The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      



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



Superstitions, Customs, and Beliefs





Everyday Life




1.1, Belief

1.2, Faith

1.3, Hope

1.4, Patience

1.5, Fear

1.6, Justice

1.7, Reason

1.8, Logic

1.9, Temptation

1.10, Tolerance

2.1, Forgiveness

2.2, Endurance (1)

2.3, Endurance (2)

2.4, Will-Power

2.5, Keeping a Secret

2.6, Mind

2.7, Thought

2.8, Tawakkul -- Dependence Upon God

2.9, Piety

2.10, Spirituality

3.1, Attitude

3.2, Sympathy

3.3, The Word "Sin"

3.4, Qaza and Qadr -- The Will, Human and Divine

Three Paths

3.5, Opinion

3.6, Conscience

3.7, Conventionality

3.8, Life

3.9, The Word "Shame"

3.10, Tolerance

Vol. 13, Gathas


2.4, Will-Power

Will-power is not mental power, but it appears in the form of a mental power: The mind, as a globe, gives out the light of the will. Will-power, plainly speaking, is soul power. Therefore the more one realizes its source, the more one develops the power of will. No doubt the mind is an instrument, also the senses are instruments of the will-power, and if these instruments are not sound and well-developed, the will-power cannot work properly. It is just like a blunted sword in the hand of a skillful warrior.

It is therefore that in the Sufi cult practices are given to make the mind as well as the senses proper tools for the will-power to use. As the plant is sprung form the earth, but is nourished by the rain falling from the sky, so the will-power springs from within, but is developed by external activities. It must be remembered that the inner life reflects on the outer life and the outer life reflects on the inner life; both parts of life are interdependent.

Will-power is like a battery of life, and as difficult as it is to deal with a strong mechanism, and as dangerous as it is to work with a battery of enormous power, so difficult and dangerous it is to develop and to work with the will-power. In the first place, power is blinding, beauty is revealing. Wrong and unjust and unreasonable tendencies may rise from power, and one may destroy oneself in its expression. Christ has given a hint on this subject where he says, "He who taketh the sword shall perish by the sword." But by this it is not meant that one must not develop will-power. It only means that one prepares, before developing will-power, knowledge and strength to control it when it is once developed, and the knowledge and the clearness of vision to utilize it rightfully.

Will-power in man is the secret of God, and in this secret the mighty power of God is hidden. Therefore in the East, where mystical ideas are generally known, people always say, we do not know, behind this limited human form what is hidden. This makes them respect and consider what is hidden in every person they meet. Hafiz says, "Do not let yourself be fooled by the patched sleeve of the dervish, you do not know if under this patched sleeve a mighty arm is not hidden." What we call miracle is the outcome of the same power, except that what is above human limitation cannot be called natural, it is supernatural.

Therefore the miracles are not done by man, but by the superman, who in the religious term is called the divine man. Man is inferior in his selfishness; when he rises above self, he is superior. Therefore the right to develop will-power is the right of the superior man. The difference between what they call white magic and black magic lies only in the use made by the inferior man or by the superior man of the same will-power. It is just as by the strength of arm you can take man's life or you can save man's life; both things are accomplished by the same power.

No better use of will-power can be made than for self-control, for control of the body, and control of the mind. One who controls his body will control his mind; the one who controls his mind will control his body. The best use one can make of will-power is to use this power for self-discipline, on passion, on anger, on all things which abide in man's nature as his great enemies. In other words, by will-power one must build up a force to fight with oneself, with that part of oneself which offends us.

It is rarely that a man lives on earth who thinks, speaks and acts as he wishes to. If any man does so, he is no doubt a Master. Doing a miracle apart, if one can make oneself obey one's own will one will surely rise to a greater exaltation. In the spiritual path the development of will-power is the college education; the moral education is the school education, which comes before. But after finishing the development of the will-power, then there comes a work, a duty that one has to perform toward God and toward humanity, by expending the thus-developed power of will.