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



Love, Harmony, and Beauty

Nature's Religion

The Personality of God

Silent Life

The Will, Human and Divine

Mind, Human and Divine


Developing Will-Power

Personal Magnetism

Love, Human and Divine


The Effect of Prayer

The Mystery of Breath

Character and Fate

Gain and Loss

Stilling the Mind

The Knowledge of Past, Present, and Future

The Planes

Spirits and Spiritualism

The Desire of Nations


The Freedom of Soul (1)

The Freedom of the Soul (2)

The Freedom of the Soul (3)

The Ideal Life

The Journey to the Goal

Intellect and Wisdom

Simplicity and Complexity


Friendship (1)

Friendship (2)

The Four Paths Which Lead to the Goal

Human Evolution



Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

The Planes

Man wishes to know about God, about heaven, about the things unknown, and about the world unseen, and he thinks he can see them from the first floor. He is not ready to believe there is anything on the seventh floor; he thinks there is no such thing as a seventh floor, nothing but the first. If he were freed from this delusion, and if he were allowed to go to the other floors, then he would be able to see what the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh floors contain. And then he would know there is something through which one can gain a knowledge of past, present, and future.

Suppose on the third floor there was a machine which produced instruments, one would know that on the first floor there must be a store of materials, and on the second floor they must be assembled in groups; on the third floor they are turned into usable appliances; and one can guess what is likely to be on the fourth floor.

Thus it is said in the Hadith that God sent His servant the Prophet in the middle of the night to the sphere of heaven, where He showed him such signs as He desired to show him. In other words, God wants the one who wishes to realize Him, to know life; it is His desire that he may see the signs that God previously makes and arranges, and also the things which can be seen by rising to the third and fourth floors.

The floors represent planes of existence. We do not exist only on the earthly or physical plane. Being absorbed in this plane makes us awake to it, but blind to the others. Language fails to explain the things of heaven. Those who have the experience of such things are bound to be silent, because there is no language to express them.

As a matter of fact all the floors are really here; but as long as we are not able to see these floors, we are only on the first. Then, too, this mortal part must die; but we can die in this respect now, and pass on now to a perception that is beyond. The several floors are nothing but clothing. In this life the light is hidden under a bushel; the bushel is the physical body. The light cannot be disclosed until the mortal part is removed.

If we depend on our eyes for sight, and our ears for hearing, and our mouth for speech, we are still dead. But we sometimes experience in life that which we see without eyes, hear without ears, and express without speech. If we have once seen without eyes, does it not show that we can see without eyes? Can we not see in a dream without eyes? Therefore the faculty of seeing and hearing is in us; but as we always depend on the physical body, on the physical eyes and ears, we become helpless and subject to death.

The teaching of immortality is to awaken. We must rise above physical and material conditions if we are to live at all. We must aim at being independent of physical sight and hearing. We know that if we really want to understand a thing, we close our eyes because we can see it better. If we are thinking in this manner, it means that we are listening to some thought corning from some other plane. At such a time we want to cut off and stop outward sound or sight. All the meditations and concentrations of the mystics, as well as their dreams, are their journeys to the inner planes. It is necessary, if the soul has the desire to know the past, the present, and the future, to satisfy its desire by a contemplative life. The more tired and exhausted the mind, the more is meditation needed.

Sages, such as St. Francis, have spoken with rocks, birds, and animals, not as we talk, but by means of an insight into things; and every object expressed itself to them, speaking to them about its past, its present, and its future.

How wonderful that the animals and birds also know the future! Horses, dogs, cats know when someone is going to die; and yet man does not know it. Why should he not know it? Because his soul is so absorbed in the earth plane and in earthly things which the birds and beasts and animals are free from; for they sit quietly, and meditate and concentrate. Man never sits quietly; and therefore the animals and birds, through their silence, are capable of knowing what man does not know. All man's activity brings death and decay much sooner; intuition is stifled.

The soul has a tendency to look forward to what is going to be, or at what has been in the past. It is the light of our soul, the intelligence, that does this. Intelligence working through physical means is no greater than intellect, but intelligence working freely and independently from physical means is wisdom. And wisdom is not cleverness, but infinitely superior to it. Wisdom works independently of the physical means, and therefore requires intuition. The clever person works by means of his physical body, but the wise person works independently of it.

Palmistry, astrology, and the like, are they the best means of knowing the future? All these means are right, none is wrong. There is always truth everywhere. The eye must look, and at whatever it looks, the seer will see. It is not necessary for the vision to be in a certain symbol or tea-cup; it is as open as a book wherever the seer looks.

The master knows everything that goes on in a factory, but the workers only know what goes on just where they are working. The master sees all. One person sees a square, another a street, another a house, another less still. But the one at the top of the tower will see all of these. The seer will see all in his consciousness, and wherever he casts his glance he will see still more clearly.

As Sa'di says, "Each leaf of a tree becomes a book of revelation to the one who sees; and he reads the whole of nature as a book."