Suggestions of Use
Bring one book, take one book
if you do not have an exchange book, please leave a donation.
Exchange books should reflect the spiritual orientation of the library.
To use the library please call Wajid or Avalon between 10 AM & 2 PM M-F
at 206 363 5803 – leave a message if we are not able to answer, or email – email@example.com
People can only be where we are. They can’t be where they’re not. Unsolicited advice to someone in pain is actually rather insulting and judgmental.
Unless you’re someone’s spiritual guide, you are out-of-line in telling them that their predicament is their “story” or how they should rise above it. It may, in fact, BE a “story,” but if you’re not their guide or their therapist and thus have an explicit contract to intervene in their process — STFU.
If you’ve got some nonduality thing that’s actually worked for you and is authentic, let it show in an open and transparent presence to their process… and keep your mouth shut unless they ask for your thoughts. If it’s real, simply “witnessing” their process the most helpful thing you can do. If it’s just your egoic shtick, at least you won’t be adding to their wounding.
A Sufi Retreat, April 27–May 1, in Redmond WA
This is a very ambitious event, designed and produced by the young people affiliated with SOI-Seattle.
But we need your help to pull it off — the most pressing issue being the need to keep it affordable and therefore accessible to those who need it.
We are asking for your financial support.
For those who wish to contribute financially to the success of this event, you can make a donation here. Your donations are fully tax-deductible.
The ‘Truth’ and the ‘Real’
The Supreme Origin – and End – of all things is Absolute Truth, which alone has Reality in the full sense, and which manifests or creates at lesser degrees of reality, the whole of existence. Martin Lings “The eleventh Hour”
The source of the above quote is an interpretation of a well-known Quranic passage: “I was a Hidden Treasure, and loved to be known, and so I created the world.” This quote carries a quintessential clue to the study of the Sufi way. In as much as it offers one of the primary revelations regarding the nature of reality. In other words, we are offered an insight into the realm of existence, of creation from the perspective of Universal Intelligence, the One is manifest in two primordial creative forces born out of Itself.
At some point in our conscious history Divine Intelligence was recognized as the One and only, “The Real,” not subject to creation as we know and observer it. That aspect we named ‘reality,’ the product of the interactions between the two as they existenciate, otherwise known as, Ying, Yang, positive, receptive / negative, Jalal, Jamal in Sufism. Also understood in a general way as Spirit and matter.
From a simplified perspective we could say humanity is a receptacle or a merging environment for the creative forces of spirit and matter to engage each other toward an evolutionary design, yet unclear to us as to its ultimate purpose, although many masters, saint, and prophets have attempted to inform us.
What we know is that there is within each camp, spiritual, and material, as we descend through the multiplying layers of manifestation, some manner of replications, with a number of ranges and degrees of immediate influence, reproducing in different ways the original two primordial forces.
Therefore, after a laborious restatement of the obvious mentioned in the original quote by Martin Lings we find ourselves at the level and space of our personal self-contained, daily life, interacting with our environment and our inner life, in the intimacy of our thoughts. I mention this because according to the Sufis the realization of our intimacy with our thoughts is a crucial stage in human evolution. The importance comes from the realization of being present at a junction where the transcendental and the temporal meet. Although our thoughts might feel inconsequential in their solidity, we know they have a concrete impact on life, they are a refined expression of matter, therefore subject to the influencing conflict of opposites, Jalal, Jamal, or positive, negative.
The relationship of our thoughts to the temporal world, or matter, refined as it may be, indicates that when we think and express our thoughts there is an association with our physicality, our body, which links us to our instinct, to survival and the need to define ourselves in the social context with which we interact through a, consciously or unconsciously, self-created persona, otherwise known as Ego. In other words, our thoughts, and words once spoken or written, become the fabric of our ego. Whether we are compassionate, ruthless, spiritual or devilish, the construct of the ego does not dissipate once we give it ‘reality’, it becomes the means, the see-through glass through which we observe, react and express our experiences. It changes us, becomes our identity, because we believe ‘we’ are it.
The Greeks made distinguishing the different forms of egos or personas into an art form. They would wear a mask in front of their faces representing a particular persona that they would enact until the end of the act when they would lower the mask letting everyone know the difference between the actor and the persona of the mask. It was a reminder that the mask, the ego is always on as long as we identify with it.
What Sufism tell us is, first that the ego is always on, as long as one thinks and express one’s thoughts, and second that the only time we actually are and express our true spiritual nature, that is we transcend the persona, is in the silence present between thoughts. The reason for which some teachers become silent ones (Muni). The next stage requires learning to know oneself, one’s mind and after a time consciously transforming it to some degree or other into an expression of beauty. For which, by the way, there is no standard as each instant of beauty is relevant to itself.
Can this be done you ask, of course, I say. Simplifying it, I would say the only practice is, to be aware of and ending our identification with the lowest common denominators.
Is it hard, you ask. Hell, yes. Mostly because it is not fashionable.
All of the above addresses our impression of reality, and what we consider to be the truth, from our individual perspective, which has a propensity toward change. From our ‘seeing is believing’ point of reference it seems to be a sustainable proposition, but according to Hindu teachings, it is all but a mirage, an illusion created by a desire for permanence, for consistency, which we know depends on and reinforces the illusion of time. The river of time does not slow down or change as long as we insist in identify with the temporal. The temporal or matter, is a product in progress, manufactured from a self-creating design, a cosmic blue print drawing from the unseen potential of Divine Intelligence.
In Sufism ‘The Real’ therefore, is the source of all that is, was and might be. Humanity’s general concept of spirituality, aside for a few exceptions, is the lowest common denominator of the spiritual realm. I do not say this in a derogatory way, but simply because as long as we exist and live in the corporeal world, for the most part we do not have the motivation to experience the plenitude of the silence of spiritual dimensions. In other words, we fear the loss of the self and not being be able to function appropriately in society.
Keep in mind that to truly experience the silence of the spiritual dimension, is not something we can actually pursue. If we do, we imbued the silence with a motion of desire, going toward or away from something. The purity of the silence is in the inner stillness of the instant.
It is a realm believed to be the domain of prophets, even though in our spiritual experiences, we are intuitively compelled, by the very nature of the ‘Real’ in us, to participate in response to a instinctive/ intuitive imperative, woven in the very fabric of our lives. It compels us subtly to evolve, through an integration of the spiritual and the temporal.
This challenge invokes in us a conflicting reaction, considering that one of our fear, is the unknown, the unpredictable. We are asked to integrate the spiritual and the temporal, and understand our fears in conjunction with the exploration of the spiritual world. Which as it is does not permit the entry of the ego or persona in its domain. That is to say that, as long as we speak, write or attempt to define the spiritual realm, we are affirming the temporal. In other words, At the start of our journey, we interact with one or the other, but are rarely able to simultaneously maintain and experience both. We are somewhat at the frustrating mercy of our ego/persona as a translator searching to refine its creative interpretation of a subject for which we use words that are never fully adequate. We do have occasional experiences of the spiritual realm leaving fuzzy dream like memories, difficult to recollect, although they can leave the echo of a pleasant emotional after-taste.
So, the question begging an answer is: Is it possible for a human being to function in the spiritual realm? And the answer is…….Yes, but.
Divine Intelligence is looking to access our deepest yearning through cracks on the shield of our persona, a shield made of all our yesterdays.
Therefore, before we attempt to transit into transcendence, it is best to familiarize ourselves with the fine demarcation line that straddles both realms. A threshold we know because of the cracks on the shield of our persona, cracks discovered during meditation when with a peaceful open mind, we go beyond inspiration into a receptive state whereby we are susceptible in the silence of the moment to experience a revelation. A drop from the ocean of Divine Intelligence.
Having had this experience, perhaps now we can grasp the meaning of the quote from Martin Lings: Our own spirit does not belong to us, and we only have full aces to it to the extent that we know this.
“There is no reality, but The Real”