Archive for the 'Sufism' Category

Inside this new love, die!

Posted by Pelgrim on 5th January 2012

Inside this new love, die
Your way begins on the other side
Become the sky
Take an axe to the prison wall

Walk out like someone suddenly
born into colour
Do it now

You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die, and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you have died

Your old life was a frantic running from silence
The speechless full moon comes out now.

– Jalaluddin Rumi

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evidence of Collective Unconscious (Archetypal) Memory

Posted by Pelgrim on 6th June 2010

Empirical Study of Associations Between Symbols and Their Meanings: Evidence of Collective Unconscious (Archetypal) Memory Related Papers

D. H. Rosen, M.D. , S. M. Smith, Ph.D. , H. L. Huston, B.A and G. Gonzalez, B.A

College Station, Texas

D. H. Rosen, M.D. Professor of Analytical Psychology, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and Professor of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A & M University. Author of numerous publications, and general editor of Fay Book Series in Analytical Psychology. In private practice. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

S. M. Smith, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology, Texas A & M University. Author of numerous publications on human memory research. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

H. L. Huston, B.A Second-year graduate student in clinical psychology (PhD) programme, Texas A & M University. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

G. Gonzalez, B.A Texas A & M University. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.


Jung postulated the existence of a collective unconscious that is common to all members of the human family (Jung 8, par. 3), and he makes a distinction between the personal unconscious ‘and an impersonal or transpersonal … collective unconscious because it is detached from anything personal [and is entirely universal]’ (Jung 4, par. 103).

Jung further posited that the collective unconscious contained archetypes: ancient motifs and predispositions to patterns of behaviour that manifest symbolically as archetypal images in dreams, art, or other cultural forms (Jung 10). Harry Prochaska writes:

An archetypal symbol rises from the deepest layers of the unconscious…. The archetypal quality in those instances where it occurs is recognized by the sense that the expression transcends specificities of time and space and ‘speaks’ to common human experiences…. Cultural expressions must transcend the boundaries of their own cultures to become genuine archetypal symbols which are recognizable as such in other times and in other places. (Prochaska 17).

We can infer that associated with the collective unconscious is a collective or archetypal memory that has its basis in biololgy, a result of the psychic evolution which parralels physical evolution.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]


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The best Islam is within you - the spirit of GOD (Rouh’u Allah) is within you

Posted by Pelgrim on 20th April 2010

“Rouh = Soul? This is the single biggest misconception that people have made which helped distort the issue of ‘who we are’. In Arabia, when someone dies, the people say: ‘let us pray on his Rouh!’ Also, when they speak about someone dying, the say: ‘his Rouh has left him’. In schools, they teach our kids that the ‘Soul’ is the ‘Rouh’ and that is what will die and be judged and punished or rewarded… However, the story changes when we look at what GOD has to say:

“GOD takes the ‘Nafs’ when death comes, and also at the time of sleep…” (39:42)

“No ‘Nafs’ dies except by GOD’s leave, at a predetermined time…” (3:145)

“Every ‘Nafs’ tastes death, then you receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection…” (3:185)

“… You shall not kill the ‘Nafs’ that GOD has made sacred, except in the course of justice…” (6:151)

“… she said: my Lord, I have wronged my ‘Nafs”…” (27:16)

Well, you get the picture!

GOD tells us that our ‘Soul’ is called ‘Nafs’, and that this ‘Nafs’ is what is taken at death and what is judged on j-day (then rewarded or punished). The ‘Nafs’ is YOU, it is your entire being, it is your slate, which is burdened or lightened by your actions…

So, if the ‘Soul’ is the ‘Nafs’, then what is the Rouh?

Rouh = Spirit.

“While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her Our ‘Rouh’. He went to her in the form of a human being.” (19:17)

“They ask you about the ‘Rouh’. Say: ‘The ‘Rouh’ comes from my Lord. And you were not given knowledge, except little.” (Quran 17:85)

It becomes apparent to the reader that the ‘Rouh’ is from GOD and it is the accumulation of ‘knowledge’ that will assist the human being in his life… It is best described as ‘Spirit’.

You see, animals also have ‘Nafs’ just like we do (it is their life-force), yet, you do not see monkeys building spaceships nor turtles working on computers!

The ‘Rouh’ is the gift that GOD gave to our species to allow us the advantage of ‘knowledge’.

“Once I perfect him (the human), and blow into him from My ‘Rouh’, you shall fall prostrate before him.” (15:29)

All animals can communicate with one another (remember the birds speaking to Solomon?). However, it is only man that has ‘knowledge’.

The ‘Rouh’ is GOD’s gift to us, and it is only GOOD. The information that the ‘Rouh’ provides each of us is to be used for our benefit, but we have the ‘choice’ to use it for evil (like nuclear fission being used to make a bomb).

Some unfortunate news about the ‘Rouh’: It will NEVER approach you and save the day. for example, you are struggling to understand something. If you don’t ask GOD for help, it won’t go; “hey, here is the answer!” no, you have to approach it. Also, it will always be LITERAL. you will have to be specific of what you are asking. Note, you don’t have to say this out loud. You can just think of it - because many times, humans have hard time expressing what exactly they want to ask. With the Spirit of God, you don’t have to worry about this - as long as you get the intention of asking, the Spirit will know the question… as much as you wanted to ask and that ALONE (though it knows all the questions you know - it is not going to answer anything you did not ask).

Thus if we can summarize what we have upto this point.

The human being so far is made-up of:

1. The ‘Soul’ - Nafs (the is YOU, the real person, what makes choices and what will be judged);

2. The ‘Spirit’ - Rouh (this is a gift from GOD, it is NOT yours, you do not own it, all people have access to it - like the Quran. It’s purpose is to help provide answers and knowledge to help your Soul make the right decisions). . . .

The best Islam is within you - the spirit of GOD (Rouh’u Allah) is within you. There is no such thing that truth lies outside of you. The ultimate truth lies within you. Please, take advantage of that blessing. It will be your ultimate weapon against falsehood.”

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Brain waves and oneness experience

Posted by Pelgrim on 16th October 2009

What follows is an excerpt from a television program aired on October 7th, 2009 by German television station ZDF. It takes a skeptical viewpoint in trying to debunk God and Faith. They also address an interesting scientific experiment which tries to research what happens in the brain during deep meditation in which the state of oneness is experienced by the believer. The program brings this up in an attempt to give a natural explanation of a deep devotional experience. The problem is however that the program misses the deep mystery of consciousness, especially the duality of a brain wave field created by the matter of our neurons and how in this experiment synchronized wave patterns produce a perception of being at one with the underlying reality of our universe, which in turn is also based on a matter/wave duality.

When our brain wants us to focus on certain parts of our visual perception, neurons in the prefrontal cortex fire in unison and send signals to the visual cortex to do the same in order to become synchronized, directing our focus of attention. Source

During meditation we do not focus our sensory perception, still our brain waves become nearly completely synchronized by which the boundaries between inside and outside dissolve.

Science and religion has a hard time understanding the paradox of Jesus the God-Man, uniting two perfect natures in one person, fully divine and fully human, one in essence.

The skeptical view:

Abenteur Forschung
Brain Research Brain and God

Is faith measurable?
Every year millions of believers go on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in the hope of a cure, and all united in the belief in the power of a miracle. In 1858 in the grotto Massabielle the Virgin Mary appeared several times to the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous. A vision, a fantasy, a perceptual illusion? Researchers are on the trail of the phenomenon. They want to find out exactly what happens when such a phenomenon occurs, and how faith can actually be created. Visions or apparitions are a particularly intense form of spiritual experience. Faith is apparently widespread in many different cultures as a universal principle. Does Faith have a material basis?Researchers are now looking in the brain for measurable traces of faith and religiosity. Experiments suggest that certain areas are more active in the brain during religious experiences than others.

What happens during a vision?
Meditation Is the brain of a believer distinct from that of non-believers, and how does our brain work, while we believe? During an observation brain researcher observe nuns during prayer in MRI. The aim is to find out what events occur in the brain during intense spiritual meditation, prayer, and if that leaves specific traces, so to speak, religiosity has a “place in the brain.” The comparison is striking: The brain of a person in prayer is different from a non-worshipers. The result: The activity of the brain during prayer varies by region. Fast passive is the center, with which we orientate ourselves in space and perceive. It is surprising that this region is supplied much less with blood during the prayer than, say, in resting subjects who do not pray. Some researchers see in this shut down of orientation the reason why prayer is often perceived as closeness to God.

The art of meditation
The Interest of science for Buddhist monks. In Buddhism meditation has for 2000 years placed meditation at its center. Many experienced monks train their brains in their lives often more than 10,000 hours. They describe their feelings as “one with the environment”, the borders to the outside world seem resolved.

That makes researchers interested. As neurophysiologists measure the brain waves of a monk in meditation, they are surprised: The brain waves vibrate remarkably uniform at a certain frequency. Die researchers draw the following conclusions from it: stimuli from our sense organs lead to nerve cells which continue to corresponding brain centers, there arises the perception of our surroundings. During the meditation changes the pattern. The derived excitation now shows nearly synchronized waves. A condition which probably completely changes the perception.
This provides the explanation for the brain researcher of what the monks during meditation experience: that the boundary between interior and exterior dissolves. This creates the feeling of being in complete harmony with the environment.

A matter of faith
Some scholars see in these results also a clue for the explanation of religious phenomena. As potential triggers they suspect specific excitation patterns in the brain. Some even go so far that they think they can selectively induce such visions. A converted helm is the ultimate tool for their experiment: It generates a weak magnetic field, and aims to stimulate such a small target area of the brain. The subjects should describe directly, which results in internal images. Some indeed report religious phenomena, others see mysterious luminous phenomena in the sky, UFOs or even extraterrestrial visitors. Again the images are determined by the individual cultural background. For example only those who have a strong religious commitment report corresponding appearances.

Source: ZDF Abenteur Forchung

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The Life’s house

Posted by Pelgrim on 26th March 2009

“Teacher”, the pupil said, “when I venture on the path of the spiritual journey what will happen to my life’s house?”

The teachter paused to scoop water from the brook and after a pause looked at the pupil and said “Our house will be shaken to its very foundations upon what it is build, it will come tumbling down around us. When we move on the contours of our old house are fading and instead we experience the promise of a house and a whole city without walls. The struggle is that our eye cannot perceive the air separating the inside from the outside, but that is just the illusion we cling on to.

To unearth the vision that lies beyond our grasp and reunite the light of the eye to its true source that shines brighter as a thousand suns and still is kinder than the sun in the sky.”

From a work in progress based on Psalm 119, 54
- working title “Songs from the wilderness””, H. Blum

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First encounter

Posted by Pelgrim on 4th January 2009

“What is the temple you are going to build me? Child of man! Do not I fill heaven and earth? And did not I establish its foundations? Did not Salomon inform you that his temple build of stones, cut out by human hands, could not contain me!”

“Is not Life an expression of itself and do not I form the the gift of Life within you? So what could you possibly give me, that is not mine?”

The student fell to his knees.

Thundering ”What is the desire of your heart? To have more of what belongs to me? ……. Or to be found worthy of the gift?”

The student ran to his teacher and cried out “I am unworthy!”

The teacher answered “Are we not all beggars and thieves? Still we can be found Kings and Priests. Remember that God through his Prophets predicted that Mount Sion would be plowed over and the temple made of stone destroyed. Plowing might be descructive to the old roots still it prepares the ground to receive the seed for the harvest.”

From a work in progress based on Psalm 119, 54
- working title “Songs from the wilderness””, H. Blum

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The Father of Jesus

Posted by Pelgrim on 16th December 2008

Indubitaly no man is born fatherless;
Only one Jesus exists in the world.

- Shabestari

The Sufis believe that Jesus was born of Mary through the breath of the Holy Spirit, and had no physical father.
The Qoran describes the Divine animation of man as a breathing of God’s Spirit unto the human frame, using the the same expression for the generation of Jesus as for the creation of Adam, that is, by a blowing of the Divine Breath, respectively, into the womb of Mary and into the clay of Adam’s body - a breath which is none other than the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

What the Sufis understand by a reference to the concept of ‘Father’ with respect to Jesus, such as when the Gospel quotes Jesus as saying, “I go to the Father” (John 16:16), is that the saints are the spiritual children of the Divine, so that Jesus as a saint, can be regarded as just such a ’spiritual offspring’.

As Rumi puts it,

My boy,
All the saints are sons of God:
Whether here or there, present or absent,
Always aware, vigilant and awake.

Shaikh Shabestari provides a lyrical rendering of this concept in his Golshan-e raz:

First the suckling infant,
Bound to a cradle, is sustained on milk,
Then, when mature, becomes a wayfarer;
If a man, he travels with his father.

The elements of nature for you
Resemble an earthborn mother,
You, a son whose father
Is a patriarch from on high.

So Jesus proclaimed upon ascension:
“I go to my Father (Abba) above.”
You too, favorite of your father,
Set forth for your Father!

Your fellow-travelers went on;
you too pass on!
If you wish to be a bird in flight,
Leave the world’s carcass to vultures.

In his commentary on the Golshan-e ráz, Shaikh Làhiji explains the concepts of the Holy Spirit (ruh al-qodos) and the ‘Spirit of God’ (ruho’lláh), which appear in another part of Shabestari’s work, verse by verse in the following manner:

Within the inner court of holy Oneness
Lies the soul’s monastery.
Perch of the Simorgh of Subsistence.

(The commentator, Làhiji): That is to say, the inner court of sanctum of holy Oneness (wahdat) of the Divine Essence, which transcends and is hallowed from all blemish of multiplicity (katharat), is the soul’s monastery (dair-e jan), and the temple (ma’bad) of the Christians, that is to say, the community of the prophet Jesus. Hence, the holy monastery of Divine Unity is the house of worship for the soul, the human spirit (ruh-e ensani), the origin of which is the World of Supra-Formal Entities (‘alam-e tajarrod). This sanctum of Divine Oneness is the soul’s temple and the roost of the Simorgh of true Subsistence (baqa) because the wellspring and reality of Subsistence is Divine Oneness, unblemished and consecrated from all contrariness and disparity generated through mortal annihilation (fana).
By realisation of this station (maqam), Jesus was graced with life and immortality. Since pure freedom from the bondage of custom, convention, blind imitation, and habit, which Christianity (tarsa’i) exemplifies, was manifested by Jesus, the poet further comments:
From the Spirit of God sprang this attainment,
Brought forth by the Holy Spirit.

The ‘attainment’ here implied is that of dispassion, detachment and emancipation from the bondage of multiplicity and habit, all of which Christianity represents, and consequent at-one-ment with the spiritual level and monastery of the Divine Essence in its sacred Oneness. Such labour was manifested by Jesus (as the ‘Spirit of God’). No previous prophet, however graced with the virtues of perfection, ever quite attained his degree.

Nurbakhsh, Dr. Javad. Jesus in the Eyes of the Sufis.Terry Graham, et al. Trans.
London: Khaniqahi-Nimatullahi Publications, 1983.

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The field of trouble

Posted by Pelgrim on 24th October 2008

Confronted with the grief of a student over the distress that has befallen him, the student asked him “why teacher, doesn’t the love of God protect us from harm?”

The teacher looked in the distance and answered “As his word teaches everything in life returns to us, so that should direct our ways. In life everything that befalls us is an opportunity to learn and I needed still a lot to learn about the essence of life as in His love He gave me many opportunities to learn. Sometimes a lesson is painful and only that pain can occupy our mind. If we widen our view the necessity to learn presents itself.
We are never alone in our times of distress. The field of trouble is also a door of hope as long as we allow His light to penetrate our darkness.”

From a work in progress based on Psalm 119, 54
- working title “Songs from the wilderness”", H. Blum 

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Michelangelo - reflections

Posted by Pelgrim on 9th September 2008

I read in the past about a letter of Michelangelo in which he tried to describe to one of his supporters the immanent nature of God in creation by the following analogy:

Place a candle between two mirrors, how many reflections do you see?

I am still looking for the original source of that analogy. Help is appreciated.

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The heart of love, .. come to the Ocean of Unity

Posted by Pelgrim on 3rd August 2008

How should the orients of the lights of Almighty God be contained in the heart? Yet when you seek His Light, you find it there. But this does not mean that His Light is truly contained within it. Rather, you find it in the heart, just as you find your own picture in a mirror, though it s not truly contained by it. But when you look into the mirror, you see yourself. (F 165-166/174) 

Hadith: “God says, ‘My heavens and My earth encompass Me not, but the heart of My gentle, believing, and meek servant does encompass Me.‘”

Rümi often refers to this hadith directly or indirectly.

Through God’s perfect power the bodies of spiritual men have gained the strength to bear the ineffable Light. … Hence the Seal of the Prophets related a saying from the eternal and everlasting King:
“I am not contained in the heavens and the void, in the supernal intellects and souls, Yet I stay like a guest in the believer’s heart, without qualification, definition, or description.”
(VI 3066, 71-73)
Outside of the seven heavens, greater than the two worlds! And this is wonderfull: That Ineffable One is hidden within the heart! (D 24544) The seven heavens are too narrow for Him. How does He enter my shirt? (D 18348) If the two worlds were to enter my heart. they would be contemptible. What a wonderful expansion Thou hast given my wounded heart through Thy love! (D 30224)

The heart of the saint “contains” God, while the heart of the ordinary man is mired in water and clay. What determines the worth of a man is the state of his heart. Man’s task in this world is to cleanse his heart. to polish it, and ultimately to make of it a perfect mirror reflecting God. This he can only accomplish with the guidance of the Possessor of the Heart.

Oh heart! God will look upon you when, like a part. you return to your whole.
God keeps on saying. “We look upon the heart, not upon the form, for that is water and clay.”
You keep on saying, “I also have a heart.”
The heart is above God’s Throne, not below it!Certainly dark clay also contains water, but not water with which to make an ablution.
Though it is water, it has been vanquished by clay.
So do not say concerning your heart, “This too is a heart. ”
The heart that is beyond the heavens is the heart of the saints or the Prophet.
Purified, cleansed of clay, it has entered into increase and become all-sufficient.
It has abandoned clay and come to the Sea.
Freed from clay’s prison, now it belongs to the Sea ….You are obstinate and say, “I am a Possessor of the Heart.
I have no need for anyone else, I am in union with God” -
As if water in the midst of clay were obstinate: “I am water, why should I seek help?”
Imagining this polluted thing to be a heart, you turn your heart away from the Possessor of the Heart.
Do you really allow that this object fascinated by milk and honey can be a heart?
The taste of milk and honey reflects the heart; the sweetness of every sweet thing derives from the heart.
So the heart is the substance and the world the accident. How should the heart’s shadow be the heart’s goal?
Does a heart fall in love with property and position and submit itself to this black water and clay,
Or to fantasies, worshiping them in darkness for the sake of empty talk?

The heart is nothing but that Ocean of Light.
Is the heart to be the locus for God’s vision, and then blind?

Among hundreds of thousands of the elect and the vulgar, no heart is to be found: The heart is in one person. Which one is he? Which one? (M III 2243-50, 61-70)

Quoted from the “The Sufi path of love,
the spiritual teachings of Rumi” by William C. Chittick

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