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




Towards Manifestation


Guardian Angel

Recording Angels

Questioning Angels




Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?


The souls in the angelic heavens are all goodness; and this shows that goodness is natural, and what is contrary to our nature we call evil. Souls in the angelic heavens are innocent; this also shows that innocence is the natural condition of the soul, and the lack of innocence is a foreign element which the soul acquires after coming upon earth. In the angelic spheres the souls are happy; this shows that unhappiness does not belong to the soul. It is something which is foreign to it; therefore in the experience of man the discomfort coming out of life gives unhappiness. Souls on the earth retain something of the angelic quality; therefore they readily respond and are attracted without resistance to the innocence, happiness, and goodness of another person. If they knew that it is because this is the original quality of the soul they would develop the same in their own being.

As Rumi has said, "People are drawn towards me, and they shed tears with my cries, and yet they know not what it is in me that attracts them.'

Seeking after goodness, innocence, and happiness helps the angelic qualifies to develop in a soul. Spirituality, therefore, is the development of the angelic quality; and love of spirituality is the longing for the angelic heavens; it is homesickness.

Does death frighten the spiritual being? No; death for the spiritual soul is only a gate through which it enters into that sphere which every soul knows to be its home. Souls who become conscious of the angelic heavens, even in the smallest degree, hear the call of that sphere; and if they have any discomfort in this world, it is that of the homesickness which the call of the angelic heavens gives.

The soul may be likened to a ray of the sun; so the souls of the angels, being not adorned with a physical garb, are as flames themselves. The scriptures therefore say that the angels are made of Nur or light; Nur is specially that light which comes from the divine Sun, the spirit of God. All souls are made of that essence which is the essence of the whole manifestation; and the quality of that essence is that it absorbs all that is around it, and in time develops so that it will emerge into its own element, which is the divine.

The soul going towards manifestation which is still in the angelic heavens is free from all the differences and distinctions which are the conditions of the soul's life on earth. The dual aspect starts even in the angelic heavens; God alone is above duality; in all other conditions and aspects of life this is to be seen, though it is more distinct on the earth-plane. In the angelic heavens it is not distinguishable. People often question if the angels are in touch with those on earth; and the answer is that their life does not necessitate any communication with human life on earth, except in the case of some who are destined to perform a certain duty on the earth.

It is mentioned in the ancient scriptures that angels came with messages to the prophets of Beni Israel; but the explanation of this from the metaphysical point of view is quite different from what an ordinary person would imagine. No man on earth is capable of communicating with the angels in heaven, nor is an angel from heaven inclined to communicate with man. But in the exceptional lives of the prophets what happens is, that they rise above all the planes which keep man removed from the angelic heavens, and by doing so they are able to touch these heavens. And being charged with the ever-glowing fire of inspiration from the angelic spheres, where they come into touch with angels, they descend to the plane of the earth; and it is then that their words become tongues of flame, as spoken of in the scriptures. This means that every word of theirs becomes a torch given into the hands of those who listen, to illuminate their hearts through life. Specially is this so in the lives of the Great Ones who have given a divine message, a religion, to the world; their souls have never been disconnected in any way with the angelic world; and it is this current, which linked their souls with the souls of the angels, that always kept them in contact with both heaven and earth. The soul of the Prophet therefore is a link between heaven and earth; it is a medium by which God's Message can be received.

Then there are some spiritual souls who have had the experience in their lives of having been helped or warned by an angel. It is such souls who have kept a thread unbroken which they brought with them from the angelic world; they may be conscious of it or not, but there is a telegraphic wire which connects their souls with the souls of the angels, and they are conscious of having had contact with the angels.

Common disease is called normal health; when many cannot express something which is rare, they think the person who can experience such a rare thing has gone mad. Therefore it is the law of the mystics to see all things, to experience all things, either of heaven or earth, and yet to say little; for the souls incapable of understanding the possibility of their reach will ridicule them.

There is another aspect of the contact with the angels, and that is at the time of death. Many have seen in their lives the angels of death, yet when death's call comes some have seen them in human form. Others have not seen them, but have heard them speak. The reason is that there are some souls who have already departed from the earth-plane, though the breath is still connecting the soul with the body; and such souls experience the angelic spheres while still on the earth at the time of their death. They see angels clad in the form of their own imagination and hear the words of the angels in their own language. The reason is that a person who has lived on the earthly plane has to clothe a being of the higher planes in earthly garments, and to interpret the language of the higher spheres in his own words.

For instance, the angel Gabriel spoke to Moses in the Hebrew language, and to Mohammad in Arabic. One would ask, which was the language of the angel Gabriel, Arabic or Hebrew? Neither Arabic nor Hebrew was the language of Gabriel; his language was the language of the soul, and the soul knows the language of the soul; it is when a person interprets what he hears, even to himself, that he clothes the words he hears in his own language.

When the Spirit descended upon the twelve apostles they began to speak all languages, and the meaning of this is, that when they were inspired by the angelic world, by the divine Sun or the Holy Ghost, they knew all languages; that is they knew the language of the soul, which means that they heard before the men spoke to them. In other words, they were able to hear the voice of every soul through that inspiration. It would not give any special credit to the apostles if one said they knew all the languages in the world instantly; for there are people even now to be found whose genius as linguists is so great that they know more than twenty or thirty languages. There is only one language which may be called "all languages", and that is the language of the soul. Before the illuminated soul all souls stand as written letters.