Parsifal/Sufi Connection

As I research Parsifal/-zifal, I like to jot unexpected correspondences. Here is one involving the Sufi tradition. The quick quote below is included in a Sufi meditation manual that came into my possession a year and a half ago.

“The radiance of the streamers emanating from the shoulder blades has, when unfolded, often been compared by Sufi’s with a mantle of light. In the Parsifal legends, it was because there were holes in the mantle of Anfortas that the evil forces of the night were able to attack him.” Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing: A Manual of Meditation. 2014. p47

Anafortas: the wounded Fisher King who guard the Grail at Munsalvaesche.

[Perceval arrives at the Grail Castle, to be greeted by the Fisher King. From a 1330 manuscript of Perceval ou Le Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes, BnF Français 12577, fol. 18v]


Below is the context in which the quote above is presented. The reader is being given meditation methods to enliven these ideas. Parsifal is not mentioned again.

The (life) energy fields includes the electrostatic and electromagnetic fields, the aura, called bioluminescence (light body?), the sonic field, and perhaps fields of other alternate forces (chi force; etheric body, which pulses with your breath; celestial body.) p46

“The energy in the human electromagnetic field flows in manifold ways. You may distinguish [sic. seven total ways including]…..vi) streamers (plumes of energy). ” p46

The concept of energy pluming from your body can be illustrated by:

1) Energy streaming above the head, like the Pentecostal tongues of flame

2) Energy flashing from the temples “as the winged thoughts of Greek Mythology”

3) Energy pluming out from behind the shoulder blades as winglike or cloaklike.

4) Plumes around the temples, included with the wings of the Seraphim.

5) Plumes around the shoulder blades and ankles, as the wings found in images of Hermes or Mercury.


Khan proposes that attributing validity to the existence of such “higher” fields that have so far not yielded to the measurement of science, enables the accounting for some of the uncanny bouts of energy to which contemplatives refer. Examples:

  • The quickening of the Holy Spirit to Christian mystics
  • Ruh al-quddus to Sufi
  • The Shekina among Jewish mystics.

“Actually, we [sic. science & mysticism] have been going along with the assumption that the body emits these fields, but what if the electromagnetic field, in fact, all components of the life field, were the templates, the mold, in which the body is being formed?” p. 47


One related meditation practice is listed among other practices given in this section.

  • “Try to feel such streamers emanating from your shoulder blades. Envision them as unfolded and draped around your back, affording a kind of protection, or even as the robe investing the initiate into the Hermetic tradition. All the above practices will need to be extended to the aura of light.”p48

Author: writtencasey

I am fascinated by the scientific endeavor and I read about or engage with those processes as much as possible. I am a compulsive reader and writer. With a background in anthropology and as an arm-chair/backyard scientist, I hope to improve my writing skills and learn about any areas of weakness or misunderstanding in my analytic skills. I am excited to share. Thank you for spending time here. Please reach out if you are so inclined. I'd be excited to hear from you.

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