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Volume V - Spiritual Liberty


Chapter II


The soul experiences life through both mind and body. Without the mediation of the mind, the body would be incapable of acting as a proper vehicle for the soul. To put it plainly, the mind is the vehicle of the soul and the body is the vehicle of the mind. Many believe that the brain thinks and the heart feels. But in reality, the brain enables the mind to think concretely, and the physical heart enables the heart, the factor of feeling, to feel clearly.

The soul stands aloof as a mirror in which every activity of the mind and body is reflected. The soul accomplishes its purpose through these vehicles, the purpose that it has set before itself from the beginning of its manifestation. As great as is the purpose, so great is the strength that the soul applies to its fulfillment. And as fine as is the purpose, so fine does the intelligence become for its accomplishment. This is very well said by Sadi, 'Every soul is born for a certain purpose, and the light of that purpose has been kindled in this soul.'


In this subject the first thing that we must understand is that the soul is an undivided portion of the all-pervading consciousness. It is undivided because it is the absolute Being. It is completely filled with the whole Existence. The portion of it that is reflected by a certain form or name, becomes comparatively more conscious of the object reflected in it than of all other objects. Our mind and body, being reflected upon a portion of the all-pervading consciousness, make that part of consciousness an individual soul, which in reality is a universal spirit. This individual soul experiences the external world through the medium of the bodies reflected in it, namely our mind and body.

If we think of another thing or being, forgetting our self, that thing or being becomes reflected in our soul. We ourselves become that being or thing which is reflected at that moment in our soul, and we know all about the thing or being reflected in our soul; more than we know about our self, which is in reality not our self.

It is this mystery that accounts for telepathy, thought reading, spirit obsession, and spirit communication. By focusing our soul with responsive mind on the mind of another, we read his thought. By focusing our soul with expressive mind we send a telepathic message. When a spirit focuses his soul with expressive mind upon the mind of another, it obsesses another. When we focus our soul with expressive mind, we communicate with and help the spirit on the other side. When we focus our soul with responsive mind to a spirit, we get spirit messages.

We can learn from our murshid, be inspired by a prophet, or become illuminated by the light of God without study, practice, or any effort on our part, if we only know how to focus our soul rightly in any direction desired.


So long as the soul has not awakened to its majesty, it is full of poverty, which is caused by its limitations. The things upon which man depends in life, and the things that man admires and wishes to possess, seem so far from his reach. This is not because his soul has short arms, which cannot reach, but because his soul is captive in the physical body and only knows how to work with the material arms, which cannot reach further than one yard's length.

The other reason for the soul's disappointment through life is that it disconnects itself from the things and beings around it, concentrating upon the limited vehicles, the mind and body, which are focused on it, and through which it experiences life. It calls these 'my individual self,' thus limiting its far-reaching power and intelligence.

When the soul awakens, then no being, no thing is far from its reach, and as it becomes more capable of seeing through man, so it becomes capable of seeing through things also. In this way the soul sees through all things and knows their use, their purpose in life, and uses them for their best purpose in life.

The soul not only knows things and the secret of their nature, but it can attract things, it can construct and it can destroy things. Its power is much greater than words can ever explain.

Those who cannot see, but believe by the external evidences, to them the soul is as if dead, and they are as limited as their limited body. Those who realize God, the all-knowing and almighty, and realize His intelligence and power in their soul, they, according to their evolution and power in life, inherit the power and intelligence of the heavenly Father. Rumi says, 'Earth, water, fire, and air seem dead things to men, but to the seer they seem living beings, waiting every moment to carry out the command of their Lord, the God of the universe.' (Mathnawi I, 838)


The mind has five faculties: the faculty of feeling (heart), the faculty of thinking (mind), the faculty of reasoning (consciousness), the faculty of remembering (memory), the faculty of identifying (ego).

The soul is like a light in this five-cornered room, for the soul perceives feeling, thought, memory, reason, and identity, and identifies itself with them. In reality, it is aloof from them. Change of feeling or thought does not change the soul. But as the soul cannot see itself, it thinks by the help of the ego: I am sad, or I am glad, or I remember, or I have forgotten. The soul does none of these things. They are all the workings of the mind. But as the soul does not see itself, it identifies itself with what is seen at the time.

It is a fact that the light of the soul keeps the mind in working order. When its light is covered, all confusion in life comes. And all intuitions and inspirations come as the soul discloses its light. When the mind is not in order, the soul cannot perceive things rightly. The mind is like a telescope before the soul. Therefore, both things are necessary: the mind in order, and the soul in perfect focus on the mind.


The mind is like a mirror, and every thought coming into the mind is reflected in this mirror. If a mirror with a reflection in it is focused on another mirror, the same reflection will be found in that mirror.

So it is with the mind. For the mystic who has developed enough to do it rightly, it is a simple task to take the reflection of the mind of another, or to throw the reflection of his own mind on the mind of another. The former is called thought reading, the latter is called mental suggestion. And by developing this power a person can communicate not only with the living, but also with spirits. The question is who should do so and who should not do so. If it is not advisable for a little child to go in a crowd, that does not mean that the same should be applied to a grown-up person. Therefore, the unselfish and wise may learn this in order to make the best use of this attainment.


The heart is as a globe covering the light of the soul, and its different emotions are different colors of this globe. Every emotion is produced by a certain element. While experiencing life through the heart, the soul at that moment thinks: I am sad, or glad, or afraid, or humorous. In fact it is its momentary experience. When the influence of a particular element is changed, the emotion has expired and the soul is as pure as it was before. Nothing touches it. It is pure by nature and it always remains pure. If ten people in turn look in a mirror, the mirror shows everyone his face reflected in it and it is clear enough to take every other reflection. In the end the mirror is as clear as before. No face that has ever been reflected in it has left an impression on it.

There are nine different emotions, which the soul experiences through the heart, and these are influenced by corresponding elements, thus:

Emotions                     Elements

Humor                             air
Joy                                  ether
Sorrow                            earth
Fear                                ether and air
Pity                                  water
Courage                           fire and air
Indifference                      ether, fire, and earth
Passion                             fire
Anger                               fire and air


The soul sometimes experiences life through the heart of another. In the case of a living person, it is only done when he is master of harmony and concentration. But a spirit that has left its body on earth and passed away to the other side becomes master, for it has one vehicle less of the many vehicles that keep the spirit captive.

The secret of experiencing through another person's heart is to focus one's own heart on the heart of the other. This is easily done by love, and sometimes by concentration, but concentration and love combined give mastery over it. The heart is pictured by the mystics as a mirror, and as the reflections of one mirror can be reflected in another mirror, so it is with hearts. The heart, which perceives reflection from the other heart, should be without any reflections in it, by which is meant, it should be pure from any other thought or feeling at the time. But the heart, which throws the reflection, has a much more difficult part to play. It has to force its own reflection through a heart, which may perhaps be full of reflections.

Therefore, reading the thoughts of another, or knowing the feeling of another, is not so difficult as sending a thought to another or expressing one's feeling to another. It requires strength of will, good concentration, and the right way of directing the reflection, with fineness or purity of thought and feeling.


The soul has two different sides and two different experiences. One side is the experience with the mind and body, the other side is the experience of the spirit. The former is called the outer experience, the latter the inner experience. The nature of the soul is like glass, transparent; and when one side of the glass is covered it becomes a mirror. So the soul becomes a mirror in which the outer experiences are reflected when the other side is covered.

That is why, however greatly blessed a person may be with outer knowledge, he is not necessarily gifted with inner knowledge. In order to attain to inner knowledge, the Sufi covers the other side of the soul, so that its mirror part may face the spirit instead of the outer world. As soon as he is able to accomplish this he receives inspirations and revelations.

There are people who are by nature intuitive. They are sometimes called psychic or clairvoyant. It is accounted for by the other side of their soul naturally facing the spirit within. One may call them extraordinary or exceptional, but not mystical. For the mystic does not desire that position. By concentration and meditation he gains such a mastery that he can cover the soul from without to take the reflection within, and he can cover the soul from within when he requires the reflection from the outer world to its full extent. Balance is desirable, and mastery is the goal to be attained.


The soul experiences life through one's own spirit and also through the spirit of another, sometimes consciously, but mostly unconsciously.

It is not only in obsession that the soul experiences through the spirit of another. On the contrary, it is the spirit of another that experiences through one's own spirit in obsession. Thought reading, knowing the feeling of another, receiving sympathetic impressions upon oneself, all these things are the experiences of our soul through the spirit of another.

Then there are dreams of strange character, thoughts that do not belong to us, and different feelings that come for no reason. These are nothing but the experiences of our soul through the spirit of another. It is difficult to achieve such an experience consciously, though one often has it unconsciously. The man who can experience consciously through another person's spirit has solved one of life's great problems, for to do this he must have been able to efface his limited individuality from his soul. He is already on the journey to perfection, for in time his soul becomes the soul of all.


All things that manifest before the mind, such as thoughts and feelings, are in time born on the surface in the world of action, where they are called deeds. And those who cannot see them are sometimes quite unaware of the totally different form they take in their outward manifestation.

Sometimes they come before a person's eyes, and sometimes they manifest far from his notice. Those who dive deep within themselves can, when they touch the plane of the abstract, perceive things that are preparing to manifest through the mind on to the surface. But the primitive state of these things is so indistinct even to the seer, that unless he knows the language of that sphere, he cannot understand what his experiences convey, though they are undoubtedly true in their effect. It is just as difficult as to read a line of fate.

In Sufi terms such experiences are called Anvar and Anzar. In them lies the secret of prophecy. The first experience is perceived by the ears of the soul, so to speak, for the first experience is audible, while the second experience is visible. And yet it is not audible to the ears nor is it visible to the eyes. The audible experience is called clairaudience, and the visible, clairvoyance, although these words are misused by those who falsely claim these experiences.

checked 20-Jan-2006