Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This has been a really interesting week. Eight or nine days ago, I'm not sure exactly, I received a message from someone who wanted to know if I would help some younger people in Istanbul establish a Sufi group. I will not go into details about the ensuing conversation but I did want to talk about the means by which this person found me. It turns out that my book, The Sovereign Soul, had been translated into Turkish. I had no idea this had happened. I was both really excited and worried that my book had been pirated. I could not understand why a pirate would go to all the trouble of doing a translation however. Pirating CD's and DVD's I can understand but translating a book is a lot of work. As it turned out, my publisher had sent the Turkish publisher a word file of my book and a contract was in the works. I was left out of the loop but I guess it gets that way sometimes. But there is more. The really cool part is that the book is selling really well in Turkey. Apparently there is a very real hunger in Turkey for Sufism sans Islam. This causes me to wonder how many other countries, filled with religious assumptions, have a sub-culture of dissatisfied seekers, wishing for something beyond the normal, traditional religious associations with mysticism.
If someone really seriously desires religious association then that is fine. But when they also insist that anyone who approaches them for esoteric instruction also embrace their particular version of spiritual reality then they are making mysticism small.
Those of us who offer instruction in mysticism must be extra cautious not to impose our needs on the consciousness of those that we teach. Our task is to aid those we instruct in discovering their own dormant qualities. It is not our task to demand that someone anyone become our clone.
There is a real potential within the esoteric community to embrace those who feel disenfranchised by their own culture. They are crying for teaching, for something real, but they do not want to be told what they must believe. And isn't that how evolution really happens? When someone says, I want but not that, then they are reaching beyond what they know into the unknown and asking for something that they sense but cannot quite grasp. Maybe it is time for those of us who teach to catch up with those who are seeking instruction.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

ps: next year there will also be a Hindi edition of The Sovereign Soul translated by Readworthy Publications

Friday, September 04, 2009


"The idea of justice is based upon good and bad. Where there is justice, there is injustice. That means: there are two. Truth is only one. The idea of justice and injustice is from man's conception. When a person rises above justice and injustice, which is subject to change in his every evolution - when he gets above this - he will reach the knowledge of truth. Our conception of fairness and unfairness belongs to our particular evolution. The less intelligent a man is, the more he sees fairness and unfairness, and the more he thinks about it. A stupid person is always ready to judge. In heaven there is only truth and truth is one; where there is no comparison, there is no fairness and no unfairness. Something is greater than fairness and unfairness, and that is truth. It cannot be explained. Truth cannot be acquired. Truth is that which is discovered." Hazrat Inayat Khan

I was having a conversation with a fellow the other day and we happened to touch upon fairness. This man has a deep sense of righteous indignation about any perceived unfairness toward any person or persons and gets very upset when he sees such things happening. I like that attitude and think that it is very important that there are people who feel this way and are willing to do something about the unfairness that they see, which he is. The problem as I saw it was not that he did not have a valid and useful point of view. No, that is okay. The problem was that it became very obvious to me that the above statement by Pir O Murshid was and would remain totally alien to him.

It does not happen often but occasionally I do disagree with Pir O Murshid. In this case I do not believe that a person is more prone to seeing fairness and unfairness because of lack of intelligence. In this I believe he was mistaken. It is not about intelligence at all, it is about awareness. The person that I mentioned above is very intelligent. But, like most Americans, he has little exposure to the broader form of consciousness that we call spirituality. In fact it is becoming more and more apparent that, as the world becomes ever more complex, the tendency to view conditions as unfair is also becoming more and more apparent.

Perhaps we want to believe our own ideals, or maybe we want to think that the world actually has a kind of balanced attitude toward all life. The reality is quite different, as any sociology student should know; people will always tend to view others as either victims (read prey) or as superiors who control you. Of course we also feel kinship with those who are close to us, friends and relatives, but even then we can feel these inner forces at work. And we convince ourselves, over and over, that it isn't fair.

It isn't fair that so many people do not have health care. It isn't fair that old men create wars that young men then must fight. It isn't fair that people must struggle with abusive partners. And on and on. We have a long list. But what if there were another way to look at it?

While it is true what Pir O Murshid says above that Truth must be discovered, it cannot be acquired, still there are ways to look at what we think of as fairness and unfairness and perhaps see them as two parts of the same thing. It is a matter of standing back and seeing the play on Earth exactly as Shakespeare described. The wise have always known that all is not as it appears but it is up to each of us to find our way into this very subtle means of thought and understanding.

I will await your comments and then write a follow up blog perhaps going a bit deeper into this issue.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir