If Sufism can be said to be about anything, it is about love. Love in this sense is has nothing to do with sensuality or emotionality. This love is the magnetic pull between God and the mystic, between lover and Beloved. William Blake has so lovely said that :
“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
To the Sufi, the fundamental principle in this world is love. However the love that the mystic speaks about is quite different from what we know love in a our relationship to be. Rumi says it quite eloquently:
Different degrees of domination and servitude
are what you know as love.
But love is different
it arrives complete -
just there -
like the moon at the window.
Seek only that of which you have no clue.
Desire only that of which you have no hope.
This is not the Oxus River or some little creek.
This is the shoreless sea.
Here, swimming ends always in drowning
Many Sufi masters have gone to great lengths to discuss the differences between the love of the everyday which cannot compare to Divine Love. In the words of Shams of Tabriz Divine love Annihilates lust and desire and ambition. It turns the lover away from the self, and eventually empties him or her from self, finally making them nothing.
In the minds of Westerners, love is usually understood as the attraction or positive feelings one has for other human beings, which at its higher level helps an individual it be drawn to Reality. From this point of view, the lover must learn the ways of love. But this is very elementary
For Sufis, love is not in the realm of sentiments or feelings. Rather, its is a Dive attraction, the drawing of the lover by God towards God. Here, the stress is not so much on the effort of the lover but rather on the pull of God. for this reason, Sufism says that love is “that which comes,” like raging flood, and the Sufis look forward to its coming and carrying them away. As Rumi has said:
The lovers (Of God) have fallen into a fierce torment
They have surrendered themselves to the Beloved‘s Will.
Looking back on my experiences on the way I have often asked myself why am I doing this? What am I doing ? A dear friend of mine has said that the purpose of existence is to know that we are loved? I don’t feel that way, speaking from my experiences. There are many moments where we feel we are loved, a love that cannot in anyways be compared to human experiences of love. This love that is talked about is one that destroys you. It takes u away from yourself, it burns you. If you can imagine the worst day of the worst relationship you have been in, where life doesn’t seem livable and multiple it many fold. I really, like the following couplets, want to caution people who want to go further on a path any path, this is all a point we have to cross no matter what tradition we follow.
If I knew how painful Love is
I would have stood at the entrance of the lane of love
I would have proclaimed with the beat of a drum:
Keep, Keep away, keep away!
It is not a throughfare, There is only one way in
Once entered, I am helpless, I stay here…
But you who are outside ; look out!
Think before entering; how painful it is
Full of Sorrow to Walk the Lane of Love
Before I share what I think what is the purpose of our existence from my own mystsical standpoint I would like to hear from you guys. Please Share!