The Art of Personality
Volume III, The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Centennial Edition
by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Includes the following books:
- Character Building
- The Art of Personality
- Moral Culture
- Consciousness and Personality
- Art and the Artist
- The Art of Music
People are everywhere to be found, but where is one to find a human being? Individuality is a given, says Hazrat Inayat Khan, but personality must be discovered and created. In a realized personality, the soul expresses its divine inheritance through its thoughts, words, and actions. Hazrat explains, “Personality is the development of individuality, and in personality, which is formed by character-building, is born that spirit which is the rebirth of the soul.” Character building is described as the very substance of Sufism.
The first two books in this volume, “Character Building” and “The Art of Personality,” together delineate a series of capacities of mind and heart that, when carefully contemplated and conscientiously enacted, ripen and refine an individual’s nature.
The next book, “Moral Culture,” contains three sections—on reciprocity, beneficence, and renunciation—that correspond to stages traditionally designated as the law (shari‘at), the path (tariqat), and the truth (haqiqat). By extension, these sections correspond to the contemplative stages that Hazrat names concentration, contemplation, and meditation.
The last three books consist of previously uncollected lectures on various subjects related to personality, art, and aesthetics. “Consciousness and Personality” includes talks on beauty, influence, innocence, dreams, the shadow, and human destiny. “Art and the Artist” presents Hazrat’s teachings on art and nature, copying and improving, observation and illusion, symbolism, art and religion. The final book is “The Art of Music,” which contains sections on Indian music, composition, dance, harmony, and music as a divine art.
For Hazrat, art in all of its forms is the creative manifestation of the unfurling of the human personality: art completes nature. “We can create new conditions, not make them worse. We are the world, we must know the value of our soul, our responsibilities. The Sufi purpose is to awaken the consciousness of these things in humanity. Our spirit can make us recognize what we are, and what the work of this life should be.”