of Hazrat Inayat Khan - teachings on music and spirituality
p. 163 - "The highest and most ideal
form of composition is that which expresses life,
character, emotions, and feelings, for this is
the inner world which is only seen by the eye
of the mind...Music loses its freedom by being
subject to the laws of technique, but mystics
in their sacred music, regardless of the world¹s
praise, free both their composition and improvisations
from the limitations of technicality."
p. 3 - "But among all the different arts,
the art of music has been especially considered
divine, because it is the exact miniature of the
law working through the whole universe."
- "But that magic charm of the voice is in the
natural voice. Every person is gifted. God has
given him a certain pitch, a natural note, and
if that pitch develops and he develops that natural
note, it is magic, he can perform a miracle...Apart
from singing, even in speaking, among one hundred
persons you will find one who speaks in his natural
voice, ninety-nine who imitate. They imitate someone
else; they do not know it."
p. 5 - "Besides the natural charm that
music has, it has a magical power, a power that
can be experienced even now. It seems that the
human race has lost a great deal of the ancient
science of magic, but if there remains any magic
it is music."
p. 9 - "According to the esoteric standpoint,
music is the beginning and the end of the universe.
All actions and movements made in the visible
and invisible world are musical. That is: they
are made up of vibrations pertaining to a certain
plane of existence."
p. 17 -
"Those who have probed the depth of material science
as far as modern science can reach, do not deny
the fact that the origin of the whole creation
is in movement, in other words; in vibration.
It is this original state of existence of life
which is called in the ancient tradition sound
or the word. The first manifestation of this sound
is therefore audible, the next manifestation visible.
In the forms of expression of life, life has expressed
itself first as sound, next as light."
p. 20 -
"The man of science says that the voice comes
from the spine, the diaphragm, the abdomen, and
the lungs, The mystic says that sound comes from
the soul, the heart, and the mind."
- "Thousands who have never thought of anything
but the self have gone, and we do not even know
that they have existed. The dead souls, the ordinary
people, go to hear that dead song. The living
soul hears the music that is alive."
p. 28 - "The attraction that one finds
in colour and in sound makes one wonder if there
is a mystery hidden behind them, if there is a
language of colour and sound which could be learned.
The answer is that the language of colour and
sound is the language of the soul, and that it
is our outward language which makes us confused
as to the meaning of that inner language."
- "Philosophy or science, mysticism or esotericism
will all agree on one point if they touch the
summit of their knowledge, and that point is that
behind the whole of creation, behind the whole
of manifestation - if there is any subtle trace
of life that can be found, it is motion, it is
movement, it is vibration. This motion has its
two aspects. There are two aspects because we
have developed two principal faculties: sight
and hearing. One aspect appeals to our hearing,
the other to our sight."
p. 43 - "...by speaking near such a plate
marks are made upon the plate with sound and vibrations.
Those marks make either harmonious or inharmonious
forms. If that is true, then every person, from
morning till evening, is making invisible forms
in space by what he says. He is creating invisible
vibrations around him, and so he is producing
- "Music, according to the ancient people, was
not a mechanical science or art: music was the
- "In order to keep their music [ancient music]
akin to nature, it was necessary to give liberty
to the singer and player to sing and play as he
wished. Naturally, uniformity was lacking, and
a standardized system could not be made. That
is why this music always remained an individualistic
art only - not an education. For this reason the
music of the ancient people had its advantages
and a great many disadvantages. The advantages
were this: a musician - a singer or player - was
never bound to sing in a particular way in order
to execute properly the music he wanted to play
before the public, but was always free to give
the music according to his inspiration at the
time. It gave him full liberty to express his
emotions, his passions, without any outward restrictions
which he should obey."
- "There are two aspects of life: the first is
that man is tuned by his surroundings, and the
second is that man can tune himself in spite of
p. 62 - "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 man¹s being. And so that unconscious craving
of the soul remains."
p. 67 - "We waste much energy
in useless speech. Among the old races we see
that a motion of the hands, an inclination of
the head, takes the place of words for many things."
- "As the form of every sound is different, so
every syllable has a certain effect, and therefore
every sound made, or word spoken before an object,
has charged that object with a certain magnetism.
This explains to us the method of the healers,
teachers, and mystics who, by the power of sound,
charged an object with their healing power, with
their power of thought. And when that object was
given as water or as food, that object brought
about a desired result."
p. 76 -
"The physical effect of sound has also a great
influence upon the human body. The whole mechanism,
the muscles, the blood circulation, the nerves,
are all moved by the power of vibration. As there
is a resonance for every sound, so the human body
is a living resonator for sound. Although by one
sound one can produce a resonance in all substances,
such as brass and copper, the there is no greater
and more living resonator of sound than the human
body. The effect of sound is upon each atom of
the body, for each atom resounds; on all glands,
on the circulation of the blood and on the pulsation
sound has its effect."
- "The voice 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.
Those scientists who have made experiments with
sound and who have taken impressions of the sound
on certain plates - which impressions appear like
forms - will find one day that the impression
of the voice is more living, more deep, and has
a greater effect. Sound can be louder than the
voice, but sound cannot be more living than the
- "If we study life today - in spite of the great
progress of science, radio, telephone, phonograph,
and all the wonders of this age - we find that
the psychological aspect of music, poetry, and
art does not seem to develop as it should. On
the contrary, it is going backward. And if we
ask what is the reason the answer will be that
the whole progress of humanity today is in the
first place a mechanical progress. This hinders
in a way the progress of individualism...But in
art especially, where the greatest freedom is
necessary, one is restricted by uniformity, painters
and musicians cannot get their work recognized.
They must follow the crowd instead of following
the great souls. All that is general is ordinary,
because the great mass of people is not highly
cultured. Things of beauty and good taste are
understood, enjoyed, and appreciated by few, and
there is no way for the artist to reach those
few. In this way, what is called uniformity has
become a hindrance to individual development."
For more gems, study
the book. There are far too many to post in this
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