Advice: An art of direction which is done through non-interference ☕️✌🏼
Advice: An art of direction which is done through non-interference ☕️✌🏼
Artfully meditating Anything, any discipline, the adept said waiting outside the threshold, you soon discover... The believer got up and met him at the entrance, as they left, saying: ...an art. No, the adept smiled. To be artfully done. The art or science is a structure, the procedure, the series of steps but the process of it, carrying oneself in it and through it, living it is the poetry, a good tale. The truthful footsteps, the believer said with a side-glance to their walking side-by-side. He dropped a little back but close enough so that he could hear what is to be said. No, but by truthfulness you may yet see it since truthfulness is close to Truth. Each has its inner and outer form; like everything else. Even us, the adept gestured with his right hand and then clasped it to his left, an 'obvious in its crudeness' example. When refinement begets, subtleties [daqa-iq] 'appear', as you realize these inner dimensions. Much like the appreciation of Nature, things all around, of people. Take for instance water. A river in a valley was once told it was to exist in a desert or a forest somewhere but it wondered how it was to be. It grew tumultuous with each day and even sometimes at night; but there overcame it moments, short periods of stillness and easy flowing. When hot season came, that inevitable drought, and it dissipated up into the air, mingling with whiteness, striated, cumulated and bunched like cotton. It was strange for the water since it still identified itself as a river: it was from it for a time but truly, it was itself, no doubt. The winds blew, other waters joined in along the way, and they were for a time called clouds. It felt light and heavy, something pure between, and just as at the river, inevitability passed them by a dark heaviness. Charged up, from both temperature and pressure, the water felt within it—beyond its dull suspicions—a rising like a column and climaxed into rain. Contemplation, nodded the believer. The adept completed his point: artfully done. If it happened again, will it be spring-water or collected in rivers above which are gardens? Does this not make one happy?
Meditation Similar to the concept of maya (artifice, illusion), while affirming atma (the real or true self), closing the eyes with a resolve in place, the Testimony [shahādah] of 'there is no god but God' [lā ilāha illa Allāh] involves negation [nafi] and affirmation [ithbāt]. This refers to creating a state of non-existence of oneself or of one's ego/self on one hand and the appearance of 'a sense of', realized from the imaginary, (Knowledge of) the reality of a Higher Being. The simplest is: 'To close the eyes (from the world), and affirming Truth (God)', even by (merely) saying it. This is being 'with God' in the shortest description. It is encapsulated in the tradition: '...worship God as if you see Him and while you see Him not, He sees you.' Some advise to focus on a single symbol or word while others say: 'To keep one's thought towards Truth, the One who keeps watch over you, and to keep all thoughts involved in It.' If the point was to purify the soul-self [tazkiyah al-nafs]—the bedrock of personal transformation—be aware in soul-self: "Indeed he succeeds who purifies it. And indeed he fails who corrupts it." When this Verse was Revealed, the Prophet prayed, 'O God, Give my soul what is good and You are its Guardian and Master, and the best to purify it.' In the context of (spiritual) voyage and discovery, some advise: to empty the heart of reflective thinking (thoughts and ideas), and sit before The Truth from which all truths spring (the Real) [al-Haqq] on the basis of pious chivalry, conduct, protocol/latria [adab] and the centering of spiritual attentiveness or closeness [murāqabah] with presence and readiness to receive whatever comes from this Higher Being (Reality). The meditator also senses a collectedness in this willing and drawn attentiveness. So that it is The Real who takes care of teaching by means of unveiling and spiritual realization. "God's Guidance is the guidance". If proven in some other moments that one's testimony has been verified truthful, by His Grace and Blessing, s/he may even 'be overcome' to attain witnessing [mushāhadah]. This is the simple explanation for "submission to His Will." Honestly, every thing surrenders to It.
Sadness and grief The believer remembered the episodes of his own transgression as well as stinging moments of past meanness and acts of ignorance done to him. They would come back, and he knew enough the need to hold to his core-self and not let himself fall back into the nastiness of an old way of 'reacting'. But he never had the courage or patience to understand it. It had been a long time since he was aware of his anger after the suffocating denials. The memories come at moments of unguardedness. Sometimes, there were momentary stream-suggestions that his self was like a fort and there were no guards, or the ones that used to be there had left. At other times, he wondered at the truthfulness and his own vulnerabilities during the bargaining stage. On hindsight, he hated himself for stooping so low, trying to negotiate a deal with something that was meant to go through—inevitability. Maybe hate is too strong a word; 'regretfully unwise' would be pretentious and not palliative to the ego. We all fall because we didn't know; we didn't learn and that's why we couldn't recognize the signs and the ones who were trying to point it out to us—whether jokingly, sarcastically wicked, or non-verbal. It became a mess in his mind, and from the all-in-all perspective, he felt that he would either admit all guilt or absolve all of it and redeem 'his name', so to speak. But now, he knew it was never his name. They were His—Given, Borrowed or Designed such. But why the adept? Was it to find answers, a series of clues and helpful things just so that he could get out of this episode in his life, this setback? There was so much lost time to make up for. Or was he in it for real. To discover the Truth, and from there, things will happen as things did in his descent. When finally depression hit, he became reclusive but happy—enjoying in spite of the feeling of rejection by the world in general. The world, he thought, whatever that was. Without learning it, like others who face this part of their lives, he 'suffered' periods of silence [samt], hunger [ju'], night-vigil [sahar] and solitude ['uzla]. It was almost voluntary. Occurring #naturally like dying leaves, #grounded .
The adept and the believer: Advice 4 Be careful of this. Every work/craft/art [fann: what does not last] that doesn't bring about (spiritual) knowing can't be relied upon. (Re)turn to your inner self. And then listen, watch. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. The believer thought deeply at this; the moments of silence humans fall into at times. He felt himself somehow returning into the center of the chest. He had not been watching closely how he shuttled between his carnality and the core of his known self all this while. At the center, there was a feeling that it was him, an existence that was his—Given to him—identifiable. He sensed a God-fearingness there along with Faith [taqu wa amanu], the Belief Endowed in what he does, how he is and what he says and does. Yet, he also felt there was a phase of faithfulness and righteous works [amanu wa 'amila ṣālihati], and also from the other end of it: faith and excellently behaving [amanu wa ahsanu]. The fluctuations of the states of his 'moods' were always along these three pairs. Why is that? Why? the adept said, raising his eyebrows, drawing back, keeping a respectful distance. I couldn't tell you. Then he smiled. Truth paired these three in The Book. So really, when you contemplate about it, investigate it even by a simple few moments of quietness and solitude—that positive, honest calm—you get to Understanding, in flashes and glimpses. You see it as being True in your own life. These are like fresh air for the soul-spirit. The adept breathed deeply and started again. You 'know' this. It is a light, akin to the glimmers on the back of a wave in the sea, on a sunny day. Or the glints of a star, sunlight through a foliage, illumination around melting ice. Why do you think you find 'romance' in things of such, especially around Nature. Although, for some people, they find it hidden in the curls of smiling faces, a kind act and a judicious word; friendship, love and camaraderie with another. A sudden, deeper realization. And too many forms too, the believer nodded. And then he sat up, eyes wide, exclaiming: Oh God there are too many forms of Your Will. Help us not to reduce it to us, and Grant us Understanding.
Hope y'all had a good start to the week ☕️👍🏼
Aspects of being human Generally, angels are 'closer to God' because they only know to obey Him: complete and 'perfect' (in each capacity) obeisance. Right? The adept sat up. They are beings of light. So what about human beings? We have the aspects of: mineral, plant, animal, jinn, human, angel and the capacity to hold God's Names which are Sanctified Attributes of His. The believer wondered at an example, an explicit context. How did a human form begin? the adept asked rhetorically. From a seed, yes? Then germinated like plants, the cells mutated and formed flesh, muscle and bone developing into animal senses and instincts, appetites and 'pack/tribe' characteristics. Along with these territorial and chain-of-command inclination as natural survival behavior within a given environment. These are the lower forms are necessary, the adept said, but cannot stop at self-perpetuating only. Or they can be conquered, tamed and trained to exist a certain way; imposed upon, influenced easily. The jinn aspect is the same as the element of fire—hot and dry—flickery, adroit, mercurial, stabilized through form and limited thereby; elementarily, they pass through as heat does, have a tendency to rise quickly, to burn—can rage, be directed or tendered. They can condense in a tight space or spread, consuming forms around them. Then there's the angelic. The light, they sense all around—with an awareness and observance limited only by their capacity; shades of Light—levels of heavenly understanding. Interestingly, fire also has an aspect of light—so jinn and angels 'sense' similarly in that common way. Angels are subtler, pure. On The Day, they will say: "We are your patron-friends in this world's life and in the hereafter, and you shall have therein what your souls desire and you shall have therein what you ask for: A provision from the Forgiving, the Merciful. And who speaks better than he who calls to God while he himself does good, and says: 'I am surely of those who submit (to being forgiving and compassionate)'? And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel with what is best, when lo! he and you who were enemies become warm friends."
Angels: Bearers of The Throne "None dispute concerning The Communications of God but those who disbelieve, therefore let not their going to and fro in the cities deceive you. The people of Noah and the parties after them rejected (prophets) before them, and every nation purposed against their Messenger to destroy him, and they disputed by means of the falsehood that they might thereby render null the Truth, therefore I Destroyed them; how was then My Retribution? And thus did the Word of your Lord prove true against those who disbelieved that they are the inmates of the fire." They wanted to destroy so they were destroyed. And Who Destroyed? asked the adept, looking down, waiting for a correct, careful response. It was God, the believer said, flushed. None other. He Gave Guidance and He Gave Warnings. We either follow or we're caught out. To be true, the believer eeked out. They lost that, incurring Loss. God-fearingness. They denied the Truth. The adept lifted his head and began to be cheerful again. You know how many angels there are? I don't, I don't think anyone does. Too many and each have their ranks (closeness to God), roles and function. They only carry out an Identified Function in the Administration of the worlds? The adept was simpatico. Like us human beings, going about our business, knowing or unknowing about God's Will, however much we have reduced It to our present capacities. "Those who bear the Throne and those around Him celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe: 'Our Lord, You Embrace all things in Mercy and Knowledge, therefore Grant Protection to those who turn (to You) and follow Your Way, and save them from the Punishment of Hell: 'Our Lord! and make them enter the gardens of perpetuity which You have Promised them and those who do good of their (fore)fathers and their wives and their offspring, surely You are Almighty, All-Wise. And keep them from evil deeds, and whom You keep from evil deeds This Day, indeed You have Mercy on him, and that is the Mighty Achievement'."
The adept and the believer: Advice 3 The adept stood at a distance, and he understood these 'revelations' might be too quick and too overwhelming for the believer. He stood still, letting things go back to the Mercy of the Lord or until it reaches; he isn't the Guide and the "Guidance of God is the guidance." The adept looked to the sky, then back at himself. The believer recognized what he saw: the helplessness of one who realizes he is bereft; the truthfulness of one's situation. Yet, stoic in his dignity. He approached the adept, as he got close, the latter looked at his feet. God is the Hearing, Knowing. Movement (ie. dancing, whirling, 'happy heart', 'rewarding occupation', 'worthwhile endeavor', 'what you love', etc.) and stops are by Him—that impulse in curiosity, to discover, to wander, to carry oneself—is from Him. The adept looked at the believer's face, and then turned again to the horizon. Just how does one do that? asked the believer. To know Him and not from this temporal existence? The Signs are in the horizon and in yourself, said the adept in a deeper voice than usual. If you watch and reflect within, you then Understand these passing states [ahwal] and its lodes [warīdat]. And how you 'handle' each, distinct one. You know enough of truths to move from one certainness to another (level) and leave the uncertain. Attitude, since the entanglement of the carnal soul [shugl al-nafs] with the limited beauty (of things) is susceptible to a kind of pretension. Our self has mingled into the elements of this world... And it is necessarily so—natural part of the Process, like cells mutating and clumping together to be bones and muscle. But that is not Natural Inclination [fiṭrah]. The ones who are honest, sincere, see the Beauty of Truth [jamâl al-Haqq] in all things, the adept said concernedly. The believer wondered at the Prophet saying: 'be with those who turn you (back) to the remembrance of God.' What is that that moves the body to its end? And where is it coming from? Returning to? There was a silence between them—a Will to silence had overrun them. What is that? And what does it mean? It is many things although it is not a 'thing'. Isn't it?
Wishing the self or another well. Let's ease into it shall we? ☕️✌🏼
A deluge washing over 2/2 I remember something someone sincere said: 'I cannot take you where you dislike to go'. Though he was as courageous and wise as they come, he said, nodding. Some used to call him 'a house of wisdom' [darul-hikam]. His companion was giddy with the pace. Thing is, there's still niggling thoughts: how do you know it is true? How are you so sure? From time to time. He laughed. This is where people of Religion injudiciously, or hastily, or for whatever reason, say 'take it on faith' or 'that's what makes a believer'. Too soon? He laughed and finished his sentence: Or those who oppose people of Religion owing to some past event, a lifestyle, or the words of a loved one. It goes both ways. That further experiences in the social context show it to either be true or otherwise? And what if the social experiences continue to be contradictory? Does one fluctuate, flip flop from one side to the next, all over the place? So Proof? his companion wondered aloud. Evidence. He looked at the distance, a certain direction, and continued: And what is that? That's what is true and important to you. What if a person doesn't know what is true and important to him or her? That cannot be. You know yourself enough. So who can you listen to really? He continued: Choose what gives you peace of heart and of mind, stabilizes your behavior and ennobles your character. 'It may be you love a thing that is bad for you; and you dislike a thing that is good for you'. Anyone who starts to understand that: "God Guides whom He Wills", ends up digging deep. His companion appeared to be bothered with a yet-unresolved notion. The 'thing' mentioned here is not necessarily a person, right? It is what you have accepted to be true—trusted by you. You don't think to question, argue that. You don't feel the need to convince another about it either. So where does it lead you? Put another way, he further posed, who defines good or bad? Who knows? His companion's face brightened. He winked and smiled. Why do you think God Described Himself as a Hidden Treasure? Or The Truth [Al-Haqq].
A deluge washing over 1/2 His companion felt deluged but washed over at the same time. What the hell just happened? he laughed as he asked. We can't manufacture realities. It's the Truth, his companion offered, still searching for a clue. Don't think it is yet. It's a long journey, why we're given life. But it actually is there; either on the periphery or further steps in. Maybe a personal truth in a series of personal truths on a very personal path, his chuckles grew louder after each word. But you get where this goes, don't you? Well look at you, his companion mocked a disgust. Puns and all. Mr. Punny-pants. Are they on fire? Oh, it's lit. We got to own it. This, uhm, life-phases. No more rushing to the good parts. It is part of the process: the battles, the highs and lows, the reward for getting it right and a kind of chastising when we get lost and full of ourselves. Like a self-check mechanism imposed. Not to be blind in our haste, his companion nodded. However 'good' we think our intentions are. They looked around and sighed into a new breath. Who do we have? What is the only Thing that will work? His companion's breathing eased to a calm. Watched the steps and marked the places. Got my answers. And I can't say if I'll staid The Answer. Just not 'built' that way. That is for each to find. And it's not by 'defending' one's own set of ideas. Each's experience is specific, distinct as each's self. But the Ways are Universal.
The adept and the believer: Advice 2 There are periods where things appear miraculous, some experiencing of an increase in bounties—while one is doing things contrary to God's Will. Can that be relied upon? It doesn't last. If he clings on to that, the person becomes disillusioned. Reliance is on God, not 'effects'. Disenchantment, added the believer, morosely. You've seen this? the adept suddenly sounded sharp, unnerved. I've heard something of it from my previous companions. Some incidents. Some passage of Events. No matter, the adept eased. It is during these periods, mind your own. And it doesn't matter what is happening all around. It is a 'becoming'. The other thing is that regarding people, or Creation itself [al-khalq] and everything other-than-God, from a perspective of God having been unfair or imperfect or lacking [naqs fī janāballāh] also can't be relied upon. He is Just, Equitable. Pretty straightforward. Is it? For a tested believer, perhaps. But if he unwittingly is influenced by those who nullify this Perfect Sanctity, without being conscious of it, he may fall into confusion. The believer felt as though their present exchange was a maelstrom within himself: at an explanation, he felt assured; otherwise, he felt remorseful, even guilty, then as though having been justifying, brought back to sense. He struggled with momentary regret, a sense of 'loss', embarrassment. He realized there were refinements [raqā-iq] and subtleties [laṭā-ifa] about people and his self, between them, that he failed to pay close attention to before. Breathe, calm yourself. The true (divine) knower [al-'ārif] doesn't rely on listening to God [al-Haqq] through the things of this world. At that, the adept stopped. He got up and then walked away. The believer watched him go, and he didn't wonder why he didn't get up and follow. He sat there, watching; he couldn't grasp what had just happened. Yet after a while, he didn't feel a sense uneasiness, self-deprecation. It was like drawing experience from something in the horizon perhaps, enormous but yet familiarly seen. Without knowing well, understanding, it yet.
It's the weekend ☕️🍪 Don't let it be a weak end 😂✌🏼
Discoveries 2/2 He realized how he didn't investigate, or thought it important enough to explore them, until it presented itself. So, it is by advice from experiences gleaned. OK, he arrested the moment. What're experiences really? Events, right? To do what? To get to an understanding of things around us, ourselves... Some, find it through Nature, art, the cities they grew up in, people they fall in love with. Some, through intellectual findings, labs and such; astronomy for others, astrological signs and charts, rituals, work, friends. We all search through 'paths'—these seemingly different modes of... Discovery! His companion then recoiled into listening, semi-apologetic. Yes, he said seriously. Be careful with this—not to write off another's process of self-exploration. The patience is on them and you. Don't interfere. Advise only when asked. At times, it can get a little too sensitive. That, is a limit for cooling off period. To disengage. In other words, the believer chuckled, what you're saying is: don't be an ass. They laughed, and sat back. So any thing, event or occupation, is wrought with these hidden trails toward a returning to self? To verify and contemplate deeply in the road of discovery to find The Truth. The Process is actually closer than one imagines it to be. There you go again, his companion leaned in like a hundred times before. You lost me there. You are hearing, seeing and speaking about these things and events you experience, right? These things and events are all around you. But the conclusions, well, it is actually a process of verification—whether the conclusions are correct or not. So correct by whom, you mean? We've talked about this, he said a little upbeat though it may seem odd at the time. There has to be a reference. Can it be you, me, us and them? We're all still discovering, his companion said softly, realizing the matter at hand. He grinned. And then started to sing a soft tune out of himself. See what is being said?
The grand mal-archi of it all 😂 happy Friday 👋🏼
Discoveries 1/2 His companion nodded with a concern. Why do some people use the phrase 'or it can't be relied upon'? I wondered that too, said he said, and about the people before who used it; until I realized that to say it is 'false' is untrue. Knowledge of Truth was lacking. The point of clarifying these 'forms of knowing' is so that people know what can or cannot be relied on. Seems logical, his companion hung down his lips, creaking a relief. I think it's a little deeper, this getting to meanings and Terms, beyond Verses and the overall Message to humanity, well Creation itself, THAT kind of knowing [ma'rifa]. It sort of has to take on different forms doesn't it? How do you mean? Like each breaths or instant, from one person to the next, each of us are just searching for something that can be relied upon. Like a flow in a stream? A natural moving of events? Within the stream self, a momentary glint in his eye was accompanied by a distinct curl at the corners of his lips. Each of us like a tumbling current, getting to where we're supposed to and all that. And renewed by breaths, his companion cocked a finger at him. He chuckled. Coming back to this verification of personal truths. It is actually not for its own sake. There is a point had always been to get to something— Truth. His companion somehow already knew this but couldn't help feeling a little foolish, that it had managed to remain hidden in the shadows of this talking, sharing, searching. Why is that? the question silently emerged. He stopped himself before speaking, as though he 'sensed' something. He let out a knowing soft sigh in mid-breath. Was the point Religion? Really, we just want to find out the Truth of how things are. So people who study or brought up in Religion find it in the stories, narrations—Parables and Tidings—tradition and worship and whatnot. Some people choose to find it 'through' whatever 'creed' [dīn] they wish to pursue. It still leads back to wanting a 'realization', doesn't it? His companion also sensed something about this within the hidden chambers of his being. Something moved in his heart, not the cardiac but the center of his chest.