Back SOUK - 6July 09 - Vibration & Light

6th July 2009

Tonight we continue with studying the teachings of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan of 1923. We are going back to something we talked about three weeks ago. Murshid talked about subtle centres within us that are not getting sustenance from the food and the air as our material body does, because they are made out of material that is more subtle than the body matter. He also mentioned that sometimes the food that we eat is counterproductive and actually blocks those subtle centres. For most of us, the feeding of our body and our mind - we are feeding our mind constantly with impressions - we are not aware that these subtle bodies that have to do with spiritual unfoldment go to sleep. We need to awaken to that need of awakening them. The Sufis call them lataif, which means the subtle ones, subtle centres. The Yogi name is chakras. We have all seen pictures of where the chakras are, we measure three fingers under our navel. Forget all about that. They are not in the body. If you want to think about them as in a parallel universe, that is safer. Think of them of in a superimposed body that is not the material body that we are used to. We are not really going to talk about the chakras or lataif today.

But what Murshid says is that they need two things as food: one is a subtle breath that can actually reach them. The other one is a vibration. There are many breathing exercises in all esoteric traditions that actually subtleize the breath so that the physical breath can actually reach those subtle bodies. In our path it is the Qasab. If you stick with it, eventually the breath becomes more subtle and more balanced. It is essential that you do not try to impose anything external to these subtle centres, because it is like trying to open a watch with an axe. The purpose of the mystic is to awaken those subtle centres, because then we become a lot more conscious of life, of the teachings we are to learn, we become a lot more conscious of our evolutionary process. So much about breath.

What about the vibration? Vibration is very important. For the Sufis and other mystics, vibrating holy names is believed to have an effect. When you read books on subatomic physics, it is absolutely remarkable that when they go into quantum mechanics they talk about exactly this. They are talking about vibration instead of particles or waves. There has been a fight in the scientific community for a long time about the nature of light; when you observe light and you expect it to act as a particle it acts as a particle; when you expect it to act as a wave it acts as a wave. But it cannot be both at once. Nobody has been able to explain. What is light when nobody is observing it many people have been asking. This is science arriving at where it should arrive, mysticism - and vice versa. But there is one theory which cannot yet be proved, that light cannot be both, something cannot exist in two different spaces at once, unless we accept the idea of parallel universes; then everything can exist in a multi-universe, multidimensional existence, which of course our mind cannot comprehend.

The vibration that Murshid is talking about is an-Nur, the Divine Light. The practice we do when we invoke that light is Ya-Nur. Everyone who has been on retreat has done that many times. To take Murshid’s word we need to subtleize our breath so that those centres can get sustenance and awaken, and we need to use the vibration of Nur. How can we use that vibration. We start by vibrating the sound, and as we get into the practice, very slowly dropping the vibration externally and sensing it internally, which is far more powerful. If you can imagine light or sound - how can we differentiate between the two? Because we have the senses that translate the vibration. So these translators, these radio receivers so to speak, translate the vibration into light and those into sound. But the vibration is the same. We can pick up different bits of it as light and sound, even as smell. Everything - as out friends the quantum physicists say - is a vibration. We are a vibration, every atom in our body constantly vibrates. This Nur is interesting.

What do other religions say about this? In Christianity there was a movement called Hesychasts, which literally means the ones that sit in silence. They were the people who went into the desert. Usually they were monks, trying to get away from the world and trying to find peace. But that was not their ultimate aim. Their ultimate aim was to experience the vision of Nur. They did not call it Nur, but they did have a name. They called it the unbuilt light, the uncreated light, which is exactly the way Sufis translate Nur. The Hesychasts had an idea that was eventually accepted by the whole of Orthodox Christianity that there are at least two sides to God. One is the essence of God, the other one is the actions of God, or energy of God. They believed an taught that no created being - us - could ever know anything of the essence of God. In Greek the word for essence is ουσία (ousia). Nobody can ever know something that has not been created and something that has not been creating. The essence is not partaking in creation. It is something that has always been, will always be, is immutable, unchangeable. It is totally beyond anybody’s comprehension. That is what the Sufis call Hu, the transcendend God that is beyond our understanding. The ενέργεια (energeia) which is the energy of God, the action of God, which creates the world, us, everything. That is the one that is also created by the interaction with creation. This we can know. That action of God, that energy of God, that operation of God, produces light. It is through the creative aspect of God that this other light, that uncreated light that Murshid calls Nur is mentioned. The aim of the Hesychasts was to experience a vision of that light.

That light is mentioned in the New Testament, in the Gospels, when Jesus was praying with some of the Apostles in the mountains. He became transfigured., radiant with light. The Apostles saw Elijah and Moses as beings of light with Jesus. That is celebrated in the church as the transfiguration of Christ. That light of the transfiguration is the manifesting of what we cal Nur, the unbuilt light. In Islam exactly the same thing happened, although there is no talk about transfiguration of the Prophet Mohammed, but the ya Nur is the light of Mohammed that he Muslims accept and want to reach. There was a huge debate for centuries between the Catholic and the Orthodox because the Catholic church did not accept the essence as opposed to the operations of God. They felt that these would lead to polytheism. In the New Testament there were four fathers who were very famous. They were so famous because they were not simple Christians anymore, they were highly educated. They started talking to the pagans, that means the people that were around Mediterranean times in their own language, in the language of philosophy. They started using the philosophical terms of the ancient Greeks, and they started disputing the polytheism of Aristotle and the other ancient Greeks, to defend Christian dogma. Their writings shaped what Christianity became. They were absolutely in favour of the Hesychasts, who were just poor men who went into the desert. Those four Patriarchs defended them. All this debate about the nature of God started until finally in the 1430s when there was a monk in Mount Athos who very thoroughly defended the whole dogma. The fear of the early church was that they would fall back into the polytheism of Paganism. The Pagans in their essence were not worshipping idols. In the depth polytheism was not worshipping idols. It was believing, accepting that God was in everything and everything was God. That is what the Sufis say - are the Sufis polytheists? As the Hesychasts said, there is a God that is knowable and there is a God beyond knowing. The knowable God is in everything, and everything is in the knowable God. If you only think of the knowable God, yes, that is polytheism. But if you accept that there is an essence of God that is beyond our knowing, then the polytheism and the monotheism unite.

We invoke the unbuilt light, Ya-Nur.

You can experiment with this, but remember t is the vibration that you work with that translates as sound. You will become aware of light as you do this. If you become aware of the overtones, because they are more subtle than the basic sounds, it helps. When you are working with overtones they produce other overtones.