Hazrat Inayat : The Soul, Whence and Whither pt XX

Having considered the five spheres of consciousness, Hazrat Inayat Khan now looks at the four types of character that the physical part of our being confers upon us.

Every person shows from his earthly heritage a nature, which is one of four types: The first is that of the idealist, who lives in the world for his ideals; a man of principles, intelligent, modest, moderate in everything, patient; and a man with refined manners, dreamy by nature, or a deep thinker; a man of dignity who guards his reputation as one would take care of a thin glass. His contact with the earth is like that of a bird who builds its nest upon a tree in the air, descends to the earth to pick up a grain when hungry, and then flies off. He dwells on the earth because he is born on the earth, but in reality he lives in his thoughts. The earth and all that belongs to the earth is his need, not his want.

The second type is that of the artist; an artist not necessarily by profession, but by nature. Artistic by temperament, this man shows discrimination in his love; he is distinct in his likes and dislikes; subtle, clever, witty, observing conventions, and yet not bound by them; one who notices everything, and yet does not show himself fully; elusive by nature, yet tender and affectionate; fine and simple, social and yet detached. He is like a deer in the woods, who is one moment in one part of the forest, and at another quite a distance away. One may think by coming into contact with him that one has got him, but at the next moment one will find him far away from one’s reach. This is the type of man of whom many say, ‘I cannot understand him.’

The third is the material man, material in his outlook, devoid of the love of beauty, concerned only with what he needs, clever but not wise. He lives all through life in the pursuit of earthly gains, ignorant of the beauty life can offer, looking hopefully from day to day to that gain for which he is working. One might say that he is waiting for the day when his ships will arrive.

The fourth is a man with mundane desires, who enjoys his food and drink; what he thinks about is his bodily comfort, his momentary pleasures, his passing joys; the slave of his passions and captive to the things of the earth. He is uninterested in every thing but himself. He belongs to no one, nor does anyone in reality belong to him. He is happy-go-lucky by nature, yet susceptible to depression and despair. One might say that he lives to eat.

These four different qualities belong to the body that the earth offers to the soul; the third and fourth classes more than the first and second. It is thus that one can trace back the origin of this clay that the soul has adorned and called ‘myself’; this clay that has passed through so many different conditions while being kneaded. It developed through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms and then of it was made the image of man. ‘Verily in man is reflected all that is on the earth and in heaven.’

To be continued…

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