Comment From: Mark of Contemplative Pathways
I agree with your comment and reservations regarding Llewellyn’s lamentations over the “darkness” and his rather dismal view of humanity’s future. I particularly appreciate your observation below:
Basically the person feels that the message that Llewellyn has shared with us is dark and depressing. According to her they feels from reading what Llewellyn has said that he has lost hope and given up on humanity. And the last statement is my favorite, from her understanding of Sufism, she feels that Llewellyn should know that there is much more to life than what science can deal with.
I responded to Llewelleyn’s recent articles on the “End of the Era and the Light going out of Civilization,” which is posted at: http://contemplatingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/darkest-before-dawn/ .
I could not understand how his views could be formulated in the name (or guise) of spiritual or mystical oneness. I find it so utterly incredible and irresponsible for a professed teacher of “oneness” to engage himself quite immersively in dualism, specifically the duality of opposing light and darkness. I have studied Sufism (and continue to do so), and nowhere in the teachings of Sufism do I find a justification for his dualist views.
He replied to my initial and subsequent posts with clarifications which only served to accentuate all the more his dualist mindset. I know that he posted a second part to his first article on “Witnessing the End of an Era.” However, the sequel seems to have only reiterated his basic dualistic paradigm.
I am glad I came across your blog. It is nice to know that others have also maintained their mindfulness and vigilance in upholding the truth of “oneness.”
Thank you for BEING there, too.
Responces : A Reader Responce
I think perhaps you have misunderstood the thrust of what has so pointedly and beautifully been offered here by Dave regarding the message of Llewellyn. A re-reading might serve to elucidate. A few highlights to clarify:
[ ... as a dervish, we witness and see for ourselves how the role of any shaikh is to hold up a mirror to our eyes. While he or she holds up this mirror. Quite often we cannot see things as they are.
I see and feel the message that Llewellyn has gone to such lengths to share with us in many departments in my life. He is only giving a voice and shape to many of the things we all have known already, but for some reason have not fully acknowledged.
The question that plagued my mind while observing all of the different reactions was simply if for the most part we are aware of the lack of harmony in our world and that something is wrong why did these four articles conjure up such a projection of angst and anger. This question brought me to the Anecdote from Shams Tabriz. Briefly to recapitulate:
If you prostrate yourself a hundred times in front of a mirror, it never moves from its place. If any ugliness has appeared in the mirror, know that it is your own; do not despise the mirror .....
(and this, my favorite) As a culture I feel we cannot stand much reality ]
Dave FromtheBlog Responce to Marc
Thank you for commenting on the blog. I appreciate all comments. I would be open to discussing further with you these articles of Llewellyn’s. However before doing so I would like to summarize for you my position on what he has said.
Civilizations like human beings come and go as a trip to the museum (which to me is a fancy cemetary) can illustrate. Civilizations come as a vehicle allowing the humanity, and the human consciousness to evolve towards a certain destiny. I will quote from Idries Shah’s The Sufis:
Sufis believe that, expressed in one way, humanity is evolving towards a certain destiny. We are all taking part in that evolution. Organs come into being as a result of the need for specific organs (Rumi). The human being’s organism is producing a new complex of organs in response to such a need. In this age of transcending of time and space, the complex of organs is concerned with the transcending of time and space. What ordinary people regard as sporadic and occasional outbursts of telepathic or prophetic power are seen by the Sufi as nothing less than the first stirrings of these same organs. The difference between all evolution up to date and the present need for evolution is that for the past ten thousand years or so we have been given the possibility of a conscious evolution. So essential is this more rarefied evolution that our future depends upon it.
When a new civilization comes into being there is a light that animates it and makes it possible for us to use it as a vehicle to further evolve our consciousness. Similarly there is an energy that keeps our body alive, and allows us to go through the experience of this life, until the time comes for us to shed it and transition onwards to our next stage. To me there is an interim period between th death of the old civilization and the birth of the new civilization during this period humanity is given the chance to consciously take part in the birth and seeding of the new civilization. During this time many hidden mystics work together to ease the transition. The history of the Khwajagan in Central Asia, specifically during the Mongol invasions can be seen as an example of this. This can also be seen in Europe during the heyday of Saracen Spain, a record of this exist in the myth and literature left behind as well as in the edifices erected. I feel currently this work can no longer be support by just mystics alone due to the far reaching ramifications of the abuses of the last few hundred years. When I look back on our living spiritual history I see many points where humanity has encountered such tumultuous transitions. Consequently since I see our civilization as part of a larger cycle I do not feel that what Llewellyn is saying as negative. Yvette comment reiterates a lot o what I have said in this particular post and I can do no better than to refer you to her recent comment.
Concerning Llewellyn’s dualism, I cannot say much of anything other than to point out that to me an observer the issue here really is that what Llewellyn refers to as Oneness is not in sync with what you believe and experience it to be. The same can be said for the role of a ‘professed teacher of oneness’.
Mark of Contemplative Pathways Responce To Dave FromtheBlog
I have no problems with the observation that human civilizations come and go, rise and fall, or ebb and flow. That is the nature of anything built upon the human state of consciousness. It is a given, and it is very true in the manifest dimension of effects.
However, all of that, including the “interim” or “transition” period you refer to, the seeming “evolution” of consciousness, and the very human state of consciousness, itself, are illusory. They are mere constructs in the human mind that perceives a duality of opposing forces (as in Llewellyn’s notion of conflict between darkness and light) or a fundamental sense of separation from the Infinite One-Source of All. They are the misleading and erroneous perceptions of the finite intellect mind which looks at and attempts to understand forms through the progression of (and in the context of) time and space. You will find that the wholistic intuitive mind, which can see and knows beyond the limited concepts and constructs of the intellect mind, will have a different approach and understanding to the same phenomena.
In my understanding of mystical Oneness, only the light or spiritual energy that emanates from the One, which animates all life and manifests as all forms, is real, total and absolute in its reality. Darkness has no reality in and of itself, unlike the light. Hence, the light cannot be extinguished (or “devoured” in Llewellyn’s word of choice) by darkness in any era. (In my rejoinder to Llewellyn’s reply to my post, I stressed the danger of working from paradigms founded upon dualism. Dualism simply is not nondualist Oneness. And there is a grave danger when the human mindset is built on such dualism: It tends to perpetuate the dualism, which is what has been happening time and time again; hence, we will never arrive at the era of final enlightenment we all desire and seek.)
How are we then to understand and explain the ebb and flow of civilizations or human eras? From the perspective of true oneness, all these activities are merely tidal surges of spiritual light as the Infinite seeks to establish (and reestablish) itself in ever increasing territories out here in the dimension of forms. It is similar to the upward moving spiral that circles wider and ever higher with every completed cycle.
Darkness has never, I repeat NEVER, devoured or extinguished the light. It is the other way around: The light persists continually in encroaching areas of darkness, so that the light being shed can reveal the nothingness or emptiness of the darkness.
If there is one valuable lesson I learned from my teacher, Joel Goldsmith, it is that consciousness is spiritually UNFOLDING, not evolving. Evolution implies a developmental process of addition or improvement through time and space in response to the need to bring a design or plan to completion or fullness. Spiritual unfoldment, however, implies that the design or plan already is complete; nothing else is needed to make it whole. The only thing we are witnessing is the piece-meal revelation of that whole. When seen through this paradigm, we can ignore and forget the darkness (which is the essence of forgiveness) and instead persevere and keep on working for the light as its bearer (we are light-bearers) in this world.
We cannot make water rises any higher that its own level. This is true of any mystical understanding. But this much I know and I say:
He who embraces the darkness wields the power of the light.
Peace to you, Dave, in the Oneness that is.
Mark of Contemplative Pathways Response to Reader
To quote your post: “If you prostrate yourself a hundred times in front of a mirror, it never moves from its place. If any ugliness has appeared in the mirror, know that it is your own; do not despise the mirror,” if this is the case, why should we bemoan the “darkness” we are experiencing in our world? Is not the darkness the dark unillumined side of our dual human nature being reflected in our external world? Should we, therefore, hate ourselves for that darkness within us which is part of our human nature?
I think not: We have more than enough guilt, self-hatred and self-loathing (both with respect to our self and our other selves) to contend with in a lifetime.
Rather, let us learn to befriend and love the darkness within us, no matter how horrible it may “appear to be” to us. Let us not cower in fear before it or in anxiety because of it. That darkness is the emptiness within our humanity waiting and longing to be filled with love and meaning by the light. That is the way to realizing wholeness within and to bring about healing to ourselves and our world. Besides, as I wrote Dave in my last post: He who embraces the darkness wields the power of the light.
Dave fromtheBlogResponce to Marc of Contemplative Pathways
With the inner eye of the heart one can in fact see the tree in a seed because there is no separation at the level of the inner vision. However outwardly one can also delineate various stages in the progression from a seed to tree. No one vision is more true than the other. I think one of the fundamental realizations of Oneness is that the world and its affairs are as important and necessary as those of the inner world. I also want to now take the opportunity to give an important example of something I have observed. If I use the word Inner and Outer I am not exposing duality. There is just one world, just like there is one orange though for the sake of language and specificity I can call the outer part of the orange the rind and the inner the pulp. Given the importance of the experience of the unity of being in Sufism, one can say that all is God the Light and Dark, Mercy and Wrath – all manifestations of the One Being.
When Llewellyn talks of Light and Dark, I never saw it as duality, because I didn’t stay at the level of terms but was brought to my experiences of what I intuited lies behind those terms. I feel that if we take just the words of any speech, article or talk at surface level and try to fit things neatly into categories and labels we will never arrive anywhere other than endless debate. Also if we are talking about Oneness we cannot exclude the constructs of the mind, like ‘civilization, ‘you’, ‘me’, ‘consciousness’ , ‘dualism’ etc from the mystical experiences that annnihilate all words and concepts. One can apply the same thinking to Hallaj’s notorious saying Ana’l Haqq. There is only God the Truth how could anyone claim to be the Truth?- a clear violation of the concept of monotheism, but yet in the aura of the experience of Divine intoxication Hallaj’s experience validates on a deeper level monotheism.
Speaking of Hallaj have you heard the Story of Hallaj and the apple from Heaven? “You can work miracles”, said one of his companions to the Muslim saint, Hallaj; “Can you bring me an apple from heaven?” The saint raised his hand and, within the instant, held in it an apple which he offered to his companion. Biting into the fruit, the man observed with horror that there was a worm in it. “That”, said Hallaj, “is because, in passing from the eternal realm into the world of time it has taken on something of the latter’s corruptibility”.
It is incumbent to go further than concepts, labels and understandings to the realm of experience. Otherwise we will just be pitting your, my and what we imagine Llewellyn’s understanding of Oneness to be together in a battle of epic proportions trying to ascertain who gets to wear the crown of being right and who retreats back to some corner of cyber space. This is not the type of activity that extends from an experience of Oneness. Actually what might be more worthwile is to see if we can put aside our understanding and ideas of what should be,what has to be, and come together through our individual experiences of Oneness which is what is as an example of what can be done.
I also felt it was important to comment on your comment to Yvette. I am very talkative today it seems. There is no bemoaning in Sufism. This is a dangerous statement to make, but I am on vacation so why not.
As sufis we accept all that is as coming from the Friend. However as this a mystical path, there is no doing. As my sheikh told me, it is folly to imagine that we can change on our own, something faulty we find about the world or ourseve. Only through God does real change come. Part of our job is to accept the reality of what is happening in the moment, and offer it and ourselves to God.
Case an point one of the 5 things I had to bring with my when I became initiated as a dervish was a rock candy. It represents the path which is hard but all the time sweet. If we are aware and firmly rooted in the experience behind the word “Darkness” then we can appreciate why this is being pointed out to us so that in the spirit of surrender we can present it to God.
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (1) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (2) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (3) – Some thoughts on Myths (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (4) – Summing Up. (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- When Will The Champions Arise? By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff – Responce to a quote by Idries Shah (mycaravanofdreams.com)