Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"By higher spiritualism we do not mean that which is occupied with occult, curious or magical phenomena. Such spiritualism keeps man away from progress. Higher spiritualism is that in which the soul is enkindled and illuminated."
Hazrat Inayat Khan

There are five chapters in my original manuscript which did not make it into The Sovereign Soul. The chapter on phenomena is one of them. Today I was rereading it and I could see why the editor did not want to use it. In the first place it is kind of confusing and in the second it flies in the face of conventional wisdom that we must have phenomena for validation of our spiritual understanding.

Human beings want evidence. We want to know that the effort we are expending is having an effect and we want to be able to point to something that proves it, to ourselves and to anyone else that we might want to impress. We want to know and we want others to know that we know. It is a natural desire. When a person has embarked on a spiritual path one of the very first things they look for is evidence. The interesting thing here is that the human mind is quite capable of producing it for us.

As a hypnotist, I am very aware of my capacity to create an illusion for a client in order to help them solve a problem. It does not really matter if the illusion has any basis in reality as long as the inner mind accepts it and creates the scenario that enables the client to alter some aspect of their life that is affecting them in a negative way. So I know that the mind can do amazing things to prove to us that we are doing something effective. In spirituality however, this kind of thing gets in the way.

There is a category of phenomena that is useful, as long as you do not give the means of manifestation too much credence. It is when subtle information comes to you from your deep inner being. By the time it percolates to the surface your mind will give it some form of reality that it can use to process the information. Discovering what the illusion represents can be a challenge but it is something that certainly can be done. Then, when the actuality is discovered, the illusion will become a kind of icon that you can refer to while, at the same time, knowing it is a representation and not the reality.

The deepest and most powerful of experiences have no icons, they simply are there as experiences and you know them to be such. All of the visualization exercises that we do leading up to these experiences are very helpful in training the brain to organize how it feels about things. We want the brain to be comfortable with extraordinary experiences, which is probably why we love to have phenomena. It helps us to work up the courage for the really vast understandings, which we have no way of grasping if we are totally committed to how the Earth sees things. So we get phenomena to help us transcend physical reality and experience the truth of creation but then we have to let the phenomena go in order to have this experience.

Obviously this is all very subtle. It may or may not happen in just the way I have described. However; it will be something similar. So, enjoy the phenomena as it appears but do keep in mind that one day you will discover a depth of understanding that stands on its own, no phenomena necessary.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Golden Rule

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn"
Rabbi Hillal the Elder, 110BCE-10CE

"To be really sorry for one's errors is like opening the door of heaven."
Hazrat Inayat Khan

I just watched a video of Karen Armstrong, one of my favorite authors, on If you are not familiar with I urge you to go to it right now and watch and listen to something. It is a truly remarkable web site with all sorts of fascinating and informative lectures by brilliant people. What Ms. Armstrong was saying in essence was that whereas religions should be leading the way in creating an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, what they really seem to be doing is getting in the way. They seem to be more concerned with being “right” then with implementing the basic compassion which is at the root of all religious expression. So, what she proposed was that we just do it. Without waiting for someone to say it is okay; that we institute the Golden Rule ourselves.

There is a practice within Sufism called Muhasaba. What it means is examination of conscience and what it asks is that we constantly check out how we are thinking and what we are doing. Much of what we do is based on habit -- habit of thought, habit of behavior, habit of attitude and so on. Along with these habits comes what we in the hypnosis business call the Rational Mind. It is a part of waking consciousness and has only one job really. It gives us reasons for our behavior and for our habits. They don't have to be good reasons or even based on any kind of reality. As long as we believe them then they work for us.

A classic example of a bad reason for behavior is 'white people are superior.' A whole culture believed this and caused untold harm as a result. I am not sure that it was avoidable at the time but it certainly is avoidable now, yet there are those who continue to believe it.

Muhasaba asks that we observe our own behavior, not someone else's, with total detachment, without judgment. But, as you do the practice, just watching, you will find yourself dismayed at some of the things you say and do, apparently with no thought at all. They are just your habit. What the practice does, however, is teach you the truth of the Golden Rule. There is nothing magical about it, implementation is difficult and requires constant attention. What does happen is that you will begin to notice when you say and do things to others that you would hate having done to you. Viola!

I thought to give an example from my own extensive list of bad behaviors but there is no need. Any honest person can easily see their own without my examples. And, I guess I have given enough examples in other places. I think the important thing to pay attention to is the idea of being right. As long as you are convinced of your rightness in any issue, moral or otherwise, you have a problem. Being right is really good for assembling things, engines and bicycles and things like that. For all other issues being right just gets in the way of being truly human.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


It is a sad thing but I guess it wasn't enough. So now I will vet all comments posted to my blog. Sorry but I guess a little effort was not enough. Eventually such people get tired and move on to other areas. Sad really.

Dear Friends,
I feel I must apologize but I also feel I have no choice. As you may have noted we have on this blog what a friend of mine refers to as a troll. A troll is usually a very unhappy person. For whatever reason they feel that they have a right to pester from a place of safety so there is no danger to them. As all of my readers know, I am very open and will accept any comment or criticism given. But I do not feel that you, my readers, should be subjected to notifications from a troll. Therefore I am shutting off the Anonymous Comments setting. Any one of my friends who wants to comment without signing up can do so by sending an email to me personally. I will post the comment for you.
Again I apologize for this action. If it were just me this person was harassing I would not mind but since everyone gets the comment I felt it was not fair to you.
Love & Blessings, Musawwir