A Course of Meditation


Clues in Our Psyche

Traces of the Beloved

Seeing Beauty

The Process of Ta'wil

Light Show
Sun Rises

Universe as Beings of Light

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Comparisons Between Sufism and Buddhism

Advanced Meditations for Upgrading Consciousness

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Inspired by the vision of
Hazrat Inayat Khan

We ask once more the question how does:
  • your consciousness and that of people;
  • matter;
  • the thinking of people;
  • the emotion of people and your own;
  • the programming of the Universe;
    appear when consciousness has been carried beyond our personal consciousness.

    Hazrat Inayat Khan:
    Man, with the maturity of his soul, desires to probe the depths of life. He desires to discover the power latent within him, he longs to know the source and goal of his life, he yearns to understand the aim and meaning of life, he wishes to understand the inner significance of things, and he wants to uncover all that is covered by form and name: he seeks for insight into cause and effect, he wants to touch the mystery of Time and Space, and he wishes to find the missing link between God and man—where man ends, where God begins. The Unity of Religious Ideals

    Meditation is diving deep within oneself, and soaring upwards into the higher spheres, expanding wider than the universe. Healing and the Mind World

    What Are the Levels of Consciousness?

    The Elementary Level

    In our commonplace experience we assume that we are the spectator experiencing matter which we take for granted is the real word. Also at this level our consciousness functions as the spectator that apprehends people’s thoughts which are articulated by language. In this perspective Hazrat Inayat Khan points out that the consciousness of the universe becomes limited in the personal consciousness of the individual.

    Hazrat Inayat Khan:
    That consciousness, which is divine or universal consciousness, has become limited. Healing and the Mind World

    …the real reason which is within…is suppressed beneath all the outer reasoning, and man seeks - more than the animal kingdom does - to get back something that has been lost. Supplementary Papers

    We never perceive the real world of matter. What we perceive is impressions of light and sound. These serve as clues that we interpret as being reality.

    The Sufis describe this elementary level of consciousness based on a saying in the Qur’an (paraphrased):

    God makes Himself known by clues, ayat, in the physical world and in your psyche.

    This first stage could be illustrated by sitting looking in the mountains, looking into a wonderful panorama, or going into a church and listening to the organ playing, or going to a wonderful service where candles are lit on the altar, or looking into the eyes of a baby, or witnessing a beautiful act of love or generosity. You can expand your consciousness. If God is making Himself known to you through the ayat, the signs that the physical universe is made of, it is like learning something about the bear through its pug marks, its signs.

    Ibn 'Arabi:
    He is known through the things.

    He does not know of God except he infers God’s being through his being.

    All that we know of Him is through ourselves...Thou seest thy attributes to be His attributes. Since we know Him by ourselves, we attribute to Him all that we attribute to ourselves.

    At this level, to find the reality inferred by the clue, one needs to follow the clue – ta’wil. Ibn 'Arabi:
    The signs alert us to what they manifest, what they reveal. The hidden treasure transpires through that which appears.

    It is by the contemplation of the ephemeral that God communicates to us the knowledge of Himself.

    On the other hand the ephemeral is not conceivable as such except in its relation to a principle from which it derives its own possibility.

    According to a Hadith which is founded on the basis of unveiling, but not by way of transmission, God said something like this: “I was a treasure but was not known, so I loved to be known and I created the creatures and made Myself known to them. Then they came to know Me, so He knew Himself through witnessing in the manifest.”

    But He knows that He could be known in respect of His transcendence (Huwiva) – in respect that He knows Himself in the principle of His Being. That which is revealed is not the world.

    Consequently the knowledge of itself through the divine perspective, insofar as its form appears to one as a form in God, is by necessity limited by our ability to grasp it through thyself. The perspective of unity is lost.

    More importantly these clues also apply to our understanding of ourselves and of others.

    One does project one’s psyche into the world. It is particularly true in the case of one’s problems. The first state in Yoga is to recognize that one doesn’t experience the world such as it is, but such as it appears to one from a personal vantage point. We think that we are trying to assess our problems. What we are doing is grappling with our impressions of our problems and not really our problems.

    The first thing is to know that you have to somehow not limit yourself to your vantage point because that sets a bias upon what you experience.

    You can expand your consciousness by getting into the consciousness of another person, like someone who is countering you in a situation. See how things look from the point of view of that person. Can you see from two different points of view at the same time?

    The Sufis say, “I see through his/her eyes.” It is a complementary perspective to your perspective. It goes even further, “I see him/her, I see myself, through his or her eyes.” Then you understand why the person is treating you the way they are because they assume you are what they think you are. Their assessment of you is not any better than your assessment of yourself. They are both incorrect, but at least you have an expanded view.

    If you were to extend this view more and more, then you would have this fantastic situation like you find in Khalil Gibran’s book, Jesus the Man, where Jesus is described by people who knew him at the time. It is all fiction, of course. The views are totally different, but somehow together they build an image of Jesus.

    The consequence is that you are not that impressed by the standpoint of people because you see it is totally incongruent. What people think of you is not reliable. You have freed yourself from the opinions people have of you.

    Hazrat Inayat Khan:
    It is the situation we are in that makes us believe we are this or that.

    There is a discrepancy, a disparity between the way our familiar concepts interpret our everyday experience and the real world. For example, responding to persons unfamiliar with quantum physics who need to imagine what an atom is like, some physicists have contrived to propose a three-dimensional space-time model of an atom. But reality, particularly at the atomic and sub-atomic level, cannot possibly fit in a model founded upon familiar concepts satisfying our common sense.

    This is the profound meaning of maya, illusion, delusion.

    “Khada! Khada!” Hoax, hoax!

    “Ya Muakhir!” Deceiver! O deceiver! Oh leader astray! When God reveals Himself to the sages, in an initial stage, he shows them a market in which only effigies of men and women are on sale; and those who venture in this market will never visit God. Oh God beguiles thee not only in this market, but also in that of the next world.

    We take those “effigies of men and women that God shows you in the markets of the world” to be what the persons we meet really are, but they are only the shadows of the reality that they feature. Ibn 'Arabi:
    God reveals Himself to the potentialities of His being by projecting His shadow.

    But reality manifests itself in the forms that appear in the shadow. Shadows only exist where there is light. God then withdraws the shadow.

    You may see the Real behind the veil of things. Unveiling conveys knowledge of the Real in the things. Things are like curtains over the Real. When they are lifted, unveiling takes place.

    When your soul has been purified and its mirror has been polished, do not consider the world to receive in it the picture of the world, but turn your soul towards the dignity of the Essence in its purity in the perspective of the cognizance that it has of itself.

    Yoga aims at eschewing the constraint in our grasp of meaningfulness. Constraint results from the way meaningfulness is diminished as it descends through the passageway in our psyche intersecting the compass of reality beyond our outreach. The interpretation of meaningfulness – that we try to fit inadequately into the simplistic logic of our commonplace thinking by cross-examining our thinking – is precisely what is meant by maya. Yoga reverses that process, proceeding from our commonplace interpretation of reality upwards, as it were, by dint of enlisting more sophisticated modes of logic. As Ouspensky showed: syllogistic logic is just one case of more encompassing modes of logic: for example ‘and’ instead of ‘or.’ Cf. Tertium Organum and A New Model for the Universe

    Hazrat Inayat Khan:
    The seekers of this never cast even a glance toward illusionary existence. Supplementary Papers

    What does Buddha mean – expanding our consciousness to the vast compass of the consciousness of the universe? Or does he mean hoisting our consciousness into the transcendental perspective of the universe?

    If you carry consciousness beyond the point where it is operating from a personal vantage point, matter, the thinking of people, their emotional motivations, and the modulations of the setting of their consciousness are seen in an encompassing perspective rather than being constrained by our commonplace, middle range view.

  • © 2002 Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan