Hazrat Inayat Khan continues with his explanation of the way in which the soul, or ray of divine light, is able to interact with the spheres of being. The previous post in the series is here.
There is also another outlook on this subject: that although the soul, as a ray, goes forward to the physical sphere, yet its nature is to go backward, because it follows the law of gravitation. Just as the body, which is made of clay, is drawn to the earth, so the soul, which belongs to the spirit, is drawn to the spirit. ‘But,’ one may say, ‘we can see the body drawn to the earth, we can see all things of the earth drawn to the earth, but we do not see the law of gravitation working in the soul.’ Actually we do see it, but we deny it, because we do not look at it in that way, for there is a dissatisfaction, a discontent, in every soul. A man may be in a palace or in a cottage, but no matter what condition he lives in, there is an innate yearning and longing which even he himself does not recognize. One thinks today that one longs for money, tomorrow for a position, for fame or name; one goes from one thing to another. It just goes on, and when in the end one has reached one’s object, one wants something else. It is the law of gravitation, that yearning towards the Spirit, the Sun, which is at the back of it. That is why in ancient times people worshipped the sun god as a symbol of the sun within us, the sun which cannot be seen by our eyes, but which is the source and goal of all beings, from which we have come and to which we are drawn. As it is said in the Quran, ‘From God we all come, and to Him we have to return.’ That means: there is a spirit, the spirit of all things, the essence of life from which we come and towards which we are drawn.
These three spheres can only be entered on one condition, and that condition is that the soul must clothe itself in the garb belonging to that particular sphere. It is that garb which makes an entity of the soul, which hitherto was without any distinction or attribute. As soon as it has adopted this garb it becomes an entity. Before, it was only a divine ray. The first garb makes the soul an entity known as an angel; the next garb makes it a mind; and the third garb makes it a body.
Is the mind within the body, and is the soul within the mind? As according to science the brain is within the body one could think that the mind too is within the body, but it is not so. It is as much within as without. It is vaster and wider than the physical body. A jug cannot contain the water of a lake, and so the body cannot contain in itself the mind. Yet the jug can contain some water from the lake, and the body can contain some of the mind within itself.
But the word ‘within’ has a quite different meaning from that which we attach to it in everyday language. When we speak of the mind being within, it means a different dimension. It does not mean in the head or in the breast. It means within each atom of the body, and within every nerve and every blood-cell. And at the same time that it means within, it means behind or beneath or under or nearest to the soul, nearest to our being. That is the meaning of within. The mind is both within and without [i.e. outside of] the body. And so in the same way the soul is both within the mind and without the mind.
To be continued…