The Book of Health, Part II: Healing
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Chapter II: The Psychological Nature of Disease
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I, Number 6
Chapter 2: The Psychological Nature of Diseases
Number 1: The Causes of Diseases
GITHA: The psychological nature of diseases can be explained in a few words as being the lack of life, either because of lack of sufficient matter in the body, or because of excess of matter which leaves no scope for the spirit.
TASAWWUF: In other words, there is need of life to produce health. Health is the manifestation of life in the body. When there is not enough life in the mind, this produces a hindrance in the flow of the universal currents which move throughout space, and they do not reach the body. When there is not enough life obtained from space or through the breath, either the body is the slave of the mind and follows the mental condition, or else there is an effort at compensation, which is a false compensation. Thus we find that eunuchs often seek an outlet in eating or in some other manner to compensate for the lack of expression thus denied them.
One might therefore say that the line of health is a middle way. Buddha in his time tried starving himself and in the end he saw he was no nearer to emancipation than when he had been given every form of indulgence. The change did not remove the ego, it only altered the character of ego-manifestation. When one overeats, too much blood is drawn toward the digestive tract and associated glands and organs, and this impairs the rest of the body and throws one out of balance. When there is not enough food taken in, when there is undernourishment or unwholesome diet, perhaps not enough blood is drawn toward the digestive organs themselves, and they do not receive the life; therefore they cannot be in a state of health.
GITHA: It is also the impression of pain which the mind holds. Pain is not always physical. There are physical causes; but as soon as the mind knows of discomfort, out of fear it holds it; and this is called pain.
TASAWWUF: As has been explained, the physical causes of pain are cuts, bruises and wounds. Even then if instead of watching the hurt and thinking about it, one watches the breath instead, holding onto the breath as if it were a rope of life, through that breath the life-energy will come which will bring about a more rapid healing. It is very simple. Instead of thinking about the pain or danger, one thinks of God, of life, of the breath as the channel of life, there will be less opportunity for an unwholesome impression.
Sometimes there is a pain in the body because of an unfavorable biochemical condition, or it may be in a woman at the time of childbirth. Even then although there is a definite physical reason for the pain, if the mind has been carefully disciplined, the pain can be lessened. For fear itself produces a poison which enters the bloodstream and greatly diminishes the resistance and immunity to pain and disease. To overcome this fear one must learn to discipline the ego, one must cease to think of self.
GITHA: Disease is often caused by the lack of rhythm, be it in thought or feeling, in the breath, in action, or in one’s everyday life. For instance, to stay up in the night when one is accustomed to sleep, to change the dinner-hour, to take a nap when one is not accustomed to, to do anything that one is not accustomed to do, puts one out of rhythm.
TASAWWUF: The importance of rhythm has been explained in many places in the lessons. Of course there are persons who are slaves of rhythm and there are persons who are masters of it. One who is a slave of rhythm follows it; perhaps he has to. The type of work that is done, the need to spend certain hours in employment or study, the forced times for meals, establishes a rhythm. Often when men retire from business or occupation they do not live long. It is often said that they have nothing to occupy their minds. Sometimes this is so, but as often as not it is because they suddenly change their rhythms, change their hours of sleep and activity and do not gradually accustom themselves to such change. And before they are used to the new life, they are gone, they cannot so quickly change their habits.
Little infants have their regular hours of sleeping and waking. Children go to school and then establish a different rhythm or set of rhythms. In youth life is different and again at maturity it is different. It is unfortunate that among the Western peoples there has been no true scientific approach to rearrange one part of life after another. This often produces emotional storms and psychological difficulties which remain throughout life bringing misery instead of happiness.
Even such a thing as irregularity of thought may produce illness. When one cannot hold a distinct thought in the mind, when one’s attention is drawn from one subject to another, when one cannot stand still inwardly, so to speak, neither will the body be under control. This has been called the mercurial condition, it is one which indicates lack of settlement, lack of will-power, ignorance of any purpose. What is needed then is self-discipline. Without that discipline both body and mind suffer.
Irregularity in feeling is due to lack of general evolution, which is almost universal. The light of the sun within does not shine, the heart is hardened. Then the life-force does not appear upon the surface; it is as if dead. That is why there are so many instances of divorce, quarrels, inharmony. There is nothing to bring people close together, to cement understanding. It is not generally known how close life and love are to each other, that when there is the true love, there is more life and consequently better health. Yet how many times has it been that a sick one is healed because of the presence of the beloved, or because of the restoration of a love that has been lost.
To obviate these conditions the Sufi Message has been brought with the lessons of love, harmony and beauty. There is a remedy for many of the ills of mankind. There is a need for people to understand the purpose of their life and being. There should be room for self-expression and the understanding and appreciation of the beautiful. Therefore the healer must be a psychologist and when he finds these channels blocked in his patients he must do what he can to open them. When he opens them, he unblocks the dams to health and happiness.
GITHA: People who are accustomed to be angry or to quarrel would become ill if they were not allowed to do that.
TASAWWUF: These states indicate that there is an unbalance due to the free sway that has been allowed to the fire element. The fire, kept within the personality, has become destructive. Just as fire, directed downward, becomes lightning, so this fire may be called psychic lightning and has much of the destructive force of lightning, only it affects the finer bodies as well as the physical body. Then follows destructive biochemical activity, and the whole body will suffer if one is continuously subjected to fits and spells of anger.
These habits also show that the ego has not been disciplined. One has not tried to control himself, his speech, his thoughts, his actions. There is a saying that one should count ten when angry before speaking. There is a great truth in it. If one can keep quiet, gradually the fire energy will be transmuted into the etheric element. All the other elements come from and go back to the ether. The elements are associated with speech, ether with silence. Silence of thought, silence of speech and silence of action all increase the capacity for the etheric element. This in turn acts as a blanket over any unchecked manifestation of the other elements.
GITHA: There is a story told in India that a person who could not keep any secret was compelled to keep quiet; in the end he became ill, and the doctor had to cure him by permitting him to let it out. All this signifies rhythm; every habit forms a rhythm.
TASAWWUF: What happens was this. When such a person is given a secret, he impresses himself not only with the subject matter of the secret but also with the thought, “I have a secret;” so he has the two thought-forms, that of the secret and that of his own thought about the secret, which is entangled in nufs. This second entanglement produces an impression of mind which is pulled downward on the breath and kept in view. It forms a shadow over the mind and destroys the rhythm of the breath; whenever there are two thought-forms before one the rhythm of breath and of life is impaired. This nufs-entanglement which is not the secret, but which is derived from the secret, stands in front of the consciousness in such a way that it is like an obstacle in the middle of the road around which all traffic must detour. That requires in such a person removal of the secret itself.
One may say that a secret should not be given to a person of fire-temperament. However the secret and sacred practices are in harmony with ether and light. It is ether and light that this one needs and therefore he can be helped much by the spiritual practices of Sufism. When he may not, for obvious reasons, be given such practices, nevertheless he can benefit from slow, gentle and rhythmic breaths, from prayer or devotion, from calmness before the beloved, and by a slow process of learning self-restraint.
GITHA: The fear of catching a disease is a also a cause of illness. There are people who wonder whether they are ill, and try to find out if there is something wrong with them.
TASAWWUF: These people are always examining themselves and keep the thought of self in front of them. This thought always interferes with the free flow of the breath and makes it impossible for the body to obtain full benefit of the spiritual light and of the energy of space. This in turn prevents inspiration and blessings from being received. There is nothing in life which is so akin to death as the constant thought of self.
When added to this there is the shadow of the thought “I am ill,” and one receives an impression which one really does not want to have. But this impression, so connected with the self, works its way rapidly to outer consciousness. That is one of the reasons why there are epidemics. It seldom means that the diseases are physically contagious. Call it germ, bacteria, or anything else, there are mental contagions, there are thoughts which make the world within dark and then there is no protection against disease. The way to protect oneself is to block out the thought of self. Therefore meditation and prayer are among the great medicines.
GITHA: There are some who enjoy self-pity or the sympathy of others; these invite disease.
TASAWWUF: These people keep the ego in the foreground. They do not receive the solar energy. They may receive the lunar energy which is magnetic but which can quickly become psychic when unbalanced by life force. People who are not successful in impressing others directly fall back upon this means of reaching their attention. They enjoy being discussed. They can even become extremely selfish, draw magnetism from others and go to the extreme of depleting them. Real suffering would benefit them. They have the wrong outlook, they cannot even enjoy sunlight and clear weather.
GITHA: Some entertain disease when they are to a certain extent unwell. They wish to be treated like a patient, or try to take to a lazy life. By so doing, the mind holds the disease longer, since it is allowed to do so.
TASAWWUF: This condition is found more in the so-called civilized countries and especially among people of wealth who have not enough to engage their attention or to interest them. So they become interested in nufs. If they had to work hard, if they had suitable outlets for self-expression, they would not suffer. Constant thought about the body makes the body very sensitive and deprives it of one of its best protections.
What happens is that these patients are often obsessed, only it is due to a kind of self-hypnotism. They constantly make negative suggestions, they are using the suggestive power the wrong way. Instead of seeing themselves younger and stronger and happier, they bask in the thoughts of self-depreciation. This is especially true of those who have what are called complexes. Yet these complexes are derived of illusion. Many bed-ridden people have been roused by a fire, or by a ruse, or by the knowledge that someone is suffering terribly because of their inability to help that one. If they have any love, and the friend is endangered, that may rouse them from lethargy. It shows that the self-illusion is the basis of the disease.
GITHA: There are many other causes of illness. Among them the most unfortunate is the impression: “I have got an illness that can never be cured,” for this impression is worse than a disease.
TASAWWUF: This has actually happened in cases of radium poisoning. Instead of seeking some cure for the persons suffering therefrom, the thought has been broadcast that the radium poisoning is incurable. Now what is radium poisoning? Radium and other metals, and the X-rays, are finer vibrations than those to which the body is used; they are finer and more penetrating than the light rays or radiant energy waves to which man has accustomed himself. But they are not finer than the waves of the air, the rays of the sun and the all-pervading power of space, which are received by the mystic through the breath.
If we study the lives of the mystics and the words and works of the messengers of God we find many references to a body of light, a body which has been seen by some faithful disciples of the Master, whom the Master can trust, and he feeds them with this very light. The Christian Bible says that this light or Logos is the light of every man that has been born into the world, only it is covered by darkness and it is not comprehended. So it is hidden, it is the hidden light, the hidden Logos, “the lost Word.” But the illuminated souls have been illuminated even in a physical sense. Their bodies can become refined and this state of refinement is so great that there is accommodation for rays much finer than the X-rays and radium waves. These last could not harm such bodies.
Therefore there is at least one cure for this radium poisoning which is open to the spiritual students through refinement and for all people through meditation. For by meditation the process of refinement is carried on and even without much esoteric instruction victims of this condition can learn to readjust their bodies to withstand these rays. The etheric element, for instance, is not affected by radium, in the same way that the body of the other elements would be affected. And joined with this is hope and feeling that there is, can be, a cure.
Snake poisoning is supposed to be almost fatal in certain parts of the world and elsewhere one may be cured easily of the poison. In parts of Africa there is a special cult, the esoteric followers of which learn to make themselves immune to snake-bite and to heal those who suffer therefrom. They even learn the use of herbs and treatments which are specific treatments. And elsewhere, where this knowledge is missing people die from fright even more than from snake-bite.
No matter what the disease, so long as the channel of breath is open at all there is life, and as the saying goes, “where there is life, there is hope.” According to the mystical view the whole universe is within man and there is nothing apparently outside to which he has not the key within himself. Therefore there is probably no “incurable” disease or condition. Though man be limited, God is above all limitations and conditions.
GITHA: In reality the soul of every individual, healthy or ill, is pure from any pain or disease, and it constantly heals mind and body.
TASAWWUF: The soul is never ill, the soul is life and health. The soul, through the breath, reaches the body and mind of every person. The specific practices given to a talib in Sufism are like “selective tunings” to the great All, Who is All-Power, All-Love, All-Beneficence. One repeats a name of God or the name of an attribute and thereupon suggests to himself that which is associated with that name or attribute. Thus the blessings come from the soul to the outer consciousness.
GITHA: And if it were not for the mind and body, which create illness, a person would always be well. It is natural to be healthy; and all illness, pain, and discomfort are unnatural.
TASAWWUF: For the soul is the divine breath and the practice of Nayaz given to mureeds from the beginning may be called the Path itself. It is not so known to them and persons are not given esoteric instruction for any selfish purpose. Yet it is all there because the teachers who serve God wish to lead humanity to its inheritance, which is to receive the blessings of God in whatever form and in whatever manner they can be appreciated.
Really we are all healthy, potentially at least, without knowing it. We have made a study of the world and called the results of our study knowledge. We have not made the same study of the self. When we make a study of the self in the same manner as we make the study of the world, then instead of having the knowledge of the world we shall have the knowledge of the self, which in the end will prove to be the only verifiable knowledge, the only true knowledge.
As one lives a pure life, one purifies his mind and body. Then there is no accommodation for anything except life, and then one has health. And he can keep on adding to his health as long as he maintains this inner state of purity. He may even be able to withstand the ravages of time, although that of itself is not important. What is important is that he can live every moment of his life to the fullness of it.
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series II, Number 2a
Number 2: Magnetic Power
GITHA: The health of both mind and body depends upon a magnetic power which may be called in metaphysical terms the power of affinity in elements and atoms. It may be pictured as the scattered grains of rice united by being attracted to one another; and it is this power which attracted them and shaped them into a certain form.
TASAWWUF: The universal force which is called Ishk by the Sufi has the property of uniting atoms and vibrations which have a certain affinity for one another. In this way forms and bodies are made. What is called “love” as well as attraction, assimilation, adhesion, cohesion and gravitation are aspects of this universal, omnipresent force. If it were not for this factor and power of attraction there could not be bodies, for there is always the tendency toward change. Nothing in this created universe is everlasting, but forms last as they are able to assimilate Ishk and they do not last as they are unable to assimilate it.
One may thus study spiritual forces even as one is observing physical phenomena. If it were not for adhesion and cohesion there would be diffusion, which means that all forms of matter would become commingled in space. While there is diffusion in gases, there is very little in liquids and solids. It would almost seem as if in a certain way the gases reflected the angelic life, the liquids the life of jinn and the solids the condition of man. The first living things upon earth, the first “things,” were minerals. There had to be a manifestation of “thingness” first and then there appeared in turn the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms. Each of these in turn assimilated more of the divine spirit, which, if it is not identical with Ishk, is associated with it.
It is from this same spirit that the power of growth and the source of health come. In the first part of the earthly life there is considerable growth. Then the body is more under the influence of the fire element. Later on it needs energy to maintain vitality. And each part of life corresponds in a certain sense to the rhythms which the Sufis call Urouj, Kemal and Zaval.
GITHA: Both mind and body are made of atoms, the former of mental atoms, the latter of physical atoms; and the power that gathered them and made them into one body or one mind is the magnetic power.
TASAWWUF: What the Sufis call Jami is a unifying force which produces forms. In the creation, Allah, so to speak, made the different planes out of different grades of vibrations and atoms, the vibrations forming atoms on their own planes and the atoms giving off vibrations which manifested on the lower planes until the earth was reached which was the culmination of creation. Then the vibrations of earth were reflected back into the sphere and instead of spirit becoming matter, having finished its work, then matter was turned back into spirit. This subject is one given much consideration in all esoteric and mystical metaphysics.
In Sufic concentration, which is called Murakkabah, man proves this for himself through his own conscious creative efforts. He learns to hold atoms and vibrations together by the power of will and to change their relationships and forms. Thus he can keep away all that is disagreeable and attract or shape what is agreeable to himself and others.
In its highest form the magnetism is spiritual and all-pervading. It is life-giving and life-absorbing, and it is beyond limitations. On the spiritual plane it begins to take on moral qualities, and on the mental plane it takes on those qualities which appear mostly in the jinn, also in the human being in certain stages of his life and during certain grades of evolution. Finally the magnetism appears in matter as material magnetism, but this generally disappears with the departure of youth. Its vehicle in the first part of life is the Thymus Gland. Later on it manifests through various glands but the source of it always, in the body, is in the heart.
GITHA: The lack of this power causes all pain, discomfort and disease, while development of this power secures health of body and mind.
TASAWWUF: Now one is told elsewhere that the ego is the source of all pain, discomfort and disease and here it says that the lack of power is the cause. But the use of the ego produces the lack of power. All power is from God and of God. Whatever little power man has in his flesh or in his mind, is derived from that source and is generally developed or preserved through his own will, and the power of will in turn is derived from the Universal power.
There are, it is true, people who want magnetism for selfish purposes, for wealth, position, fame, success or for its power. Then, while there is a certain attraction for it, there is also a limit, and sometimes one has to pay a certain price and the price may be more than it was worth. Besides, attempting to gain magnetism apart from general development is to operate under the sphere of karma. One will have to accept the consequences; as one sows, so will he reap.
There are other persons who make no attempt to gain magnetism, or develop personality. They are essentially negative. They are easily impressionable, and lacking power they become quite emotional. They are often know as “pacifists” whereas they really lack strength. One meets them especially in India, and the doctrine of non-resistance has spread through their efforts. But they have such an attitude of “resist not evil” that they do not assimilate life.
The Sufi has seen a middle path between these extremes. When one lives wholly in God and for God, then the divine energy is assimilated into his personality. This comes naturally. Then one becomes strong and he is able to withstand pain. He may have to battle every moment of his life but he will be able to maintain his equanimity and indifference. This shows real development.
When magnetism is lacking, then the force binding the atoms and cells of the body is lacking. There is a constant process of renewal of the cells and organs of the body. If too much food is taken in we grow stout and sluggish; if we are careless we do not gain any magnetism. By seeking life and light the magnetism is gained.
GITHA: By physical practices this power in the body is developed, and by mental exercises the same power is improved in the mind.
TASAWWUF: In the West people depend mostly upon dancing and athletics, and in India Hatha Yoga is practiced. While the virtues of Hatha Yoga have no doubt been overemphasized, still it is important to learn that one can become master of this body-temple and that there are many ways by which it can be kept free from disease. Besides that there are special practices given by the Sheikh or Murshid so that one can develop and use the Healing Darood, the Healing Fikr and the Healing Zikr.
Perhaps the last exercises also help with the development of mind and bring on mental magnetism as well. In the lessons on Ryazat one learns the value of moving the body in devotions; then the body also joins in the devotions and gains something on its own plane. But the mind benefits whenever it is possible to remove the thought of self therefrom.
GITHA: It is generally found that the ill lose their magnetism to a certain extent. A healthy person often seeks escape from the presence of the sick. It is natural, because it is magnetism in a person to which mankind is attracted, and it is lack which causes repulsion.
TASAWWUF: This is true even in ordinary cases of attraction and repulsion. Of course there are persons who have a kind of magnetism that may repel others, either because they have too much power or because the others are under the domination of fear. Just as water and electricity seek their level so does life seek its level. The spiritual person may protect himself by not touching others or letting others touch him, or by learning to bestow Baraka, which makes his body a vehicle of universal energy.
One can be sapped by being in the presence of the weak, or falling under the influence of their thoughts. One can lose energy by going into rooms or atmospheres which are hostile or deadened, where unwholesome thoughts have been held or wicked acts committed. But by keeping a spiritual thought before the mind one is always protected therefrom.
GITHA: This also explains the reason for the attraction of youth and childhood, although in childhood this magnetism is not fully developed. The lack of this is felt in age for the same reason.
TASAWWUF: In childhood and youth there is more material magnetism and this grows less and less as the body approaches full stature. This form of magnetism easily manifests through the flesh and has both a material and psychic side. It is needed during growth to help to strengthen the organs and muscles. But because youth is under the dominion of Urouj, there is often a wasting of it; it pours out through the body and older persons are attracted by it, often try to absorb it. In some cases there is an unwholesome magic resulting therefrom. It is the divine ideal which can protect anyone, either from obsessing forces and enemies on the one side, or from committing unwholesome acts on the other.
We do not have to conserve all the material magnetism but we can draw the vitality which comes from every breath. The cultivation of mental magnetism may come later or easier. It makes one bright, alert and witty and is generally associated with the “jinn” evolution. Spiritual magnetism is higher than this and brings with it all potentialities. It enables one to absorb the wisdom of the universe. For with the coming of age there is a loss of material magnetism and, if one is ignorant, of much mental magnetism also. But the power and light and life of God are before every soul.
GITHA: In Sufic terms this magnetism is called Quwwat-e-Maknatis; and it springs from every atom, physical or mental. It may be called strength or energy.
TASAWWUF: The physicists have already realized this in their various studies and called a unit of this magnetism a quantum. It is a very definite amount of energy functioning in certain manners. The scientists of the twentieth century now believe that the universe is based upon this unit of energy rather than upon the units of matter, first called atom, then electron, then given some other names according to their immediate knowledge. This shows that science and mysticism are rapidly approaching one another.
In living matter radiation takes on different forms which have been observed by the psychical scientists, especially in the form called ectoplasm. This is a kind of radiation of living matter which is a combination of the physical and mental atoms and vibrations, which can be exposed to view. However the person who allows anyone to handle this emanation is liable to lose some of his life-energy and often his evolution is hindered momentarily or for a longer period.
GITHA: It is a wealth; and just as one person can enjoy wealth for a longer time if he is careful with it, and another may spend it thoughtlessly following his fancies, so does a man do with this magnetism. Either he attracts others or he is attracted to others. In one case he is better off, in the other case he loses.
TASAWWUF: In the Sufic studies on Amaliat, the talib learns to develop the psychic power in his personality by many ways. It is not only used to produce health, but it brings many blessings. When one assimilates the divine power, it brings many blessings. Everything in the universe gives out life and light in some manner, and the mystic learns to feel that from the silence, while in his every breath he becomes more and more attuned to the cosmos.
The generality in this world tend to unite in groups and to be swayed by emotion. Often a leader can dominate the thoughts and feelings of the crowd and under the spell of his influence they will follow his leadership. They will all enter into the same rhythm, partake of the same karma. Then they lose self-consciousness, and while constructive cooperative activity is always beneficial, this is not the real cooperation of man and man manifesting. It reveals rather lack of evolution to full self-consciousness.
There is a great difference between an army and a mob. No doubt in the army also there may be one will, but there is discipline too. The control of the group by a single will here may produce collective effort and develop what is called a “group-individual” or “I-I,” which can accomplish far more than might be expected of a number of persons. The army unconsciously, perhaps, follows the hierarchical principles. Whenever hierarchy manifests, miracles are possible.
One can lead others by his power of magnetism when it has with it the faculty of attraction and so perform some constructive duty in the world. He can give out that Baraka which all need. He thus becomes the channel by which magnetism is imbibed into the personality. This magnetism being a power of attraction, he can satisfy all his needs. Sometimes it would appear that he has the faculty of performing miracles; this is due to his patience and concentration and ability to make use of the laws of the universe. The more his heart is attuned to the universe the easier this becomes.
GITHA: Man, of whatever evolution, whatever disposition, in whatever condition in life, needs this magnetism more than anything else …
TASAWWUF: If not, it can hardly be said that he lives. Sufis pray, “Draw us closer to Thee every moment of our lives until in us be reflected Thy Grace, Thy Glory, Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy and Thy Peace.” Now a prayer is one thing and a realization is another. It is not always easy to bridge the gap. If one were to use the same prayer as a concentration he might succeed in the concentration especially if he did not lose the spirit of devotion. The resulting selflessness might bring a most desirable result.
People are now studying the vitamins without knowing exactly what they are. It seems that certain food materials are depositories of vital life force in some form. Those who eat those foods gain in magnetism or preserve what they have; those who do not or who eat processed foods lose what magnetism they have. Nevertheless if there is a little of this life force in food, there is much more in the breath, and in space.
GITHA: … for health, which is the greatest of all gifts in life, depends greatly on magnetism.
TASAWWUF: We cannot enjoy life to its full without health. This body was meant to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The mystic is able to bring the breath into the body. For the patient who is a Sufi one can bring the full benefit of blessing by the various practices to be used in healing. For the one who is not a Sufi, rhythm in the daily life, exercises which are related to rhythmic breathing, restraint in thought and a modicum of silence are most beneficial, together with the healer’s ability to impart such force as he feels he should and may, into the body of the patient. But the development of that one’s personality must depend upon himself, otherwise it is borrowed magnetism, which does not last. Real health therefore comes with the development of personality and that is why the psychological aspect of treatment is so important.
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 7a
Number 3: Breathing
GITHA: In Sanskrit breath is called Prana, which means life. This Prana not only gives life to oneself but it gives life to another person too.
TASAWWUF: Because of the influence of materialism the people of the world do not realize that the breath brings all the living energy and living force. The Bible says that God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. All the ancient peoples knew a little about this relationship between soul and breath and life, and a study of languages shows clearly that they thought in different terms from the peoples of later times.
It is true that our bodies depend upon food and water for the solid and liquid particles which are needed. Breath may also bring us some food in a gaseous form although the human being is not generally fitted, as is the vegetable, to draw the food directly from the air, and mostly has to gain this in the form that is stored in the fruits and vegetables he eats. Nevertheless food alone does not account for the energy that man is able to exert and laboratory exercises and experiments, under man’s control, are very different from the actual tests life brings.
Even the common people of India know much more about the breath than the people of the Occident, and the Yogis have preserved the science of it through the centuries. The inhabitants of the high Andes mountains in South America are stimulated by chewing coca leaves, and they carry heavy loads over high, precipitous places where the atmosphere is very light. This shows that it is not the food that sustains them.
Mystics say that the breath is the connecting link between all the planes, and brings us life. The mana referred to in the story of the Beni Israel in the Bible is really the breath. Breath can bring Baraka or spiritualized magnetism which produces blessing in a form that may remain on earth. Breath is the subject of considerable study by Sufis, and it is said that the master of breath is the master of life itself.
GITHA: Sometimes the presence of someone fills you with life, and sometimes the presence of another so to speak takes away your life from you. One feels tired and depressed and eaten up by the presence of one person, and another person’s presence gives added strength, life, and vigor.
TASAWWUF: Many people feel this strength when they come into the presence of a teacher or holy man. They may not know in whose presence they are but they will feel it. Sometimes there is a person who is so elevated that even the ignorant may become strongly impressed by it, and feel different when they are near him. Advanced persons can often distinguish one another by the atmosphere.
Then there is the opposite condition that there are persons who take energy away from one. Sometimes this is done maliciously but more often when one comes into the presence of an obsessed personality this is so. The obsession draws the vitality first from the body and mind of the one upon whom he is a parasite and then induces that one, quite unconsciously, to draw upon others. If one has a full breath, and feels the life in the heart he can protect himself. One should not allow his breath to be depleted in the presence of unwholesome personalities, and in devitalizing atmospheres. Then one should watch the breath most of all.
In ancient times breath was used in a different way by healers. Thus we read in the Bible how Elijah and Elisha raised the sick by inducing breath in them, restoring the breath to the bodies. Jesus Christ also spoke about raising the dead, for which the breath of life, also called the Holy Spirit, was needed. It is not necessary that we should resuscitate anybody, especially when his earthly work is finished, but for those who are on earth every opportunity should be given to enjoy life to its fullest and make the most of it.
GITHA: This is all accounted for by the breath. The one who has more life gives life, while the one who has less life takes it from the one who has more.
TASAWWUF: This law has been explained. It is the law of the balancing of energy, which is found in the physical world. It operates in the diffusion of gases and liquids, in water seeking its level and the attempt to balance electromotive force by the flow of an electrical current. The laws of vital energy are not different from the laws of physical energy.
At the same time it may be observed that spiritual evolution may be measured by the breath, not that the breath is actually measurable in any physical sense, but the atmosphere of an advanced person may be stronger and he will have capacity for finer vibrations than the ordinary person. The breath of an undeveloped person, or of a sick person, on the contrary, will be weak and incomplete. One who observes it a little will quickly notice it.
Those on the path of the Shafayat have exercises for the increase of magnetism in hands, arms, feet, eyes, face and breath. By repeating them they draw in Prana which is the all-pervading power of space. Knowing the word “prana” is not helpful but realizing that it is everywhere, that one can attract it even when in the refined atmosphere of the higher regions, is most helpful. By that means he can even draw poisons from patients and shake them into space and the space will dissolve them, so to speak.
GITHA: But there is a contrary process too. Sometimes the stronger one takes away what little life is left in the weaker one, and sometimes the weaker one gives out his life to the stronger one. A person who takes away the life in fact absorbs the life from another. In the presence of that person even flowers fade sooner and plants die.
TASAWWUF: This phenomenon which is not rare, is contrary to the law of life. There are people who sap vitality of others. Unfortunately there are parents who mistreat their children and keep them from developing, pulling their very life out of them. Husbands and wives sometimes do it either because of their selfishness or the manifestation of the “sadistic” and “masochistic” complexes.
These cases have interested the psychologists and psychiatrists. The mystic would say that the sadist has a natural faculty of attracting and the masochist a natural faculty for self-effacement, but both are deluded by the intoxication of the worldly life and neither knows how to replenish the energy which the life takes away from him. If they only knew how to balance inhalation and exhalation that would be most helpful. Also if there was any kind of heart development and balance. But these are things that the world does not yet know.
The black magician consciously draws upon the magnetism of others. And there are lecturers and fame seekers who enjoy addressing great crowds, who seem to draw upon the magnetism of their audience. Listeners will often depart depleted, fatigued, without knowing why. It is a kind of lechery, and when there is an appeal to the selfish side of man it may result later on in still more lechery.
This whole life is based upon balance. There is a balance between the oxygen content of the air and carbon dioxide content. Connected with this is the metabolic equilibrium between the plants on the one side and the animals and humankind on the other hand. However, when man is unable to rid his body of impurities he tends to destroy this balance not only for himself but for the whole creation and when he perfects his health, not only does he gain but the universe gains.
There have been people who could draw out the magnetism of plants and animals. Often this is unconscious. Yet in ancient times they used the hogs to receive the obsessing spirits which harmed people. By a sort of animal-magnetism treatment the spirits could be conducted into the hogs; this was a method Jesus Christ used. There were also other methods of employing animal magnetism, drawing the energy from the beasts into the human body. This is often good for the body; it is not so good for general spiritual development.
GITHA: Many deaths occur and many lives are retained by the phenomena of the breath.
TASAWWUF: People who die from shock reveal that they have no control over the breath. The same is true in most of the many cases known as “heart failure,” which is a kind of life failure. The loss of the breath from the body is the loss of the life from the body. The increase of breath and breath capacity within the body is the increase of health and life in the body. When there is danger of loss of life, one can concentrate upon the sacred phrase “Ya Hayy! Ya Haqq!,” substituting them for the healing Darood. This may be called the life Darood. One who repeats it will surely replenish all bodies.
GITHA: Therefore for the healer there is no greater source of healing. He can throw his breath upon the affected part of the patient as easily as he can cast his glance upon a painful part. Even eatables and objects that a healer’s breath has magnetized carry with them the power of healing.
TASAWWUF: The practice of Sulp has been referred to before. It has been described as follows: While out of the sick room practice Fikr until one feels strong in it and that the fine vibrations are in the breath. These come from the sphere of the heart and are all-healing. It may take five to fifteen minutes preparation according to one’s training, development and magnetism at the moment. There is no need to hurry about it as one ought to conserve one’s own energy at all times.
The next step is to enter the room where the patient is and concentrate the breath upon him with the thought of curing the disease. One has to be sure his own breath is much stronger than that of the patient, until it is like a mighty enveloping force. One should speak consoling words, that the illness is being cured by the Grace of God and the power of Divinity. One may in this direct the rays from the eyes directly toward the affected part, or one may close one’s eyes if that helps the concentration, or one may just look at the patient in a natural manner.
If performed rightly, the concentration may enable the Shafayat to draw the illness out by the eyes, instead of using the hands. Or it may impart life and light to the patient. One may turn the glance aside from time to time to refreshen the spirit. Really, although the eye is used, the real healing instrument is the breath. The light and brilliance of the eyes come from the breath, are fed by the breath.
One may also by this glance magnetize food and drink. One may glance at the things for a while with steady gaze, repeating a sacred phrase and a blessing. The Brahmin have known this for centuries and that is why only a Brahmin is to prepare a Brahmin’s food, and one of lower caste is not supposed to bring food and drink to another. Those of higher magnetism and vitality may administer to the less advanced, up to a degree.
GITHA: If touch makes certain finger-marks through perspiration upon a thing, why should not the breath, the very essence of life, live in an object and give the object some greater part of life, producing in it an effect which may be a greater cure than medicine?
TASAWWUF: Pyschometrists are often able to tell who has been in a room and describe him, thus proving that we leave marks more impressible than finger marks. One may leave a fingerprint behind and a little magnetism with it, but the magnetism and life of the breath is so much greater. Now often one is able to tell whether someone has been in the room or even is still there, without having seen the person, because of some impression in the atmosphere. The breath of every stranger makes itself felt by the sensitive person.
Actually we leave our footprints everywhere we go. The followers of Dr. Abrams of San Francisco have invented machines which have been able to measure some of these marks and to trace forgotten experiences, especially when those experiences lead to disease or injury later on. But outside of that, the same life is in us which is in all things, and when we concentrate upon something, we leave a living sign. Salat says: “Thy light is in all forms.”
The vibrations of touch are comparatively heavy and easily recognized. There is often direct magnetism carried through them. Perspiration also contains something in it of our mental and psychic personality. But the breath contains all the marks of one’s self, and in recognizing breath we recognize everything. Mystics are able to discern past, present and future of themselves or of others, through the breath. And the faculty of insight increases one’s ability along this line.
GITHA: When the breath is developed and purified, it is not necessary for the healer even to make an effort to throw his breath upon the patient; the very presence of the healer brings about a cure, for the whole atmosphere becomes charged with magnetism.
TASAWWUF: There are two aspects of spiritual development; that which comes from conscious effort and that which comes through grace. One who uses every conscious effort to progress is called a mureed, while one who is elevated by Divine Grace is called a murad. Actually it is difficult for another to distinguish between mureed and murad and the line is not always entirely clear. The practices in breathing from Nayaz to the control of the sun and moon currents make the body the repository of ever finer and finer vibrations. The breath goes deeper into the body, deeper into the mind, transforming each, purifying both. With this increase in penetration the personality also develops. It draws more from the living breath, it accumulates blessing from the living space.
This whole universe has been placed at man’s feet and the whole universe gains with the evolution of every man. We are not so separate from one another as our habits might lead us to believe. If there are only a few people upon the earth who are instruments for the bestowing of Baraka or for the transmission of healing energy, that might be enough to save and benefit the whole humanity. For the earth-plane gets its highest blessings through man, and the development of every one is the development of the earth itself.
There is around each of us an aura or vital body which enables the body to receive vibrations of the breath and assimilate them. As the cells of the body become purified, light emanates therefrom and manifests around the body to those of keen sight. There is always some light around the body, and this light increases in brilliance with spiritual development. Therefore Jesus Christ said, “Let your light shine before men” and in this he was speaking of actual light, of living phenomena.
While no one on the spiritual path can go far being selfish, it is also true that as the light is assimilated it can be given to others. Each one can become a link for another to connect that one with the hierarchical, with the chain of illuminated souls. In the Healing Service conscious effort is made to bridge the gap between the ordinary humanity and the illuminated ones, that those who are sick and in need may benefit from the blessings thus brought to the earth-plane.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 7b
Number 4: Insanity
GITHA: There are no doubt many physical causes of various aspects of insanity, but a keen study of the subject will prove that insanity is mostly due to mental causes. Some lack of balance caused by intensity or excess of a certain thought and feeling is found to be at the root of every cause of insanity.
TASAWWUF: Insanity, strictly speaking, is more than a disease of mind; it is a condition wherein the mind appears to be ill and does not coordinate with the body, nor function rationally. Illness of mind may come from evident physical causes, if one wishes to call them that, such as being confined to a certain place for a very long time, or compelled to repeat the same things over and over again, or having illness for a long, long time, especially when there is pain. But even these apparently entirely physical causes have a mental aspect to them.
What is called obsession means that one has become habituated to a certain thought, willingly or unwillingly, until he has been made as if into a slave of that thought. He cannot get rid of it. The scientists have classified the insane into various groups but they have not recognized the existence of thought-forms, although it is perhaps possible that continued investigation into psychic research and related subjects may throw some light upon the thought-form. If we watch mediums closely we find that they are usually obsessed; they are the slaves of apparently extra-mundane forces. They lack a personal self-will, they surrender without any idea as to whom or what they have placed themselves in bondage.
There are persons who study very hard in school or in the university and then have a breakdown. There has been a lack of rhythm, there has been an intensity which is not real concentration. In real concentration, to be successful the breath has to be maintained in steady rhythm. When this rhythm is lacking the coordination is lacking, and then the breath does not feed the mind. When the breath does not feed the mind there is not the proper circulation there of life-force and this produces in the mind a kind of stasis and stagnation.
When one is confined to a certain room or kept at a certain task over a period of years he loses freedom of spirit. There is not proper room for self-expression. The reason is that there is a sort of mental breakdown and break-up. The light within does not properly function and one may even say that then the soul itself is not functioning.
Intensity of feeling is of another nature. In passion and jealousy it breaks out and disrupts the balanced personality. It then leads to blind action and to loss of control. These people, though momentarily unbalanced, and thought sane most of the time, nevertheless often commit the worst crimes. When psychologists know how to trace the line of thought they will be able to help them more. But the chief sign of weakness of these and of all mentally diseased people may be found in the weakness of breath.
GITHA: The physician fails to cure such cases, especially the one who traces the cause of insanity in its outer manifestations and in the physical body.
TASAWWUF: No doubt some diseases precede certain forms of insanity. It is even probable that certain ailments would lead to certain forms of mental trouble thereafter. The same signs may be found in the bloodstream attendant upon physical troubles and mental troubles. But it is quite likely, in such instances, that the sickness itself had a psychological cause, and that the same destructive forces have been at work in both the physical disease and mental trouble. One cannot say they are entirely apart or draw a hard and fast line between them.
Then there are many disturbing, even ridiculous situations in life which rise out of the family, out of the environment, from one or many causes. Often there are cruel forms of inhibition, or often the person who later becomes insane has had an idée fixe, he has become fanatical over a certain thought or certain cause. But we find that even when the psychiatrists can trace these case histories, cures do not always follow, the root cause may remain deeply imbedded in the personality. It often takes a master mind to affect a cure.
GITHA: Every cause has an external effect, and yet it is a mistake to take the effect for the cause. It is not generally medicine or even surgical operations or any external applications that can be of great use.
TASAWWUF: So long as the scientists remain attached to the material world, do not see beyond it, they will have difficulty in tracing causes. Yet every year it is being recognized more and more that there are mental and psychological reasons for illnesses of all kinds. This knowledge may be slowly followed by suitable techniques. But no knife can remove the seed of jealousy and fifty operations do not purge hatred from the heart. There is as yet little scientific progress in the realm of morals, and the harmful effects of an immoral life (taking this phrase only in its largest sense) are only slowly being recognized.
After a long period there is now seen the need for more natural treatment for the mentally sick. Thus there are water cures. It seems strange that the same water methods which are used for them are considered even dangerous for physically sick people. What is it in the water that benefits? What is the merit of the water? What is the virtue of it? The mystic would say there is a merit and virtue in earth, in water, in fire and in air if one only knew how to apply them.
GITHA: It is more the work of a healer than of a physician to cure insanity.
TASAWWUF: Because the ordinary physician deals only with external and material forces he sees the obvious cause, not the root of the trouble. Of course those who have a psychological background often go much further. But so long as they do not know the nature of the ego and its manifestations, they themselves are not free from ego-activities and lacking insight, are forced to depend upon a rather narrow logical and analytical approach.
The healer can, through observation of the breath, ascertain whether there is something wrong with the mind as well as with the body. He may ask various questions. This should be done slowly and in a way to gain the patient’s confidence. The ordinary method which impresses upon the patient the greatness of the examiner, does not always reveal the information that is needed to trace the line of the trouble. And very often a blessing or sacred method will help to cure both the physical and mental sides of a disturbance.
GITHA: Like every disease, insanity could easily be cured in its earlier stage, and it is again the work of the healer to recognize the signs of insanity in their primary state; for mostly such signs are not noticed in a person, or they are passed over as “something funny” or “queer.”
TASAWWUF: Most likely there is a lack of balance in the talk or in the habits, rhythm is lacking. There may be inattention during conversation, or the breaking in upon speech with some idea which the afflicted person holds. He has little consideration for others; he considers only his own ideas. He may concentrate upon something to no end. He may be regarded as a fanatic.
It is not always necessary or wise to say that this person is peculiar. He may resent criticism or he may glory in it because he is different. But if one approaches him with the idea that meditation, rest, prayer, rhythmic breathing are beneficial, if one can interest him in music, dancing, rhythm, it will help him. The patient’s attention will be turned from his affliction toward something constructive. He may be on the way to a cure even before he has any idea that something has been wrong.
Whenever there has been any inhibition in the life of a person, there is a blockage in the free flow of thought. The imagination may be lacking or it may be overdeveloped. The breath may come in jerks, and it may change violently from period to period. The eyes will look strange, because of the presence of obsessions. These may be only temporary at first, and one will have self-control despite his peculiarities.
Sufis make use of Wazifas to protect themselves and others and to purify atmospheres. Often a spiritual purification or the performance of a suitable ceremony of the Universal Worship in a room will drive away the obsessing forces. There are forms of exorcism which may be tried, or one may place a symbol or sacred object in the room where the afflicted one sleeps and he may be healed before he recognizes that anything has been amiss.
GITHA: The first step towards healing insanity is to get at the root of the complaint by association with the subject; and as soon as the root of the complaint is touched a great relief is brought, even before healing.
TASAWWUF: This means that one should watch the patient, become acquainted with him, meet the members of his family and friends and learn as much as possible about him. One may say that insanity is due to an affliction and that this affliction may have been associated with or caused the blockage of one or more elements in the breath. The mental disease will manifest according to the elements that are blocked or to those which have more freedom.
Generally speaking absence of the ether element or a wrong direction of breath, such as inability to inhale properly, may lead to a weak mentality, to lack of mental magnetism and general intellectual development. On the other hand, when the air element dominates and there is an affliction, then balance is absent. Weak mentality indicates that while there is balance it is not so easily held, while absence of balance reveals either a tendency toward insanity or some affliction. But it is not to be supposed that “air” people are necessarily more likely to be insane than others, because people of weak wills, who are negative, are more liable to be obsessed, and one can say, if one wishes, that obsessed persons are insane. The difference is that when the obsessed persons are irrational it is because of the presence of an external force, so to speak, while with the truly insane, there is an interior affliction.
Venereal diseases are often preludes to insanity, and there is common to them a deficiency in the absorption of the etheric element. They make it much harder for the body to absorb the ether. Syphilis is the worst offender. If people knew how to breathe rightly they could overcome the effects of this disease, particularly in the inherited form. When they do not, it may lead to alcoholism or mental troubles. When there is a greater recognition of part breath plays in human lives, inherited afflictions will be more readily healed.
Emotional disturbances are not necessarily forms of insanity. An emotional person is called a psychopath when he breaks down. His life is generally tangential and lacks a center of concentration. He would benefit from concentration and discipline. He can often become a healthy and normal human being.
A neurasthenic sometimes exhibits a similar form of misbehavior. This is generally due to nerve exhaustion. The nerves cease to convey the mental magnetism. In this case and in the former there may be lack of muscular coordination which can lead to a kind of temporary insanity, although not necessarily so.
There are specific practices given to mureeds to combat obsessing forces. There are other practices needed to increase the absorption of life and light. “Ya Shaffee, Ya Kaffee” form the healing Darood; “Allaho Akbar,” the Darood of power; “Ya Hayy, Ya Haqq,” the Darood of light and life. These and others may be safely used to purify a personality although there is also a ceremonial form, part of the Universal Worship, which can also be used to heal persons suffering from obsession. And perhaps ninety percent of the people regarded as insane are actually obsessed. The removal of this blight from the surface of the world will help human evolution go a long way.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 7b—cont.
Number 5: The Nature of Insanity (Cont.)
GITHA: Loss of memory, confusion, puzzlement, instantaneous temper and passion, all these are the signs of the beginning of insanity.
TASAWWUF: Loss of memory shows that there is not proper breathing or proper concentration. Memory depends upon the life-force penetrating into the mind and this in turn depends upon right breathing. Breath is needed to store the impressions in the mind. In order to restore this memory the patient has to be given easy rhythmical breaths, or the healer must magnetize his own breath, make it powerful and perhaps keep the thought upon “Allaho Akbar” in the presence of the afflicted one. But it is better to help that one help himself when possible.
Confusion shows that there is absence of rhythm, although loss of memory is often associated with it also. At one time one is breathing normally and naturally, and at another time one hardly breathes. Then the life-force is not absorbed. If one is negative or impressionable he is then subject to attack by obsessing forces or he has not the will to restrain his human enemies. The result is that he is led into further confusion and his nervous system is subject to strain.
The manifestation of temper shows that the fire in the breath is not under control, that it manifests freely. It is like drawing the lightning out of the air, and this results in the so-called involuntary organs dominating the voluntary ones. This in turn shows that there is abnormality in the cerebro-spinal nervous system, for otherwise the voluntary organs would dominate over the involuntary ones. Often there are twitches and movements of muscles and contortions, and then the fire comes out in tempers, and ultimately results in mania.
Passion is due to the absence of the ether element, sometimes to the partial substitution of fire for it. It has been said that when there is too much fire element one can actually become like a rakshasa, and exhibit sub-human characteristics. Both the asuras and rakshasas possess passion which is not a true human quality. These creatures do not possess the divine breath which is a heritage of the human race, all of it.
GITHA: Insanity is inherited from the family, but it can also be traced in several weaknesses and vices, among which drink and fondness for drugs, unnatural habits, too much worry, anxiety, and allowing melancholy thoughts to develop in the nature; these are all things that cause insanity.
TASAWWUF: The primal factor in inherited insanity is social disease, which, as has been explained, manifested because the breath is not refined enough; there is absence of the ether element. When this element is lacking there is the inability to absorb the human qualities for the human being is, of all the creatures of the earth, the only one who has full capacity for this and all the other elements together.
When a child is so handicapped from birth, he is not always able to draw in all the elements. That is one reason why the body may be malformed, or the nervous system not functioning properly. Children who are given to a Shafayat for care must be trained to breathe correctly and much attention must be given to breathing and rhythm. It does not matter when at first there is any ability to think logically or remember. These things will follow later on. But it is also true that as each child comes into the world with the divine breath, the inherited social affliction may be covered and not manifest until later on, particularly when habits are natural at first, becoming unnatural later.
Indulgence in alcohol has a paralyzing effect upon the nerves. When one is intoxicated he is not so sensitive as ordinarily; perhaps he has taken the alcohol because he does not wish to be sensitive. He may not feel pain or he may have an abnormal sensitivity to pain. The rhythms of breath and life are destroyed and coordination between the inner and outer personality becomes difficult. Fortunately there are now several cures for drunkards, although a knowledge of breath would do more good than anything else, and living close to nature also, getting the intoxication of the sea, the mountains, the forest or the flowers, listening to the birds; then one is less likely to have any craving for strong drink.
The partaking of drugs is even worse than taking alcohol, for drugs play the greatest havoc to the mental body. They paralyze the mind, awaken a marked degree of sensitivity and break down the resistance to thought-forms and elements. One lives in the imagination and gives birth to numerous thought-forms whom one feeds with his very life force. All the energy of food, of breath, of life, goes into these forms and forces. The destruction of mental magnetism results and often the nervous system is so afflicted that both health and sanity are lost.
The curing of the drug habit requires more care than of the craving for alcohol. Often there is a long psychological history behind it, reasons sunk deep within the personality; often one has been lured into the habit. In any event there is a low threshold of absorption of life force. The patient has to be put on a diet, disciplined, and every use made of suggestion, color, and natural methods. In this case sometimes hypnotism may be permitted, for although it is not wise to place oneself in the hands of another person and permit his mind to dominate, this is always to be preferred to domination by insidious forces from the unseen worlds.
Unnatural habits also interfere with the etheric currents preventing them from manifesting upon the surface. Glandular disturbances follow and as the glands connect the gross and subtle forces, mental balance becomes impossible. In some cases these persons become associated with incubi and secubi, horrible forces from the unseen which prey upon man. Then one must use the Darood of power, suggestion and any kind of treatment, even exaggerating the symptoms if necessary to rehabilitate the personality and induce self-reliance and a healthy attitude toward life in general.
Worry, anxiety and melancholy all throw shadows over the mind and prevent the light of intelligence from impressing itself properly upon the consciousness. They show a comparative over-activity of the earth element, sometimes of the water element, and also lack of ether. To stop them one must bring light into the personality, kindness, wisdom. Even treatments with light rays and colors are helpful in these cases.
GITHA: The work of the healer is to detect the primary indication of insanity, and that is loss of memory. It is caused by weakness of the mind. The mind has not sufficient power to bring forward that thought entrusted to it at the command of the will. It is this which may be called loss of memory, and it must be healed and cured in its very beginning.
TASAWWUF: What is needed in such cases is concentration. The concentration of the Sufi requires rhythmic breathing. One may place a symbol before such a person, especially a sacred symbol, and this has several advantages. In the first place it is known that obsessing forces will not stay where there are sacred symbols. The cross and the crescent and the star have been successfully used in exorcisms; the tawakkuls or obsessing thought-forces do not like them around. In the second place concentration itself develops the power by which one becomes master over himself and less likely to become prey to anything or anyone outside. Finally a spirit of devotion is also given capacity and as this restrains the nufs, or ego, there is no accommodation for affliction. It is the thought of self before one which makes memory difficult; if one is thinking about himself, he cannot place his mind upon knowledge.
Now in treating such people it is to be noticed that the breath is not in rhythm and so first one has to watch his own breath and prepare himself properly before trying to do something for anyone else. In all cases of insanity one repeats Darood, beginning at 100 and increasing to 300 or more breaths, using the Darood of power whenever there is suspicion even of obsession. If there is no obsession, however, another Darood may be used. This is to be followed by Dum, the combination being called “Dum of Darood,” and this means magnetizing the breath and taking three breaths moving the head up and down. Dum may be increased, raising and lowering the arms with the breath and movement of the head and using the magnetized or mesmerized breath even from 10 to 100 times. Sulp is also used when there are difficulties for which suggestion is helpful.
Tawees in drinking is also advisable. One should mesmerize the water and other potables. One should develop a strong magnetic current for Dum of Darood and Tawees.
GITHA: The primary stage is marked by an extreme activity of mind which results in an extreme thoughtless anger or passion; then when its spell is passed, repentance comes. This should be avoided at its beginning.
TASAWWUF: This shows lack of control of Urouj rhythm, with the tendency toward an ever more rapid rhythm, which means no rhythm at all. Then the mind becomes like an uncontrolled horse, and this leads to the emotional outbursts and repentance afterwards. If the repentance is true, one can reach the heart of the afflicted one and begin a series of disciplines which can be most helpful.
Meditation and silence are excellent for such people and make it easier to give them suitable concentrations afterwards. The water treatments are helpful, the eating of sattvic foods, adjustments of the body and other drugless treatments may be beneficial. But self-discipline is needed most of all.
GITHA: Guilty conscience, fear of consequences, doubting tendencies, all such things are like fuel to the fire of insanity.
TASAWWUF: We find such conditions in young people who practice masturbation. They also manifest in those who enjoy emotional conversions, who exaggerate their sense of guilt, and then objectify their own faults, fixing them upon others. That is why religion alone without knowledge often leads to fanaticism instead of to spiritual progress. In such cases Sulp is specific.
There has to be some suitable moral training in this world to assure a right attitude and to lessen any exaggerated degree of conscientiousness. Fear can be allayed by love, gentleness and instruction and advice. Doubt will disappear when the patient can trust the healer or anybody. Suspicion leads to paranoia and similar troubles.
GITHA: A pure, thankful, useful life, a constant thought of appreciating things and avoiding blaming things and people and conditions; all these help to keep away the germ of insanity.
TASAWWUF: The Sufi believes that thanks to God is one of the greatest blessings in life; the thankful attitude is a healthy attitude. When one appreciates what others do he is less likely to hold any thought of self. When he does not cling to the ego, there is less possibility of any mental affliction arising. Blaming others and finding fault means that one is looking upon the shadows of things and being more impressed by them than by the joys of life. Then there is pessimism instead of optimism, and though the sun shines continuously on the outside, one does not really absorb the rays of the sun into his being.
The Sufis used to think that blaming others was a harmful habit while being blamed by the world might even indicate one was receiving the grace or blessing of God. The world that condemned Christ is not likely to accept any lesser personality with open arms. One cannot change the world and one has no right to expect the world to be changed or to change itself, but one can change himself, one can let the sun shine from within his own heart and radiate joy and blessing. And when people start doing this they become the channels for the Spirit of Guidance, they come ultimately to fulfill the functions of the Bodhisattva.
Spiritual development is indeed not apart from the development in the line of health, only it is supposed that the disciple who comes to the teacher is sane, and it is the duty of the teacher to elevate the saner persons who themselves become the leaders of others. The Shafayat and the Khifayat, the spiritual healers, may have to follow in a path of Christ-like self-sacrifice and minister to all without discrimination, but as they themselves feel, neither being compelled to do anything nor expected to do more than they can without loss to themselves.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I, Number 8
Number 6: The Psychological Nature of Diseases
GITHA: There is a part of one’s life which can only be called life; there is no other name appropriate for it, and the English phrase “to pull oneself together” means to set that part of life to work. It may be called spirit, as this part in itself is both intelligence and power.
TASAWWUF: Sufis say that life preceded manifestation. One purpose of manifestation is to draw as much of the life-energy which pervades the whole universe into the personality. For if one only knew it, the personality is greater than the universe itself, there is nothing in the whole cosmos which cannot be reflected in man. And ultimately the nature of light and life are found to be the same. A living person is a radiant person, light and life both will emanate from his body and he will carry an atmosphere which is truly healing and blessing.
If one traces the steps of life, he would recognize that during infancy man is not in possession of the faculties which manifest later on. The infant has no faculty of reason, the infant has no worldly experience upon which to rely. His memory is not developed. He has only potential faculties, faculties which manifest as he grows older, because as he grows the body becomes stronger and has capacity for spirit. Then the spirit brings him its various faculties and he assimilates them according to the attunement of his soul, his evolution and the condition of the moment.
Psychologists have tried to trace the growth of life and have devised intelligence tests therefor. These are measurements of man’s knowledge and ability. It may be questioned, however, whether they touch the source of his intelligence, for there is little recognition of inner personality or any heed taken of the existence of a spiritual life which is much more fundamental than the worldly life.
GITHA: It is intelligence because any part of the body and mind or every part of both in which it dwells, it makes sensitive; and it is powerful because whatever part of the body and mind it touches, it strengthens that part.
TASAWWUF: This intelligence comes with the breath as the breath is refined. In its grossest state the breath or spirit carries only those vibrations which are needed by the body, which are absorbed by the body, vibrations which bring the muscular energy, which enable the cells and glands and tubes to function, and which make of them also vehicles for the breath within the body.
As the breath is more refined it brings energy to the nerves and then to the mind. Those finer vibrations make the mind sensitive, stimulate thought and produce the mental magnetism that manifests in wit, cleverness, logical ability and ultimately in insight. And a further development of the breath leads to the awakening of the heart qualities.
No doubt one cannot make any sharp and hard division between these because the nerves are part of the body and nerve energy is needed for the body and at the same time the nerves carry mental vibrations. Also the heart and mind are not entirely separate; we call the mind the surface of which the heart is the depth. Any part of the body, any section of the mind becomes sensitive through exercise and use. At the same time it is possible through refinement to make them sensitive. Sufis use Zikr and music for this purpose. Musical vibrations seem to set into motion the atoms of the various bodies and thus make them more sensitive, make the personality more sensitive.
But the same vibrations which bring the sensitivity are vibrations of life-force and all the strength comes from or through this life-force. We say that God is All Powerful, which is so. It is in the manifestation of life which is really the Divine Energy that the power manifests.
GITHA: In games and sports, when people jump down from a great height, what is it that protects them from hurt? It is this spirit, and they have made it their habit to call this spirit to their aid.
TASAWWUF: This spirit is the life of breath. It acts different when one is thinking of oneself and when one is not thinking so much of oneself. In the saying of Christ, “Blessed be the poor in spirit,” it means that those who have little ego-spirit will be blessed. Then there is another spirit, which is the all-pervading spirit, upon which they rely. That is why prayers are often successful, very often helpful. They produce a psychological adjustment making it possible for man to call upon this spirit.
The parachute jumper has to adjust his body to the great differences in air pressure from the heights to the depths. If it were not for the spirit he could not do it, the difference would be too great. Mountain climbers often have difficulty with their breathing because of the attenuated atmosphere, but through this power of the spirit they can continue to move.
GITHA: When people throw balls to each other, and even in boxing, the receiver of the blow awakens this spirit in that part on which he receives the blow. The sportsman does not know what this spirit is, though he takes refuge in it.
TASAWWUF: We all have a feeling of reserve strength at certain times, and it seems to be felt instinctively. Animals have it and rely upon it; they know what to do under stress. It is called instinct or reflex action, but strictly speaking it is spirit or intelligence in operation without any instrumentality of the conscious mind. This shows that the power in spirit is greater than what comes from the mind. It is lodged in the very atoms of the body, they also contain the spirit or intelligence.
In playing games, in fishing or struggling with an animal, man seems to be impressed to act quickly and suddenly even without thinking. He then is possessed with a sort of innate intelligence which does not appear to be his, he may suppose, at ordinary times. It comes to the surface only at odd moments. Actually it is his possession, it is part of the blessing and wisdom given to him by God, by life. He could summon it at all times and use it on all planes, if he only knew how.
GITHA: The mystic understands it by his meditation, also by research into metaphysics.
TASAWWUF: Meditation enables man to restrain all the faculties, ideas, movements and habits which form his ego, which is produced out of his thought of self. It is this which stands in the way at all times. Under meditation all this is removed from the vision. Then all the afflictions of body and mind go too, because they are associated with these ego-agitations.
Now by research into meditation is meant Kashf. This is the faculty of insight. By the faculty of insight one gets in touch with the spirit. This manifests in many ways. It leads man to the development of inspiration, through the use of intuition, and perfects also his imagination. That is why in the prayer one says, “Give sustenance to our bodies, hearts and souls.” The spirit acts upon all planes and man can receive its blessings on all planes.
GITHA: When a person awakes from a deep sleep, the first thing that rises through his mind to his body, when the tendency of stretching and contracting comes and of twisting and turning, and of gradually opening the eyes, is this spirit; it rises, so to speak, and spreads.
TASAWWUF: This is most evident at the hour of wakening. But we can develop sensitivity by rising earlier and practicing meditation, performing our devotions and even using concentration to continue the research begun by the meditation. This refines us within and without. The spirit is brought into the body more by the various esoteric exercises which are given to a pupil by the teacher according to his need and development.
The first words of the Bible are usually translated, “In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.” But the Kabbalists say that the first word, “Barashith” may be translated “Bara Shith,” “He made six.” That is to say, there are six movements of spirit by which the creation was accomplished. Two of these movements are associated with Urouj and Nasoul, inhalation and exhalation, contraction and expansion. The other four with the elements, earth, water, air and fire, each of which takes a particular direction and sends out lines of force in a definite form. All movements may be said to have come from these six. The seventh principle is that of rest. The ancients also associated these movements with certain divinities and planets.
GITHA: By the mastery of this spirit diseases are cured, age is mastered, even death is conquered.
TASAWWUF: So long as we recognize breath only as air or gas in motion we cannot understand this. The whole universe is filled with vibrations, vibrations also which create atoms, or from which atoms are formed. The life-energy permeates all. The words of Nayaz are most significant. Today the scientists are beginning to learn more about the vibrations. They have for many centuries had some knowledge of the magnetism associated with iron; they are just beginning to learn about the vibrations associated with the other metals and elements. The study of light spectra was the first step; of X-ray spectra was a second step and now many other steps are being taken. These indeed may turn out to be steps in the direction of mysticism.
This whole universe is permeated with living vibrations. The rays of the sun bring many, not only those used in Helio-therapy and Spectro-chromo therapy, but many others. They are used by the plants for growth; they depend upon the sun and its heat far more than do warm-blooded animals and man. Many plants and animals are attracted by sunlight; they have the faculty of tropism which may be said to be instinct at sleep; the plant is as if asleep in a dream stage, but it possesses this tropism.
Both animals and plants make use of the waves of the air, although again, these waves contain much more than is seen in the ordinary breath. But it is man alone who can get the benefit of the all-pervading power of space, which is divine power. Therefore it has been said that man was made in God’s image. God blessed man, meaning that he gave to man “Baraka,” the spiritual magnetism which can emanate through his body, his hands, his mind, his eyes, his speech. The more this Baraka is assimilated, the more radiant and living man becomes. He has more of life so there is less room in him for disease, weakness, pain.
There are several ways of developing this spirit, among which meditation, concentration, self-effacement, science of breath, sacrificial devotion and esotericism are the most important. Music and dancing may sometimes be used, and there are also other methods. The net result is that the body becomes the vehicle of the very life of the universe. It may become a body of light, it may radiate light. Also when it absorbs the all-pervading power of space, which can be taken in through the skin, suspended animation is possible.
This is the line of development of the adept. The adept is one who is selected, or perhaps who chooses, to remain upon earth a long time. For this there must be constant and continual refinement of the body. It is then no longer subject to the ailments of mankind. In some instances the adepts have dissolved their being at the time of transition. This seems to have been true in the cases of Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Kabir and many Sufi saints.
GITHA: When this spirit is lacking, energy is lacking, intelligence, joy and rest are lacking, and when there is this spirit there is hope, there is joy, there is rest; because the nature of this spirit is to hold intact the body of atoms and vibrations.
TASAWWUF: For joy there must be expansion of spirit. When we see a person who is given no room for self-expression, we say his spirit is cramped. If one were restrained that he could not sing beyond one scale, nor walk beyond a certain distance, if one were forbidden to look in certain books or speak to certain people, his spirit would be cramped, he would not have joy. But if he had the opportunity to be out in the woods, to roam among the flowers, to sing and to dance, he would get the benefit of the spirit in the form of joy.
Then there is another aspect, which is that of rest. The ego is in constant movement and agitation and it is hard to learn to keep the body from moving, from twitching. Scientists who have watched people at sleep have particularly noticed this without having any prescription by which the restless could learn to remain in bed without moving much. It is the ego-spirit which produces the movement, the divine spirit which brings peace and rest. That is why, even with a certain form of breathing, one may draw the divine spirit to himself. So Sufi students keep before themselves a divine thought, and this affects the breath, and this in turn makes it possible to have real rest.
There is another way by which, although one is in action, he will not experience fatigue, and that is by calling upon God while walking, while working, while absorbed in task or duty or even in pleasure. There is a Darood for every occasion which enables man to make the most of each occasion. One may also feel the breath under the feet while walking, and this makes it possible to journey many miles as if walking on air; actually one is then walking upon spirit and is uplifted by the spirit.
GITHA: Comfort lies in being held, discomfort when that spirit is not sufficient to hold the body intact. Thus it is the lack of this spirit that is the cause of a great many diseases.
TASAWWUF: While all people breathe, few get the full benefit of breath. The breath development is the spiritual development. As one absorbs the finer vibrations and atoms he increases the life within the personality; this is the real development of personality, considered from any point of view. When the spirit is there, life is there. Therefore spiritual training is offered to the world so that people may get the full benefit of life and all its blessings.
The Shafayat cannot, of course, give the esoteric exercises to patients, even to mureeds, for at such times these exercises may have to be suspended. But the principles behind them he will know and there are other means by which these principles may be imparted. Even simple rhythmical breaths with the thought, “This is not my body, this is the temple of God,” can be most helpful.
GITHA: By the development of this spirit in himself the healer can give a part of his spirit to another, and that becomes the best source of healing.
TASAWWUF: The healer learns many exercises by which he develops the magnetism and spirit within himself, so much so that he has a surfeit of it. This he holds in reserve, needing it to combat the sick and the obsessed, for in the one case there is weakness of spirit and strength is needed and in the other case there is an adverse spirit which has to be combated. So he develops this spirit, recognizing it as essentially divine, and becoming the channel for it, brings health and blessing to mankind.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 9a
Number 7: The Origin of Diseases
GITHA: Almost every disease originates in the mind, even when one catches infectious diseases.
TASAWWUF: Normally the soul would purify, revivify and heal the body. The light of the soul reaches the body through the breath. There is no obstacle before this light except that thrown by nufs, the ego. This is described as “the shadow upon the sky.” During infancy the body is weak and the mind is not developed. The infant lives in the mental atmosphere of its parents and so suffers or benefits therefrom. With the development of body, and of mind, it is possible to attain perfect health.
At the present time the evolution of the world is such that the thought of sickness is held by many, and the concentration upon hospitals, physicians and disease weakens the general immunity. The light of the soul is all healing; even the heart is all healing if man’s heart is awakened. There is no sickness, no matter how supposedly terrible, against which man cannot protect himself. Whatever weakness may appear without, it is nothing as against the strength which comes from within.
Now there is a growing interest in the psychological reasons for things, but the materialistic philosophy is still so strong that no relationship or correspondence has been properly established between mental attitudes and biochemical activities, although Rocine has made some slight headway in that direction. Rocine, however, did not recognize all the physical elements in the human body. If he had continued his researches or if someone follows him, no doubt this may become human knowledge later on. For all the juices of the body are stimulated through the nerves, which in turn depend upon the mind.
GITHA: It does not mean that it must always be wickedness of the mind; if it were so, good people would never be ill; and yet it cannot be overlooked that it is a weakness of the mind, in some way or other, that allows the disease to enter.
TASAWWUF: Where there is a strong mind, the breath currents are stronger and then more of the life-force is drawn from the sphere. One has to make suitable accommodation for this life-force. Strength of will and exercise deepen the breath, and fineness of feeling attracts the finer vibrations. Goodwill is not enough, for then wishing would accomplish things; this would give no scope for strength of character.
Weakness of mind may be due to impressions one has received in early childhood. The influence of these impressions is tremendous and they are one’s best friends or worst enemies throughout life unless one comes to realize that there is a Divine Breath. If one can feel the pulse of God, so to speak, no disease can remain with him long, and his immunity will be greatly increased.
GITHA: Besides this, negligence, oversight, irregularity, mental and physical, also cause diseases.
TASAWWUF: Negligence breaks down the rhythm of life and in the absence of this rhythm there cannot be health. If one does not clean his teeth, bathe, wash his hands and face, not only will the dirt remain and bring physical blemishes, but the psychic protection which normally belongs to man will be taken away from him. That is why in the Gathas attention is given to very simple subjects, for upon the basis of this natural simplicity the whole of life depends.
Oversight proves that one is not in control of one’s faculties. This is particularly true of all people who leave everything to fate or karma. They excuse weakness of will, even delight in it. They do not build up any center of accommodation, they do not draw the light into themselves, often believing that man’s power is as nothing and so they confuse God and the created universe.
Irregularity may mean laziness. It also results from pleasure seeking. One does not have to deny pleasure, but, as Rassoul King Solomon said, there is a time for all things, and one may regulate the time. When one overlooks simple safeguards, the stomach, the liver, the sex organs, the mind, working or overworking at strange hours, performing different duties, cannot so well stand the strain, and then disease follows.
In correcting the habits of these people it is not always necessary to blame; one does not blame the ignorant, one emphasizes the right way, one teaches them.
GITHA: Life and death are two forces, constructive and destructive, and there is continual fighting between these two forces. There are times when one power wins, and the success of that power means either better health or disease and death.
TASAWWUF: What are referred to here as life and death are not different from those processes which the physiologists call anabolic and catabolic. In anabolism food and breath and vitality are taken into the body, cells are formed, secretions are increased and the health is improved. But while this is going on, while the body with all its cells and organs and tubes is feeding, there is the creation of some waste material which has to be removed. For cells age and die, waste products must be discharged through the natural channels and these processes are called catabolic.
According to the Hindus, Brahma creates the world, Vishnu preserves it, and Siva carries the materials away, preparing for the re-assimilation of matter into spirit. This is a constant and eternal process, so Siva has been regarded as the divine aspect of change, of movement. So He is called the Lord of the Dance and yet He has been regarded as Divine Destruction and Death. Although we say it is a rivalry between life and death, it is only so if we look upon it from the standpoint of the physical body alone.
We may add to the life currents in many manners, as has been explained. It is the emphasis upon life which brings life. Zikr and Fikr are used by Sufis to develop body and mind in this respect. For the generality there ought to be other practices, such as the right use of music, sound, color, impression and suggestions. When there are such constructive, right prescriptions one does not have to look to the shadowy sides of life which we call death. We do not bring any impression of death, we want to increase and fulfill the life.
GITHA: The body must be ready and fit to fight this battle; but the mind has a still greater part to perform, and when the mind fails to perform its part the body with all its fitness is incapable of retaining health.
TASAWWUF: Those who contend that the whole of life’s happiness depends upon the condition of the body are not wrong, only one may ask them, upon what does the condition of the body depend? Is the body self-sustaining? No, neither is body self-sustaining nor the mind self-sustaining. If they were, we would have found the answer to every disease long ago. According to the Sufis only the heart is self-sustaining and the heart can heal itself or the heart of another, and by healing the heart of another can also benefit the mind and body of that one.
During the nineteenth century the materialistic view came more and more to the front and especially in medicine. It became a very mysterious profession, more mysterious than the mysteries of old, not to be discussed by mankind. But its practitioners were no more infallible than other people, and yet into their keeping was left the life and health of others. Their goodwill was not sufficient; good-will cannot overcome ignorance.
As a result there were some rather violent reactions against this view, some of the most important being started by a [Dr. Quimby], who is said to have been a student of Plato. Although Dr. Mary Baker Eddy has been accused of plagiarizing her views, it does not matter since there is nothing new under the sun. Her movement led the reaction against the narrow materialism and has indirectly influenced the thought of the day very much. One has to see life from both sides, and knowing the condition of the mind in the end may prove to be far more important than knowing much about the body.
Now there are many schools and many theories about the cause of disease and its cure, and also about the cause and cure of specific ailments, to which the medical profession has given many names such as tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, asthma, infantile paralysis, etc. All of these show that there is a break-down of bodily functions, but the names do not tell what the cause of them is and the lack of this deeper knowledge makes cures harder.
GITHA: But if the mind is capable of keeping health, the body to a great extent obeys it.
TASAWWUF: That is to say, when we can reach a stage of mental health, when we have a science of mental hygiene, and have the bright outlook upon life, the chances will improve greatly that the body will not suffer so much. The life force will more readily reach the body through the mind. This indeed is the view of an ever growing circle of new-thought and metaphysical movements. Even when their founders or leaders are selfish and clever, their teachings are not altogether wrong. They do demonstrate what is right. Just as a man, though he be a criminal, if he has the knowledge of mechanics and machinery, can become a skillful inventor, so a clever person, who has struck in some way the knowledge of the mind-world, can demonstrate it also. It has little to do with their moral natures in either case.
Now what is needed is physicians who will recognize more this mental side of life. When the profession ceases to be so materialistic and orthodox, there will be no need for cult-healing. It is right that healers have some knowledge of physiology, anatomy, neurology and psychology; it is right that they have suitable scientific training. But they also need insight and between the ignorant man with some insight and the intellectual without insight, the former may often be more successful in healing the ills of mankind.
This is particularly true in an age in which divorce is increasing. It shows that there is mental and sexual instability. Those things cannot be corrected on the physical plane. There are only a few physicians who have even a slight approach to them, and the result is a growing instability all around. Then some metaphysical psychologist appears and he attracts great crowds. He uses many words, covering only a slight knowledge, yet that knowledge, slight though it be, is often greater than that of the most skillful doctor whose mind’s eye has never been opened.
GITHA: Still, harmony of both mind and body is needed to fight the battle of life.
TASAWWUF: In other words, the attunement of body and mind is required. The mind must be given its hygienic treatment, and its strength. Then it will pass its magnetism and vitality to the body. The body and mind should be coordinated, which is very simple and easy when there is some knowledge of breath. And, as time goes on more attention will be paid to the mind. At present there is more interest in quantitative measurements revealed in the intelligence tests. After a while there will be qualitative studies of mind, and this will lead to a better condition for all mankind.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I, Number 9b
Number 8: The Effects of Food
GITHA: It is the secret of nature that life lives upon life, as all carnivorous animals live upon the flesh of other animals, and sometimes on their own kind. This shows that life sustains its body by the same element of which it is made.
TASAWWUF: This is true in both aspects, the vibrational aspect which we call spirit and the atomic aspect which we call matter. We need spirit in order to live and we need living matter in order that the body may sustain life and life remain in the body. Chemists have been trying to manufacture living forms in the laboratory. The chemical composition of plasma is known and some of the laws about it are known. What is overlooked is that mind is needed to perform this experiment, and human mind is not enough. The etheric principle must be present to assure the continuation of the species and the scientists do no yet know about it.
From the metaphysical view there can be no absolutely dead matter. If a form continues with little change there must be some life in it; although all forms are subject to change, none are eternal. The minerals are not fit to be food for man for they have little life in them. An extreme view is held by some that we should not eat salt, that it is a mineral and if there is any salt fit for us it is the salt derived from the vegetables. But if God intended that, there would be more salt in the vegetables. Besides, there is much in the ocean and in the blood showing that an extreme view, based upon sentiment and not upon knowledge, is of little value.
GITHA: Man’s body is made of the food he eats, and it is according to the life in the food he eats that his life develops.
TASAWWUF: Thus, if one ate meat he might be bloodthirsty. Vegetarians are as a rule less warlike than meat eaters; this is true also among most of the animals. There are different kinds of meat, heavy and light, and there are many kinds of fruits and vegetables, which taste quite different, which have different mineral salts absorbed in them and whose effect upon the body is different. While it is possible to overemphasize the values of food, they should not be neglected. All the spiritual teachers have given this subject some attention.
GITHA: Little insects which live on flowers create the beauty of the flower in their body. Insects that feed on leaves sometimes become green and beautiful like a leaf, but insects living in the earth and in dirt have a similar body. This teaches that man’s body depends upon the food he eats.
TASAWWUF: Biologists have shown great interest in the effect of environment upon living forms, although they have not always made it clear, even to themselves, as to just what environment is, how it works and why it affects creatures. They have coined such words as mimicry, protective coloration, adaptation, etc., to cover various behaviorisms. These words are descriptive rather than revealing. The unconscious acceptance of dualism has prevented them from obtaining a clearer picture.
The Sufi says, “Thy light is in all forms, Thy love is in all Beings.” Which is to say, that everything is basically divine, fundamentally alive. Also there is a relationship between things. If there is no thought about it, the relationship exists just the same. Both food and environment impress upon their partakers the elements of which they are made, more of the mystical, perhaps, than of the chemical. For a grasshopper living around the grain would be in the living atmosphere of the grain and whatever elements collected in the atmosphere of the grain would affect it. Of course in this case the earth element would predominate, and in a certain way, leading to the domination of the color yellow.
GITHA: Any decay in the vegetables he eats and any disease in the animal whose flesh he uses, all have their effect on man’s health.
TASAWWUF: The Mosaic law has been discussed by many people. Some excuse themselves for breaking this law but this does not prevent them from becoming ill. People who eat heavy foods, who do not exercise, become ill and if they do not become ill, they become gross. Yet we find that the foods regarded as unwholesome by Moses were for the most part considered as dangerous by Buddha and Mohammed and other teachers. Where there were differences or exceptions, this was because of the scarcity of food, and not because the law should be different in different places.
All meat is tamasic, but it is better when eaten fresh or else smoked. Stale meat is especially bad, and overcooked meat loses the vitamins. When ingested it often produces poisons within the system. The same is true of decaying vegetables. Although most vegetables may be sattvic, anything in a stage of decay reveals tamas. That means that when the food is eaten and assimilated, instead of bringing strength and magnetism, it robs the eater of these things.
GITHA: Brahmins, who have been the most scientific and philosophical people in the world, have always considered this subject; and one always finds in the race of Brahmins intelligent and superior minds.
TASAWWUF: The Brahmins have been for the most part vegetarians. They have made a study of foods and divided them into sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. By eating mostly sattvic foods such as milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, they have made their bodies more and more refined. As they have not intermarried with other castes, this has made their bodies still purer. And when they are thus protected from poisons, the mind is clearer. Thus many of them even to this day are excellent logicians, mathematicians, lawyers and engineers. They do not have much trouble understanding Western civilization although they do not generally admire the Occidental ideals.
GITHA: In the West, although there is continual scientific discovery and discussion on hygienic life, important things in regard to food are overlooked, and this can be explained in a few words as due to the lack of home-life.
TASAWWUF: We might contrast this with the Chinese who have always stressed home and family life. The Chinese have a most complete dietary, covering all the aspects from agriculture and hunting to the final serving of foods upon plates. It is all part of the national economy. In the West people rush to meals, sometimes half prepared, gulp them down and depart for work or for pleasure. In the East, eating is often a ritual, a ritual in which thankfulness may be offered.
Ancient peoples had the sacred mysteries and in them attention was paid to agriculture and the obtaining of foods from the ground, from the gods so to speak. There was a time when the different clans were each expected to grow certain foods for the whole community and exchange them. Then, as agriculture and industry advanced, there was a different civilization which produced all the foods. These people were instructed to render thanks in prayer for the fruits, the corn, the oil, the wine and everything else.
Besides this there is another aspect, which is both spiritual and psychic. One has to render thanks to God at all times. Eating is a sacred task and one should thank God or pray as he handles the food. The magnetism from his body can go into the foods. Thus in Java and Bali the feast is a religious festival, and among the Sufis, the feast is always an occasion for divine rejoicing.
GITHA: Many have to take their food in public places where it is impossible for special consideration to be given in this way.
TASAWWUF: When the wife prepares food for the husband and family, and she feels love, that love goes into the food. And when a spiritual person prepares food his magnetism goes into it. There is also a concentration, there is someone or there are many persons for whom the food is intended and there is a connection between the cook who prepares the food and those who eat it afterwards. But in the restaurant there is usually no such preparation. The cook may not know for whom the food is intended; he may be interested in his art, he is interested in earning his living.
Besides there is a different atmosphere in the restaurant. All the conversation that goes on there, the smoking, the drinking, the hustle and bustle, takes the life out of the atmosphere. One does not always feel comfortable in such an atmosphere, so there is music, and this music, which is a kind of intoxicant, does not always prove to be healthful. It does not aid digestion because there is no knowledge of the kind of music that helps the body, helps the mind, helps the heart. It is all a pleasure and after the pleasure pain may follow.
GITHA: There are, moreover, differences in the animal foods one eats. Some animals are clean, others unclean; and their flesh differs accordingly. This has a great influence on the health and mind of a person.
TASAWWUF: This has been referred to in the study of the religious laws, and the foods forbidden and not forbidden. Although the Sufi strictly speaking is not forbidden anything, wisdom and knowledge are always helpful, especially in the promotion of health.
The hog dwells close to the ground, and partakes of the earth element. Even when he is given clean food, there is the inheritance of many generations, and always the food is heavy. Therefore it is harder to digest and assimilate especially for those who have refined bodies, the result of spiritual training and discipline. The cow and the sheep, as well as their offspring, have much cleaner habits, and besides, their bodies are lifted off the ground by their legs. The horned wild beasts as the deer and roe are still more lifted from the ground, although on account of their gentle disposition there is growing opposition to killing them and eating them.
Some bird-foods are permitted. While chickens and ducks are said to be very careless about their diets, all birds take in more of the air element, and are to be preferred to animals (that is beasts) for this reason, although for other reasons they may be objectionable. Fish which swim in the oceans and streams are cleansed by the element in which they live. The shell-fish which burrow in the sands and which may be effected by polluted waters, were considered objectionable by Moses. Besides they are strongly acid and stimulate the movement of life currents downward.
There was another objection to pork in ancient times, and that is because the pig was used as a battery of animal magnetism, to draw poisons out of people, and therefore was not to be used for food.
GITHA: The question as to what the mind has to do with bodily food may be answered thus, that as an alcoholic drink has an effect on the mind, so every atom of food even has a particular effect.
TASAWWUF: It has been explained that as the body becomes purified and made more sensitive, it becomes a vehicle of light. Anything that uplifts it makes it a better vehicle of light. Any food that is heavy or interferes with that light is therefore a burden to spiritual progress, also to thought. One cannot think so well if the energies are consumed in assimilating foods and removing waste-particles. The mind cannot be clear if the blood is drawn from the brain. The breath energy will also be attracted to the body and used physically. For that reason one does not overlook the subject of foods.
GITHA: There are foods of three kinds: Sattva which gives nourishment with calm and peace; Rajas which gives stimulus to work and move about; and Tammas which gives sleep, laziness, and confusion.
TASAWWUF: This subject has already been referred to. Sattvic foods include most leafy vegetables, practically all fruits, milk and most milk products, and honey. Grain foods, nuts, root vegetables and some fish may be called Rajasic. Meats, heavy soups and gravies, devitalized starches and alcohol are Tamasic. Coffee and tea may be regarded as Rajasic. Generally speaking those on the spiritual path require Sattvic and Rajasic foods.
If the question be asked, “Is this classification absolute?” The answer is, “No.” And it is not wrong for persons who are engaged in certain occupations to eat the tamasic foods. In the ancient times the Brahmins who represented the air element and the Vaisyas who represented the water element were not supposed to eat meat. The former were engaged in mental, the latter in sedentary pursuits. But the soldiers who represented fire, and the Sudras who did the heavy labor were permitted it. Besides, one does not change a person’s diet unless the health of the body requires it. There are persons who have thought they could gain spiritual development by changing their foods, going on fasts and eating only delicate substances. Instead the thought of their own self was so much in the way that there was no room for God. It became, instead, only another form of manifestation of egotism.
GITHA: A healer must become aware of all kinds of foods and their effects so as to prescribe for the patient, and to see whether the food is the cause of the illness, which is so in many cases, and to keep himself in such a condition that he may be able to heal successfully.
TASAWWUF: In other words, the Shafayat may benefit from the knowledge of dietetics and biochemistry as well as from other knowledge of the body. It is possible that the physicians of the future will use the spiritual methods and it is advisable that the Shafayat take his work seriously and be not engaged in it for the sake of performing strange feats and attracting phenomena and wonder-working. Today it is possible to classify people by food types and then one can tell also when they need changes in diet and what is poison for one, which may be a satisfactory food for another.
The Shafayat has to be careful of his own diet in order to increase his magnetism and healing power. Therefore he should eat a predominance of sattvic foods. During partial fasts also the patient should be sustained by sattvic foods and these are the chief articles of diet during spiritual seclusion (Khilvat). But the spiritual laws have never been so firm and fixed that they must be adhered to fanatically. Each case that comes before the healer may have to be decided upon its own merits, together with the insight of the healer, the knowledge that he obtains from within.
Even when the cause of disease is largely mental, it is good to get the body clean by proper diet and other forms of cleansing it. When impure gases are removed, the breath is sweeter and more penetrating and obsessing forces cannot easily get any hold. It is the purified breath that brings health to oneself and to all the world.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 10a
Number 9: Self-Control
GITHA: There are many people who may be said to be of nervous temperament; who have a tendency if they walk to walk quickly, if they work to work hurriedly, if they talk to talk fast, so fast that they may drop words and make the hearer confused; whose temper may rise suddenly and who are inclined to laugh or to cry easily.
TASAWWUF: This shows that the person has been caught in what the Sufis call the Urouj rhythm, which is the accelerated rhythm. Life in the competitive world especially has brought out the philosophy that success is gained by conquest over one’s fellow men, that the one who outrivals the rest will succeed. It is quite different from the spiritual philosophy which holds that success consists of self-conquest, in knowing the purpose of one’s life, in finding out what one can do, in seeking to do it and do it well.
Under the stress of Urouj the breath is not soft or easy. One does not get the full benefit of it. One draws more upon the oxygen, assimilates the oxygen and as a result, the biochemical processes take place with rapidity, a rapidity which tends to burn up the body and thus shorten life. There are persons who do not assimilate the oxygen, who are slow and ponderous, and they are not so much alive. But these persons, while fully alive, may live to no purpose, they waste their energy and sustenance and lose self-control.
While the Western world has shown great progress in certain direction, it has not paid so much attention to the individual, even where there is the philosophy of individualism. Thus the idea of a suitable balance between hours of work and rest, especially of resting during the mid-day when it is very hot, has not gained acceptance. Diseases and physical breakdowns have been regarded as preferable to anything which seems contrary to progress, a progress entirely in harmony with Urouj but not with life as a whole.
The Sufi says there are three rhythms, Urouj, the accelerated rhythm, Kemal, the mobile or steady rhythm and Zaval, the retarding rhythm which comes at the end of action or enterprise. No doubt all three are needed in each undertaking and all three are natural. When they are missing from one’s life, they produce certain reactions especially in the nerves.
Generally a steady rhythm is best, varied by the needs of the moment. Solomon established the principle of rhythm and Sufis practice Darood which enables them to obtain a maximum benefit from the breath, from each single breath and from the cycle of breath associated with the thought behind their tasks. Persistence in a steady rhythm ultimately stimulates insight and foresight, and brings success.
Such defects as stammering, stuttering, lisping, loss of memory, can be helped by proper rhythmic breathing. This may have to be slow and gentle at first, otherwise the tendency will be to get into a gallop. People who are nervous may benefit more from corrections in the breath than from anything else.
For this reason also meditation is the best of medicines. All people can be encouraged to meditate in some form, the religious people in their way and the non-religious people in their way, the old in their way and the young in their way. Continued practice of it will help establish a rhythm which will be found most helpful. When there is right relationship of thought, speech and action within oneself, one is on the way to self-mastery which produces all the success that is.
GITHA: This condition in a way gives a kind of joy, but it weakens a person and takes away his self-control, and in the end this results in nervous diseases. It begins as indulgence in activity and ends in weakness.
TASAWWUF: We see this in the athlete, especially in the sprinter and in some football players. Under the stress of competition they would run faster than their rivals. They fall back upon the reserve of spirit within themselves and if there is not enough reserve there is a pull upon the heart. As there is no knowledge about the heart, how to replenish its energy and how to draw upon it for guidance, later on, when the athlete is too old or too worn out to continue at his art, there is a reaction and he may suffer from breakdowns and deficiencies. Thus care in his training is most valuable.
The same thing happens to people who are called upon to think rapidly in competition, or in the battle of life. Up to a certain point there may be an advantage in it. Intuitively man accepts intuition and sometimes he uses it. But if he lacks intuition and tries to think quickly, instead of there being inspiration there will be what is known as snap-judgment. There is nothing elevating in it; it can bring ruin to oneself and cause difficulties with others.
Concentration is also a valuable exercise for these people, to take one thing and think about it, holding the breath in rhythm while doing it. It can safely be given to almost everybody, spiritual student or not, and if indulged in will help establish a rhythm of breath which for each person may become his norm. It is not necessary that the breath of two people be alike any more than they are alike.
GITHA: Many mental diseases are caused by this negative state of mind and body.
TASAWWUF: There is a class of persons who are negative and receptive. They will listen to a speaker and without showing any resistance or criticism accept his words, hiding their own intuitions. While women are more intuitive than men they are also apt to be passive in their response, and thus to keep a mind so open that it will never enter into the creative stage of thought. This shows lack of concentration.
These people are among the most lovely and kind in the world, but that does not make them saints. The saint is the most gentle of persons, who does not exhibit even a mild form of rudeness. But he keeps his attunement with God, he has to have complete control over himself. He is watching himself at all times and he recognizes that the same divine light which is within himself is within all others. This is the mastery of wisdom.
It is true that man’s mind was meant to be a palace of mirrors and also it is not necessary to build up ego thoughts. There is a right attitude of response. The intuitive faculty is built up by slow, gentle, rhythmical breathing. There is no insight when the breath operates rapidly, except, perhaps, some instinctive movement. For no one can entirely destroy his instincts, without suffering terribly mentally and physically.
Slow rhythmical breathing is therefore almost a requisite for the healing of mental disturbances due to indulgence in Urouj. One does not have to correct a person of his habits nor scold him nor even warn him. One makes a suggestion, prescribes the form of breathing and a little concentration. Then, after winning the confidence of the patient, one may add to the treatment. Of course sulp and suggestion are also valuable, and an intelligent person will respond readily to this form of treatment.
GITHA: From childhood there is an inclination to this, especially among children of nervous temperament; and if it can be checked at that time there is a sure result.
TASAWWUF: Because in childhood Urouj manifests. The first part of life is, indeed, the period of Urouj. That Urouj energy is needed to build up the body and mind. When it is wasted in thought, speech and action it produces the nervousness. If it is restrained, if there is more silence, sleep, proper periods of rest, restraint from excitement without crushing the spirit, and right example laid before the child, it is very easy to control it.
Of course nervousness may appear in children because the parents are nervous or ignorant. In the Sufic training of the infant, discipline, balance, concentration, ethics and relaxation are proposed, together with rhythm and regularity. These things can be applied without offense to anybody’s religion and they are also disciplines upon the parent.
Impression and rhythm play a most important role in the training of children, and music is very valuable. Of course there are all kinds of music and some—especially among popular dance music types—are apt to feed the Urouj spirit instead of restrain it. In the Mevlevi school of Sufis the young people were placed upon the discipline of silence first and then given instruction in Zikr in such a way that the Urouj tendency became entirely transmuted. While such methods may not appeal to the generality, and would hardly be proper anyhow, it gives the idea as to what may be done. It shows that there is a way of training the spirit so that mind and body will benefit to the full.
If the tendency is not stopped in childhood that does not mean it is too late. It only means it will be harder to correct. For habit establishes the ego and fixes the impression of it upon the mind. The patient will probably want to defend his habits even when he is not criticized therefore. One breaks them down by suggesting different ways of breathing; these in turn will break down the ego-mold for it depends upon the continuance of the same kind of breathing rhythms, or the same lack of rhythm. Once corrected at the root, the affliction will surely disappear.
GITHA: No disease can be worse than an increasing weakness of the nerves, which is lack of self-control; for life is not worth living when control over the self is lost.
TASAWWUF: The nerves carry energy from the higher planes to the physical plane and also from the physical plane back toward the spirit. When they do not function properly there is a break in the conduct of the life-force, and there cannot be the happiness and blessing which are man’s true lot. The nerves are fed by the breath and by self-control, of which silence is an excellent form. The postures of the Hindus are very valuable in this connection. If there is a form of Hatha Yoga which is to be given to the people of the West, it may be safely applied by the Shafayat. Besides, there may be an eagerness on the part of patients to accept it; they will be interested in something strange and new.
For nervousness Dum and Tawees are prescribed. Dum means breathing up and down on a patient after the breath has been mesmerized by Darood. Three times may be sufficient for the operation, although the preparation may be long. The Shafayat therefore has to develop within himself the strongest will-power and learn to control the breath of another with his own breath. Instead of arguing another down, he sees that his breath is stronger and in rhythm, and he keeps his spiritual concentration before him.
Indeed just as lack of self-control makes life not worth living, increased self-control makes life more worth living. The saint and the master depend upon it more than anything else. But everyone can benefit from it. When the idea of self-control and self-mastery is brought forth, that it is most important to be able to improve oneself and that it does not matter if we outrival others or not, there will be less disease, less unhappiness, less sorrow in this world.
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Githa Series I: Number 10b
Number 10: Man’s Being
GITHA: Man is not only constituted of matter in his being but also of spirit. However well built a body he may have with its mechanism in good working order, still there is something that is wanted in him. For the physical body is sustained by material food and drink, breath by the air, mind by thoughts and imaginations and impressions; but that is not all, there is something besides mind and body that man possesses in his being, and that is his spirit, which is light, a divine light.
TASAWWUF: The Scriptures relate that man has been created by the Word of God, also that man was created in the Divine Image and Likeness. What is this Word? It is said to be the very light of the world. The tradition is that it is the light and the words of the Holy Ones reveal that it is light, and the realization of the mystics at all times clearly indicate that it is light. What matter if the Christians say there has only been one Messiah, and the Jews that there have been many Messiahs? What does it matter if the Muslims say there is no intermediary between God and Man and the Hindus revere many Avatars? What are the teachings? Ultimately the same.
Read in this way one can find a harmony between the religions of the world, and in seeking this harmony one learns everywhere that the universe is made of light. There have been many critical persons, religious people, who have criticized other religions, and irreligious people who have criticized all religions. Now after all of this, the scientists are giving to the world what some say are new doctrines, and what are they saying? That light is the fundamental thing in the Universe, that space is not empty. They do not proclaim God yet, but already they are approaching the mystical and holy traditions from other angles.
The Bible also teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What is this Holy Spirit? It is the divine breath, the breath that brings all comfort (the Holy Spirit is called the “Comforter”) and perfection. Through it man can become perfect even as His Father in the realm of Light is perfect. We can receive this light into our being, it is there before us, but in the darkness of ego-domination it does not come into its own.
The study of the human body is one of the most important subjects in Sufi metaphysics. It may seem strange that a subject called mysticism should be involved with something so material, so dense as the human body. Yes, viewed from below it is strange, but when studied from another side, one learns that the body is the temple of a divine breath and can become the accommodation for more and more light, for a never-ending degree of spirit. And then the body becomes transmuted into what the Buddhists call Nirmanakaya or body of transformation, what others speak of as the body of light.
In this life we need to sustain the body by food, drink and air. We not only need the solid and liquid materials, but we also need gaseous foods, and it is possible to sip or drink air, and this air, taken into the body as food, performs certain cleansing functions and prevents the body from becoming too dense.
We do not usually think of the mind feeding despite constant repetition of the phrase “food for thought.” Yes, and if the mind is not fed it will suffer from undernourishment, while if it not rested it will result in nervous affliction. Therefore, there has to be a balance. What are known as “right thoughts” are not a particular group of thoughts or beliefs which are “right” in some mysterious fashion while the opposing ideas are wrong. “Right thinking” means that there is a system by which one should think, there is a right way or receiving thought, and this is studied by the mystics.
Through concentration one learns what impressions to receive and what to keep from the mind. All impressions which cause fear, pain, worry, anxiety, are for that one wrong. An impression which will result in pain in the body or which will ultimately produce a complex is not to be kept, it should be purged from the mind. Concentration enables man to remove the undesirable thoughts and impressions and to discipline the imagination so that it can be employed constructively and become an avenue for intuitions to turn into constructive thought.
The spiritual life includes the refinement of the breath by practices, and this refinement increases the capacity of the body for light until such a time that the body will actually glow. This is not a fiction. It may occur even to the one who denies it. There is a certain light that appears in dreams and visions, and at odd moments. Clairvoyant people see it one way and dreamers in another. Ultimately it will be discovered that it is the same light which they see in different ways, and that this light is the very life, the very outpouring of the soul. When one has it, he can be said to have come into possession of the kingdom of heaven (or of lights).
GITHA: It is for this reason that sunshine makes one feel bright; but it is not only sunshine that is needed for the spirit.
TASAWWUF: In Nayaz one prays for the blessing of the rays of the sun. The first impression is that one seeks the blessing of the sunlight, the light everybody sees in the skies. This is a correct impression. Everybody has a right to that blessing, saint and sinner alike. And it is a misfortune when people have to work underground or are so occupied that they see the sun very little. Their spiritual evolution, indeed their life, is hindered; they do not get the full benefit of that light.
But there is another sun which can be discovered within man, which is in the very heart of man, and when that light comes out it is the sunshine for the spirit. It is the star of the East, the light that shone at midnight in the traditions. It is referred to in the Upanishads. They teach that when man has neither the sun nor moon nor stars nor lamps the light is to be found within himself.
This teaching about the Holy Light is also found in the book of the Prophet Isaiah in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Book of Revelation in the Christian Scriptures and in the Sura called “Light” in the Qur’an. It is referred to directly and indirectly in numerous Buddhist Scriptures. The ancient name for God among the followers of Zarathustra was “Ahura Mazda,” which is to say, the light of the cosmos. The very Buddhists who begin by denying the existence of God have come to accept Amida Buddha, the boundless, all-pervading light.
GITHA: Man’s soul is like a planet; and the planet is illuminated by the sun, so man’s spirit is illuminated by the light of God.
TASAWWUF: Now while the intellectual people will accept the unity or diversity of doctrine, even of holy, sacred and esoteric doctrine, the Sufi wants to prove it by demonstration, by actualization.
The words of themselves are of little value unless they can be proven in life. Where is this light of God? How can it be found? And then what use is it? It is of all use, and it can be found here and now. We do not have to wait until we are angels to recognize it. Their whole being is full of light, light which is attracted to light.
The kingdom of heaven is within man, and the question is how to uncover it. It is not easy to bring this teaching in its fullness to the generality. In the sacred studies and under the guidance of a qualified teacher the talib learns those practices which awaken the light within him. Paul Brunton, in his excellent works, has written on “The Mystery of the Eye,” “The Mystery of the Heart,” “The Mystery of the Breath.” Each of these the Shafayat has to use in his own way.
The mystery of the eye is not given forth but he uses Sulp and sometimes Tawajjeh by which life-energy is communicated to another. The mystery of the breath must be unveiled to him in order that he control the breaths of others and learn to purify the atmospheres. But the mystery of the heart is all important. One learns in Nirtan that heart only can heal the heart. It is the uncovering of heart which elevates man and enables him to elevate others. Therefore, even such a practice as blowing upon the heart is beneficial; it can waken that heart-life within this body of flesh, and once awakened both body and mind will benefit.
GITHA: In the absence of this, however healthy and joyful a man may look, he is not really healthy. He must have some spiritual touch, some opening in his heart which will let the light come in, the light of God.
TASAWWUF: We lose magnetism with every breath and every step, with every action and every thought and with every word that comes out of the mouth. We do not give these subjects much thought and we do not know how to recharge the battery which has lost its energy. This is the main reason for sickness, old age and death. Yet there has always been a feeling that they are not so necessary as they may appear. The question is how to avoid them, if possible.
One method which is used by esotericists is that of concentration upon the sun. This concentration has a greater significance than may at first appear. It can be given to non-initiates because it is mentioned in the published literature. Anything that appears in the literature can be discussed with the generality within limits. The same is true of the teachings on healing and health. Insofar as they have been published, they may be discussed. The methods of the Shafayat and the Khifayat are brought before the public, and unless the statements made are proven by demonstration, the teachings are liable to degenerate into superstitions. To make them real they must be realized and actualized.
The health of every disciple, or every enlightened person, is the health of the whole humanity, of the whole world. When man can learn to awaken that sunlight within himself he will radiate blessings upon the world. According to Sufism initiation is the greatest healing and even one initiate can heal multitudes. This may be done more through the purification of atmosphere than by any other means, but it does not matter. It is bringing the light of God to this world, making it shine from the hearts of men which will assure health of mind and body and restore happiness to human experience.