Saturday, October 23, 2010


”The course of human life involves so many disappointments, so many failures, so many heartaches, that no one can avoid doubting.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

I want to talk about something that keeps coming up but is kind of difficult to describe. I will do my best however; because I think it is very important. What I have noticed over the years is that when a person is first initiated into the Sufi Order there is an initial period of excitement which is almost always followed by a crash. Perhaps this is only my experience but I have to wonder if others have not noticed it as well. What seems to happen is that a person will be initiated and be very enthusiastic for a week or a month and then they crash, they step back, they often disappear. This is not always true, not every time, but it is often true. I have long puzzled over this as I have also noticed this tendency to withdraw in myself.
I suppose at the beginning it all seems very romantic and exciting. You have just done something very unusual in our culture. You have decided to follow a path that you have no real understanding about, but there is something that draws you and you want more. It may be the magnetism of the guide, or maybe the exotic nature of the discipline, or some other reason. So you decide to do it, get initiated. That’s when the doubts start to creep in. I guess it is possible that there are some very rare individuals who never have a single doubt, but I have never met any. The question then remains, what to do about it?
Perhaps at the beginning, when the doubts start to creep in, a person has no real choice. The habitual personality will exercise its right to stay with its habits. This is probably why Pir Vilayat was constantly urging his murids to push on through. Never the less, we are stuck with who we think we are and, since we have just done something very out of the ordinary, our personality will naturally rebel.
Personalities, which are really our sub-conscious responses to the world, are pretty fixed in their attitudes. We learn early in life how to protect ourselves from the vagaries of the world. These protections and responses do not have to be sensible, not at all, but they do have to be reasonable to us. This is basic information that everyone who works with the mind knows. So we are somewhat fixed in our ideas of ourselves. Then we decide, for whatever reason, to challenge our inner mind, our sub-conscious, by taking initiation with some spiritual group or teacher. Almost the first thing to happen is our sub-conscious goes, “Wait a minute, this is not part of our world!” Then we have various choices. One choice that I see exercised a lot is to disbelieve what just happened and turn away from the teacher or group, telling yourself that they are stupid or unjust or something. At the other end of this spectrum is to go into some kind of funk for a little while, then to shake yourself and get to work on the psyche using the practices given. And then there are all of the varieties of experience in between these two extremes that are possible.
I guess it is normal enough in this world of disappointment to have doubts about something new that is out of the ordinary. We hear so much about people who are duped into some absurd cult that we worry and the worry brings doubts. I wish that I had an answer, but I don’t. About all that I can say here is that the only true way to find out if you have been duped or not is to follow through and watch the teacher or guide. Do they live a life of service? Or do they use people with no thought of return? It is up to you to judge. I would be very grateful for any comments that anyone might have as this is a great puzzle to me.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Practical Sufism!

My book is now available from Amazon
Or you can order it direct from Quest Books.

I am very happy with this new version of my book.

May Light and Beauty continue to manifest within us all.

Phillip Gowins