Friday, January 4, 2013
Currently, many quotations attributed to RUMI ,and translated into English, are appearing on the internet, particularly on FACE BOOK, where some interesting artwork sometimes is attached. This practice is also done by various Hindu/Indian/Pakistani Devotees to differing cults and sects, of yoga,tantra, Buddhism,etc. and especially by those who connect themselves to the dervishes, fakirs, mystics, and THE FOURTH WAY. Many of these gems of wisdom are understood only on an intellectual or emotional basis, without the 'vibrational' qualities needed for full assimilation, that is, seen but not heard or chanted or sung, or with much needed musical accompaniments that one would experience in actual settings and situations where Sufis gather...... I shall not go into the various 'schools' of Sufism and 'neo-pseudo' Sufism and all the offshoots now finding their ways into the West but they all have their purposes and effects, even if minimal or major, and those who can sit and endure these 'episodes of Sufism' are to be commended for their patience, 'suffering', and 'ordeal' which usually does not go to the extent of their embracing any of the actual practices, save in rare instances. It seems perhaps likely, that some 'self-initiated' Sufi practitioners, mainly through readings and videos have emerged to further mystify and confuse the searchers for the 'exotic', if not for the 'esoteric'. The most that can be said, perhaps, on all this, is that one has to be active in 'the emotional/devotional' CENTER to fully accept and endorse and immerse into SUFISM. My descriptions here certainly do little justice to this subject which in this 'NEW CENTURY' 2013, will attract new followers and devotees who are seeking the 'TRUTH' & the 'WAY'.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Although the study of Islam has been a sort of minor concern during my life, except when certain things arose, like movies and Far Eastern tales, myths, legends, and others, my early attempts to read THE KORAN, in its basic, paperback translated format gave me few insights and was most tedious at the time.......Only when I became aware of Gurdjieff, Sufis, some fakirs,devishes,yogis,monks,etc. die I take another look at the World's Largest Religion,which stretches basically from Europe to China and to Indonesia plus the African Continent....... My brief acquaintence with Islam in America was mostly with Black Moslems in Washington,D.C.,etc. and with looking at the Mosque there a few times as well as a few other minor things.....and now with the world situation of terrorism and terrorists,many of them apparently radical Islamists, the study of Islam would seem important but I find only a few persons willing and able to do so,that is, among the general public.... Not everyone in the Near East or in every other Islamic Nation is a Moslem/Muslim/Islamist/etc. which are the proper names usually used in print rather than the prevalent derogatory ones used by the rednecks, saber-rattlers,etc. in their rants and raves painted with a patriotic brush, which glosses over a lot of individuals...etc. Those who are, or claiming they are, striving for peace: in the world, in Palestine, in the Near East, etc. might do well to study the Koran and other writings of Islam, and those of the Bahai Faith and those especially of SUFIS but it seems far too much effort for anyone except for those who already have done so, to expect anyone who hasn't to undertake such a thing.....it is not just laziness or ignorance, but they play their strong roles, of course....but a fear to learn something out of the ordinary, something that challenges the usual way of looking at everything, particularly the media accounts of such.... I became acquainted with the Bahai Faith when in High School by reading an article in FATE MAGAZINE about THE BAB(unfortunately, I no longer have that issue) and later I discovered the book on the Bahai Faith in the pulbic library and took it out and read it, but after that, I did not do anything further except when I met some Bahai members in Claremont and became friends with them and attended a few meetings and even traveling to Maine to a noted camp area which name I can't recall at the moment but will look for the information,etc. when I have more time. I was also interested in a lot of things and asked how Gurdjieff related to the Bahai Faith and was told that a certain passage in one of BahaUllah's books pertained to his methods,etc. Unfortunately, I did not purchase the book and can't recall the title or the verses....I shall discuss this more later on and describe the meetings,etc. and so forth.... Later on, I had opportunity to actually visit the Bahai Temple near Chicago in recent years and will post some photos I took of the place.....it is surrounded by much urban development nowadays, so that its presence is diminished from what it was when it stood alone and was photographed.....Secularism crowds out Spiritualism,so to speak.....if not overwhelms it at times......Still, one can feel certain influences and gatheer certain impressions while sitting in the Temple and meditating,thinking, and feeling and trying sense something........ The few contacts I have had in the US with SUFIS or those who said they were SUFIS, and I kept myself somewhat aloof from entering any of their activities or invitations and the like and will discuss my 'reasons' and 'feelings' for not doing so...... However, reading the materials and books,etc. I do find interesting, informative, useful and enlightening, as well as important for certain ideas...The music and dances are another matter..... SUBUD,which has origins in Islam and Sufism and comes from Indonesia, aroused my interest when I read something on it in a book loaned to me by a friend who also was interested in Gurdjieff and had met 'SUBUDIANS' as he termed them in NYC and also in Woodstock,Vt. etc and shared with me some of his experiences and comments,etc. I contacted the group in Woodstock and visited there but did not follow up to undergo the LATIHAN which is the basic practice of initiating and receiving 'the vital force(s)' and other 'spiritual influences' and also for 'opening' etc. for several reasons.....Men are opened separately from women and various reports on such tend to show mixed results which I hope to discuss later when I have more time and can recall everything.... But I do want to say that the term 'latihan' can mean exercise or form/practice as found in the Indonesian/Malaysian martiala arts known as Silat, Pentjak, Pentjak-silat, etc. with some exotic weaponry and also some intense 'spiritual/esoteric' practices etc. which I shall discuss later.......some of these things do involve 'trance' states.....and sometimes there are no simple explanations of what happens and sometimes no two observers can agree as to what actually happened...same for a lot of occult rituals and ceremonies and other things done, whether in the name of witchcraft, black magic, or enchantment....
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The name of IDRIES SHAH may be very familiar to people who read my blogs as well as his many, many writings, some believed to have been written under pseudonymns or by others for him...........He exerted a certain influence on many he met, particularly, the late John G. Bennett, another important figure in these studies and practices,though not a sufi himself exactly...... The book entitled,THE SECRET LORE OF MAGIC was the very first book by the late Idries Shah under his name that I read and it deals with Western Magic and the various grimoire(s) and practices and rituals found in that area.....so one might well ask,"Why should a most prominent Sufi be interested in Western Magic?" Of course, the Near East and Central Asia as well as India have had no end of various wonderworkers and magicians as well as those known as Fakirs and 'assassins' or 'thugs',etc. So perhaps that oriental background of intrigue and mystery appealed to him, even while he was being educated in England, apparently, and, of course, he became 'under the spell' through employment with the late Gerald Gardiner, the noted and recognized reviver of modern witchcraft(ceremonies) and paganism,etc. by those who came along his lines of endeavor.....including those who branched off from the occult order of THE GOLDEN DAWN......I am giving a very undetailed and superficial discussion here since I am not able to go further into such and am relying on my memory and associations to do this now... Another book I read early on and which has attracted a lot of attention over the years for obvious reasons is A HISTORY OF SECRET SOCIETIES by Arkon Daraul, which many attribute to Idries Shah, along with another book, that I read and owned some years ago, but cannot find what happened to,THE TEACHERS OF GURDJIEFF by Rafael LeFort......... Although criticized and analyzed, the books have made many impressions on people and still do today...even if, as claimed, they are error-laden and somewhat blatant.....nevertheless, they can be most entertaining and stimulative as many things are, such as, legends, fables, folklore, sagas, myths, etc. The actual practices and exercises and other aspects of Sufism are usually what others attracted to such take up and try to follow or understand which is something more than an intellectual acceptance of 'Sufi Ideas" as understood in the West......Few persons really undertake actual initiations in the East but do take up seminars, workshops, dances, and other things in the West and also link up aspects of yoga, Buddhism,Christianity,etc. with Sufism.....as many will note in modern books on the subjects..... But in fairness to Sufism and to many writers the connections between Islam, Judaism,and Christianity and other religions on either an esoteric basis or level or on an exoteric basis is possible and admirable, despite sectarian concerns that those who really understand tend to ignore or overlook and downplay..
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The rather thick book, entitled, TOWARD THE ONE, written by Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan and compiled with the staff, is dedicated to the late Noor Inayat Khan, his sister who was killed while working undercover/underground during WWII. Her full story involves the French Underground and other operatives from England, many of whom, including her, were possibly betrayed by a 'double agent' or traitor, and her story has been discussed in other works more fully..... Those interested in such things as OSS, military intelligence, and WWII can do their own research if interested....... Perhaps the point that needs to be made is this: you can be in the world and not of it,while working and living and dying,that is, take on 'intentional suffering'...
Monday, November 29, 2010
As some of you may know or have senses, possibly, if you have delved into these things with any degree of curiosity and excitement, that SUFIS have much in common with Fakirs,Dervishes, and Yogis, usually on the physical level(s) and which include postures, dances, and other 'exertions' that one could find nearly everywhere in Asia, especially in the Near East, in India, and elsewhere......the connections and associations with these groups and the larger, more esoteric SUFI COMMUNITIES have been explored and exposed in various writings....some religious,some philosophical, some sensational, and others a bit historical....... Those who made, what I shall call, 'SUFISM" popular in the WEST have had an impact on many which some do not realize and others may exaggerate a bit...but nonetheless, since SUFIS are attached and connected and often associated with ISLAM, which is growing in strength in some areas of the world and certainly causing concerns in West these days for obvious reasons, it is important to realize that SUFIS are not always welcome or accepted in Islam's more orthodox or extreme groups and actually persecuted....the same for those who are Bahai's and perhaps even 'Subudians" another term that I shall use, which was given to me by a friend who discussed SUBUD with me and shared some of his experiences,etc. Of course, there are other groups closely resembling Sufis but who have a different orientation when it comes to religious or mystical practices...and some of these will be mentioned and discussed when I have more time to do so.... Understandably, those who favor, admire, and adhere to Sufi Doctrines and Practices may not agree with anything I say and I do not expect or want them to do so as my limitations are most obvious but my interests are still keen and not dulled by sojourns in other areas all my life.....even if, as some claim and point out, from the periphery......