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Hazrat Inayat Khan meets with Henry Ford

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Author Topic: Hazrat Inayat Khan meets with Henry Ford  (Read 70 times)
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« on: Aug 27, 2016 01:29 am »

A Magnate and a Mystic Meet
Henry Ford and Inayat Khan find common spiritual ground
By A. M. Smith
A genius of Oriental mysticism, and another genius, of
Occidental materialism, met last Wednesday, looked earnestly at
each other, and talked for an hour about the First Cause, the
world of matter, human existence, the souls of men, the stretches
of eternity before and after this little span of life. As they
warmed to the themes which have engaged the mind of man
through the ages, each smiled at the other as though he had
encountered a friend of long ago.
“I agree with you,” said Henry Ford.
“And I agree with you,” said Murshid Inayat Khan.
Murshid (teacher) Khan, exponent of that mysticism which
has flourished for centuries in the dreamland under the shadows
of the Himalayas, and who has been preaching in recent years
throughout Europe his gospel of self-forgetting meditation, is in
Detroit, giving lectures at the Twentieth Century Club.
Murshid Khan waited with his companions in the library of the
offices of the Ford Motor Company, at Dearborn. While he
waited he read the sketchy account of Mr. Ford’s philosophy of
religion in a recent magazine. He had just finished, and had laid
the magazine on the table. He was thinking of Mr. Ford’s
statement of his belief that in ages past mankind had possessed
knowledge of spiritual reality which has been sacrificed in these
materialistic, rushing latter days, with their strife for that which
is called progress.
Deliberate always in speech and manner, the elderly prophet
sat quietly thinking, but in the dark eyes was a query. That
sketchy article did not go far into the subject.
With the rapid step of the man of affairs, Mr. Ford came into
the room. Surely, here would be a clash of minds and theories!
“I have been waiting to meet you,” Mr. Ford said. “You are not
really a stranger to me.”
It shortly appeared that, not being able to attend the lectures
of Inayat Khan, Mr. Ford had been employing a stenographer to
report them verbatim. He produced the copies which had been
delivered to him, but which he had not had time to read.
“And now,” said Mr. Ford, “let’s compare notes. I seldom
discuss my own religious ideas. I think that every kind of
religion is doing good.”
“I think so too,” replied Inayat Khan, “but I think we all need
breathing space, time to think about deeper things than —” he
hesitated, as a smile played on his face.
“—Than automobiles,” Mr. Ford said, with a hearty laugh. “But
the power that makes the automobile go is, after all, invisible. It
is so with all things. I think the real power of human lives is
hidden away in the soul, and farther than that. There are actual
entities all about us, entities of force, intelligence—call them
electrons, if you like. When a man is doing what is right, they
swarm to help him.
“The smallest indivisible reality which exists is, to my mind,
intelligent and is waiting there to be used by human spirits if we
reach out and call them in. We rush too much with nervous
hands and worried minds. We are impatient for results. What we
need, and might have, is reinforcement of the soul by the
invisible power waiting to be used.”
“That,” said Murshid Khan, “completes the link in my
philosophy of the soul. I think there is One Being, all-embracing,
manifesting the primordial intelligence in every atom in this
universe. And there is a way to approach this spiritual reality and
to become linked with it.”
“And yours is the way of meditation, is it not?” asked Mr.
“Meditation, yes. Periods of shutting out all of the material
objectivity of the world, with emphasis, again and again, on the
unity of the soul with the Soul of the universe,” replied Inayat
“That, to my mind,” said Mr. Ford, “is the heart of personal
religion. I struggled for many years to solve the problem of
religion. But I believe that for mankind, at this stage, religion
opens the doors into unity of the soul with the real power back
of all things.
“But I found, as you have said, that if I quietly withdrew
from the nervous anxiety over things, inventions, and the
business that drives from every side, there was renewal of
strength in the thought of being a part of the great unseen power,
call it God, Intelligence, what you will, I do not feel that men can
find anything more helpful and satisfying.”
“Except,” said Inayat Khan, “if one realizes self-forgetting fully,
and unity with the One, there is surely peace and deep joy in
such an experience, and the human soul at that moment really
becomes creative.
“It is like the artist in the painting of a picture. It is never,
when finished, what he first planned. Creative inspiration comes
as he loses himself in the task. Completely absorbed in his work,
completely forgetful of self, shutting out the rest of the world, his
finished product is, at the last, a truly creative expression of the
self he has completely forgotten.
“And so, also, with the musician. The true musician always
goes into improvisation. If he is lost in his theme, immediately
the theme grows into beauty of harmony of which he had not
before dreamed. Whence comes the harmony he had never
before heard? The most beautiful music I ever heard Paderewski
play he improvised one day as I sat alone with him in his studio.
The best music has never been reduced to the printed sheet, and
cannot be, for it is the immediate creation of the soul that has lost
itself in the contemplation of the beauty of harmony.”
“That is the best symbolic statement I can make of the real unity
of the soul with the Source of all beauty and truth. What the true
musician really experiences is possible for all human souls in a
wider sense, in contact with the Source of life, power, beauty,
truth, peace. But that contact is made only by the forgetting of
self. I know of no terms in psychology by which the experience
can be stated or explained. But your musician, artist, poet, knows
at least the borderland of that experience.”
There was a moment of silence.
“Murshid Khan,” Mr. Ford said, “I think you are preaching
a gospel that men of all faiths can understand. No matter what
form it takes in doctrine, it is the thing Americans need. We can
explain nothing, really, if we try to follow through to the final
analysis. But I know there are reservoirs of spiritual strength
from which we human beings thoughtlessly cut ourselves off.
And I believe it is possible for us to put ourselves in vital touch
with them.”
“Then you have a real belief in God, Mr. Ford?”
“Why, of course,” was the quick reply. “Have not things
been created, or are they not being created constantly? I believe
we shall someday be able to know enough about the source of
power, and about the realm of the spirit to create something
“I firmly believe that mankind was once wiser about spiritual
things than we are today. What we now only believe, they knew.
But as we became wiser about the visible world, we lost the
wisdom of the unseen world, or it may be that we are only going
back to that wisdom by another route. I personally do not see any
difference between matter and sprit; they are both one. I seldom
say ‘spirit,’ because it seems to prejudice that expression of it
which we call matter.
“Our progress in mastery and use of the material world need
not interfere with our understanding and use of the spiritual.
Perhaps that deeper wisdom is what Jesus referred to when He
told us we must become as little children if we would enter the
“Do you think the souls of men are indestructible?”
“Everything is indestructible, nothing is ever lost,” Mr. Ford
replied. “Souls come and go, and they come again, prepared by
past experience for greater achievement and greater realization
of whatever eternal life holds for them.”
“It is a never ending circle of the life of spirits,” said Inayat
Khan. “We say, in the East, there is the Source of all radiating
into manifestations of the One Intelligence in all things and all
souls. There is the realm of the angelic, nearest the Source. Then
there is the realm of genius, which is manifested in this life in
some souls. And there are yet lower orders of manifestation of
the Source, like the rays of the Sun streaming out to the
farthermost reaches of the universe, attenuated, yet real. What
part the individual soul shall play in this emanation of the
Intelligence depends on the measure of unity it realizes with its
source of existence.”
“Still, while I think that if all believe in the never ending
activity of the soul here, elsewhere, or here again, I think if one
meditates too much there is not likely to be much work done!”
“But if one mediates somewhat,” replied Inayat Khan, “there
will really be much more work done, and better done, and with
it will be happiness and peace. I do not preach the denial of the
things of this world, nor do I condemn worldly accomplishment.
I preach only that with the things we must do here in the material
world there must also be real attainment in the world of the
“That is true,” replied Mr. Ford. “It is the real religion of life,
and we all need it.”
--“The Detroit News”, Sunday, February 7 , 1926
th 5

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peace ~ <3
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2016 02:29 pm »

Very interesting episode, did not know about the metaphysical interests of mr. Ford
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ding dong
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 2016 05:27 pm »

His son is a Hare Krishna, I believe...
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