destroyed; one can make no more use of
it. Besides, a person may underestimate the value of this faculty
in his life; he then naturally destroys it; and this faculty
disappears also by a too speedy action of the mind. When a person
thinks of a thousand things in a short time, the mind becomes
too active and then one cannot perceive intuition, which needs
a certain rhythm, a certain concentration.
A further aspect of insight is inspiration. The difference
between inspiration and instinct is that what we recognize in
the lower creation as instinct is the same as that which works
through the human mind in the form of intuition or inspiration.
One may say from a biological point of view that the lower creatures
are born with a certain instinct such as the inclination to
fly, to defend themselves with their horns or to bite with their
teeth. All the faculties they show are born with them; they
are not only the heritage brought from their ancestors, they
do not belong to their family only, they are a property of the
spirit. And from the spirit all living beings get guidance in
the form of an inclination. What we recognize as instinct in
the lower creations is inspiration in mankind. Today, as science
is increasing and as materialism prevails, man is forgetting
the heritage that he has from the spirit, and attributes all
knowledge and experience to the material existence of the physical
world. In this way he deprives himself of those gifts which
could be called his own and without which man cannot live a
Inspiration comes to poets, writers, inventors, and scientists.
Where does it come from, what is its source? Why does not the
inspiration of a musician come to a poet, why does not a poet's
inspiration come to a musician? Why should it reach the person
to whom it belongs? The reason is that there is a mind behind
all minds. There is a heart, which is the source of all hearts,
and that there is a Spirit, which collects and accumulates all
the knowledge that every living being has had. No knowledge
or discovery that has ever been made is lost. It all accumulates
and collects in that mind as an eternal reservoir. This is what
is recognized by the seers as the divine mind. From this mind
all vision can be drawn. The mind of the poet is naturally exalted,
that is why it becomes enlightened by the divine mind. From
the divine mind all that is needed manifests. It may be that
a poet works without inspiration for six months on a poem, and
it gives satisfaction neither to the poet nor to others, who
find it mechanical. And there is another one who receives the
inspiration in a moment and puts it down. He can never correct
what he has written; he can never change it. No one can change
it. If it is changed, it is spoiled. It is something that comes
in a moment and it is perfect in itself, it is a piece of art,
it is an example of beauty; and it comes so easily. That is
Many have tried to imitate inspired people, in poetry or
in scientific inventions. They tried, but they never reached
that perfection which came in a moment's time. Those who were
inspired never searched after it, it came in a mood. All that
comes from inspiration is living; it always keeps its value.
There are writings of such poets in the East as Rumi of Persia,
as Kalidasa of India; and now, after thousands of years, their
writings are read by people and they are never old and people
never tire of them. It is the same with Shakespeare. He has
made a living world. The more time passes, the more it lives,
and the more it is appreciated. It is forever living. That is
the character of inspiration; and it only comes to the one whose
mind is still and whose thought is absorbed in the beauty of
the work upon which he is contemplating. The mind of the musician,
who knows little of this world except music, is concentrated
and focused on the beauty of his art. Naturally he will draw
inspiration. So it is with the poet. But when the mind is absorbed
in a thousand things, then it is not focused, then it cannot
How is inspiration developed? By concentration. An inspired
poet is he whose mind is fully fixed on the idea he wishes to
express; he is floating, so to speak, in the beauty of it; his
mind becomes focused and inspiration mechanically comes to him.
A person who troubles about inspiration, who wants to drag it
towards him, cannot get it; it does not belong to him. In order
to get it he must float in the idea, he must merge all his heart
in its beauty. He must be so positively focused to that spirit
of beauty that inspiration may naturally flow into him.
The dream or vision is another aspect of insight. Very often
people consider a dream as an automatic action of the mind.
But this is not always the case. There is no movement in the
mind which is meaningless. Every motion and action has a meaning
behind it, every motion is directed towards something either
with intention or without. There is no movement; there is no
action, which is not directed from some source or other.
There are three kinds of dreams. In the first a person sees
his mind working along the same lines as it did during the day,
at the same time suggesting the past, present, or future. Then
there is another kind of dream when the mind sees in everything
quite the opposite of what is going to happen. And there is
a third type of dream in which one sees something out of the
past actually happening, or what is going to happen in the future.
This proves that everything on the physical plane is first formed
in the inner planes and then registered on the mind in the dream.
When one is concentrated one sees the happening more clearly.
There is also a state of dream in which one sees a vision.
This happens in a meditative condition. A vision is more communicative,
more expressive; it may be a warning, which is given for the
future, or an incident of the past may be made known. In the
vision one can go still further and communicate with the unseen
world. But a vision only comes to those who are born with that
faculty or have developed that faculty in the mind by becoming
A dream may be symbolical, and this is the most interesting
type of dream. The greater the person, the subtler the symbolism
of his dream will be. When someone is gross the symbolism will
be gross. The more evolved the person is, the more fine, artistic,
and subtle the dream will be. For instance, for a poet there
will be poetic symbols; and the dream of a musician will have
musical symbols; in the dream of the artist there will be symbols
In the realistic dream one actually sees what is going to
happen. All that we call accident is only our conception; because
we did not know it beforehand we call it accident. This also
gives us insight into what we call fate. But there is a plan;
it is all planned out and known beforehand to the spirit and
to those who know. There are sages who know of their death a
year before. There is no such thing as accident. When a person
does not know, it means he does not see; but it is there.
Revelation is still greater. It is the perfection of insight.
It means a higher development when one has revelation, and it
begins when a person feels in tune with everybody, everything,
and every condition. But in order to come to that stage one
must develop according to it. The heart must be tuned to the
stage and the pitch where one feels at-one-ment with persons,
objects, and conditions. For instance, when one cannot bear
the climate, it only means that one is not in harmony with the
climate; when one cannot get on with persons, that one is not
in harmony with them; when one cannot get on with certain affairs,
that one is not in harmony with those affairs. If conditions
seem hard, it shows that one is not in harmony with the conditions.
Revelation came to the saints and saviors of humanity. It
is not just a tale when we hear that the saints spoke with trees
and plants in the wilderness, that a voice from the sea rose
and the saints heard it, that masters talked with the sun, moon,
and stars. For the deeper a person dives into life, the more
he is convinced that all is living, whether beings or objects,
whether art or nature; whatever he sees, whatever he perceives
through the senses, whatever he can touch, all that is intelligible
to him. It may not be seen and it may not be known by anybody
else, but everything is communicating. Once a person begins
to communicate with nature, with art, he begins to have the
proof of this, for everything begins to speak. As the great
poet of Persia, Sadi, has said, 'Every leaf of the tree becomes
a page of the Book when once the heart is opened and it has
learnt to read.'
When revelation begins, a man does not need to converse;
before talking, he knows what the other wishes to say. The condition
of the person or the persons before him is revealed; it is like
reading a letter. The person may speak to him, but without speaking
he knows. This is not thought reading, not telepathy, not psychometry
or clairvoyance as people think. Revelation is all the phenomena
there are. What is it? It is a fuller development of inspiration.
When the intuitive faculty is fully developed, man receives
revelation. All dumb creatures and mute things begin to speak.
For what are words? Are they not covers over the idea? No feeling
can ever be expressed in words, no idea be put fully into verse.
A true glimpse of ideas and feelings can only be perceived in
that plane which is feeling itself.
Revelation depends upon purity of mind. Very often someone
who is worldly-wise is not really wise. Intellectuality is one
thing, wisdom is another thing. Not all the knowledge learnt
from books and from experiences in the world and collected in
the mind as learning is wisdom. When the light from within is
thrown upon this knowledge, then the knowledge from outer life
and the light coming from within make a perfect wisdom; and
it is that wisdom which guides man on the path of life.
Those who received revelation have given us sacred books
such as the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad-Gita; hundreds and
thousands of years have passed and their sacred teachings have
remained alive even now. But at the same time we must know that
what they have given in the form of preaching, in the form of
teachings, is the interpretation of the living wisdom which
cannot be fully expressed in words. One can only know that living
knowledge when one has experienced it oneself by the opening
of the heart. It is then that the purpose of life is fulfilled.