Is there anything for me, as an individual in that? Doris Lessing is a writer of novels and short stories His work has been translated into all major languages of the world He was born in Persia in 1919 to British parents From five years she was raised on a farm in Rhodesia and he has lived in London since 1949 This diverse history is reflected in his work For a long time the word "mysticism" was almost a joke in the West although it has taught us that in the heart of the Christian religion there were great mystics and religious poets.
If we knew more than that we would say that these people approach God was emotional, Ecstatic and states of mind describing They made him look at life as something minor.
But our information, in a predominantly Christian culture It did not include the fact that emotional road was just one of the very old and traditional approaches.
Recently, a feeling that the kind of education that most of us receive We are not giving us the information we should have, It has led to some curiosity about the Oriental cults, Buddhism, gurus of many varieties, or Yogis.
Since the holy man or sage has not been part of our culture for centuries, we had no benchmark against which to judge gurus: the more eccentric behavior, wilder beard, and more sensational their statements, They get more attention.
In the West we are concerned about the money: I earn and save and spend.
So our prejudices probably allow us to judge a sage, Genuine or not, if you accepted money, and how much, and how externally orders his life.
A man living in a damp cave based lentils It is considered holier than one living an ordinary life in society.
But as a result of many cults, gurus, crazy diets, people standing on their heads, meditations and mantras, many have been discouraged curious sincere and have taken refuge in an attitude that is summarized in this anecdote: "What is your opinion about internal knowledge?" He asked a dervish to a theologian.
"I have no patience with him.
" "And what else?" "Me sick.
" "And what else?" "The idea is repugnant.
" "How interesting that a logical and trained as his mind, when asked for an opinion on a subject, I can only describe three states of mind.
" A Sufi would say that people living in a society where Sufism has been operating openly, respected for what it offers, must consider all these attitudes toward mysticism which I have described as misinformed, not to say anything else.
"You'll have to learn through the most banal thing of all," Sufi says the aspiring disciple, "You must learn through ordinary life.
" You probably do not have anything to say to people looking for emotional arousal and sensational experiences.
On one trip, a dervish met a yogi who was trying to penetrate the secrets of the animal kingdom.
The dervish said that one day a fish had saved his life, and the yogi said: "In all my years of meditation and discipline I never approached me to such depths of knowledge! Can I go with you? " After a few days the yogi said: "Now that we know better, You tell me how you saved your life the fish, please? " The dervish replied: "Now that we know better, I doubt it's useful to tell you, but I'll do it: He had not eaten for three days, and I was starving.
Yes, this fish saved my life.
" Sufism works through jokes like this, books, lectures and all kinds of ordinary activity.
A Sufi can be a scientist, a politician, a poet, a housewife, the usher of a film and perhaps never know him as such, since Sufism may have nothing to do with the outward appearance and behavior.
It is all the time operating throughout the world, in every country, sometimes openly, sometimes not.
People who are offering can be famous, we would say, banging a drum to say "we are here.
" Or they may teach secretly.
But you wonder, what are you teaching? What is Sufism? In a Persian dictionary, the definition of Sufi says, in rhyme: "Sufi chist? Sufi Sufi'st.
What is a Sufi? 'A Sufi is a Sufi.
' " This is not a noncommittal but a recognition of the difficulty of defining something that has to be experienced, and different for each person depending on their state of development mode.
"God is love" may be the highest experience that man can have, or just a few words scrawled on a poster carried by a poor old tramp; Such extremes are many levels of experience.
How to guide the pupil from one level to the next is knowledge of the Master.
Idries Shah says in his book The Sufis: "Man must develop by their own efforts, to the growth of an evolutionary nature, stabilizing your consciousness.
It has within it an essence, initially small, bright, beautiful.
Development depends on man, but it must start through a Master.
When the mind is cultivated properly and appropriately, consciousness is translated to a sublime plane.
" As Robert Graves wrote in his introduction to this book: "The earliest theory of evolution is aware of Sufi origin.
The slow progress of the child to adulthood figure only as a stage of development.
whose dynamic force is neither asceticism or intellect, but love.
" Now, all this is very far from the kind of thinking considered by us as "rational".
But not rarer than things we believe or institutions for granted.
In the West we all live with one or another version of Christianity, And we believe, or half believe, or have to endure some pretty bizarre ideas.
Perhaps the most useful thing I was invited to do it in my own approach to study Sufi "Discover why I believe in the things I think; examine the basis of my ideas.
" Here is an approach to this philosophy it might seem by other indirect: is take a look at these great Islamic civilizations that flourished throughout the Near East, Spain, Central Asia and North and West Africa for a thousand years or more.
In these places, Sufism was always a powerful and visible force: dervishes were kings, soldiers, poets, astronomers, educators, counselors, wise.
Sufism was the core of Islam.
The argument is that the river of knowledge "From beyond the stars" which has run since the time of Adam, through Noah and Abraham, followed by hundreds of wise men and prophets, He also ran through Jesus and then Muhammad.
It is not a question that one is better or worse than the other.
smaller or larger, but that being of these men are different aspects of the same truth, or Way, manifesting as Divine Messengers.
Both started world religions, both fueled the inner heart of religion.
During early Christianity this inner knowledge was available, and then he lost, or went underground.
But he was able to survive the death of Muhammad and his companions and enlighten the Islam wherever he went to take hold.
But it is very difficult for us to even look at this address: our history has made it impossible.
You can try this little experiment: Head to the nearest bookstore, and browse the first dozen textbooks on astronomy General, art history, meteorology, medicine, psychiatry, archeology.
In each you will find versions of the following: "Between the decline of Greece and Copernicus, science stagnated in superstition.
" "Those temperate latitudes in which all civilization flourished.
" "Europe, the cradle of civilization.
" A common is: "Science was the creation of the Renaissance in Europe.
" "Before there was Freud's unconscious.
" "Jung's theory of the archetype.
" This attitude towards European history is always implicit in our scholarship It is one of the great pillars of our thinking; But while Europe lay for centuries in the dark, wonderful civilizations led some science to levels that had not reached.
including medicine and psychiatry.
Individually, maybe each of us whether or not Christian; but like it or not, we are steeped in Christian history.
Centenarians wars with Islam were completed, but the residual mental blocks, myopia, narrow-mindedness, even paralyze our thinking.
Islamic culture is not the only one suffering our prejudices.
When Copernicus and Galileo discovered that the earth revolved around the sun, such knowledge was not only common in Islamic cultures but also in the deepest Africa, where there are cultures that our academics are just starting to notice, let alone studied, they taught that the earth was the planet from the sun.
Long before Lister had to fight the medical hierarchy about germs and infection, African witch-doctors used antisepsis and other advanced medical techniques.
It is almost impossible for us to see Europe as it was, a small dark, bordering province with great civilizations they sent emissaries, advisers, missionaries: all came out of the fullness of their arts and sciences with the intention of helping the barbarians.
Europe then moved, in his particular contribution to human knowledge, technology; and it was the turn for others recede.
The newcomer, as a teenager, I had to believe he was the first to experience or understand anything.
But this insularity is beginning to break.
When there was an area of prejudice in a culture, Dike in mind, the time of its dissolution is always exciting: that of a sudden unexpected breakthrough.
As one researcher said, "It's exactly like huge piles of treasure were outdoors, but we are looking in another direction, mesmerized by the words Greece and Rome.
" But Sufism is not a study of past civilizations: It must be contemporary, or it is nothing.
Why it is now being offered again in the West? For the simplest of reasons: Sufism works openly when he can, silently when due.
Even fifty years ago, when the churches had such great power over thought and morality, the introduction of this old way of thinking would have been impossible.
But in an open society, Sufism can be openly offered; and perhaps we can now look calmly to the statement which is a philosophy that can be hostile to any true religion, since all religions are the external faces of an inner truth.
As for people like me, unable to admire any kind of organized religion, then this philosophy shows us where to look for answers to questions from society and experience.
questions not answered by the official suppliers of knowledge, be they sacred or secular.
"Man has been able to conscious development for ten thousand years" Sufis say.
This thought is shown variously in the assertion that man is woefully underused, underrated, and do not know their own abilities.
I thought this my whole life, and one of the reasons why I was attracted to Sufism is that this idea is central to it.
Think about it this way: In a circus, every child born in a certain family will become a wonderful acrobat.
Is this because these guys have 'aerobatic' genes, or that are expected to be acrobats? The implications shatter our assumptions about education.
I have read thousands of manuscripts in my life.
I saw very early that these authors had as much talent as: the early bird every writer efforts are very similar.
But some of them still write, others fall: We live in a society in which we all think in terms of success or failure.
I'm sure the various talents, creativity and inventiveness of children – who can sing and dance and draw and tell stories and invent verses and whose view of life is as clear and direct – could continue into adulthood and not disappear, as tends to happen in our education system.
We see as very different from the process of intense concentration of the scientist or artist It is resulting in flashes of extraordinary achievement, telepathy, clairvoyance, hunches, signs of dreams.
but these issues are seen by the Sufis as manifestations of the same thing, the first demonstrations of this evolution of humanity.
But it is easy to waste this potential, for example, using drugs to stimulate the brain or self-induced ecstasy.
"It is only those who can prove who know" say the Sufis, reiterating that this experience is not a matter of intellectual development.
Everyone reaches a point where you feel the need to increase internal growth.
Then it is wise to seek the Guide, Master, Exemplary, the central figure of tasawwuf who shows others what is possible.
This person, the product of a certain kind of varied and intensive education, will be master not a trade but a dozen, which they were learned through the pressures of necessity, created this by people which was surrounded from birth, people whose duty is to ensure that it meets, perform all of its capabilities.
The child shall be protected from mainstream education dwarfing and narrow, instilling the idea that a person can be a tinker or tailor, but not both; or, if both, then it has to be commended for their versatility.
In Sufism, the notion of "two cultures" is nonexistent; the idea that the arts and sciences have to be hostile, is absurd.
Of the great figures who have successfully combined mathematics with poetry (and much more) Omar Khayyam is perhaps best known in the West.
The products of the schools Sufis are people who for our view, are prodigies.
Our forms of education do not produce anything.
People who, in our violent times, It is shaken from their little routines across different countries, climates, ideas, languages, and have to learn to make a living in various ways, losing arrogance of class and race, They are more likely to approach the Sufic idea of the whole man.
Idries Shah, who is now bringing back Sufism to the West, It is the product of this intensely varied education.
He has been living in England for fifteen years, during which time been restored to Sufism as a vital and visible force.
To give examples of their polymathy He has patented scientific apparatus He has been a journalist, explorer, traveling.
He has studied archeology geology, economics, politics.
Writes travel books, anthropology, magic, Sufism, each unique in its kind.
Sufis writes fables and stories themselves.
He has written an award-winning screenplay.
It maintains correspondence in Arabic, Persian, English, French, Spanish.
experts in a dozen different fields.
It has helped decipher – as it touches – an ancient Egyptian music was unheard by man for three and a half millennia.
He is a husband and father of three children; and manages from home the ICR (Institute for Cultural Research) which has hundreds of members and is in vigorous operation.
Three years ago he started a publishing house that has already launched a dozen books, all successful.
But he would say: "It may not be me, but his ideas about man's possibilities are extraordinary.
" And it rejects treated like a "guru".
No use saying that a man, a book, an institution, is Sufism, which is essentially always the same, but always taking different forms.
As an old Sufi said: "When a form arises Sufic many people may not recognize it These are the formalists Sufis copying techniques and believe that these are the same as the Way Since the shape is of time like an old cloak those who simply emulate the ways They will be unable to recognize the forms of the present time in which they live The recent reintroduction of Sufism visible printed in Britain It was not through specialized publications or intellectual but in "The Times" newspaper, the magazine "Blackwoods" "The Contemporary Review" and a women's magazine called "The Lady" and such items were not recognized by most Orientalists and aspiring experts Those who are able to recognize a current Sufic are those with noses to the fresh and lively; and this thing can be from a person, a book, a poignant statement made by a physicist at a conference, the attitude of a politician, a new trend in fashion, a poem, a play, a conserved garden in some way.
How Sufism is now taught in Britain It differs from what happens in Morocco, Afghanistan, Greece, South America; teachers and institutions containing Sufism for this age are different from those of the past, and ever-changing.
"If you find two institutions that call themselves Sufic and are exactly the same, then one of them must be false.
" as well as the course teacher.
Another old master, who was called "The Lord of Heaven" He said: Almost all men who come to me have strange fantasies about the man the rarest of these is the belief that can progress only through improvement What I understand, They are those who realize that man You need a lot more shed their excess to reveal its essence sapiente the added anything Those who are truly wise teaching can also be carried out through the exclusion of such things to go blind man and leave him deaf Before you even begin to study the Sufi, you have to first try, as we are told again and again, "learn how to learn".
and everything is unexpected.
Sometimes in our lives when we look back, We may think: "I learned more through this experience in my entire life together"; and experience could be a tough job as work, a phase of marriage, a serious love, a disease, a nervous breakdown.
This way of learning, an overstuffed period of a living conscious and reasoned He may be closer to learning the Sufi Way than any other.