Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Palace of Mirrors
Chapter 3
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


A thought may be compared with the moving picture projected upon a curtain. It is not one picture but it is several parts of the same picture that, changing every moment, complete the picture, and so it is with the thought. Everybody does not always hold a picture in his mind. As a rule a person makes a picture by a gradual process of completing it. In other words, the thought-picture is made in parts, and when the thought is complete all parts meet to form one picture.


It is according to this theory that the mystics have made Mantra Shastra, the science of the psychical phenomenon of words, which the Sufis have called Wazifa. For a concentration of thought the holding of a thought in the mind is not sufficient. In the first place it is not possible for everybody; only for some persons is it possible to hold a certain thought as a picture. If there is any possibility of completing a thought, it is only by repetition. Eastern art also shows the same tendency. If a border around a wall is made of roses, it is a rose repeated twenty thousand times in order that the picture of a complete rose may be made when one glance has been cast over it. If there are many objects before one, no object can be held in thought. Therefore, the best way of contemplation that the mystics adopted was to repeat a word suggestive of a certain thought, a word that caused the picture of a certain idea by its repetition.


But one repetition cannot suffice the purpose. In order to engrave upon a stone a certain figure a line drawn with a pencil is not sufficient; one has to carve it. And so, in order to make a real impression of an idea deeply engraved on the subconscious mind, an engraving is necessary. That is done by the repetition of a word suggestive of the desired idea. No repetition is wasted, for every repetition not only completes it but deepens it, making thereby a clear impression upon the subconscious mind.


Apart from the mystical process one sees persons in one's everyday life who have perhaps repeated in their minds the thought of pain, of hatred, of longing, of disappointment, of admiration, of love, unconscious of the work it has done within themselves. Yet a deep impression of it has been produced in the depth of their heart, and that becomes projected upon every person they meet. One cannot help being drawn to a loving person, one is unconsciously drawn to an affectionate person. One cannot cover one's eyes from the feeling of hatred that comes from someone. One cannot ignore the feeling of pain that comes forth from a person, for the pain is engraved in his heart. This is the phenomenon of reflection, the reflection of one mind upon another.


There are persons who may sit together, work together, live together for their whole life, and yet they may be closed to one another. It is the same phenomenon of reflection. If the heart of one person is closed, its influence is to close the heart of another. A person with a closed heart will close the hearts of others everywere he goes. Even the most loving persons will helplessly feel the doors of their hearts close, to their greatest regret, not knowing what has happened. It is an unconscious phenomenon.


Therefore, pleasure and displeasure, affection and irritation, harmony and agitation, all are felt when two persons meet, without speaking a word. It is our words which hide reality. If it were not for our words the phenomenon of mirror- land is such that it seems as if the whole universe is nothing but a palace of mirrors, one mirror reflecting the other. If we do not see it, it does not mean that we cannot see it. It only means that our eyes are not always open, so we remain ignorant of the condition.


If this is true, there is nothing in the world that a person can hide. As the Qur'an says, "On the Day of Judgement your hands and feet will give evidence of your doings". But I declare that every moment of the day is a judgment day. We need not wait till Judgement Day for this phenomenon. We see it, we experience it always. Yet we do not pay sufficient attention to it. Never can we have a kind feeling, goodwill towards another, or irritation, agitation, an antagonistic feeling, a hostile inclinattion, which we can keep from another. And this is sufficient for us to know that innermost truth, that absolute truth of the whole universe: that the Source is one, the Goal is one, Life is one, and the many are only its covers.



Question : Is the sub-conscious mind non-individualized?

Answer : The depth of the subconscious mind is universal, absolute. In the depth of the subconscious mind every person can find the ultimate mind, the absolute mind.


Question : Could one call he subconscious mind the soul in some aspect?

Answer : No, mind is always mind, soul is always a soul. The mind is an instrument of the soul as a machine is to an engineer.


Question : When the depth of man's mind is unindividualized, must man try to individualize all that belongs to the mind in order to obtain wisdom?

Answer : Man need not try to individualize, the mind is already individualized. If he tried the other thing it would be better. Everything in life gives one an inclination to individualize. What one calls individuality comes from the mind; the mind itself is the individual. There is no necessity of doing anything in this respect to the mind. What is necessary is the raising of the consciousness higher and higher in order to widen the horizon of one's vision.


Question : Can one speak of property in connection with an individual soul?

Answer : I do not know what is meant here by "soul". I call soul that which owns no property. If it ever owns property, it is because it is caught by the property, but it tries every moment to detach itself from the property it owns. It is the illusion that the soul gets of mind or body, and as long as that illusion remains, the soul is caught by that property. But in reality that property does not belong to the soul, nor does the soul belong to that property. It is this realization that is behind the thought of the ascetic. Nevertheless, if someone came to me and asked, "Is it good for the soul to hold property?" I should say that it is best for the soul to realize that all property is its own property. The larger property it realizes to be its property, the better for it. The only thing that is harmful for it is to be owned by the property. The Qur'an says, "We have made all that is in Heaven and on earth for man". If that is so, there is nothing good or beautiful that is not for man, as long as he is not owned by it.


Question : If a person with a closed heart has reflected that condition on another, how is this best remedied?

Answer : If a person wishes to throw a glass of water upon you when walking under his window, what will you do? You will go away from there, you will escape. That is what one can do. It is cold water, it will fall. Of course this is an ordinary answer. The true answer is that you have to get the key of every heart; once you have got the key, you are able to open it. The question is: where are we to find that key? Is that key love? Yes, with the power of love certainly that key is held, but the key itself is not love. That key is wisdom. There are many loving beings who cannot open the heart of another because, though they have the power to hold the key, they have not got the key. Love is a power, but the key is tact, wisdom, the understanding of a person, of his psychology.


Question : Suppose two strongly opposed personalities are in presence of one another . . .

Answer : It must be a war!


Question : Does the stronger always throw his reflection upon the weaker?

Answer : Not at all. It is the one who happens to be for the moment negative who receives the reflection; the one who is positive projects it. Mostly it is done while both are unconscious of it. It is not always the stronger person who is positive at every moment, nor is it the weaker person wbo is always negative. This phenomenon is always done unconsciously. One mind acts upon the other mind without the two persons knowing it, and sometimes the effect is felt afterwards.




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