Murshida Rani McLaughlin
Senior Teacher, Northwest Region
The Veil of Beauty by Murshida Rani
Truth without a veil is always uninteresting to the human mind.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, Bowl of Saki, Jan 3
The experience of beauty is at the center of the mystical teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan. He says that God has veiled the created world in beauty as the artist veils his or her meaning in word and thought, in melody or visual image. Beauty is the veil which covers the highest consciousness, protecting it from the gaze of the lower mind. It is said that no one may see the face of God directly - not because God refuses to be seen; but because the mind would be shattered by that vision. When Moses saw the burning bush and heard the Lord call out to him, it is said that he “hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:6) In Greek mythology the hunter Actaeon was torn to pieces by his own dogs when he gazed without permission on the Goddess Artemis bathing in the river. A story is told of a smart young adept in the Egyptian temple of Sais who unveiled the veiled image of the Goddess and whose tongue was paralyzed by what he saw. The unprepared mind may be driven mad by an unmediated vision of the Divine. Beauty veils our eyes until we may rightly understand, at the proper time.