From the newsletter, Sufis Speak.
Mind obviously is not the physical body, nor is it the spirit. It is the link between the two, the in-between. It is not a straight and simple in-between, it is so complex and tricky that many lose themselves, temporarily at least, in its labyrinths and concepts. Mind plays games. These games are often enjoyable, sometimes useful, often useless and worse. Pride, humility, judgments, grades, ranks, titles, hierarchies are some of these games, devoid of ultimate reality. Politics may sometimes save a person from a limited concept — most often to plunge him down into an equally limited concept, a rip-roaring game. This game may save a nation from excesses, but also prevent a wise council from ever being heeded. The mind jumps quickly from any mere word or gesture to irrelevant and often fateful conclusions.
Religion, is that clean and pure, the opposite of politics? It is only a hair’s breath removed, another entertaining and dangerous mind game, where people cling desperately to a concept which they mistakenly call “faith”. They mean creed. Faith is a larger thing, a surging force that borders on spirituality. In people’s minds this surging force may be confused with the mind concept they have and cause havoc to themselves and others.
Any criticism, expressed in words, of a person or a person’s belief or behaviour, is a mind trap. By that criticism you lie on that person, who is never a belief or a behaviour but a moving, surging power, never standing still or really a captive of any game, not for long at least. Inayat Khan used to say “by mentioning what you think is a person’s fault, you nail him to that fault, although luckily you may not succeed”.
The psychics and fortune tellers conduct not merely an exercise in futility but by their “predictions” may even cause what they predict. The weak-minded persons who commit most assassinations are influenced by the fierce desires of the predictors to see their guesses come true. A wise man, on the other hand, may perceive trends and without saying a word into the world of confusion, works to cause the best solution.
In Mathematics certain minds alert to symbols work their way toward solutions unattainable without the mathematical tool — though not unattainable to certain spiritual persons who arrive directly without the symbols. A similar approach is astrology, similar in that involved symbolism is in it. Astrology has not, in general, reached the level of mathematics. Some mathematicians have sniffed at it, and remark: There are several bases in use, each reaching different conclusions. Do you look at the heavenly bodies from the Earth? (most astrologers do), or from the sun? (heliocentric astrology) or are you based on the constellations? (called Hindu astrology, though all three factions are practiced in India). About the twelve zodiacs, is there anything basic to nature in these twelve
clusters, or are they merely a shortcut from the infinite number of points in the hemisphere? Has this been researched by competents or is the present practice just an inheritance from the past, indiscriminately used?
At the beginning of this century the Indian yogi Sri Yukteswar wrote in HOLY SCIENCE that the hindu astrology as then practiced were many thousands of years wrong in its calculations due to a “mistake that crept into the almanacs about 700 B.C.” As a consequence, he writes, the concept of the astrologers that we are now in a down point in the spiritual cycle is wrong. We are up and rising. Some have accepted this correction. Others have not.
There is no doubt about the close relationship of everything living, including man, woman, trees, animals, planets, sun and stars, all linked in a grand enjoyable rhythm that we should try to feel and know by all means at our disposal. Though a well known American astrologer Dane Rudhyar writes “Astrology, as I understand it, has no concern whatsoever with whether a conjunction of planets causes something to happen to a person or nation.” Paracelsus wrote in the fifteenth century, “Constellations are subordinate to the wise man. They have to follow him, not vice versa. Only a man still on the animalistic level is ruled by the planets.”
Inayat Khan was once asked if we ought not to consult astrologers, have our horoscopes read. From above presentation his answer may be appreciated, “Where are the astrologers?”