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Sufi mysticism

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W hat are "I" and "You"?
Just lattices
In the niches of a lamp
Through which the One Light radiates.

"I" and "You" are the veil
Between heaven and earth;
Lift this veil and you will see
How all sects and religions are one.

Lift this veil and you will ask---
When "I" and "You" do not exist
What is mosque?
What is synagogue?
What is fire temple?





Islam / Sufism 3065 | 
translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut - 'Perfume of the Desert' 







G od and Love are as body and soul.
God is the mine, Love is the diamond.
They have been together
since the beginning
in every beat of every heart.





Islam / Sufism 3064 | 
Nicholson, R. H. The Mystics of Islam. New York: Shocken Books, 1975, p. 81. 







A ll through eternity God unveils
His exquisite form.
In the solitude of nothingness
He holds a mirror to
His own Face and beholds
His own beauty.
He is the knower and the known, the seer and the seen;
No eye but
His own has ever looked upon this Universe.





Islam / Sufism 3063 | 
Nicholson, R. H. The Mystics of Islam. New York: Shocken Books, 1975, p. 81. 







T his world is nothing but a dance of shadows,
A line drawn between darkness and light, joy and oppression, time and eternity.
Learn to read this subtle line for it tells all the secrets of creation.

Let go of everything,
Completely lose yourself on this path,
Then you will have no doubts.
With absolute conviction you'll cry out-
I am God!
I am the one I have found!

In the light I praised you and never knew it.
In the dark I stayed with you and never knew it.
I always thought that I was me,
But no-I was you and never knew it.





Islam / Sufism 3062 | 
Shahram Shiva and Jonathan Star from: La' amat (Divine Flashes), flashes 7, 14, 25, 27. 







H is Light rose,
I found it in my own heart-
It is now my Light you see shining!





Islam / Sufism 3061 | 
Shahram Shiva and Jonathan Star from: La' amat (Divine Flashes), flashes 7, 14, 25, 27. 







L ove courses through everything,
No, Love is everything.
How can you say there is no love when nothing but Love exists?
All that you see has appeared because of Love.
All shines from Love,
All pulses with Love,
All flows from Love
No, once again, all is Love!





Islam / Sufism 3060 | 
Shahram Shiva and Jonathan Star from: La' amat (Divine Flashes), flashes 7, 14, 25, 27. 







I look into the mirror and see my own beauty;
I see the Truth of the universe revealing itself as me.
I rise in the sky as the morning Sun. Do not be surprised
Every particle of creation is my own form.

What are the holy spirits?
- My essence revealed.
And the human body?
-The vessel of my own form.
What is the ocean that encircles the world?
A drop of my abundant Grace; And the purest light that fills every soul?
A spark of my own illumination.

What is the water that grants eternal life?
A drop of my divine nectar.
And the breath that brings the dead back to life?
A puff of my breath, the breath of all life.

I am Light itself, reflected in the heart of everyone.
I am the treasure of the Divine Name, the shining Essence of all things.

From the highest heavens to the bedrock of the earth
All is but a shadow of my splendor.

If I dropped the veil covering my true essence
The world would be lost in a flash of brilliant light.





Islam / Sufism 3059 | 
Shahram Shiva and Jonathan Star from: La' amat (Divine Flashes), flashes 7, 14, 25, 27. 







O dear one, listen! I am the reality of the world, the center of the circle. I am the parts and the whole. I am the will holding Heaven and Earth in place. I have given you sight only so you may see me.

0 dear one! I call again and again but you do not hear me, I appear again and again but you do not see me, I fill myself with fragrance, again and again, but you do not smell me. I become savory food yet you do not taste me. Why can't you reach me through your touch Or breathe me in through your sweet perfumes?

Love me, Love yourself in me. No one is deeper within you than I. Others may love you for their own sake, But I love you for yourself.

Dear one! This bargain is not fair. If you take one step toward me, It is only because I have taken a hundred toward you. I am closer to you than yourself. Closer than your soul, than your own breath. Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me? I am so jealous. I want you to see me-and no one else. To hear me-and no one else, not even yourself

Dear one! Come with me. Let us go to Paradise together. And if we find any road that leads to separation, We will destroy that road. Let us go hand in hand In the presence of Love. Let it be our witness, Let it forever seal this wondrous union of ours.





Islam / Sufism 3058 | 
Manheim, Ralph, trans. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969, pp. 174-175. 







H appy is the moment, when we sit together,
With two forms, two faces, yet one soul, you and I.

The flowers will bloom forever,
The birds will sing their eternal song,
The moment we enter the garden, you and I.

The stars of heaven will come out to watch us,
And we will show them the light of a full moon, you and I.

No thoughts of "you," no thoughts of I,"
Just the bliss of union-
Joyous, alive, free of care, you and I.

All the bright-winged birds of heaven
Will swoop down to drink our sweet water-
The ocean of our laughter, you and I.

What a miracle of fate, us sitting here.
Even at the far ends of the earth
We would still be together, you and I.

We have one form in this world, another in the next.
To us belongs an eternal heaven, the endless delight, you and I.





Islam / Sufism 3057 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







M y, soul said:
They brought me to God's workshop,
Where all things take form, and I flew.
Before this form of mine
even took shape-I flew and I flew.
And when I could fly no longer
They dragged me into this form,
and locked me into this house,
of water and clay.





Islam / Sufism 3056 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







T his is love-to fly upward
toward the endless heavens.
To rend a hundred veils at every moment.
At the first breath, to give up life;
At the final step, to go without feet.
To see the world as a dream
and not as it appears.





Islam / Sufism 3055 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







L ast night I learned how to be a lover of God
To live in this world and call nothing my own.

I looked inward
And the beauty of my own emptiness
filled me till dawn.
It enveloped me like a mine of rubies.
Its hue clothed me in red silk.

Within the cavern of my soul
I heard the voices of lovers crying,
"Drink now! Drink now!"-

I took a sip and saw the vast ocean
Wave upon wave caressed my soul.
The lovers of God dance around
And the circle of their steps
becomes a ring of fire round my neck.

Heaven calls me with its rain and thunder
a hundred thousand cries
yet I cannot hear

All I hear is the call of my Beloved.





Islam / Sufism 3054 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







I know nothing of two worlds,
all I know is the One.
I seek only One,
I know only One,
I find only One,
and I sing of only One.





Islam / Sufism 3053 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







D on't think.
Don't get lost in your thoughts.
Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart,
and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go,
just let them fall into the water.





Islam / Sufism 3052 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







T here is a force within that gives you life-
Seek that.
In your body there lies a priceless jewel-
Seek that. Wandering Sufi,
If you are in search of the greatest treasure,
don't look outside,
look inside, and seek That.





Islam / Sufism 3051 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







T he Beloved is in the sight,
and the sight is in the Beloved.





Islam / Sufism 3050 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







T he Lover is ever drunk with love;
He is free,
He is mad,
He dances with ecstasy and delight.
Caught by our own thoughts, we worry about every little thing,
But once we get drunk on that love,
Whatever will be, will be.

When you dance, the whole universe dances.
What wonder!
I've looked, and now I cannot look away.
Take me, or do not take me, both are the same
As long as there is life in this body, I am your servant.

Love came and it made me empty.
Love came and it filled me with the Beloved. It became the blood in my body,
It became my arms and my legs. It became everything!
Now all I have is a name, the rest belongs to the Beloved.





Islam / Sufism 3049 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







C ome, come, whoever you are,
wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving, it doesn't matter
Ours is not a caravan of despair, but one of endless joy.
Even if you have broken your vows a hundred times-
Come, come, yet again, come!





Islam / Sufism 3048 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







W hen the mysterious unity between the soul and the Divine becomes clear, you will realize that you are none other than God. You will see all your actions as His actions; all your features as His features; all your breaths as His breath.




Islam / Sufism 3006 | 
Manheim, Ralph, trans. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969, pp. 174-175. 







T o become a saint of God, you must covet nothing in this world or the next and you must give yourself entirely to God and turn your face to Him. To desire this world is turning away from God for the sake of what is transitory. To covet the next world means turning away from God for the sake of what is everlasting.




Islam / Sufism 3004 | 
Ibrahim Adham, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.182 







B efore the time of Prayer comes, the servant must be in a state of preparation and his attitude must be that which is essential for prayer, namely, a state of meditation and recollection, free-from wandering thoughts and consideration or remembrance of anything save God alone. Those who enter in this way upon prayer, with heart intent only upon God, will proceed from prayer to prayer in that same state of recollection and will remain in that state after they have ceased to pray.




Islam / Sufism 3003 | 
al-Sarraj, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.159 







T he disciple's attempt to purify the heart is like the person ordered to uproot a tree. However much he reflects and struggles to do so, he is unable. So he says to himself, "I'll wait until I'm more powerful and then uproot it." But the longer he waits and leaves the tree to grow, the larger and stronger it becomes while he only becomes weaker, and its uprooting becomes more difficult.




Islam / Sufism 3002 | 
Abu'Uthman al-Maghribi, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.156 







W e must always be in a state of preparation. Preparation is the art of staying awake. If you are awake, then one day you may see into the real world. You cannot expect to come into that world if you walk around like a sleepwalker in a dream. You cannot wake up by reading books that tell you you are asleep. You may not even wake up just because a teacher tells you that you are asleep. You can only wake up if you want to, and so begin to work on yourself to cut away all the rubbish in order to come upon the nature of who and what you are.




Islam / Sufism 3001 | 
Reshad Field, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.154 







M aturity cannot be achieved alone. There is a need for guidance and discipline. The path is unknown, the night is dark, and the road is full of danger. Dangers include preoccupation with selfishness, false visions, misinterpretations of mystical states, arrest in development, fixation in a particular state, appeal to various drugs to create false mystical experiences, and, not infrequently, overwhelming anxiety and insanity.




Islam / Sufism 3000 | 
Mohammed Shafii, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.136 







S hems asked a sheikh, "What are you doing.
I am looking at the moon's reflection in this lake" replied the sheikh.
"Why don't you look directly at the sky? Are you so blind that you do not see the true object in all you contemplate?"
Shems'reply had such an effect on the sheikh that he asked Shems to accept him as his disciple.
"You do not have the strength to bear my company," replied Shems.
'The strength is within me," said the sheikh. "Please accept me.
"Then bring me a pitcher of wine, and we will drink together in the Baghdad market.'
Fearing public opinion (because alcohol is forbidden by Islam), the sheikh replied, 'I cannot do this"
Shems shouted, "You are too timid for me. You haven't the strength to be among the intimate friends of God. I seek only those who know how to reach the Truth.'





Islam / Sufism 2999 | 
Shems Tabrizi, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.132 







L et the eye of your heart be opened that you may see the spirit and behold invisible things.
If you set your face toward the region where Love reigns, you will see the whole universe laid out as a rose garden. What you see, your heart will wish to have, and what your heart seeks to possess, that you will see. If you penetrate to the 'middle of each mote in the sunbeams, you will find a sun within.
Give all that you possess to Love. If your spirit is dissolved in the flames of Love, you will see that Love is the alchemy for spirit.
You will journey beyond the narrow limitations of time and place and will pass into the infinite spaces of the Divine World. What ear has not heard, that you will hear, and what no eye has seen, you shall behold. Finally, you shall be brought to that high Abode, where you will see One only, beyond the world and all worldly creatures. To that One you shall devote the love of both heart and soul until, with the eye that knows no doubt, you will see plainly that "One is and there is nothing save God alone.'





Islam / Sufism 2998 | 
Ahmad Hatif, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.123 







I f love manifests itself within you, it has its origins in beauty. You are nothing but a mirror in which beauty is reflected. Because beauty and its reflection are both from that one source, it is both treasure and treasure-house.




Islam / Sufism 2997 | 
Jami, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.121 







B e the captive of Love in order that you may be truly free -free from coldness and the worship of self. Thousands have passed who were wise and learned but who were strangers to Love. No name is left to them, nothing to proclaim their fame and dignity or to relate their history in the march of time. Although you may attempt to do a hundred things in this world, only Love will give you release from the bondage of yourself.




Islam / Sufism 2996 | 
Jami, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.115 







M any sheikhs observe the following rule. When a novice joins them, they subject him to spiritual discipline for three years. He can be admitted to the Path only if he fulfills all the requirements of this discipline. The first year is devoted to service of the people, the second year to service of God, and the third year to watching over his own heart.




Islam / Sufism 2995 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.218 







O seeker, know that the path to Truth is within you. You are the traveler. Going happens by itself, Coming happens to you, without you. There is no arriving or leaving; nor is there any place; nor is there a contained within a container. Who is there to be with God? What is there other than God? Who seeks and finds when there is none but God?




Islam / Sufism 2989 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.198 







I f you wish to draw near to God, you must seek God in the hearts of others. You should speak well of all, whether present or absent. If you seek to be a light to guide others, then, like the sun, you must show the same face to all. To bring joy to a single heart is better than to build many shrines for worship, and to enslave one soul by kindness is worth more than the setting free of a thousand slaves.
The true man of God sits in the midst of his fellowmen, and rises up and cats and sleeps and buys and sells and gives and takes in the bazaars, and marries and has social intercourse with others, and yet is never for one moment forgetful of God.





Islam / Sufism 2988 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.212 







O ne day a man asked a sheikh how to reach God. the Way to God the sheikh replied, are many as they are created beings. But the shortest and easiest is to serve others, not to bother others, and to make others happy.




Islam / Sufism 2987 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.198 







S acrifice your ego; nothing more.




Islam / Sufism 2986 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.158 







A dervish was sweeping the courtyard. Abu Sa'id saw him and said, "Be like the dust ball that rolls before the broom and not like the rock left behind.'
One must be like the dust, which has no will of its own but goes wherever the broom (the spiritual master) commands not like the rock, which asserts its own will and resists the direction of the guide.





Islam / Sufism 2985 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.157 







T his spirit of divine origin appears in a man as man, in beast as beast, and in plant as plant. And it appears differently even within each species, appearing in each person in a different manner in accordance with his different capacity and predisposition. The spirit neither disappears not diminishes nor changes when the body is destroyed.
The body, until its end, is in continuous transformation, whereas the spirit never changes. It cannot be identified by anything other than the body it inhabits. There is no identification without appearance; therefore, it is essential for the spirit to have a form. Yet if the spirit becomes fully identified with a specific body, it cannot return to its origin.





Islam / Sufism 2984 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.111 







N ot only do beings and things have spirits that in turn take the forms of beings and things, but deeds, words, thoughts, and feelings also have spirits of their own. Thus it may happen that the soul of a beautiful deed may assume the form of an angel.




Islam / Sufism 2983 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.111 







T ruth has been planted in the center of your heart, entrusted to you by God for safekeeping. It becomes manifest with true repentance and with true effort. Its beauty shines on the surface when you remember God and do the dhikr [recitation of Divine Names]. At the first stage you recite the name of God with your tongue; then, when your heart becomes alive, you recite inwardly with the heart.




Islam / Sufism 2982 | 
Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.103 







F asting is a way to save on food. Vigil and prayer is a labor for old folks. Pilgrimage is an occasion for tourism. To distribute bread in aims is something for philanthropists. Fall in love: That is doing something!




Islam / Sufism 2981 | 
Ansari, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.102 







G o you, sweep out the dwelling room of your heart, prepare it to be the home of the Beloved. When you go out, He will come in. Within you, when you are free from self, He will show His beauty.




Islam / Sufism 2980 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.102 







H appy is he who is able to escape from the lower self and feel the gentle breeze of friendship. His heart is so full of the Beloved that there is no longer room for anyone else. The Beloved flows through his every vein and nerve. Every atom of his body is filled with the Friend.
The true lovers can no longer perceive either the scent or the color of their own selves. They have no interest in anything other than the Beloved. Their heart is attached neither to throne nor crown. Greed and lust have packed their bags and left their street. If they speak, it is to the Friend. If they seek, it is from the Friend. They no longer take themselves into account, and live only for love. They, leave the raw and turn to the ripe, abandoning completely the abode of the self





Islam / Sufism 2979 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.99 







I hold you in my heart.
I rock and sing you to sleep.
You are everywhere in everyone,
he holy baby in all of us,
that plays there.

The beautiful one,
born when we love,
the glowing child.

You are the meaning that blooms in the heart.





Islam / Sufism 2978 | 
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.99 







D o everything you do in order to come close to your Lord in your worship and prayers. Think that each deed may be your last act, each prayer your last prostration, that you may not have another chance. If you do this, it will be another motivation for becoming heedful and also for becoming sincere and truthful.




Islam / Sufism 2977 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.159 







T hose who adore God in the sun behold the sun, and those who adore Him in living things see a -living thing, and those who adore Him in lifeless things see a lifeless thing, and those who adore Him as a Being unique and unparalleled see that which has no like. Do not attach yourself to a particular creed exclusively so that you disbelieve in all the rest; otherwise you will lose much good; nay, you will fail to recognize the real truth of the matter. God, the omnipresent and omnipotent, is not limited by any one creed. Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of Allah.




Islam / Sufism 2976 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.229 







B etween me and You there lingers an "it is I" which torments me.
Ah! Lift through mercy this "it is I' from between us both!





Islam / Sufism 2974 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.246 







T he first time I entered the Holy House, said Bayazid, I saw the Holy House. The second time I entered it, I saw the Lord of the House. The third time I saw neither the House nor the Lord of the House.

By this Bayazid meant, I became lost in God, so that I knew nothing. Had I seen at all, I would have been God.





Islam / Sufism 2973 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.245 







I came out of Bayazid-ness as a snake from its skin. Then I looked. I saw that lover, Beloved, and love are one because in that state of unification all can be one.




Islam / Sufism 2972 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.250 







I have seen nothing more conducive to righteousness than solitude. He who is alone sees nothing but God, and if he sees nothing but God, nothing moves him but the will of God.




Islam / Sufism 2971 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.211 







O n my first journey I found a kind of knowledge acceptable to both the elect and the common folk, on the second, knowledge acceptable to the elect and not the common folk, and on the third, knowledge acceptable to neither the elect nor the common folk; thus I remained an outcast and alone.
The first kind of knowledge was repentance, which both the elect and the common folk accept, the second was trust in God and fellowship with Him and love, which the elect accept, and the third was the knowledge of reality, which is beyond the power of human learning and reason to attain, so men reject it.





Islam / Sufism 2970 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.110 







I brahim Adham said, "Faith in God will be firmly established if three veils are cast aside:
1. "feeling pleasure in possessing anything;
2. Lamenting over the loss of anything;
3. "enjoying self-praise."





Islam / Sufism 2969 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.173 







T o completely trust in God is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother, the mother is totally aware of his condition and is looking after him.




Islam / Sufism 2968 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.172 





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