The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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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. Mental Purification

2. The Pure Mind

3. Unlearning

4. The Distinction Between the Subtle and the Gross

5. Mastery

6. The Control of the Body

7. The Control of the Mind

8. The Power of Thought

9. Concentration

10. The Will

11. Mystic Relaxation (1)

12. Mystic Relaxation (2)

13. Magnetism

14. The Power Within Us

15. The Secret of Breath

16. The Mystery of Sleep

17. Silence

18. Dreams and Revelations

19. Insight (1)

20. Insight (2)

21. The Expansion of Consciousness



Mind and Body

Mind 1. Thought

Mind 2. Memory

Mind 3. Will

Mind 4. Reason

Mind 5. Feeling

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

7. The Control of the Mind

Mind 3. Will

The third aspect of the work of the mind is mind-control, the concentrating power. This is done in two ways: with the help of memory and with the help of mind. The concentration that is performed with the help of memory is a negative or passive concentration. It requires little effort to concentrate with the help of memory. The Hindus taught this by placing certain gods and goddesses before a person and telling him to look at them and then to close his eyes and think about them. By looking at a certain object the memory reflected it, and that reflection was the concentration.

But those who do not practice concentration automatically retain things of great interest, things that impressed their mind most. It is for this reason that some carry with them a fear which has perhaps been there from childhood. It is carried with them through life. Some have a sad impression of disappointment; they carry it throughout life, they retain it in their mind. The mind keeps an impression alive by revivifying it, an impression of revenge, of gratefulness, of success, of failure, of love, of admiration. It is kept there, and the mind-cells give it food to keep it alive. Sometimes this is helpful and sometimes it works against one.

Now the psychologist calls it a fixed idea and is always ready to call it a form of insanity, but it is not insanity. Everyone has got it; it is one of the attributes of mind. It is the faculty, the quality of retaining a thought. No doubt it may sometimes seem to be insanity, but insanity only comes from the abuse of that faculty. Any faculty can be abused and make a person unbalanced.

Then there is the positive concentration which is creative. This concentration comes by thinking. When one thinks of a tree or a flower, the mind has to create atoms in order to make that form; therefore it is positive. It needs will-power, a greater action of mind, to concentrate upon an object which the mind has to make. The mind has to work; it is not only concentrating, but creating and concentrating.

There are some who have a natural power of concentration, and there are others who lack it. But the mystery of success in all directions of life and the secret of progress is to be found in the power of concentration. It is not only progress and success which are gained by it, but spiritual attainment is the result of concentration. And very often one sees that some make efforts to concentrate but cannot really concentrate, and others do not know that they concentrate but do it all the same. Prayer and meditation and various other exercises, religious or spiritual, are meant to develop the power of concentration.

In the East it is customary in the mosque for one man to lead the prayers and all the other worshippers stand behind him. Before offering their prayers they first focus their minds on joining the thought of their leader.

Now there was a great mystic who would not go to the mosque to pray. He was always in prayer; he did not need to go to the mosque. But there was an orthodox king reigning at the time, who had decreed that everybody had to attend the prayers. So this man was compelled by the police to go and join in, but in the middle of the prayers he left, which was considered a great crime. When he was brought before the court to be judged he said, "I could not help it. The leader in his thought went to his house because he had forgotten his keys. So while I was praying I was left without a leader in the mosque, and that is why I went out."

This shows that as long as there is spirit in a religious form, it is a beautiful form which has life in it; but if there is no spirit behind it, however beautiful the form may be it is of no use. This is what is indicated by the saying in the Bible: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."