The Mystery of Sleep
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
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.
[Beginning 12 pages of commentary manuscript missing. For the beginning of the text by Hazrat Inayat Khan, please see Chapter 16 of Volume IV of The Sufi Message—Ed]
GATHEKA: For the sake of convenience, the mystics have divided into five different phases that which consciousness experiences; and distinguished them one different from the other.
TASAWWUF: No doubt there are different numbers given to the planes by devotees and believers of different schools of esotericism and theosophy. Some of these arrangements are more for the convenience of understanding than the reality. Even the Sufic distinctions have to be regarded as conveniences. This subject is also discussed in The Soul, Whence and Whither.
GATHEKA: The particular phase of which the consciousness is most familiar is the wakeful state in which the soul experiences through mind and body. This state in the Sufic term is called Nasut, and in the Vedantic terms is called Jagrat.
TASAWWUF: This state has naturally been studied more by psychologists. They see a conscious and subconscious mind. They cannot always distinguish between them, although the conscious mind is voluntary and seems to include that which is directly under the personal will of man. Nevertheless the memory collects impressions constantly and these can be awakened by hypnosis or deep concentration. The materially minded people dislike to discuss phenomenon which they cannot explain and regard as mystical anything which is not explained in their terminology.
Nasut is to enable the soul to experience life on the surface. In other words, it is the plane where God can enjoy His utmost external creation. It has been called the here and now, and this world. It is the material plane.
GATHEKA: As the soul considers what it experiences through the senses with the help of the mind, there are many souls who are not ready to believe in the soul or in the Hereafter or in God, for the reason that the soul is acquainted only with one sphere and that is the sphere which it experiences with the help of the body and mind.
TASAWWUF: The spiritual person does not try to argue with the material person or convince him that he is wrong. He waits until that one is in a dilemma. He laughs without ridiculing him and is ever able to help. Until some meditation is practiced it is pretty difficult to touch the consciousness of the materialists. They prefer their own delusions even when they know their explanations do not explain. They think all persons are like themselves and yet they recognize that all persons are certainly not like themselves. Sometimes they call the others mad or superstitious or fanatic or fantastic and their very word-throwing shows the weakness of their position.
GATHEKA: An intellectual person also develops consciousness of another sphere which is called Malakut in Sufic terminology and Swapna in terms of Vedanta.
TASAWWUF: Malakut really means the sphere of “Malak,” the angels for the angels in a sense created this sphere. But they do not live in it. Swapna comes from the same root as somnus in Latin, hypnos in Greek, meaning sleep because in the sleeping states man is often conscious of this plane. It is called the “Mind-World” and is discussed in the book bearing that name.
GATHEKA: This state is experienced in two ways. When a person is absorbed in a thought, and is not aware of his surroundings, all he knows in that moment is the imagination in which he is absorbed. It is that state which is called Malakut, which is not dependent upon the body for its joy or its experience of sorrow.
TASAWWUF: The idealistic philosophers of all time have tended to regard Malakut—the abode of thought—as the real world and the physical plane as a fanciful or derivative world. Of course, there are divisions among the idealists also and they are not agreed as to its nature. Nor do all see that the imaginations and visions which people have when awake or asleep may be in a certain sense real.
The term philosophical has often been applied to those who can maintain calmness in the face of worldly disorder. They feel that this world is not the place of ultimate reality, that there is an abode of thought beyond which seems more real. Of course if along with this they believe in immortality or eternity, it is still easier for them to remain calm.
GATHEKA: A person who can experience a joy and sorrow by raising his consciousness to that plane can make his heaven in himself. The great poets, thinkers, writers, who have lived through difficulties, through poverty, through such conditions that people did not understand them, opposed them and even despised them, have lived a most happy life, for the reason that they had been able to raise themselves to that plane where they could enjoy all the beauty, comfort, and joy that the ordinary man can only enjoy if it is given to him on the physical plane.
TASAWWUF: No doubt one way of enjoyment is through the imagination. There have been tendencies to regard the imagination as unreal. This comes from a peculiar behavior in man. When you say “matter,” he immediately thinks of the table, the chair, the earth, something solid. He does not often think of the water, the air, the space. He is thinking in hard terms, he has a hard mind. When he is told that the astronomers say that the planet Jupiter, or some other planet, or maybe some star is gaseous or fiery he accepts it in a certain manner, but it does not impress him much; he considers to think of matter as solid, then of materiality as solid and to him the clouds are relatively unreal.
Then there is another person who does not think in such terms because solid things are not living things, moving things are living things. The more movement the more life. And if the clouds move faster than the rocks, the clouds are more real, and if the thought and imagination move still faster, they are still more real. Besides there are many ways to demonstrate the reality of thought but first of all one must convince oneself.
Now there is a class of persons called geniuses and they include artists, inventors, poets, musicians, thinkers of all kinds. They live within their thoughts and yet they produce nearly everything that has brought happiness to the world. What are the things which make men happy? It may be comforts, a garden, some music, poetry, inspired ideas. They make people happy. And how is it possible that they can so become happy? It is because the original inspired person who has given the world that music, poetry, writing, invention, himself experienced happiness. He experienced it as he worked. Perhaps he did not eat and drink. But if you said to him he was living in unreality, in his imagination while he was doing that, he might laugh. It would seem that all our blessings are derived from the imagination, from the so-called unreality.
But there is a great advantage in such experience that one can face the world and all its problems and be untouched, not through any philosophy or speech or idea, but because it is his reality. He lives for that world, he finds truth in thoughts and inspirations rather than things, and he seems far more alive than the materially minded people.
GATHEKA: And when the key of this plane has come into the hand of man, he is then the master of his future life. As Omar Khayyam says in his Rubaiyat, that “Heaven is the vision of fulfilled desire and Hell the shadow of a soul on fire.”
TASAWWUF: One thus makes his heaven here and now. He is making it at all times. As he molds his mental life, he develops his mind, so he is erecting his heaven or hell. Sufis practice concentration whereby they learn to mold the desirable impressions and to cast out the undesirable ones, those that bring pain. Thus they construct heaven for themselves or for others. In this way, too, teachers in chain, through their disciples, have given to the world and preserved the means whereby the earth can become a garden of Allah. No doubt it requires a master-mind but the esotericism of Sufism contains the keys by which one may unlock the door to mastery within his own being. Once done, one does not have to look for any heaven in the hereafter although no doubt he finds it there. He finds it in the future on whatever plane and under whatever conditions he lives.
GATHEKA: In this he shows that when the consciousness has heaven reflected in it, then man is in heaven; and when man is conscious of torture, and pain, and suffering, he is in the place of suffering. Man makes his heaven or his hell for himself.
TASAWWUF: We are, so to speak, or we become the effect of our own thoughts more than anything else. We may pay little attention to it but our inner thoughts and feelings of the moment express our experiences of the future. What we concentrate upon or even reflect upon contains the fruits of our harvest. And if we have the patience, we can obtain only rich and ripe fruits.
The spiritual lessons aid the disciples in every way to avoid pain and suffering and as is taught in the Healing Service, that is to enable them to help others to avoid these things. Through the help of God and the Holy Ones are the hell fires averted and avoided.
GATHEKA: How many in this world you will find who keep their illness by thinking about it all the time by being conscious of it; and one sees many who might become well after having suffered a pain for some years, but the consciousness of the pain is held by them not as something new, but as a thing which has always been there, and is reflected in their consciousness, and thus their consciousness seems to behold it.
TASAWWUF: Even the idea of “Healing Service” and Shafayat may become stumbling blocks. Man is so much under the dominion of pain that the thought of healing dominates the thought of health. Yet no one has always been in pain. Every one can remember some other time or conditions. And this proves that it is a passing state. It also proves that the more we permit ourselves to be impressed by something, the more we become under its dominion. Even mureeds in Murakkabah are warned not to become the slaves of concentration, for in holding too tightly to any impression or line of impressions, they may identify themselves with these impressions.
The mystic is called upon to heal others by introducing a counter-line. This comes either in the way of unlearning what has been learned or by introducing a stronger impression with the feeling of optimism or joy which will efface the other, painful impression and the effect of it. In the hands of the seer, suggestion is a marvelous medicine.
GATHEKA: Nothing belongs to man unless he is willing to hold it. But when one becomes accustomed to holding a certain reflection not knowing the nature of it, in time that reflection becomes his master, and he becomes a slave to that reflection.
TASAWWUF: It has been said that the face at fifteen is the face that God has given us and the face of fifty is the face that man has made for himself. How true! We become what we have been thinking. Although it has been argued both that man is the master of his fate and otherwise, this shows a lack of understanding of man and fate. We all of us have the right to action, or to refuse to act and accordingly as we act or refuse, so we in a certain sense predetermine our own future. At the same time we affect the destiny of the world and are affected by it because we are not so separate one from the other as the individualist supposes.
The Buddha told his disciples that when someone came bringing a gift they could refuse to accept it. So he taught them not to be impressed by anger, malice, lust, envy, hatred, and all such low thoughts and feelings. When the mind is free from them, happiness would become one’s obsession.
GATHEKA: And so it is with the worry and anxiety and sorrow which people have on their mind.
TASAWWUF: These are burdens on the mind and all come from the habit and attitude of the ego-view. So long as one is looking at oneself, and most of all when one is clouded with self-pity, he becomes weak, and the only strength he has is thrown into the suffering. If that same strength were used in some other way it might produce an alleviation. To avoid such states the Sufis have the use of wazifas, phrases based upon the sacred names of God, which they repeat to keep the mind free from burdens. Also, if we learn to enjoy to help one another instead of always seeking possessions or happiness for ourselves we rise above this condition.
GATHEKA: Many say, “I cannot forget,” because they imagine it. It does not mean that person cannot forget but that he is holding something that he does not wish to throw away. There are many people who say, “I cannot forget it,” but if only they know it is not that any other person is holding something before them, it is they themselves who hold it.
TASAWWUF: Very often the person who says, “I cannot forget” has some trouble with his memory. If you ask him about his past, if you want to trust his knowledge or seek information, he will have forgotten. Then you might ask, “How is it that you forget the useful information and remember the wrongs done to you?” This shows impression. One has been deeply impressed, and especially ego-impressed. He makes a certain wound, perhaps, and in a part of his personality and in all he thinks and does and says that scar appears. It is like a reality to him. And yet he may have had many other pains and forgotten them. They did not impress him or he has learned how to forget them. And this one thing he will keep to himself proving that he is making a treasure of pain and poison.
GATHEKA: Some memory, something disagreeable, something sorrowful, some severe pain, anxiety, worry, all these things a man holds in his own hands, and they are reflected in his consciousness. His soul, by nature, is above all this. This is an illusion. Its place is beneath the soul, not above, unless man, with his own hands, raises it and looks at it.
TASAWWUF: In Saum the devotee prays, “Raise us from the denseness of the earth.” In Saum also you do not see the words to God to save us from sin, sorrow, and suffering. Instead there is the positive key, “that in us be reflected Thy Grace, Thy Glory, Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy, and Thy Peace.” The way to rise out of negativity is to emphasize the positivity. The way to overcome death is to put the stress on life. The way to forget secret or overt sorrow is to put some greater stress upon something else. Enjoy flowers, music, art, beauty, culture, even pleasure—that is better than being attached to sorrow. There must be a change in the rhythm of life and breath. Any reference to the former condition stresses it, no matter in what manner the reference is made.
The breathing exercises given by the masters of wisdom enable the talib to purify his breath and refine it that thereby only the refined thoughts and impressions may remain in the mind. Without any further attention to it, this lets in the light, which surely reveals the way out of the cave or abyss. To make a change there must be a different concentration, a different ideal, a definite purpose in view.
GATHEKA: When we consider the psychology of failure and success, failure follows failure. And why is it? Because the consciousness reflecting success is full of success, and the activity which goes out from the consciousness is creating productive activity, and if the consciousness has success before its view, then the same reflection will work and bring success, whereas if the consciousness is impressed with failure, than failure will work constantly, bringing failure after failure.
TASAWWUF: In the Sufi lessons on psychology the importance of right impression is stressed and in the lessons on concentration the way is shown how one can rise above all conditions inner and outer which throw a shadow over the mind. While some may wonder if merely thinking success will produce success, to begin with thinking success will certainly turn the mind from failure. The thought of failure brings a feeling of depression and that of itself is a weakness and it produces weakness. On the other hand self-confidence stimulates the heart. This brings more of life and light into the personality and this of itself is one of the requisites for success. As the right feeling enhances, the path toward success becomes surer.
GATHEKA: Very often pessimistic people speak against their own desire. They want to undertake some work, and they say, “I will do this, but I don’t think I will succeed in it.” They thus have hindered themselves in their path.
TASAWWUF: Spiritual success comes when the thought is held by feeling. The success of any concentration is sooner assured when thought is held by feeling. The feeling feeds the will-power and the will-power manifests in mind through thought. There are many obstacles to overcome in the world, and we only add to them by thinking more of them. Not that they should be overlooked or minimized; rather is it that we should make ourselves greater. Then the hindrances become smaller and are more easily overcome.
GATHEKA: Man does not know that every thought makes an impression on the consciousness and on the rhythm in which the consciousness is working. According to the rhythm, that reflection will come true and happen, and man proves his own enemy by his ignorance of these things.
TASAWWUF: If one would make a list of his impressions and then of later events he might be surprised of how much he could have been forewarned about. If he has a certain concentration or desire and instead of thinking its attainment impossible, he became receptive to obtain the guidance impressions which would make his attainment possible, he would go far ahead on the path and in life. “Common Language” is only a phrase to most people. It cannot be spoken unless one studies it and uses it.
Sufis repeat sacred phrases especially as Darood, to keep the heart and mind attuned to the highest ideal during the day. That prevents the influx of thoughts not in rhythm or harmony with what one is doing or hopes to do. This is the best means of self-protection.
GATHEKA: The mistake of one moment’s impulse creates a kind of hindrance in the path of that person through all his life.
TASAWWUF: By impulse is meant an incentive to action without taking into consideration the rhythm of it. Very often the right thing is said or done at the wrong time. Very often there is lack of consideration for others, even thoughtlessness about oneself such as asking questions, “Is it worth while?” “Will it make me happy?” “Will it aid in the attainment of my life’s purpose?”
GATHEKA: But this state of consciousness is also experienced in the dream; for the dream is the reaction of man’s experiences in his wakeful state.
TASAWWUF: We see dreams in many forms, such as direct, indirect, symbolic, imaginative, astral. The study of them constitutes an important part of Sufi occultism. Dreams become important or not as they impress us rather than because of their content.
GATHEKA: The most wonderful thing which one can study in the dream is that the dream has a language and a true language of dream experiences teaches one that every individual has a separate language of his dream peculiar to his own nature.
TASAWWUF: No doubt there are certain symbols which are universal, and certain forms that appear to one that have definite meanings. Nevertheless, the appearance of a railway train might not mean anything to an Eskimo or Hottentot nor a horse to a dweller in the South Seas. The thought aspect of the dream always presents itself in some form which the sleeper would recognize. Otherwise there would be no purpose or meaning in it. And yet most dreams may be only the rehashing of recurrences of the day or of the immediate past. Many times one just dreams over what one has been doing.
GATHEKA: The dream of the poet, the dream of the man who works with his hands, the dream of the king, the dream of the poor man, all are different.
TASAWWUF: They are different according to their life’s experiences, their wishes and frustrations, the condition of their stomach, heart, mind, desire-nature, the effect of their past efforts, their inspiration or lack thereof. Whatever forces they have brought into creation in their own lives will be reflected back in the dreams, being built out of their own mind-stuff.
GATHEKA: There are many differences and one cannot give the same interpretation to every person for his dreams. You must first know who has dreamed it. It is not the dream which has its interpretation, it is the person to whom the dream came that one must know, and the interpretation is according to his state of evolution, to his occupation, to his ambitions and desires, to his present, his past and his future, and to his spiritual aspirations.
TASAWWUF: There have been many dream-books written and there are even schools of psychologists who claim that they can interpret dreams. These assume that all people dream more or less alike, are motivated by the same central thoughts, ambitions, and desires and that their mental development is only a difference in degree. Sometimes the result is ludicrous because people in different parts of the world dream differently just as they think differently. Besides, unless the personality is taken into consideration there can hardly be any interpretation. It is otherwise just like interpreting a person from the scene he is looking at from where he stands; he might be viewing a market place or a forest or a wheel in a factory; he might be seated in a lecture hall or looking at pictures in a gallery or chopping wood. One could really get any interpretation from these things. But the more one knows about the dreamer the more one can tell, for the dream may follow the lines of mental impression and so take on particular significances.
At the same time the study of symbology and psychic influences shows very definitely that lines, forms, and movements have meaning. The shapes assumed—that is the atoms that are gathered—depend upon the personality; the vibrations reveal the forces at work.
GATHEKA: Thus the language of dream differs, but there is one hint that may be given, and that is that in the wakeful state man is open to outward impressions.
TASAWWUF: Man is always receiving these impressions which make a deeper or lesser groove upon his mind. The study of the subconscious shows that always the eyes are drawing impressions into the mind and they may be making some mark, however small. When the will-power is used the line of the impressions is deeper.
GATHEKA: For instance, there are moments when the mind is receptive; there are moments when the mind is expressive. And, during such moments, when the mind is receptive, every impression which comes forth, sent intentionally or without intention from any person, becomes reflected in the consciousness.
TASAWWUF: The receptive state is called Jemal, the expressive Jelal. If we are always expressive we lose our energy readily. If we are too receptive, we become negative to the unworthy. There are negative people who cannot repel the impressions they receive from any source and there are others who are always conjuring up imaginations and wearing out their minds. To avoid receiving undesirable impressions Sufis practice Darood, Fikr, and concentration and make of their mind a fitting vehicle for the soul to experience life through.
[Pages 25-31 of the original manuscript are missing—Ed]
GATHEKA: Meditation does not mean closing the eyes and sitting; anyone can close his eyes and sit, but he may sit for hours or he may sit all his life and not know what came and what went. It is looking out for what comes, and not only looking out for it, but preparing oneself by making one’s senses keen, and making one’s body and mind a location for the vibrations, that when the bird makes the vibration the feeling is that it has come, and it is that which is expressed in the Christian symbology of the dove.
TASAWWUF: One of the main elements of the spiritual life generally is in the refinement of the breath and personality. The breath itself may be refined in a more or less conscious manner. Thus through mysticism one can distinguish the fine elements from the gross and can increase the capacity of the body for the etheric element. And by renunciation or self-control he increases the capacity of the body for light, which is most important. When the etheric element comes with light it opens the channel for blessings in the body.
But this process of refinement or Safa is not necessarily limited, and one can continue in one’s endeavor to receive finer and finer vibrations making the body the temple of the Holy Spirit. Fikr helps very much in this. In Fikr, the rhythm of the breath is maintained but finer vibrations are drawn into the body, and into the mind. Ultimately the body becomes a vehicle for light itself.
GATHEKA: In other words, it is the moment which approaches one’s consciousness rapidly of such bliss that one, so to speak, touches the depths of the whole of life and reaches above the sphere of action. But now you will say, “What does consciousness receive from it?” It receives a kind of illumination which is like a torch lighting another light; this inner life, touching the consciousness produces a sort of illumination which makes man’s life clear.
TASAWWUF: Perhaps the only test of development in meditation and on the spiritual path generally comes in the grade of light of which one is conscious. It may not be visible but it is feelable, and while it impresses itself upon the sense of sight, that is only an aspect of it. One feels as if identified with the very stream of life. One does not feel separate from anything but one does not then “think,” so there is nothing special to unite or separate but if one has to point to either of these terms, it would certainly be a union, it is a kind of union.
And there is one sure result of it that brings to man the gift of kashf, insight or intuition that thereafter seems to know without even knowing why he knows. The more he has this inner experience, the more things are clarified before his eyes. This is the true divine wisdom, or ‘arif.
GATHEKA: Every moment after this experience, because of this moment, is unveiled. It charges man’s life with new life and new light.
TASAWWUF: This stage is called Lahut by the Sufis, which may be translated as “not-being,” for no longer does the limited self function. It is the result of fana, the self-effacement. When this self is effaced the limitations which belonged to it are also effaced.
GATHEKA: And therefore, in the East, those Yogis who sit in Samadhi, or in a certain posture for so many hours, or go into the forest and sit in the solitude, have always done so to catch this light which is symbolized by a dove.
TASAWWUF: The dove is also used as a symbol of concentration and sometimes this helps a mureed who is otherwise slow in his progress to develop more rapidly. If one not only sees the dove but becomes the dove, he will be growing until even he is aware of it.
Today it is not necessary for everybody to go into the forest although the Sufi training makes ample provision for seclusion. It is possible to practice meditation even in one’s own home if there is suitable room there. And it is also possible to have meditation rooms or halls connected with Sufi quarters anywhere so that those who need solitude and blessing may seek it within their own beings.
GATHEKA: And there is one step even higher than this, which in the terms of the Sufi is Hahut, the fifth sphere which consciousness experiences. In this, consciousness touches the innermost depth of its own being; it is like touching the feet of God. That is the communion which is spoken of in the Christian symbology.
TASAWWUF: It has been said that Hahut is the state of the prophet and also comes with the development of fana, effacement. Hahut may be translated as “The-ness,” or “Suchness” if one wants to place it besides its Buddhist parallel which is “Tathatas” or “Bhutatathata” (suchness). This is the life of baqa, the attainment of realization. Then there is no more effacement of self, there is no more effacement. Then only God exists and one sees nothing but God or apart from God. This may be called the true soul-consciousness.
GATHEKA: It is just like touching the Presence of God, when one’s consciousness has become so light and so liberated and free, as to raise itself and dive and touch the depth of one’s being. That is the secret of all Mysticism and Religion and Philosophy.
TASAWWUF: If there is anything that can be called the Presence of God it is this, although it would be a mistake to assume that the total being of God is just this aspect of existence. All planes intermingle and God is the First as well as the Last. Only we use the word “God” to apply to the ultimate, undifferentiated condition which is not separate from anything or anyone.
The experience of this state has been called Cosmic Consciousness and has been met to a greater or lesser extent by the most famous mystics. That is there all-love and the all-ideal, and once they have known it nothing else will satisfy them. For that reason in the allegory of the Holy Grail those who had even had a vision gave up everything and spent their whole lives in the search.
It is this experience alone that makes revelation possible. It is because of this that the Message has been given to the world for the men of Hahut who may be called Rassoul give what they give because they cannot help it.
GATHEKA: And the process of this experience is like the process of alchemy, which is not given freely, except to those who are ready, and who feel there is some truth in it.
TASAWWUF: For it comes by the Grace of God. Even all man’s efforts on the path or not on the path, man’s devotions, longings, sacrifices, good-will do not bring it. Yet if there is no belief in it, if there is not some assurety of its possibility it probably will not come for it will not be recognized. No man can say to whom or when it will come, no man, no rules, no laws touch it.
GATHEKA: It takes time for a person to become familiar with things of this nature; even for him to think there is some truth in them and that it is not only talk and imagination, and one who has felt the truth of the mystical state may question if it is worthwhile to go on this quest, but if he does so he must take the guidance of someone who has knowledge of his path, in whom he can put trust and confidence.
TASAWWUF: There are many people who believe they can find God without Guidance. This comes from the confusion between one’s thought of God and the reality. What God makes, a man mars, and what belongs to God is unlimited while that which is confined to the ordinary human consciousness is limited. So many people cannot write poetry, solve mathematical problems, get along with husband, wife, parent, children, and yet when it come to this supreme quest they think they can make it without a guide. And they go on and on, but there is no search, there is no quest, for all the time they are encircled by the wall of their own thought. The sciences, the arts, the philosophies, all culture may be learned with or without a teacher but even without a teacher it has only been possible because of teachers, and this greater quest, for which not even signs are visible, they want without a teacher.
And among the first requirements are trust and confidence. If one has not trust and confidence in his fellow man, where and how will he get it? The Christian Bible asks, if one does not love his neighbor whom he has seen, what proof is there that he loves God whom he has not seen. And the same is true of trust or confidence or any feeling. To prove one has it, one must demonstrate it to oneself and others, otherwise it is all words, nothing but words.
GATHEKA: But it must be understood that the Path of Discipleship, which in mystical words is known as the Path of Initiation, is not such that the Teacher gives to his pupil some knowledge, tells him something new which he has not heard, or shows him some wonder; and if he does he is not the true Teacher.
TASAWWUF: The worldly teacher may offer man something which is foreign to himself. The spiritual teacher only is teacher as he demonstrates to the pupil how to find something within himself. No doubt the teacher already has it, but it is his and while in a certain sense he is willing to give all he has, it is still his giving or no giving. It becomes the pupil’s when the consciousness of the pupil awakens to the stage where the teacher has been. The teacher can give the pupil the directions, the exercises and even provide the example, but the pupil must walk himself, by himself to reach the Goal.
GATHEKA: Man is his own teacher; in him is the secret of his being. The Teacher’s word is only to help him find himself. Nothing you can learn in words, nothing that can be explained in language, nothing that can be pointed out with a finger, is Truth.
TASAWWUF: For words and language are human convenience, they come forth from the activity of the mind. Not even love can be fully and properly explained in words, though people have tried it. Love is a feeling and this feeling can be brought out through the inspiration in words, it can give rise to worlds. Neither are the parents the offspring of children nor are words the vehicles of truth. The tree blossoms into leaves, but the tree cannot be described by the leaves and even all leaves do not make the tree; even less can words describe Truth. And yet it can be known, there is much that can be known for which words may never suffice.
GATHEKA: If a man is sure of himself, he can go further, but when he is confused in himself, he cannot go further, and no Teacher can help him.
TASAWWUF: And it has been found at all times that without surrender the person does not arrive. There the Sufis have a practice called fana-fi-Sheikh, by which all love, all surrender, all feeling is given to the teacher. This is not for the Teacher’s sake, it is for the pupil’s sake. A true teacher, guru or murshid will not care a bit whether he receives honors or not. His joy will come in the achievements and progress of the pupil. That is the one reward and tribute the pupil can give to the teacher—what is his own to give, that he can give and that will be accepted and received with joy.
GATHEKA: Therefore, although in this path the teacher is necessary, and his help is valuable, self-help is the principal thing, and the one who is ready to realize his own nature, and to learn from himself, is the one who is the true initiate, and it is from that Initiation that he will go forward, step by step, and will find the realization and conviction that he seeks, and all that comes to him throughout his life will but deepen that realization of Truth.
TASAWWUF: It is the application of the disciple which will help him to perform those practices, those exercises which have been successfully used in the past because they help to take man out of his small limitations and to show him what he can become, what he is. It is not necessary to have the teacher with oneself or go to the teacher so much as to see in that one the mirror of the light of truth. This truth verily may be rising from one’s very being, but as it extends outward and we do not see it, the teacher becomes as a mirror and when we look upon him we say we see the truth in him but really speaking it is the light of our own being that we see; if we did not have the capacity for it we should not see. Another will look and will not see proving that truth is not necessarily the possession of anybody but ourselves.
And this brings up a point that the study of the mystery of sleep is a study of the mystery of life and the mystery of ourselves. It has been said that sleep and death are brothers, and it has also been said that life and death are the opposite faces of the same thing. And what we call sleep is only an indication that there are various aspects of phases of life. When we awaken to some we may not be awakened to others, so with respect to them there is sleep. One can even say that after passing from this world he is asleep on earth. His body goes back to the animals and vegetables and rocks, and his earth consciousness returns back to its original sleeping state therewith. But that sleep instead of being a closing over life may become at each stage a closer approach to real life and to Truth. Amen. (In Khilvat)