Wednesday, March 14, 2007

IDEALS


"Shatter your ideals upon the rock of truth."

Hazrat Inayat Khan

That sounds good doesn't it? It seems like something that you can do. It won't be too painful. There may be a little pain but you can handle that. Well to me it is terrifying because I know it is true.

A person I correspond with recently wrote the following to me: "I think when we walk in the shadow of some labeled philosophy of life; we don't walk in the light no matter how brilliant or well thought out the philosophy." I had to read this over a couple of times to understand what was meant. As long as we are subscribing to some sort of system of belief and we demand that this system supply us with all our needs, we will be in its shadow. This person may very well be correct. There is a real comfort for us in having something that explains what we feel or what we want to feel. It is so very nice to point to some literature or perhaps to a way of life that we are sure we approve of. But, no matter the sublimity of the system, it will still never be enough.

Any religion or philosophy has this drawback; there are always going to be people within the group that need to explain to you just what it all means. They will tell you that you can trust them to understand. In fact they will tell you that it is a requirement that you trust them. This is just as true in my Sufi Order as it is in anything else. In fact I often find myself doing just that. I will find myself telling someone what IT means and expecting them to just accept my word. I do try to remember to slap myself when I do that but I am not always successful. Fortunately I have friends who do not hesitate to tell me that I am being pushy, or silly, or wrong – at least as far as they are concerned. Isn't that wonderful?

To be willing to have your ideal shattered means being vulnerable to the information flow that comes to you. Most of us have extremely thick defenses where our ideals are concerned. Any thought or emotion or scary perception that comes to us will immediately rebound off our thick armor. We have no intention of allowing anyone to alter our opinions even in the slightest manner.

Anyone who has done any study at all of mysticism will know that this attitude is the first one that has to go, never the less we do not really believe that our ideals need adjustment. In fact we will go to a lot of mental and emotional trouble to make sure that whatever teacher we have chosen to listen to aligns their philosophy with ours. It is not so unusual I suppose for us to need to do this because we always want to understand what the teacher is saying in the light of our own understanding. To stretch beyond our limits is always scary. We may profess the desire to stretch but what we really mean is just a tiny amount not a lot, certainly not to the point of shattering.

For me there is a physical sensation that accompanies even a minor alteration in my thinking or emotions. It is that sinking feeling that one gets when faced with a predator and fight or flight are the only options. Total terror. It is the feeling I used to get when faced with the play ground bully. I want to run but there is no where to run to. Sometimes I can ward off the feeling by ignoring the reality I am faced with – letting it bounce off my armor so to speak. Other times my basic sense of integrity simply will not let me avoid the shift that is being presented.

What is always true is the subliminal knowledge that there is more to come. No matter how deep we go into the discovery of our true selves, there is always more. Perhaps then the answer is to simply accept that what we know is okay as long as we are content to know it is only a part of what is real. Many of the scriptures say that God or the Universe never gives us more than we can handle. There are arguments about that of course, abuse, war, political domination, things like that. But generally it is true that you get what you expect and, if you allow it, a little more. It is extremely rare that you will be expected to grasp all of Universal Reality all at once. For most of us it is a gradual process – if we allow it.

There is this prayer that was composed by Hazrat Inayat Khan and which many people over the world recite daily. I am one of those that do this. Every time I recite it I wonder if I truly mean it. Maybe that is the true test.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

Saum
Praise be to Thee, Most Supreme God,
Omnipotent, Omnipresent, All-pervading,
the Only Being.
Take us in thy Parental Arms,
Raise us from the denseness of the earth.
Thy Beauty do we worship,
To Thee do we give willing surrender.
Most Merciful and Compassionate God,
The Idealized Lord of the whole humanity,
Thee only do we worship,
and towards Thee alone we aspire.
Open our hearts towards Thy Beauty,
Illuminate our souls with Divine Light.
O Thou, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty!
All-powerful Creator, Sustainer, Judge
and Forgiver of our shortcomings, Lord God of the East and of the West,
of the worlds above and below,
And of the seen and unseen beings.
Pour upon us Thy Love and Thy Light,
Give sustenance to our bodies, hearts and souls,
Use us for the purpose that Thy Wisdom chooseth,
And guide us on the path of Thine Own Goodness.
Draw us closer to Thee every moment of our life,
Until in us be reflected Thy Grace,
Thy Glory, Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy, and Thy Peace.
Amen.

4 comments:

gratefulbear said...

Thank you for this beautifully honest and personal reflection on one of my favorite sayings by Murshid. Thanks also for your book The Sovereign Soul, which I really enjoyed reading. Several Sufi teachings that had been unclear to me were made very clear by your book.

I was hoping to see you in Atlanta recently but was unable to attend your workshop. I hope you return to Atlanta soon so I can thank you in person for your book.

blessings ~
Hamza Darrell Grizzle

Anonymous said...

Hi after going through all your posts, I was wonder if you would like to consider maybe exploring different methods of healing?
Blessed be
Jaravande

Anonymous said...

Greetings Everyone
I have given this one much thought.
I believe that for most of us our ideals and personal truths are made from our own perceptions of the combination of our life events to date. These ideals and truths help to give us self approval, vindicate/absolve us from anything we do that may be seen by others as wrong or innappropriate. In some cases they give us a reason for self indulgence eg materialism, wallowing in self pity, I am better than you syndrome, its not my fault because this happened to me to make me this way. They feed, comfort and stroke the ego, so it is very hard for some of us to walk away from them and see if they do "shatter on the rock of truth".
We are all searching for acceptance and respect, but to be laid bare is terrifying. It sometimes feels easier to hide behind the ideals and personal truths while the search continues.
Blessings Jules

Anonymous said...

Do we deal with our own ideals or do we deal with perceptions we have taken over from our personal environment. For example as a selfemployed I can not be absolutly sure to have enough cash for the entire month plus aimed savings at the first day of the month. Here my middle class ideals of having one job with safe salary stood in my way and caused a lot of distress for me. One fine sunday morning I sat in my kitchen, had my breakfast and thought of my plans. The realization of this, now destructive, ideal made my day. I was free!

Love and light
A.