Good News / Mystic Traditions|
by Hazrat Inayat Khan
26.07.2007, changed 31.07.2007
It is amusing how many different meanings people attach to the word spiritual. Some call spirituality great goodness, some mean by it melancholy, some by it mean a miserable life, some think spirituality lies in communion with spirits, some consider wonder-working and the art of the conjuror a kind of spirituality, every good or bad power, so long as it is a power, people often imagine to be a spiritual power, many connect the idea of spirituality with a religious authority. Whereas it is the simplest idea, if one cares to understand it by rising above complexity.
Spirituality is contrary to materiality. One who is conscious of matter alone is material, one who becomes conscious of spirit also is spiritual. He who thinks, 'I am my body', and sees no further, is material. He may as well say, 'I am my coat', and when the coat is worn out he may say, 'I am dead.' The one who is conscious of the spirit, to him his body is a coat, and as by taking off one's coat one does not die, so even by the death of this body the spirit realized soul does not die.
It is the spiritual person who will attain in time immortality. He does not need to study much to prove to himself that he is spirit, for study will never convince him. It is the spirit itself, which must realize itself. The soul is its own evidence; nothing else will make the soul realize its own being. The whole work of the Sufi, which he calls inner cult, is towards soul-realization. It is realized by rising above matter, and yet the condition is that one can only realize it by getting through matter. As a fountain is necessary for the water to rise, so the material body is necessary for the soul to realize itself. The water, which remains still in the depth of the fountain, sees itself rising and falling within itself, and there lies its joy. The same picture illustrates the condition of spirit and soul. The spirit, which rises upward, is the soul, it falls again in its own being, and the realization of the spirit of this joy can alone be called spirituality.
[Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from a lecture by Hazrat Inayat Khan, as published on Wahiduddin's Web. Please click here to learn about the Bowl of Saki, a daily non-sectarian, inspirational message which is also taken from the writings of Inayat Khan.]