The man of God is drunken without wine, .... Rumi

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mullah Nasrudin the priest and the minister

Mullah Nasrudin was walking in the countryside with a priest and a minister. It was a hot day and they were sweating profusely. Nasrudin cried aloud, “Dear God, we are three of your hard working servants, please let us find solace from this heat.”
Just then they came to a large pond. Since there was no one around and they had no swimming custumes, they quickly disrobed and began cooling themselves as God had created them.
Unfortunately some mischievous children discovered their clerical robes and took them for fun and started screaming for the villagers to come and look.
The priest and the minister ran out of the pond covering their genitals. Nasrudin too ran out but he covered his face. The minister said, “Don’t you have any shame. Why do cover your face?”
Nasrudin replied, “That’s the part of my anatomy my congregation knows.”

Is there message in this story?

It seems to me that Nasrudin, the muslim was more concerned about protecting his image and good name as a religious leader, where as the priest and minister were concerned about maintaining modesty.

What do you think? Who is right?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

12c Spanish mystic Ibn Arabi wrote "God in whose existence one believes is the Divinity built according to the conjecture of the servant" This is the qualification that the servant has conjectured within himself and which he worships in accordace with it, and he puts God into his own narrow frame. Therefore he condems the belief of anybody which does not accord with his own belief. ..... Were he tolerant he would not have done so.... .

The Kernel of the Kernel by Ibn Arabi, Commentary by Ismail Hakki Bursevi  (1552 -1728)  English tranlation by Bulent Rauf

Thursday, February 05, 2009


The ecstatic mystic Bayezid Bistami (9th C), expressed this primal truth:
I saw my Lord in my dreams and I asked, "How am I to find You?"
He replied. "Leave yourself and come!"

Monday, November 10, 2008



A man was chased off a cliff by a tiger. He fell, and just managed to hold onto a branch. Six feet above him stood the tiger, snarling. A hundred feet below, a violent sea lashed fierce-looking rocks. To his horror, he noticed that the branch he was clutching was being gnawed at its roots by two rats. Seeing he was doomed, he cried out, 'O Lord, save me!' He heard a Voice reply, 'Of course, I will save you. But first, let go of the branch!' [Traditional Sufi] "

We must let go of our attachment to the earthly world receive spiritual help.

A town is threatened with flooding, and the police evacuate folk in the floodplain. One guy refuses to leave. As the waters rise, a fire engine, comes to save him, but refuses to be rescued saying saying, "I trust that God will save me." By tis time the flood water is so high that he is forced on to the roof of his house, then a motorboat comes to resue him, again refuses to be rescued saying saying, "I trust that God will save me." Then a helicopter tries to pluck the house roof and he refudses sayingrefuses to be rescued saying saying, "I trust that God will save me.". Finally he is washed away. When he finds himself before the throne of God, he is indignant. "Why didn't you save me from the flood?" he demands of the Almighty. God replies, "What do you think the cop, fire engine, boat and helicopter were all about?"

Sometimes we do not recognize Gods help

Sunday, October 12, 2008


A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost. Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch. The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep shit now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here." Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terrorcomes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!" says the leopard,"That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree,figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard.So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed,and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard,spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey,hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!" Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks,"What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

Moral of this story... Don't mess with old farts...age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

Bull shit and brilliance only come with age and experience!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Click Here
Mullah Nasruddin:

"Once a renowned philosopher and moralist was traveling through Nasruddin's village when he asked him where there was a good place to eat. He suggested a place and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Mullah Nasruddin to join him. Much obliged, Mullah Nasruddin accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special of the day.
- Fish! Fresh Fish! replied the waiter.
- Bring us two, they answered.
A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two cooked fish on it, one of which was quite a bit smaller than the other. Without hesitating, Mullah Nasruddin picked the larger of the fish and put in on his plate. The scholar, giving Mullah Nasruddin a look of intense disbelief, proceed to tell him that what he did was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system. Mullah Nasruddin calmly listened to the philosopher's extempore lecture patiently, and when he had finally exhausted his resources, Mullah Nasruddin said,
- Well, Sir, what would you have done?
- I, being a conscientious human, would have taken the smaller fish for myself.
- And here you are, Mullah Nasruddin said, and placed the smaller fish on the gentleman's plate. "

Thursday, September 18, 2008


A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit.
The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs asked him, "Why did you continue jumping. Didn't you hear us?"
The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story holds two lessons:
1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.
2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path.
The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times.

Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

[author unknown]

I would like be like the special individual, above, who takes the time to encourage others, but I think I am more like the deaf frog who cant hear those people telling me to stop "being and doing" because I am too old.

Thursday, August 28, 2008



'Since Mysticism in all ages and countries is fundamentally the same, however it may be modified by its peculiar environ­ment and by the positive religion to which it clings for support, we find remote and unrelated systems showing an extra­ordinarily close likeness and even coinciding in many features of verbal expression. . . . Many writers on Sufism have dis­regarded this principle; hence the confusion which long prevailed.'

In the light of this timely remark by Nicholson!, no one should be surprised to find that the doctrine of the' Oneness of Being (Wahidat al-Wujud) , which holds a central place in all the orthodox mysticisms of Asia, holds an equally central place in Sufism.

As is to be expected in view of its centrality, some of the most perfect, though elliptical, formulations of this doctrine are to be found in the Quran, which affirms expressly:

“Wheresoe'er ye turn, there is the Face of God."

"Everything perisheth but His Face.”

“All that is therein suffereth extinction, and there remaineth the Face of thy Lord in Its Majesty and Bounty."

Creation, which is subject to time and space and non­terrestrial modes of duration and extent which the human imagination cannot grasp, is 'then' (with reference to both past and future) and 'there', but it is never truly 'now' and 'here'. The True Present is the prerogative of God Alone, for It is no less than the Eternity and Infinity which transcends, penetrates and embraces all durations and extents, being not only 'before' all beginnings but also 'after' all ends. In It, that is, in the Eternal Now and Infinite Here, all that is perishable has 'already' perished, all that is liable to extinction has 'already' been extinguished leaving only God, .......

“Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century” p 121, Martin Lings

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I plant some flowers without you,
they become thorns.
I see a peacock, it turns into a snake.
I play the rubaab* – nothing but noise.
I go to the highest heaven, it's a burning hell.

- Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
A Garden Beyond Paradise
The Mystical Poetry of Rumi
Bantam Books, 1992

* Harp

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


By Abu Bakr Siraj Ed-Din (Martin Lings)
Samual Weiser New York 1974 (First published 1952)
Moses said to his household:

"Verily beyond all doubt I have seen a fire. I will bring you tidings of it or I will bring you a flaming brand that ye may warm yourselves."
(Quran xxvii.7)

In every esoteric doctrine there are references to three degrees of faith, and in Islamic Mysticism, that is, in Sufism, these three degrees are known as

  • Lore of Certainty (‘ilmu ‘l-yaqin). the
  • Eye of Certainty (‘ainu ’l-yaqin) and the
  • Truth of Certainty (‘haqqu ‘l-yaqin).
The difference between them is illustrated by taking the element fire to represent the Divine Truth. The lowest degree, that of the Lore of Certainty belongs to one whose knowledge of fire comes merely from hearing it described, like those who received from Moses no more than “tidings” of the Burning Bush.

The second degree, that of the Eye of Certainty, belongs to one whose knowledge of fire comes from seeing the light of its flames, like those who were shown a firebrand.

The highest degree, that of the Truth of Certainty, belongs to one whose knowledge of fire comes from being burnt in it. This ultimate possibility is represented in the above verse by the direct experience of those who are allowed to “warm themselves” at the fire. But Arabic word used here (tastalun) is in itself open to the full range of possibility of experiencing the fire directly and could be translated, apart from its literal context, “that ye may be consumed”.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Having recently undergone open heart surgery, and experienced the resulting physical and emotional trauma, I feel as though I have been on a dramatic journey that has taken me, right up to the edge of the next world and with the Grace of God, back to this world. Thankfully, the heart surgery appears to have been successful and I am back to normal.

My firm belief in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah and my faith in God and the power of prayer have been responsible for my recovery, and I am grateful that I have been given my life back.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I seem to be more contemplative than usual during the days leading up to my heart surgery on 30 Dec 2007.

Here are some of the thoughts running through my mind

These may be my last days for life as I have known it, so I should try to enjoy them. I feel sure that my life will go on, either in this world or the next and this knowledge makes me feel quite happy and relaxed.

I am happy because I have Faith - and believe that there is a God and that there is only one God and therefore only one religion, "The Religion of God". What we actually see is a multitude of religions all praying (sometimes unknowingly) to the same God and each trying to achieve supremecy over the others. This situation prevents the world from achieving peace. All religions should give absolute priority to achieving unity amongst themselves so that universal peace becomes a possibility. Achieving peace is the responsibility of religions because "true peace" is a spiritual condition not a politicalone.

God is unkowble in His Essence and I understand that the only way to really know Him is through his Messengers, Prophets and Manifestations. eg Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Bab and Baha'u'llah, who have and will come in the future to revive our understanding of the knowledge of God and our spiritual awareness. They also bring new social laws and guidelines that are relevant to the time. As a Baha'i I believe that the relevant Manifestation of God for the current era is Baha'u'llah and that He will not be the last.

I am happy because I believe that humans are spiritual beings with a soul that forms an association with the body at the time of conception. The real life in this world is the life of the Soul and the body rather than the that of the physical body alone.

I am happy because, as a spiritual being, I am endowed with a capacity to live and express all of the attributes and qualities of God, such as Kindness, Joyousness, Happiness, Compassion, Patience, Trustworthiness, Love etc etc. I have been endowed with these spiritual qualities and not with original sin or guilt.

I love EVERYONE because we are all spiritual beings. I love them for what they are, not for what they do or say or because of their their colour, race or religion. Why would I not love everyone, God loves everyone, unconditionally.

If we believe, and have faith in God, then God's love can reach out to us and change our lives for the better. If you do not "believe" that God exists, He will still love you, but you may not be able to experience His Blessings and achieve a spiritual and meaningful life.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Where Dreams and Snowflakes Dance - Nutcracker Suite

I relate to beauty like this Beauty

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


In my opinion intolerance and prejudice and are based on fear and ignorance.

The facts about multiculturism in Australia at the official Government website.

'Multicultural' is a term that describes the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australian society. Cultural and linguistic diversity was a feature of life for the first Australians, well before European settlement. It remains a feature of modern Australian life, and it continues to give us distinct social, cultural and business advantages. The Australian Government's multicultural policy addresses the consequences of this diversity in the interests of the individual and society as a whole. It recognises, accepts, respects and celebrates our cultural diversity. The freedom of all Australians to express and share their cultural values is dependent on their abiding by mutual civic obligations. More here

We should focus on the human and ethical values that all human beings hold in common, instead of superficiual cultural and religious differences?

This quotation and the link express my views

"Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship - Baha'u'llah"

Monday, January 01, 2007


Beautiful singing by Liel

She's still a teenager but already has been dubbed the next Celine Dion, and performed with the likes of former president Bill Clinton and opera legend Jose Carreras. Meet Liel, an Israeli singer who's on the way to becoming a huge star.

The then 16-year-old first started singing when she was four, but it wasn't until she won a major European talent contest at the age of 11 that she really made her mark. She's particularly popular in Germany, where she's appeared on numerous TV shows and played concerts everywhere from Leipzig to Berlin

Well worth a listen

More about Liel

Friday, June 23, 2006


"I AM the Mystic Fane which the Hand of Omnipotence hath reared. I am the Lamp which the Finger of God hath lit within its niche and caused to shine with deathless splendour."
(Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p74)

This utterance clearly establishes the mystical source of the Bahá'í Faith in the supernal station of the Manifestation of God. We invite you to read the mystical writings of our beloved faith, and then, wherever you journey, may this blessing of Bahá'u'lláh go with you:

"Peace be upon him that inclineth his ear unto the melody of the Mystic Bird calling from the Sadratu'l-Muntahá!"
(Bahá'u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Íqan, p257)



Saturday, April 01, 2006


Roland Fischer has collected data from both his own work and the work of others in order to describe the psychological and neuro-physiological of various mystic states.[5] He has described two directions in which consciousness can be altered, he describes these two pathways as the ergotropic pathway of increasing arousal culminating at the extreme in mystical ecstasy and the trophotropic pathway of decreasing arousal culminating in deep trance. These two pathways can be simulated by drugs such as L.S.D. and mescaline for the ergotropic and alcohol and diazepam for the trophotropic and in other ways. These two pathways can be desonatrated to be different in that, for example, the electroencephalogram (EEG) shows increasingly higher frequency discharges on the ergotropic and increasingly lower frequency discharges on the trophotropic pathways; saccadic eye movement increases while the just-noticeable difference in sensory input decreases along the ergotropic pathway while the opposite occurs along the trophotropic pathway.[6] However, these two pathways should not, for reasons that will become clear presently, be considered as opposite for they are in fact paths that proceed in parallel. Some of the features of these two pathways can be seen in the following diagram adapted from Fischer:[7]

More here

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



Monday, December 26, 2005


The Baha'is: "One Religion, Different Names

Some people view the world's religions as opposing groups competing for supporters.

Baha'u'llah did not see it that way. He said they were all one. Their central truths are harmonized; the social laws, however, change according to the times.
Recognizing this unity among religions will help us create a peaceful global society. You are invited to investigate."

Continue here

My Baha'i Blog http

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Many people find it quite difficult to tap into the inspirational mode or meditation, and various methods have been developed by religious, philosophical and human development groups to assist their members to get started. According to Eric Harrison (from the Perth Meditation Centre) who wrote "Teach Yourself to Meditate," meditation is more than just being relaxed. Meditation is a calm and yet alert state of mind. It is when the body is relaxed and the mind is focused. It is when thoughts drop aside, and we are at one with the sensation of the moment. It has also been said that meditation is "like coming home" to oneself. On the other hand, he says, relaxation, which is often confused with meditation is when the mind wanders. It may drift between sleep, fantasy, and thought. We may be only half-awake and not even know what we are thinking. Relaxation is a pleasant state; but out of control.We are most likely to be calm and alert when we are focussed on something we enjoy. It may be while we are; listening to music, watching birds in the backyard, doing yoga, dancing or exercise with awareness, having a shower, eating a peach, arranging flowers, or some other creative activity. So, in meditation, we calm the body and keep the mind alert by focussing on something that keeps us awake and we withhold distracting thoughts.

More about meditation

Sunday, August 28, 2005


There are well established criteria for processing information.
Sense perceptions
Intellect and reason
Human spirit, emotion and feeling
The senses are the most immediate instrument through which mankind keeps in touch physical reality. This attribute of physical sensing is shared by man and animals, and some animals it seems are more generously endowed than man.
The sense perceptions are the lowest human degree of understanding and sense perception taken alone is not reliable. It is well known how we can be deceived by optical illusion.

Intellect and Reason
Intellect is the instrument through which mankind can know abstract reality through words and symbols. Intellect is an important agent of knowledge because it allows us to transcend some of the limitations of sense perception. However, like sense perceptions, the intellect also has its limitations and can be misleading. For example scientific theories often prove to be false by subsequent studies and many great scientific scholars fail to agree on important issues.
Human Spirit
Emotion is how we feel and react to situations. Emotions are not independent of body and mind and they seem to have positive or negative values The natural emotions are blameworthy and are like rust which deprives the heart of the bounties of God. But sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love ...... will purify the mirror and make it radiant with reflected rays from the Sun of Truth. Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, page 244)
'Abdu'l-Baha suggests that each one of these criteria is limited, and any one of them taken alone or out of balance can be misleading or misunderstood. For true understanding we are encouraged to test one against the other the senses verses the rational verses the emotional.
Inspiration is another, higher level of understanding and knowledge. Inspiration is a power unique in mankind, it directly discerns the reality of things, independent of perception and reason and emotion. Inspiration is described as the meditative faculties. However, inspiration used alone, like the others can also be misleading. The Baha'i writings express the need to remove the dust from the mirror of the soul in order that we may reflect
What happens when all avenues processing knowledge are harmoniously combined? To me, this is like unlocking the door. The whole world seems to change for the better. I find an interesting parallel between this process and when an artist completes a painting that really "works". Bingo! The bells ring and the cymbals clang, and we become "inspired"

Baha'u'llah describes the condition that is reached after earnest search for truth in a grand and poetic manner. the seeker will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. .... (Gleanings, page 267)
The key to this transformation? It is more than the harmonious processing of information and knowledge. It is more than intellectualising concepts and processes. It starts with detachment and finishes with prayer, meditation and service.
Robert Abrahams


Blue Fairy Posted by Hello

Friday, August 26, 2005


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Neighbour's Dog

Mulla Nasrudin's neighbour had a dog that barked all night.  

So Nasrudin bought the dog from his neighbour.  

"I suppose you're going to get rid of it Mulla." asked a crony.  "Not likely!" said the Mulla, "Why should I pay good money and not get my own back?  I'm keeping the dog in my own house!

Let the people next door find out what it's like to have a neighbour with a barking dog!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Poems from the Divan-I Shams-I Tabriz, c. 1270 CE

Medieval Sourcebook: Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273): Poems from the Divan-I Shams-I Tabriz, c. 1270 CE:

Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273):

"The man of God is drunken without wine,
The man of God is full without meat.
The man of God is distraught and bewildered,
The man of God has no food or sleep.
The man of God is a king 'neath dervish-cloak,
The man of God is a treasure in a ruin.
The man of God is not of air and earth,
The man of God is not of fire and water.
The man of God is a boundless sea,
The man of God rains pearls without a cloud.
The man of God has hundred moons and skies,
The man of God has hundred suns.
The man of God is made wise by the Truth,
The man of God is not learned from book.
The man of God is beyond infidelity and religion,
To the man of God right and wrong are alike.
The man of God has ridden away from Not-being,
The man of God is gloriously attended.
The man of God is concealed, Shamsi Din;
The man of God do you seek and find! "

Monday, July 18, 2005


It may be possible to obtain a better understanding the meaning of "fear of God" by studying other religious traditions such as the Baha'i Faith and Islam."

More here:

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Give Little Money

Mullah Nasruddin:

"One day Nasruddin repaired tiles on the roof of his house. While Nasruddin was working on the roof, a stranger knocked the door.
- What do you want? Nasruddin shouted out.
- Come down, replied stranger So I can tell it.
Nasruddin unwilling and slowly climbed down the ladder.
- Well! replied Nasruddin, what was the important thing?
- Could you give little money to this poor old man? begged stranger.
Tired Nasruddin started to climb up the ladder and said,
- Follow me up to the roof.
When both Nasruddin and beggar were upside, on the roof, Nasruddin said,
- The answer is no! "

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water. After a while, another ape attempts with the same result-all the apes are sprayed with cold water. Turn off the cold water. If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it although no water sprays them.
Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The New ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not? "Because that's the way it's always been around here." Sound familiar?

Edited by Robert Abrahams


Many years ago a Sufi teacher said: If a withering leaf says by its appearance that it needs water and because you have the power to provide it, you also have the duty to do so. The "words" of the leaf crying for help, the manifestation of the command of the Creator of the leaf, are being addressed to you. So, should you wait for a personal command from the Creator (God) before taking action to help? Ask yourself, why the path to divine knowledge (or spiritual transformation) has been given to you. Is it just there to ignore and neglect? Once you have an understanding of the potential for your own spiritual transformation it can become a spiritual, obligation (duty) for you to water that withering leaf.

To me, this story is about desire to serve humanity.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Christian Mysticism

Inner Explorations Here

Christian Mysticism:
Where the mysticism of John of the Cross enters into dialogue with modern attempts to renew the contemplative life like centering prayer, Christian meditation and the Catholic charismatic movement"

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sufism and Science - Free E Books

Ahmed Baki's Sufism and Science Page

From FRIEND To Friend

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Shaikh Ahmad al-'Alawi 1905 Posted by Hello

His spiritual heritage and legacy are encaptured in the book 'Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century" by Martin Lings .

LAILA - Sheikh Ahmad Alawi

A beautiful poem about spiritual awakening, by Sheikh Ahmad Alawi in
“Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century” by Martin Lings


Full near I came unto where dwelleth
Laila, when I heard her call.
That voice, would I might ever hear it!
She favoured me, and drew me to her,
Took me in, into her precinct,
With discourse intimate addressed me.
She sat me by her, then came closer,
Raised the cloak that hid her from me,
Made me marvel to distraction,
Bewildered me with all her beauty.
She took me and amazed me,
And hid me in her inmost self,
Until I thought that she was I,
And my life she took as ransome.
She changed me and transfigured me,
And marked me with her special sign,
Pressed me to her, put me from her,
Named me as she is named.
Having slain and crumbled me,
She steeped the fragments in her blood.
Then, after my death, she raised me:
My star shines in her firmament.
Where is my life, and where my body,
Where my wilful soul? From her
The truth of these shone out to me,
Secrets that had been hidden from me.
Mine eyes have never seen but her:
To naught else can they testify.
All meanings in her are comprised.
Glory be to her Creator

Thou that beauty wouldst describe,
Here is something of her brightness.
Take it from me. It is my art.
Think it not idle vanity.
My Heart lied not when it divulged
The secret of my meeting her.
If nearness unto her effaceth,
I still subsist in her subsistence.

1 p. 22. Laila, a woman's name meaning 'night',
here represents the Divine Essence.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Martin Lings

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Martin Lings

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sema - Human Being in the Universal Movement

Sema - Human Being in the Universal Movement: "Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207- 1273) as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture.
From a scientific viewpoint we witness that contemporary science definitely confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve and the shared similarity among beings is the revolution of the electrons, protons and neutrons in the atoms, which constitute the structure of each of them. As a consequence of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his live, his very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural stones of his body, by the revolution of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, by his revolving with earth itself."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

With deep gratitude and acknowledgment to Deepak Chopra.

A New Phase in Human Development. This is an important time in the development of humanity as it appears to stagger from one calamity to another and as it endeavours to progresses solely in the names of science and materialism. Humanity has an awesome responsibility. Jonas Salk, said "We are in a new phase of our evolution., The Darwinian evolution, as we have known it is perhaps over, as far as, we are concerned as a human species.” He said, “the new criteria for fitness has to be wisdom (rather than knowledge). Evolution will see wisdom as the criterion for fitness. We are in the midst of a phase of our evolution that can only be called the evolution of consciousness, and ultimately, the evolution of consciousness of consciousness.”
Mechanistic View of the World We are very confident of our science, and we are very confident that science has all the solutions to our problems. Yet, we need to question the very validity of the scientific method in order to obtain a glimpse of the total truth. For at least the last 200 years, science has been entrenched in a completely and totally mechanistic world view.
The rational view states that we live in a physical universe, and that we are physical machines that have learned how to manufacture thoughts, that our self awareness or consciousness is the apparent by-product of matter, of bio-chemistry, of molecular-biology. That if you believe in God or if you are moved by poetry and music, it is just the dance of molecules. That the human body is an anatomical structure which manufactures thought. This model has become so strongly entrenched in our world view that it literally guides the way we think, in everything that we do. This mechanistic world view comes from the notion that our perception is the crucial test of reality, that if we can see something, if we can touch it, if we can observe it, if we can hear it, if we can experience it through our senses then, it must be real. And that our senses, in fact, give us an accurate picture of the world. When even common sense tells us that this is not true. Our senses tell us that the earth is flat. Nobody believes that any more. The senses tell us that this ground we are standing on is stationery, and we know that it is spinning at dizzying speeds and moving through outer space at thousands of miles per hour. The senses tell us how things of a certain texture look, feel, and have a certain colour, and certain shape and we tend to think that this is the intrinsic nature of the objects of our perception. In fact, it is only a response of the observer.
What is Reality The great Sufi poet Rumi was asked, "Who are you?" He said "If you try to and label me and confine me with your words, you will starve yourself, of yourself. Try and nail me down in a box of cold words, that box will be a coffin because I do not know who I am. I am an astounding, lucid confusion." But then, he said something very remarkable. "I am your own voice echoing off the walls of God." That was nearly a thousand years ago, suggesting something we are just beginning to understand today, is that, in fact, this physical universe despite its enormity, despite its hugeness and materiality, may, in fact be a response of the observer. A great scientist, Sir John Eckels, once said "I want you to know that there are no colours in the real world, that there are not textures in the real world, there are no fragrances in the real world, no beauty and no ugliness. Out there beyond the limits of our perception apparatus is a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup, and we are the magicians, we transform that through our sensor into material reality." This is a fact of physiology not some metaphysical, mystical, philosophical, eastern speculation. A honey bee looking at a flower doesn't see the same flower that you and I see because it doesn't even have the receptors for the usual wavelengths of light that we respond to. A honey bee looking at a flower because it response to ultraviolet, can see honey from a distance but doesn't see the flower. that we see. A snake experiences its world through infra-red radiation reception which means nothing to you and me. A bat knows it as the echo of ultra sound. So what is the real shape of the world, what is the real texture of it? The answer seems to depend on who is looking, and what kinds of questions they are asking themselves, and where they are making the observation from, and a whole host of other things that are completely and totally in the realm of consciousness. Today we have a new model, new because it fits in with our current notions of reality and at the same time, it is ancient. We have the opportunity to bring together scientific insight and ancient wisdom. to understand reality.
Unity of Creation The human body is not a frozen anatomical structure but actually a river of energy and information that is constantly renewing itself in every second of your existence. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus said "You cannot step into the same river twice because new water is always flowing in.” The river is the perfect example of the illusion of perception. And so too, you cannot step into the same flesh and bones twice because in every moment of your existence you are stepping into a new body. In fact the physical body you are using now is not the one you used yesterday. You can look at a number of physiological processes to see how literally true that is.
If you will just look at the similar act of breathing, with every breath that you breath in, you breath in ten to the power of twenty-two atoms of the universe. That is an astronomical amount of raw material that comes into your body from everywhere else in this universe. With each breath that you breath out, you are breathing out ten to the power of twenty-two atoms that have their origin in every cell in your body and literally breathing out bits and pieces of your heart, kidney and brain tissue, and technically speaking, we are all intimately sharing our organs with each other all the time. This is a fact of physiology. The great American poet Walt Whitman, once said in the Song of Myself., "Every atom belongs to you as well belongs to me," This is not a poetic metaphor any more. You can do mathematical calculations based on radioactive isotopes studies, and prove without a shadow of doubt to a scientist, that right now in your physical body, you have a least a million atoms that were once in the body of Christ or Buddha or Muhammad or even Sadam Hussein, or anyone else you want to think about. In just the last three weeks, a quadrillion atoms have circulated through your body that have gone through the body of every other living species on this planet. Talk about being connected! Think of being a tree in Africa, a squirrel in Siberia, a peasant in China; and right this moment, you have in your body at least a quadrillion atoms that were not circulating there about three weeks ago. In about one year, you replace about ninety-eight percent of all the atoms in your body: A new liver every six weeks, a new skin once a month, a new stomach lining every five days, even the DNA which holds the memories of millions of years of evolutionary time. The actual raw material, the carbon, the oxygen, the hydrogen, the nitrogen, comes and goes every six weeks like migratory birds. So in about one year or a little, more you replace your entire body to the last atom. Which raises an interesting dilemma, if you think you are your physical body then which one are you talking about? William Blake said, "We are led to believe a lie when we see with and not through the eye." But see the human body, as it really is, not through the artefact of sensory perception, you would see that 99.9999% of it is mostly empty space, and the .0001% of it that appears to be material is actually, also empty space. This whole thing is made out of nothing. As you go beyond the pseudo of molecules you enter a sub-atomic clouds, go beyond the cloud, you end up with a hand full of nothing.
The great Sufi poet Rumi, once again, said "We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust."
The essential stuff of the universe is non-stuff. But it is not just ordinary non-stuff; it may be thinking non-stuff, because as it interacts with its own self, it creates all that we consider form and phenomena. And thought, does not necessarily mean linguistically structured verbally elite thought that speaks to us in word. Thought, means impulses of energy and information. What is a thought, if not energy and information?
We have a thinking body and it is part of a thinking universe. There are some very fascinating pieces of data that have emerged in the last few years to give us some good evidence of validity of this whole hypothesis. The average human thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day which is not surprising. What is disconcerting is the fact that 90% of the thoughts you have today, are the same ones you had yesterday. We are the victims of our own memories, we are bundles of conditioned reflexes and nerves that are constantly being triggered by people and circumstance into very predictable outcomes of behaviour. We say we are free when we are at the mercy of every passer by on the street. There is a great saying from an ancient tradition in India of yogis. (A yogi is a person who is seeking to unify the experience of body, mind, soul and spirit and environment as one continuum of consciousness.) It says, if you want to create a new body, you have to step out of the river of conditioning and memory, and see the world, as if, for the first time. If you can step out of the river of your own conditioning, and see the world as if for the first time, then there is a potential opportunity to create a new perception of the human body, and more importantly a new perception of the world.

Baha’u’llah the founder prophet of the Baha’i Faith, wrote about the process of stepping out of ones own conditioning to create a new body and a new understanding of oneself a new view the world. "(Spiritual) knowledge, will awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of heedlessness. Then will the manifold favours and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul."
The Power of Love
A study published in the Journal of Science, scientists were looking at the metabolism of cholesterol in rabbits. They were feeding rabbits diets that were extremely high in cholesterol. To their amazement, they found there was one group of rabbits that did not get the high cholesterol levels or the hardening of the arteries despite being fed the same toxic diet. After a lot of investigation, they discovered that the only difference between these rabbits and the ones that were getting the high cholesterol, was that the technician who was feeding these rabbits. Instead of just throwing the food at them, he would take them out of their cages, he would pet them, cuddle them, and kiss them, and then he would feed them the same toxic food. Now because of this new experience, you can call it love or if you do not like that word, you can call it the flow of information, these rabbits transferred the cholesterol into a completely different metabolic path. Love made the critical difference between life and death from the number one killer in our civilisation. A few years ago, a study from the University of Miami School of Medicine was looking at premature infants and their ability to live or thrive. These infants were born at 30 weeks, and the investigators took one group of premature infants put them in little cribs which had a hole in them and through those cribs the investigator would reach in and stroke the baby three times a day for 5 minutes. Those babies that received tactile kinetic stimulation for approximately 5 minutes, 3 times a day gained an average of 49% more weight per day fed on exactly the same formula. It turns out that when you lovingly touch somebody, it seems that you stimulate the secretion of growth factors and growth hormones and some wonderful, powerful healing chemicals in your system. Therefore, we have a scientific explanation, if you want one. But this still doesn't get away from the fact that the flow of consciousness is transforming itself into these phenomena. While this might sound simplistic, by touching one other a little more, we may begin to understand the meaning of love and to see the world in a different context.

Once in awhile, we can have a special experience, when we slip out of time bound awareness all together as, when a person says the beauty of the mountain was breathtaking, time stood still. What is that experience, when we transcend time, when even breath comes to a standstill because both breath and time as we experience it are the movement of thought that separates the observer from the observed. A moment when the seer and the scenery become one, where the lover and the beloved become one, where the observer and the observed become one, or when the creator and the created become one. This experience can only be called unity consciousness, because there is no separation. We have gone beyond the ego and entered a domain of our awareness where we experience universality. And in that domain of experience, there is no time because it is infinite, unbounded, eternal, awesome, grand, beautiful. We need to be aware of these experiences because they make us one with one another. This knowledge allows understanding that you and I are not only made up of the same stuff, but we are the same being in different disguises. And when we know this, only then will we know love, because love is not an emotion, love is not a sentiment, love is the ultimate truth at the heart of creation.
Again, Rumi said it so beautifully, "Wherever you go, if you want to solve the problems of the world, wherever you go, whatever you do, wherever you are, be a lover, and be a passionate lover, and then you will have possessed love, and then you will be a lover in death, you will be a lover in the tomb, you will be a lover on the day of resurrection, a lover in paradise, and a lover forever. And if you have not known love, if you have not been a passionate lover, then count not your life as having been lived. On the day of reckoning, it will not be counted." In the West, what we generally call love is mostly feeling, not a power. This feeling can be delicious, even ecstatic. There are many things that the power of real love can do that feelings cannot. When love and spirit are brought together, their power can accomplish anything. Then love, power, and spirit are one. Modern-day Sufi, Reshad Field wrote If you have not loved all then you have not loved at all There has never been a Prophet; (Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammad or Baha'u'llah) who did not bring a message of love. The power of their messages has always been awesome, with the potential to change the world. Unfortunately, we fail to accept their messages of love, and thus reject the possibility our divine status. This really is an important time in the development of humankind. It is the dawning of a new era, a new phase in the evolution of the consciousness of humankind. This is a time of awareness of our true spiritual potential, opening the doors to a new perception of reality. So how can change and improvements be implemented unless individuals are first open to a new way of thinking, seeing the big picture that is detached from self and empowered with love.
Edited by Robert Abrahams

Sunday, May 30, 2004



Purpose of paper Understand Islamic spirituality

Key Elements

My introduction


Origins of Sufism
Qur'anic Revelation
Companions of the Right the Foremost
Drawing Nigh to God
insight, creativity and the arts

Ways of love and knowledge etc

Moses and the 'Green Man', Kihdr, Elija. Elisha, John theBaptist, Bab
Ibn Arabi
Shayki (getbook)
Mathew Fox???


(1) "Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century by Martin Lings.
(4) RUMI

for discussion paper, "Mysticism in the Qur'an"

Extracts from "Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century by Martin Lings.

Origins of Sufism

The translation of sufi as a "mystic' ..... in its original sense ... denote(s) one who has access, or seeks access, to 'the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven'

Whereas, Sufism is the Islamic way of transcending one's own soul, that is, of 'letting one's Spirit rise above oneself,' and it is where the human self ends that the Heavenly Mysteries begin.

The name Sufism only came to be used after two or three generations of Islam, although it is rooted in the first generation. (more research.) One of its roots reach back prior to Islam to Muhammad's pre- Islamic practice of spiritual retreat with the scattered hermits of Arabia known as the Hunafa'. The Hunafa' contained what was left of the mysticism of Muhammad's ancestors, Abraham and Ishmael and it was in one of his retreats in a cave on Mount Hira at the outskirts of Mecca, when he was forty years old, that he received the first Qur'anic revelation.

Qur'an the Eternal Uncreated Word of God

In order to understand what is meant by the doctrine that the Qur'an is the Eternal, Uncreated word of God, it is necessary to make a distinction between inspiration and revelation' especially for those with a Christian background. In Christianity the "revelation" is, not the Gospels, but Christ. It is an essential point of Islamic orthodoxy that Qur'an is a revelation, direct from God Himself, not just an inspired writing by Muhammad.

The Holy Book says of itself, speaking with the voice of God:

If We caused this Qur'an to descend upon a mountain, thou wouldst see the mountain lying prostrate with humility, rent asunder through the fear of God;.... (lix 21)

The first word to be revealed was Iqra', 'recite' and Qur'an itself means 'recitation'. The revealing of a text to be recited by the community, amounts to a form of mysticism, since to recite such a text is to undergo a Divine 'interference' of the soul by the Spirit or a mysterious penetration of this world by the next. The practice of taking advantage of this possibility becomes, after a certain point, no less than the following of a mystical path.

The Sufis have always sought to take full advantage of the Presence of the Infinite by drowning themselves in the verses ('ayat', literally 'miraculous' signs) of the Revelation.

In one of his poems, Shaikh Al 'Alawi (the subject of the book) says of the Qur'an

'It hath taken up its dwelling in our hearts and on our tongues and is mingled with our blood and our flesh and our bones and all that is in us. p36

The Qur'an was revealed as a means of Grace for the whole Islamic community, not only for an elect nor yet only for the generality of Moslems it abounds in verses like the following, which may be applied to every level of spirituality; treasures, which every one is free to carry off as much as he (or she) has strength to bear. The meaning depends on the intelligence of the one who recites them.

God leadeth to His Light whom he will. xxiv, 35

Leadeth us along the straight path, i6

He it is Who has sent down the Spirit of Peace into the hearts of the faithful that they may increase faith upon faith. xlviii, 4

These verses can be interpreted in the highest sense, as openings through which the immortal in man may pour itself out in escape from the mortal limitations of the soul.

...this...... transcendence of words which are metaphysical in content as well as in "fabric" applies pre-eminently to the Divine Names and above all to the Supreme Name Allah (God)

One of the first injunctions revealed to the Prophet was:

Invoke in remembrance the Name of thy Lord, and devote thyself to Him with an utter devotion. lxxiii, 8

This verse inaugurated ... a practice which has been ever since the Moslem mystic's chief means of approach to God. p36

The Quran is the Book of Allah in every sense of the word "of". It comes from Him, it is "of substance" with Him, He is its basic theme.... . The Name Allah occurs so often that it may be considered as the warp on which Quranic text is woven.

Drawing Nigh to God

The verse:

Verily ye have a fair pattern in the Messenger of God. xxxiii, 21

is full of meaning at every level .... but its highest significance must be understood in the light of .... the very first injunctions received by the Prophet at Mecca:

Prostrate thyself and draw nigh (to God). xcvi,19
The ritual act of prostration, which is an extremity of self-effacement, is implicit in one of Muhammad's secondary names, Abd Allah, the slave of God. Without the complete self effacement of slavehood it is impossible to draw nigh or, in other words, without first being empty of other than God it is impossible to be filled with the ever present Reality of His Names, of which the Qur'an says:

We (God) are nearer to him (man) than his jugular vein. l,16

The realisation of this Nearness is implicit in another of the Prophet's names, Habib Allah, the Beloved of God, for the following Tradition, though it is of universal import, it refers to him first and foremost:

"My slave ceaseth not to draw nigh unto Me with devotions of his free will (devotions in addition to the obligatory minimum) until I love him; and when I love him, I am the Hearing wherewith he heareth , and the Sight wherewith he seeth, and the hand wherewith he smiteth, and the foot wherewith he walketh ' (Bukhari)

The full range of Sufism, as it has shown itself to be through-out the centuries lies summed up in this (above) Tradition.

In speaking to his closest followers Christ said:

'It is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given' St Mathew, xiii,11

In speaking to the whole community of Moslems the Qur'an generalises the same idea in the words: p38

'We exalt in degree whom We will; and above each one that hath knowledge is one that knoweth more' xii,76

Elsewhere the Qur'an is more explicit referring to the Companions of the Right who are no doubt the general believers since they are said to be many among the earlier generations and many among the later generations, and they are contrasted with the Companions of the Left who are the dammed. Above the Companions of the Right are the Foremost , and these are said to be, many among the earlier generations and few among the later generations. (Lvi,13-4). The later generations are those between whom and the revelations Much time has elapsed so their hearts were hardened. (Lv11,16) The superlative in the title is confirmed by the definition the Near (brought near by God to Himself).

In another chapter the Near are represented as drinking from a fountain named Tasmin. Below them are the Righteous who have not this direct access to this fountain but who are given to drink a draught that has been flavoured at it with the perfume of musk. lvii, 16 p39

The same imagery is used in the third chapter where the Righteous are represented as drinking a draught which has been flavoured with camphor from a fountain named Kafur, to which only the slaves of God have direct access. According to the commentary, slavehood and nearness are two aspects of the one higher spiritual degree, representing respectively extinction in God and Eternal Life in Godl. The Saints drink at Kafur in as much as they are Slaves and at Tasmin in as much as they are Near.

Heart Knowledge

The same is true as regards the understanding of the Divine Names, and certain Holy Traditions such as ,

'I am the Hearing wherewith he heareth and the Sight wherewith he seeth'

"We are nearer to him than his jugular vein"

The difference is as between one who takes such statements as a manner of speaking, allowing them to pass over his head , and one in whom they awaken a 'vertical' consciousness which is what the Sufis call dhaug, literally taste. This word is used in view of the directness of such perception, to show that it transcends indirect mental knowledge, being no less than some degree of 'Heart-knowledge'. p40

In connection with one of the Prophet's mystical visions, the Qur'an says that it was his Heart which saw,(Liii,11) and a Qur'anic commentary which states that "other- worldly realities are perceived first by the Heart'. What is meant by Heart here, and what the ancients of both East and West mean by saying that the Heart is the Throne of the Intellect. Just as the moon is the last outpost of daylight in the darkness of night so the Heart is the last outpost of Divine Light, that is, direct Knowledge (Gnosis, ma'rifah) in the darkness of the soul's knowledge, which even in its highest form is only mental and therefore indirect. The 'Eye of the Heart', the Intellect in its true sense,- the organ of transcendent vision.

The heart vision .. hierarchically nearer to the Truth than ... the vision of the outward eye could never achieve the union of separate elements and the integration of widely scattered fragments if the universe had not been enshrouded by the all-enshrouding Lights of Unification which are lit from the tree of "Whereso'er ye turn there is the face of God". This is from the Verse of light

God is the Light of the Heavens and the earth. His light (on earth) is like niche, wherein is a lamp; the lamp is of glass; the glass is like a shining planet. It is lit from a sacred olive tree that is neither of the East nor the West, the oil whereof well nigh blazeth though the fire have not touched it - Light upon Light! God leadeth to His Light whom he will, and God citeth symbols for
men, and God is the Knower of all things.' (xxiv35)

The symbol of the sacred olive tree neither of the East nor the West is the tree of "so where ever ye turn", that is the tree of Gnosis. p174

The aspiration 'to let one's Spirit (one's centre of consciousness) rise above oneself' presupposes at the very least some remote awareness of the existence of the Heart, which is the point where the human self ends and the Transcendent Self begins. If the clouds of the night are so thick so as to prevent the moon of the Heart from showing the slightest sign of its presence, there can be no such aspiration. p40

Submission, Faith and Excellance

The Arabs of the desert say: 'We believe'. Say thou (Muhammad): 'Ye believe not, but say rather: 'We submit', for faith hath not yet entered our hearts. Yet if ye obey God and His messenger, He will not withhold from you any rewards that your deed deserve. Verily God is Forgiving, Merciful'. (xlix, 14)

Divine Mercy stretches out to find a place ... for those who are faithful believers as well as those willing to submit and obey God and his Messenger.

The much loved and often repeated verses which the Qur'an recommends especially for times of adversity:

'Verily we are for God, and verily unto Him are we returning'' (ii,156) and

"He is the First and the Last and the Outardly Manifest and the Inwardly Hidden.' (lvii, 3)

are like the crown of Sufi Gnosis where "there is no point of reference other than He."

After the Qur'an and the Prophet the highest authority is Ijma', that is, the unanimous opinion of those who are thoroughly versed in the Qur'an and the Traditions and whom are therefore qualified to establish, by inference and on analogy, precedents about points not definitely and explicitly laid down by the two higher authorities. The process by which they reach their conclusions is called ijtihad, (striving).

The difference between the four great schools of Islamic law, are due to differing ijtihad of four eminent canonists. But each school admits the right of the other schools to hold their own opinions, and it is often said: "In the canonists differences there lieth a mercy"

The law is not the only plane of the religion, however, as it was reported in the following Tradition by 'Umar, the second Caliph:

'One day when we were with the Messenger of God there came unto us man whose clothes were exceeding whiteness and whose hair was of exceeding blackness, nor were there any signs of travel upon him, although none of us had seen him before. He sat down knee unto knee opposite the Prophet, upon whose thighs he placed the palm of his hands, saying: 'O Muhammad, tell me what is the surrender unto God (al Islam)'. The Prophet answered: "The surrender is that thou should testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is God's Apostle, that thou shouldst perform the prayer, bestow the alms, fast Ramadan and make if thou canst, the pilgrimage to the Holy House. He said: "Thou hast spoken truly" and we were amazed that having asked the question he should corroborate him. Then he said:"Tell me what is faith (iman)", and the Prophget answered: "It is that thou shouldst believe in God and His Angels and His Books and His Apostles and the Last Day, and that thou shouldst believe that no good or evil cometh but by His Providence." "Thou hast spoken truly" he said, and then: "Tell me what is excellence (ihsan)". The Prophet answered: "It is that thou shouldst worship God as if thou sawest Him, for if thou seest Him not , He seeth thee." .... Then the stranger went away, and I stayed there long after he had gone, until the Prophet said to me: O Umah, knowest thou the questioner, whom he was?" I said: "God and His Prophet know best, but I know not at all." "It was Gabriel" said the Prophet. He came to teach you your religion" ( A great Sufi of Baghdad d 910) p 45

Thus Islam in its fullest sense consists of three planes -- surrender or submission (islam in the narrow sense of the word), faith (iman) and excellence, (ihsan)

The Prophet's definition of ihsan is the word for worship ('abada), means literally 'to serve as a slave', and indicates not merely a series of acts but a perpetual state. Thus to worship God 'as thou sawest Him' implies perpetual remembrance of God and to achieve this some form of spiritual guidance and method is, practically speaking indispsensable. Here in fact lies the origins of the Sufi brotherhoods, without which the plane of ihsan, which the first generations of Islam was relatively spontaneous and unorganised, could never have been prolonged throughout the centuries.

Remembrance of God

The Qur'an insists without respite on remembrance of God, "dhikr Allah", and this insistence holds the place in Islam that is held in Christianity by Christ's two commandments.

The first .... The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. ..... the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (St. Mark, Chapter 12)

It is the use of the Qur'anic ... term remembrance rather than "love" which has more than anything else, (given) Islamic mysticism (Sufism) its special terminology.
There appears to a predominance, in Christian mysticism of 'Love' and in the Sufism of 'Knowledge', (Gnosis). The contemplative orders of monasticism in the Roman Catholic Church are closer to the path of Love than to that of Gnosis. On the other hand what has been termed the 'Sufi path of Love' is akin to Love within the general framework of Knowledge.

Very typical of Sufism is Hasan al Basri's (d728) saying:

'He that knoweth God loveth Him, and he that knoweth the world abstaineth from it", and the saying of another early Sufi:

'Intimacy (uns) with God is finer and sweeter than longing'.

... one aspect of this (Sufi) path of Knowledge reflects the symbolism of light in which the Qur'an abounds and the joyous and often dazzling imagery through which it allows its reader to taste the Mysteries of the next world,... another aspect reflects not only the stark simplicity of some of the Qur'anic formulations but also certain sayings of the Prophet which have an unmistakable 'dry' flavour about them, a sober objectivity which puts everything in its proper place.

For example

'Be in this world as a stranger or a passer-by.' (Bukari), and

'What have I to do with this world? Veriy I and this world are as a rider and a tree beneath which he taketh shelter. Then goeth on his way and leaveth it behind him.' (Ibn Majah) p46

Oneness of Being p121

..... Mysticism in all ages and countries is fundamentally the same, however it may be modified by its peculiar environment and by the positive religion to which it clings for support. We find remote and unrelated systems showing an extraordinarily close and even coinciding in many features of verbal expression.

The saying of the most Great Shaikh Muhi Din 'Arabi (Ibn 'Arabi )1164-1240) wrote a Treatise on Being (Risale-t-ul-wujudiyyay) as a commentary on the Oneness of Being.

burning bush
a new title

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The Mystic Cup

"Mystic Cup, The The Essential Mystical Nature of the Baha'i Faith
By LeRoy Jones published in Lights of Irfan, volume 2, pages 69-82

'Verily, verily, the dawn of a new Day has broken. The promised One is enthroned in the hearts of men. In His hand He holds the mystic cup, the chalice of immortality. Blessed are they who drink therefrom!'
After years of waiting and searching for the promised one Mulla Husayn found his heart's desire--a young merchant who called Himself the Bab. In their first meeting the Bab invited Mulla Husayn to His residence and revealed His mission with proofs and testimonies, which Mulla Husayn painstakingly scrutinized. More here