Mental Purification and Healing
Hazrat Inayat Khan
▼ THE MIND WORLD
THE MIND WORLD
Has God a consciousness of the whole creation besides the consciousness He has of separate beings? This may be explained in this way: every part of one’s body is conscious of the pain that it has, if it suffers through pain from a sting or anything; but at the same time it is not that particular part only which is conscious of it. One’s whole consciousness shares in that pain. That means that the entire consciousness of a man experiences the same pain, which a part of his body experiences. And sometimes an illness in a part of the body has an effect upon the whole body. No doubt the part of the body which is affected by illness may show the sign of illness, while the other parts of the body may not show the sign of illness, yet in some measure they are affected and suffer through it. If God is all and in all, then He does not only experience life through all forms and through all entities separately, but also collectively, as the pain of one organ is experienced by the whole body.
We see that our life is full of impressions, which we receive consciously or unconsciously, and from these we derive either benefit or disadvantage. We learn from this that if we had the power to receive or to reject reflections, we should become the masters of life. And now the question is how to learn this. How can we manage to receive impressions, which are beneficial, and also to reject those that we do not wish to receive? The first and most essential thing is to make the heart a living heart, by purifying it from all undesirable impressions; by clearing it of fixed thoughts and beliefs, and then by giving it a life. And that life is within itself, and is love. When the heart is so prepared then by means of concentration one must learn how to focus his heart to receive a certain reflection. A poet, a musician, a writer, a thinker, unconsciously focuses his mind on the work of someone who has lived before him, and by focusing his mind on the work of a great personality, he comes in contact with that personality, and he drives benefit from it, very often without knowing the secret. A young musician may be thinking of Bach or Beethoven or Wagner. By focusing his mind on that particular work, he derives, without knowing it, a reflection of the spirit of Wagner or Beethoven, which is a great help to his work. And he expresses in his work the reflection that he receives.
This teaches us as we go on in the path of spiritual attainment; we arrive at a stage when we are able to focus our mind, our heart on God. And there we do not only receive the reflection of personality, but the reflection of all personalities. Then we do not see in the form of a drop, but in the form of an ocean. There we have the perfect reflection, if we can only focus our heart on God.
Why is it that among simple and illiterate people a belief in God is to be found, and among the most intellectual, there seems to be a lack of that belief? The answer is that the intellectual ones have their reason. They will not believe in what they do not see. And if methods such as those of the old faiths and beliefs were prescribed, of worshipping God by worshipping the sun, or a sacred tree, or a sacred animal, or worshipping God before a shrine or altar, or an image of some idol, the intellectual today would say, ‘This is something which I have made, this is something which I have known.’ It is an object, it is not a person, and in this way the intellectual person seems to be lost. The un-intellectual ones have their belief in God and they stay there, they do not go any further, nor are they benefited by their belief.
But the process that the wise consider best for the seeker after truth to adopt is the process of first idealizing God and then realizing God. In other words: first make God and then God will make you. As you read in the Gayan: ‘Make God a reality, and God will make you the truth.’
This may be understood by a story. There was an artist; this artist was devoted to her art. Nothing in the world has attraction for her. She had a studio, and whenever she had a moment to spare, her first thought was to go into her studio and to work on a statue that she was making. People could not understand her, for it is not everybody who is devoted to one thing like this. For a time a person interests himself in art, at other times in the theatre. But she did not mind she went everyday into her studio and spent most of her time in making this work of art, the only work of art that she made in her life. And the more the work progressed, the more she began to feel delighted with it, attracted to the beauty to which she was devoting her time. And it began to manifest to her eyes, and she began to communicate with that beauty. It was no longer a statue for her, it was a living being. The moment the statue was finished, she could not believe her eyes that it had been made by her. She forgot the work that she had put into this statue and the time that this statue had taken, the thought, the enthusiasm. She became absorbed in its beauty. The world did not exist for her. It was this beauty which was produced before her. She could not believe for a moment that this could be a dead statue. She saw there a living beauty, more living than anything else in the world, inspiring and revealing. She felt exalted by the beauty of this statue.
And she was so overcome by the impression this statue made on her that she knelt down before this perfect vision of beauty, with all humility, and asked the statue to speak, forgetting entirely that it was her own work, that this was a statue she had made. And as God is in all things and all beings, as God Himself is all beauty that there is, and as God answers from everywhere if the heart is ready to listen to that answer, and as God is ready to communicate with the soul who is awakened to the beauty of God, there came a voice from the statue: ‘If you love me, there is only one condition. And that is, to take this bowl of poison from my hand. If you wish me to be living, you no more will live. Is it acceptable?’ ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘You are beauty, you are the beloved, you are the one to whom I give all my thought, my admiration, my worship. Even my life I will give to you.’ ‘Then take this bowl of poison,’ said the statue, ‘that you may no longer be.’ For her it was nectar to feel, ‘I shall now be free from being. That beauty will be, the beauty that I have worshipped and admired will remain. I no longer need be.’ She took the bowl of poison and fell dead. The statue lifted her and kissed her by giving her its own life, the life of beauty and sacredness, the life, which is everlasting and eternal.
This story is an allegory of the worship of God. God is made first. And the artists who have made God were the prophets, the teachers, who have come from time to time. They have been the artists who have made God. When the world was not evolved enough they made God of rock. When the world was a little more advanced, they gave God words. In praise of God, they pictured the image of God, and they gave to humanity a high conception of God by making a throne for Him. Instead of making it in stone, they made it in the heart of man.
When this reflection of God, who is all beauty, majesty and excellence, is fully reflected in a person, then naturally he is focused on God. And from this phenomenon, that which arises out of the heart of the worshipper is the love and light, the beauty and power which belong to God. It is therefore, that one seeks God in the godly.