Hazrat Inayat Khan continues with his of the spheres through which the soul passes during its journey to manifestation and its return, and provides an explanation for what is sometimes perceived as re-incarnation. The previous post in the series is here.
One might ask to what extent the jinn world and the angelic world occupy space in our world and pervade it. But what is space? Space is that which accommodates. The mind is a space also, a space which is wider than the world. Our eye is a space too. And as ‘the mind’ does not mean the brain, so the space in the eyes of our body is not the only space. Behind it is another space which is connected with it. And when this idea becomes clear to man, that there is another space, different from this outer space which already accommodates so much, then the vision of the heavens is opened before him. When a Chinese philosopher was asked what the soul is like, he answered that it is like the pupil of the eye. He meant to say that the soul is an accommodation, like the pupil of the eye, which is so small and yet accommodates so much.
And think of the heart. If there were a thousand universes it would accommodate them all, it is so large. As the former Nizam of Hyderabad, who was a mystic, said, ‘What is the universe and the entire cosmos? If the doors of the heart are open, the heart proves to be larger than the whole cosmos.’ What little one can understand of this is shown by the sign of the cross: there is a horizontal space and there is another kind of space, which can be pictured as a perpendicular line. It is to explain the latter space that the mystics and seers have used the word ‘within,’ and to explain the space of the world they have used the word ‘without.’
The entities or souls which shoot forth from the Spirit into these three spheres have in each of them the experience of meeting those souls which are returning from manifestation. It is just like a person going from the United States to the Far East and another going from the Far East to the United States, and both meeting in Europe. They give each other whatever they have. The one coming from the Spirit gives magnetism, electricity, intelligence, freedom and freshness, love and life. And the one returning gives experience, knowledge, impression, expression, desires, wishes, thoughts of the wickedness and goodness of the earth, all that he has learned and earned and done and wants to accomplish. All these things are exchanged. It is like the way in which one man may come from Europe with an introduction to the United States which would take him into the best society, and another one who has not received any introduction might go to quite the wrong people.
Thus the soul comes on earth already prepared during the journey through these two spheres. Now supposing for instance the returning soul of Shakespeare met in the world of the jinn another soul coming from the inner Spirit and gave all its experience and qualities and attainments to this soul which was coming to the earth. Then this soul would be born with the same qualities as Shakespeare, with the tendency to write poetry, and with much of the knowledge which Shakespeare expressed in his works. According to the Hindus this person may be called the reincarnation of Shakespeare. But one might think, ‘What has happened to Shakespeare himself; is it not Shakespeare who has come again in this person?’ Yes, but what we know of Shakespeare is of his mind and his body. Shakespeare’s soul was a divine ray. It had no peculiarity that might serve as a proof of his being Shakespeare. The Shakespeare in him was outwardly his physical body, and inwardly his mind. That mind was impressed on a soul who came forth on to the earth with the heritage already received from Shakespeare. And for Shakespeare to continue further towards the inner Spirit it was necessary to throw away that garment. Therefore the mind of Shakespeare was a garment borrowed from the jinn plane. That garment he may have given to another one. So if you say, ‘What about Shakespeare?’ the first question really is: who was Shakespeare? Because it is not the soul, it is the garment which has come again, renewed. The difference is only in words. In its deeper sense there is no difference.
To be continued…