Wednesday, May 25, 2011


So, what is Mysticism? Mysticism concerns itself with those parts of religion that religion is often less comfortable with. That is, the inner journey, realizations, and inner surrender. There are mystical strands in all the world’s religions that take this inner journey.

Consider, for example, Islam. “Islam” means “surrender”. It has three pillars of surrender. The first is belief. Surrender to your beliefs, for example, the belief that there is only one God. The second pillar is practice, or ritual. Surrender to your rituals, whether they be daily prayer or fasting. The third pillar is experience. Surrender to your experience.

Religion is generally good at the first two, but not so good at the third. Due to its discomfort with experience, religion dwells in the arena of belief and practice, and often attempts to dogmatize experience, and this cannot be done. Mystical movements emerged out of all the faith traditions to emphasize experience, that which transcends words, that which you can only see for yourself.

There is another path also, a second type of religion, which creates love in you, which creates devotion in you. Sufi's are lovers of GOD & they love the total so deeply that they find their beloved everywhere; on every leaf, on every stone, is the signature of the beloved. He is everywhere. They dance because there is nothing else to do but celebrate.This qiality is called IHSAN in ISLAM and sufi's practice it every day.

The Sufi movement evolved out of Islam and led people on this inner journey, this place of inner surrender. Rumi was one of the great Sufis. He lived thirteen centuries into the Common Era, and spent the last 12 years of his life writing just one poem, the Masnavi, which is 64,000 lines long. One line says, “You are God hiding from yourself.” This is a profound truth, one I cannot explain to you, one that you can only dive into and explore for truth. I sense it relates to surrendering to the God within.

Three basic tenets of Sufism:

"Removal of wahm 'opinion' 'conjecture' 'illusion' or the veil of ignorance...attain the 'vision of the heart' (ru'yat al-qalb), direct spiritual intuition

Goal of Fana' 'extinction' or 'annihilation' in God, 'Whatever exists is perishing (fanin), except His Face.' (Qur'an 55:27)

"To taste the sweet and the sour";Haqiqah or Truth...the Goal, a mystical experience, called dhawq "tasting" the immediate reality of God (al-Ghazali)"

"The "Sufis were the ecstatic mystics who defied the authoritarian, fundamentalist, rational-minded theologians of the Islamic Church. It began around 800 AD with a group that formed around a woman called Rabi'a, a poet and ascetic and Bayazid of Bastami who started the "Baghdad School".

"Prophets chained for burning masks"

"By around 922 AD. the Sufis were seen by the establishment as heretical and more importantly a serious threat to the political stability of the region. As a result many Sufis went on to martyrdom by being executed for their beliefs. At the centre of Sufi philosophy is the idea of "Tawhid" which means literally "making one."

Dhul Nunal-Misri (d. 861) was arraigned before Caliph Mutawakkil for espousing the doctrine of irfan - direct knowledge of the divine, usually translated as 'gnosis." 
Hussain b. Mansur, better known as al-Hallaj, a wool-carder, was accused of heresy and beheaded for his veneration of Jesus and his declaration "I am the truth." His followers thereafter disavowed - and often defied - all worldly authority.
The noted sufi theoretician Yahaya Suhrawardi was executed on the orders of the great Saladin for of his refusal to adhere to orthodoxy. In the face of such repression, some sufis, such as Nuri (d. 907), preached renunciation from the world.
Ghazali himself was forced to flee Baghdad following a political upset and wandered as far west as Egypt."

Yes we have learned that the human yearning for the Divine, for beauty, for love and for loveliness is too deeply engrained in the human spirit to be partitioned off or exiled. Today, many Muslims world-wide are increasingly dissatisfied with what they see as dry as stale bread interpretations and practices of Islam, and want -- and demand -- something more spiritual and more beautiful. They know about the deep spiritual experience of the Prophet Muhammad, who came face to face with God, and they too yearn for their own spiritual experiences.They long to meet the GOD in their hearts, away from the monopoly of the mullah and the orthodoxy and establish their own personal relationship with the divine.Sufism is the path to the soul.

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