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Sufi mysticism

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W e have no freedom to achieve our goal
Until from Self and fools we free the soul.
To be admitted past the veil you must
Be dead to all the crowd considers just
Once past the veil you understand the Way
From which the crowd's glib courtier blindly stray
If you have any will, leave women's stories,
And even if this search for hidden glories
Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest
Is not mere talk but an exacting test.
The fruit of love's great tree is poverty
Whoever knows this knows humility





Islam / Sufism 4527 | 
The Conference of the Birds 







A sluggard once approached a fasting saint
And, baffled by dispair, maded this complaint:
"The devil is a highwayman, a thief,
Who's ruined me and robbed me of belief."
The saint replied: "Young man, the devil too
Has made his way here to complain - of you.
'My province is the world,' I heard him say;
'Tell this new pilgrim of God's holy Way
To keep his hands off what is mine - if I
Attack him it's because his fingers pry
In my affairs; if he will leave me be,
He's no concern of mine and can go free'."





Islam / Sufism 4526 | 
The Conference of the Birds, p99 







A n old, sad woman talked to Mahna's Sheikh:
"Teach me to pray for joy, for pity's sake -
I've suffered so much that I cannot bear
To think of future grief - give me some prayer
To murmur every day." The sheikh replied:
"How many years I wondered far and wide
Until I found the fortress that you seek -
It is the knee, bend it, accept, be meek;
I found no other way - this remedy,
And only this, will cure you of your misery."





Islam / Sufism 4525 | 
The Conference of the Birds, p123 







G od said to Moses once: "Go out and find
The secret truth that haunts the devil's mind."
When Moses met the devil that same day
He asked for his advice and heard him say:
"Remember this, repeat it constantly,
Don't speak of 'me', or you will be like me."
If life still holds you by a single hair,
The end of your toil will be dispair;
No matter how you prosper, there will rise
Before your face a hundred smirking "I"s.





Islam / Sufism 4524 | 
The Conference of the Birds, p150. 







U ntil this dog, the Self, can be subdued
Our life is folly endlessly renewed





Islam / Sufism 4523 | 
The Conference of the Birds, p96 







A man who lived by digging graves survived
To ripe old age. A neighbour said: "You've thrived
For years, digging away in one routine -
Tell us the strangest thing you've ever seen."
He said: "All things considered, what's most strange
Is that for seventy years without a change
That dog, my self, has seen me digging graves,
Yet neither dies, nor alters, nor behaves!"





Islam / Sufism 4522 | 
The Conference of the Birds, p96 







I f there is any lover in the world, 0 Muslim, it is I.
If there is any believer, infidel, or Christian hermit, it is I.
The wine, the cup-bearer, the musician, the instrument and the music,
The beloved, the candle, the liquor and the inebriation, it is I.
The seventy-two religious sects in the world
Do not really exist;
I swear by God every religious sect-it is I.
Earth, air, water and fire: do you know what they are?
Earth, air, water and fire-and the soul as well; it is I
Truth and falsehood, good and evil, pleasure and suffering, beginning and end,
Knowledge, learning, asceticism, devotion and faith-it is I.
Be assured that the fire of hell and its flames,
Paradise, Eden and the angels of heaven-it is I.
Heaven and earth and all they hold: angels, demons, and men - it is I.





Islam / Sufism 3799 | 
Mathnawi; Winfield, 1898 







D on't laugh like children! You do not understand my state.
Read a chapter from me, unfold a secret from her [the creative Force]:
I am drunk of that wine forbidden by the lawgivers;
I am drunk of the wine of oneness; I am free of color and smell.
I am oblivious to this place; my mind is elsewhere;





Islam / Sufism 3798 | 
Divan-i Shams; Winfield, 1898 







T he universe was not there; only I was. Adam wasn't them only I was. That light of unity was "I"; I am the Everlasting, and I am the prophet Elias. -The universe gets its light from me; Adam took his form from me; I am the All-Wise, the Knower, the Judge of all judges.




Islam / Sufism 3797 | 
Divan-i Shams; Winfield, 1898 







O Thou Soul who art free of "we" and "I,"
0 Thou who art the subtle Essence of the souls of men and women,
When a man or woman unites with Thee, Thou art that One; when their individuality is obliterated, Thou alone art.
Thou didst contrive this "I" and this "we" only so that Thou mightest play the game of worship with Thyself,
So that all "Is" and "Thous" should become one Soul, immersed at last in the one Beloved.





Islam / Sufism 3796 | 
Mathnawi; Winfield, 1898 







A ll that is other than the true "I" must be slain.




Islam / Sufism 3795 | 
Mathnawi; Winfield, 1898 







L isten, riffraff: Do you want to be ALL?
Then go, go and become nothing.

You are nothing when you wed the One;
But, when you truly become nothing,
You are everything.

Regard yourself as a cloud drifting before your Sun;
Detach yourself from the senses,
And behold your intimacy with the Sun.

If you lose yourself on this path,
Then you will know for sure:
He is you, and you are He.





Islam / Sufism 3794 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; p. 10,112,123,120 







T he world but seems to be,
Yet it is only a blending of light and shade.
Discern the meaning of this dream;
Discriminate between time and Eternity.
All is nothing, nothing.
All is He, all is He.





Islam / Sufism 3793 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; p. 119 







W hen shall You and I divorce ourselves
So that "You" and "I" are gone,
And only God remains?

If You are everything,
Then, who are all these people?
And if I am nothing,
What's all this noise about?
You are the Totality;
Everything is You. Agreed!
Then, all that is "other-than -You"-
What is it?
Oh, indeed I know, nothing exists but You!
But, tell me, whence all this confusion?

He Himself speaks of Truth;
He Himself listens.
He Himself shows Himself;
He Himself sees.





Islam / Sufism 3792 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; p. 127,99,80 







I sought solitude with my loved one,
Yet find there is no one here but myself.
And if there were a "someone else," then, truly,
I should not have attained her.

When I clutched at His skirt,
I found His hand in my sleeve.

I am the one I love;
He whom I love is I.
Two, yet residing in a single body.

If I have become the Beloved,
Who is the lover?
Beloved, Love and lover-three in one;
There is no place for union here,
So, what is this talk of "separation?"

What He takes,
He takes with His own hand from Himself;
What He gives,
He gives from Himself to Himself.

Hunter, prey, bait, and trap;
Candle, candlestick, flame, and moth;
Beloved, lover, soul, and soul's desire;
Inebriation, drinker, wine, and cupAll is He!

Is it You or I this reality in the eye?
Beware, beware of the word, "two."

"I" and "You" have made of man a duality;
Without these words, You are I and I am You.





Islam / Sufism 3791 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; pp. 95,117,125,76,96,110,77,103 







O You who are so unbearably beautiful,
Whose beloved are You?" I asked.
"My own," He replied;
"For I am one and one alone-
Love, lover, beloved, mirror, beauty, eye!"





Islam / Sufism 3790 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; p. 111 







B eloved, I sought You here and there,
Asked for news of You from all I met.
Then I saw You through myself,
And found we were identical.
Now I blush to think I ever searched
For signs of You.
By day I praised You, but never knew it;
By night I slept with You without realizing it,
Fancying myself to be myself;
But no, I was You and never knew it.





Islam / Sufism 3789 | 
in Chittock & Wilson, 1982; pp. 120, 124 







I f men knew themselves, they would know God; and if they really knew God, they would be satisfied with Him and would think of Him alone.




Islam / Sufism 3787 | 
in Landau, 1959; p. 79 







A s for the theorists and thinkers, and the scholastic theologians, with their talk about the soul and its properties, none of them have grasped the Reality; such speculation can never grasp it. He who seeks to know the Reality through theoretical speculation is flogging a dead horse; ... for he who seeks to know It by any means other than the one proper to It, will never grasp It.




Islam / Sufism 3786 | 
in Austin, 1980; pp. 153 







T herefore, know your self, who you are, what is your identity. ... Consider well in what way you are Haqq, and in what way Khalq, as being separate, other.

He who knows himself knows his Lord; ... indeed, He is his very identity and reality.





Islam / Sufism 3785 | 
in Austin, 1980; pp. 126, 153 







I n one sense the Reality is creatures; in another sense, It is not. ... Whether you assert that It is undivided or divided, the Self is alone. The manifold [universe] exists and yet it does not exist.




Islam / Sufism 3784 | 
in Austin, 1980; p. 88 







I t is none other than He who progresses or journeys as you. There is nothing to be known but He; and since He is Being itself, He is therefore also the journeyer. There is no knower but He; so who are you? Know your true Reality. He is the essential self of all. But He conceals it by [the appearance of] otherness, which is "you."

If you hold to multiplicity, you are with the world; and if you hold to the Unity, you are with the Truth .... Our names are but names for God; at the same time our individual selves are His shadow. He is at once our identity and not our identity ... Consider!





Islam / Sufism 3783 | 
in Austin, 1980; pp. 136, 126-127 







N othing but the Reality is; there is no separate being, no arriving and no being far away. This is seen in true vision; when I experienced it, I saw nothing but Him.
When my Beloved appears, with what eye do I see Him? With His eye not with mine; for no one sees Him except Himself.





Islam / Sufism 3782 | 
in Austin, 1980.; p. 108 







K now that whenever something permeates another, it is assumed into the other.
That which permeates, the agent, is disguised by that which is permeated, the object.
In this case, the object is the manifest [universe], and the agent is the Unmanifest, the Hidden.

On Him alone we depend for everything; our dependence on other things is in reality dependence on Him, for they are nothing but His appearances.

The eye perceives nothing but Him; only He is to be known.
We are His; by Him we exist, and by
Him we are governed; and we are, at all times and in all states, in His presence.





Islam / Sufism 3781 | 
in Austin, 1980.; pp. 92,98,137 







S uch knowledge can only be had by actual experience, nor can the reason of man define it, or arrive at any cognizance of it by deduction, just as one cannot, without experience, know the taste of honey, the bitterness of patience, the bliss of sexual union, love, passion, or desire.




Islam / Sufism 3780 | 
Meccan Revelations, I 







T here is no existence save His existence. ... This means that the existence of the beggar is His existence and the existence of the sick is His existence. Now, when this is admitted, it is acknowledged that all existence is His existence; and that the existence of all created things, both accidents and substances, is His existence; and when the secret of one particle of the atoms is clear, the secret of all created things, both outward and inward, is clear; and you do not see in this world or the next, anything except God.




Islam / Sufism 3779 | 
in Landau, 1959; pp. 83-84 







W hen the mystery of the oneness of the soul and the Divine is revealed to you, you will understand that you are no other than God. ... Then you will see all your actions to be His actions and all your attributes to be His attributes and your essence to be His essence.

... Thus, instead of [your own] essence, there is the essence of God and in place of [your own] attributes, there are the attributes of God. He who knows himself sees his whole existence to be the Divine existence, but does not experience that any change has taken place in his own nature or qualities. For when you know yourself, your sense of a limited identity vanishes, and you know that you and God are one and the same.





Islam / Sufism 3778 | 
in Landau, 1959; pp. 83-84 







K now Him as both particularized and unparticularized, and be established in Truth. Be in a state of unity if you wish, or be in a state of separation if you wish; if the Totality reveals Itself to you, you will attain the crown of victory.




Islam / Sufism 3777 | 
in Austin, 1980; p. 125 







C hoose less over more in it. Be satisfied with what you have, even if it is less than what others have. In fact, prefer to have less.




Islam / Sufism 3542 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.56 







W hat you plant here, you will reap there.




Islam / Sufism 3541 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.56 







S piritual practice without knowledge is like a wide open garden. It may yield fruit and flowers, but nothing will stop the animals from devouring the fruit and trampling the flowers. Unless they are surrounded by a wall of knowledge, devotion and inspiration are easily lost, or can even turn into hypocrisy, spiritual pride or arrogance. In a sense the religious law and the mystical Sufi path are like a pair of wings. One alone can accomplish nothing. You need both. You must cleanse yourself of outward material impurities and also purify your inner being of impurities like pride, hypocrisy, dishonesty, anger, greed and love of fame and status.




Islam / Sufism 3495 | 
Love is the Wine edited by Dr. Robert Frager. 







T here is the essence of God and there are the attributes of God. The essence is impossible for us to understand. We can begin to understand the attributes. In fact, part of a Sufi education is to understand those attributes in yourself. God has said, "My servants will find Me as they see Me." This does not mean if you think of God as a tree or as a mountain that God will be that tree or mountain. If you think of God as merciful, or loving, or as angry or vengeful, that is how you will find God.




Islam / Sufism 3494 | 
Love is the Wine edited by Dr. Robert Frager. 







T here is a famous saying, "He who knows himself [literally, "He who knows his nafs"] knows his Lord." There are two meanings to this. The first is that we can come to know our needs, desires and weaknesses, and also come to realize the existence of a majestic power. Then we know that we need a protector -- someone who feeds us, clothes us and shelters us in this world. The second is a mystical explanation. God said, "I am closer to you than your own jugular vein." In knowing ourselves we will discover this deep connection with our Lord. By following this cord we can reach God.




Islam / Sufism 3493 | 
Love is the Wine edited by Dr. Robert Frager. 







I do not cease swimming in the seas of love, rising with the wave, then descending; now the wave sustains me, and then I sink beneath it; love bears me away where there is no longer any shore.




Islam / Sufism 3439 | 
Diwan al-Hallaj, M. 34 







I have seen my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: "Who are You?" He said:"You."




Islam / Sufism 3438 | 
Diwan al-Hallaj, M. 10 







E xperience shows that the spirit is nothing but awareness. Whoever has greater awareness has greater spirit… When the spirit becomes greater and passes beyond all bounds, the spirits of all things become obedient to it.




Islam / Sufism 3336 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, pp. 31-32, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







K now that the World of Unity lies in the other direction from the senses. If you want Oneness, go in that direction!




Islam / Sufism 3335 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 251, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







W hat can I say about the stations of those who have attained union except that they are infinite, while the stations of the travelers have a limit? The limit of the travelers is union. But what could be the limit of those in union? -- that is, that union which cannot be marred by separation. No ripe grape ever again becomes green, and no mature fruit ever again becomes raw.




Islam / Sufism 3334 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 247, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







H ow could the rays of God's light fit into the heart? Yet when you search you will find it there, not from the point of view of containment such that it could be said that the light is in that place. You will find it through that place …




Islam / Sufism 3333 | 
Signs of the Unseen: The Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi, p. 173, Trans. W.M. Thackston, Jr. Putney, Vermont: Threshold Books, 1994 







H is ego falls like a battered wall. He unites with God, alive, but emptied of Nasuh (i.e. himself).




Islam / Sufism 3332 | 
The Essential Rumi, p. 163, Trans. Coleman Barks with John Moyne. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995 







O h, there is many a trusty, martyred ego that has died in this world but walks about like the living. The brigand spirit has died, but its sword remains in the hand of the warrior. The sword is the same sword, but the man is not the same man -- the form confuses you. Once the ego has been transformed, the sword -- the body -- is held in the hand of the Bountiful Lord's craftsmanship.




Islam / Sufism 3331 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, pp. 185-186, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







W hat is it to know something of God? Burn inside that presence. Burn up.




Islam / Sufism 3330 | 
The Essential Rumi, p. 62, Trans. Coleman Barks with John Moyne. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995 







L ove is for vanishing into the sky.




Islam / Sufism 3329 | 
The Essential Rumi, p. 107, Trans. Coleman Barks with John Moyne. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995 







T o deem oneself exalted is to claim copartnership with God. As long as you have not died and become living through Him, you are a rebel seeking a realm for your copartnership. When you have become living through Him, you are indeed He. That is utter Oneness, how could that be copartnership?




Islam / Sufism 3328 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, pp. 183-184, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







W ith God, two I's cannot find room. You say I and He says I. Either you die before Him, or let Him die before you; then duality will not remain. But it is impossible for Him to die, either subjectively or objectively, since He is the Living God, the Undying (Koran 25:58). He possesses such Gentleness that were it possible, He would die for you so that duality might vanish. But since it is impossible for Him to die, you die, so that He may manifest Himself to you and duality may vanish.




Islam / Sufism 3327 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 191, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







G od calls, … "Come out of your selves quickly, or else every instant will be a shackle, every two paces snares and traps." Come out of ourselves? But to where? To selflessness! Selflessness is meaning, meaning! Self-consciousness is names, names!




Islam / Sufism 3326 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 174, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







I have been so naughted in Thy Love's existence that my nonexistence is a thousand times sweeter than my existence.




Islam / Sufism 3325 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 298, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







G od does not speak to everyone, just as the kings of this world do not speak to every weaver. They appoint ministers and representatives so that through them people may find the way to them. In the same way God has singled out certain servants so that everyone who seeks Him may find Him within them. All the prophets have come for this reason. Only they are the Way.




Islam / Sufism 3324 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 122, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







D o not break with the prophet of your time! Do not rely on your own skills and footsteps! Though you be a lion, if you travel the Path without a guide, you will be a self-seer, astray and contemptible.




Islam / Sufism 3323 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 139, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







I f you want dervishhood, spiritual poverty, and emptiness, you must be friends with a sheikh. Talking about it, reading books, and doing practices don't help. Soul receives from soul that knowing.




Islam / Sufism 3322 | 
The Essential Rumi, p.255, Trans. Coleman Barks with John Moyne. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995 





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