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





















































Q & A Compilation Concerning Spirit Communication (2)



Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls, Who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.

Q & A Compilation Concerning Spirit Communication (2)

Q. In an urgent case may one call before a patient a clairvoyant? A. In the first place I would say, Sufism does not restrict anyone to do what he likes. If they want to go to a clairvoyant or someone, there is no rule in the Sufi Order, no teaching. But at the same time a Sufi is wise; the meaning of "Sufi" is "Wise." And wise, the first principle of the wise is to develop so that he has not to depend upon others, that he does it himself. The other thing is that when the wise who is beginning on the path of wisdom, then he takes the hand of a guide and then the first thing he will do is to ask his own guide, his murshid, his teacher, "What I shall do about it?" Anything else he will do afterwards. Even that is not a rule. The initiation does not restrict a person that he must ask his murshid.

Q. I said, "an urgent case." A. In that case, if a person feels a great need of that kind, there is nothing to restrict him, nothing. Only, one thing must be taken care of: not to allow oneself to drift on the way of the so-called clairvoyant mediums, fortune-tellers, and soothsayers.

Q. Has that science been lost? In some cases when doctors are quite at a loss and cannot find anything and say, "You are puzzling science," sometimes those people can give herbs that in three or four days they are quite better. A. That is quite true; I quite believe in it. In that case there is no objection to it.

Q. Murshid, are there souls who immediately after their physical death remain for some time in the sphere between the physical and the mental? A. Yes. They don't remain, but they are more inclined towards the physical. Therefore they attach themselves to the place where they are buried or burnt, or the place where they died or the room or the place or the house or the people they loved or hated. They are attached around.

Q. Do they experience these conditions? A. They can experience, for instance just like the living person who is deep and who is evolved can experience other conditions through the mediumship of another person. So the dead can experience through the person who is inclined to become a medium for them. That means through the eyes of others they can see, through their ears they can hear, through their tongue they can speak, through the hands of the other person they can write. They have to find a medium in order to come closer to the earth.

Q. Once they are wakened in the mental plane, do they forget the earth plane? A. No, no. It is not everyone who forgets. That is the Sufi education: to try and keep detached from all that belongs to the physical, and to try and study and know that it does not belong to us, it is not ours, always keep detached.

Q. Murshid, if we must keep detached, why must we experience the physical life? A. To experience the physical life is different from detaching. If we did not experience, then there is no occasion of detaching. We can only detach after attaching ourselves.

Q. A mother who lost her child went to a spiritualist. How to take her thought away from going into that direction? A. Gradually, not at once. First to meet with her idea, first to sympathize; it is a mother. You cannot separate a mother even from the thought of her child. But then gradually after some days, some months, after perhaps some years bring her to your idea very gradually.

The difference between clairvoyance and clairaudience is that clairvoyance manifests in the form of a vision that one can see with the inner eye. Clairaudience manifests as a voice, as a word that one can hear with the inner ear. The mediumistic knowledge therefore differs from it. Mediumistic knowledge comes either by a continual obsession or by a momentary obsession, by a voluntary obsession or by an involuntary obsession.

Those who make a profession of a mediumship, they voluntarily give their spirit to the knowledge that comes from the spirit. And those who do not voluntarily give it, then they are called obsessed. It is not that they have voluntarily given themselves to the obsession, but they are obsessed by a certain spirit.

It is easy for a mediumistic person to have clairvoyance also, because a mediumistic person who has the same tendency of allowing himself to be obsessed by the spirit can allow the thought of another to obsess him. And in that way he can also know the thought of another. Only the difference between the clairvoyant and the medium is that the clairvoyant need not necessarily be a medium, and a medium may not be clairvoyant.

Q. Murshid, is it possible that it can be combined, clairvoyant and mediumistic knowledge? A. Yes, it is possible, because they are both negative tendencies. It is by being negative that one is mediumistic. And it is by negative condition of mind that one is clairvoyant. But I should consider clairvoyance as a natural effect of spiritual progress, and mediumship as a kind of temperament. It can be a kind of unbalanced condition.

Q. Cannot it be developed, mediumship? A. Yes, it can. But one must have something in him first. But I think every fine person has a little spark of mediumistic tendency, every fine person. But if he develops that tendency, then he can go astray.

Q. Murshid, does not it show sometimes when people are reading handwritings, as if something took hold of them, and they say things they don't know at all, which are true? A. Yes, that also comes from the clairvoyant tendency. That can be also the mediumistic tendency. If there is a mediumistic person, then he can also do this.

Q. Murshid, is it possible that somebody who is not spiritually evolved is clairvoyant, or is that always the case that he is then mediumistic? A. It is mostly the case that he is mediumistic. But rarely it is possible that a person is clairvoyant and not spiritually evolved, because it is a temperament.

Q. If somebody is making a concentration and sees something going on in another town, what is it, clairvoyant or mediumistic? A. Yes, it is clairvoyance. But it is so near the mediumistic knowledge. Mediumistic knowledge and clairvoyance are very difficult to differentiate. It can only be differentiated by seeing the nature of the person. The action of both is so close. It is just like typing and printing.

Q. Does the magician make use of clairvoyance or of mediumistic knowledge? A. He acts by another thing. It is a power over the elementals. It is another art, it is quite a different work. It is not clairvoyance nor mediumistic.

Q. If an obsessed person asks you, "Is it true? They say that I am obsessed," must I tell him that it is so, or not? A. I would say, "I don't know, I don't think so."

Q. If one realizes one is obsessed, is one not very near to being cured? A. Who knows!

I will tell you what one day was my experience. A woman came to me. She was brought to me because she had a very bad obsession, and asked if it can be cured. So I said, "Instantly it will be cured. Your friend must go out, and you stay here." And then she sat there, and afterwards her ghost came on her. She really was obsessed. She jumped and stamped on the ground and all the devil-dance that could come manifested on the horizon. And I saw that whole devil dance, and that spirit was told to go away. And as soon as the spirit departed from her, next day the woman became very unhappy. And the third day she came to me crying, in tears, "Please send back to me my spirit because I don't want to be without him. I am most unhappy!" I said, "Yes, you will have him, you will have your spirit; if you love that obsession to remain in you, then it will remain."

So there are some who love obsession. It becomes their second nature. They are so delighted with it; they don't want to part with it. Here in Paris the same thing happened. First a woman came who had many influences of obsession. And I said, "Yes, do you want them to go away; do you want to get rid of them?" First she said: "Yes." But then she said: "But they are very interesting; they are my great friends. I don't want them to go away. My life will become very monotonous." I said, "All right! Keep them!"

Q. You said when the Apostles were on Whitsuntide together, it says in the Bible that they spoke different languages. You explained that they spoke the language of the heart. But I have met lately a woman who had never learned English, who was very much interested in you, and I gave her your photograph. She got in a trance by helping someone else who was ill. And when she had done that, she turned to the chimney piece where your photograph was standing, and took it in her hands, and addressed in English beautiful things. A. Yes, that comes from obsession. That has nothing to do with spiritual revelation. An ordinary person may be obsessed. Anyone who can be obsessed can speak the language of the person who obsesses him.

Q. If you feel that someone is sending you bad thoughts, how can you protect yourself from that person? If you feel that he is displeased with you, he is sending you bad thoughts, what can you do? A. Well, the best thing for that is to do the zikr. Zikr is the greatest protection.

Q. Any one of them? A. Oh yes!

Q. Would you explain about zikr still more? A. Well, that is all. With zikr you make a sign with your glance over your body and on your body, and that keeps away every influence.

Q. Murshid, would it be advisable to say, "Toward the One," at all meals? A. Oh yes, safe, secure, always, for everyone. I think everyone must make a habit always to begin with it; even if you go out, to say that formula, if you go to eat, go to bed, getting up. It is the best formula, because it takes away bad influences, and it puts you on the track which is the track of the Illuminated Souls, and leads to God. Even if you do a worldly thing it leads to God. Therefore everything you do, it leads towards the highest. It is the best formula you can say.

Suggestions about haunted houses make people fear, they make people become ill. Because it is a suggestion, because they think that the house is haunted. That itself is sufficient to make them ill, to make them feel ill. But now you will say, "What experience does a mystic have? Does he see colors, does he communicate with spirits, does he wander in the higher worlds, does he read thoughts, does he psychometrize objects. does he perform wonders?" And the answer is that to a mystic all these things are elementary. And those who do these things are quarter-mystics, half-mystics. A mystic who is a thorough mystic, for him these things are child's play.

These are not beyond his power; they are within his power. But the power of a mystic can be so great, and his insight can be so keen, that the ordinary man cannot imagine it. And for the very reason that an ordinary man cannot imagine it, a mystic who looks not different from an ordinary man, cannot profess to see or know or feel any better. Naturally, therefore, the real mystic, who has arrived to a point of understanding, makes the greatest effort to keep his power and insight covered from the eyes of all. And there comes the false mystic, who comes out and claims perfection, and prophecies, and power, and wonders that he can work.

All inspirations are revealed, the mysteries and secrets of life manifest before the view of the one whose heart is prepared by love. All manner of virtues spring from it. We hear them talk of ecstasy; some say that visionary people or perhaps those who see spirits and ghosts they have ecstasies. No, they do not know what ecstasy is. Ecstasy is a feeling that only comes when the heart is tuned to that pitch of love, which makes it melted, which makes it tender, which gives one gentleness, which makes one humble.

Q. Would you explain the strong concentrated effort for automatic writing, and the appreciation of it? A. The inclination for automatic writing comes from the mediumistic tendency. A person who has a mediumistic tendency is naturally inclined to automatic writing. The reason is that by automatic writing he begins to feel in connection. He forms a connection with some souls floating in the air. It does not matter which soul he contacts; from that soul he begins to take its reflection, and then he begins to put it on the paper. There are some, who, if they once become interested in one soul on the other side, and the soul on the other side becomes interested in this particular soul, then there is formed a continual communication. Then it is natural that day and night, or often in the day or night a communication is established.

But there is a danger in this play. It is interesting to begin with, but then it could be most difficult to get rid of. I have seen a person who had put himself in spirit communication so profoundly that the spirits would not leave him alone one moment. It was just like a telephone ringing every moment of the day. And the most amusing thing is that he used to live with them. The thing that amused me most was his "I do not want you, go away!" But they came again, day and night. Poor man, exposed to the telephone ringing, could not protect himself. Once he laid himself open to them, he focused himself with the other world, and then he could not close the doors. Besides this, it is a great strain on nerves, for the reason that the nerves must be very fine in order to get the communication. The intuitive centers in the body are made of fine nerves, finer than one can imagine.

They are not matter, they are not spirit, they are between. When once these fine nerves have become sensitive then the communication is open with the other side. But then the difficulty is this, that the gross vibrations of this earth are too hard on the nerves, and the nerves cannot answer the demands of this gross world, this material world; they become too fine. The result is that a nervous illness comes from it. It is for the betterment of some mediums, who were used by the great explorers of spiritualism, that I showed my disapproval to that line. Not as an unbeliever, nor as someone who makes fun of these things; only for the welfare of these simple ones, who are made use of, and whose lives are ruined in order that the others may find out some secret of it. But what secret do they find after all? Nothing. It is not the spectator who will find the secret of the play. It is the player himself. If they want to experience, they must experience themselves - that is where the joy is - and take consequences. But this way of taking an innocent young person, a weak person, a mediumistic person, putting him into a trance, and profiting out of his ruination, it brings neither a blessing nor that knowledge which illuminates the soul.

Q. Is there any risk, when one is treading the spiritual path, of obsession? A. I do not know what connection there is between the spiritual path and obsession. They are two things. Either you exist, or someone else exists in you. They are two things. In the spiritual path it is you exist in God. God exists in you, and you exist in God. It is the oneness between yourself and God that is the spiritual path. In the other you are apart from the spirit that obsesses you. It is a different path altogether. It is no path. It is an idleness, a chaos.

Q. Can we influence a soul that has passed beyond this world to such an extent that we can make him commit any special action on the mind of another person on earth? A. It is a thing possible in theory. But I should say, why trouble that spirit? If you are able to influence that spirit, why not influence that person on earth?

Q. Can obsession only be caused by the dead, or also by a living person? A. By both. Only in the case of the former it is called obsession, in the case of the latter it is called impression.

Q. Is it possible that someone by reflection speaks great wisdom without understanding himself what he is saying? A. Yes, certainly. At the same time a reflection of mind is not as a reflection on a photographic plate. A reflection on a photographic plate remains, but does not live; but a reflection upon a mind lives, and therefore it is creative. Yes, it is true that it does not all live, but it helps one to create within oneself the same thing. Now this brings us to the mediumistic question.

I have heard of a young girl in Bombay who never knew Persian, but there used to be times when she would speak Persian. And the Persian was so nice that the learned Persian scholars used to come and discuss with her. And she used to discuss on the points of metaphysics, and would always stand firm on her arguments. And they were so impressed by it. And then at other times she would not know it.

But it is mostly seen with poets, especially mystical poets. They write things sometimes which they themselves do not know. Sometimes they can interpret or can understand their poetry better after ten years.

I have seen a friend of mine writing poetry, using in it terms which are known only to high initiates. I was very astonished, and I asked this friend, "What do you mean by this?" It was then that he knew that he did not know. That particular point he did not know what it meant. He never knew that he was a mediumistic poet. But no poet can be a great poet if he was not by nature mediumistic. For the Perfect Source is within: and reflection that comes from within is more perfect than what one has learned here. God bless you.