With this post we begin a philosophical consideration by Hazrat Inayat Khan about the essential relationship between expression and capacity. Readers may find related themes in the series Spirit and Matter.
The secret of the whole creation can be traced to the understanding of what is meant by capacity. Capacity is, so to speak, the egg of creation: all of this manifestation which is known to us, as well as that which is unknown to us, is formed in some capacity. The sky is a capacity. Capacity is that which makes a hollow in which action of the all-pervading existence may produce a substance. All the stars and planets which we have discovered and those which are not yet discovered, what are they? They are capacities. And what do they contain? They contain, each one according to its capacity, whatever that capacity is able to preserve within it and give birth to; that is why one planet is not like another planet nor one star like another star.
Just as the sea is a capacity, in which all the animals of the water are born and live and die, so the air is a capacity in which many creatures live and move and have their being. And the earth is a capacity which conceives within itself the plants, the trees, and all the different stones, metals minerals, and other substances which come out of it. Again, everything, the stone, the tree, or a fruit or a flower, is a capacity in which perfume may be formed, or a savor. Thus the living being is a capacity, and man is a finished capacity.
The Hindu name for capacity is akasha. People generally think that akasha means the sky, but in reality it means everything. Everything in its turn is an akasha, just as all substance is a capacity; and according to that capacity it produces what it is meant to produce.
By studying anatomy one will find that the organs of the senses are all capacities according to their construction; and when that capacity is clogged, broken, or in any way troubled, then that organ of sense does not function properly. The tubes and veins of the body are capacities for the blood to circulate in, and when this capacity becomes stopped up, however strong the body may be, life cannot circulate, and congestion and illness come. Again, every blood cell is a capacity. If it keeps itself open life comes into it and the person feels healthy, but when a blood-cell loses this capacity life does not function any more in it and all kinds of diseases develop. So with the pores of the skin: each pore is a capacity, and when for some reason or other this capacity is clogged, then the life cannot circulate there; it stops and disease becomes manifest. The digestive organs, the lungs, are all capacities which breathe life in and function according to the life that is breathed in, that is radiated through them; and when they do not function properly, illness and disorder follow.
Then there are the intuitive centers in this physical body of man, each center being a capacity. Few know about them, and they become clogged because man leads such a material life and consequently the intuitive faculties become blunted. All the mystical practices that are followed by the adepts are given in order that these capacities may be opened up and activated, may be put in order so that through them man may experience that which is meant to be experienced. It is lack of air and energy and magnetism which blocks these capacities and these centers; and it is this, which blunts the intuitive faculties. Thus, a person who never gives a thought to this question loses his intuitive faculties. And this itself shows that by thinking about something one produces a capacity, just as one does by action, by movement; and when movement is dull, when it is not active, then this capacity remains unemployed.
To be continued…