Discovering One’s Divine Inheritance – Pir Vilayat
hat we are doing today is really the culmination of the retreat, because we have to participate in the fulfillment of our purpose, which is right in the nitty-gritty of the personality, which is as Murshid said, “the fruit on the Tree of Life.” But instead of working to try to improve or develop the personality, we are getting right into the mystery of the Divine act, of which we are the expression.
Try to grasp the moment in pre-eternity triggering us into existence as the living expressions of the Divine Being. And for that we find that we have to let ourselves be carried beyond the world, in what one might call the state of Samadhi.
We found that Buddhist practices were a help to protect us against the danger of slipping down into our personal consciousness. Extricate ourselves from our involvement in body and mind and personality and consciousness, and we find that it’s really very elementary. It’s just what we resort to when we find that we get ourselves reminded of our body by being bitten by an insect, or enjoy the sound of the birds, or start wondering what we’re doing, sitting here and were annoyed with the rain or whatever it is, or thinking about our problems in our personal lives. You know, all those things draw one back into one’s personal consciousness, and that’s where we find that a kind of overview, realizing how in the process of life one has let oneself get involved by falling into the illusion of thinking that one is what one thinks one is. All of that is of great help, especially against the invading thoughts, random thoughts. And my instructions were never to let ourselves be constricted by personal consciousness. But all of that is, just as I say, a safeguard. No more than that.
I find that a very critical moment is the moment when I say one has a feeling as though one is cutting one’s moorings with the physical world. I suppose it’s like an astral flight or something like that, that feeling of disengagement of one’s being from bodiness. But as one is carried upwards–I don’t mean space but in other planes. There’s that great joke that one gets when, I dont know whether it happens to you as it happens to me that all of a sudden it’s as though one were lighted up like a bright light.
And all the sudden one realizes that this is the reality behind the physical world. That’s the world of light, or the world of radiance. And whatever remnant there is of personal identity is like “I’m a being of light.” But that is … we know that that’s a handicap, that’s a constriction, something that is going to hold us back although there’s a lot of joy in it, but it’s a temptation.
And this is where Suhrawardi’s experience that he describes is a help because somehow, it’s not just the phenomenon of light, but the beams of light. And all forms of the world seem to be like the formation in space of something that is not a spatial configuration but is a reality in terms of light. I know that what I say doesn’t seem to have any meaning in terms of our ordinary experience. A reality of light that does not seem to have any spatial … meaning in the realm of space.
It’s a whole universe, it’s a whole different dimension, and it’s like horizons; one goes from one to the other, brighter and more meaningful, each one more bright than the one before. And of course behind it, there’s an emotion, or there’s a lot of emotion, the emotion of illumination, if I may use such a term. And then one reaches further into just vibrations, resonance. One can’t see how they connect up — what interrelationship there is between these planes, seems to be a different mode. All reality seems to be just a symphony.
Now of course if one lets oneself be carried further and further away from anything that has a semblance with the physical plane, then it’s like just the divine glance, or let’s say divine intelligence which becomes glance.
The light that sees instead of the light that is seen. It’s not structures of light anymore, even the archetypes of light anymore. It’s just pure consciousness, luminous consciousness. The Divine glance in all things. And together with this, there’s something else which is, again, quite undefinable, and that is pure spirit. Just like the trigger of energy, like the — it’s the life of life, or as I’ve often said the life of life needs such energy that one … there’s no element of comparison with anything that we understand by energy.
And what I’m saying is a very inadequate expression of what’s happening.
And of course, one is over-stressing one’s consciousness, as one gets further and further away from the physical universe such as we know. Until, I expect one gets lost. One blanks out into … I suppose it’s what the Sufi’s call the cloud of unknowing.
I suppose it’s a certain temptation in letting oneself lose oneself in the unknown. One has to experience it to know. It’s like all of a sudden everything switched over. One had been involved in all different parts of existence and now all of a sudden one is catapulted right out of it. One sees the whole of existence as a kind of trip that one had got into.
And one’s notion of one’s self is totally shattered. This of course, it’s totally contrary to … well, that seems to be like the path followed by Buddha, and well, one doesn’t quite see what purpose it serves. It’s very intriguing to extricate oneself from the process of creation, but that’s where one needs some help to avoid losing oneself. And I feel that’s where the Sufis are a great help because one realizes that there was a purpose in creation. And that purpose is like … at the end of time. Everything is moving toward that purpose, and yet that purpose is already somehow prefigured. It’s very very strange, it’s that … I suppose that’s the meaning of Alpha and Omega.
And perhaps we could say there’s a long term planning, and then there’s a … but there’s only the overall end, I suppose it is planned. But then there’s all that inventiveness in the course of it. Short term planning or freedom or whatever, playing it by ear, or inventiveness. And one sees oneself as a part of that whole purpose, or planning. And this is, of course, the secret of the Sufi teaching is that one can reach into that original state in pre-eternity that triggered off one’s being in the process of becoming, whereby God was contemplating all His, let’s say, the qualities of his being, the potentialities, the possibilities within Him, which were at first totally immersed in a state of latency. They are just qualities, they’re not forms yet, they’re just qualities. Like majesty, and power and beauty and light, and purity, and truth, emotion of ecstasy.
All the bounty, this breaks through in existence. And somehow one is the expression of all of that. That’s what one is. And, of course according to the Sufis, in order for those attributes to fulfill themselves of … in order for God to fulfill Himself in these attributes, He by His act of imagination He projected them into beings. Or rather, beings are the act whereby God projects His attributes into forms. And the word form, I think … I think I would rather use the word the seed of God, like the DNA, not a form it’s an organizing force that organizes the environment to make it conform to it’s idea of a purpose.
And that’s what we are: the seed. And the curious thing is that the potentialities in the seed are actuated by the divine glance. That’s where we see the … there’s the original dichotomy we experience on one hand, that we are the Divine Consciousness. And on the … that is the divine glance as we say, that is a light that sees and the light that sees is also the light that triggers potentialities into existence. So instead of being, you know, identifying ourselves as our personality, we watch … or rather we get into the Divine Consciousness watching the effect of His image in us. So, of course, if you participate in this type of realization, you can discover the divine qualities in yourself.
They come through little bit, very limited and I suppose the best examples would be like, first of all they’re distorted like, for example, an image of a … your image in a lake, that is the ripples in the lake disform the image, or the matrix of a crystal may be seen in the crystal, but the crystal may be a very poor replica of the matrix. It might not be a good crystal.
Or the image of a … in a photograph is a very impoverished image of the scene, so maybe there’s something of that perfection that comes through there but it’s very difficult to see it, being rather blurred. And yet, it’s that which transpires rather than that that appears, and yet that is the moment of ecstasy. When you’re able to, somehow earmark, as Murshid would say, the hand of God in your being, the act of the Creator, let’s say if you like, the mark of the paintbrush in that painting that you are. All of a sudden those quantities become very strongly enhanced.
Murshid gives the example of the sun looking at its … looking at a sunflower and recognizing itself as the sunflower, although the sunflower’s a very poor replica of the sun. And somehow, it is true that the action of the sun will make the sunflower unfold, and so when you think of yourself as the divine glance, the action of that Divine glance that is your consciousness upon your personality is going to unfold your personality, or rather bring into manifestation the hallmark of the Divine Being which has been blurred in the personality. And you see all of this is done while one is the state of Samadhi.
That is from that place which originated our being, and if we allow our consciousness to come down too much then we lose the ability to do it. And then the best thing to do is, again, to let oneself be carried upwards. That’s where I find the Buddhist practices very helpful. One sees that one has got oneself involved so much that one has lost the sense of one’s purpose, and so one can’t fulfill one’s purpose.
On the other hand, if one loses oneself right up there in Samadhi one can’t fulfill one’s purpose either.
Could you just do that then? From the moment that you see that your body is just the fabric of the world, and your personality is just a formation in which the divine archetype comes through, and you’re thinking is just the way the mind is made, consciousness is just a focalization: all these thoughts will just free you from your being caught in a perspective.
And now let the foundations of your being be shattered — the moorings as I call it. And then it’s just like remembering an original, or several original states, which one had forgotten because of one’s … the way one got oneself caught in a perspective.
Now, I find that the most traumatic moment I think is when one discovers, I call it “the Face of the King.” Like you know you been looking at things from, let’s say from underneath, let’s say, looking upwards. Now all of a sudden the whole way of looking at things is reversed. And you’ve got into the Divine Consciousness, who is contemplating Himself as the … as a king. What I mean is, an archetypal image of perfection. And you realize the whole universe … purpose of the whole universes is the formation of that king. Just like the purpose of the ant nest is the formation of the queen, or the bee hive is the bee — the queen bee.
And that we’re all part of the formation of that king, as like the archetype in the beginning, but it’s getting more and more concrete. It’s working towards the point where beings will be more and more like that archetype, like the DNA of the species is evolving towards that state of higher perfection. And we see ourselves as part of that process. Then we begin to see the purpose of our lives, and we think, “well, I’ve been missing it! I mean, I’ve been going about it random without really seeing what it’s all about, about fulfilling that purpose. But I can’t work with my personality to try and change it. It doesn’t work that way. I have to go right back into the original state, and redo the whole process. Go through the whole process of my birth again. Rebirth myself, by getting into the Divine consciousness of the Divine perfection.”
I suppose it’s like if you had a wonderful father, and then you all of the sudden discover the qualities of your father coming through you. And there are many other qualities you develop, but these qualities are beginning now to … all of a sudden you earmark a quality which you know it was, it was a quality of your father. And you see that it’s in you. But you had to recognize it and value it, to be able to give it expression, and from that moment it begins to develop in you. And there’s the emotion of discovering your father. And it is the emotion that moves the Universe.
(Disclose to us Thy Divine Light …)
(Prayer for the Universel)
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