The Perfection of the Heart
An Original Sangatha
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
This paper was classified as a Sangatha by Murshid SAM.
The papers on this level from Hazrat Inayat Khan were withheld
from him by the Sufi Movement et. al., so he wrote his
“An Original Sangatha” has been added to the title—Ed.
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Sangatha Series III
1. Ishk is, and without Ishk nothing is. That is to say there is either Ishk or Chaos. But we call not Chaos existence because there is no permanence in Chaos, neither of light nor darkness, neither of forms nor of shapes. The only characteristics of Chaos would be noise, din and confusion, the nearest earthly resemblances of which are thunder and the rumbling heard during earthquakes. But Chaos being the opposite of existence, it is not, it never was, it never can be. It is only a conception of the absence of love.
2. Pythagoreans teach all numbers arise from Unity. Sufis demonstrate this. There is no number in Chaos, for there is no order in it; where there is number there is order and where there is order there is number. As soon as there is order, then there is rhythm, there is unity of some sort. Although Allah spoke to create the world it was impossible to unite a single atom with another atom without some cohesive force. Ishk is the force that made this possible, although Ishk contains so much more than what is included in our conception of force. It would not be wrong to say that Ishk is God Himself, as Creator, as Actor, as Doer.
Do not call God only Father or Mother; neither forbid others to call Him Father or Mother. Ishk is beyond forms and words. Ishk is the essence of our existence. Ishk is light and love and life and all qualities. Ishk is beyond conception and comprehension, without realization.
3. How to understand Ishk. Every one belongs to Ishk; when one seeks to know Ishk, possesses Ishk, it is gone. Infants love, angels love. There are then no questions and answers. When man’s heart is open, he is one with Ishk. Ishk expresses itself through him, Ishk is his very being.
Layla means night, also non-existence. Majnun is the soul which seeks Divine Reality and scorns nufs. Orpheus and Eurydice, Layla and Majnun, Beatrice and Dante, it is the same romance. Do not explain it, explanations belong to duality. When you are both Orpheus and Eurydice, Layla and Majnun, Beatrice and Dante, you have the knowledge.
4. Ilm, Supreme Knowledge, is called Prajna in Sanskrit, and Ishk is sometimes known as Karuna in that language. Sufis recognize these as realities. Say: Heart is. The practice of the presence of God makes this possible. Heart-stream is a unit. A block in a tiny blood-vessel can cause death. Even so, the great heart which is sometimes called Mahatma is the realization of love-unity, in other words, of Ishk. The light of Ishk falling upon the heart produces Ilm.
5. Sura 96, which is regarded as one of the very first which was revealed to our Prophet and Rassoul Mohammed begins: “Recite thou, in the name of our Lord Who created, created man from clots of blood.” This is a very beautiful and important esoteric passage which needs considerable examination. Sufis say this passage may be interpreted: “… created man through love.” The idea of the clots of blood means that it was through the hardening of the heart-substance of God, that is to say Allah created man from His own heart-essence. This is the same as Buddha-citta in Sanskrit, meaning essence of pure heart, and that may be interpreted as love and symbolized materially as a clot of blood.
6. The Hebrew people have also felt that man came from blood, saying that the word Adam is derived from Dam, meaning blood. Now Dam means more than blood. It is the homogenous substance common to all people. In man, in the physical body it appears as blood; in the Universe it is a Cosmic Sympathetic Fluid, which connects all hearts. It is the great mysterious force or substance. It appears in mother-love, but in its purest state far transcends mother-love. It is that Divine Mother Who is found symbolized in so many religions. In this respect Eve is the same as Adam. Adam is the Universal Humanity, considered as life and form, while Eve is the love-stream of being which connects all people indiscriminately into one brotherhood.
7. To create, Allah concentrated His Heart-Essence, the Buddha-citta, and so made the “clot of blood.” Why did He this? Allah is Love, the essence of Ishk, and also the activity of Ishk. Love is as it is, because of its very nature. This cannot be explained, and yet Love can explain anything. Why? Because heart is the source of mind, that is to say, of intelligence.
8. Sura 96 teaches that Allah created man from clots of blood, and Qur’an teaches that Allah is most beneficent, and also it says that He taught man the use of pen, and also He taught man what man knew not. These are the blessings which come to the heart first, that is to say love and mercy; from love and mercy the mental sphere emanated. Love may be regarded as the masculine or positive aspect of heart and mercy as the feminine or negative aspect, but in reality both are the same. From them came mind which learns from the pen; that is to say, mind absorbs from within and learns from without. Qur’an says Allah taught man that which he knoweth not. What he learns from the pen is intellectual, what he learns from Allah comes as intuitive guidance.
9. It is delusive to presume that in principle any religion has ever taught that which is contrary to the elements of another religion. This delusion can be avoided through the opening of heart. Knowledge of pen found its perfection in Qur’an, but that which Allah reveals in the heart of man, through the heart of man, is the knowledge of the sacred manuscript of Nature. This is the fountain-head of all scriptures and it enlightens the heart of all readers. With the true enlightenment there is joy and ecstasy, together with realization. This knowledge is part of life; one must live it. It appears in a loving mother, in a kind father, innocent child, helpful friend and inspiring teacher.
10. In Sura 17 we read (verse 46): “And we have placed coverings on their hearts and a heaviness in their ears lest they understand it, and when you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an they turn their backs in aversion.” Now the passage may be explained: There are two classes of people who may be known as Believers and Infidels. The true believers are those whose hearts are open, and what opens the heart? It may come from mentioning your Lord alone, by associating nothing with Him, by meditating on His Omnipresence. And what constitutes Qur’an? Qur’an is nothing but the unfoldment of heart’s record which comes from mentioning God, from repeating the names of God, from fixing the consciousness wholly on God. And this constitutes a great protection.
11. It is impossible for unbelievers or sinners to draw upon the treasures of the heart for there is no capacity in them. They do not mention their Lord. Consequently they cannot receive inspiration, however zealous they be. Sooner or later their misuse of energy and of life will bring upon them a terrible retribution, the undoing of their own being.
Often the wicked do not suffer much on earth, but when they are deprived of this physical body, the mind stands out in its true aspect, and they cannot conceal their dark natures. Being dark, they do not believe in the last day, that is to say, the Eternal Light; they are self-deprived of its blessing and cannot partake of celestial happiness without first having a complete purgation.
12. Heart depends upon life. Increase of life increases heart, decrease of life burdens heart. The value of truth: when one speaks in harmony with Divine Will, one is in harmony with life. This gives strength to the heart and life to the body. Contrariwise, when one utters pernicious falsehoods, being out of harmony with Divine Will, strength is taken from his blood and the life-force ebbs in his body. A liar cannot remain long untouched by disease.
13. Love and life are in essence synonymous although man may consider them as separate subjects-of-thought. Love between man and woman is necessary because they can produce offspring—that is to say, make further accommodation for life. Passion is not evil except insofar as it does not express as much life as love does. Into pure love the whole life enters, that is the sign of its purity. Rape cannot produce good children because there is not then the free expression of both parents given in love. Consequently even monstrosities may result from the impure and unfulfilled love.
14. Celibacy of heart is more important than celibacy of body. To refrain from kissing women or embracing men is of little value; to perform Zikr and Fikr and to continue normal relations in the outer world, builds up capacity within and opportunity for divine expression without. Control of desire is control of life, suppression of desire is suppression of life. Beauty requires, even demands, expression.
15. Celibacy of heart is needed only to produce marriage of heart. In other words, to bring union of the heart with God, terminating in mergence of the soul in God which Sufis term fana-i-baqa. This alone is the merit of heart celibacy. There is a love for God which stands on its own plane. Otherwise there is that love which resulted because Allah created male and female, each for the other. If love is to be expressed in terms of “self and other,” then it is best in the attraction of male and female. Sahib-i-dil knows neither self nor other.
16. The life that touches one heart touches all hearts. The light that illumines one heart is the light of the Universe. Ponder well these words: “Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the only Being, United With All the Illuminated Souls, who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
17. Heart in its true state is never wrong because the light of God is there. Heart in its true state is never right because it is not separated from anything, so cannot conceive right and wrong. That is not Divine Love which excludes a single being from its embrace.
18. Love for humanity is expressed only in wise actions toward humanity. No wisdom, no love.
19. In the Evangel we read of the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus. John was the lustrator with water and Jesus came with fire and the holy spirit and blood. John held the key to the lesser mysteries; for them silence and the control of breath are necessary. Ceremonies do not form the lesser mysteries nor do ceremonies constitute the greater mysteries although it is often profitable to accompany these affairs by ceremonies, and picture them symbolically before a public which does not understand.
Water is symbolic of spirit, and may refer to the breath in this sense. It is the Divine Breath which vivifies and revivifies the mind, awakens it to consciousness and impels it toward realization. The Sufi term for these events is fana, initiation and selflessness, which is the key to the lesser mysteries.
20. The Greater Mysteries are those of the heart and in them the Spirit of Guidance becomes the real personality. Sufi expression is Baqa, which means subsistence, that is, the underlying existence. Wine is the symbol for the greater mysteries as water for the lesser. Wine was drunk at the wedding feast at Cana, in the story of Christ, which is to say that at the Divine Union the human personality is completely transcended. One reads: “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana.” This is the third degree symbolized by third day.
From the ordinary condition, on the first day the body is cleansed, which is the outer purification. Then there is the inner initiation by water or spirit, called baptism, which symbolizes the coming into fana, selflessness, the spiritualizing of matter. After that comes the initiation in which one beholds the lamb of God. Then one is innocent and God lives in him. This is called baqa.
Finally there is a state of complete emancipation when through love the heart and soul are immersed in Allah. This is the highest state, fana-i-baqa, which is the initiation of the soul. In the scripture, the third condition, or initiation of heart, is symbolized at the Divine Marriage at Cana; the final or fourth condition came with the crucifixion, symbolizing the mergence of the soul when the personality becomes the very God.
21. Chapter 11, verse 10 of the Evangel of John reads: “And saith unto him, ‘Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.’”
This explains that God at the beginning has placed the Spirit of Guidance and Righteousness within every man. But instead of drinking the good wine of the intuition and love, man has been intrigued in the outer intoxication of the world, which is worse. Spiritual devotees are the exception, who keep the good wine, who preserve purity in the heart.
22. Safa, or purification, is the main object of the journey. Once the heart is purified soul can live within heart indefinitely. No, not eternally in the usual sense of the term; but the whole heartlife can be called the day of Brahman, which is of tremendous length.
When Jesus said (John 11,16): “Take these things hence, make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise,” he was addressing himself to the sellers of the doves. The meaning is clear; it refers to those who love the world and its affairs so much that they make a business even of love. They would buy and sell the pearl beyond price. Sooner or later they receive the chastisement of their iniquities which is symbolized in the Scripture by the scourge of small cords.
23. The mysteries of Jesus Christ remain mysteries in spite of the most lucid explanations, because they are mysteries until realized. When the heart is open and purified, one does not have to ask about God’s Will or Christ’s Will. Then there is One Will, One Light, One Life. Therefore Sufis concentrate on Ishk and practice Zikr until the realization is their own.
The Mystery of Water and Wine
24. The second chapter of the Evangel of John contains the most beautiful and interesting allegory of the turning of water into wine. What may be the inner significance? According to Sufism, spirit is often symbolized as water, while wine may stand for the heart or soul. In other words the change from water into wine is a change from the worldly life into the sacred and spiritual life. Nufs ammara is completely transformed into nufs salima. This is the resurrection from death to pure life.
25. Baptism may be regarded as a ceremony symbolizing control of nufs: This suggests fana, or self-effacement, but effacement alone is negation. Wine is symbolical of the unrestricted life of soul, in other words, baqa. By safa the mind is cleared from imperfection and personal attachment. This is part of the mystical process. This prepares the cup, this is the cleansing of the cup preparatory to the pouring of the wine.
Baqa, the eternal life is not separate from the limited, earthly, physical existence. It is indeed the life of that life. The drinking of sweetened water at Bayat is to impart to the new born mureed, so to speak, the first taste of that essence of spiritual fruit—the juice of the grape, in other words, wine, symbolical of the life of non-ego. Ego of grapes disappears in the production of wine.
26. Breath in the ordinary man brings life to body and mind. If the ardor is great then we may live under the sway of nufs. If life is greater than ardor we may grow. Ardor comes from breathing with the thought of self. Sufis have spiritual practices to alter the breath and these transform ardor into inspiration. This is an alchemical process which is natural and in no sense miraculous. According to the teaching of Fabre d’Olivet and others, ardor results from the sway of nufs, or nachash, in Kabbalistic terms. True inspiration comes from nufs alima, when the soul itself touches the surface, but nufs alima is the mystery of mysteries.
The Perfection of the Heart
27. Nufs alima can be explained as similar to Nirmanakaya. Nirmanakaya is the transformed physical body, which is at the same time physical and spiritual, and potentially luminescent. When nufs ammara is changed to nufs mutmaina the mental force is dominant. When it becomes nufs salima the spiritual force is dominant, and in nufs alima the divine stands out in fullness.
To transform nufs salima. If on earth the physical body is alchemically purified, becoming more or less the Nirmanakaya. There is still nufs, otherwise alima would mean total dissolution, whereas the highest stage retains even name and form. No nufs, no body, but it is possible to retain body without limiting soul. Soul expressing through body shows nufs alima.
28. When thought is dominated by love, when thought is the thought of inspiration, when thought no longer depends on ardor, when thought is no longer intoxicated by the life without or that of its own sphere, then water is turned into wine.
This is done by Zikr and Fikr and completed by Shagal which permits the celestial light to flood the mind. Although one hears sounds in Shagal, it is the light which is of most importance. By closing the passages of breath, no vibrations of dense earth enter the mind, and by the strong control of breath through the right nostril, power and light are increased.
Kasab is practiced before Shagal to clear the channels of breath. Kasab is akin to fana, Shagal to baqa.
29. Sufis do not practice control of breath in left nostril, which is the passage for moon currents and water element. It is the fire in breath that may touch the blood, conveying the life-force to it. That is the supreme purpose of fire element.
30. In ecstasy all elements combine and disappear in the ether which is their source and goal. This touches the heart. Etheric element always touches the heart, but does not penetrate unless heart is open. Therefore love is most essential on the path to God. And what is this path to God? It includes everything in every aspect of life.
31. The light in Shagal universalizes mind. This produces “right use of mind” to use Buddha’s terminology. Actually this transforms mind to “buddhi” the illuminated condition. Nirvana signifies not deadness, but fullness of life; so the enlightened make use of mind.
32. In the allegory of Jesus at Cana, his mother attends the wedding with him. This is the Divine Breath. The six-water-vessels are the six chakras; they are filled with water, that is to say, fed by the breath; the breath gives life to the centers of the body, which are fed by the blood. The seventh center is the heart which is not dependent upon breath even though fire-breath can help it. That is to say, at such a moment when the blood is enabled to rise to the brain. But blood is not dependent upon breath and there is blood in animals which do not have nostrils or lungs.
In the story the vessels are filled with water, and the corresponding practice is Kasab which fills all parts of the body with prana. For then the channels of breath are deepened, lengthened and strengthened, and the breath touches every part of mind and body. Thus the water vessels are filled to the brim.
33. Master of the feast as described in the story of the marriage at Cana is every soul; every soul partakes of the divine feast. And soul is master at the feast, because soul is the divine essence. When the inner light through Shagal falls upon the mind, water becomes wine. All old thoughts and impressions from nufsaniat are destroyed by this flooding of light, and are retained only in memory, not longer identified with self. The spiritual quickening destroys the old self, so to speak, without terminating personality, as there is continuation of identity. One becomes a vehicle for God. This is the divine marriage; this is the most important event in life.
34. As soon as mind is illuminated, then all energy of breath is completely harmonized to Divine Breath (or Holy Spirit); one’s thoughts are as God’s thoughts, one’s words God’s words, one’s acts, divine acts. This is the transformation of water into wine.
35. In the inner life many things that are sometimes called mysteries are explained. They are not really mysteries any more than the sun might be a mystery to the fog, or to the night. We in our ordinary conceit, which arises out of our customary manner of doing things, fail to see the great possibilities of life.
When the heart is opened and filled with Divine Life, the whole situation appears changed. Really it is not so, it is we who have changed and it is our change or progressed evolution which is the most important thing in life.
36. We can never pray too much; “Pour upon us Thy Love and Thy Light, Give sustenance to our bodies, hearts and souls.” Nevertheless there comes a stage when this prayer is no longer a petition, it becomes a reality, a realization. Love and light fill the heart and they are the essential sustenance of heart and soul.
Do not look for miracles and do not worry, albeit you stand in awe of God. Then you are facing Reality.
37. Many interesting and important passages are included in the Christian Apocalypse, sometimes called the Book of Revelation. In the 13th verse of Chapter VII it says: “And one of the elders answered saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?’”
The white robe may be explained as symbolizing the spiritual body, also Nirmanakaya, which may be termed “spiritualized physical body.” This is man’s condition after he has received the life and light and love and the Grace of God pouring them upon him.
38. Many are the traditions of a fountain of living waters within man. They are found in all religions and schools of mysticism. The traveler is to discover the fundamental truth underlying them. Many look to a fountain of youth. In the heart are the fountains of youth and of life. The Divine Breath purifies, revivifies and brightens the vehicle through which it operates. The Divine Breath transcends the breath of the ordinary man which does not reach the heart plane, for it is able to fill the heart with Ishk.
39. The 14th verse of Chapter VII of Apocalypse reads: “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Now this Lamb is the symbol of purity, and it appears also in the Hebrew Passover Festival. The meaning intended is that through suffering comes the purification which weakens the spirit of agitation or nufs. Pleasure blocks while pain opens the way to higher inspiration. Besides that, there is another significance: that purification is a process of the heart and by the heart, for it is heart which heals all wounds and removes all imperfection and limitation.
40. Apocalypse continues in verse 15: “Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” This throne of God is called Arsh by the Sufis and it is located in the heart of every living man. It can be said that the innermost center of the heart is God. God is love and it is this love which connects all human hearts and all hearts. The Spirit of Guidance speaks to all through the heart. When the soul is liberated it perceives the Spirit of Guidance behind every name, form and creature.
41. The 16th verse follows: “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heart.” In this stage God gives sustenance to our bodies, hearts and souls, we no longer hunger. This affects the nervous system, feeding even the organs in the abdominal region. So sex hunger is appeased, and even food hunger sometimes.
42. What happens to sex-hunger is this: that the soul is no longer attracted to the surface because it finds expression in its own sphere. Consequently the life-force finds scope in the expanded heart. Ruh is the very light of heart, and it is then no longer restrained, limited or darkened. By that the life-force pervades the total personality.
43. Some call this stage transmutation. What is true is that sex-force is the result of the waters of life being dammed above, and therefore they have to flow downward into the sphere of denser vibrations. They reach the surface on the earth-plane. There they can be properly utilized in pro-creation, or they may be dissipated in pleasure and lasciviousness, or they may be more or less transmuted and sublimated mentally, morally and spiritually. Spiritual fulfillment does not destroy the procreative faculty or its mental sublimation; however it does render unnecessary many of the common processes of mind and body to a certain extent.
44. What happens to food hunger is this: After adulthood is reached, due to lack of right breathing, cells constantly die. When there is sex activity or intellectual occupancy, under the strains of the various emotions some parts of the body are deprived of blood-flow and become diseased or aged. When the blood is purified and revivified by the spiritual breath, there is a downpouring of spiritual magnetism from the subtle planes and all the cells of the body are benefited. Besides that, physical hunger is felt less and less, so that so far as habit is concerned, the stomach is not compelled to work. Yet even the stomach has its purpose and the free man need not mortify his body; he should make the stomach dependent upon will, and make will intelligent enough to have regard even for the stomach.
45. When the Apocalypse says that the sun does not fall upon the righteous nor any heart, we may look at it in at least two ways. While the liberated souls dwell on the physical plane or in Malakut, it means that the Divine Light within is so great that the energy is created from within, health is revivified and vitality continued unabated. The sun is within. In Djabrut this condition becomes objectified, where there is no specific sun nor heart, because in pure love there are not those distinctive qualities cognized by mind.
46. It is not only sacrilegious, it becomes almost impossible to speak of the glory of God. Man uses words to describe conditions around him, the things that the senses perceive and the mind understands. When one wants to describe Essences and use the language of ordinary speech, at best it can be only symbolically correct. Therefore any affirmation about the glory of God is at best only a half-truth, so to speak.
The Sufi recognizes glory as a sign of the Presence of God. Therefore, he proclaims: “Subhan Allah.” At the same time he knows in his heart that the real glory of God is utterly incomprehensible to mind and just as utterly a reality which the heart will surely grasp when illuminated.
47. Verse 17 of Chapter VII of Apocalypse reads: “For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” This is nufs alima, and is the Paschal Lamb of the Hebrews. When nufs >mutmaina is harnessed to work harmoniously with nufs alima, it may be said that the lion and the lamb lie down together. This transforms nufs mutmaina into nufs salima.
48. The Lamb in the throne of God shows that heart is the true covering of nufs alima. This is called Neshamah by the Hebrews, center of spiritual life and reality. Tears are wiped from the eyes not only physically but this transformation brings an end to one’s sorrow. No finite attachment, no sorrow. This is described as the coming into the light of day in the Egyptian mysteries.
49. The Hebrew Passover is a great mystical festival of the first fruits of the spirit. The idea of leaven is that leaven is the nufs of breath. When Christ said: “Blessed be the poor in spirit,” he meant that those devoid of nufs had spiritual potentiality. The leavened bread symbolizes pride, the unleavened bread, humility. The children of Israel had no time to leaven the bread because they were leaving all the things of this world for the things of the spirit.
50. The 22nd Chapter of Apocalypse is also very symbolical and very important. It begins: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the lamb.” This is the flow of Ishk, Divine Energy, which gives life and light. What Sufism endeavors to bring to every person is a realization of this, the true and higher personality. While this is nothing but God, it does reflect itself in human personality. Thus it is said that God created man in His Image, which is to say, that Adam, universal man, also true man, is a reflection of the Divine.
51. In the 47th verse of Chapter XV of the first Epistle to the Corinthians ascribed to the Apostle Paul, it says: “The first man is of the earth, earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven.” If Christians would give this even a little reflection great would be their reward. This passage shows that while man appears as covered by the nufs ammara, that is to say, the body and its demands, he becomes at the final resurrection nufs alima. Then is his personality nothing but God, Who alone exists.
52. We also read in Chapter XXII of Apocalypse, 5th verse, “And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.” If all people could be entrusted with Shagal, this would be a marvelous world. Revelation comes naturally when full accommodation is made for light; when the blood is sluggish because of nufs there is no opportunity for the light to shine.
53. Practice of Zikr is marvelous, for it transmutes energy and makes the body sensitive to fine atoms and vibrations. Light of Zikr is not different from light of Shagal, but the former often comes in intoxication, the latter in sobriety.
54. In Qur’an, Sura 22, 5, mention is made of Resurrection, which has the same meaning as section 51 above, which is derived from the Christian scriptures. Qur’an says: “O people! if you are in doubt about the raising, then surely We created you from dust, then from a small life germ, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, complete in make and incomplete that We may make clear to you.”
This shows that although man has nufs ammara, the purpose of life is to make all clear, that nufs be transmuted. This is the spiritual resurrection.
55. Verse 7 of the same Sura reads: “And because the hour is coming, there is no doubt about it, and because Allah shall raise up those who are in the graves.” Who are in the graves? Every one subject to nufs ammara, man made of dust, of earth, blind with materialism and egoism. It is from this condition there must be death and resurrection, and of this the Prophet was continually preaching and teaching.
56. The way to cultivate love in the heart is to love, and love, and love. And what is love? It is life and wisdom, and if there is no life and wisdom, there is not sufficient love. When one loves, every atom of the body will express it, for God has made man to rise from the clot of blood to the fullness of life.
57. Qur’an says in Sura 26, passage 33: “And a sign to them is the dead earth. We give life to it and bring forth from it grain so they eat of it.” This is a most profound and important passage. For it is true physically and metaphysically that the earth is without form and void until the spirit of God gives it form. One may notice how rough is the shape of meteors, and perhaps certain comets, especially in contrast to the earth which, for its size, is much smoother than a billiard ball.
58. Earth is dead but the sun pours forth the Divine Spirit and gives it life so that many beautiful things grow therefrom. This is the interaction of Prakriti and Purusha.
59. Heart is dead, being but a clot of blood until the Divine Sun pours forth and gives it life so that many beautiful things grow therefrom. This is the union of Prakriti and Purusha, of Adam and Eve.
60. The new heaven and the new earth are not to be considered as different from the old heaven and old earth. Once you have had the Guidance, enter a garden and touch the flowers. You will bring them life because you are radiating life, you are life. In your personality is the Zat of God which becomes or is called nufs alima. You can feed all things and all people. This is the resurrection, the re-surging of life which can come at any time.
The Prophet does not associate immortality and resurrection to emphasize the former. Death and immortality are unimportant to the mystic, resurrection is all important.
61. Qur’an continues, section 34: “And We make therein gardens of palms and grape-vines and We make springs to flow forth in it.” Greatest injustice has been done to the Prophet when it is claimed he revealed a materialistic heaven. This is unjust and untrue. He taught as all the Nabiim have taught that where there was justice and righteousness there would be prosperity. This is the exposition of moral law.
62. From the spiritual point of view the gardens of palms and grape-vines signify the spiritual intoxication which comes to one beholding his Lord. This revelation or Kashf, results in the outpouring of life through one’s being. These are the springs and fountains which mean exactly the same in Qur’an as in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Yet it must never be forgotten that these two interpretations are really one and in the presence of saints miracles are wrought in bringing forth fruits from the earth. New heaven and new earth mean renewed heaven and renewed earth, resurrected heaven and resurrected earth.
63. Qur’an continues in section 10, Sura 86: “On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest.” When is this day of Resurrection? O disciples, know that it may come any time, so be aware and ready for it. And how is one to be aware and ready for it? By practicing the presence of God at all times.
64. Fearful contemplation (Mushahida) is the practice of concentration by the heart centered upon the Being of Allah. It is the final practice of the Sufis, the ocean, so to speak, into which all other practices flow.
65. In Contemplation God is concentrating, so to speak, upon God. Zikr can become concentration by the Zakir losing himself therein. To do this one should concentrate upon the Zikr before chanting. This is somewhat different from Fikr for in Fikr there is an activity of will, as in individual will, relating each portion of the sacred phrase to the breath. But in the concentration of Zikr, will controls mind to affect the breath, while in Fikr will controls breath to purify mind.
66. Contemplation upon God and concentration on the words of Zikr have a certain difference. In the contemplation on God, it becomes as if God Himself were performing the contemplation. There is no I-ness nor Thou-ness in it. But in the concentration on Zikr it does not matter so much whether one is in the perfected stage of lover, so long as the heart is filled with love. This brings the necessary Divine Energy to the surface.
67. If selflessness prevents one from using every faculty and vehicle while selfhood enables one to perform God’s will, then this selfhood is better than a meaningless selflessness. While man must of himself discard the self, this does not mean that by his emancipation self is destroyed. Nufs alima is transmuted nufs which deprived one of no faculty, and perfects one with every faculty.
68. Sura 76 is a book of great mysteries from its very beginning, which says: “There surely came over man a period of time when he was not a thing that could be spoken of.” Qur’an then explains the evolution of man through many stages, until the 20th verse which reads: “And when you see there, you shall see blessings and a great kingdom.” The meaning of this is that all power comes with love when the heart is fully awakened.
69. All mysteries belong to heart yet heart knows no mysteries. The reason is because the heart is the seat of understanding. Mind of itself can reason but that does not bring it understanding. Despite the fact that many philosophies have lauded reason, this has not made humanity enlightened. When hearts are opened, humanity will not have to be enlightened, humanity will already be enlightened.
70. Qur’an says in the 25th verse of Sura 76: “And glorify the name of your Lord morning and evening.” This practice is specifically repetition of “Subhan Allah.” This may become the Darood of the advanced ones. While under the domination of nufs which generally means nufs mutmaina, there are certain forms of Darood which bring success in attainment of desires—physical, mental or spiritual. But when desires are won, that is, controlled or attained, either in the daily life or in the spiritual unfoldment, the best practice is to praise God repeatedly.
71. Qur’an continues: “And during part of the night adore Him, and give glory to Him (a) long (part of the) night.” This includes repetition of “Alhamdu Lillah.” Such practices need not only be repeated in the earthly night. This means also that during the time of spiritual ignorance, there are practices which bring the Divine Presence and man closer together. From an even deeper aspect, it means that whenever the heart is in danger of contraction one should ceaselessly praise God. This is the makam of the angels.
72. Qur’an continues in the 30th verse of Sura 76: “And you do not please except that Allah please; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.” The success of the devotee will be demonstrated in the outer life which sometimes perfectly reflects the inner condition. No one of pure heart can continue in failure and no one who really has made God’s Will his own can help attaining success. It will come to him naturally in due season.
73. The opening of the breast which occurred in the life of the Prophet can happen to every man and woman. Zikr destroys the force which causes the fixation of nufs and reawakens the spiritual currents which tend to expand. Urouj is controlled but not destroyed. If one tried to escape inhaling breath, form would be destroyed, but if there is too much emphasis upon it nufs remains corrupted. Breath in the higher condition is a food for mind and body so mind and body can be vehicles of the Divine.
74. When the Divine Love enters the heart it brings all joy, all happiness, yet no one seeks or finds the Love for the sake of joy or happiness. It is sought for its own sake and then it can bring nourishment and refreshment. There is a joy of spiritual thanksgiving which far transcends earthly joys. Keeping all consciousness in the heart and keeping the heart open, sooner or later one arrives at this state.
75. Angel is a messenger of God which cannot be conveyed to mind without taking on name and form. There are three sorts of angels: (a) beings of Djabrut who belong to that plane; (b) celestial beings of Djabrut who serve God in special missions and are called Archangels although these are not strictly personalities so much as being emanations of God; (c) the Holy Ones Who form the Embodiment of the Master and who function on all planes.
76. The beings of Djabrut who belong to Djabrut are of no special importance to us. But of the Angel Gabriel it must be said that this word Gabriel means “power of the Lord” and every angel in this sense which we call archangel is a personified attribute of God. So Gabriel is the Divine Power of God personified.
77. It has been charged that the Prophet Mohammed confused the Angel Gabriel and the Holy Spirit. There was no confusion to him, he realized their identity. There is a divine voice calling in the heart and our responses to its call determine success spiritually, mentally and physically. It is only those who have not had the realization who remain in confusion.
78. Sometimes the word of God is accompanied by a form. Moses saw it as a burning bush, Ezekiel as the Hayyoth or seraphic creatures, Isaiah as a marvelous light and Mohammed in many forms. All of them may be called Gabriel yet to Abraham Gabriel appeared as a man—this was really one of the Pirs who preceded Abraham and who appeared to him in his own human guise.
79. It is unimportant what form the Spirit of Guidance takes; it is all important that we respond to the call. Gathekas teach: “It matters little to a prophet whether his ears hear or his heart hears, whether his eyes see or his heart sees. He knows that he hears and sees and that is sufficient evidence for him of a living God.”
80. How to attain to the vision of Djabrut. Make a reality of every impression of the heart that comes as sound, sight or feeling; give life to the impressions and actualize them objectively. Then you bring heaven to earth, and djabr-ut, the sphere of Djabr-il (that is, Gabriel) is your possession.
81. Mystery of Divine Love and Divine Wrath. These are one and the same. There is only Divine Love. Imagine a fine organ in a beautiful temple, it gives forth sweet music. But imagine the pipes become misshapen, some rusting and others breaking, the pedals sticking, the temple falling into ruin and the wind rushing through the place. What kind of music would you expect then? To the heart it is always Divine Love. To the head it is Divine Grace (Favor) or Divine Wrath, accordingly as we have or have not been attuned to God’s Will.
82 It is the evil condition of mind which causes wrath. Sun never causes bad weather; clouds, wind, change of pressure and shifting of earth’s axis; as well as the rotation of the earth; these cause bad weather; these turn away the daylight, but the sun is always there. So likewise is the turning of man’s mind away from principle and righteousness; his false interests and concentrations present the harsh side of his nature toward Ishk and transform it, so to speak, into Wrath, the action appearing almost as a debasement of the Divine Love.
83 Nufs ammara is not impervious to Ishk but lacks intelligence. It feels only its force or power, it comprehends not its light. This power is needed to energize the instincts, beginning with the attraction of the infant to its mother’s breast in search of food, magnetism and love. When man no longer depends upon instinct he is ready to pass to the next stage. If he does not advance he may experience the wrath which is the shadow of the force of love and the cause of hell.
84. Sura 111 called The Flame or Al-Lahab begins: “1. Perdition overtake both hands of the father of the flame, and he will perish.” Historically interpreted this passage includes a prophesy against Abu Lahab, which was fulfilled shortly after the revelation; for this relative of the Prophet was his most bitter enemy. But to limit the text to its apparent significance is to limit the scope of the divine message.
Nufs is the father of the flame and the hands of nufs are body and mind. Body and mind which are not kept pure disintegrate unless some means is found to renovate and resurrect them.
85. The Sura continues: “His wealth and what he earns will not avail him. That is to say, neither physical material wealth nor intellectual knowledge help, nor do those deeds which are not unselfish, save a man, no matter how good his actions seem to be. Action which does not come from a sympathetic heart carries no merit. So God is called Er-Rahman, Er-Rahim.
86. The third line reads: “He shall soon burn in fire that flames.” That is to say, by pain, suffering and torture is the nufs chastised which knows not Ishk, which is a stranger to love. And these harsh measures are necessary to waken it so it may realize its true purpose.
87. The Sura ends: “And his wife, the bearer of slander, upon her neck a halter of strongly twisted rope.” This refers to the tongue, the physical organ which so often becomes attached to nufs. It may have to be silenced, even forcefully. This need is often so great that strong methods have to be adapted to bring about control. The wicked often recognize only the force of love, and as they respond to force and little else, so they receive that chastisement which in the end aids in their reformation.
88. Sura 11, verse III reads: “And your Lord will most surely pay back all their deeds in full, sure He is aware of what they do.” Now God gives only Love and Life, for it is by them that He sustains the Universe. But man does not always understand the attribute of God and if a person regards cruelty as a virtue, he summons a God of cruelty; not that God is cruel, but to those who would be blinded by light, who would suffer in the light, His very Mercy requires His manifestation under the Guise of Wrath or severity.
89. Salat says: “Allow us to recognize Thee in all Thy Holy Names and Forms” that is to say, under all names and forms. While essence of names and forms is Light and Mercy, some require shadow, some only live in the shadow, some only recognize because of shadow. So God is to be seen in the shadow also. You cannot have a shadow unless there is light shining somewhere.
90. Nirmanakaya means: no-mind-vehicle. That is to say, the vehicle which receives the Divine Light directly, without interposition of the individual mind activity. In other words, it signifies a vehicle directed by the Spirit of Guidance. Then the All-Pervading Light makes itself cognizable, but this light differs from physical light. In the first place it is a vehicle of thought and intelligence, carrying thought in much the same way as physical light carries electricity and magnetic energy. In the next place it also warms the heart in love, analogous to the physical light which warms the body with what is termed physical heat.
91. Physically nufs alima is identical with Nirmanakaya. This exhibits the Buddhic conditions, which are always most desirable. The gift of prophecy is not something reserved for a special class of beings. It has never been intended that only certain favored ones are selected to present God’s decrees to the world. It is possible for all advanced souls to know the Divine Mysteries, only in most cases they must keep this a secret.
92. The Angelic Body is composed of light, but this light is none other than Ishk. Heart loves because it loves, that is the nature of heart and no descriptions or explanations fit it.
93. Nirtan proclaims heart: “The heart hath its head on its own palm.” That is to say, mind or head is an instrument of heart. Just as the hand of the body does its best work when directed with intelligence, so mind does its best work when attuned to heart. Sufis also refer to this as the mind directed by the will, a most desirable state.
94. Nirtan says: “The face of the heart is veiled.” That is to say, body and mind do not comprehend heart, nor do they see heart. One reason they cannot see heart is because spiritual vibrations are of too fine a nature to be appreciated or sensed by either body or mind. Another reason is that the ways of love transcend all mental processes.
95. Nirtan says: “The heart’s hands are bound with iron chains; the feet of the heart are nailed.” That is to say, that although the heart is imbued with tremendous energy it is limited by its vehicles. Mind hinders somewhat and body still more the freedom of heart. At the same time if all the energy of heart were to appear on the surface it would burn up the body, so great is its magnitude. The quality called fortitude is possible because heart is strong and it can strengthen mind and body.
96. Nirtan says: “The eyes of the heart are never dry, the heart peaks only through tears.” As the flame of love would surely consume body, heart-fire is kept hidden, though ever burning. It melts nufs, and this brings the tears to the eye. Weak eye shows heart-power is hidden; strong eye shows heart alive and keen, yet each of these eyes may shed tears according to its particular nature.
97 Nirtan says: “The ears of the heart are so keen that the voice from a distance it hears.” This has several significances. For example, heart can hear the cry of the loved ones though they be thousands of miles away. When hearts are attuned space means nothing, even death’s veil means nothing.
98. Still more important is the response of the heart to the call of God. There is a real minaret and real mihrab within, and the keen ear, so to speak, of the devotee will always listen and hear. The Bible calls this word of God “the still small voice” but it is very real and it is ourselves and not the voice which must be stilled to hear the holy proclamations.
99. Nirtan says: “The voice of the heart is silent.” All speech is an expression of mind. No matter how lucid an explanation it is still for mind. Yet heart speaks and one can perceive it in feeling, in fervor and in a thousand other ways.
100. Nirtan says: “Yet far reaching is heart’s cry.” When the man of God speaks it makes such an impression in the sphere itself that it travels round the world, and effects peoples of all climes and all times. That is why great religions have taken such a strong hold and traveled far and wide, persisting through the centuries. Far reaching has been the cry of the great soul who has delivered God’s message. And why was he great? Because of his love. It is the cry of love which is so far reaching.
101. Nirtan says: “The heart hath no question nor answer.” It is mind that says “Yea, Yea” or “Nay, Nay.” Heart either knows or knows not; it does not deliberate. Its knowledge is not separate from its love nor is its food separate from its love or its knowledge.
102. Nirtan says: “The heart is expressed in a sigh.” This is physically true. It is not always possible to interpret the sigh. Generally it is a sign of great physical or inner love which has found no satisfaction in the world of manifestation.
103. Nirtan says: “The ways of the heart are mysterious.” Mind pursues a logical course, while heart moves as foresight perceives. Heart understands the totality of things and its life is not conditioned by anything. Mind’s efforts are for the most part dependent upon experience, but heart depends upon wisdom rather than on more experience. So it does not always follow the canons of the past, it may blaze a new trail or walk on the beaten path according to the insight of the moment.
104. Nirtan says: “The heart hath a mind of a child.” That is to say, when heart is awake mind is open and trusting. It can grow and learn, it can learn and grow. It can find new experiences and discern new meanings in old experiences. It finds all of life to be a school and is not hindered by age of body or personal habits.
105. It is the soul that sees; heart does not see, mind does not see, eye does not see. Soul sees through heart, soul sees through mind, soul sees through eye.
106. The mystery of nufs. When the soul sees, it sees itself. With it seeing, sight and seen are three yet one. This is the mystery of mysteries and yet it is revealed in the Mantik-u-tair and elsewhere.
Soul covers itself with a lamp-cover which is heart, yet this is also nufs for wherever there is separation, distinction, crystallization, atomic activity, there must be nufs. Nufs is individuation of whatever sort which distinguishes or differentiates a thing in essence from the Universe of God.
107. Heart experiences life, soul is life. Mind cannot experience nearly so much life as heart, and body is far more limited than mind. From the lower aspect we progress from the bodily life to the mental life to the spiritual life.
108. The inner life of mind is to be distinguished from the intellectual life. The person who spends life in thought, speculation or conception is not necessarily leading the inner life. He may be neglecting body and neglecting heart. This is a borrowing: it is a transference of life from the physical to the mental and from spiritual also to the mental.
In an absolute sense there may be no loss because there happens to be a lack of balance. It is true that in a relative sense there may be a loss when there is no moral control, but there will be a gain if the otherwise purely intellectual progress is accompanied or sustained by a strong and virtuous moral outlook.
109. Morals arise from essence on mind; that is to say, from heart. Heart in its pure stage is associated with Divine Attribution and Divine Attribution is the source and cause of morality.
Explaining it another way, soul and love and life are one. All morals spring from love, all attributes arise out of the One. The process of emanation is similar to the origin of heart. Morals bear a certain relation to heart on the spiritual plane which relation is partly comparable to that between Prakriti and Purusha on the physical plane. They compose the very substance of the plane, are the properties of the substance of the plane, which is love.
110. The outlook of heart on the mental and physical planes may be beyond comprehension. As morals arise in Djabrut and have a living quality there, so do principles as such have a life there. Heart by its very nature creates according to some principles. But it errs when it adheres to the principles, even when theoretically or actually they are spiritual. For they constitute the negative aspect of spirituality, analogous to Prakriti.
111. To rise above principle it is necessary to achieve spiritual realization, to lose the self in God. Yet it is often advisable to act according to principle in our affairs so long as we are not slaves to principles and so long as this does not interfere with the intuition.
112. Spiritual concentration differs from mental concentration as it requires the holding of thought by the feeling. Mental concentration may be as efficient in holding things grasped by the mind, in keeping thoughts in their place. But this alone does not always help one to understand relations, to produce harmonies, to synthesize thoughts. Often this is only possible through feeling and intuition.
Besides this, feeling and intuition are maintained without loss of vital energy and so are not destructive or subject to time-processes as we understand them.
113. Brotherhood cannot be sustained on earth or in heaven without this feeling of integrated oneness. No matter how strong the appeal to mind and reason, there is also always a selfish appeal. It is possible to prove that when an appeal is made to the judgment of mind, it is often apt to take the selfish way rather than the unselfish. Why? Because mind is of necessity under the sway either of the heart (that is, the Will) or of nufs.
114. While Brotherhood is most desirable it is impossible so long as men and women think of themselves as separate units. It is a higher phase, no doubt, to regard everybody as being a spark of the divine or containing a spark of the divine. This often develops human consideration and yet it shows that there is still a separation from the flame. When one maintains that all is God, then heart approaches heart in love, harmony and beauty, and brotherhood becomes the natural consequence of the attitude.
115. Love and light are one when considered from any point of view. Even the physical study of light will benefit humanity. Persons who are always concentrating on this subject are under a great protection, for even with a little moral courage their lives become protected from the forces of evil and darkness.
116. Study of light and color will increase the beauty in the world and in the coming ages the most principles will be adopted in the technical field, in edifices and gardens, in interior decorations and furniture, as well as in clothing. This will provide many women with opportunities for almost unlimited self-expression without destroying the home or family or morality.
117. Cheerfulness in surroundings is always beneficial. The spiritual practices inculcate cheerfulness. As all persons are not traveling upon the path to God, it is often wise to encourage others through art, decoration, light, bright surroundings and harmony of tone and color. These always benefit both mind and body.
118. Heart can always know all things. That is to say, so long as there is thing-ness, objectively or subjectively in precept or concept or imagination or feeling, it is within the supreme capacity of heart to gain that knowledge. This is the Prajna-Paramita, the Perfection of Sapience or Highest Knowledge. This is called Marifat by the Sufis. When the knowledge is identified with God, it is called Ilm.
119. Thingness is associated with heart. The essence of suchness, the Tathata of the Buddhists, is the reality beyond thingness. Considered as knowledge, this is Ilm. It is Ilm-i-Marifat from the aspect of creation which includes all knowledge of all things. It is Ilm-i-tauhid, knowledge of the beauty of God which is the complete goal of understanding. Kabbalists call it Kether. This is the result of Divine Union, the end of all hals (ahwal).
120. Nufs salima brings all the harmony that is in the world, that is to say, harmony within variety. If one asks the difference between nufs salima and nufs alima, the latter may be regarded as the soul itself, the former as the heart, although it would not be wrong to say from the human point of view that this was a distinction without necessarily being a difference. While it seems strange to call something “nufs of heart,” without such a nufs there would be no heart for the nufs is the essence of anything. The existence of a thing is in a certain sense identical with its individuality, its being discriminated from something else.
121. The natural condition of the angels is that of harmony. They may be in harmony with God and with one another. When an angel ceases to be in harmony with God it becomes what is called an asura. Man is in the asuric state when his heart is alive to some extent, but the ideal of it is not spiritual. Such a one may be slave to passion.
122. There are two kinds of peace, active and passive, the practical and theoretical. Active peace which is practical belongs to the heart, is progressive and therefore subject to change. It is filled with compassion and harmony, it tends to bliss and belongs to the heart. Absolute peace is of the soul itself. Confusion arises because of the struggle between these two states.
123. Music and harmony belong to heart. When music is directed to the heart’s ideal it is full of life. This is the condition of Djabrut. All the beauty, strength and inspiration of the earth plane as well as of the world of the djinns (Malakut) is derived from this inner source.
124. If there is any advice to give to a Sufi, it is the pursuit of silence, especially when the Voice of God is not being heard in the heart. When one is intuitive and full of strength, no course need be prescribed. Then one is a seer and knows, one can become a master and have ability to do or not to do. When there is knowledge, action and non-action are both trivial for life brings success.
125. It is only the ignorant who talk of a path of knowledge and a path of love. Many paths may be distinguished leading to a common goal. When man in his ordinary state assumes and supposes a vast difference between these principles he betrays his ignorance.
What is knowledge? It is knowledge of life. And what is life? Life is nothing but love, it is the Divine Love which gives rise to all variety of life and livingness.
126. Do not distinguish when the heart does not so indicate. If man has any principle in music it is melody and ordinarily one melody has to be considered separately from another melody. To harmonize melodies one has to alter their rhythms to bring about consonant beats, sometimes alter the scale or raga and sometimes change a note or two.
This is the great work of the Sufi which is an aspect of mastery. It is an art and science and one of the greatest possible achievements.
127. If you want to commune with Jesus Christ it is not hard. Now the way to do this is forget oneself by becoming all absorbed in Jesus Christ in love. This is a mighty task and a noble one. The Spirit of Guidance or opener of the heart can prepare man for every possibility and raise him above limitation. And he who loves Jesus is not only wise and virtuous, he is even clever, for he unconsciously prepares himself for great things, things great in the sight of Allah.
128. Jesus Christ has been called “sun of my soul” by some Christians. This is better conceived as “sun of the heart.” Of course this application need not be reserved for this name alone. It is most certainly true that Krishna was the sun of the heart for many Hindus and is still so today. It is also true from the innermost standpoint that many souls known and unknown to the world have served as God’s Messengers in similar capacity to Christ and Krishna.
129. The Nuri Mohammed was the same divine light out of which the world was created, which is certainly not different from the alaya-vijnana of the Buddhists and the Neshamah of the Hebrews. We do not consider its nature although we may meditate upon it very often.
130. When meditation and cognition are one, that is the sign of arrival at the outer gate of the heart temple.
When meditation, cognition, contemplation and action are one, one has reached the inner court.
When nothing exists but God, man is master of the temple.
131. Death is a conception of the mind to excuse man’s ignorance. So much he knows exists but cannot see and this also he explains. But when his explanation satisfies his vanity he becomes meek; when it does not satisfy his vanity, he takes another course.
132. God looks through all men’s eyes. Fana-fi-Lillah sees through another’s mind as through his own. Consequently mental telepathy is his habit. But it becomes his habit only in so far as he is surrendered to God and is attuned to His will in all things.
133. The heart can often best appreciate the simple. Therefore Mohammed (peace be unto him) requested his disciples not to concentrate upon the forms of the living or dead, for God is formless. Yet the formless God is also the Living God Who includes all in His bosom.
134. It is possible for a heart concentration upon the cross to take one through every stage of spiritual development. Heart concentration differs from mental concentration in at least one respect, that the visual and retentive faculties are swallowed up in divine love. They still exist, but the reality of them seems so little in comparison with the divine love.
135. Sufis do not speak of heart-concentration much. There comes a time in the course of existence when heart thoroughly dominates body and mind. This is the stage of overcoming and victory.
136. Victory over the elements is possible when the heart vitality is so great that neither heat nor cold are disturbing. If the love for God be sufficient one who is in awe of Him need not stand in awe of His servants who work out a purpose in the world.
137. During an epidemic, speech is not always wise as one has to breathe the air laden with disastrous vibrations. So long as one does not express the common thoughts, however, one is not liable to the common ailments.
Khilvat is good at that time and may be only partial to include:
(a) No discussion of the subject except when necessary for purposes of healing.
(b) Avoidance of reading ordinary literature such as newspapers
which are filled with
suggestions on the subject and printed by people thinking about it.
(c) Meditation and Fikr as constant as possible.
138. There is one way to overcome enemies by expansion of the heart. This is because in a state of cosmic unity variety is swallowed up, and when there is no ego and no differences, peace is close to hand. As this is not always possible, it is not wrong to call upon God whether one is in difficulties or not. The wise man does not wait until he is disturbed before calling upon God; this he does at all times.
139. In the story of Abraham in the Bible, Abraham called Sarah his sister and at the same time she was his wife. And the explanation is that Abraham means master or father of heart qualities (raham) which include virtue and mercy and love and Sarah signifies wisdom which is the same as the Goddess Saraswati of the Hindus.
Now the spiritual devotee is the lover of divine wisdom of which Sarah, Saraswati and Sophia are the symbols. At the same time that achievement belongs to one side or aspect of heart, that is to say, wisdom is one aspect of heart, and love and mercy are another aspect of heart. They come from the same source and therefore are as brother and sister. So it is not wrong to regard Abraham and Sarah, or Brahma and Saraswati, or even Osiris and Isis, and Zeus and Hera, as both husband and wife and yet brother and sister.
140. The union of love and wisdom brings bliss or happiness which are symbolized by Isaac in the Bible, who was the son of Abraham and Sarah. This state is possible only when the heart is fully developed. Thus Abraham is depicted as being 99 years of age when the coming of Isaac was foretold and 100 when his birth occurred. These numbers are to be taken symbolically as meaning that Abraham was nearing perfection and later that he had reached perfection when he experienced the divine bliss, for the womb of the heart is never closed.
141. Heart is the scene of unity. Heart does not think in terms of “my.” One who speaks of “my heart” is the follower of Lucifer or Iblis, even though he be ignorant of it. In that state is it that the self covers the will which is not free. How can it be free if it has the idea of my-ness and not my-ness.
142. Heart is locus of unity and also variety. What is this unity and what is this variety? In its impression all is unity for the heart is fed from one source, it lives upon one food, it contains one light and knows one “this.” Variety is the means of expression by which beauty manifests. Beauty is not real unless it includes many harmonies, for monotony does not belong to the realm of soul.
143. Music is the natural faculty of heart. How then can heart express in music? Take the syllable “La,” intone it and think of Divine Nothing-ness, concentrate upon the possibility of non-existence and watch the result. This is a powerful tonic for the heart as the ideas of thingness and somethingness are based around nufs and can cause all misery to the heart. This intonation releases heart from its burdens, brings a sense of freedom and much power.
144. Now intone the word Allah; which will have a different effect upon the heart. One does not chant Al by itself to advantage for it will be quickly modified to Allah, but intonation upon this name of God is profitable. What happens to heart? Nothing really happens to heart and yet everything happens to heart as mind and body seem to disappear while the Divine Light is manifest.
145. Next intone “Hu” holding it a long time even at the expense of all breath. First blow it strongly in front and then blow it upon the heart and repeat this operation alternately, first the one and then the other. This has motion something like that of “Allahu” in Zikr, only in this practice each breath and each intonation is separate. This is for nufs in order to transmute it to the highest condition one’s consciousness or state of evolution is able to bear. Blowing in front of one releases the mind of its disease and troubles. This is a purification which is done in a certain fashion in Nayar. Blowing on heart is a food of the divine spirit for heart and also a healing for it.
146. It is also possible to concentrate long upon the syllable “La” with the idea of No-thingness, trying at the same time to hear it as if it were a cosmic sound. This often gives one an inner peace. A similar concentration upon Allah sooner or later takes one up into the condition of Baqa, which is the fulfillment of the inner life and of all life.
147. Repeating a mantra has its favorable effect upon body, also more favorable effect upon mind. This is one of the chief purposes of spiritual training. Question as to benefit of heart is more complex for there must be deep feeling. It is possible for deep feeling to control all thought. The more this is made a practice the more one advances toward mastery.
148. What is the aim of all this inner development? It is that God Himself becomes my-self. That when I am seeing I know it is God Himself Who sees; when I hear I know it is God Who is hearing; when I taste, touch, smell, do anything, that all these are the activities of God. Then one approaches the first great goal of Initiation.
149. Discussion of Baqa will never explain Baqa. One who has not reached that condition does not understand, without surrender he will not understand. Illustrate by the example of surrender. This is a wise course.
150. When the heart is overflowing with love it will sing, dance, shout, recite and create poetry, paint beautiful pictures and do marvelous things even without seeming effort. Indeed one may say this is God’s effort which is no effort, and as God is so powerful and so wise, in baqa man increases in skillfulness and indefatigability.
151. When one has reached the heart stage the whole earth is as a unity and one senses the brotherhood linking all humanity. Sentiment of brotherhood has its value but realization of brotherhood is most marvelous.
152. Heart calls to heart and even the mind of another or of oneself is not so attractive. This is seen in the lives of infants who are attracted to each other even in the presence of many people. This is also true of angels, sages and all who live in heart’s sphere regardless of the body with which they are outwardly clothed.
153. To unify the world it is necessary to bring hearts together. Hearts are
brought together by attunement or by union. No doubt these two terms are not
entirely distinguishable for two hearts attuned to each other touch each other
and perhaps overlap, while for union there must be
154. In chemistry there is what is called suspension and what is called solution. In suspension there is a special overlapping without attunement, in solution there is attunement. So when two minds think on the same subject there may be overlapping, but only harmony can bring about attunement and only attunement can secure harmony. Therefore it is not on a material basis or on a mental basis that the world will be unified; this can only be accomplished spiritually.
155. How many hearts have to be attuned to save humanity? Two. If two hearts are attuned the whole world can be saved. For a single heart which has been bathed in the divine stream, having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, can purify the sins of the world and is stronger potentially than all minds. Such a one has gained the kingship (rather than the kingdom) of heaven and if he finds a single person attached to himself, the whole kingdom can be transmitted in unbroken succession. Therefore the guru-chela or murshid-mureed relation has been considered of highest importance.
156. The subject of the heart is too vast for the mind and yet is self-explanatory to itself as love is self-explanatory without being analyzable.
157. For the world to be saved it is necessary to obtain this heart-knowledge. If one person can succeed in this, it is possible that humanity may be saved; if two persons succeed and one becomes the disciple or friend of the other, humanity will be saved. Such a savior is called Qutub by the Sufis. The Grecian Atlas can be said to symbolize a Qutub for he held heaven and earth together.
158. All spheres interpenetrate. Reaching the higher is a process of attunement. Nufs comes from the derivative vibrations which are always coarser than the purer ones. On each plane nufs is made of these derivative vibrations except in Lahut where there is neither shadow nor substance as we conceive them, only soul.
159. Those who dispute over the nature of principles have not realized the principles for all principles are derived from unity while disputation and argumentation show division, difference and duality. The wise man through arguing with a fool becomes a fool. The nufs of the latter cast a shadow-net over him and seizes him. Silence is always a protection against any such eventuality.
160. Do not look for protection anywhere except in heart. Your own heart will not recognize perfection until it has attained it. Therefore purification and development of heart are always most important.
161. How to affect a union. All thought is to be voided and avoided. This can be accomplished by Fikr and love. No one can cause love, bring about love, except by loving; except by a very sincere willingness. One has to release heart from all bondage to intellect and from all attachment except to the Beloved. This is true in abstract concentration, spiritual marriage and Divine Union. It can also be applied to concrete and material concentrations in cases where the thought is entirely and absolutely controlled by feeling.
162. In marriage there should be whole-hearted feeling for the beloved, with all functions, physical and metaphysical that belong to marriage being dominated by this feeling. It is even more important to get into the state of selflessness than to see the divine reflected in the beloved. While the divine vision is higher and more wonderful, it is harder to attain and sustain and often causes thought or carries some thought with it which reproduces nufs. Selflessness or self-sacrifice is the most important thing in love.
163. Likewise in approaching the divine marriage bed, every vestige of self has to be released. The only condition of this is the flight of the alone to the alone, the union of unity with unity. In God love joins love and in love God unites with God.
164. In abstract concentration it is necessary to hold the mind in place. This is an activity of will. Hold the mind, keeping it in the direction of thought. This would be very difficult except that the practice of meditation and the performance of Fikr gradually lessen the hardships and remove the hazards. If the self is evident, that is, if one is still under the sway of nufs, it means that further practice of meditation and Fikr are advisable before advancing along this line of concentration.
165. It is not so hard to raise the consciousness to Malakut. Only while we are on earth our duty is to earth. The value in controlling the sphere of thought is to make life better for ourselves and others. If we are seeking aggrandizement or power, the evil that results will outweigh the good.
166. If one can feel every experience as coming from or belonging to the heart, it is a sign of great progress. It is so easy to identify the self with body and many are accustomed to be lost in the rays of thought. If feeling and love control every experience, that is a sign that one has arrived at the stage of Sufi.
167. Heart controls mind when given scope; by that control of mind it can control all minds. Why? Because heart influence is will and in reality there is no will except Divine Will and the vibrations and force that belong to it or arise from it are exceedingly powerful and penetrating. It is also true that one who is skilled in knowing all about his own mind can quickly acquire the power of telepathy.
168. The divine Will-Power of the universe is the sustaining power. This is called Vishnu in the Hindu religion. Will in the human form appears as love, although in the divine aspect it is also will. Krishna was the embodied personification of Love, Rama of Life, Buddha of Light. These were therefore known as avatars. It is not that Vishnu incarnated in them; in their incarnations they realized Vishnu.
169. Vishnu, the divine will, incarnates in a certain sense. Brahma the creative power, and Shiva the assimilating power, do not appear in avatars. No doubt the force of Brahma appears in the Pituitary Body which promotes growth and also focuses the creative energy, while the force of Shiva makes itself felt in the adrenals, or as the ancients called them, the reins. Vishnu is in the heart, and while the Upanishads teach that the all-pervading Brahman is in the heart, that is really the soul, of which Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu are aspects.
170. There has been confusion as to the identity or non-identity of the human soul with God. There is no human soul, soul is divine, according to Sufi teachings. These teachings are based upon realization and not upon any speculations. There is human heart, human meaning heart-mind, or as some have said, using the Oriental terms, Buddhi-manas. This heart has a certain connection with the heart of God which the Sufis call Arsh. But the soul is God. There is none else.
171. Questions of philosophy are questions of doubt. Union of knower, knowing and knowledge takes place in the heart. It comes not by might or power, it comes with complete relaxation of personality.
172. Quantitative growth for heart is qualitative and qualitative growth for heart is quantitative. With the mind it may be different as intellectual growth is essentially quantitative and moral growth qualitative. The imagination has both a quantitative and qualitative evolution for as it grows in power, it can grow in depth. Growth in depth includes control over finer vibrations, which is possible in the imagination even when it does not touch the other aspects of mind.
173. Growth of aspect of heart involves growth of heart and growth of heart involves growth of all aspects. The heart may be likened to the earth with its surrounding sheaths. As one goes out from the center one comes into the areas of finer vibrations and rarefactions. Growth of heart is an expansion which is quantitative and an acquisition of finer vibrations which is qualitative, but the inclusion of finer vibrations does not exclude the course as they are derived from the finer vibrations.
174. Unbalanced spiritual condition cannot be maintained without injury to the connections with mind and body. Epilepsy is a disease due in part to the break-down in the connections between bodies; there need be no obsession. Mystics who have not had teachers often do not know how to maintain balance and with all their beauty and fineness they may experience many sufferings.
175. God includes the material world as well as all finer worlds. Therefore Sufis in developing heart do not neglect the physical. God is without and within. Baqa involves sustaining outer consciousness because God is there also.
176. Those who long for God and see Him only in the spirit may be angelic, but man was made to rise higher than the angels and only made a little lower than the Elohim, the Divine Attributes which constitute the Sifat of the Sufis.
177. Man includes a universe and his body has all the material vibrations without directly including all material atoms; his mental body has all mental vibrations without including all mental atoms; his spiritual body touches all the spiritual vibrations. If the last is extended to its highest degree, it can under certain conditions touch all spiritual atoms. This was the perfect state of the Buddha.
178. In consideration of spiritual development the stream of experience called “ego” may be laid aside as relatively unimportant. It is not a matter of time, of present, or of past. Spiritual growth makes the personality sensitive to finer and higher vibrations and that is all important.
179. The vibrations which compose the heart plane are very delicate. It is characteristic of finer vibrations that they have high penetrating power. Those of Djabrut penetrate Malakut and Nasut while they themselves are not affected very much by this process of theoretical interaction. For instance it is the faculty of the onion to give birth to other onions without losing much of its vitality. This is even truer of the very fine vibrations, that they are the source of innumerable coarser vibrations and if they are kept in the state of attunement with their Source this goes on and on indefinitely.
180. The will gains in power in accordance with the plane to which it is attuned and to the manner in which it is attuned. The finer the penetrability of the vibrations coming from will, the stronger the willpower and the surer the success.
181. Power is hidden in the spiritual world and is manifest in the material world. The physical plane is not the source of power, even of the power which seems to be entirely physical, yet in the world of manifestation we see the expression of power. The Siddhis are the manifested powers of the personality; when manifested the energy is consumed.
182. The lamb and the lion lie down together, that is to say, in the heart we find gentleness and majesty at one time and they may even be identical. The power which is veiled is greater for gentleness is the opposite of weakness. Gentleness is that power which is so strong that it can control even itself, it becomes very refined, so to speak.
183. Do not look for power without. All you will see is the consummation of power. Life contains all power and heart contains all life, that is to say, all that can be individualized.
184. The heart is that particular part of the body which is especially sensitive to be receptive to the spiritual vibrations which compose Djabrut. It is something like the electrical condenser in this respect for it gathers energy. It is the material vehicle, the accommodation of Prakriti for spirit. Iron and copper have already been found in the heart and gold and silver will be discovered there anon, as mankind advances.
185. When the heart is in health the spiritual vibrations reach every portion of the body with the circulating blood. Music is an efficient means of furthering this process as music is a willful method of controlling and directing vibrations. In this respect dancing may be regarded as a branch of music.
186. Bible teaches, as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. This does not mean that a man’s character is predetermined by thought. The heart feels, and the degree and kind of feeling are determined by the kind of attunement of the heart. According to this attunement of heart, character and evolution are affected, and the ability of the heart to attune itself in various manners is the basis of the freedom of will.