The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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This blessing is revealed in every aspect of life, even in inanimate objects such as trees and plants; even there we see in the spring the rising of life. Flowers and plants are but different expressions of the one life, the source of all harmony, beauty, and joy. Someone asked the Prophet for a definition of the soul, and he answered in one sentence, 'The soul is an action of God.' Nothing could be more expressive. Thus joy is the action of the inner or divine life, and when it shows itself in any form it is the reaction to the action of God. It is this which may be called the dance of the soul, and it has inspired all the great musicians and poets. Why do the music of Wagner or Beethoven and the words of Shakespeare live so long, and continually give new joy and inspiration? Why has not all music and poetry the same effect? Because poetry is one thing, and the dance of the soul another. The dance of the soul is beyond mere poetry, and when music expresses itself as the dance of the soul it becomes something higher than music. Man is accustomed to external knowledge, wanting to learn and understand this thing and that, but beauty does not come so naturally, because beauty is beyond all knowledge; it is intended to prepare man to express his soul.