Saturday, October 31, 2009

REVISIONS

"True change is very natural. it is not like buying something new but is an organic experience that, once implemented, seems totally normal." Me


"I have the right to grow and become who I am and I have the obligation to use the potentials I was given." My Friend Karin


An editor once told me that I could not use my own quotes to begin a chapter in one of my books. Somehow that is a bad thing. But I don't see why. I am quotable after all.

I have just finished going through my book, looking for places I want changed. There were not many but the ones I want changed are important to me. Oh, if you did not know, Quest Books is going to republish The Sovereign Soul next year. They will re-title it as "Practical Sufism: A Field Guide to Spiritual Life". I like that title because it is much closer to my original intent. I never wanted the book to be a paean to Sufism. It was always intended to be much broader and be accessible to anyone on any spiritual path. So, I went through the book looking for the few references that I wanted to change. There weren't many as the original editor did a great job. There were just a few things that I missed from the first publication that are now fixed.

I was talking with someone this morning who expressed a bit of dismay to me. They noted that they often feel as if something is just about to happen or some form of inner change is taking place and then, poof, the energy dissipates and it seems as if nothing happened; which is when I said the quote at the beginning of this blog.

It is something that I have just begun to really understand. We in the West tend to think of spiritual change as some kind of thing we can acquire through effort. In a way that is true but we also tend to think of it in much the same way as we would if we were to purchase a new roof for our house. The men come, the old shingles are tossed in a dumpster and the new shingles installed. Then we can look at our new roof with happiness, even though we are annoyed that the workmen crushed a favorite rose bush. But then, after awhile we stop admiring our new roof and the rose bush grows back, slightly different then before but still the same plant. That is the process as I see it. However; spiritual change is not quite like that.

I wonder if it is strange that someone like me is still finding new aspects of spirituality to observe and marvel at. I hope it isn't strange because I am continually discovering newness. What a wonderful life this is that we can continually explore and create and discover. I was very aware when writing my first book that once published, it became a kind of fixed icon with no chance for continual growth. It was stuck. Much like scripture is stuck with no chance of revision or change or growth. But humans are not stuck, not at all.

The chance to go through my first book and make some of the changes was an interesting experience. I can see many places where the way I think and feel now is slightly different from the way I felt when I first wrote the book. There is nothing totally dissimilar but there are some subtle differences that perhaps only I would notice. It is still a good book.

Our changes are organic. As long as we continue to pay attention things will happen. We may not notice them as discreet experiences but they happen just the same. Maybe the important thing is to realize that what we are doing is totally natural and it is our insistence on evidence that is a barrier to this natural process. Just let it happen.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

6 comments:

Maggie said...

We all explore, experience, discover, change, and grow....even a beloved Guide! *smile*

Love and Blessings,

Wahida

Musawwir said...

I think that those who leave anonymous comments are basically cowards.

mullebutz said...

I wonder why am I suddenly reminded of this quote from a poem by John Dryden : "Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through, and make a lucid interval; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day."

So much about comments on comments ... an a little bit about me and how I get when I haven't had my morning coffee and see someone has attacked a generous, creative and inspiring person whom I consider my friend ...

As for the quoting yourself, I believe the kind of thinking this editor had, to look at it as something indecent, embeds itself in our culture of false modesty . Beyond quotes and credits and modesty, shouldn't the initial thought prevail ? What is it I have to share - if someone else brings it to the point in a way I find inspiring, then I quote them, if I think that only I can say best what I have to say, well then, I should say it, no ? As someone I know always says : "I am wonderful" ... ;-)

VoilĂ , my few cents of the day ... now I need coffee !

Much Love, Karin

Musawwir said...

Name yourself and we shall see.

Za'ida said...

The worst enemy to change is expectation!

Za'ida

mullebutz said...

If you're not following, then why are you still here ?