The Way of Illumination inspires the reader with its Sufi philosophy, cast in a modern and universal form, on the purpose of life, the inner side of life in conjunction with life in the world. It sheds light on the essence of our nature, being of Divine origin. Hints are given as to what and how the Sufi way, with the help of ~ spiritual guide, can contribute to one's spiritual and religious development.
This is the first volume of the Indian edition of all the works intended for publication of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the great Sufi mystic who lectured and taught in the western world from 1910 until his passing away in 1927. This volume contains four parts: The Way of Illumination; The Inner Life; The Soul, Whence and Whither?; The Purpose of Life. "What is a Sufi? Strictly speaking, every seeker after the ultimate truth is really a Sufi, whether he calls himself that or not. Everybody can be called a Sufi either as long as he is seeking to understand life, or as soon as he is willing to believe mat every other human being will also find and touch the same ideal. When a person opposes or hinders the expression of a great deal, and is unwilling to believe that he will meet his fellow-men as soon as he has penetrated deeply enough into the very soul, he is preventing himself from realizing the unlimited. "
The Way of Illumination is a beautiful introduction to some major aspects of the universal Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The four parts include three of his earlier publications, The Way of Illumination, The Inner Life, and The Purpose of Life. Besides it contains a crucial treatise on the being of man The Soul, whence and whither'! which was given in the early 'twenties.
The title essay, The Way of Illumination, is a succinct presentation of his earlier teachings of Sufism. Much of it you will find elaborated in the further volumes of this series. It very much serves as a first guide both to those who seek inner guidance and initiation in the inner school as to those who simply seek for inspiration and attunement, for finding deep in oneself the spirit of the Self which essentially is the everlasting Life.
The Inner Life sheds further light on this journey of seeking and finding, going on in an upward spiral, donning one's life with ever growing insights and overwhelming views. Inner life is not separate from outer life. Nor does it require leaving the world renouncing all pleasures and comforts. It is the enrichment of life with qualities that will last, with a source of energy and love which is truly your own, permanently available if we but know how to tap it.
The Purpose of Life presents a further elaboration of the relationship between inner and outer life. What are we seeking for ?Life? Knowledge ?Power? Happiness? Love? Yes, sure. But do we find it? Yes, we do. At least it appears so. But it slips out of our hold sooner or later. It is not in our control. We depend upon things outside ourselves. Let us find our real being. All is to be found there, inside ourselves. And yet, if our purpose would only be for ourselves, where do we go? what is this all for? who is that being which is ourselves? The purpose of life is in the ideal. It is in serving one's fellow-men, in realizing that God is every- where, in ourselves, in our fellow-man, inside and outside, everywhere, anywhere. To realize this deeply is the purpose of life.
This is further presented in The Soul. A beautiful book describing the soul' s journey from its divine origin to manifestation going through the worlds of heart and mind before being born on earth; the nature of our being and how to understand our origin and destination, our nature and potentialities; and the journey back, through the same spheres of mind and heart, until the soul returns to its origin purified and yet enriched with an expanded consciousness.
In the edition of the' 60s some of the irregularities, due to the fact that his teaching was mostly oral, have been rectified. The present edition profits from recent research having been done in the archives. Footnotes refer to the Annotations and Revisions at the end of the book, resulting from this research, in some cases giving new insights as to the original text. They are presented in a concise form as corrections of the text which, to the best available knowledge at present, represent the original text as spoken by Hazrat Inayat Khan.
When viewing these revisions it will be clear that some are due to unclarities in the handwriting, or to different interpretations of the shorthand. Others have resulted from misunderstandings of the words as spoken.
We are happy to be in a position to present these improvements in this edition for the first time. For practical reasons and for a better under- standing the corrections have not been made in the text but in the special
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