Hazrat Inayat Khan now concludes his discourse on the importance of vibrations by discussing their importance to our physical and mental health. The previous post in the series is here.
It is the ever changing condition of our physical body, caused either by outer sensation or by its particular activity, which submits our vitality to different conditions. Each person has a different rhythm. But when we say ‘a person,’ we mean a person as we generally understand this concept: the person with his body, or the person with his mind, or the person with his soul. Many will not recognize him as a mind but only as a body, and many will not recognize him as a soul but only as a mind and body. This is because the rate of vibrations of his body is different from that of his mind, and the rate of vibrations of his mind is again different from that of his soul. In fact every plane of his being has a different rhythm, although all the planes of his being are in some way related to what is happening on certain of these planes. In other words, all his inner bodies are vibrating, and they are related to one another in regard to the speed of their vibrations. When we say, ‘I am tired’ or ‘I feel better’ or ‘I feel strong’, this really means that we are vibrating at a certain rate, and that it is this which caused us to say what we did.
Then, different feelings such as cheerfulness and depression very often arise in a person, producing great changes in him, and these are also caused by the rate at which his body is vibrating. This disease of depression, a depression which has no apparent cause, no reason, comes from the slowing down or stopping of the vibrations of inner centers. No doubt all such feelings as grief, wonder, passion, humor, fear, attachment, anger, cheerfulness, and indifference come from the condition created by the speed of the vibrations activating the mechanism of the body, and causing the blood to circulate; but these feelings also cause the vibrations of the body to change its rhythm. In this way the feelings affect the body and the body affects the feelings.
Vibrations can be changed by understanding the vibrations of one’s own life, which means one’s own self. In the first place one can study the vibrations of the physical body. And the chief way in which they can be understood and controlled is through the study and understanding of breathing, for the pulsation of the heart, head and body, upon which circulation depends, is based upon the rhythm of breath. The next step is to understand the rhythm of the mind. People who think, ‘ I will do this,’ and then at once decide to do something else, or who begin one thing and then go on to another, show that their mind is not in proper rhythm.
When a man is laughing one moment and shedding tears the next, when he is happy one moment and unhappy the next, his mind is not in a right rhythm. The one whose mind has a right rhythm is decided and knows what he says, what he does, what he thinks. He sticks to his decisions, he sticks to his word. That is why people in ancient times attached great importance to a man’s word. When a man has given his word, it is given; he knows what he has said. But when a person is wobbling, this shows that he has not yet learnt how to walk; and when his mind wobbles between ‘Shall I or shall I not?’ ‘Will this thing be done or will it not?’ it has not yet got the right rhythm, and therefore there will always be trouble with such a person.
Music, which is only very skillful and technically correct cannot have a magic effect upon the listeners. It can only appeal to their curiosity, and if they do not understand music they can be easily satisfied with it. If music possesses any quality of its own which does not depend upon man-made techniques and forms, it lies in the harmonious grouping of the waves of vibrations – how harmoniously they work. It is this which affects not only the soul of the listener but even his physical body. On each atom of his person it has a harmonious effect which penetrates all the different planes of life, touching the depths of his soul.
Also, it is not a group of colors put on a canvas which produces a harmonious painting, although this is very often done these days. It may be that someone has the idea of throwing a number of colors together, and another brings it to you saying, ‘Now look if you can see something in it?’ And when these people make a mystery out of this the curious mind thinks, ‘I must say it is wonderful, though I don’t understand what it is.’ Perhaps after having said, ‘How wonderful!’ this person has gone home with a feeling of a headache, but in front of the others he says that it is wonderful. What really impresses a person deeply, however, is a harmonious blending of colors which do not jar the vibrations of body and mind. Sometimes a really harmoniously painted picture or landscape gives peace through the effect of the colors.
Knowing that color has such an effect, some people have tried crude and undesirable combinations to cure the sick, but instead of curing them they have sometimes made them worse. For instance, there is a system of reflecting light through colored glass upon a patient. It is the most crude way of making use of colors, and it is not thus that colors can have any effect upon a person. To produce a harmonious effect of colors they must be used artistically; and in that way they will prove to be useful in curing people.
One might ask how it is then with the blind and the deaf, if perfect harmony of vibrations is attained through color and sound. The answer is that although people thus afflicted lack one sense, they have the others to experience the world of sense with. If the deaf have not heard with the ears, the effect of the conversation has reached their inner ears just the same.