It has been said that there are three cornerstones to the Sufi Path. One cornerstone is that of knowledge as evidenced by Ibn el Arabi, the other is that of Love as seen in the life of Rumi and the last is that of power or moral application as evidenced in the life of Gilani. If the aspirant has to equally develop in all three to be considered a complete Sufi
For me lately the responsibility of moral application has become increasing important. I spent much of my life earlier in pursuit of knowledge for I was told one can only participate in spiritual life after one has satisfied all the needs of one’s regular life at our current time our participation in life is limited by our knowledge as we have become such a technologically oriented world. Become a dervish opened me up to a deeper experience of love than I thought possible, and now moral participation has become very important.
It is easy to proclaim that all is one. It is easy to say Ya Haqq to one’s fellow dervish, (a greeting meaning to truth) Yet to live all of this is difficult. It is hard for me to see people suffering and keep quite especially when it happen in my immediate vicinity.
I got into a debate on a forum because someone was posting anti-Muslim comments. I found that for a spiritual site who’s motto was respect all faiths and people this was unacceptable. The person has a frequent negative and downgrading barrage of thing to say, and continues to do so even though in a past a few people have had and voiced some objections. Many things which are not historically accurate. And yet this continues, because as I was told, “everyone has the right to saw what they want”. For some reason criticism of what a person says is equivalent to attempting to silence them or take away their free rights. I asked that this should come to a vote and everyone should say as an online forum is a shared space and said if everyone is cool with this I would leave.
Now vote was taken and their where a few interesting comments. I thought I would post my reply and final comment here, to share and ask you all a question. Rhetoric can hurt people, it can incite a nation to violence, what is our responsibility as so called spiritual people when we see in plain site abuse, mistreatment. At some point does spirituality become more than reading books and sitting being a computer blogging? How do we live the many well worn statement we love to drop on facebook to look cool or to get likes ?
It seems the general consensus is if one doesn’t like something just press the delete button, or let it be because in part after all this is an illusion; when we find ourselves beyond this life, or when we travel astrally there are no distinctions, there is no Islam or Christianity there is no black or white.
To me, it is the now that counts. We find ourselves here on this earth on borrowed time and each of us has an alloted task, a function to perform here. This life is as real as it is unreal. In the depth of mystical experience the person who I am dissolves away as sugar does in hot tea, I recognize I am home. It is a short visit. I have responsibilities here. I will quote from the much maligned Qur’an:
He it is Who created for you all that is upon the earth; then He turned
toward the heaven and made seven firmaments,
and He has perfect knowledge of all things.
And behold! Your Sustainer said to the angels:
“I am about to establish upon earth a representative, a khalifah.”
While we are here we are responsible for this world, to take care of it, its denizen, all of creation. This is a real responsibility. I was warned many time by teachers, not to get too seduced by the idea that this is all an illusion, because that is only half the story. There is a real service that comes with being human which we are all responsible for not matter our race creed age, or sex etc. Those I feel who are called to a spiritual life have a deeper responsibility.
I’ve seen what hateful words can do, how they feed social unrest. I’ve known people ridiculed & spit on, for looking Muslim. I have been stopped and harassed because of racial profiling. When you are getting beaten up or spat on for being Black, Muslim, an immigrant, looking Mexican, and/or being gay (the list goes on) it is hard to accept that the fists and kicks you are receiving are an illusion. If you tell people enough that a certain group of people are awful and ungodly, it wont be long until a hate crime happens.
I don’t in any way turn a blind eye to the violence and hatred called by fanaticism. My concern is that we should be careful on how we call attention to it. We can’t build bridges of understanding by denigrating large expansive groups of ‘others’ and their ideology. That begets more violence. I think we need to educate ourselves a bit on the historical and social happenings that have created the condition for certain events to occur, so we can be more precise.
As said by Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. It is a good to remember many religious fanatics got people on their side by feeding and giving medicine to the poor and disenfranchised. So let’s not ostracize others with our rhetoric. That’s is the gist of what I want to say. I wont talk about this anymore. I invite everyone for the the purposes of self-edification to check out the American Civil Liberties Union page http://www.aclu.org and also the Unheard voices of 9/11 http://unheardvoicesof911.org/
As there was no vote or poll, I guess I’m on here for a bit longer unless there are objections.
- The unknown face of Rumi – Sufism and Spiritual Consumerism in the West (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Stephen Schwartz: Iranian Sufis Under New Attack (huffingtonpost.com)
- Higher Knowledge & Spiritual Experience: What to Buy? by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- The unknown face of Rumi – Sufism and Spiritual Consumerism in the West 3 (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- How Many Sufis Are There in Islam? by Stephen Schwartz (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Ibn Arabi on Love. Follow up to The unknown face of Rumi – Sufism and Spiritual Consumerism in the West 3 (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- The unknown face of Rumi – Sufism and Spiritual Consumerism in the West 2 (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- New Issue of Sufi Magazine with an article from Yours Truly (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- To Become a Sufi: Do I Need to Join a Sufi Order? by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Rumi and the Drunkard (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Recommending Sufism and the Way of Blame by Dr. Toussulis (2) (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Our Master does not utter a word.(1) – from Rumi’s Fihi Ma Fihi (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Differences Between Unity and Separation – A Vital Distinction by Dr. Yannis Toussulis (mycaravanofdreams.com)