Once divine love has taken hold of a human being she is as if haunted, addicted, lost to herself. She is in the grip of the greatest power in the universe, a power that does not know the limitations of time or space. Pure love comes from the beyond and takes us into the depths of ourself where we encounter the nothingness of our true being. This is the path of annihilation in which we leave behind any semblance of ourself. The Sufis often speak of the danger of just one sip of this intoxicating wine, as in a poem by Shabistari:
The aroma of the Divine Wine
Has made them abandon everything;
The taste for Annihilation
Has sent them all sprawling like drunkards.
For one sip of the wine of ecstasy
They have thrown away pilgrim staff, water jar
They fall, and then they rise again,
Sometimes bright in union,
Sometimes lost in the pain of separation;
Now pouring tears of blood,
Now raised to a world of bliss….
They have drunk one cup of the pure wine
And have become—at last, at long last—real Sufis.
The wine of love takes us behind the veils of creation, from a world of forms into a formlessness where we do not exist: where the lover is lost in the ocean of love. For the mystic there is “nothing but nothingness” and yet this nothingness loves us with a tenderness beyond imagining, with intimacy as well as devastating power. In the tavern of ruin we gladly lose everything we considered of value:
Drunk on the wine of selflessness,
They have given up good and evil alike.
Drunk, without lips or mouth, on Truth
They have thrown away all thoughts of name
All talk of wonder, visions, spiritual states,
Dreams, secret rooms, lights, miracles.
“Everything has to go” and everything is lost when love takes hold of a heart. This is not a path for the fainthearted, for those who like security or even the comfort of what is known. There is a place where the mystic and even the spiritual seeker must part, as I was shown in a vision when I saw a coffin on which was engraved “spiritual aspirant.” The spiritual aspirant seeks a spiritual life, based upon some spiritual con-
cept, some idea of how things ought to be. The mystic is drawn into the abyss of love, into the nothingness beyond any notion, “the dark silence in which all lovers lose themselves.”
Few wayfarers realize that “everything has to go” actually means everything, every concept, every idea, every belief system. Every identity we have of ourself is swept away in the mad currents of love, in its dark abyss. All images of both God and self are dissolved and the mind is left helpless, the ego bewildered. The mystic is drawn into this vortex by a secret quality of her being that calls her to nothingness, that is attracted only by emptiness, by the essential nature of her own non-being.
Stamped within the heart of the lover is the knowledge that every form is a limitation. The Sufis say “In thename of He who has no name” because they know that only the nothingness is real. The innermost song of the mystic is this song of nothingness, of His essential non-being. His lovers stand on the edge of the world knowing the darkness that is love’s infinite ocean.
This is the darkness that carries the secret seed of life, but cannot be contained by any form.
- New Issue of Sufi Magazine with an article from Yours Truly (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (3) – Some thoughts on Myths (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- RESPONSIBILITY by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- The Experience of Nothingness by Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Confronting our darkness from Love is a Fire – The Sufis Mystical Journey Home by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- New Comments on My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (1) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- THE INTERCONNECTIVITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Response by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to the article by Kingsley Dennis (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- My Responce to the Recent Writings of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (4) – Summing Up. (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Some thoughts on Zikr from ” is a Fire… by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- How Many Sufis Are There in Islam? by Stephen Schwartz (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Higher Knowledge & Spiritual Experience: What to Buy? by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Who is a Sufi by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Do sufis dance as part of their practice? (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Traveling and Social Conduct on the Path by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Sufi Practices of Remembrance, Contemplation, Meditation, and Self examination (mycaravanofdreams.com)