The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

Volume

Sayings

Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date

THE SUPPLEMENTARY PAPERS

Heading

History of the Sufis

Sufism

The Sufi's Aim

The Different Stages of Spiritual Development

The Prophetic Tendency

Seeing

Self-Discipline

Physical Control

Health

Harmony

Balance

Struggle and Resignation

Renunciation

The Difference Between Will, Wish, and Desire

The Law of Attraction

Pairs of Opposites

Resist Not Evil

Judging

The Privilege of Being Human

Our God Part and Our Man Part

Man, the Seed of God

Evolution

Spiritual Circulation Through the Veins of Nature

Destiny and Free Will

Divine Impulse

The Law of Life

Manifestation, Gravitation, Assimilation, and Perfection

Karma And Reincarnation

Life in the Hereafter

The Mystical Meaning of the Resurrection

The Symbol of the Cross

Orpheus

The Mystery of Sleep

Consciousness

Conscience

The Gift of Eloquence

The Power of Silence

Holiness

The Ego

The Birth of the New Era

The Deeper Side of Life

Life's Mechanism

The Smiling Forehead

The Spell of Life

Selflessness

The Conservative Spirit

Character-Building

Respect and Consideration

Graciousness

Overlooking

Conciliation

Optimism and Pessimism

Happiness

Vaccination and Inoculation

Marriage

Love

The Heart

The Heart Quality

The Tuning of the Heart (1)

The Tuning of the Heart (2)

The Soul, Its Origin and Unfoldment

The Unfoldment of the Soul

The Soul's Desire

The Awakening of the Soul (1)

The Awakening of the Soul (2)

The Awakening of the Soul (3)

The Maturity of the Soul

The Dance of the Soul

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

The Gift of Eloquence

When we consider the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms together with mankind, we see that not only man, but also every other being has the gift of expression. The rock expresses least and we feel least for it. We strike it and break it and quarry it and make use of it in every way, and we do not sympathize with it at all, for it does not speak to us. It tells us very little. We sympathize much more with the plant; we love it, tend it, and give it water, and because it has more expression we care more for it. But among the stones there are some that speak to us more than others; we prize the diamond, the ruby, and the emerald most. We pay thousands of pounds for them; we wear them.

An animal has a much greater gift of expression than a plant or a rock, and we feel that animals are much nearer to us. The dog by wagging his tail, by jumping about, by his every movement says, 'I love you',  and we care much more for him. We do not want the plant on the chair next to us, but if the dog sits on the chair it is all right. The cat has no words either, but all the same it speaks to us with its voice. In all parts of the world people have praised the nightingale because of its voice, its expression. There are many birds in the forests of which we never think because they have no voice. But the song-birds we all know, and we like to keep a parrot because it can speak.

It is said in the Quran that Allah has made man the Khalif, the chief of creation, because of this one gift: speech. Man alone has the gift of eloquence. But while some men are like a rock, and some like a plant or an animal, others possess the human quality. The man who is like a rock has no expression; he has no magnetism. He has only what is in his appearance, just like the stones, even the emerald or the ruby; when that is gone, nothing is left. The man who is like a plant has no intelligence, only some feelings, some personality. There may be some beauty in him, or he may be like a thorn, or poisonous. The man who is like an animal has feelings and passions, but he cannot give expression to them. That man only is a human being who has the gift of expression, and who can speak out about what he feels.

The gift of eloquence is symbolized by the Hindus as Vak, the goddess of speech. Why not a god? Because the one who speaks is responsive to the Creator, the God within. The Hindus have also distinguished three sorts of men, Rakshasa, the monster, Manushya, the man, and Devata, the godlike man. The monster is he who is without speech and without feeling. The human man has feeling but no expression. The godlike man is he who has eloquence; it is his eloquence alone that makes him what he is.

Eloquence existed from the beginning, for the Word was in the beginning, before the creation of man. But neither the rock nor the plant nor the animal could express that Word; it was only man who could do so, and when he expressed it he became the pen of the divine Being. That is why the creation is perfected in him and why he is the highest of all beings. But to speak, and by this speech to hurt or wound the heart, the feelings, of another is the misuse of eloquence. There is a Russian saying, 'A sweet tongue is a sword that conquers the world.' The sword has two aspects, it conquers and it kills; and the tongue also can win and slay. The same idea is expressed in the gospels, 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.'

The world is like a dome in which whatever is spoken comes back to us. If we say, 'How beautiful!' these words come back to us. If we say, 'You stupid!' the echo comes back: you stupid. A man may think that he is such an important person that he can say what he pleases, but some day the echo of his bad words will come back to him.

Sometimes a person does not wish to speak to his friend in a way that would hurt him, but without wishing to speak harshly he may do so, as his mind may be full of the bad impressions that he has stored there. Therefore we should store up only good impressions and not hold on to the others, in order that only good may come from us.

There are two ways of speaking about a subject. Before speaking one may ponder upon it, and then speak with all the reasonings that have come to one's mind. This is parrot-speech. One repeats what one has learned just as the parrot says certain words because it has been taught to do so. The other way of speech is to depend upon the store, the knowledge, that is always ready within oneself. In order to lay bare that knowledge an arrow is needed, and that arrow is the deep feeling that pierces everything. The knowledge is always there, but without eloquence we are shut off from that knowledge.

If we see a lop-sided person walking crookedly in the street, it is very easy to laugh at him, but a little feeling will produce pity, and a deep feeling will bring with it the expression of pity and compassion.