Wednesday, July 26, 2006


When I was about 32 I was living in Oregon, in Eastern Oregon, the dry part. People think that Oregon is all lush temperate rain forest but that is just a thin strip along the Pacific Coast. Most of the state is what is called high desert. Not totally desert, there are plants and trees and some precipitation but it is very dry. I was living in a small town called Hermiston, living what was known then as the hippie life. I owned a house, a small, white clapboard affair. I had a wife, a son about 8 and a daughter 2. I was working as a carpenter, making fairly good money and I was getting stoned almost every night. This was in the 70's so smoking pot, though illegal was kind of accepted and did not have the stigma it currently enjoys. Also at that time the pot we bought was not nearly as strong as what is available now so I think the culture was a bit different. In any case, one evening we had a party, not unusual as almost every Saturday night us pot-heads would gather at someone's house to get high and discuss important things, like how high we were and the best high we ever had, etc. It was all depressingly familiar and boring. On the particular night I am about to relate, someone had come with some LSD. This particular culture I was in was wary of LSD and most people did not use it. I had taken LSD a couple of times, in small doses, and liked it but was also a bit wary. This particular evening I took what was offered and waited for the experience to begin. One of the things that I had been doing at that time was reading a lot about mysticism and spirituality. I had read about meditation and kind of thought I understood. I didn't but what did I know? So, having taken the LSD, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and left the party to go to my bedroom. I sat on the bed, in what I thought was a proper meditative position, closed my eyes and waited for something to happen. About then the LSD kicked in.
I think that LSD tends to follow your intent or at least your sub conscious wants. Your mind slides into a new groove but with the old stuff guiding because that is how you understand. So a person who is subliminally paranoid of the world will have an intense experience of paranoia. What I dearly wanted was to understand why things work. That has always been my motivation, my core need. So that's what happened. I was sitting there, pretending to meditate, when my body disappeared. Richard Alpert describes a similar experience in Be Here Now. What then happened was what is called a White Light Experience. Your consciousness finds itself in a place of light. There is no point source like a sun or a lamp, everything is just light. This was scary, terrifying but I rode it out, determined to understand. Then I realized that there were two beings, one on either side, telling me things. I could not see them. There aren’t any bodies as such in this place I guess. I was aware that they were filling me with information, things that I needed to know but I could not seem to hold onto anything intellectually. On reflection I believe they were putting this information directly into my sub conscious, bypassing the critical mind entirely. I do not know how long I sat there, over an hour I think. At some point I realized that I had a choice at this moment. I could stay with these beings, leave my body behind and go into their world; or, I could return to my body and fulfill my responsibilities, responsibilities which, at this time, were fuzzy at best but seemed very important. I opted to return. As I was rediscovering my body, both beings said a last piece of advice to me. It is the only piece that I consciously remember. They both said, at the same time, "Remember, there are no rules!"
I got my body back, got up, stiffly I might add, and returned to the living room. I think I expected some kind of acknowledgment of my inner journey, some kind of notice but there was nothing, no notice at all. Everyone was just as before, stoned, telling one another how stoned they were, how this stone compared to other stoned nights. No one noticed that I had changed. But I knew. I think this was the moment when I realized that this world of stoned people was not for me. It was the moment when I slowly began to withdraw. The moment that eventually led to the dissolution of my first marriage and the beginning of the long journey to find my teacher.

Monday, July 17, 2006


“When a desire becomes a steady thought, its success is assured.’
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Last Thursday my book, “The Sovereign Soul,” was shipped from the printers.  Now the next phase starts; marketing.  
I apologize for having been absent from this blog for so long.  I think this holding my breath, waiting for the book to be printed, so I can get started marketing, has kept me from doing anything creative.  It has been a strange time.  I have been holding the thought of the manifestation of this book in my mind, in my concentrations for 8 years and finally it is happening.  Now the hard part begins.
The very first question that my publisher asked me, when we had our single face to face meeting, was whether or not I would be willing to make myself available to market the book.  I had known this would be my responsibility and instantly answered that yes I would.  Then he spent the next half hour telling me all the reasons I should agree, which I found amusing.  Finally his wife, who was also at our sole meeting, reminded him that I had actually agreed and there was no need to persuade me.  It was my introduction to the world of publishing.  Apparently a lot of authors think that, just because they have written something amazingly compelling, it’s energy will draw readers and they have to do nothing themselves.  So this is what he was used to and I guess he didn’t even hear my instant agreement.  
Pir O Murshid’s saying above points to something quite important.  When you are manifesting something you have to stay with it, an idle wish will not do.  Many of us wish for things, all sorts of things.  We see these things or events as objects of desire  but probably unobtainable because of the various barriers in front of us.  One of my favorites is walking through a museum and seeing a painting that I would just love to live with, to own.   I can see it on my wall, delighting me for years as much of my art does.  But this is a museum piece, loved by thousands, maybe millions, so this is just an idle wish on my part.  And no, I would not want a print of the painting, that is not the same thing.  In any case, this is a wish that is unfulfillable.  There would be no point in sitting and concentrating on this object of desire because it ain’t gonna happen.  
In the case of my book however it was much different.  When I first began to write I used to secretly think of what it would be like to be famous.  I would day dream about being admired, of people asking me to sign their copies and asking me to tell them the secret of life.  The day dreams got pretty elaborate.  Still I was able to set them aside in the actual writing, striving for the most honest presentation of the issues that I could manage at the time.  Then it was finished.  That was the hardest time.  I was truly afraid to send it out to publishers.  It sat in my computer, got transferred to a new computer, but I did not send it out at all.   I did send it to some friends to read, all of whom praised it but still I did not believe.  
Finally my wife hypnotized me.  Have I ever mentioned that we are both certified hypnotists?  There is a link to our web site here.  Anyway she hypnotized me and told my subconscious that it could send the book out, that it would be okay.  Know what happened?  I sent ten proposals to ten different publishers on a Wednesday, on the succeeding Friday I got a call from the man who would turn out to be my publisher.  
Then a whole new struggle began.  I had to learn to work with an editor.  I had to learn when to give in and when to insist.  I fear I gave in too much but now I know the process and perhaps I am a somewhat better writer as a result, I hope I am.  
What was interesting and a bit dismaying was realizing that this journey of manifestation that I had begun now was somewhat out of my hands.  I had one editor at the beginning and then at the end I had two.  Both of them having their own ideas about how to say what I was teaching through my book.  I had to let a lot go, hoping that my style would come through all the changes.  It was a big lesson.  We think that we understand the laws of manifestation but usually we only see them in the light of our individual, separate wants.  We often fail to realize that what we are manifesting affects others.  Often their world must shift in order for what we want to come about.  
I am reminded of a conversation I had once with Pir Vilayat.  We used to kid him a lot because whenever he organized an outdoor meditation event with everyone sleeping in tents, it would inevitably rain.  I asked him once why he didn’t take care of that, change the weather.  I was pretty sure he could do that.  He replied that if he did that then someone else’s weather could be drastically affected and he was not wise enough to know if that mattered or not.  Makes sense.  
So be aware, when you decide to manifest something, other things have to adjust to your intent.  That doesn’t mean you should not do it.  I know my book is a good thing.  What I was not aware of until just now was what it would take to make it happen.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir