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Something to think about

Discussion in 'Religious Books and Scriptures' started by Seeker of White Light, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    The following texts is not written by me (conscious thoughts) but it might reflect a bit about how different sufis come to their realization.

    If I put this OP in the wrong area please move it to a better location..
    So to the text.

    The Paths to God” is a phrase which carries within it a paradox because, firstly, it gives the reader the impression that God (praise be to Him) is far away, absent, or even the expectation that the seeker (sālik) travels the path to arrive at the Holy Threshold. However, according to the scriptures, God (praise be to Him) is close to His servants – He is with them wherever they are; [2] He never turns away from them, not even for the blink of an eye. He loves to be known. He created the creatures for this Love, so that they might know Him. [3] In truth, He is the Seeker in the one who reaches out to Him (praise be to Him), and He hastens towards the one who walks towards Him. [4]

    This begs the question as to why the Sufi seeks a way to reach God (praise be to Him), all the while being certain that God is with him and close to him. In reply to this question, we can say that the Sufi is completely convinced of the divine proximity which is shared by everyone. Ibn ʿArabī says about this: ‘The Real (God) is in a permanent state of communion (waṣl) with creation, and because of this He is a divinity’; [5] however, the Sufi asks God (praise be to Him) to grant him a personal proximity and to favour him amongst His servants with His love and His attention, so as to join together two proximities: ‘the proximity of God with him’ and ‘his proximity to God’. At the same time, the Sufi knows well that the veil which prevents him from seeing the divine communal proximity is placed over his ‘inner eye’, that is to say, that the veil is tied to human nature; if not, the divine light would dazzle and nothing would be able to conceal It. This is why the Way is a necessary passage for the traveller, so he may sharpen his inner eye and thus witness the reality of the divine proximity just as it is.

    The phrase ‘the Paths to God’, the title of this paper, carries within it a second paradox, for it could suggest that there are ready-made paths with known stages, available to travellers; thus each person preparing for this journey would only have to choose but one of them. In reality, the Sufi masters – Ibn ʿArabī amongst them – are almost unanimous in stating that no two people ever follow the same path. Thus, there are indeed as many paths as there are travellers, whether they arrive at their destination or not. The potential paths which have not yet been travelled are as numerous as there are creatures. Each traveller may learn from the experience of others, from the unveiling of their cognitive experiences and their mark on the world, which may inspire him. Furthermore, he may benefit from their stories about the nature of the path, or even use some of the same methods that they have mentioned – for example, retreats, spiritual exercises, spiritual ‘combat’ or struggles and ritual invocation. But in the end, he will find a way which is his own, a path constructed from the dialectic between his journeying and the attraction which draws him on – that is to say, between human effort and divine gift.

    After these two preliminary remarks, two facts are confirmed: (1) the Paths to God (praise be to Him) are innumerable, and (2) each of these paths is unique. It is accepted by most people that it would be impossible to repeat the experience of someone who, for example, has amassed a fortune, since time is constantly flowing and circumstances never repeat themselves. The same is the case in the spirit world, where it is impossible to reproduce the experience of such people as Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya or al-Ḥallāj, or to follow the same path as that of someone who has arrived at the destination, because divine manifestations are continuous and they are renewed with every breath, without ever repeating themselves. Ibn ʿArabī reports that Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī, the author of Qūt al-qulūb, and other Sufi masters, have said that: ‘God (praise be to Him) scarcely ever manifests Himself in the same form to two people, or in the same form twice.’ [6]

    In the light of these two facts, the texts of Ibn ʿArabī constitute an important and distinguished corpus: for in his works he describes his spiritual experience and recounts his own path, which no one else has ever shared with him. He tells us, referring to his own cognitive experience, that the Paths to God are countless. He speaks of their stages, the clues or methods and actions appropriate to them.

    This article is divided into seven parts, and we hope that it will provide a comprehensive, wide-reaching approach to the subject.

    The Paths to God in Sufism | Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society
     
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  2. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

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    That is a metaphor I'm very familiar with. In some formulations there are 7 veils with multiple folds but the basic idea is the same.

    I've experienced this. I've found stories, movies and songs which turn my heart to the Divine. Sometimes when I've shared this others have been totally unmoved by what strongly affects me.
     
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  3. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

    Joined:
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    It is is so true, and also why spiritual wisdom/understanding are so difficult to discuss. Because even in same teaching we do understand somewhat different.
     
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