If we wish to advance on the spiritual path, it is important to understand the relationship between the inner and the outer world, as Hazrat Inayat Khan sets forth in this series of teachings.
This subject can be considered from three points of view. In the first place we consider our physical body, and how this expresses all that it partakes of as food, as drink, as medicine. If a person has a grosser food or if one has a finer food, if one has a purer food, it is manifested outwardly, or if one has not the consideration of this, it is also manifested outwardly. The body shows the same nature which it has inherited from the earth, to which it belongs, for the nature of this earth is such that when it takes the seed of the flowers, it produces flowers, and when of fruits, fruits, and when it takes the seed of poison, it produces poison. All different things are produced, but it is what it has taken – that is the result. There is nothing that one eats or drinks or that this body takes, which will be so assimilated altogether that this body will not manifest it outside. And in this way we can see in the consideration of our physical body the meaning of the subject that I am going to take today.
And when we think still farther we shall find the action of the body on the mind and the action of the mind on the body. That must be understood first by considering how intoxicants have a reaction on the mind – something which is quite material, which is physical, when that is taken, how it affects the mind, which is not material. The mind in point of fact is much greater than what the scientist today considers it – the brain.
The word ‘mind’ comes from the Sanskrit word mana, and from this word the English word ‘man’ comes. Therefore, really speaking what is man? What is the mind? In the words of Jesus Christ, man is as he thinks; man is his thought, man is his mind. Therefore it is not always the body to which man attributes himself so much as his identification; his true identification is his mind.
All that one partakes of, even physically in the form either of food or intoxicant, has not only effect upon the body but upon the mind, and not only what the body partakes of but also what the mind partakes of through the senses, has also its influence on the body. For instance, all that one sees is impressed upon the mind. One cannot help it, it is mechanically done, that impression is recorded. All that one hears, smells, tastes or touches, it is not that its effect is only upon the body, but its effect is also upon the mind. That means that man’s contact with the outer world is such that there is a continual mechanical interchange going on; every moment of his life he is partaking of all that his senses allow him to take in.Therefore very often the man who is looking for the faults of others, who is looking at the evil, though he may not be a wicked person, yet he is partaking, without knowing it, of all that is evil. And the result is this – for instance, a person is impressed by a deceitful person. Now the result of that impression is that even when he will cast his glance upon an honest person he will have the impression of deceit. And it is from this that all the pessimistic attitudes come from. A person once deceived always will be on the lookout; even with an honest person he will look for deceit; he holds that impression within himself. For instance, a hunter who has come from the forest with a slap given to him by the lion, when he comes home, even the caress of his kind mother frightens him, he thinks the lion came.
To be continued…