Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Answer of the Sufi Master

I am going to tell you a recent story. The purpose is to tell you, Prophecy, of what happened to me during the event in the story - what I discovered about myself.

Sufi Master Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri came on a visit to Pakistan this November (2007). I was introduced to him quite out of the blue through his lecture on Metaphysics and Mental Health at Aga Khan University Hospital, thanks to Neoka.

Then a talk by the teacher/author was arranged at The Second Floor.

The subject: Realities and the Truth.

Reality changes. Today I like one thing, another day I dislike it. Today I am 17, years I am 27.

What is transient is reality of the world. What is still fixed is the Truth - the One Source that defines consistency in everything. The reason why things and times change outwardly, but essentially remain the same. It does imply hypocrisy, but yes, in part, a falseness, a transitory nature of being.

The Shaykh said that peace is to be found in aligning with and understanding the Truth. Yet one is to stay in the world of reality and not be cut off from it.


The Sufi Method
Know that Sufi Masters are people of the Tradition: Gnostics. They do not deal with superficiality; they deal with the truth of a situation and a person. If you talk to them in jest or lie or make untruthful comments, they will not play along... but will address the truth. They're a bit like a straightforward doctor.


The Question That Wasn't
I asked a question at the end of the talk: "How can we achieve a new thinking about our way?"

This was apparently in response to the comment that the Shaykh made about the world being in turmoil, and rigid systems breaking down everywhere. He thought it was good!

The Shaykh did not like my question. First, I will tell you his reply: "I am sorry - did I say new thinking? I did not - I meant a fresh way of thinking. There really is no 'new thinking' - that's the whole point of the talk: the Truth is always there, it's neither new nor old."

But the truth of the situation was, dear Prophecy, that the Shaykh knew exactly what I was asking: which was an elaboration of his words earlier. But he caught me on a technicality because of my flawed intent.

You see, Prophecy, I knew in an instant that he knew that I knew the answer to my question already. I know more about Truth and fresh thinking and the duality of 'consistent and altering states' than I let know in that - as the Tradition would call it - "beginner's question."

Therefore, as far as I was concerned, it was not a genuine question at all! Truly, I had asked it "for the benefit of the audience" - which somehow the Shaykh did not approve of.

Earlier, he had told me personally: "You have no choice but to teach."

Reflecting that day since, I have realized how badly have I cut down the size of my own knowledge by pretending I don't have it.

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