Seminar 1

Base Chakra

The Spiritual Significance of Sound and Color

...Philosophy or science, mysticism or esotericism will all agree on one point if they touch the summit of their knowledge, and that point is that behind the whole of creation, behind the whole of manifestation, if there is any subtle trace of life that can be found, it is motion, it is movement, it is vibration...

...This motion has its two aspects. There are two aspects because we have developed two principal faculties: sight and hearing. One aspect appeals to our hearing, the other to our sight. The aspect of movement or vibration which appeals to our hearing is what we call audible and what we term sound. The aspect which appeals to our sight we call light, we call it colour, and we call it visible. In point of fact, all that is visible, all that is audible - what is it in its origin? It is motion, it is movement, it is vibration, it is one and the same thing. Therefore, even in that which is audible, in that which is called sound, those who can see trace colour, and to those who can hear, even the sound of the colour is audible...

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


The Distinction Between the Subtle and the Gross

...There is a verse in the Bible: 'It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.' So what we call living is subtle, what is dead is coarse; in other words: what is dense is coarse, and what is fine is subtle... When the consciousness is absorbed in the gross matter then a person gravitates towards the earth. When the consciousness is released from the gross matter then it soars towards heaven... A really spiritual person must have a mentality like liquid, not like a rock... A mentality that is moving, not crude and dense... To the Sufi, the soul is a current that joins the physical body to the source. And the art of repose naturally makes it easier for the soul to experience freedom, inspiration, power, because it is then loosened from the grip of the physical body. As Rumi says in the Masnavi, 'Man is a captive on earth. His body and his mind are his prison bars. And the soul is unconsciously craving to experience once again the freedom which originally belonged to it.' The Platonic idea about reaching the higher source is the same: that by exaltation the soul, so to speak, rises above the fast hold of the physical body; it may be only for a few moments, but it experiences in those moments a freedom which man has never experienced before...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume IV -  Mental Purification and Healing,
Part III: Mental Purification, Chapter IV


Insight (1)

...Besides, when once the heart begins to live, another world is open for experience. For generally what one experiences in one's everyday life is only what the senses can perceive and nothing beyond it. But when once a person begins to feel and experience the subtle feelings of the heart he lives in another world, walking on the same earth and living under the same sun. Therefore be not surprised if you find beings who are living in another world while walking on this earth. It is as natural as anything can be for man to have in his heart instead of only living on the earth...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume IV -  Mental Purification and Healing,
Part III: Mental Purification, Chapter XIX


Vibrations (2)

...The five senses differ in quality, and one can look at this question from a gross point of view or from a finer point of view. The gross point of view is that of the form, which outwardly shows the difference of perception between one sense and the other; and the finer point of view is when the mechanism of the capacity which is inside every organ is distinguished. Science only approaches this question from the outside and not from the inside. It is most ethereal, it is most subtle, it is most inexplicable, and the more one thinks about it, the more one sees the skill of the Creator... It is the ever-changing condition of our physical body, caused either by outer sensations 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 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...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume XI -  Philosophy, Psychology and Mysticism,
Part I: Philosophy, Chapter IV



...Self-knowledge can be divided into four kinds, of which the first is knowledge of this physical vehicle which we call our body: how this vehicle has again two aspects, the head and the body, the former for knowledge (for all the special organs of perception are situated in the head), the latter for action. Knowledge of the physical body does not end with the knowledge of anatomy; in this body there are also centres which are the organs of intuition. In so far as science recognizes them they are nervous centres, but what a mystic sees in them is the subtle power of perception. And therefore to a mystic the human body is a more perfect instrument than a wireless receiver, for that is a dead thing compared with the human body; the body is a living wireless receiver if it is prepared for that purpose. And if one asks why it is necessary that one should prepare it for that purpose, this would be like asking if it is necessary that we should see with the eyes we have. The very fact that we have eyes means that we must see with them; and because of the very fact that the intuitive centres are situated in the physical body, it is necessary that man should be intuitive as well as intellectual, Besides to be intuitive and to be intellectual are not essentially two different things; they are just like the two ends of the same line...

...How does the mystic proceed to experience it? By the mystical process of turning the eyes within, by shutting out the outside world for a moment and going into meditation, and by realizing, 'I do not exist only as a physical body, which I always see myself to be, but I also exist as a life, as a magnetism, as an energy.' Meditation which lifts him, in other words the consciousness, from the physical body, helps to make it clear to the mystic that he is not only a physical body, but that he is a being of energy, of magnetism, of breath, by the touch of which the physical body lives, being attached to it. As he goes further in the meditative life, he then begins to see that the faculty of thinking, of imagining, of feeling, is independent of the first two aspects; that he himself is a thought, that he himself is a feeling, and that he himself is the creator of thought, even a creator of feeling. And as he goes still higher, he sees that he is happiness himself as well as the creator of happiness...

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume XI -  Philosophy, Psychology and Mysticism,
Part III: Mysticism, Chapter XIII