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

1. Illusion and Reality

2. Capacity

3. Vibrations (1)

4. Vibrations (2)

5. Atmosphere

6. Light

7. Intelligence

8. The law of Rhythm

9. The Threefold, Dual, and Unique Aspects of Nature

10. Spirit Within and Without

11. Spirit and Matter (1)

12. Spirit and Matter (2)

13. Spirit and Matter (3)

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

Vol. 11, Philosophy

4. Vibrations (2)

When an object such as a fruit, a leaf, or a flower changes its color, this means that it has begun to vibrate at a different rate; and when an object changes its savoir, turning from sour to sweet or from sweet to bitter, this also means that it is changing from one rate of vibrations to another. It is a well-known fact, too, that between cold and heat all the different degrees are nothing but changes of vibrations which make things feel cold or hot to us; and it is also by the change of vibrations that the fragrance of flowers and fruit changes. A ripe fruit smells different from the fruit which is not yet ripe, and the quality of the fruit also can be distinguished by the sense of smell through the medium of vibrations. This shows that all things that we perceive through our five senses become intelligible to us, and we are able to distinguish them, by feeling the different degrees of vibrations through our senses. We give names to this phenomenon of vibration: sweet, sour, or salt; green, blue, or red; cold, warm, or hot; because the purpose of each sense is to feel that particular phenomenon of vibrations which is related to it, the eyes seeing, the ears hearing, and the nose smelling.

The five senses differ in quality, and one can look at this question from a gross point of view or from a finer point of view. The gross point of view is that of the form, which outwardly shows the difference of perception between one sense and the other; and the finer point of view is when the mechanism of the capacity which is inside every organ is distinguished. Science only approaches this question from the outside and not from the inside. It is most ethereal, it is most subtle, it is most inexplicable, and the more one thinks about it, the more one sees the skill of the Creator.

But the innermost sense in us perceives these vibrations in quite a different way; it does not perceive them in the same way as the outer senses. Thus one might ask whether the timer sense perceives for instance a color as a color, or whether it perceives a certain sensation which could be measured by numbers. The answer is that the inner sense perceives a color, but it is distinguished by the outer sense. What the inner sense perceives is the sensation it gives, its essence. And as to numbers, the further we advance in the inner life, the less we can count numbers, for numbers belong to the outer world. The physical world is more distinct, and therefore we can calculate numbers easily, whereas the inner worlds are less distinct and this makes it more difficult to calculate numbers.

For instance when we are smelling a flower, hearing a sound, or seeing a color, we distinguish this as smell perceived by the nostrils, as sound heard by the ears, or as color seen by the eyes; but that in us which perceives is the one sense that is behind the five senses. Thus outwardly everything we perceive as a sensation is distinguished as such and such, but immediately there comes a reaction, and that reaction is that our inner sense reflects what it has perceived on all the organs of the senses and on all the nerves of the body, touching each atom of our being. That is why it is not only the ears which have heard, but in its reaction the sound has echoed in the brain, in the mouth, in the throat, in the whole body. If it is a fragrance it has touched each atom of our body; and if it is a color it has not only touched our eyes, but it has spread its influence upon every atom of our being.

Although our first impression is that we have heard music, really beautiful picture, or tasted a delicious savoir, yet in we can say in general terms that we have experienced every sensation that comes to us through each atom of our body. And if that it so, then all colors and saviours and perfumes and sounds have their definite and particular effect on our health, our moods, and the condition of our mind.

It is the ever-changing condition of our physical body, caused either by outer sensations or by its particular activity, which submits our vitality to different conditions. Each person has a different rhythm. But when we say "a person" we mean a person as we generally understand this concept: the person with his body, or the person with his mind, or the person with his soul. Many will not recognize him as a mind but only as a body, and many will not recognize him as a soul but only as mind and body. This is because the rate of vibrations of his body is different from that of his mind, and the rate of vibrations of his mind is again different from that of his soul. In fact every plane of his being has a different rhythm, although all the planes of his being are in some way related to what is happening on certain of these planes. In other words, all his inner bodies are vibrating, and they are related to one another in regard to the speed of their vibrations. When we say, "I am tired" or "I feel better" or "I feel strong", this really means that we are vibrating at a certain rate, and that it is this which caused us to say what we did.

Then, different feelings such as cheerfulness and depression very often arise in a person, producing great changes in him, and these are also caused by the rate at which his body is vibrating. This disease of depression, a depression which has no apparent cause, no reason, comes from the slowing down or stopping of the vibration of the inner centers. No doubt all such feelings as grief, wonder, passion, humor, fear, attachment, anger, cheerfulness, and indifference come from the condition created by the speed of the vibrations activating the mechanism of the body and causing the blood to circulate; but these feelings also cause the vibrations of the body to change its rhythm. In this way the feelings affect the body and the body affects the feelings.

Vibrations can be changed by understanding the vibrations of one's own life, which means one's own self. In the first place one can study the vibrations of the physical body. And the chief way

which they can be understood and controlled is through the study and understanding of breathing, for the pulsation of the heart, head, and body, upon which circulation depends, is based upon the rhythm of breath. The next step is to understand the rhythm of the mind. People who think, "I will do this", and then at once decide to do something else, or who begin one thing and then go on to another, show that their mind is not in its proper rhythm.

When a man is laughing one moment and shedding tears the next, when he is happy one moment and unhappy the next, his mind is not in a right rhythm. The one whose mind has a right rhythm is decided and knows what he says, what he does, what he thinks. He sticks to his decisions, he sticks to his word. That is why people in ancient times attached great importance to a man's word. When a man has given his word, it is given; he knows what he has said. But when a person is wobbling, this shows that he has not yet learnt how to walk; and when his mind wobbles between "Shall I or shall I not?" "Will this thing be done or will it not?" it has not yet got the right rhythm, and therefore there will always be trouble with such a person.

Music which is only very skilful and technically correct cannot have a magic effect upon the listeners. It can only appeal to their curiosity, and if they do not understand music they can be easily satisfied with it. If music possesses any quality of its own which does not depend upon man-made techniques and forms, it lies in the harmonious grouping of the waves of vibrations----how harmoniously they work. It is this which affects not only the soul of the listener but even his physical body. On each atom of his person it has a harmonious effect which penetrates all the different planes of life, touching the depths of his soul.

Also, it is not a group of colors put on a canvas which produces a harmonious painting, although this is very often done these days. It may be that someone has the idea of throwing a number of colors together, and another brings it to you saying, "Now look if you can see something in it." And when these people make a mystery out of this the curious mind thinks, "I must say it is wonderful, though I cannot understand what it is." Perhaps after having said, "How wonderful!" this person has gone home with a headache, but in front of the others he says that it is wonderful. What really impresses a person deeply, however, is a harmonious blending of colors which do not jar the vibrations of body and mind. Sometimes a really harmoniously painted picture or landscape gives peace through the effect of the colors.

Knowing that color has such an effect, some people have tried crude and undesirable combinations to cure the sick, but instead of curing them they have sometimes made them worse. For instance there is a system of reflecting light through colored glass upon the patient. It is the most crude way of making use of colors, and it is not thus that colors can have any effect upon a person. To produce a harmonious effect of colors they must be used artistically; and in that way they will prove to be useful in curing people.

One might ask how it is then with the blind and the deaf, if perfect harmony of vibrations is attained through color and sound. The answer is that although people thus afflicted lack one sense, they have the others to experience the world of sense with. If the deaf have not heard with the ears, the effect of the conversation has reached their inner ears just the same.