Friday, August 20, 2010

Example of Sufi Ideas

from Jalaludin Rumi (1205-1273 a.d.)

Man is the product of evolution. He continues this process. But the 'new' faculties, for which he yearns (generally unknowingly) come into being as a result of necessity. In other words, he now has to take part in the development of his own evolution. "Organs come into being as a response to necessity. Therefore, increase your necessity."

When he does not realize this, man is in a state which is referred to as 'sleep'. He has to 'wake up'.

There is a means of doing this, but the means is not through scholastic endeavor and what man takes to be the exercise of intellect. The means is by what is called the 'direct perception of Truth'.

Man's thinking pattern is in the ordinary way based upon alternation and changes of mood. He needs what is conceived of as a unification of mentation.

Man's perceptions are faulty, because they are subjective and relative. They are also 'conditioned', so that he interprets things according to limited, not objective, standards. He may therefore be said to have little capacity for real judgement.

There are realms of mind far beyond the ordinary state of man. These advanced realms cannot completely be rendered in the language of the brain as it stands.

Because of these limitations, man needs the guidance of one who knows more.

The methods used to help in the production of the higher states of perception include historical, religious and fable frameworks, as well as exercises of all kinds.

All such formulations are 'ways'.

Men have warped and made useless these 'ways' by repetitiously insisting on literal meanings for the figurative. Thus are 'idols' made.

When man reaches behind the exterior form, he can see that such forms, apparently multiple, stand before one and the same thing.

These teachings were given by ancient sages, and by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. They have been changed and used in a minor and ineffecient way.

This changing process is due to the use of man's vanity, where, for instance, he imagines that he can conceive more than he can at any given moment. As a result, giving a name to an undefinable concept makes him think that he has mastered it; or can master it, through having named it.

Beyond the confines of outward religion, man cannot truly call himself a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim. Ritual and dogma have no place in this sphere.

Man can be conceived as incomplete, a 'limb severed from a body'.

The effort of man to reunite with the understanding from which he is cut off can be called 'the religion, or duty, of Love'. But this is not a religion as such things are normally understood by man.

The 'eye', the advanced organ of perception of that from which man is cut off in the normal way, is within man.

External impressions 'condition' man, so that he is insensitive to inner impressions.

Any 'language' (terminology) may be used to refer to the transformation of man. This is why such conventions as the language of alchemy are used; or the language of myth and fable, which often refers to psychological processes, not to historical events.

Those who have developed the 'higher perceptions' sometimes have to conceal this fact, for social and other reasons, behind a locally acceptable facade.

From the book ~ Special Problems in the Study of Sufi Ideas, pgs. 35-36
By ~ Idries Shah


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