As he continues with his philosophical explanation of spirit and matter, Hazrat Inayat Khan explains that these two are merely different states of the same life. The previous post may be found here.
Spirit and matter are the two names of life. The primal aspect of life developing into denseness remains spirit, and its development into dense form is called matter. It is like water turning into snow, it is liquid, but it develops into a harder substance, it loses its fineness.
There is a conflict between spirit and matter. The matter absorbs the spirit in order to exist, and the spirit assimilates matter, for it is its own property. The whole of manifestation may thus be regarded as continual conflict between spirit and matter, the spirit developing into matter on the one hand and spirit assimilating matter on the other; the former being called activity and the latter silence, or construction and destruction, or life and death. When one realizes that the source of both spirit and matter is life, then one will see that there is no such thing as death; but this one can only recognize when knows the distinction between the life which may be called the source and the life which is momentary, the life which matter shows by absorbing spirit.
Vacuum or space consumes substance; and when substance absorbs life from space, the space opens up within the substance. For instance, trees and plants absorb more from space than do rocks, and animals absorb still more from space than do trees and plants. Man absorbs the most spirit from space, and therefore man represents both matter and spirit in himself.
What is absorbed from space has the effect upon that which absorbs it of opening it up and of forming a vacuum. That is why the stone, which has very little vacuum in it, appears to be lifeless. Plant life shows some sign of life because it absorbs more from space. In the atoms of a plant life there is an opening, for by absorbing all that it can absorb from space the plant opens within itself space to accommodate also the spirit that it absorbs. We see further development of the same phenomenon in animal life, which, through breathing, absorbs more of the spirit which is in space and therefore becomes more intelligent.
This shows that although intelligence manifests through living beings, yet it is absorbed from space. We only know intelligence as something that belongs to man, to the mind or to the heart; but whence is intelligence attracted? It is attracted from space. We recognize intelligence in its manifestation but we do not know it in its essence. In its essence it is all-pervading, and that is why philosophically minded people have called God omniscient.
All that is constructed is subject to destruction; all that is composed must be decomposed; all that is formed must be destroyed; that which has birth has death. But all this belongs to matter; the spirit which is absorbed by this formation of matter, or by its mechanism, lives, for spirit cannot die. What we call life is an absorption of spirit from matter. As long as the matter is strong and energetic enough to absorb life or spirit from space, it continues to live and move and to be in good condition. When it has lost it grip on the spirit, when it cannot absorb the spirit as it ought to, then it cannot live, for the substance of matter is spirit.
To be continued…