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

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

Deep thinkers have in all ages recognized the threefold aspect of nature. Teachers have called these three aspects by different names according to their religious terminology, and they gave them an interpretation which suited the time and the place. Tracing back this idea, we find that it already existed among the Hindus in very ancient times; they called it Trimurti, and they personified these three aspects by giving them characters such as Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer, and Maheish or Shiva the Destroyer or Assimilator. This idea is not only applied to God, but everything in nature shows these three aspects: for instance there is fire, there is fuel which is its sustenance, and there is the air that can come and blow out the flame.

In all things and beings, in their actions and in their effects, these three aspects can be seen every moment of the day. Every object shows them, though perhaps one aspect is more significant than another in a certain thing, and also every individual; in everything we do we can see these three aspects.

  • Thinking is the creative action,
  • remembering is the action of sustaining, and
  • forgetting is the third action, assimilating.

The assimilation of something is in a way its complete destruction; although it is turned into something its name is different and it is not the same thing any more. Then there is the action of forgetting. Sometimes a person forgets something, but he has stored it in his subconscious mind. He says, "I have forgotten it", but when he tries to remember, one day it springs up in his memory; and this shows that it was not assimilated though it was forgotten. This is a light form of assimilating; real assimilating is forgetting a thing altogether. It is not as easy as one might think. We say very easily, "Forget it", but really to forget something is very difficult, especially something we want to forget.

One day a person came to see me and said, "I have only one question to ask: do we really meet those again whom we have loved and have lost?" I said, "Certainly, we meet those whom we have loved and those whom we have hated," and this person was very surprised. He was quite ready to see again those whom he had loved, but he was not willing to see those whom he had hated. But it is a fact that we remember both those whom we like to remember and those whom we like to forget.

Everyone is capable of these three actions, though some people may appear more inclined to one than to another. The skill of the bird in building its nest, the love of the hen that sustains its chicks, and the wrath of the lion in destroying lives, show us the three aspects which are continually working in nature.

Others have seen these three aspects in a different light. They have seen them as the source of all things, as what He has created, and as what the object created by Him has become.

In religious terms they have called the threefold aspect Trinity, personifying it by calling it the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

These three aspects exist not only in all things but in every being. In every person there is a part which signifies the source, the goal of all things; every person represents what he has made, and every person represents also what he has become. One can see these three things in everyone. Each person either shows the source to be more pronounced in his nature and character, or he shows what he was made to be, or he shows what he has become. These three aspects may be called God, man, and divine Being.

And if we look at it from still another angle we shall see the three aspects of light at work in the action of seeing: the light that sees, the radiance of the object that shows itself, and the light of the sun that falls upon it, making it clear to our view. If we look at it from a mental point of view we can again distinguish three aspects: the knower, the knowledge, and the knowing faculty; it is these three that bring about the action of knowing. And when we look at it in the light of love we see it, as has been said by the Sufis of all ages, as love, the lover, and the beloved.

The most interesting fact that emerges from the study of these three aspects is that they exist in every thing, in every being, and in every condition, and that without them nothing can exist. Only, if in studying these three aspects we continue to see them as three, then we have missed their secret; but if we learn to see them as one and the same, then we have profited by the observation of these three distinct aspects.

When we look at the dual aspect of nature we shall find this to be even more important. The dual aspect is also to be seen in all things and in every being, for instance the two sides, the right and the left, the head and the feet, the top and the bottom, two points in one line, the two eyes which enable us to see, the necessity of the pairs of opposites. The dual aspect is manifest to our view when we see the sun and the moon, when we see the male and the female aspect in nature, and when we see good and not good. When we experience joy and sorrow, when we realize that there is birth and death, we know what is to be known about the dual aspect of nature. The earth and the water, above and below, everything in nature distinctly shows two opposite aspects.

Furthermore there are opposite qualities in every human being, call them male and female, call them positive and negative, call them free and gross; no one can exist without opposite qualities. Besides the more power one has in one quality, the greater capability one has for the opposite quality; in other words the higher a person stands, the deeper is the space before him to fall into.

There is a hidden quality, and there is a quality which is manifest. What is manifest we recognize; what is hidden we do not see. There is going forward and there is going backward, there is success and there is failure, there is light and there is darkness, there is joy and there is sadness, there is birth and there is death. All things that we can know, feel, and perceive have their opposites. It is the opposite quality which brings about balance. The world would not exist if there were not both water and earth. Every thing and every being needs these two opposite qualities in order to exist, to act, and to fulfil the purpose of life; for each quality is incomplete without the other. No man has a complete personality if he does not have some little touch of the fineness that belongs to the female nature; woman is only complete in her character when there is some little touch of the male nature.

Now coming to the one and unique character of nature: by a deep insight into nature we discover that the creation is the same as the Creator, that the source is the same as the goal, and that the two only mean one. There are two ends to a line, but the line is one; and this oneness is manifest in all things, though man seldom gives any thought to this subject. This amazing manifestation, this world of variety, keeps us so puzzled, so confused, and so absorbed in it that we hardly give ourselves any time to see this wonderful phenomenon: how the one and only Being shows Himself even in the world of variety.

There are no two faces alike, there are no two leaves alike, there are no two fruits completely alike, there never are two flowers that are identical. If a man has keen insight he will find that even the objects he makes differ in some respect. Each being has its own peculiarity and cannot be compared with another being, for each being is unique. If a man is good, there is no other whose goodness is the same as his; and if he is wicked, there is no other whose wickedness is exactly the same. He is unique, proving to those whose eyes are open that there is only one Being.

There are no two faces alike, there are no two leaves alike, there are no two fruits completely alike, there never are two flowers that are identical. If a man has keen insight he will find that even the objects he makes differ in some respect. Each being has its own peculiarity and cannot be compared with another being, for each being is unique. If a man is good, there is no other whose goodness is the same as his; and if he is wicked, there is no other whose wickedness is exactly the same. He is unique, proving to those whose eyes are open that there is only one Being.

There are no two faces alike, there are no two leaves alike, there are no two fruits completely alike, there never are two flowers that are identical. If a man has keen insight he will find that even the objects he makes differ in some respect. Each being has its own peculiarity and cannot be compared with another being, for each being is unique. If a man is good, there is no other whose goodness is the same as his; and if he is wicked, there is no other whose wickedness is exactly the same. He is unique, proving to those whose eyes are open that there is only one Being.