Seminar 1

Base Chakra

The Life of Vibrations

...There are two aspects of vibrations, fine and gross, both containing varied degrees; some are perceived by the soul, some by the mind, and some by the eyes. What the soul perceives are the vibrations of the feelings; what the mind conceives are the vibrations of the thoughts; what the eyes see are the vibrations solidified from their ethereal state and turned into atoms which appear in the physical world, constituting the elements ether, air, fire, water and earth. The finest vibrations are imperceptible even to the soul. The soul itself is formed of these vibrations; it is their activity which makes it conscious...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter I: The Silent Life


...It is the gradually increasing activity which causes vibrations to materialize, and it is the gradual decrease of the same which transmutes them again into spirit. As has been said, vibrations pass through five distinct phases while changing from the fine to the gross; and the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth each has a savor, color, and form peculiar to itself. Thus the elements form a wheel which brings them all in time to the surface. At each step in their activity they vary and become distinct from each other; and it is the grouping of these vibrations which causes variety in the objective world. Man calls the law which causes them to disperse destruction...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter II: Vibrations


The Elements and Form on Different Planes

...All forms on whatever plane they exist, are molded under the law of affinity. Every atom attracts towards itself the atom of its own element; every positive atom attracts the negative atom of its own element; every negative attracts the positive; yet each attraction is different and distinct. These atoms group together and make a form. The atoms of the abstract plane group together and make forms of light and color; these and all different forms of the finer forces of life are seen by the seer. The forms of the mental plane are composed of the atoms of that plane; these are seen by the mind's eye and are called imagination. On the physical plane this process may be seen in a more concrete form.

The mystic sees on the abstract plane one or other element predominating at a certain time, either ether, air, fire, water or earth. Every element in the finer forces of life is rendered intelligible by the direction of its activity and color; and the various forms of light show its different rates of activity. For instance the feeling of humor develops into greater humor, and sadness into a deeper sorrow, and so it is with the imagination: every pleasant thought develops pleasure and expands into still pleasanter thought, and every disagreeable imagination grows and becomes more intense. Again, on the physical plane we not only see men dwelling together in cities and villages, but even beasts and birds living in flocks and herds; coal is found in the coal-mine, and gold in the gold-mine; the forest contains thousands of trees, where as the desert holds not a single one. All this proves the power of affinity which collects and groups the kindred atoms, and makes of them numerous forms, there by creating an illusion before the eye of man who thus forgets the one source in the manifestation of variety.

The direction taken by every element to make a form depends upon the nature of its activity. For instance, an activity following a horizontal direction shows the earth element, a downward direction the water element, an upward direction the fire element; the activity that moves in a zigzag direction shows the air element, and the form taken by ether is indistinct and misty. Therefore the nature of all things is made plain to the seer by their form and shape, and from their color their element is known, yellow being the color of earth, green of water, red of fire, blue of air, and gray of ether. The mingling of these elements produces mixed colors of innumerable shades and tones, and the variety of color in nature bears evidence of the unlimited life behind it...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter V: Form


...Although the elements may be called earth, water, fire, air and ether, this must not be taken literally. Their nature and character, according to the mystics, are different. But, as words are few, one cannot give other names to these elements, although in Sanskrit we have distinctive words for them. 'Ether' is not ether in the scientific sense. It is capacity. 'Water' is not water as we understand it in everyday language. It is liquidity. 'Fire' is understood differently. It means glow or heat, dryness, radiance, all that is living. All of these words suggest something more than is ordinarily meant by them...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part II: Music, Chapter X: The Mystery of Sound and Colour 1


The 5 Elements and Universal Harmony

...The existence of land and water, the land for the water, and the water for the land; the attraction between the heavens and the earth, all demonstrate the universal harmony. The attraction of the sun and moon to each other, the cosmic order of the stars and the planets, all connected and related with each other, moving and working under a certain law; the regular rotation of the seasons, the night following the day, and the day in its turn giving place to the night; the dependence of one being on another; the distinctiveness, attraction and assimilation of the five elements, all prove the universal harmony...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter III: Harmony


The 5 Elements in Human Nature

...In every being the five elements are constantly working, and in every individual one especially predominates. The wise have therefore distinguished five different natures in man, according to the element predominant in him. Sometimes two elements or even more predominate in a human being in a greater or lesser degree...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter III: Harmony


...Question: Has one element superiority over another? For instance, is a thought coloured by fire superior to a thought coloured by another element?...

Answer: There is no superiority of one element over another. The superiority of a thought is according to the outlook of the mind... What makes it superior or inferior is the motive behind it...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part IV: Cosmic Language, Chapter VII: Thought and Imagination


Breath and the 5 Elements

...All the elements are in the breath, according to the direction which the breath takes: the earth, water, fire, air, and ether. We can taste them in the breath. There are five directions, four outward and one inward... If you say, "We cannot feel, perceive the elements in the breath; we do not know where they are," I will say, "This is a science. It cannot be understood in a moment. It is a study..."

Hazrat Inayat Khan - The Supplementary Papers, Class For Mureeds VIII, The Breath


...When the breath which is developed, is thrown outward its radiance produces light, and it is the different shades and grades of this light, which manifest in various colors, suggesting to the mystic the different elements, which the particular colors denote...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume XIII - The Gathas,
Part IV: Pasi Anfas: Breath, GATHA III, 2. Inspiration


...By concentrating on the breath, a person can tell what element is passing through him at the moment; and by consulting the breath he can tell the present and future...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - The Supplementary Papers, Class For Mureeds VIII, The Breath


The Sounds of the Elements

...The earth has various aspects of beauty as well as of variety in its sound. Its pitch is on the surface, its form is crescent-like, and its colour is yellow. The sound of earth is dim and dull, and produces a thrill, activity and movement in the body. All instruments of wire and gut, as well as the instruments of percussion, such as the drum, cymbals, etc, represent the sound of the earth.

The sound of water is deep, its form is serpent-like, its colour green, and it is best heard in the roaring of the sea. The sound of running water, of mountain rills, the drizzling and pattering of rain, the sound of water running from a pitcher into a jar, from a pipe into a tub, from a bottle into a glass, all have smooth and lively effect, and a tendency to produce imagination, fancy, dream, affection and emotion... These instruments [bowls filled with water] have a touching effect on the heart.

The sound of fire is high-pitched, its form is curled, and its colour red. It is heard in the falling of the thunderbolt and in a volcanic eruption, in the sound of a fire when blazing, in the noise of squibs, firecrackers rifles, guns and cannons. All these have a tendency to produce fear.

The sound of air is wavering, its form zigzag, and its colour blue. Its voice is heard in storms, when the wind blows, and in the whisper of the morning breeze. Its effect is breaking, sweeping and piercing. The sound of air finds expression in all wind instruments made of wood, brass and bamboo; it has a tendency to kindle the fire of the heart, as Rumi says in his Masnavi about the flute. Krishna is always portrayed in Indian art with a flute. The air overpowers all other sounds, for it is living and in every aspect its influence produces ecstasy.

The sound of ether is self-contained, and it holds all forms and colours. It is the basis of all sounds, and is the undertone which is continuous. Its instrument is the human body, because it can be audible through it; although it is all-pervading, yet it is unheard. It manifests to man as he purifies his body from material properties. The body can become its proper instrument when the space within is opened, when all the tubes and veins in it are free. Then the sound which exists externally in space becomes manifest inwardly also. Ecstasy, illumination, restfulness, fearlessness, rapture, joy and revelation are the effects of this sound. To some it manifests of itself, to others when they are in a negative state caused by weakness of body or mind; to neither of these is it a benefit, but on the other hand it causes them to become abnormal. This sound only elevates those who open themselves to it by the sacred practices known to the mystics.

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part I: The Mysticism of Sound, Chapter I: The Silent Life


Qualities of Voice

...There are five different qualities of the voice…The earth quality of the voice is hope giving, encouraging, tempting. The water quality is intoxicating, soothing, healing, uplifting. The fire quality is impressive, arousing, exciting, horrifying; at the same time it is awakening, because very often warning is given in the voice of fire quality... It was alarming for people to awaken from their sleep, to awaken to greater consciousness, to a higher consciousness.

Then there is the air quality of voice. It is uplifting, raising a person, taking him far, far away from the plane of the earth. And the ether quality of the voice is inspiring, healing, peace-giving, harmonizing, convincing, appealing, at the same time it is the most intoxicating.

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part II: Mystic, Chapter IX: The Voice


Healing and the 5 Elements

There are germs and impurities, but there are also elements to purify them. Those five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and ether, as spoken of by the mystics, do not only compose germs, but can also destroy them, if one only knew how one could make use of those five elements to purify one's body with them and also one's mind. As there is need of sun and water for plants to grow, so there is need of the five elements for a person to keep in perfect health. These five elements he breathes according to his capacity of breath. But by breath every person does not attract the same properties; for everyone attracts from the breath elements according to his particular constitution. One attracts more fire element in his breath, another more water element, and a third attracts more earth element. Sometimes one receives an element which one does not require. Besides, the sun currents have a greater healing power than anything else. A person who knows how to breathe perfectly, who is attracting sun currents into his body, can keep the body free from every kind of impurity. No microbes of destruction can exist if the sun currents can touch every part of the body, which is within, and that is done by the breath. The places of the earth which are hidden from the sun, which are not touched by the air, become damp; several little lives are created there, germs of destruction are born, and the air in that place becomes dense. If this is true, then the body also needs the sun and air. The lungs, intestines, and veins and tubes of the body all need the sun and the air; and these are taken in by means of perfect breathing; and even the mind derives benefit from this. For the mind too is composed of five elements, the elements in their finer condition.

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume IV - Mental Purification and Healing, Part I: Health, V


...In the first place, if we saw what was at the back of all the medicines which are used for healing purposes, if we ask what it is in them that heals, we shall find that it is the different elements which constitute our physical being. The same elements are present in those medicines, and that which is lacking in us is taken from them, or the effect which should be produced in our body is produced by them. The vibration which is necessary for our health is created in the body by their power. The rhythm which is necessary for our cure is brought about by bringing the circulation of the blood into a certain rhythm and speed...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part II: Mystic, Chapter XIII: The Healing Power of Music


...Thus healing may be called life-giving to that part that needs life or to the body as a whole. The materialist believes that a person, however weak, can be saved and brought to life by injecting into his body the blood of another. If that is a successful remedy, how much more could the power of thought, of life, which has more power than matter, produce life in another! And even the free essence of the healer's physical body may be passed through gases by the process of earth rising to water, water to fire, fire to air, air to ether, and sending the finest atoms of physical energy and strengthening vibrations of mental energy to a person who needs it. The difference between medicine and healing is this: instead of sending a thing by railway it is sent through the sky by an aeroplane...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume IV - Mental Purification and Healing,
Part II: Healing, Chapter III: The Development of Healing Power, One Common Cause of All Diseases


Disintegration of the Elements

...The soul by its power has created the elements from itself, and has attracted them from outside. It has collected them and it holds them, but through use they are gradually worn out and last only for a certain period. The soul holds the body composed of all these elements as long as it has interest in the body, and as long as the magnetism of the body holds it and its activity keeps it engaged. As soon as its interest in the body is lessened, or the elements that form the body have lost their power, by feebleness or some irregularity in the system, the body loosens its hold, and the soul whose innate inclination is to free itself, takes advantage of this opportunity given to it by bodily inability. The result of this is death.

The elements begin to disperse even before death, but after the death of the body they return straight to their affinity, earth to earth, water to water, and so on, each to its affinity. And they are very glad to return. Each thing is glad to be with its like...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume V - Spiritual Liberty,
Part II: Aqibat, Life After Death, Chapter I: Life After Death


Correspondences of the Five Elements

Earth: horizontal, spreading
Water: downward, descending
Fire: rising
Air: zigzagging
Ether: stillness, centred, calm

Earth: yellow-brown
Water: green
Fire: red
Air: blue
Ether: white

Earth: touch
Water: taste
Fire: smell
Air: hearing
Ether: sight

Body tissues
Earth: bone
Water: flesh
Fire: blood
Air: skin
Ether: hair

Pir Zia verbally March 2011
Earth: musculo-skeletal system
Water: circulation
Fire: digestive system
Air: respiratory system
Ether: nervous system


Qualities of Voice

hope-giving, encouraging, empting.
intoxicating, soothing, healing, uplifting.
impressive, arousing, exciting, horrifying; awakening.
uplifting, raising far from the plane of the earth.
inspiring, healing, peace-giving, harmonizing, convincing, appealing, the most intoxicating.

Pir Zia Inayat Khan - The Holy Mysteries

Element Emotion Illuminated Emotion
Earth fear caution
Water affection benevolence
Fire anger ardour
Air humour joy
Ether sadness peace

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume II -  The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word,
Part II: Music, Chapter IX: The Voice