Archives for posts with tag: the mysticism of sound and music

is not only indicative of man’s character, but it is the expression of his spirit. The voice is not only audible, but also visible to those who can see it. The voice makes impressions on the ethereal sphere, impressions which can be called audible; at the same time they are visible. Sound can be louder than the voice, but sound cannot be more living than the voice.

If you take careful notice in everyday life, you will find that sometimes before a person has finished his sentence you have become annoyed. It is not because of what he has said, but it is his v oice. And you will also notice — perhaps not every day in your life, but sometimes — that you once heard someone say something that has always remained with you: it gives always a beautiful feeling, it is always soothing, it is healing, it is uplifting, it is inspiring.

There are five different qualities of the voice, which are connected with the peculiar character of the person. 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 the fire quality.

Then there is the air quality of the 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 most intoxicating.

Question: Which is more powerful: to say something mentally or to say it aloud?

Answer: If you say it mentally and do not speak, it is powerful. If you speak and do not say it mentally, it is powerless. If you say it mentally and speak it at the same time, it is most powerful.

in the spiritual path is always what comes from ourselves. Man does not like to be a pupil, he likes to be a teacher. If man only knew that the greatness and perfection of the great ones, who have come from time to time to this world, was in their pupilship, and not in teaching! The greater the teacher, the better pupil he was. He learned from everyone, the great and the lowly, the wise and the foolish, the old and the young. He learned from their lives, and studied human nature in all its aspects.

The one who learns how to tread the spiritual path must become as an empty cup in order that the wine of music and harmony may be poured down into his heart. You may ask: ‘How can one become an empty cup?’ I shall tell you how cups show themselves instead of being empty. Often a person comes to me and says: ‘Here I am. Can you help me spiritually”‘, and I answer: ‘Yes.’ But then he says: ‘I want to know first of all what you think about life and death, or about the beginning and the end.’

And then I wonder what his attitude will be if his previously conceived opinion does not agree with mine. He wants to learn, yet he does not want to be empty. This means, going to the stream of water with one’s cup covered up: wanting the water, and yet the cup is closed, filled with preconceived ideas.

Where have the preconceived ideas come from? No idea can be called one’s own! All ideas have been learned from one source or another, but in time one comes to think that they are one’s own. F or these ideas one will argue and dispute, although they do not satisfy fully. At the same time they are one’s battleground, and all the time they will keep the cup covered up.

Mystics therefore have adopted a different way. They have learned a different course, and that course is self-effacement or, in other words, unlearning what one has learned. They say in the East that the first thing that is learned is to understand how to become a pupil. They do not first learn what God is, or what life is. The first thing to learn is how to become a pupil. One may think that in this way one loses one’s individuality. But what is individuality? Is it not that which is collected? What are one’s ideas and opinions? They are just collected knowledge. This should be unlearned.

How can one unlearn? You would say that the character of the mind is such that what one learns is engraved upon it, and how then can one unlearn it? Unlearning is completing knowledge. To see a person and say: ‘That person is wicked’ — that is learning. To see further, and recognize something good in that person — that is unlearning.

– Hazarat Inayat Khan

One of the reasons why music is called a celestial art is that it develops music in the personality of its lover.

Tone and rhythm, the principal elements which constitute music, are the only principles of this creation, and may be traced in its beginnings, in its continuity, and in its end. People of lofty and of low ideals, of amiable or unamiable disposition, show the difference of pitch in them. Balance in man, in his thought, speech and deed, in time show rhythm in him. The winning personalities of the world show music in their voice and words. And even before he utters a word, a person shows stupidity in the movements of his body, for they are unrhythmic.

Upon the rhythm of the breath health depends. This at once shows that both mind and body are sound when musical, and disorderly when unmusical.

All beauty in the realm of nature, art or personality is silent music. Every soul has been born on earth to love what is beautiful, and beauty is its only sustenance.

‘God is beautiful and He loves beauty.’ (Hadith)

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

was based on the science of cosmic vibration. Everything depends on vibratory conditions, including the position of the stars and planets, individuals, nations, races, and all objects. A great deal of the secret power, which the Hindus have found in the science of music, has been derived from the science of astrology. Every note of Indian music corresponds with a certain planet; every note has a certain colour; every note denotes a certain pitch of nature, a certain pitch of the animal world.

To an Indian, music is not an amusement or only for entertainment. It is something more than that. Music, for the Indian, is the food of his soul. It answers the deepest demand of his soul. Man is not only a physical body. Man has a mind, and behind the mind there is the soul. It is not only the body that hungers for food, the mind hungers for food, and the soul hungers for food. What generally happens is that man only ministers to his bodily needs and gives no attention to his inner existence and its demands. He experiences momentary satisfaction, then hungers again, not knowing that the soul is the fineness of man’s being. And so that unconscious craving of the soul remains.

In the undeveloped person that silent craving of the soul causes him to be disagreeable, restless, irritated. He does not feel contented with anything in life, he feels like quarreling and fighting. In the person of fine feeling this hunger of the soul expresses itself in depression or despair. He finds some satisfaction in love of reading, love of art. The soul feels buried in the outer, material world, and the soul feels satisfied and living when it is touched with fine vibrations. The finest matter is spirit, and the grossest spirit is matter. Music, being the finest of the arts, helps the soul rise above differences. It unites souls, because even words are not necessary. Music stands beyond words.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

rejoices in the comforts experienced by that external self, yet man becomes so engrossed in them that the soul’s true comfort is neglected. This keeps man dissatisfied through all the mometary comforts he may enjoy, but not understanding this he attributes the cause of his dissatisfaction to some unsatisfied desire in his life. The outlet of all earthly passions gives a momentary satisfaction, yet creates a tendency for more. In this struggle the satisfaction of the soul is overlooked by man who is constantly busied in the pursuit of his earthly enjoyment and comfort, depriving the soul of its true bliss. The true delight of the soul lies in love, harmony and beauty, the outcome of which is wisdom, calm and peace; the more constant they are the greater is the satisfaction of the soul.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan