Hazrat Inayat Khan continues his theme, explaining that matter absorbs spirit to different degrees. He also makes reference to the scientist Charles Darwin, and the search for the ‘missing link,’ a form that would stand as the evolutionary stepping stone between primates and human beings. The previous post in the series is here.
The difference between what we call an object and a living being is the difference in the degree of spirit they absorb. Darwin died without finding the missing link, but there is no missing link. If there were any link that was missing it would have been found. There is a constant outpouring of spirit on matter, which is its own substance, and according to the degree which spirit touches matter, the matter forms into an object or into a being. Thus the difference between the lower creation and the higher creation is that of the degree of the spirit which they are capable of absorbing. There is the same difference between a spiritual person and a material person.
The question arises: why, if spirit and matter are one and the same, is there then a need for anything or anyone to absorb spirit? Matter is something that is ever changing, it is continually going through a process of change, and we call this change destruction or death. We say of matter that it is decomposed or destroyed. In reality it has taken another form but this form is also changed by spirit and made into something else. Only, in order to distinguish it, we give the first aspect of the object one name and the next aspect of the same thing another name. For instance in one condition a substance is called coal, and in another condition it is called diamond; it has gone through a change. The value is different, the name is different, the appearance is different. The spirit has changed it in one condition to a certain degree and in another condition to a different degree.
When we study the lower creation – insects, birds, and beasts – and when we study their instincts, the intelligence that they show, the sympathy to which they respond, we can clearly notice that they are awakened to life according to the spirit they are capable of absorbing. We see among human beings how one is standing in the midst of all that is good and beautiful, his eyes open, but his heart is closed. He does not see anything, although happiness is at hand; he does not know it. And there is another person awakened to all that is good and beautiful, ready to appreciate it and to be grateful for everything good that comes his way. There is one man whose thought reaches the highest level that thought can reach, and there is another who thinks, but his thoughts can rise no higher. What is the reason for these differences? They all come from the varying ability of these people to absorb spirit.