The following reflection on the common conception of the unseen was made by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan as he began a talk on the ‘superhuman,’ an idea which was promulgated by Frederick Nietzsche among others, that there could someday be people with exceptional characteristics and abilities, far surpassing what is known today as human. The question of ‘super’ humanity apart, our Master’s example throws light on a fundamental aspect of the spiritual reality.
The difference between human and superhuman is not a difference of their nature; it is the difference of man’s conception; that which man cannot comprehend, he calls it superhuman. It is human, but because he cannot comprehend, he calls it superhuman.
It is the same thing as saying ‘the other world,’ – a world which is around him, which is within him, surrounds him, and in which he moves and makes his life, and yet he is not aware; that world he calls the other world. It is this very world, but because he cannot comprehend it, man calls it the other world.
It is the same thing with heavens, that which is within man in the form of different planes, different spheres. The spheres which his consciousness touches knowingly or unknowingly so often in twenty-four hours, and yet he calls them heavens, something that he can’t approach, something that he cannot reach, that he does not know. In reality it is within him, it surrounds him, it is around him, he is in heavens, and heavens are in him.
And the same thing is with the word superhuman. We call it superhuman because that part of a human being is beyond his comprehension. Man looks for mystery and he is himself a mystery.