Having described the journey through different realms on its way to manifestation, Hazrat Inayat Khan now outlines how that which the soul holds before it becomes its world, although tis true home is Divine Unity. The previous post is here.
The soul comes on earth rich or poor, ripened or unripened, through three phases where it has either enriched or lost its opportunity. It takes light from the angelic heavens, knowledge from the sphere of the jinn, and it inherits qualities from its parents and ancestors on the earth-plane.
Of the things which it has collected on its way to manifestation on the earth it has made that accommodation which is called the mind. The body in which the soul functions on the physical plane also contributes to the soul the properties of all the worlds to which it has belonged: the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal kingdoms. It is for this reason that man is called a universe in himself, for man consists in himself of all that is in heaven and all that is on earth. The Quran tells how God made man His representative on earth, His chief in whose care the universe was given.
Man shows in his life traces of all the conditions through which the clay that makes his body has gone. There are atoms of his body which represent the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom; all these are represented in him. Not only his body but his mind shows the reflection of all the kingdoms through which it has passed, for the mind is the medium between heaven and earth. Man experiences heaven when conscious of his soul; he experiences the earth when conscious of his body. Man experiences that plane which is between heaven and earth when he is conscious of his mind. Man shows by his stupidity the mineral kingdom which is in him, thick and hard; he shows by his pliability the vegetable kingdom, by his productive and creative faculties which bring forth the flowers and fruits of his life from his thoughts and deeds. Man shows the traces of the animal kingdom in him by his passions, emotions, and attachments, by his willingness for service and usefulness. And if one were to say what represents the human in him, the answer is all things, all the attributes of earth and heaven: the stillness, hardness and strength of the stone; the fighting nature, the tendency to attachment from the animals; the fruitfulness and usefulness of the vegetable kingdom; the inventive, artistic, poetical and musical genius of the sphere of the jinn; the beauty, illumination, love, calm and peace of the angelic planes. All these put together make man. The human soul consists of all, and thus culminates in that purpose for which the whole creation has taken place.
The soul manifested on the earth is not at all disconnected with the higher spheres. It lives in all spheres, but knows mostly one sphere, ignorant of the others, on which it turns its back. Thus the soul becomes deprived of the heavenly bliss and conscious of the troubles and limitations of life on the earth. It is not the truth that Adam was put out of the Garden of Eden; he only turned his back on it, which made him an exile from heaven. The souls of seers, saints, masters and prophets are conscious of the different spheres. It is therefore that they are connected with the worlds of the angels and jinns, and with the Spirit if God.
The condition of the former is like that of a captive imprisoned on the ground floor of the house, he has no access to the other floors of the building; and that of the latter is that he has access to all the different floors of the building–wherever he may wish to dwell. The secret of life is that every soul by its nature is an asman or akasha, an accommodation, and has in it an appetite; and of all that it takes it creates a cover which surrounds it as a shell, and the life of that shell becomes dependent upon the same substance of which it is made. Therefore the shell becomes susceptible to all influences, and subject to the laws of that sphere from which it seeks its sustenance, or rather, the sustenance of the shell. The soul cannot see itself; it sees what is round it, it sees that in which it functions, and so it enjoys the comforts of the shell which is around it, and experiences the pains and discomforts which belong to the shell. And in this way it becomes an exile from the land of its birth, which is the Being of God, which is divine Spirit; and it seeks consciously or unconsciously once again the peace and happiness of home. God therefore is not the goal but the abode of the soul, its real self, its true being.
To be continued…