Attuning to the Condition of the Holy Spirit

by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

This is the transcript of a meditation given during a retreat. It is very powerful, and we realize that it may not be easy to follow from the printed page. We offer it to you nonetheless because it gives a remarkable insight into the healing attunement. We hope it will inspire you.

 

Now we must find a way of becoming instruments of the Holy Spirit and healing our fellow men. We are going to practise healing with the use of the Holy Spirit at a distance so that we're not using any instrument, the hands, or the eyes, or the breath. Thoughts or the thought-forms or the thought-waves will act as the instruments, but even they have to be purified.

We will have to go through an inner process to become pure instruments for the divine power of healing. First, we must overcome our sense of our person, our personal image, and also the image of the environment. The best way of doing that is to remember that one is a visitor on the planet Earth and that the body is just a formation of the substance of the planet and our minds are just formations and our emotions seem to be constantly building up and changing. There's a thunderstorm and then there's a peace­ful state and then the wind blows up from the north and it's cold and then there's lightning and then there's rain.

Our thoughts are also formations just like the clouds formed out of the thinking substance behind the physical universe. The trees are thoughts that have materialized as trees, and so we discover the world of thought and see that our thoughts are formations within that world of thoughts.

We don't identify with either our body, or our mind, or our emotions. Our personality has come into existence as a formation and will disintegrate. What we are doing now is experiencing the disintegration of all the things that we thought we were. There's nothing that we can hold on to because it's all just temporary formations. We're going through a kind of a dark night of understanding, and even our consciousness is a temporary formation, a focalization out of the total consciousness.

So we're losing our sense of ourselves, dispersed in the winds. All that remains is like a quintessence, and what remains out of the turmoil of the emotions is the ecstasy which is the condition of the universe. One touches upon the condition of the universe.

This is the dark night of the soul. One has lost one's identity, one's self-image. In fact, with Jelal-ud-Din Rumi, one can say, 'I am the nameless and the formless and the timeless and the spaceless’. Or as Christ said of His disciples, 'They are in the world but not of the world’.

That is the second stage of the alchemical process. Now we reach the third stage, the immaculate state.

To become pure instruments of the Holy Spirit the body has to become like a crystal. One could use the metaphor 'washed with light’. So that the light can pass through it, it has to be, as the crystal is, in a state of total order, total attunement, resonance, in keeping with the divine order of things.

There is a sense one gets in the body of just being in total attunement, a resonance of the universe. Imagine that we are crystals so that the light can pass through; nothing opaque, we are totally translucent. All of a sudden it seems as though there were spaces for light to circulate through­out the body, instead of imagining the body to be tightly woven, solid. All of a sudden it becomes ethereal.

The mind becomes crystal clear and there are no con­flicts, no jamming, no bottlenecks. The mind is washed with light. It is like the smile of a child: total sincerity, clarity. Now the emotions can be very, very beautiful, sublime. One washes the emotions with light, and there's no room for hatred, or intolerance, or despondency. The emotions are clear like the light of the sun shining on the flowers, or the light of the stars illuminating the dark corners of the universe.

It is a catharsis. One has to purify the heart from the emotions that are not sublime and radiant, celestial. It is like rediscovering one's angelic inheritance, being very, very pure in one's emotions. Then divine love comes through; just as light comes through a crystal, passing between the molecules, divine love comes through one's emotions, and everything lights up. One has to make space in one's heart for divine love for all beings, compassion and forgiveness and tolerance.

Now we work with consciousness so that consciousness becomes crystal-clear. That is what is meant by the light of the divine intelligence: there is no deformation or deviation in this light. It is not focalized, as in the consciousness of a human being. One could say it's coherent light. There is some relationship between this and the attunement of emotion, so when emotion becomes very beautiful it de­velops the kind of quality of the snow and the ice, a very high-altitude emotion.

It is the way you feel in the very high mountains amid the rocks and the snow. It is very different from the way you feel in the lush vegetation of the jungle one sees in tropical countries. It is like the nordic light, diaphanous rather than incandescent. It is like the dawning of light before the dawning of the sun. The sun comes with great power, acting overwhelmingly upon us; but the light of lights dawns upon our soul. It is not in an overt way. It is like the sun rising in the northern latitudes. You attune yourself to that particular emotion in order to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, so that you may become a channel of the divine power of healing.

This is a departure from life. One cannot be a person of the world and be an instrument of the divine power of healing.

One has to be alienated a little bit, having been annihilated in one's notion of oneself. Then one must allow oneself to be crushed, battered, until one's heart is bleeding and not wallowing in one's own suffering, but reaching be­yond. It is a transmutation of emotion.

The Holy Spirit acts very suddenly, unexpectedly, and one might almost say mercilessly, although it is the very expression of divine mercy. It will always override any form or any preconceived idea and will never fit into any situ­ation, because it is the power of freedom, freedom that will never countenance law. The Spirit moves where it listeth, as they say, and it quickens, by imparting life beyond life, beyond the forces of life that have become sclerosed in the course of manifestation. It will always break loose, disinte­grate, shatter and rebuild a totally new pattern. It will shatter all the pollution, all the status quo of the patient, by giving her or him a new transfusion of life.

You yourself feel as though you were touching upon the source of all life, like Elijah at the source of the water where he sought refuge from the drought. So one cannot resist the quickening action of the Spirit. We are so used to imposing our own rhythm upon the flow of life, and here everything is jostled, disturbed, and has to fit into a new dispensation.

You let life batter you because you know that is the way the Spirit works. You lend yourself to its action without re­sisting it by your habits of thought, your preconceived ideas. If you lend yourself to its action, like a sail in the wind, it will make of you its instrument. Otherwise, it will tear you to bits, like a sail that is forced against the wind in a way that is out of harmony with the wind. The only attunement that will enable you to get in sync with the Spirit is to feel the condition behind the universe. Then you see things totally differently from the way you see things looking at them from your own vantage point. It is totally disconcerting.

What seems to be a problem avers itself to be a wonder­ful overcoming, and what seems to be impossible appears to be possible, and all the sense that we make of things doesn't make sense any more. One sees an ultimate sense behind what one thought made sense. One can even see beauty in what seemed to be ugly and perfection where everything seemed imperfect. There does not even seem to be strife when one sees the end purpose; it is only while one is in one's personal consciousness that there is a sense of strife. In fact, seen from the angle of unity, everything is the way it should be. But it is impossible for our personal under­standing to accept that; otherwise there would be no strife and there would be no overcoming.

One is not just the instrument of the Spirit; one has to discover the Spirit that one is.

It is all beyond one's understanding, and one must not try to understand it, just as one must not try to become the instrument of the Spirit. And yet, how is one to be able to heal otherwise? One has to become oneself the Spirit. One has to discover the Spirit within one. One is not just the instrument of the Spirit; one has to discover the Spirit that one is.

When I said that the Spirit batters one, it is the Spirit that one is that batters one, to trigger off the breakthrough of life. That life will communicate itself to all beings when there is nothing to hold it back. It does not need an instru­ment. The lightning is not contained inside a cable; it will trail along, using a cable as a support. There is no instrument that is strong enough or capable enough to become the instrument of the Spirit. The body would be totally disinte­grated if it tried to become the instrument of the Spirit. So do not try to become the instrument of the Spirit, but shatter your sense of identity until you discover what you really are.

Now you feel that overflowing of life going through you, and you realize that you have to give it an outlet, it is so overwhelmingly powerful. This is the moment to think of those who are ill, either physically or mentally. Do not try to send your thoughts toward them. The vehicle will never be able to channel this power. Do not try to do it. You can establish a magical contact with a person simply by experi­encing what it is like to be that person. Get into their soul.

It is not just getting into their consciousness and experi­encing what they feel and how they think; it is getting into their eternal being and experiencing how that eternal being is suffering from limitation in body and thought and person­ality, and yet remains perfectly aware beyond its limitation, somewhere, at some level. See how the energy carries consciousness to their soul, establishing a connection, and see how consciousness directs the energy, giving it a definite direction. One gets into the consciousness of the total being. One can never maintain one's consciousness of all beings, because it is all one.

Become aware of the energy that is released by the shift of your consciousness and the relationship between con­sciousness and energy. When your consciousness is reaching out into the consciousness of the totality you become an incredible source of life, a life-giving source, which you could never do by exercising your will. You see how the trigger that sets off this shift of consciousness is emotion being sublimated. It is a power, a great power. It is the power of love.

Can you think of yourself then as the Prince Puran? Wherever he went, everything flourished: the garden came to blossom. It is your attunement that makes the energy flow through you. Can you think of taking people in your fold, under your wings, protecting them: not posses­sing them, but protecting them? It is not as though you are giving out energy. The phenomena of the exchange of energy take place because of your attunement, not because of anything that you do with your will. It is with your love that you enfold people, so that people feel secure under your care.

When your consciousness is reaching out into the consciousness of the totality you become an incredible source of life, a life-giving source, which you could never do by exercising your will.

We have been speaking about this attunement to the order of the universe and the way the vibration becomes the instrument of the Spirit. That is why in the tradition it is said the Spirit becomes the Word and the Word becomes the flesh. We have to start by having access to the energy of all life, Life of Life, the energy of the Spirit. Then we must know how to use the vibration of the spheres to communicate this energy. It is a matter of vibrating ourselves at a very high frequency, intensifying that vibration. The wazifa that is given is 'Ya Quddus'.1 Concentrate above your head as you say it. Keep concentrating, higher and higher above your head.

Experience yourself as pure Spirit, having shattered all the other aspects of your being, and let the sound simply carry the Spirit to where it listeth. If at any time the thought of a person who is suffering emerges in your consciousness, then just establish a rapport with that person and let the energy work without trying to do anything specific. You have to keep on experiencing yourself as pure Spirit and refuse to identify with any of the formations by which the soul deludes itself into a sense of identity. It is not just life, but the Life of Life, and that brooks no limitation. It is a contradiction in terms to say 'identify yourself with Spirit’, because the word self is always interpreted as being the personal self. There is no way of saying it, and you cannot do it by your will anyway; it is something that happens to us without trying.

God bless you.

 

1. ‘Ya Quddus’ is the sacred word in the Sufi tradition which means ‘The Most Pure’ and ‘The Holy Spirit’.

 

This article was first published in Caduceus Journal issue number 5, Autumn 1988. http://www.caduceus.info