Saturday, May 15, 2010

WHO'S A MYSTIC?

"One cannot pretend to be a mystic; one is born a mystic. No doubt a mystic may develop in life, that is another thing, but if one thinks that one can imitate a mystic one is mistaken, one can never do it. Mystics apart, can a person imitate a singer and sing correctly, or imitate a painter and paint well, or a poet and make poetry? Never, either one is or one is not." Hazrat Inayat Khan

The above is an excerpt from Volume XI of the collected works of Hazrat Inayat Khan, from a chapter entitled The Mystic's Nature. Whenever I read something like this I have this impulse to turn around to see if anyone is looking over my shoulder and laughing at me. I don't really have that image but sometimes it feels like it. While it is true that a certain amount of self questioning is important, we tend to think that our sense of ourselves is really quite as it should be. Then we run into something that says, "What makes you think you are so cool?"

One of the pieces of advice that I continually give to meditation students and even sometimes to hypnosis clients is to admit to who you really are. What is meant by that piece of advice is that we are all magnificent in our own beings. For the people who are drawn mysticism it also means that we each have the depth within us to manifest the mystic, it is a matter of unveiling that mystic within and the first step to that is to admit that it exists. Or, as I often find myself saying, it's gotta be somebody, turns out it's you. On the other hand, as Pir O Murshid says above, imitation is probably not possible.

So, how do you know if you are discovering the mystic within or not?

The initial impulse is to look for some kind of sign, a minor miracle for instance, something to tell us that this impulse we have is real. At the same time we have all encountered people who are pretending and we certainly do not want to do that, or do we? Is a little pretense okay?

I once told Pir Vilayat that I was advising my students to pretend to a state so they could get some kind of feeling of what it must be like. He was not happy with me. He was very clear in saying that the experience must be authentic and not the product of pretense. So I asked how do you know. And he said that you just know, it is a matter of inner knowledge. At the time, this was some years ago, I was a bit confused and worried that maybe I was not really understanding the whole thing. I was questioning my own experiences, which I suppose is normal enough. After some years it became apparent that the experiences were real and I could relax, but it did take some time.

Am I a mystic? I don't know. I sometimes know things but as often as not I am wrong. Ultimately it seems that none of this matters. As Pir O Murshid says above, either you are or you aren't. So maybe the real key is to be content with who you are.

I do not know of a single person, up to and including the Pir, who does not have some messy stuff in their lives. Every one of us lives here, on this planet, which is filled with confusion, bad information, missteps, etc., etc. One of the major steps in discipleship is recognizing that your teacher/guide is human; that they make mistakes and have all sorts of issues. And once you get through that shock, you can relax and just do the work of discovering your true being. So, even though your personal life is a mess and the things you wish often do not turn out as you feel they should, never the less; keep going, do not give up. Becoming the authentic self that you already are and allowing the being within to emerge in a calm, serene manner is the true task at hand. We are all in this together and it can be fun if only we do not take ourselves too seriously.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

5 comments:

Linda said...

Once again it seems as if your words are written just for me giving me to understand just how much we are all alike. Letting go of my sense of being unique is sometimes the most difficult part of my path.

Maggie said...

I find it to be a paradox....we are each unique, but very much the same.

I must have been most blessed.....I knew my Guide to be human early on!

Wonderful blog, as always...

Much love, many blessings....

Wahida

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blog. True we are not able to turn ourselves into someone else, but in our owe way we are all very unique..We all have our special talents, and sometimes it might imitate others that we know, but we are not them..We are ourselves.. we have to remember that all of us are here together in this world, rather rich, poor, black or white. And it doesnt matter what we do or where we come from, we are all here together, living the best was that we can...

dreemame said...

i have 2 selves the old me and the present me . The present me knows what i have done right and what I have done wrong sometimes the old me pokes its head in and messes things up for me but there is this voice in my head that says no no no follow the path is it mystic I do not know but it has kept me out of a lot of trouble I enjoy your writings they all seem directed to me ,but im sure many ppl think that

Sarala said...

I've been noticing that my friends delight when I am true-est to myself while those who are at odds with me call my trueness fakery. Is that universal?