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



1,1: Magnetism

1,4: Insight

1,5: Spirit

1,6: Purity

2,1: Breath

2,2: the Spirit In the Flesh



1: Our Physical Constitution

2: The Mystical Significance of the Body

3: The Nature of the Sense and their Organs

4: The Source of Bodily Desires

5: The Source of Emotions

6: The Constitution of the Mind

7: The Influence of the Mind upon the Body, and of the Body upon the Mind

8: The Soul in Itself Alone

9: The Soul with Mind

10: The Soul with Mind and Body

11: The Experience of the Soul through the Body

12: The Experience of the Soul through Other Beings

13: The Experience of the Soul through Other Things

14: The Experience of the Soul through the Mind

15: The Experience of the Soul through Other Beings

16: The Experience of the Soul through the Heart

17: The Experience of the Soul through the Heart of Another

18: The Experience of the Soul through the Spirit

19: The Experience of the Soul through the Experience of Another

20: The Experience of the Soul through the Abstract

21: The Journey to the Goal

22: The Journey to the Goal (continued)

23: The Purpose of Life

24: Self-Realization

25: The Divine Light

26: The Soul

27: The Destiny of the Soul

28: The Connection of the Soul and the Body

29: The Radiance of the Soul

30: The Radiance of the Soul (continued)

The Healing Papers

2,2: the Spirit In the Flesh

4: The Source of Bodily Desires

The source of our bodily desires is one: the breath. When the breath leaves the body all desires leave it also; and as the breath changes its elements, and the elements - earth, water, fire, air, and ether - predominate in the breath by turns, this being caused by the different grades of activity in the breath, so the desires change. Therefore in a certain climate one feels hungry, and in certain weather one feels thirsty, because the influence of weather on the breath kindles in the breath more of a certain element.

The constitution of a person has a great deal to do with his bodily desires. Naturally a healthy person is often hungry and thirsty; and the unhealthy person, under the garb of piety, may say, "How material he is!"

All bodily desires show in the physiognomy of a person; and there is no desire without the influence of a particular element behind it. Besides, everybody has a certain element predominant in his physical being, and other elements in a greater or lesser degree. Upon this each person's habits and desires depend.

The following elements and desires correspond:

Elements in the Breath Desires
Earth Motion
Water Urination
Fire Thirst
Air Appetite
Ether Passion

There is always a possibility of confusing desire with avidity, which is not a bodily desire, but the desire of mind that has experienced its joy through the bodily desire. Even in the absence of the bodily desire, the mind demands and forces the body to desire. In this aspect every bodily desire is out of place and undesirable, and enslaves one.

The soul, during the satisfaction of every bodily desire, descends to earth from above. That is what the myth of Adam and Eve explains, when they were driven out from the heavens and sent down to earth. This tells the seer that heaven is the plane where the soul dwells freely in its own essence and is self-sufficient, and that the earth is the plane where the soul experiences the passing joys through the satisfaction of bodily desires depending upon external objects.

The soul becomes captive in this physical body, which is subject to death and decay, and forgets the freedom and peace of its original above. That is why at times Sufis experience the satisfaction of desires, and at times abstain by the power of will, to allow the soul to experience its original joy, being in its own essence, independent of mind and body. By doing so the soul knows its first and last dwelling place, and it uses the body, its earthly above, to experience life on earth. It is as undesirable, according to the Sufi's point of view, to kill the bodily desires by absolute or partial renunciation, as to over-indulge them and enslave one's life to them. The Sufi means to possess the desires, not to be possessed by them.