Selections from the Writings of
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Attainment of the Inner Life

Complete Works of Pir-O-Mushid
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Original Texts
1922 II: September-December

In the attainment of the inner life there are five things necessary:

  1. The first thing that is necessary is the mastery of mind, and this is done by unlearning all that one has learned (in the outer world). It is like learning the language of a certain country, when wanting to go into another country where that language is not understood, nor the language of the latter country understood by one's self.
  2. The second thing in the attainment of the inner life is to seek a spiritual guide – someone whom a man can absolutely trust and have every confidence in, someone to whom he can look up, and with whom he is in sympathy, which would culminate in what is called devotion.
  3. The third thing necessary to spiritual attainment is the receiving of knowledge. This being the knowledge of the inner world, it cannot be compared with the knowledge one has learned before. That is why it is necessary to unlearn the former. There are three stages of receiving knowledge, which the one being guided has to go through.
  4. The fourth grade of attainment of the inner life is meditation. If one has unlearned all that he has learned, if one has a teacher, and if one has received the knowledge of the inner life, still meditation is one thing which is most necessary, which in the Sufi word is called "Riazat".

    Intellectual training no doubt has its use in the achievement of the inner life, but the principle thing is meditation. The study of one year and the meditation of one day are equal. In meditation the soul is charged with new light and life, with inspiration and vigor, in meditation there is every kind of blessing.

  5. The fifth necessity in the spiritual path is the living of the everyday life. There are not strict morals, which a spiritual guide enforces upon a person, for that work has been given to the outward religions. It is the esoteric side of spiritual work to which the outer morals belong, but the essence of morals is practiced by those treading the spiritual path.

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