He regenerates, but does not re-incarnate. Because he discards the laws of cause and effect as purely time questions and as not belonging to Being, he discards the re-incarnation theory as an unnecessary theory. The problems of life and death, birth and death, cause and effect, belong to an unjustified and unproved doctrine. Re-incarnation presupposes an inexorable law, which our daily life disproves. Contrary to the claims of the re-incarnationists, life does show mercy and most people's life experience proves that they are not subject to a cruel law they cannot escape.
Whether they know it clearly or not, they have experienced that Love is the law of Life.
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Love is all there is. Love or compassion in all forms can be shown to be at least as prominent a law as iron-hard Necessity. The Sufi asserts that Love is the fundamental order of the Universe. Tesawuf is not re-incarnation ; it is regeneration or unfoldment, and, since time and space conceptions are no more than illusions, they do not enter into 29 re-generations. Fana is not extinction, it is the con- summation of the "journey to God" ; it is transmutation and ascension.
The Sufi's life is self-unfoldment, the perfection in Love. Thus declared the Mesfievt : " From the moment you came into the world of being A ladder was placed before you that you might escape. First you were mineral ; later you turned to plant, Then you became animal : how should this be a secret to you? Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith ; "When you have travelled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel ; After that you are done with this earth, your station is in heaven.
Pass again even from angelhood : enter that ocean! Through it all you are and you remain You. When sunshine and cool breezes in the morning wash the sleep off the earth's eyes, they both " utter speech " and reverberate with the brotherhood idea, the passion which binds all the worlds in " Unity. This is just after an hour of silence, immediately before day. In that hour of silence new-born innocence comes into the world.
It is baptised in dew and may be communed with in the Love of the Inner Life. Lovers never ask. They give. They praise and give thanks. They empty the cup, but never wrangle about truth. They enjoy the beauty of creation : that is their religion! What else could be religion? Religion is the enfoldment of God and His world in the Lover's embrace. Enfoldment means understanding in wisdom and nobleness of purpose. Hence no perplexity. He has said often and repeats it again that he is not afraid to meet " the angel of the darker drink. It means that there is no distinctions in the ONE, the Beloved.
But He is not an Unknown. The Sufi and He are of one family. And His "Hereafter" is no place where shades frighten each other or chase bloodless ghosts. His "Hereafter" always was and never was not, nor has it place or abode. It is "Unity. The Sufi is not troubled by intellectual distinctions. Being familiar with the mysteries of veils, he can appreciate a curve, be it the lover's tresses or any other curvature. Besides the reality revealed, he indulges in 31 art and symbolism.
The flameshaped cypress uplifts him by its erect form. Even the dust is pastoral and the change from day to day is prophetic. But symbolism is of small account when he realises that Truth is naked. He will not delay, linger and wait in the tavern when the Outside or the Open is in deshabille, in the state of Nature. Why should he? He is no irrational ascetic ashamed of his bodily appearance or his earthly tabernacle. He is right when he sings " I am the brick, the mortar, the builder, and his plan. All beauty is personal.
It is essentially Divine- Human and Human-Divine. The Sufi is the world's aesthetician par excellence. The studio, or the body and the study. The body is his museum of models. And yet the body is only a stopping place in the pilgrimage. The Sufi is no more bound than any other wise man to answer all questions. Not only are numerous questions idle but unnecessary. I may ask why I did not meet my soul-mate yesterday, when I wanted her, as I thought. My question has been answered by the fact that I did not meet her.
Facts are the Logos in operation. The Sufi may answer silly or unnecessary questions by the conventional " I do not know "! That answer does not necessarily declare him ignorant of the mysteries, as the scoffer may think. If the questions were accompanied by life-facts, the Sufi would have no difficulty in pointing out the Divine Wisdom hidden 32 from the fool and unrecognisable by him. The Sufi is also justified in answering questions by laying his finger upon his lips, bidding silence to the insincere and curious.
The Sufi is neither a sophist nor a hypocrite. Instead of wasting energy upon triflers, the Sufi likes to retire and observe the workings of the Divine Spouse. A pebble can entertain him. To him it is full of heavenliness. He thinks like Jacob Bohme did, that a stone is " God minus warmth. Poets can hear pebbles moan when the ocean rages on the shore and they interpret the moans as reminiscences from the time before light was, and, the pebbles were living forces in the primitive chaos.
The Sufi likes to throw a stone into a lake and observe the concentric circles generated and move into the circumference, an indefinite purpose which however seems to continue endlessly, if not checked by an interfering object, such as, for instance, the shore of the lake. Surely the pebble is No-thing, yet Some-thing. Something insig- nificant, yet able to start world motions. The Sufi prefers to meditate upon such phenomena ; they lead to Contemplation or the Beholding of the Beloved. His energy is in that way occupied with Being and Not-Being, and his heart's deep-tuned chords give existence to the Divine.
He becomes a creator. The deep tune may be but " A moment's halt — a momentary task Of Being. It is a sudden inrush of Reality. It is an opening up inwards. It is an " indivisible point " yet of inward dimensions unknown to mathematics. The realisation or experience of such a moment compensates the Sufi, and any other Mystic, for the loss of time and space values and all that which the senses enjoy.
The "momentary taste" of the Presence is a communion with the Beloved. The Sufi calls it a "pastime of eternity," and looks upon it as a drama which runs " through creation's veins," and he is happy. He will never, nor can he ever, see that drama as contrived and enacted by the Beloved for Himself alone. The Beloved is not self-seeking in His outgoing. His Presence is not the lion's den in which all trails end and none are emerging.
The Sufi candidate can and will wait all his earthly life for the " momentary taste" and will never in despair commit suicide, thinking thereby to attain his desire. Perhaps it is true that "a hair divides the false and the true," and if it were, a negation like suicide could not bridge that divide. The "momentary taste " manifests that which the Gulshan I Raz declares to be " the secret Presence " : " I am the spirit of the grape, the wine press and its juice ; The guest, the host, the crystal cup that shineth in His hall. Does he perhaps call to a Wisdom-Wine conference? To-day is the accepted hour!
That daughter is "life's pure elixir," and she leads him into the " trance divine. So the senses, they are not finalities, but means to ends. They divide time for those who do not know time and who are satisfied to be score marks for their own or other's foolish acts. Such people do not know the Now — they live in the past or the future, which means that they do not live at all. The Sufi is himself a Calendar and not only of the Now, but of the Beloved's. To be a Calendar does not make him a time-piece, a dial, or a pendulum swinging from Being to Not-being and back again.
The Sufi is a Calendar in this way : " From all eternity, the figures of all things Unnumbered, multitudinous, gleam in his heart's winofs. The Sufi cultivates " that grape which can with Logic absolute, The two-and-seventy jarring sects confute. Drink Isa's cup and come out of the tangled webs of wilfulness and the wilds of selfishness. In that cup you may find yourself. Your image is in it.
Drink wine, and sleep that sleep the Cupbearer brings with it. That sleep is an awakening to the control of the world. Wine, that " Allah-breathing Lord " : " Taverns have been edified by His lips, Mosques have been illumined by His cheek. My heart was hid from knowledge of itself by a hundred veils, By pride and vanity and self-deceit and illusion. By His face the secret chamber of my soul was illumined, Thereby I saw what I myself really am. He does not want either. And He is Wadud, the All-Loving!
Which to discover we must travel too. It is all ONE. Talks of space are ravings of learning and the Doctor's play with fictions. Common observation maintains that " the flower that once has blown for ever dies. After they have convoyed the ships, the convoys sail away.
The petals and stamens are convoys only. The ignorant call them the flower. Yesterday is part of to-day. My Beloved is the same to-day as yesterday, though yesterday a maiden, to-day a matron. The aroma of yesterday is enhanced by the breath of the matron, the motherhood of God and Futurity. Where is that individuality, the ignorant talks about? What is it? Who can define it? Where does it begin and where does it end?
Even pushing his search back, and, back of the microscope, the unbeliever cannot find it. It is constantly only an appearance, an unreality.
A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty
Everywhere the searcher finds the ONE in the Many. The ungodly and self-assertive know no world larger than that of the worms in the pond. They never ascend the mountains. No Alpine air ever expands their lungs, nor do their eyes behold the azure air on the Heights, that blue of the heavens, which has the power to lift the body ofi" its feet. Nature is to the Sufi a background for his visions.
He perceives innumerable eyes everywhere and sees swarming intelligences. They are the Monads which make up the world, the throne of God. They are not of shapes known or unknown to men and they are imperishable. They may occasionally appear to man, and are like man though they are "trailing clouds of glory. They are naked 38 spirits, but known to the Sufi. The unbelievers cannot comprehend this. The Sufi will not listen or believe when you tell him that the Beloved is " the master of the show " and that we are only "magic shadow-shapes that come and go.
The ignorant and the stupid believe that it is the land which moves when it really is the ship on which they are for the time being. Sufism teaches that " the way of manifestations " moves among " opposites. The Sufi therefore frequently uses symbols as means of expression. Said Omar in the language of his poet " I never drank of joy's sweet cordial But griefs fell hand infused a drop of gall ; Nor dipped my bread in pleasure's piquant salt, But briny sorrow made me smart withall. Till they ignore the wormwood, they are not ready for initiation. Till they 39 have ceased laughing and weeping they cannot see "the everlasting arms " underneath the manifestations.
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The Sufi is bound for heaven, but not for " that inverted bowl " they call the sky. The horizon is not his heaven nor any space round about. He steers for the No- Where, which is the Every- Where. He is both the ship and the helmsman. Drink and look upon yourself : " By God, when you behold your own beauty in the mirror You will be the idol of yourself, you will not pass over to another. He even nods assent. Admitting the reality of the phenomenal world, the conclusions as to cause and effect follow by necessity.
Such reasoning belongs to the "Way of Manifestation. He is above it and more. There is a profound meaning in his triumphant song " Of my base metal may be filed a key That shall unlock the door. He is often no more than a fool, a howling fool, and cannot understand alchemistry. If he cannot understand that the Inn, the Innkeeper and Light are one, then he is no Dervish, but only a religious mendicant.
He is a Dervish who has left the world ; but he is a beggar whom the world ignores.
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The Sufi has brought the wine with him from " the eternal home " and gets more from thence. Isa is that 40 wine. Before the Prophet's time that wine was "the longing of the ages. It is a custom to speak about wine, but some say Truth, and, the wise say that the terms mean the same. Some, who know, say that Isa's wine cup is never empty, and cannot be emptied-. It is with this cup as with a flame.
You may light a thousand from one, but the original flame never grows less for it. Believers also say that the more you drink, the richer it flows. He who drinks Isa's wine becomes a Kutub, a " pivot of the world. Was ever lamp lighted from ashes? For this cause my mind is resolved on this, To gird my loins with the Magician's girdle.
The occult in the orb and cycle is explained by the circling lines of the vine and the juices of its grape. Its curves hold infinite love and the creative power of life. When our loins are girdled by it we become artists and orators.
- The Masnavi, Book One (Oxford World's Classics) (Bk. 1).
- DEATH, DYING, AND THE TIME TRAVELER.
- Die Zukunft in Händen: Parkinson und die 7 Sinne Therapie (German Edition);
- The Sufi Path of Love - The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (by W. C. Chittick).
- Spiritual Liberty (Vol 5).
Its persuasive power is irresistible. It shows life and existence in glories unknown. The vine and the girdle have the power of revelation. The Sufi also declared, "the knotted girdle is the emblem of obedience. Dreams of light and marvels of miracles. Your miracles are comprised in Truth-worship. All beside is pride, vainglory and illusion of existence. They entertain. But by Truth, by the circling vine and " the knotted girdle " we become equals to Khizr, "the green man," he who drank "the waters of life.
Know yourself that you are the world's soul. Iblis is the Wicked one, the Profligate. He is that distrustfulness which lingers on the minds of many and is difficult to drive out of the crevices of the brain. He it is which framed the thoughts that God called us out of, "senseless Nothing," and beset our road "with pitfall and with gin," only to condemn us to " ever- lasting penalties.
Iblis causes those shadows and illusions which betray us. No " everlasting penalties" are heaped upon "helpless creatures. We stay till we overcome our carelessness. The stay is for correction and perfection. No Sufi could ever be guilty of such blasphemy. Sufism is never profane. The Sufi is silent! He concentrates, that his power may lift the burden of profanation caused by so much sin!
After silence comes Ramazan. The fast is called Raza or expiation. In seclusion, 'Itiqvaf, the pious suffer for the impious. The wise man does not force silence.
The pots may " find themselves" by declaring themselves. And the wise may learn wisdom even from fools and simpletons. Get wisdom and you are safe. Our pot complained : " They sneer at us for leaning all awry : What? The Sufi is a model in satisfaction with things as they are or coming to be. Because " Each speck of matter did He constitute A mirror, causing each one to reflect The beauty of His visage His beauty everywhere doth show itself. And through the forms of earthly beauties shines Obscured as through a veil.
Love and Wisdom make the soul express eternal Beauty. Alike the treasure and the casket. The Sufi can see the humour of things. He ever loves the wag ; drollery is not unwelcome.
The Masnavi, Book One (Oxford World's Classics) (Bk. 1) - Library
He has learned that from the sun. Where is the sound of the last storm — gone! What did it teach? Noise and then — silence! Even loquacity is part of " the sorting, sifting and redistributing process of nature. The moon has Wine for him and the Beauty of the night, xc. He asks " And why should he not continue to bear witness? Do not all the Sufis do it? Are we not to-day intoxicated by the Wine- Wisdom of those gone before? The world does not understand our intoxication and never did. We care not for the condemnation heaped upon us.
When the world is intoxicated it is sullied in mind. When the Sufi is intoxicated he is a "Soul of Soul. Abu Suleiman al-Darami has left us this Marifat Gnosis : " None refrains from the lusts of this world save him in whose heart there is a light which keeps him always busied with the next world. It is a beautiful custom and true 46 to pure sentiment that those who lie on the bier should rest among flowers from their own gardens : their own self.
The Sufi is a pilgrim in life, hence it is but proper that he be laid " by some not unfrequented garden-side," a place where other pilgrims pass and continue to pass. He can thus continue to witness to Beauty : the Beauty of the Garden! Moreover his interior illumina- tion continues to shine over his tomb dissolving the illusions which Death weaves. Occasionally he may make use of echoes and shadows among the living and thus be personally present, xci. The Sandal tree sheds perfume upon the axe which cuts it down. The ashes of the Sufi sing Hallelujahs at burial. They are not "ashes to ashes.
They "fling up into the air" such vintage that "not a True-believer passing by, but shall be overtaken unaware. Persia, the land of the original Sufi, is the land of roses and jasmin. Nevertheless, where you travel you breathe an air still scenting fire-worship and ancient aromatic spirit-essences.
On Cathedral lofty vaults the open eye often spies mystic designs left there by the intensity of a prayer. The battle-smoke still hangs over many an ancient battle-ground. The Sufi is Love's devotee. That is why he is related to the Fire-worshipper of old, the Gueber. The orthodox thereby refuses him a " robe of honour. The coat of the Dervish is better. It is not made of Cairene cloth, to be sure, but of tattered 47 rags saturated with holiness and memories of lovefeasts.
Much wine has been spilled upon it. That youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close! The nightingale that in the branches sang, Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows? He is himself a bird of passage. But he does lament or bewail the fate of children and the immature. Their journey is so short that it does not seem possible for them to solve any of life's riddles. However, he empties his cup and cries : " Let what will be, be.
There would be no crosses to bear, if we obeyed the laws of our life or stood in Truth of Life. The crosses arise when our path crosses the path of the Beloved. Moreover deserts are not necessarily desolate and without evidence of the Beloved's presence. Some deserts are heaths and melancholy stretches of land, but the lark sings there and the bees love heather flowers. Others are prairies, but their monotone holds the voice of the Beloved. Others are sand and stones and subject 48 to storms and destructive tornadoes, etc.
At times the Sufi becomes impetuous and in his vehement aspirations he would " arrest the yet unfolded roll of fate. The " roll of fate " does not exist outside of the infidel's mind. The Beloved's will is not hard or cruel ; it is none other than man's own personality, and that can he changed. Love is all there is ; it is man's law and it is the law of the Beloved.
Love unfolds man's person- ality little by little and transforms him into Love's pattern. This being so, is it any wonder that the Sufi wishes to be transformed and at times is impatient at what he thinks is delay, xcviii. Therefore he begins a New Life by talking no more about himself. He " turns down an empty glass " — he is " empty " of self! But he is full of Song and Wine, Beauty and the End.
The Soul is frek. Women's Printing Society, Ltd. With a short sketch of Author's Life, and his Portrait in Colours. In Three Volumes. It contains a concise and very informative introduction, by the translator, to the symbolism of Sufi poetry, and is re-typeset from the first edition, published in in the Wisdom of the East series. It is estimated to have sold over 15, copies in English translation. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 95 pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
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