With this post we conclude Hazrat Inayat Khan’s explanation of the unity of spirit and matter. The previous instalment in the series is here.
The soul is likened to a ray of the sun. And what is the ray of the sun, what causes it? It is the motion of the sun, the motion of the light. The light waves cause a space between one wave and another wave, just as in the sea a gap is formed between one wave and the next wave. There is no gap in reality, it is only a temporary condition of the rising of the water that makes a space between two waves. These two waves are a temporary condition of the water of the sea. The water of the sea remains, but these waves, formed for a moment, rise and fall again. If we say that five waves are coming, it is in our conception that they are five, but the phenomenon is only momentary. They are and they are not.
And it is so with souls. If we say that there are many souls, it is true, just as there are many waves or many rays of sun. If we say that there is only one spirit, it is truer still, just as there is only one sea and one sun. The waves are an action of the sea; the rays are a manifestation of the sun; the souls are a phenomenon of the spirit. They are and they are not. They are because we see them, and they are not because there is only one being.
Those who separate soul from body are looking from the same point of view as the one who sees spirit and matter as two different things. The sight has made the eyes in order to see, but in making the eyes the sight has become limited. The sight had a much greater power before it had eyes. By limiting itself to the eyes, the sight’s power has become less. So it is with the soul. The soul manifesting as a body has diminished its power considerably, even to the extent that it is not capable of imagining for one moment the great power, life, and light it has in itself. Once the soul realizes itself by becoming independent of the body that surrounds it, the soul naturally begins to see in itself the being of the spirit.
What is consciousness? Consciousness is the knowing faculty, but it is the knowing faculty when it has some knowledge. It is only then that we can call it consciousness; one is conscious of something, consciousness must always be conscious of something. When consciousness is not conscious of anything it is pure intelligence. It is in this realization that the greatest secret of life can be revealed.
One might say that the experience of pure intelligence is possible only for the only Being, for God, but no one can stand outside of that one Being. Therefore, each and every one is in the only being, the only Being includes all. Undoubtedly there is a certain process by which one can attain to this pure intelligence. Man is not conscious of it any more. He has lost the habit of experiencing what pure intelligence is. But all the meditations and concentrations, the whole process by which the mystic treads the spiritual path brings us finally to the realization of that pure intelligence. And if one asks what benefit one derives from it, the answer is that since all that benefits us comes from one source, that source must be perfect, it must be all-beneficial. It is beyond our limited imagination, but it is the greatest thing one can attain in one’s life.