In the previous post in this series, Hazrat Inayat Khan explains something of the mystical understanding of consciousness. Here, he continues in a similar vein on the theme of intelligence.
We have the same problem with intelligence as with consciousness. One knows intelligence as something which is intelligent; there is a difference between intelligence and something which is intelligent. Intelligence in which a certain consciousness is reflected becomes intelligent, but intelligence need not know, in the same way that consciousness need not be conscious of anything; it is the knowing faculty. If one keeps a person in a dark room with striking colors and beautiful pictures, he cannot see them. His eyes are open, his sight is all right, but what is before him is not reflected in his sight. What is there is sight, but nothing is reflected in it. So it is with consciousness and so it is with intelligence – intelligence which is consciousness and consciousness which is the soul.
Science today says that there is a gradual awakening of matter towards consciousness and that matter becomes fully intelligent in man. The mystic does not deny this; but where does matter come from? What is it? Matter is intelligence just the same. It is only a process, so if intelligence manifests in man it is the development of matter. But intelligence which is intelligent, begins with intelligence and culminates in intelligence. Spirit is the source and soul of all things. If matter did not have spirit in it, it would not awaken, it would not develop. In matter life unfolds, discovers, realizes the consciousness which has been, so to speak, buried in it for thousands of years. By a gradual process it is realized through the vegetable and animal kingdoms and unfolds itself in man, and then resumes its original condition. The only difference is that in this completion, this fulfillment of the spirit which manifests in man, there is variety. There is such a large number of beings, millions and billions, but their origin is only one Being; therefore spirit is one when unmanifested, and many in the realm of manifestation; the appearance of this world is variety. The first impression man gets is that of many lives, and this produces what we call illusion, which keeps man ignorant of the human being. The root from whence he comes, the original state of his being, man does not know. He is all the time under the illusion of the world of variety, which keeps him absorbed and interested and busy, and at the same time ignorant of his real condition, for he is asleep to one side of life and awakened to the other, asleep to the inner and awakened to the outer.
One may ask how one awakens to this inner life, what makes one awaken, and whether it is necessary for one to be awakened. The answer is that the whole of creation was made in order to awaken. But this awakening is chiefly of two kinds: one kind is called birth, the birth of the body when the soul awakens in a condition where it is limited, in the physical sphere, in the physical body, and by this man becomes captive; and there is another awakening, which is to awaken to reality, and that is called the birth of the soul. The one awakening is to the world of illusion, the other to the world of reality.
But one must know that there is a time for everything, and when one does not pay heed to this, one makes a mistake. When one wakes a person at two o’clock in the morning his sleep is broken; he ought to sleep all night, he needs this. Very often people, not knowing this, try to wake someone up, it may be their wife, their husband, their friend, their relation, or their child. Someone may feel very anxious to awaken another. Often he feels lonely and thinks, ‘He is close to me; he should be awake too.’ It is the same with the one who smokes or drinks: he likes someone else to do it with him, just as it is dull for a person in a cheerful mood if another person cannot see the joke. Naturally, therefore, the desire and tendency of the one who awakens to the higher life, to reality, is to awaken others. He cannot help it; it is natural. If it were not, he would say, ‘Well, I experience it, I enjoy it; is not that enough? Why must I trouble about others who stand in front of me like stone walls?’ Such people have toiled their whole life and they have been exiled and flayed and martyred and crucified, and when they have awakened to a certain sphere where they enjoy harmony and peace they wish that others too may experience it and enjoy it in the same way. But very often we are too impatient and unreasonable, and want to awaken people before it is time.
To be continued…