Hazrat Inayat : The Soul, Whence and Whither? pt XXXII

Hazrat Hayat Khan now speaks of the longing of the soul to be free from its captivity in the world of manifestation. The previous post in the series is here.

Rumi has said in the Masnavi that life on earth is a captivity of the soul. When one looks at the bubble in which the air has been caught by the water, one sees the meaning of Rumi’s words that something which is free to move about becomes a captive of the atoms of water for a time, and loses its freedom for that moment.

Man in all conditions of life, whatever be his rank, position or possessions, has trouble, pains and difficulties. Where do these come from? From his limitations. But if limitations were natural, why should he not be contented with his troubles? Because limitation is not natural to the soul – the soul, which is by nature free, feels uncomfortable in the life of limitation. In spite of all that this world can offer, when the soul experiences the highest degree of pain it refuses everything in order to fly from the spheres of the earth and seek the spheres of liberty and that freedom which is the soul’s destination. There is a longing hidden beneath all the other longings which man has, and that longing is freedom. This longing is sometimes satisfied by walking in the solitude, in the woods, or when one is left alone for a time, when one is fast asleep, when even dreams do not trouble one, and when one is in meditation, in which for a moment the activities of body and mind are both suspended. Therefore the sages have preferred solitude, and have always shown love for nature; and they have adopted meditation as the method of attaining that goal which is the freedom of the soul.

The Zat, the primal Intelligence, becomes captive to knowledge; that which is its sustenance limits it, reduces it; and pain and pleasure, birth and death, are experienced by the intelligence in this captivity which we call life. Death, in point of fact, does not belong to the soul, and so it does not belong to the person. Death comes to what the person knows, not to the person himself. Life lives, death dies. But the mind which has not probed the depths of the secret of life becomes perplexed and unhappy over the idea of death. A person once went to a Sufi and asked him what happened after death. He said, ‘Ask this question of someone who will die, of some mortal being, which I am not.’

Intelligence is not only a knowing faculty, but is creative at the same time. The whole of manifestation is the creation of the intelligence. Time and space are both nothing but the knowledge of the intelligence. The intelligence confined to this knowledge becomes limited, but when it is free from all knowledge, then it experiences its own essence, its own being. It is this which the Sufi calls the process of unlearning, which purifies and makes the intelligence free from knowledge. It is the glimpses of this experience which are called ecstasy; for then the intelligence has an independent joy which is true happiness.

To be continued…

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