201 Suras on Breath
An Original Sangatha
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
This paper was classified as a Sangatha by Murshid SAM.
The papers on this level from Hazrat Inayat Khan were withheld
from him by the Sufi Movement et. al., so he wrote his
“An Original Sangatha” has been added to the title—Ed.
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
1. It is the breath which controls all aspects of life from the seen to the unseen. When the breath is in the body, life is there and when the breath is not in the body life is not there.
2. Under ordinary circumstances all breath does not leave the human body with each exhalation. Some is retained in chemical combination with the blood and some air is dissolved in the blood fluid. Little as it may appear to be in quantity, it is sufficient to maintain life, but its chief function is to enable the muscle to operate in order that the lungs may inhale a fresh supply of air.
3. Breath should not be confused with air, although from a purely materialistic point of view it may seem so. One does not call magnetism a piece of iron although a magnet is usually composed of iron. Breath is energy rather than material, yet breath-energy or prana may be associated with oxygen even as magnetism is associated with iron or steel.
4. Breath may also be called the man and from one point of view this is so true. As individual being man is mind, as collective being man is Adam. It was in Adam’s nostrils that God breathed the breath of life. It is breath which invigorates each and all men. It is mind which makes the man, it is breath or spirit which unites men, which forms Adam. This makes possible the Brotherhood of Man in the Holy Spirit or Divine Breath.
5. It is harmony between breath and breath which brings harmony between men. This comes most easily through music and dancing, through concentrating on a common subject, through personal agreement or through having the same or similar ideals. All these produce consonance of breath and harmony between personalities. Therefore all are employed by the Sufi schools in their spiritual instructions.
6. Degree of spiritual evolution can be measured by the Breath—its power, its sweetness, its rhythm and its tone. As spirit and breath may be considered one, so breath condition and grade of spiritual evolution may be treated as one.
7. Christ is born when God’s breath enters man’s nostrils and he is crucified when man’s thought enters his mind. Therefore Christ was born in a manger, meaning the heart, but he was crucified at Golgatha, the place of the skull, which means the abode of thought. Christ’s two birthplaces, Bethlehem and Galilee, mean respectively, the house of breath and the place of elevation; that is to say, the physical body and the sphere of the heart. The crown of thorns around Christ’s head are the thoughts of man which prevent the Divine Being within himself from functioning.
8. Every element in the breath attracts a similar element in another person’s breath. This is one of the reasons for harmony between people. People of similar types and temperaments are harmonious and people of dissimilar types may be inharmonious. At the same time each element repels the same element in another person if both are in Urouj because that increases the apparent power of nufs. However, when the etheric element softens or spiritualizes the other elements, it suppresses the nufs and thereby mitigates the disharmony.
9. There is a difference in the breath of each kingdom—mineral, vegetable, animal and human. The etheric element is predominant in the mineral kingdom at the beginning of the stream of life, and again rises to the surface in the perfected sage. The breath of animals and vegetables is opposite; there is more of the fire energy in the animals of red blood and more of the water element in green plants. This also accounts for the activity of the animals and the passivity of plants.
In the human being each element of the breath at some time rises to the surface and expresses itself, so that even in persons of slight spiritual evolution there is a more developed breath than in the animal kingdom.
10. Disharmonies between people always arise because of clashes in the rhythm of the breath. Every exhalation causes a movement of the air in front of a person. According to the predominant elements in the breath, the depth and rhythm, and the ratio between Urouj and Nasoul, a form of some kind is made in the gaseous atmosphere before one. This can be called the nufs or it may be regarded as the outcome of nufs.
Both inhalation and exhalation have an effect upon this atmosphere and it can be harmonious or inharmonious in the relation to the atmosphere of another. But when the etheric element is present, it destroys this nufs and prevents inharmony. Therefore Sufis use Wazifas and practice Zikr which hides the other elements in the ether.
11. The mechanics and dynamics of the forces rising from inhalation and exhalation are not different from other natural phenomena, only man assumes he is a living being moving through a dead atmosphere. In reality this atmosphere is also alive and every force or action in it causes an equal and opposite reaction. Thus Karma is as much a part of physics as of metaphysics.
12. Every inhalation is God’s gift to man and every exhalation is man’s sacrifice to God. It is pure, whole vibrations which enter the nostrils and poisons which are expelled. This teaches the need of breathing pure, fresh air and the dangers of smoky, foggy or gaseous atmospheres like those near marshes. It also reminds us of our great dependence on God with every breath.
13. The atmosphere which surrounds the breath is a living, vibrating ocean. If there were no life force in it man could not grow. Food alone could never account for the processes which take place within his being. There are animals which may live for months and even years without partaking of food but breath is necessary at all times.
14. What is called “suspended animation” is a Kemalic condition with the ether element predominating in the breath. The body in this state draws from the ether what it needs and returns back to the ether its waste poisons.
15. The true manna of the Hebrews is the Divine Breath.
16. The atmosphere was created before the earth. Therefore the Bible speaks of the worlds as at first being without form. An accommodation or akasha was created and through the hardening of the atoms solid material appeared.
Astronomers declare that the planet Jupiter is not a solid mass but perhaps an immense ball of gaseous substance. If there are inhabitants there, they are nearer the genius type of evolution than the humanity on earth, and they do not fully absorb life on the surface.
In the Hindu Puranas and in the literature of the Theosophists mention is made of a similar kind of being as ancestors of the human race. In the ancient occult traditions they were called Hyperboreans. All the gods of the Aryans belonged to this type, and in their original home the Aryans were still able to contact these beings.
But evolution continued beyond that point. There are still some people who have active pineal glands and may be called a Jupiter type, but who do not fully touch life on the surface and retain occult faculties. By assigning them proper Wazifas they are given balance and protection for the continuance of their functions in this world.
Sufis do not force any type of development nor activate any gland or center. It is mastery and control of the breath which spiritualizes the whole personality, without depriving anyone of faculties already possessed. And during the process of this spiritual evolution all faculties are attuned to the divine purpose.
17. It is the complete akasha which forms an accommodation for the physical planets. This has therefore been called “The World Mother”, “The World Egg” The Goddess Rhea, Kali, etc. In Grecian mythology the Heaven or positive force was called Uranus, which is Varuna in Sanskrit, and the negative force was Gaea, meaning the earth. This earth, which is aretz in Hebrew, does not mean so much the particular planet earth as the contractive, hard-making power of Allah by which spirit is completely materialized.
Out of these forces, called Uranus and Gaea, Nasoul and Urouj, two more arise which are called Kronos (or Saturn) and Rhea. These are respectively the tendencies toward rest and activity. Saturn represents silence, repose, destruction and freedom, while Rhea is the tendency toward formation, bodymaking and movement. Therefore in the Greek legend Saturn devours his children, but this is nothing more than saying that all things return to their Source. This is the same as God in the state of rest or Samadhi or Nirvana. Therefore Saturday, which is the Sabbath Day is also the day of Saturn.
18. The Mother of the World has two aspects. The first is the accommodation for the planets which is the same as the formation of the ovary with its function. As the fecundated mother does not menstruate, there is a second aspect of the mother with mammary glands, as Hathor of the Egyptians. Hathor literally means “House of Light”. So the Divine Mother after fecundation gave birth to the planet earth and this she nourishes with breath, prana. Therefore Divine Mother and Divine Breath are identified.
19. So long as man sees from his limited point of view, he is held in bondage by his breath, his thoughts and his emotions. Wazifas destroy the hard-making power of nufs, which in enlightened souls becomes identified with the world nufs, in other words, with the Divine Mother, the Goddess Kali. Looking at life from this point of view, one constructs the Universal Sense in his spiritual development. Only then can he be called a sage.
20. All problems can be faced from two points of view, which may be called God’s point of view and man’s point of view. Man for the most part depends upon his personal judgment which he calls reason. It is not often reason, for judgment may be based upon prejudice, emotion and self-interest, of which the last is most blinding.
So long as man places himself within his problem he cannot solve it. When he brings it before God, already it is solved. To do this it is necessary to change the breath. This can be done by prayer, meditation and concentration, but a quicker way is to examine the breath.
One can examine the breath of another by making one’s own breath negative. This destroys the vibrations in it which result from one’s feelings, thoughts and emotions. Then one can tell how another’s breath enters the ocean of breath which surrounds the world, and in that manner read all the knowledge of another. This practice is best done preceded by and accompanied by Darood.
21. Self-consciousness and thought are the two great obstacles to knowledge. Thought may readily precede action which is a giving out, an evolutionary process, a movement of expansion, Nasoul. But learning through the breath is like reading, only instead of looking upon a printed page one has to glance directly upon the Book of Life.
22. By making the self nothing, all knowledge is possible. The Hindu attempts this by repeating “Neti, neti!” The Sufi practices Zikr and Fikr.
23. Many speak of removing the small self from the scene of action, but do not explain how it can be done. Once the Divine Breath enters the nostrils, it illuminates the atmosphere of a person, and so long as it continues there is no nufs. However, the moment attention is drawn from God to anything whatever, that hides the light in the consciousness and so makes accommodation for nufs. This is a very subtle process. Even the most illuminated souls sometimes fail to grasp its significance and purport.
24. Praise of God is a sure road to salvation. When praising God there is no room in heart or mind for ego. Then the nufs must either be effaced or join in the praise, which also effaces it, producing nufs salima.
25. Every inhalation and exhalation makes a sound. However subtle, that sound has a value and if it could be magnified by a microphone, a mystic could definitely interpret a person’s condition, his psychology, his health and his spiritual evolution. In time such knowledge could also be opened to the scientists of the world with the aid of intuition.
However, even without a microphone and even when unable to perceive such sounds, a keen mystic learns much from the rhythm of the breath, its force, its direction, its color and its attributes. All tell something. In fact, keen observation has the one advantage of requiring rapid interpretation. The slower interpretation with a microphone or chart would not always be satisfactory, for breath can change, and in addition to everything else one would have to know how to interpret these changes. Thus the science of breath requires considerable training before it is mastered.
26. The sound of breath is the sound of a person at any particular instant. This sound does not change much with the revolution of the tattvas—that is, of the predominating natural elements. There is not an exact relation between pitch and color. However, there is a relationship between quality of tone, element and color, which is of great value.
27. In a purified body the etheric element lends itself to clarity of tone and beauty of expression which is greater and more substantial than that arising from artificial training or the natural outcome of the personality at a certain stage or age in life.
28. While some look for an exact correspondence between tone, pitch and color, they overlook certain simple phenomena. For instance, the furor of the barbaric war-cry corresponds to the color red and the fire element. If the color red corresponded to a certain note the war-cry would be a monotone. Although generally a high cry because of the fire element, yet the war-cry rises and falls. This shows that there is a fire-scale or raga, a succession of notes which can be sung with the fire quality predominating.
29. In this same way the sob, which is a cry wherein the water element predominates, is not a monotone, and there are sobbing and tearful songs. These have a definite mood, not a definite note. If one said there was a fire raga, a water raga, a red raga, a green raga, ragas composed of various elements or various colors, which would be correct. Each raga consists of four or more notes. So every color, every mood, every element, every psychological condition and every combination among these corresponds to a group of notes, and not to any single note.
30. The elements in the breath may result from one of three conditions which may be called Destiny, Will and Providence, or Nature, Man and God.
Under Destiny or Nature the breath passes through the revolution of the Tattvas and man has no control over it but is subject to his environment. Each element predominates for a certain period and within that period the other elements attain a secondary position. All this tends to produce a kind of inert harmony, keeping one in a condition without change except the change due to the attributes of the elements themselves and the natural rotation of the earth and heavenly bodies.
Animals are under this condition and therefore are not subject to evolutionary forces as is man, and the savage is more under this control than is the cultured man. There is a difference between blind nufs and that strengthened by Divine Breath, which forms the kingdom of Adam.
This force is called Jabar by the Sufis and is connected with Karmic activity.
31. Under Will, or the effort of Man, each activity expresses itself in the elements of the breath which are predetermined by man himself, and not necessarily being in harmony with Nature or God, produce all conflict in the world. This arises from the Nufs of man. In the agriculturist and servant the earth element predominates; in the sailor and merchant the water element predominates; in the soldier and ruler the fire element predominates and in the teacher and philosopher the air element predominates.
In all these groups the etheric element appears but not as an active controlling force in harmony with the will so it brings sleep and also fatigue. This last is due more to drawing upon certain elements when it is not their period than to any chemical or psychological change although no doubt these also are important.
The Sufis call this force Kadar or Free-Will and it is a very important determining factor in the life of ordinary men as apart from the animals or the angels.
32. Under Providence or Divine Will, which the Sufis call Kaza, one may become master of the breath through spiritual attunement. Then body, emotions and mind are all subservient to the will, which acts through the breath. The will in this condition is centered in the heart, and attuned to the Divine Will through intuition. These people mostly have a Kemalic breath and can also change the vibrations from Kasif to Latif or vice versa as is necessary.
33. The breath which enters the nostrils of man is more than the air, more than the oxygen and other gases. Each gas, even those called “rare gases,” serves a purpose. Just as in the biological field there is a struggle for existence, the survival of the fittest and the process of adaptation by which the Spirit of Guidance remolds its forms, so is there a counter movement by which chemical and physical accommodations are erected as are best suited for the maintenance of those life forms.
In other words, adaptation is not a blind movement wherein intelligent bodies are forced into well fixed grooves. It is also a molding of Hule, the primal material. There is an action in one direction and a reaction in the opposite direction, and this transmutation or evolution of form includes transmutation of chemical entities and chemical elements.
These two movements, one of an acting, invigorating life-force, and the other of the processes involving a plastic stuff are called Purusha and Prakriti by the Hindus and may be regarded as the same as spirit and matter; sooner or later they will become recognized as all important by the material scientists.
34. If oxygen were the sole supporter of life, one could breathe contentedly in an atmosphere of pure oxygen anywhere. As it is, all the gases in the air contribute something to the transmigration of life force. It is the earth which breathes. This is true whether we regard the earth as a single living entity or as the total resultant of all the living forms in it.
Each exhalation does more than to release certain chemicals into the atmosphere. Exhalation also fills it with poisonous emanations. Besides the regular channels of the breath, every pore of the skin, every bit of surface of every plant and every animal is constantly sending matter and energy and emanations into the atmosphere.
These emanations and discharges into the air partially neutralize each other and are further purified by the cosmic vibrations. As the earth and solar system are themselves in constant motion in the Universe, these decaying poisons are washed by the stream of life and so become foods for other bodies.
35. One notices that after a rain the air is purified. This is one part of the process by which poisons are removed from the atmosphere, but it is only one part. In the desert and wide open spaces where there is not much rain and consequently the water element may be lacking, there is more of the etheric element which is self purifying and keeps the air of the desert pure.
36. The emanations and gases in the atmosphere have been used by the mystics to perform what seems to the worldly minded to be miracles. These miracles can be performed in two ways: by the will of man (Kadar) and by the Grace of God (Kaza or Hariat). Some who are called occultists or magicians have faculty or power to utilize them in phenomena. It is not so difficult as it may seem, only when one plays with the body of earth as in theurgy and thaumaturgy, one is dealing with mighty forces and lacking complete control, in the end makes a monster of blind force by endowing it with his own mental vigor. For without it this force has only physical and emotional (astral) effect, but man can give it some of his mental magnetism and thus bestow a kind of life to it.
The mystic therefore, adopts another course. He may ignore the earth atmosphere and work entirely through the heart-sphere. Or he may depend upon inspiration rather than power. Or, if he is trained in occultism, it is always to use lower forces as subsidiary aids to higher processes and never for anything in and of themselves.
37. The movement of earth around the sun necessarily alters the metaphysical constitution of the atmosphere. Motion of earth, angle of sun’s declination, intensity of light or degree of darkness all have their peculiar effects. Light has a direct action upon consciousness and so effects breath. Not only do different degrees and states of consciousness (ahwal) affect the breath but the Universe has so been devised that the magnetic and elementary forces vary so as to best meet and satisfy living needs. If atmospheric conditions were the same day and night, physical life would soon be exhausted.
This is seen by the conditions at the North and South poles. Many places which are colder than the North Polar Region are nevertheless capable of sustaining more life because of the variety of atmospheric and luminous charges. The poles, with their long nights and days, do not provide suitable tattvic changes to sustain life properly.
38. Breath is light. It is proven by the color of the organs of man’s body, for color is light. The difference in tint cannot be sufficiently explained by the various differences in chemical composition, but from the metaphysical point of view, color of all organs can be accounted for.
38a. Another proof that breath is light and life is that when breath leaves the body at transition, the life departs and color departs also. The body becomes ashen gray very quickly.
38b. Another proof that breath is light is seen in sick people who often lack color and when their breath is purified their color returns.
39. The brain matter becomes lighter when the intelligence becomes clearer. Dull people have darker brains and darker outlooks on life. Use of the brain draws the blood to the head. It is the blood which is the vehicle of light and life in the body.
39a. Light is carried to all parts of the body by breath. In the thinker it reaches the brain, in the devotee and moral person it concentrates in the heart, in the gourmand in the stomach and in the passionate person more around the sex organs. Concentration helps send this energy where it is needed. Often concentration may be unconscious and at other times the movement of the blood, bringing light and energy, are instinctive.
40. It is light within the body more than light without the body which heals. X-rays and radio-active waves do penetrate the tissues and in this way they do some good—that is, they convey a sort of light within the body. But their rate of vibration is too great for the physical molecules and cells to withstand and preserve their form when bombarded, so the action of these rays is often destructive rather than creative or preservative.
A child accustomed to radio-active treatments might thrive under them, but his whole system, including his eye-sight and nerves would be altered. It is the natural method of receiving light through the breath which is best. The mystic does this and can even illuminate the interior of the body.
41. Christ has said: “If thine eye be single then thy body is full of light”. This is true. It means if the sight-perception and concentration are focused upon that all-pervading Unity which is God, the interior of the self, then both the physical body and the finer bodies are purified and clarified through the Divine Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God.
When one can control this condition, which is very rare and very attenuated, he can dissolve his physical vehicle upon transition as did Elijah and Jesus Christ and many Sufi Pirs.
41a. Some who object to the statement that the body can be filled with light agree that it can be filled with electricity. What is electricity? What is magnetism? They are variations of the same energy which we call light. It is the same thing only under a different name. But what gives color to our skin and blood and organs? It is not the electricity; it is that light which enters our system with every breath.
42. Some people imagine that they can direct prana to certain organs and by that way achieve illumination. Others pay no attention to it but concentrate on God without always realizing that this act purifies the blood so it can bring light to the chakras.
Science proves the relation between the chakras or ductless glands and the blood. Man cannot force them open or control them, but the Divine Energy, which manifests in water and breath and blood through the Grace of God and not by man’s will, can open all the chakras and illuminate every part of the mind.
43. Sufis concentrate on the heart knowing that this is the central control of the mind and all its vehicles, including the physical body.
Sufis also concentrate on the heart which is the abode of love and the means of approaching and addressing the Beloved. The Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea upon leaving Egypt represents the purification of the soul abandoning the world in the quest for God.
44. When the breath is in the Kemal it is not only in a state of destruction, it is also in a state of purification and purging, and it is an especial mark of the change of coarse vibrations to fine, which is a destruction of matter through the spiritualizing of matter which is man’s chief work on earth. That is why Kasab has such an effect upon the body, often rendering the kidneys and the bowels active. Even in using “Ya Shafee, Ya Kafee” as Wazifa this destructive movement sometimes becomes operative.
Mystics utilize the destructive force to purge their bodies, minds and hearts. One does not strive to fill the body with light. This is natural when Shagal is assigned, but this noble practice is dangerous for the underdeveloped and must not be overdone even by the most advanced, for it has an effect similar to the x-ray and radio-active emanations, and under certain circumstances can become very destructive.
45. For that reason the Sufis have eliminated many breathing exercises except for occult purposes. Otherwise just those breaths are practiced which enable the Divine Light and Power to flow through the body. All other concentration is on God and exercises are prescribed chiefly to bring man to God-realization.
Meditation in the heart is much safer and a quicker method than stimulating the breath. It has no physical reaction and besides that, strengthens moral and devotional qualities.
46. It will not be necessary to give the race many breathing exercises and unnecessary postures. Man will have to accommodate himself to high and low levels. He will rise into the air and sink beneath the surface of the waters. This means a careful training of breath in different ways. For this Hatha Yoga and Tantric practices are not always helpful and may even be considered harmful.
Hatha Yoga is all right for people who do not work or move about, who can sit in many postures and do not have to go up in the air or sink below sea-level. So from a practical point of view it neither brings man nearer to God nor prepares him for a suitable life on earth.
Similarly Raja Yoga and Tantra Yoga had their day. In the future Air-Force and Fire-Force will both be necessary as well as Earth-Force and Water-Force, for travel in subways and submarines. Therefore there is a greater need to spiritualize the breath in all directions than for some special training. The healing breaths will be more beneficial than all the ancient asanas and yoga practices, and they can be used at times when they are needed, or Ya Shafee, Ya Kafee can be practiced as Darood or repeated as Wazifas. These will be most helpful, bringing the healing power of God to aid humanity.
47. No doubt there will be a return of the Fire-Force but this will come naturally. It is part of the evolution of the race, not some method for attaining occult and psychical powers. When it is so used harm will come.
The mystics strive to avoid all the bizarrity of the extreme practices of asceticism. It is rash to overdo anything in this world or the next except praising God. Overeating and overdrinking and oversleeping are harmful. So is excess of any kind and one who thinks he will come close to God by rigorous yoga and tantric practices is further from the truth than passionate people who perform their acts of love.
48. So long as it is man breathing, there is room for improvement. When it is God breathing, then the light and life manifest through the body. That is why meditation is the best of healing practices. For that reason the main object in Sufic training is to overcome the nufs which stands as a shadow before the light. What matter if there be a candle or globe or the sun itself is shining if this is all covered by shadow?
Those yoga ascetics whom the Buddha criticized were all striving to increase the light without removing the shadow. Therefore all their efforts were in vain. Even natural breathing helps the light within. Purgation is the removal of shadow and this is man’s work, but the pouring of light and life into our bodies and consciousness comes from the Divine Grace of God. Therefore the Sermon on the Mount should read: “Give us on each occasion that which is necessary to sustain us,” or as Saum puts it: “Pour upon us Thy Love and Thy Light; give sustenance to our bodies, hearts and souls.”
49. Prakriti, which was formed of the negative vibrations, is the accommodation for light and Purusha, which was formed of the positive vibrations, may appear as light or as energy. Heat, electricity, sound, magnetism and motion all come from this substance and all of them may be called life. Yet life requires both a mold, or accommodation for its manifestation, and an energy to bring the light and motion within that accommodation (or akasha).
The mental sphere, like the physical sphere, consists of thinker and thought, which are two, but in the realm of the heart the soul is clad in the substance of the sphere. This is very hard to understand, especially as one on earth rising to this state may become selfless or ecstatic.
50. The selfless condition is the condition of light and the condition of light brings one to the true Self. Then the Divine Breath seizes the body and either intoxicates it in ecstasy, causing one to lose all thought of limitation or brings it all knowledge without losing consciousness of the world. Then it may be said that one has overcome the world, in the language of the Scripture, and then one may become totally immersed in love. But if not lost in the ecstasy of love, one may be filled with such power and inspiration that deeds may seem almost superhuman.
51. Blood, which has nearly the same composition chemically as the sea water also dissolves some air in the breathing process. As the animals of the sea do not live without breathing, so the cells in the body cannot live properly without breathing. Blood brings food and air to every cell in the body and the cells take from the blood breath, prana and sustenance. They breathe somewhat similarly to the one-celled animals and pour carbon dioxide into the bloodstream; they draw their food nutrient from the blood and also take vital energy (prana).
Urouj not only pumps the blood, but enables all the tissues of the body to gain thereby, taking from the sphere what they need; Nasoul enables them to remove waste materials of all kinds.
52. Urouj and Nasoul cannot be applied only to the physical activity; these processes include mental action. Memory is increased by Urouj; on the other hand, if one desires to prevent impressions, or to remove them, the Nasoul breath is beneficial, which may eliminate poisonous, disgusting, or undesirable thoughts from the mind even as it aids in removing waste from the physical body.
The Kemalic aspect of breath removes need for both memory and forgetfulness, bringing to and from the mind what is necessary and especially what is necessary for the spiritual evolution. So it forms the nexus of union between conscience and Divine impression. The mystic does not try these breaths; they come naturally as needed when he puts his trust in God and keeps in Fikr.
53. To avoid disgusting impressions, concentrate on Allaho Akbar, with emphasis on the Nasoul breath—that is, keep the exhalation strong, or else use Ishk Allah, Mahbood Lillah for Darood. Especially after meals Darood is preferable to employing breath which is needed in the digestive process.
In the former case one protects oneself by keeping the impressions away; the latter helps to transmute them, raising the pitch of consciousness so they can have no ill effect on one. In either case there may be a favorable reaction on the source of the disgust, making the person or persons realize the ignobility of the situation without the need to use exhortation. Of course the glance may be added to the breath to further strengthen it.
54. Use of any spiritual phrase physically or mentally draws more prana into the nostrils with the inhalation and so gives light, life and strength to the internal organs. If the breathing exercises are performed carefully, heath can always be maintained over the whole body as well as over each part.
55. Although breathing exercises are given to mureeds early on the spiritual journey, the purport and effect of them is not then explained. Every breath touches the mind as well as the body. The prayer says: “Purify our bodies, hearts and souls” (Nayaz). What value to a prayer after a practice if there was no connection between them?
56. That prana is not the same as oxygen nor the spiritual development of the internal organs the same as oxygenation can be proven that as one goes high up on a mountain the prana increases while the oxygen decreases, while if one goes below sea level in a submarine or deep into a mine, the reverse holds. Yet it can be shown that mental and psychical activity become more spiritual in the rarefied atmosphere. Thoughts become nobler and purer and intellectual capacity is enhanced. Such atmospheres resemble more closely the desirable areas of Malakut.
57. Spiritual development does not depend so much on the condition of the external atmosphere as upon the condition within. No doubt ecstasy can be attained much more easily on a mountain top and Moses, Jesus, Elijah and Mohammed all went to some sacred mountain. But they did not stay there; they had to come down and work in the cities.
Therefore the Sufi strives to develop and maintain the spiritual atmosphere where he is. In this sense the mountain comes to Mohammed—that is to say, the conditions physical, psychic, mental and spiritual are carried everywhere by the illuminated soul who controls his atmosphere and that of others.
58. The Sufi does not try to open chakras, but to maintain balance. When the breath and bloodstream and mind are purified by yoga exercises and meditation, the flower of the heart and soul open through the combined effort of the sun, rain and earth within. The sun within comes in the power and fire energy, the rain in the purified bloodstream through love, the earth in the cleansed bodies, the air in the oxygen and prana which are carried to every tube and vein, and the ether which is the very vehicle of the prana and the divine sound.
59. Ether is life and death, purification and destruction, the means for attaining the highest and the lowest. Slave of ether is one conquered by passion, and master of ether is the ruler of himself.
60. There are two aspects to be considered in the study of electricity: capacity and potential. Capacity is the ability of a container to receive energy, and potential is the ability of a conductor to carry it. These same two principles appear in the human body.
Capacity is increased by meditation and, in general, by heart action, by maintaining the rhythm of the heart-beat, by feeling the consciousness in the heart, by directing all activity from the center to the circumference and by maintaining unity in feeling, thought and action. It is connected with inspiration.
Corresponding to electrical potential or motive power is what the mystics also call power. This arises from the control of the breath and the ability to apply and utilize the breath. All the mysteries arise from these subjects.
61. In the Miraj the Prophet first rode Burrak; that is to say, he mastered the breath. After that he mastered the heart. This is seen in his journey through the higher heavens and his arrival at the Arsh-throne.
While the Sufis reverence Mohammed as the greatest of humans and as the sealer of the mysteries, their praise is toward God for His Graciousness in preserving those practices which make the experience of Mohammed not unique, but open to all men and especially that highest attainment, the vision of God Himself.
62. One of the greatest mistakes in discussing the Kundalini-Force is in not discussing Divine Fire. Why use the word Kundalini? Why not as well use Sanskrit or foreign words for other things? There are enough mysteries in life without adding to them by borrowing words from foreign languages.
63. The Divine Fire is developed by Meditation (or Heart exercise) and by Yoga (or Breath exercise). Every breath raises or lowers the electrical state of the body which can be demonstrated and proven scientifically. If this power is increased without augmenting the capacity many times more—which is done by meditation—the same thing will happen to the human body as occurs to the electrical system—a fuse blows out and you have trouble.
64. The human engineer never leads his current so as to break down his fuses. Even then they can be replaced although sometimes at a cost. But some who falsely claim wisdom overload their systems and burn out the fuses in the switch-board called the brain. When they make a plaything of the mysteries of God, even the whole incarnation is not enough, for this is a sin against the Holy Spirit, the Divine Breath.
65. Increase in meditative capacity should always precede practices in concentration or breathing. If one has unlimited power in meditation he may develop therefrom unlimited power in concentration. But if one tries to create within the fragile human body the breath sufficient to operate the earth, he can blow out all the connections. The Sufis accompany their breathing practices with Nimaz or Meditation, which preserves balance.
66. If the capacity for meditation increases, even without much addition in breathing exercises, the whole of man’s being can become illumined.
67. Shafee breath (Nayaz), Kasab, Fikr and Shagal bring all the light necessary for the human spiritualization and for divine expression (not realization, which comes through the heart). If the Murshids and Occultists have a few other breathing exercises, this is not for their development but that God may manifest on earth. It is as Khalif that man fulfills his purpose on earth. Murshid is the fulfillment not of man’s purpose but of God’s purpose.
68. In the teachings of Sufi Mysticism one learns to ask all the questions on all subjects in heaven and earth, and to receive answers through the breath. It is very simple, and that has been God’s way of preserving Wisdom through the ages amidst a humanity which loves complexities.
69. As speech is an activity of breath, each speech throws the breath in some particular direction. When this is done the breath cannot be directed to God Who gave it. The difference between the silence of the Sage and of the idiot is that while neither may utter words, the sage is very active in his Fikr, so his inaction is really a greater action than his speech.
In other words, in his silence the sage speaks to the universe, while when he talks he only conveys his thoughts to a limited few. In this sense and from this view can be seen the great value of silence.
70. Every speech narrows the activity of the mind to a particular subject. As concentration also narrows the activity of the mind, bringing it under control, concentration is more important than breathing exercises. By this means thought stands above speech, and in turn speech should control action, while there should be unity among and between them.
In spoken praise to God the words are addressed to the whole universe, while in conversation or lecture the speech is spiritualized just so far as one has preceded the talk by Fikr or Darood.
71. Fikr is the connecting nexus between meditation, yoga and music, which are the three chief means the Sufis use to attain God realization. In the higher sense and from the widest interpretation, these include all the means of attaining God. Without Fikr they appear as different paths to realization and illumination.
72. As a rule, the Jemal and Jelal concentrations are all that are necessary to purify the breath and voice preparatory to spiritual training through music. The adzan (call to prayer) is excellent for the Jelal concentration, while Zikr can easily be practiced by concentrating on the heart to ennoble the Jemal aspects of the voice. From Jelal comes power, from Jemal sweetness.
73. Thought is the greatest foe to the perfection of the voice, whether used in music or in speech. It is not special mastery of the breath which can overcome this so much as Fikr. Therefore one practice of Fikr, according to Sufi teaching, is worth about a thousand ascetic exercises which do not in the end find God.
74. There are no limits to the road by which one can escape from the world. From Hatha Yoga and Tantric Yoga you can go to hashish and opium. This is like turning man into a jinn or peri or infant. He escapes his manhood without approaching Godhood.
All the spiritual philosophies from Egypt, Greece and the Vedas down to the present day taught that escape and release was not a severance of a bond so much as a growth wherein the bond was no longer a bond. Even the highest mountain would be no obstacle to a man 20,000 feet high.
75. What is breath? It is an activity of God. What is soul? It is an emanation of God. What is perfection? It is an attribute of God. What is Life? It is an aspect of God. What is man? An image of God pretending to be a reality: a puppet on a stage dreaming the audience is imaginary; a figure moving a string (deus ex machina) thinking he controls the world.
76. The ancient Chinese calendar was made up of groups of five and cycles of sixty, made up of each of the twelve conditions dominated by one of the five elements of the breath. But as the real cycles are of seven years, not of twelve, it is these cycles of seven years each which require 35 years for the average person to reach the height of their powers and 35 years more to complete the run of ordinary physical existence. First 35 years appears as positive from the earthly standpoint which represent the encasement of the soul into matter, and the next 35 years should be devoted to the freeing of the soul.
The ancient Hindus divided the life-cycle to fulfill all the purposes for which the soul was incarnated, and their rishis taught all these principles.
77. According to this the spiritual development of the young and old differ. In the young there is more fire-energy, more vitality and more capacity naturally. So instead of their needing to enter meditation, music is more valuable for their development, which purifies the breath as it leaves the body. The exhalation carries the vibrations from the earth-sphere to the higher planes. By repeating “Allah” or some spiritual phrase it enlivens and enlightens the subtle vehicles. By singing it attunes one still more to the essence of the inner spheres and produces inspiration and power.
78. Older people have lost that capacity which is the natural property of man. For them meditation and silence is better. Even after thirty-five the life in the mental vehicle becomes more active. As age creeps on, when so called memory begins to weaken, it means that the breath can no longer correlate all events of the physical and mental spheres. Then meditation is of value which at least prevents disintegration.
According to the Sufi teaching meditation alone is not enough. Some breathing exercises along with Fikr and Zikr are necessary to draw vitality to the earth-sphere and to supply spiritual and moral magnetism when the attainment of physical magnetism has become an impossibility and the development of mental magnetism either difficult or not particularly beneficial.
79. Problem of how to restore spirituality to the body: To see God in living forms. This is difficult but not impossible. Protoplasm is the basis of all living forms. This is translucent. The lower animals are all translucent or mostly so and especially jelly-fish, but when in their evolution and development they take on higher forms they also become opaque.
79a. The single-celled animals are washed by the ocean or inland waters. They do not therefore need any blood. Their blood may be said to be outside themselves. They reproduce their kind by division and can be called immortal for there is not strictly speaking among them an individual nufs. They draw breath out of the water and this air is washed by the water and does not contain so much dust. When there is a nufs the breath takes in the dust of the earth and atmosphere, rendering the body opaque.
80. Nufs is necessary or the body would not feed or grow beyond the single cell stage. Until bodies could take in and expel gases they could not handle liquids. Therefore the mineral kingdom came first. In the mineral kingdom most solids and liquids hold some gaseous matter within them and when heated expel it. There is no inner heat in the rock or stone except the inner heat of the whole earth. Therefore they depend upon the sun and external conditions.
The sun expands the rock and some air fills the empty spaces. In the cold weather the rock contracts, then it expands when warmed again and the air escapes. This is a sort of breathing of the mineral kingdom which also supplies an intake of prana. However, the rock seldom affects the gases chemically as do the vegetables and animals.
One sees more translucent and transparent bodies in the mineral kingdom and originally all were that way. When the planets are in a gaseous state there is more room for the penetration of light. When they become harder, that means the planet develops its nufs, which is first necessary. After a while chemical action changes the conditions of the rocks and weather changes it still more. All this comes in the process of materializing spirit.
Now how to spiritualize matter?
81. The plant and animal are stages in the evolution of the Universal Force which is called Purusha by the Hindus, Yang by the Chinese and Eleh in the Kabbalah, which is nothing but God. (Eleh=Allah). This is all God spinning His creation. He builds a mold and this is also out of His Being; this mold is called Prakriti by the Hindus, Yin by the Chinese, and In, Mi, or Mim by the Hebrews. The Sufis speak of these conditions as Lover and Beloved, Allah and Mohammed. This knowledge is the basis of all occult knowledge and all mystical knowledge, of all spiritual cosmogony and metaphysics and gnosis. This is the foundation of all secret wisdom.
So God divides Himself, so to speak, into two parts, and while one is sometimes called Light and the other Darkness, one called Being and the other Not-Being, the Sufi holds both as God Who in this may be called Father and Mother.
82. Breath is subject to definite laws. There are rhythms in the Universe by which vibrations are sent forth. If vibrations are not sent forth in regular pulsations, they make noise instead of music and produce a hazy grayness instead of clear light and colour.
When these rhythms were once established, plant life was enabled to exist and after that came the animal kingdom. There was the rainy season for water to fall, and the earth season for the seeds to germinate and the fire season to make them grow and the air season for their fructification, permitting the perpetuation of the species, and the period of cleansing and resting which may be called the etheric season, which comes mostly at the end of autumn just before winter.
83. While colour is born of light it may be translucent as in the rainbow or as opaque pigment, caused by absorption and reflection in solid objects. It is mostly mixtures which hide the light and this is true in all forms from the lowest to the highest. If all the water were removed from a tree stem, the light would pass through it, the solid material would appear glassy. Man has even succeeded in making steel and other metallic substances which are transparent. This shows that by a process of refining and perfection all bodies become translucent, and through then the light will shine.
84. Jesus Christ told his disciples to let their light shine before men. Most people being subject to the revolution of the tattvas and at the same time having no knowledge of the tattvas, have their breath in confusion. In them the earth, water, air, fire and etheric breaths are strangely commingled. That is why the body loses luster shortly after infancy, and this can only be restored by a rigid discipline and then through spiritual regeneration.
85. Regeneration is not impossible but sometimes it may come unawares, and sometimes to a rare individual like Jacob Boehme who did not fully understand his experience. The first and greatest obstacle to this becoming generally is the lack of the feeling of sacredness, sincerity and seriousness in giving birth to children. From this point of view sex relations other than for procreation are not so important except that when one has been promiscuous before being a father or mother, it may have a questionable psychic effect on the child.
85a. A woman who has had intercourse with several men may have many “thought-children”, so to speak, on the mental plane. When she is actually pregnant these forms rush on to the incarnating soul and sometimes attach themselves to it, so a child is born to a woman who may resemble a former husband or have some of the characteristics of a man with whom she has consorted beforehand. And even the man who has had some mistresses or wives before becoming a father, may impress those forms onto the incarnating soul.
86. The Sufi recognizes and realizes that what is regarded as immorality in one country may be an established custom in another country. Pure monogamy as well as pure polygamy can produce pure children, but polyandry cannot as the mother holds the thought-form longer and stronger than the man. This is the reason why widow remarriage was discouraged in India, only it is terribly vicious to require a child-wife not to remarry when she has not reached puberty or has not had children.
Mohammed, who was very solicitous about children, considered it a virtue to marry widows so as to protect their children, even though the husband was already married. That is one of the main reasons for his countenancing polygamy. When there is love and not lust between the parents, no matter what the form of institution, in or out of wedlock, the soul does not pick up the extraneous thought-forms while incarnating, and so may come into the world as a very spiritual being.
87. Safa is the purification which brings light and lucidity. As the Bible teaches, Safa consists of purification in water and breath and blood. All these are necessary for the physical body; breath and blood are used in the purification of the mind, and blood alone in the purification of the angelic body, for the heart contains its own medicine.
88. Mystics and sages drink much water. The body is mostly water, yet the body is opaque. Animal food is harder to assimilate than vegetable food. Therefore Yogis are vegetarian. Sufis are not always vegetarians, and at the same time practice safa. The reason is that without nufs, there could be no denseness. One can live forever on dainty foods, but so long as the thought of self exists, the body cannot be purified,
89. In Concentration there are three stages of Urouj, Kemal and Zaval. The selfish person wishes Urouj to predominate. That draws something to the body, mind and heart, and whatever is drawn casts a shadow over the soul. At the same time, when the Zaval condition predominates, there is no life. This is all right for sleep, but not for the waking stage. So it is to counteract the nufs, the cause of shadow, which is most important.
90. In early life the child is not always self-conscious so the breath is different, and then no yoga practices are necessary. While the child is often enthusiastic, thus displaying Urouj, the enthusiasm does not always last long, and the child often loses interest quickly passing through Kemal and Zaval stages. At the same time this Urouj condition is necessary to draw the needed energy into the body during the process of physical growth.
This condition no doubt shows a certain lack of development, but while it lasts the child generally remains obedient. When the child’s interest and enthusiasm in life become so great that play or even work or duty absorbs too much time, energy and interest, it is then that the nufs is taking definite form. This is called the formation of the personality, and at the same time it is the greatest opportunity for sowing good or evil in the child.
91. When a boy or girl first begins to develop strong personality and character which generally comes at the age of nine or a little later, the breathing exercises can be given to them. This is much better than constant correction. Correction seldom benefits the nufs and often crushes the real personality.
Divine breath is at the basis of personality. The soul has attuned itself to a certain keynote in Djabrut and gathered certain experiences and characteristics in Malakut. These remain as seeds until the body is big and strong enough to express them. Curbing a child is harmful, as it only drives the pre-life effects, the past karma so to speak, deep into its nature. Directing a child in a kindly and intelligent manner enables it to use this past raw-mind stuff with wisdom.
92. Prayer can be taught to a child at any age according to its tendencies. A prayerful child does not need much instruction in breath, but one who is strong-willed can better be controlled in that way. Often one who indulges in play or athletics develops a strong spirit. The way to meet this situation is not necessarily through any mystical dissertation on the breath. One may explain and demonstrate all the various evil effects of loss of breath. It is far better to appeal to the child’s intelligence than to make any appearance of correcting it of a fault.
And the same holds true of many adults. Short-winded, quick-breathed and changeable persons can be instructed to better advantage by this means than through correction or criticism of any kind.
93. The purification of the body of the young is mostly through rhythm in life, regulation of breath, drinking sufficient water and eating correct food. Milk and milk-products are best for the young, which contain considerable water and are also light in colour. Even the whiteness of milk is beneficial, which is its natural colour. Only when colours are natural do they benefit one; artificial colours always cause strange mixtures in textures.
Fruits and green vegetables, especially those grown above the ground, are always very good. For the rest, food becomes most harmful both in proportion to its tamasic nature and also as one is more under the sway of nufs. Heavy meats, alcohol and tobacco as well as artificial stimulants are therefore harmful. This does not mean spices which are natural products and may be considered even as [medicaments]. Resting before a meal, and the saying of grace in some form quieten the nufs before eating and thereby aid digestion.
94. There are several kinds of impurities; impurities of food; impurities of action; impurities of speech; impurities of thought; impurities of environment and impurities of emotion, which arise generally from the condition of the breath.
95. Impurities of deed, speech and environment and emotion can best be corrected through the breath. Even the mind can he greatly benefited by right breathing. If a mystic is not careful about his food and otherwise exercises self-control, this may not trouble him much. Food as well as the food vehicle is largely composed of Prakrit, and it creates darkness and shadow unless the spiritual power can overcome it.
96. Action can be controlled through the breath, through Darood and Fikr. What may be called the impurities of the environment, the impediments caused by the atmosphere one must dwell in or move through can be dominated in the same way. Although the former seems to be connected with the self and the latter with the non-self, the means of controlling them is similar. This is because under Darood God becomes the actor Who cannot be limited either in capacity or by all the opposition of creation.
97. The emotions are controlled through the knowledge of mysticism as well as by Fikr and Zikr. Of course Zikr transmutes all emotions while Fikr checks or regulates them. Knowledge of mysticism enables one to find his own difficulties and there are many breath practices which can be adopted by the accomplished seer who understands the nature of breath.
98. It is the thought accretions which are collected either in coming toward incarnation, living in the body, or in the return journey in after life, which cause most confusion to the soul and create and perpetuate darkness. When parents maintain a spiritual attitude and practice Fikr it enables the involving soul to enter the body with least difficulty. This practice may be continued by the parents until the child learns its breathing exercises, or at least until it learns to pray.
99. Fikr always preserves the atmosphere and keeps away disgusting thought, speech and action, even unconsciously. For there is a life, a knowledge and a power in the cells of the body, and the expression which is called Instinct is nevertheless an activity of Divine Light in the Prakriti, in the Yin, in the Mim or Mi, which distinguishes it from Intuition, which is the Divine Light, the same Divine Light in the Purusha, the Yang, the Eleh. But both are forms of the Divine Light, so that consciously or unconsciously one may always be guided by Allah.
100. Zikr is the best means of restoring light in the young who are very susceptible to its influence. All music is an expression of the Divine Being. It comes in three forms: instinctive, personal and spiritual. These are respectively represented by Prakriti, Ahankara and Purusha. The former is connected with the group-consciousness or animal soul, the next with the individual consciousness, and the latter with cosmic consciousness. These are called Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshemah by the Hebrews, and are termed Nufs Ammara, Nufs Mutmaina, and Nufs Salima by the Sufis.
Of the forms of music, instrumental music is connected more or less with Prakriti, dancing more or less with the ego, and singing with the Purusha. All these have a spiritualized form, but in singing there is the direct music of the spirit, which is expressed through rather than by an instrument. Consequently while instrumental music or dancing may have a very beneficial effect, it is the Voice which gives the highest tones.
Some Sufis unite the dancing with the singing in Zikr. That is because to begin with, one is in the individualized consciousness, but this becomes transmuted, and the instruments serve in the concentration which takes place at the same time, especially as the instrumentalists have learned to express their psychic power through their instruments.
In this way all forms of Zikr can be used to transmute the dense qualities and bring life and light to the earth-plane.
101. The original Bar Mitzvah of the Hebrews was a mystical ceremony, a dedication of the self to God. As the body grows, it also develops the germs of new bodies so that the preservation of the species on the earth plane is possible. This process is a materialization of spirit and makes use of the Yin or Prakrit. It plays an important part in the Yoni worship of the Hindus.
This is the force of relative darkness. Nasout, the material kingdom, is born of the hardening of the primal hule. What is necessary is not to counteract it, but to build another force equal to it, and for that reason certain spiritual instruction was given to youth and maidens. Often instead of breathing exercises, they were instructed in music and dancing, which is more suitable for them and which can produce the same beneficial effects.
102. During adolescence often a great light comes into the body. Use of intoxicants and drugs always destroys this light and energy. Also abuse of sex-power (yoni or yin). Sex life is very necessary but it includes much more than copulation, embrace or contact.
103. Practice of Zikr regulates the breath at this age. It produces an expansive movement for the soul, and coming at the same time as the growth of sex power transmutes it without inhibiting it. This is the best form of control which does not include any inhibition.
104. So much of breath as is utilized in Zikr and Wazifa, so much less is employed by the nufs. Without nufs there could be no propagation of spirit. Creation came first in a contractive movement, then in the expansion of spirit. Nufs has been necessary to coagulate spirit making an accommodation for individuation first among the lower forms and then for the pure realized individuals among the human kingdom.
105. Question whether dancing is beneficial depends on character of social acquaintances: atmosphere and music. Dancing that develops grace restrains lust and dancing that causes ecstasy is of the highest value.
106. Nothing instinctive is evil. What is necessary is to employ and transmute instinct. This can be done by using spiritual music or having young people enter meditation before, between and after dances. This will preserve the luster of their bodies and spirits. Dancing should be the means, not the end.
107. All light, brilliance and glow that comes into the body at any time is a sign of the Shekinah, that is to say, the face of God (Gr. prosopon). And what is the face of God? When the face of man is illumined it shows the presence of the Shekinah. Love always does this to some extent, and even in its lowest aspect love may include some good.
108. That intoxication is evil which cannot be preserved; that inspiration is evil which cannot be maintained. The man who is perpetually drunk is not in such a bad state as one who is sometimes drunk, sometimes sober, but cannot control himself. Both the toper and the Sufi have sufferance because they could not maintain intoxication.
Balance is therefore often better than change of state. Yet intoxication may be necessary to awaken love. After a time the man who is intoxicated from drink may become sober or insane, and so will rise or fall. Often the developed mystic reaches a state when he is no longer subject to the change in hal, that is between intoxication and sobriety.
109. Breath in youth is subject to great rise and fall. What makes physical growth possible? This cannot be ascribed to food although food is necessary to supply the bodily materials. The life-force which is found in the blood and glands appears in different parts of the body; thus, first in the thymus gland, later in the pineal gland, then in the pituitary and sex functions, and finally the adrenals and thyroid gland which regulate the system together with the heart.
Under excitement there is sure to be loss of rhythm, unless the increased speed which comes with enthusiasm and is connected with Urouj is regulated spiritually. Thus self mastery does not exclude conditions and states, it permits them and controls them.
110. Among the ductless glands, the thymus and the pineal are connected with Urouj, the gonads and pituitary with Kemal and the adrenals and thyroid with Zaval. Heart is also connected with Kemal. In the organs which express Kemalic functions, there is or should be always an excess of the etheric element; it can be seen that fire preponderates in the pineal gland, air in the thyroid, water in the adrenals, the earth element has been connected with the base of the spine.
The thymus and heart both represent the highest expressions of spirit in two opposite ways, the one forming the mold by which spirit is materialized, the other being the organ whereby matter is spiritualized. They have been placed near each other in the body for very special metaphysical reasons.
111. People who realize that the stomach is affected by food and the liver affected by food try to energize the ductless glands by concentration and postures and unusual breaths. This is as useless as concentrating on the stomach instead of eating. Proper food benefits the stomach and liver, proper water helps the kidneys and bloodstream, proper breathing develops the lungs and voice.
The ductless glands draw their sustenance from the bloodstream and the pure physical, psychic, mental and spiritual condition of that system assist them the most.
112. To restore the light within the body, self-control is most important and this comes through meditation. As pure self-control is really God-control, prayer or nimaz is also prescribed.
113. To enable the Divine Attributes to appear in the body, Wazifas are repeated. To complement this by making the coarser and finer bodies instruments for the Divine Essence, Fikr is also practiced. To attune the self and its vehicles to this Universe, Zikr and spiritual music have been used by the Sufis, which transform the body into the Holy Temple of God. Then it is ready for the real spiritual training.
114. Kasab is a means whereby the physical body is slowly, carefully and rhythmically regulated so as to increase gradually its capacity for prana, the Divine Energy or Nuri which permeates space. To give the body further strength, that is to say, power, along with inspiration, concentration is added to the practices, and these two together with Fikr make the body the instrument for the Divine Breath.
115. Finally Shagal is assigned to mureeds who have strength, capacity and wisdom. This restores through the breath the inner light into the body. There are several forms of Shagal as well as variations in all practices, but the main purpose is to enable the physical temple of the Holy Spirit to let this light shine out. If it is not overdone, it is a most marvelous practice.
116. If any spiritual practice, especially one connected with the breath, is overdone, light is modified into fire. Self-surrender is more important than zeal. Fikr cannot be overdone but as daily habits sometimes make pure Fikr impossible, it is modified into Darood. Darood does not always increase spiritual energy, but does prevent its loss under any circumstances.
117. Etheric element acts as an accommodation for light and darkness both, for it is present in sleep and death and also in illumination. Whether pain is transcended because of a sedative, killing the life therein, or by the spiritual shifayat, in either case there is the etheric element.
But there is also a great difference here. In sleep, sedation, drowsiness and death, one is overcome by the elements, and in mastery, spiritual healing and hal, one overcomes the elements. Therefore there is darkness when the will is enslaved and light when the will is freed.
118. When man’s instincts predominate, the will is caught in the prakrit and man is in darkness. This is the tamasic condition.
When the will is in the mental sphere and there is apparent liberty of action but no control over the results of the action, man is in the realm of colors and shades, and the elements appear according to their nature and the nature of the action. This is the Rajasic condition.
When the will is in the heart, then the action and result are in accord with Divine Harmony; this is the Sattvic condition.
119. Every breath taken with the thought of God or in praise of God preserves the light of the body. Kasab increases the capacity, Shagal increases the light and Darood and Fikr prevent its loss. Therefore illumination can extend even to the physical vehicle.
120. It is said that the Prophet had no shadow. This only becomes possible when the inner light equals the outer light. Shagal was practiced by all the nabiim, but very few became transfigured. Mohammed beheld the light of the Shekinah and assimilated it, (Nuri), and was therefore as the sun on earth. Consequently, when he chose, and God chose, he could cause his body to glow like the sun and destroy his shadow.
121. Only complete destruction of nufs can bring about this condition with its light. This seldom occurs, both on account of the limitation of man, and because Allah does not always require Rassoul to deliver His Message. The Message of God is expressed in Rassoul not only through the heart and mind but through flesh also. This completes the purpose of the Divine Creation when the light of Allah appears in the flesh.
122. The easiest and best way to express Nuri within the flesh is by Fikr and without the flesh is by Zikr although for both Kasab and Shagal may be necessary especially for those who have passed the age of youth. Fikr illuminates the mind within and Zikr throws the light around one, invigorating the physical body, the atmosphere and the etheric body. By keeping the consciousness centered in the heart in love and unselfishness, the light becomes purified, more easily controlled, and more radiant.
123. Phenomena are not the purpose for which a spiritual exercise is practiced. Besides, when there is love for phenomena, one can never produce the marvelous phenomena which love for love’s sake can accomplish.
124. In Hal the heart can become a globe of light. In Qur’an the Prophet tells the condition of the attainment of Shekinah which is light upon light—and the result of the sway of nufs which is darkness upon darkness. Nevertheless so long as there is any breath there is not absolute darkness. Wicked people have heavy, coarse and shallow breaths, while the breath of the saints is fine, refined and deep.
125. There is really only a limited number of practices necessary to attain to illumination, to accomplish the purpose of life. It is the repetition of these acts rather than the understanding of them which attains the end sought, the completion of self-expression and the acquiring of Divine Consciousness (baqa) while in the flesh. Physical illumination may result from cosmic consciousness but not necessarily so. When this occurs the whole skin and aura may become luminous.
126. Breath of individual together with thought of self creates individual nufs. Breath of group together with thought of group gives rise to collective nufs. Nufs is cause of all suffering. Shifayat knowing this can heal a person, family, district or country by holding the name of the place and counteracting it with spiritual breath, purifying it also through meditation.
127. To purify an atmosphere Zikr is of great value, but as all voices are limited, to purify a still greater atmosphere Fikr is employed. Why? Because when the thought is held that within a given district naught exists but God, no evil can befall that district if the thinker has mastered concentration.
128. Work of Wali, Ghous and Kutb is to purify the spiritual atmosphere within the region assigned to them. Therefore they hold the feeling of their fief in concentration, and keep before themselves day and night the Divine Thought. This makes it impossible for the artificial nufs to build up through an Urouj movement a contractive force making for name, fame and shame. When these go, evil, disease and sadness depart.
129. Nufs does not entirely disappear when transformed. The earth is moving through space and the old nufs is cast off and remains in cosmic space where it is stored in the universal memory. Collection of such nufs may be called akashic records, because they dwell in the akasha.
Ordinary memory recalls some of the events but there are two other methods. One is what is called History, which is the written or oral record of affairs retained by the race. The other is the attunement of the consciousness to the past enabling one to read from the data there.
This last method can also be applied by the seer who can read into the future as the karma of man, individual and collective, sensitizes the cosmic field in the path of the earth’s motion around the sun and when the earth arrives at that place the karma takes its toll.
130. The seer can read the past, present and future by making his breath negative to the Cosmic Breath. This is done by Fikr or Darood. Then by holding the thought or idea before one, observing the changes in the breath as well as the impressions upon the mind and the feelings within the heart, knowledge is conveyed to one.
131. Fortune telling, crystal gazing and prognostications are forbidden to one except in certain circumstances on the path to God. First, because all reading of akashic records can be psychic, occult or mystical.
In the psychic method only part of the mind is used and this is contrary to spiritual law which is to illumine the whole mind. Yet there are some initiates who are granted clear vision by Divine Grace and all simple minds and many young people have the faculty at some time or other. In such cases one must distinguish very carefully between faculties and power which come by Grace of God and those which are artificially developed.
To test psychic faculty, practice Wazifa and Fikr. If faculties are then increased in oneself or in another while one performs these practices, they may be used. If not, and this will be true in a good number of cases, they are to be shunned as of the devil.
132. Occult powers are not to be paraded by the initiate. It is safer to perform mystical practices publicly than anything occult. That is because the mystical knowledge comes immediately, so quickly another cannot grasp it, and the explanation is too difficult or can be made so metaphysical that another’s mind could not grasp it in most instances.
There is no law against astrologers and others to discontinue their work after receiving Bayat, and even using spiritual knowledge in their daily lives. But it is against hierarchical law to make a business out of esoteric knowledge, that is to commence it after Bayat.
133. To recall a memory from the past, it is not always necessary to practice mysticism. If it is in accordance with Cosmic Will that you hold that fact, its nufs is borne to you, so to speak, by the Spirit of Guidance, and so enters your mental sphere. So Divine Attunement is higher and more important than the mystical knowledge attained by the breath. But to compare or contrast them is wrong, for they are faculties of the Spirit of Guidance and not of man.
134. To contact one’s spiritual teacher at the moment: Enter meditation and practice Fikr or Darood. Do not do this when you are not well. If the condition is negative, make it positive. To try and contact one’s teacher when in a negative state is to bring a burden to the teacher without helping yourself. But to keep in harmony with one’s teacher is always advisable.
If there is a difficulty in the feeling, thought or breath, repeat “Ya Shafee, Ya Kafee”, as Wazifa or Darood. If you are feeling well, know that at the moment your teacher needs aid and you give it thereby. If you are not well, you need the practice for yourself.
But if Fikr and Darood bring harmony, peace, power or inspiration to your being, continue your business knowing it to be spiritual and help will be brought to you from on high. Of course, concentration can be added if convenient.
135. It is always possible to discern the morrow but it is not always profitable to do this. Vision into the future is aided by concentration, keen sight and need. When concentration on the future has an adverse effect on the deed of the present, it should be avoided, but when the news of the future is poured into one’s ears and nostrils, it comes naturally.
136. Do not try to be a prophet. When Allah desires a Nabi this power and faculty may come overnight.
137. The breath brings all knowledge of the past, present and future, but there is the path of love as well as the path of knowledge. Progress on the path of knowledge is difficult when there is strong nufs which impedes bast or impels Urouj. Progress on the path of love is impossible when the thought of self stands in the way, throwing a shadow over the mind and a false light into the heart.
138. The mystic may select the elements he requires in his breath or the Spirit of Guidance will bring them as Divine Wisdom sees fit. Mystical practice of Azan is preferable to trying the fire breath and all repetitions of Allaho Akbar build the Jelal qualities. Praise of God and Zikr bring all the blessings that might come with the air element and love for God will give the Jemali qualities as gifts. A loving and selfless heart is better than striving for the water breath. Yet none of these are shunned.
The difference between Sufic occultism and the popular kinds is that Sufic training is to make man the steward of God’s property, to be fakir, owning nothing even when he possesses all things. Man of himself is feeble and occultism without God is no safer than flying in the air without a suitable machine.
139. Man’s name has a certain effect on his character. If he is called “Charles” his nufs will take on a different form than if he is called “William” or “Samuel” or Harold. When a person’s name is changed it affects the nufs. This is both because he is now called by a different sound and thinks a different thought. When a person is complimented it has a certain effect and all music and sound have some effect on the personality so the name by which one is called also has an effect.
140. The spiritual name given to a person is like a Wazifa or Mantra. The purpose of such a name is to enable the Divine Sifat to express themselves in and through the personality. In reality, kindness, friendship, love and all qualities that destroy the power of nufs are nothing but emanations of Allah. The highest of names are Abdullah and Mohammed, both of which represent effacement in the Beloved. When names are given without feeling it is a tragedy, and the karma of bearing a sacred name and not performing suitable deeds is terrific.
141. Do not seek a new name, and if you have the privilege and permission do not indiscriminately allot new names, Consider carefully the value of name and sound and the potent effect of every change. Keeping family names serves to maintain family traditions and customs, but given names have a greater influence over the personality.
142. The mystery of the praise of God, that sublime mystery: What sages express as a moral or precept is often the deepest metaphysics and the highest wisdom. While they seem to seek a simple language it is such that it conveys a message to the simple without holding anything from the complex. Sometimes esoteric teachings are veiled under strange covers to hide them from the curious. Whether they are uttered on the dungheap or in the pure air of the mountain be sure they say what they say and they say very much more for all wisdom is an attempt to pour the Universe into words.
No single word can convey all thoughts. Even the dictionary only has words suitable to the thoughts of the time. If there is no dictionary which covers the thoughts of all men, say in 10,000 years, how can language then convey the meaning of eternity? How can a word or a sentence perform more than an encyclopedia?
Yet it can, and this is the mystery of the hidden and this is the mystery of the Lost Word, meaning the mystery of the lost meaning in words, for God is always, and it is man who is lost.
143. The Hallelujah of the Hebrews and the Alhamdulillah of the Arabians are marvels. First, their literal meaning is true, that is, they declare the praise and honour to God.
But they have an inner significance for they also mean “Be Thou exalted, O Lord.” That is to say, they uplift the worshipper by uplifting the Ideal of Worship. Hieroglyphically, Hal and Allah and all such sounds have the tendency to uplift. This is seen even in the Hale of the English which means, “Be thou whole or healthy” and also in the word “Hail” especially when used as in “Hail Mary”, the highest form of salutation. It also appears in hello and halloo and such forms, the forms often being preserved after the significance is lost.
Then there is the effect upon mind and consciousness from repeating these words in Mantric form which tends to purify the heart and mind, actually making one hale, whole and healthy. Shouting these words as did the ancients brings a sense of joy and exaltation, difficult to describe, but capable of being experienced by repeating the act. Both the Hebrew and Islamic mystics have known this and some of the former have therefore accepted Sufism.
144. This whole universe is a series of concentric spheres, emanations of the primal Deity. While the name Allah includes all names and aspects of the Godhead, the Hebrew title Elohim better describes the condition which may be called All-ness, Whole-ness and Totality of God Who is at the same time one and many.
God created this world so as to love Himself and know Himself. The angelic world is maintained by sound and the mental word is maintained by sound and the physical world is maintained by sound. If all thought were stopped the physical world be destroyed and if all feeling were stopped both mental and physical worlds would disappear. This is called Kalamat, the end of the world, by the Sufis and this is always possible, always happens and yet never happens for Creation always balances destruction, at least in totality and from the outer point of view.
145. The angelic world is maintained by the constant praise given to God there. This is both because it is natural for the inhabitants of the sphere, and because conditions there make one praise God naturally. Of course the latter condition is much higher. An infant who suckles at its mother’s breast may enter into fana with its mother, but one who really sees the mother as guru understands the real love. This is the difference between angel and sage in Djabrut, showing the latter condition to be very much higher than the former.
146. Djabrut, Malakut and Nasut are all maintained by this praise to God. Should none upon earth repeat the mystical practices then the spirit would be withdrawn from matter and a destruction would come as to Sodom and Gomorra, and as the traditions have it, to Atlantis. So there are always a few on earth who praise God and they may truly be called the saviors of humanity.
147. The sound of God gave rise to the inner kingdom and the praise of God by the created beings gave rise to the outer kingdom. Therefore it is said that out of man’s light the world was made. This is the Nuri Mohammed, the light within man.
Every thought, word or deed that is accompanied by praise to God increases the capacity for this light and preserves it when stored.
148. The average man is subject to karma. That is to say, his breath rises and falls with the rise and fall of the conditions of the spheres. The devotee is not subject to this condition for his devotions and practices at once attune him to that all-pervading breath which penetrates the whole atmosphere and reaches the arsh-throne.
This can be proven in an instant by taking any kind of breath with any constructive thought and then repeating that thought with Darood, or by watching the breath, by thinking in turn: strength, Divine Strength; love, Divine Love: human praise, Praise of God: or any such pair of ideas. As soon as the thought or attribute is linked to Divinity there is a perceptible change in the breath.
149. If one be in doubt, let him watch his breath under ordinary circumstances and in the praise of God. In ordinary circumstances even at best, the breath is subject to the revolution of the tattvas, that is to say, it goes through the earth, water, fire, air and ether cycles, each with its corresponding phases and the personality is influenced by conditions including effects of weather, environment and presence of other personalities and creatures.
When praise is given to God it sets up another rhythm which can be maintained under all conditions. This breath may flow through both nostrils and is especially beneficial to the heart. It is not only a Kemal breath of perfection and destruction; it leads to Kalamat, the annihilation of all limitation. Thus the mystic who practices it is already living the immortal life even when enveloped in a physical form and apparently experiencing all the vicissitudes of outer life.
150. The rind maintains this breath despite any outer deeds. One who would be rind may omit all other practices except: inhalation, Subhan Allah; exhalation, Alhamdulillah; which becomes a continuous practice day and night. Such a one may never be seen at prayer or devotion or meditation or performances of good deeds but his spiritual breath is more valuable than anything else in creation.
151. One of the main reasons for the nufs was to bring about the existence of many forms. To create means to form discrete things out of a universal substance. This comes from the Urouj activity of Allah by which the Supreme Spirit is converted into matter. This is the primordial matter called hule (huyyal) which means primal stuff, and was termed aretz by Moses and arek by the Chaldeans and which means nothing but “hardened spirit”.
This hardened spirit has no life except what God breathes into it. When He thinks, by that act the stuff takes form, and out of such thought came the Mineral Kingdom, and what is generally called the planet earth, conceived as having no life. Now by breathing into this substance it was possible to transform it.
What is called nephesh by the Hebrews and anfas in Arabic is breath considered as inhalation and exhalation. If the breath were just balanced inhalation and exhalation, there could be no involution and evolution. By causing the nufs of a thing to collect particles, physical or mental, through breath accompanied by a Divine Sound or keynote in the inner worlds, forms arose.
152. The underlying purpose of various forms was to build up a living species which could exist in the earth and at the same time realize God. The great step forward in the plant over the mineral is that the vital process depends on sunlight. The light in the mineral kingdom at its formation comes from the transformation of Cosmic Energy into fire, and there is the general process of expansion and contraction only instead of vital breath. With the vegetable kingdom there is a notable advance, vegetables depending on physical light for their spiritual evolution. In so far as man is a vegetable, that is to say, in so far as his physical vehicle is concerned, he derives greatest benefit from sunlight.
Besides that, the mineral kingdom has no general breath of its own apart from the universal earth, sun and moon breaths. Vegetables establish their own rhythms within limited degrees. Their breath element is largely drawn from the sun and their substance largely from the earth, so generally they do not possess the power of locomotion. Thus in plants the heavenly or spiritual part is more in their breath than in thought, and the consciousness of the plant just touches Malakut where it is in the dream stage.
153. Now the Divine Force forms discrete forms in the vegetable kingdom but not discrete minds. In the Animal Kingdom, the mind and breath become freed and this is sometimes mistaken for freedom of will and it may be called so under certain limits.
Most likes and dislikes of the animal are because of its nature rather than because of its will. The Divine Will is very active in animals only it works through hule or prakrit. That is called Instinct. Animals are dependent upon the Mental Light for their spiritual evolution and that is one reason why some of them, especially the dog and horse, are so reliant upon man; this helps them very much. Cats and other animals which do not seem faithful are seen more in silence, which is a kind of mental meditation for them. It may be said that every animal has its spiritual practice, that of the dog resembling fana-fi-Sheikh, that of the cat meditation and Fikr, that of the small birds zikr, but all animals maintain some form of spiritual practice which helps bring the light into their minds.
154. That force called Ab is the result of the exhalation of creatures by which matter is spiritualized. It is the means by which the mortal can attain immortality. Its reciprocal is called Ad by which the Divine Force is collected into unities. When Ad becomes Ood it forms darkness out of light and when Ood changes to Oob it returns to the highest source.
Thus Ahab is the expansive love of a Being and Ood is the love toward a single Ideal, the letter D signifying relative unity, but in the Oo (U) sound there is Divine Spirit. M-Ahab-Ood is the complete Love, or Love, Lover and Beloved combined, and in the phrase Mahboodlillah this love is then turned to the highest ideal which is God in the highest form, entirely beyond conjecture or concept. Thus this love brings complete Unity in spirit through the expansion of the heart and the unification through utter effacement of the creatures in the Eternal.
These words are seen in many languages, as in the prepositions Ab and Ad in Latin, meaning Ab from the one to the many or away from; Ad from the many to the one, or toward. These roots came originally from the mystical hieroglyphics of the Ancients and prove the alphabets are based upon the mysticism of sound. Sufism has preserved much of this knowledge which may be called the highest Kabbalah.
155. In repeating Allahu one begins at the highest spiritual sound and brings the spirit down to earth, while in repeating Hu one is enabled to spiritualize matter. This is very important. The original Hebrew-Arabic was the Semitic language, that is to say the language of Shem, which meant the language of light, the language of pure sound, the spiritual hieroglyphic language of the ancients.
156. Now this is the interpretation of “Alpha and Omega”. The highest sound is A (English Ah) as in Allah, and the lowest sound is Oo as in Hu. The word composed of the two O’s should be pronounced as the long oo in English, ou in French and long u in most languages. That is to say, as if the letter were U-mega. So one should say Qur’an rather than Koran, and as he is called Jelal-ed-din Rumi, not Romi.
All religions emphasize the Ah sound. No doubt the O sound is more material than the Oo sound, especially the short O sound, the O-micron of the Greeks and the Ayin of the Hebrews, but this sound is purely material and does not represent the return of the spirit, Therefore A, Alpha or Aleph, represents life; and the Oo sound Death and Resurrection, the return of the spirit to spirit. Both these sound appear in the A-u-m of the Hindus.
157. While A-u-m has both the highest and lowest vowels, or rather the descending and ascending sounds, it ends with the material consonant M. This closes the mouth and entraps spirit which cannot escape. It is an excellent practice for ascetics who do not marry, do not work, and do not speak much. They can retain that force within the body and employ it to open their vital centers. However, when man works, the spirit is turned into matter, and when he speaks he also transforms spirit into matter and then into thought-force while when he marries spirit is completely materialized.
So for active persons to repeat Aum, which is the mantram of the Divine Mother, without also worshipping Kali and Lakshmi, is spiritual suicide which may include mental and even physical suicide. They know not what they do.
M is a passive, feminine letter, very important, very sublime, but to be used very delicately. In Arabic you find many words beginning with this letter; this is different and has an opposite mantric effect. So Mahbood begins with M, and it opens up the heart instead of closing any faculties.
158. The first sound of man coming into the world is Ma. This is usually mistaken to be the call of the mother. It is not wrong to call the mother by this name as she does represent the principle connoted by this letter from several points of view. But Ma is the natural sound the spirit makes when it is caught in matter, only in the form Ma it gets out, and in the form Am it stays in. In the cow it is hard to distinguish which it is as the cow is lacking in will power.
The Oo (U) sound is the opposite as can be perceived when the breath is blown out. One naturally makes the Um sound when the lips are closed (hence the word humming) and the Oo sound when the lips are open, and the A sound is the call of the spirit. This explains Aum, which does not have the same purpose as Zikr when uttered. This can also be observed in the passive propensities of the Hindus and the active faculties in the Moslems even in India as a result of their different Mantra.
159. The soul is attracted to light. When it enters the world it does not see light except in the breath of the mother and in its own breath. A natural affinity attracts the two.
One should not mistake mother love. It does not exist in the highest analysis but is really the Divine Love expressing itself through the Prakrit. The sense of possession which usurps the Divine Khalifship in Parenthood is the cause of the greatest harm to humanity.
160. Only in the human being does the nufs fully become anfas; that is, the Divine Light and the Will appear in the flesh. This is so at birth as then Hadith teach that every infant is a follower of Islam. So soon as the mother’s love attracts the infant, then the sway of nufs is extended. When this is permitted to usurp the place of Divine Love, which can surely he expressed through the mother, the soul is drowned in the flood of samsara.
To preserve and restore that Divine Light is possible when heart, “soul” and mind are attuned to Deity. This soul is really the breath, and not the ruh or spirit. It can be purified by spiritual practices. Thus the Scripture declares: “The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul (nephesh)”. This signifies the spiritual resurrection through the purification of breath.
161. Only in man is what is called in the Bible Neshemah, that is, the exaltation of consciousness through the expansive movement of the breath and heart. This has been called “spirit” and is spirit in the highest sense. This is not the indwelling spirit called Ruh by the Arabs and Sufis and Ruach by the Hebrews. This latter may be termed soul, which arises from the individuation of Divine Spirit, but Neshemah is that expansive movement which leads to cosmic realization in the Supreme, Exalted Spirit.
Now the secret of the fall of man is that the Neshemah cannot be, so long as one holds on to anything. There must be complete surrender. This is the whole purpose of Sufic training. What man is not is fed upon the Hule, or elementary matter, the Chol or Ghul of the Hebrews, and this forms not only the skeleton of man but remains the accommodations for all the lower forms which tend upward toward man in evolution. And the basis of form extends beyond the physical to all realms of form (the rupic planes of the Hindus); that is to say, whenever the mind is attached to anything with a nufs, to possess it is to increase one’s own nufs and thus destroy or weaken the possibility of divine unfoldment for which man was created.
162. Although man becomes encompassed in matter, the Ruh remains and the Divine Word or mystical sound, though covered, continues to penetrate his being. Cognizance of this is possible when the soul is granted initiation by the Grace of God.
Sufic and other spiritual practices do not bring Grace. In truth the Grace is always there, every human soul is always under Divine Grace but does not know it. What spiritual training can do is to bring realization of this Grace and so praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
163. In Genesis III, 8, the Voice of God is associated with the Ruach, the spiritual breath. This is the great mystery which becomes clear. When the Voice is heard in the Cosmic HU or in any of the nine subsidiary sounds of Saute Surmad, know that God is present and the Light is flowing through your being. This is the first step toward resurrection.
164. This light of God in you can pierce every nufs and perceive every thought. When it is said man is veiled, what veils man? It is his nufs. The etheric element makes everything indistinct, but this is true only so long as this veil of the nufs prevents Divine Omniscience from expressing itself. It is the nature of the soul to see, and it is the nufs which prevents it from seeing.
165. The nufs of another does not hinder our sight, only his sight. That is why it is much easier to overcome the opposition of another than to dominate one’s own evil thought. The law is this: the nufs of one person can dominate the soul of that person and can dominate the nufs of another person but can never dominate the soul of another person.
This is perceptible from two points of view. The law manifests in the average man in the analytical faculty. He can see the short-comings of another. Even when another justifies himself, the other’s heart can see that person’s faults.
Among the sages, especially with the masters, the law presents another aspect, that is, to one who has overcome his own nufs, the nufs of another offers no real hindrance in life except where consciously or unconsciously he (not God) has given them that power.
166. The consequence of this law is that overcoming one’s own short-comings (which is really done by God, Who forgives our short-comings) we are also able to see more into another person’s nature. This makes spiritual healing possible. Health is the normal state but weakness is the average condition. Fikr is the best preservative of health because thought of God restrains the nufs.
All weakness has some mental correspondence, even when the cause is not mental, that is to say, even if the disease came for purely physical reasons. Mind really has power over matter, when the spiritual light flows therein health should be a normal state. Fikr restrains disease by purifying the breath and preventing the mind from recording all the earthly impressions. In that way, even the purely physical disabilities can be mastered.
167. When Fikr becomes the custom of men, telepathy will be natural. The reasons is that when nufs, arising from the thought of self, is restrained, the veil is lifted from the mind, which can then perceive farther than the sense and automatically record mental vibrations and impressions.
168. Do not practice mental telepathy, practice the Presence of God. Each breath will then bring you all the knowledge you need when it is kept pure. The sphere records all thought and all events. When the mind is concentrated and the heart attuned, all that is therein can come to one, and by concentration you can select what you desire. But if desire is surrendered to God, God may send you inspirations and intuitions, and the wonder is that these do not interfere but on the contrary increase the mystical knowledge conveyed by breath, often adding sound to it; that is to say, spiritual clairaudience.
169. The Beth Kol of the Hebrews means the sound of the sphere. It differs from Saute Surmad of the Sufis which is the Universally present sound, in that it (Beth Kol) carries the Message of the moment. While the music of God is everywhere the same, the karmic note of the region results from the activity that is going on there. The Beth Kol is the Divine Healing Note needed to correct that condition.
170. The extra-physical sounds which one sometimes hears are often psychic. They can be destroyed by Fikr. When Fikr increases these sounds, then they are important warnings or inspirations and spiritual disobedience to the same is more than breaking the pledge of Bayat, it is a refusal to listen to the Voice of the Living God, and thereby destroys the whole scheme of one’s initiatory process. But blessed is he who listens to the Father’s Word and performs His Will.
171. Immortality is won when the Divine Light shines in the heart. Until that is achieved, disintegration always outweighs preservation. Some Hindus give up Shiva-worship and become Vaishnavas when of mature years, but the real Vishnu, the Sustainer of our bodies, hearts and souls, arises to life when we are absorbed in Divine Love. Hence Bhakti Yoga and the unity of purpose in the Sufic instructions.
When this Divine Light appears in the heart, it sustains our bodies, hearts, mind, and souls. Therefore after repeating the Shema, the Hebrews said: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy might.” This means that through spiritual audition (Shema or Sama) the light of God is kindled in one’s being. To preserve it every love and desire (heart) should be for God, every breath (that is, nefesh or soul in the limited sense) should be a divine sacrifice, and every thought (mind or might) should be a spiritual thought.
This also means the attainment of Buddhic condition or mastery, wherein one is absorbed in the Spirit of Guidance (Bodhisattva).
173. All thought and feeling change the contours of the physical body through the natural effects on the nerves and bloodstream. The divine force acting through the breath can illuminate man’s being. There is a vast difference between the smile of the moment and the natural glow flowing through one’s being and expressed in the radiance of skin and eyes. The spiritual man or woman naturally emanates a glow which may inspire others or bring them peace.
174. The life in the angelic world is a life of music. In this world it is impossible to maintain a perfect rhythm in habit owing to demands made upon the personality. When Fikr is practiced the breath escapes the usual effect made upon it by thought, speech and action. The Fikr breath and rhythm form the natural breath of Djabrut. By maintaining them here one brings the atmosphere of that world here, and so attains heaven on earth which is more desirable than anything else.
175. The substance of the angelic body is light (Ur). By the divine practice of Fikr this body is developed here and now and grows as a vehicle of the soul without any need of leaving this plane. This also brings one the faculties of the angel, or perhaps better stated, one attains to those achievements while on earth, which otherwise might not come until aeons of time have passed.
What then the need to reincarnate? Once the breath is freed from matter by Fikr and this heart-vehicle (which some have chosen to call the “solar body”) one has risen above karma. That is to say, one no longer performs acts subject to the control of nature and so does not sow the seeds which would attach himself or the whole of humanity to the earth. There is no discrete existence, for all of mankind (that is to say, Adam) is as one personality in this.
176. It is foolish for an illuminated soul to discuss death. A man who lives in one house but builds another here and now, and is acquainted with that other house when he has to move from the first house does not pass through any great commotion or anxiety. The average man who is required to leave his worn out shack is naked in the next world, except that the Grace of God (unbeknown to him) gives him ample opportunity to continue his evolution.
The devotee does not hesitate to build all his future dwellings while on earth. This helps his evolution in eternity. So Zikr and Fikr are of the greatest practical value from all the points of view.
177. Real sight is connected with the breath. The breath tells us what there is new under the moon, but there is nothing new under the sun. That is to say: in its depths and at its center from which all radiance, power, grace and inspiration come, the Divine Light does not change.
178. The whole of the Wisdom of Solomon is contained in the concluding words of the Koheleth: “The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep his Commandments: for this is the whole man.” If the spiritual man does not become whole, there is no advantage in his wisdom. So the Sufi learns to look at life from God’s point of view as well as from man’s point of view.
179. By maintaining the divine breath one begins to feel the whole tremor of the earth. If there is any event anywhere to which his heart is attuned he will know it naturally. It is difficult for man to maintain a cosmic concentration, but this is easy for God and quite natural to Him. So if man keeps his heart, mind and breath attuned to God all the necessary wisdom and knowledge will come to him.
180. There is no scripture which has neglected the breath, only some of the recipients of the Divine Message have chosen of themselves to emphasize one part or another of the teachings. Heart-wisdom, breath-mysticism and mind-knowledge appear in all the Holy Scriptures. Sufis knowing this have given great praise to God and have been loyally devoted to Him.
181. By great self-sacrifice there will be souls who will actually reveal the light of God in their flesh. Even now one sometimes sees it in the love of the mother. It all comes also in the affection of the father, the innocence of the child, the devotion of the friend, the feeling of the lover, the loving-kindness of the teacher. All these give some indication of that Divine Love and Light which appear even most objectively in the illuminated soul.
182. It is said that Mohammed cast no shadow.
Now in the state of complete illumination the sun of the soul shines in the heart and can produce such light that it will remove shadow even as one standing in a gorgeously illuminated room will see the ordinary shadow caused by the sun diminished greatly. If one carried a light within his bosom this shadow would tend to disappear altogether, and whether the light within the body were an artificial lamp placed there or the natural spiritual glow, it would remove the shadow except that it would emit rays instead.
183. The highly developed seer emits these rays naturally. There are three kinds of rays: spiritual, mental and psychical, which can produce physical phenomena, although the manifestation of all of then extends beyond this sphere. It requires considerably more development to emanate mental rays than psychical rays, and these may kindle other than the purely spiritual rays. Even more development is needed to be able to cast light out of one’s being having a spiritually beneficial effect.
At the same time it requires less effort to make the body glow than to make the mind glow, and still more effort to make the heart glow. The parallel is seen that a searchlight in a dark cave throws considerable light, while in a dim room it would seem to have less power and on a bright day it would have no value whatever.
The light thrown upon anybody which does not come from the kindling of the heart is cold. This matter is understood by those who know the relation between Psychism, Occultism and Mysticism.
184. Psychic light can easily be developed, but may be lost upon dissolution of the body. This may not only therefore be a wasted effort; it may require the unlearning of that method in order to attain the proper way of accumulating light. Besides, this is the sin for which Adam was ejected from Eden, and which was the cause of the creation of finite bodies. Light was not created to become assimilated by man: the purpose of light is that God may serve God.
185. All prophets do not attain the same condition as Mohammed but may attain an equivalent state. The light of Gad appeared in the heart of Mohammed. As it is said: “Have we not opened thy breast for thee.” It appeared rather in the mind of Moses whose face God caused to shine, and it appeared in the breath of Jesus (whence Holy Ghost or Divine Breath), as well as in his hands wherein there was healing power.
Consequently while the light of Jesus did shine before him and he and his disciples glorified Allah in Heaven, there was an earthly shadow. With the Prophet who did not heal or win man’s hearts through speech, the light shone through the center of his being and won without effort the friendship of Omar and others who opposed him from time to time.
This is a great mystery and requires considerable meditation.
186. Heart accumulation comes from the destruction of nufs. Fikr does this in three ways: First by establishing the cosmic rhythm in the breath; second by obliterating the thought of self; lastly by engendering the feeling of love in the heart. If this last does not come naturally, Zikr should be performed by the younger in body and repetition of “Ishk Allah, Mahbood Lillah” as Wazifa or Darood by those whose voices have passed the period of maximum expressivity.
187. Persons over 40 who have not practiced Zikr hitherto do not gain so much by learning the chanted form unless they also have been singers in the past. Unless the tubes and channels of the body have already been opened, a considerable effort is lost in overcoming the habitual movements and the tendencies which have closed them. Especially is this true after the age of 50.
For such persons there is the vocative Zikr and the repetition of the Wazifa of Love as just described, for these may kindle the feeling in the heart without the use of music.
188. For younger people Zikr is good because there is enthusiasm or there should be some. The opening of the Pituitary is natural and while it may occur prematurely, yet it is done properly when the Divine Light strikes that part. This light comes not through the nervous system as some claim, but through the heart being kindled. If it came through the nervous system, it would be mental light and could result in genius, but would not bring balance to the personality.
Aspirational music resounds in the head of a person and also strikes a chord in the mental sphere. In older people the physical body is in a certain state of decay while the mind ceases to be pliable. Consequently the breath and particularly the musical breath does not affect them so much. This can be seen even in the effect of the dance, march and romantic song upon them.
Besides this, after the sex vitality has taken a certain direction in the physical, there is no need to transmute it mentally, which is done by Zikr, but it may be transmuted spiritually, through Fikr, the Wazifa of Love and other exercises.
189. There is not enough time in life to perform all the spiritual practices and there is no need for it. One practice through life may bring all the results of all practices. It is self-sacrifice which is the way to Divine Union and Divine Glorification. That is to say, first death, then resurrection.
190. Personality can be developed through increase in pitch of sounds produced both in speech and song because each tone attracts a certain ray of the unseen, which in turn is connected with certain qualities and faculties. High tones may develop gentleness and move horizontally and deep tones develop vigor and move vertically, and it is these tones which appear in men and women. By high and deep are meant higher or lower in the scale of vibrations, not in the depths of personality.
Zikr and musical development produce alterations in pitch quality while Kasab enables one to hold the breath longer without effort. By this means one can sometimes reach higher planes and what is even more important, coordinate one’s inner being and its parts. Even if one has an illuminated heart one could not express much through the physical, unless the soul’s vehicles were coordinate. Then, whether through silence or speech the Divine Light would touch the earth plane, which is the purpose of Creation.
191. One does not strain one’s breath in Kasab. This deepening of the breath is done naturally and safely and can also be acquired through Darood. In Kasab one directs the breath to and through one nostril or the other voluntarily to correct the unfavorable conditions set up through habit and ignorance. In Darood or Fikr one surrenders to Divine Guidance.
Another method is to repeat mentally Ya Nayar or Allah Nayar. This is a short form, a thought form of all the words in the prayer of purification repeated after the Purification Breath (Nayar) practiced continually after Bayat. By holding this as a single thought one can strengthen and deepen the breath through more advanced stages almost unceasingly.
192. Ya Nayar should not be practiced as Darood until one has long performed Kasab, and until one finds by using “Ya Shafee, Ya Kafee” as Wazifa or Darood, the state of health is good. Ya Nayar can even be practiced as Darood by elderly persons especially those who are Shifayat, but only after they have learned to direct psychic energy as it is needed and required, according to the healing and psychic science and art.
193. Ya Nayar may be performed as Darood (never as Wazifa) by remembering it is a transmuted and transcended Nimaz. It is the shortened mental form of the Prayer of Purification, even as Shema is a symbolic abbreviation for the Hebrew sacred phrase, and as a letter-word Alif is a symbolical abbreviation among the Muslims and Sufis. Also Ya Nayar is a companion short-form of the Grace usually given at the beginning of meals.
194. Ya Nayar may be held at will like Kasab, with count, or it may be held indefinitely like a concentration, or it may be used rhythmically as a Darood. Holding it at will may be done to advantage a few times before performing Zikr, or even before any kind of singing.
This purifies the body, mind and soul and so gives zest and spirit in the song. This is the nature of the true Qur’an, and Mohammed never opened his mouth without taking a few breaths in silent prayer to be assured that it was God inspiring him and not his nufs engaging in speech.
195. Holding Ya Nayar indefinitely is the only way the breath may be retained a long time without doing any harm, At the same time it must be remembered that every word of its Nimaz form is true. Otherwise it becomes Occult rather than purely spiritual. Even suspended animation can be so tried, all phenomena occult and spiritual can be performed. But to what avail? The Chistis have practiced this breath so that the praise to God can be performed in a manner worthy of praise to God.
So this practice purifies the body, heart and soul and completely purifies the breath which links them, casting out alike all poisons and even all thoughts. This is the idea presented in Ziraat. But if overdone it may stop physical and mental processes and so cause death or dissolution.
196. Ya Nayar may also be practiced as Darood. This is of great benefit to those who want purity or clarity of voice. It enables them to assimilate the divine qualities (Sifat), to sweeten the tone, to strengthen it, to combine the elements with safety and to spiritualize what otherwise might become occult phenomena.
197. Nayar combined with concentration also makes possible healing at a distance or aid one spiritually at a distance. For that reason it is entrusted to the advanced souls who serve the spiritual hierarchy. Also it cannot be used destructively. When destruction is necessary for some high spiritual purpose the thought Nayar-Takbir is held on the inhalation and no thought on the exhalation, except if necessary “God’s Will be done.” Nayar here includes the whole thought of the prayer of purification and Takbir, of course, to Allaho Akbar.
This is a very powerful practice of purification through destruction and removal. When using it, it is advisable to hold a picture, thought-form, symbol or some physical or mental representation before one. This practice is not performed in a sacred room except according to the ceremony of casting out obsessions in Universal Worship. This ceremony has most marvelous usages.
198. Nayar is the greatest practice of preservation and destruction as well as of building and developing. It is taught to all mureeds in its simplest form, but is such a Kemalic breath that until Kemalic breath is developed through all practices connected with breath and devotion, it is not assigned, so it is generally not given to mureeds until at least after the eighth initiation, in its more advanced form. For unless there has been the proper basis for self-protection and self-development the fire can destroy as well as build.
Thus Nayar includes Nur and Naar. It creates Heaven and Hell for self and others, it is the fire Prometheus stole from Heaven which absorbed his liver until Hercules rescued him. That is to say, until man is under Divine Grace (Hercules) the occult use of Cosmic Force will cause that same destruction of terror as it is written about in Zanoni and as is allegorized in the story of Prometheus, which story originally came from India.
199. True and absolute Agni Yoga is only possible by direct concentration on God. Nayar warms one in a minute and has been used in a modified form by Tibetans and others. It must not only be taught with care, it must also be practiced with much care. And after Nayar, Nazar should be practiced, thanking Allah for what He has given. For it is not only material things, that is, the prakrit, which God has given man, but spiritual things, that is the Purusha also.
200. Nazar (or Ya Nazar, the Darood form of the Grace) may be practiced at any time but best after receiving of any gift, power, faculty, or thing of any kind or description or upon anticipation of such. It is not the surrendering of the thing which is the sacrifice, but the surrender of the thought of the thing which is the real devotion. This reverses the process whereby Cain killed Abel. The sacrifice of Cain was to give his goods to God but keep the thought in memory, to pride himself for the supposedly spiritual act and also to glorify himself in vanity because of his possessions. Abel represents the real sacrificer who lays down his nufs and by detachment in thought, his gift takes flight with his breath and ascends to Heaven.
201. Breath is the ladder by which man ascends to God in power and by which God descends to man in love. Heart is the ladder by which man ascends to God in love and God descends to man in power.
Sufism is the way of love and wisdom, and yet to the wise God has given all power and authority in heaven and upon earth. Blessed be he who moves, and lives and has his being fixed upon the realization of the Lord. Amen.