Mental Purification and Healing
Hazrat Inayat Khan
THE MIND WORLD
The mind world in the terms of the Sufi poets, is called, Aina Khana, which means the Palace of Mirrors. One knows very little of the phenomena that this palace of mirrors has in it. Not only among human beings, but also in the lower creation, one finds the phenomena of reflection. In the first place, one wonders how the small germs and worms, little insects, who live on other small lives, reach their food, attract their food. In fact, their mind becomes reflected upon the little lives, which then become their food. The scientist says that the animals have no mind. It is true up to a certain point. They have no mind, not what the scientists call mind, according to his terminology. But, according to the mystic, the same intelligence, which is in man, is to be found, to a lesser degree, in the lower creatures. They have a mind, but not such a clear one. Therefore, comparatively speaking, one might say it is the same thing as having no mind. But, at the same time, for the mystic, who calls the mind a mirror, it may not be so clear, yet it is a mirror.
Friendship, hostility, the fights, which take place among birds and animals, their becoming mates, all this takes place not as thought or imagination, but as reflection from one mirror to the other. What does it show? It shows that language man has made, and he has gone far away from that natural intuitive way of expression. You may ask any rider about the joy of riding, which he considers greater and better than any other form of sport or enjoyment. He may not be able to give the reason for it, but the reason is this phenomenon of reflection – when the reflection of his thought has fallen upon the mind of the horse, when the two minds are focused on each other and the horse knows where the rider wishes to go, the more sympathy there is between the horse and rider, the greater joy one experiences in riding. After riding on horseback, instead of feeling tired, one feels exalted. The joy is greater than the tiredness. And the greater communication there is between the mind of the horse and the rider, the greater the joy the rider derives from it, and so does the horse. The horse begins to feel sympathy with his rider in time.
A story is told of an Arab rider who fell on the battlefield. There was no one near to take care of his dead body, and his horse stood there for three days in the scorching sun without eating, till people came and found the dead body. The horse was guarding its master’s body from vultures. There is a story of a dog that howled for three days after the death of its mate, and died at the end of the third day. That is a reflection by which they communicate with one another.
Often one sees circus horses and other animals, working wonderfully according to the commands given to them. Is it their mind? Have they learned it? No, they have not learned it. It is not in their minds. It is at the instant when the man stands there with his whip that the reflection from his mind is mirrored upon their minds. If they were left alone, they would not work, they would not think about it. The reason is as it is said I the Qur'an, that man has been made chief of creation. This means that all creatures around him, large or small, are attracted to his magnetism. They are all attracted to him, they all look up to him, for he is the representative of the divine and they unconsciously know it and surrender to it. Elephants in Burma work in the forests, carrying logs of wood. But, it is the thought of the man who trains them, mirrored upon them, that makes them do the work. When one studies it minutely, one finds that it is not a training, it is a reflection. That which man thinks in his mind, the animals do. They, so to speak, become the hands and legs of their master. Two beings become one in thought. As the Persian verse expresses it, when two hearts become one, they make a way through the mountains. A relationship can be established between man and the animal, but it is difficult to establish that oneness among human beings.
There is the story of Daniel, who entered a den of lions, and the lions were tamed instantly. Did he will them to be so? No. It was the calm and peace of the heart of Daniel reflected upon the lions that made them quiet like him. His own peace became their peace. They became peaceful. One might ask if after Daniel had left the lion’s den, they remained the same. It is open to doubt. Although this does not mean that something was not left there. But, the predisposition of the lions remained, and no sooner was Daniel out of the den than the lions woke to lionhood again.
Very often birds and animals give warning of death in the family. One might think that they know from somewhere, or that they have a mind that thinks about it. The condition is reflected upon them. The condition of the person who is dying, the thought of those who are around him, the condition of the cosmos at that time, the whole environment, everything there is reflected on their mind. And they know they begin to express their feeling, and they become a warning of the coming death.
Do animals project their thought and feeling upon the human being? Can man reflect the feeling of an animal? Yes, sometimes human beings who are in sympathy with a pet animal feel its pain, without any other reason. The animal cannot explain its pain, but they feel how the animal is suffering. Besides, the most curious thing is that on farms one sees shepherds, reflecting the feelings of the animals. They make noises, sing, or dance in a way that resembles animals’ sounds and movements, and show in many ways the traits of animals.
It is most interesting to watch how the phenomenon of reflection between animals and man manifests to the view of one who observes it keenly. It explains to us that language is an external means by which we communicate with one another, but the natural language is this reflection, which is projected and reflected from one another. And this is the universal language. Once this language is understood, not only can one communicate with human beings, but even with the lower creation. It was not a fantasy when people said that the saints in ancient times used to speak with animals and birds. It was the truth. Only, they did not speak with them in language such as we use in our everyday life. They spoke in that natural language in which all souls communicate with one another.
Other instances are to be found in the bullfights that take place in Spain and the elephant fights that are known in India. It is not often that elephants fight in the forest. It is the mind of the spectators, who wish the elephants to fight, which gives a stimulus to their fighting nature. That desire reflected upon the animals makes them inclined to fight the instant they are free. Thousands of persons who watch these sports all expect them to fight, and the expectation of so many minds being reflected upon these poor animals gives them all the strength and desire for fighting.
There are snake charmers, who are supposed to attract snakes from their holes. Indeed, it is the music of the flute. But it is not always the music; it is the mind of the snake charmer reflected upon the snakes that attract the snakes out of their holes. The music becomes an excuse, a medium.
There are men who know a magic to drive certain flies from a house or garden. It has been known to happen that one of these men was able to drive all the flies from a place in one day. It was his mind reflecting upon their little insignificant minds. The power of affecting the mind of insects is an evidence of power, not a peculiarity. No doubt the human mind is incomparably greater in power and concentration, and naturally it projects is thought upon the objects it chooses to project upon. It is only the one who knows how to focus his mind who can do so. If a man drives flies away from a place, it does not mean that he has in his mind, a fly element, only that he can focus his mind upon flies, which another man would not be able to do. Because a person does not generally give his thought to it. He does not imagine that such a thing could happen. As he does not believe it, he cannot concentrate his mind on it. Even if he did reflect, just for an experiment, he would not succeed.
The will power develops by focusing one’s thought on a certain object of one’s concentration. Therefore, one can develop that particular thing better than any other thing by one’s will power. For instance, those who play brass instruments in a band, naturally develop the power of blowing instruments. They will also be able to play the wood instruments, clarinet or flute. But, at the same time, if they have practiced the horn, they can play the horn yet better than the flute, because, although there is blowing in both, they are accustomed to that special instrument.
So, it is with concentration. For instance, if a snake charmer with all his power of attracting snakes went near the bank and wanted to attract a purse, he could not very well do it. He can attract snakes, but he cannot attract a purse. At the same time, once the will power is developed in any direction, it will prove to be useful in all things one does.
There have been cases of horses having been able to give the answer to complicated mathematical problems to which those who put the question to them did not know the answer. It is the reflection of the teacher’s mind projected upon the mind of the horse, for the horse is not capable of doing mathematics, nor can it be made to be. In a kind of mediumistic process, a mathematical idea is projected upon the mind of the horse. It is possible that even the person who does it does not know it. But, his very effort to make the horse do mathematics has produced the result. The power of projection can be increased with the increase of will power. It can be developed by the development of will, of thought, of feeling. There is so much that we could learn in little things, which can reveal to us the greatest secret of life, if only our eyes were open and if we were eager to observe the phenomena.