Divine Love and The Path – Pir Vilayat
don’t know how to say it, but we’re going through something very intense. In a way, plugging into something so enormously great. But we can’t say we grasp it, it’s rather that we are grasped by it. Of course, our minds tell us that it is the divine splendor but all our ideas and representations (?) can seem so futile. All that we know is that further do we change from Jung’s state of delusion and if we are really to fulfill our purpose in life, then we have to go about it in a very strong way.
And yet, what we do seems to be so very inadequate. Or, we can never say that it is what we do that brings it about. Somehow we fit into our foundations, maybe we do some repetitions of the Zikr and it seems like a big deal at first. Until we realize it is just a pinprick in the whole process of life. But then things happen, one has been transported or suddenly something is triggered off, or it’s as though one lost one’s precarious foothold in the world. These are very approximate ways of saying it, sometimes they’re very strong, like one’s foundations quake with a power that is coming through.
I suppose it is because the world as we thought we knew it is such a very small, let us say, fragmentary expression of reality. It’s like a ripple on the ocean of reality and at no time can we ever expect to grasp the greatness—I use the word reality—of the greatness of God. Yet somehow it seems like the objective is the hominization of God, that He should become a being with a body, through us. It is the making of the king. So we have to reach beyond the world so that God may become a reality in us. And that seems terribly presumptuous, only in the Rasul can the divine being reach fulfillment. We are maybe sketches on the way, various works of art, trial and error, so that one day we might be a masterpiece. But fragmentary as it is, when the being of God comes through we are overwhelmed with delight. It’s like a sign of the One (?), that indeed there is a little bit of reciprocation after so much abandonment after our alienation.
Of course we can only manifest God, as the Sufis say, in as much as we know God and we can only know God in as much as we know Him in ourselves, we discover Him in ourselves. That is our passive response to his action in us. But it seems so very small and inadequate. What do we know of him that we may manifest him? If we knew how wonderful the universe is, and what we know of the universe is so little, and even the whole universe is so little in comparison with the divine perfection, how can we claim to manifest the divine perfection?
And somehow when we are prepared to make an effort to depart from our usual alienation and we have the courage to go through the dark night, when there seem to be no results and we have to cope with the abyss of our personal selves and stumble within and despair for not (?), and still have the courage to go on persevering, and even when we are tested in the extremes of abandonment, at the moment of where everything seems to be useless and lost, sometimes there’s a little – just a little indication – “Ayat” as the Sufis say. Maybe it’s a symbol, it’s something like if we were able to perceive the signal of a being in outer space beckoning upon us to believe in its presence. A silent voice that we plug into all of a sudden. That is mainly again just a metaphor – it’s like when something happens to us and we are suddenly catapulted.
We’ve been trying and trying to lift our consciousness but in vain, and no thoughts in the world at all, and all this sham comes back, because there’s all that conditioning in the mind, and go on struggling. And all of a sudden it’s like something in unleashed and one is catapulted into what seems like other spheres, it’s like there were several universes—one within the other—or let’s say totally different spacetime relationships, we don’t know. There’s no element of comparison, it’s totally different from what we thought and as a matter of fact our representations and that means many of the things that I myself have tried to describe not only are totally inadequate but they may stand in the way of one’s experience.
One has to be prepared to find that it’s totally different to anything that one had ever thought. Like one hopes to reach upwards in other universes and it may be the other way around. Something of the nature of those modes of the being of God begins to make themselves manifest in our being. Or it is our receptivity or capacity to let this come through that is our response to what is coming through. We know that at the end of that path—although there’s no end, it’s like the horizon—but let’s say as far as we can see—well, we can’t even see it, but as far as we can possibly reach out in anticipation.
It is only the divine essence that all is One, without multiplicity whatsoever. And that means without deterioration, degradation, alienation, which arises from individual wills. Yes, there’s a coordination behind them and it’s an unbroken wholeness, we know that. But do we know what unity means? Only when we are carried beyond our idiosyncrasies and our wills and our individual consciousness and stripped of all those qualities of our being that have alienated us from the divine hallmark which constitutes the essence of our being. And that’s what we’re doing in the zikr – we’re undergoing a stripping, what the Sufis call (?). It’s all the divine nature, but as I say, it’s been alienated, it’s been degraded, it’s been deviated, it’s been limited, it’s been fragmented. It’s suffering entropy, disorder. It’s all God, but there’s entropy.
It’s all beyond our understanding. It seems so contradictory, is it the fulfillment or is nostalgia Ishq? That he should become being in the world which—physical world—which so alienates itself from its original purity. And then what is the meaning of this tripping into beyond the beyond. The mind will never be able to encompass all of this. We only know that we are coping and sometimes guided and as we depart from our secure foothold in our minds, then we are overwhelmed with what Is. With the sublime splendor. And that itself is a garb. It’s a veil on the being of the beloved.
And isn’t that extraordinary? From the human vantage point, being the splendor that we so glorify. It’s a veil—one can just be so enamored by the glory that one fails to experience communion with the Being. And isn’t it strange that that which now avers itself to be a veil from our point of view, from the Divine point of view, it is that with which he manifests himself. And then we know that, we realize that by knowing him or whatever we can know of him through ourselves, we are still not reaching Him. Only by loving. That is a very painful path, because it doesn’t seem reciprocated—it seems the other way around. One goes from abandonment to abandonment, and even betrayal.
Yes, it seems easy at first—how could one not love all that is beautiful and wonderful? But it’s like loving a person for the beauty of their face. That’s not loving, that’s igniting. It’s a path for the madmen. Not prepared to be thwarted in the most sacred thing in the world. The power behind which the whole universe revolves—the power of love. Yes, we know it as liking people, passion, compassion. Yes, we know it in many things, tenderness, and kindness, admiration, friendship. And all of that is well, manifestations of it, expressions of it. But what it does, if one ever could reach Love in its unadulterated, overwhelmingly (?). It shatters you more fully than the most overwhelming knowledge of meaningfulness.
In fact, one can only manifest the Divine Being by involving one’s self in the trauma of Divine Love. And then we realize that all one thought one knew was absolutely worthless. Of course one cannot (?) God by knowing him. Because one’s knowledge of him is so totally puny. Except those moments when there’s—Al Hallaj says, “God descends from his pinnacle into your heart and overwhelms you with His knowledge.” And then there’s no way in which you can possibly encompass it or reflect it or in any way respond to it.
Yes, I know I’m talking nonsense and that’s the language of the Sufis. It doesn’t tally with the knowledge of the world. There’s no way in which it can fit in to any compartment. And yet it is the ultimate realization. And in comparison, any knowledge that a philosopher or scientist can cull from the nature of phenomena is as inadequate as Newton’s theories in comparison with Einstein’s. Or let’s say the difference is far greater. This is the knowledge that transforms beings. The human being whose dimensions are far vaster than one could ever know.
*Pir Vilayat pauses here as a siren sounds in the distance.* Let’s recall the world, urgency, to deal with things in the world. Little did the caller know that it is for us the call to prayer.
(Disclose to us Thy Divine Light …)
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