Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology
by Hazrat Inayat Khan
In Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology Hazrat Inayat Khan explores the purification and training of the psyche, its use as a tool in spiritual growth, and the inner teachings of the mystics on meditation, contemplation, intuition, visionary dreams, inspiration, revelation. This collection is the most comprehensive gathering of Inayat Khan’s teachings on the mind and its potential. The revised edition includes three new chapters as well as additional material, all from original sources.
“For the Sufi, the mind is a world of its own: a palace of mutually reflecting mirrors, in which imagination emerges creatively out of the divine mind—or sometimes runs riot. It is a self-creative realm, where everything thought acquires an existence having its own laws, irrespective of the physical universe. Here memories mesh with memories, moving out of the time-bound setting into the timeless. Here inventions outreach their utility, and ideas interface and cross-pollinate, averring themselves to be anonymous.”
—From the introduction by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.
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Editor’s note: Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology is made up of transcripts of lectures that Inayat Khan gave in the 1910s and 1920s. Some of this material has previously been published, scattered through a number of volumes in the Sufi Message Volume series. A large portion of it, including most of the paperbacks in part four, on psychic power and the higher vision, has never before been made public.
Read an excerpt from Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology:
“What I mean by psychology is the point of view of the thinkers; the way the wise look at life; the manner of the thoughtful; the ideas of those who know life more fully. Psychology is the science of human nature, human tendencies, human inclination, and human points of view. The more a man touches the depths of this science, the more it enlightens him, making life clearer to his vision. Psychology is that which bridges material science and esotericism.
I should mention first that the terms matter and spirit are for our convenience; as far as we perceive life as something tangible, we call it matter; and what is not tangible as a substance, but is, nonetheless, perceivable, we call spirit. The knowledge of this we call psychology; and esotericism is that knowledge which is gained not by perception nor by tangibility of substance, but by revelation. So we can divide the three different aspects of science into science, psychology, and esotericism. Science cannot be complete without psychology; nor can psychology be complete without esotericism. It is these three that make knowledge complete, and it is by these that one can hope to understand life more fully.
There is a vast field of knowledge in the realm of psychology. The knowledge of imagination and the same turning into thought; the knowledge of feeling and the same turning into emotion; the knowledge of passion and the same turning into expression; the knowledge of impulse and its outlet; the knowledge of impulse and its suppression; the knowledge of attraction and the knowledge of its contrary effect; the knowledge of sympathy and antipathy, their origin and source—all these belong to psychology. Psychology is the knowledge of tangible things, yet not of solid things that one can touch. Therefore, it is more difficult to explain the laws of psychology in words than to explain the laws of material science.
Perception must be developed and insight into life obtained in order to understand psychology better. It is the understanding of cause and effect in everything, in every action, in every aspect of life.”