Here I am

A dervish was tempted by the devil to cease calling upon God, on the grounds that God never answered “Here I am.” The prophet Khadir appeared to him in a vision with a message from God:

“Was it not I who summoned thee to my service? Was it not I who made thee busy with my name? Thy calling ‘God’ was my ‘Here I am.'”

Jalal-uddin Rumi

The Ecstasy of Consciousness

The now is a whirling Dervish; it whirls and it worlds.

The Dervish sees; the Dervish sees,

A seeing that hides; a seeing that shows,

A seeing that lets be; a seeing that lets go,

One veils; one unveils,

One is the farthest; one is the nearest,

One is the eye; one is the I.

But, alas, how easily the trance slips past our hasty glance!

The Grand Magician told us this secret:

Yearn and remember,

The truth is not in holding; it is in withholding

He looked away and sighed,

This world is a mirage in the vacant gaze of the One  

The Inexpressible

Everywhere you look you see the face of God; blessed be the one who sees the face and not the world.

This world is nothing whatsoever; it is all God. We think we see the world; little do we know that seeing the world is epidemic blindness, for in seeing the world we fail to see that which truly is, the face.

One either sees the face or the world; when the face appears, the world disappears; and when the world is, the face is not, though the face is all that there is. Thus, worldliness is blindness. Humanity is not a thing but the lack of a thing. Ego is not a thing but the lack of a thing, the lack of God. We are through and through a lack, an absence, a void. To be human is to be abandoned, for man is the lowest of the low, for man is nothing but the fallen beast.

One must open the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear, the tongue of the tongue. One must see that one is none but a lack. It is then and only then that the face is seen. The face is the face of all faces; it is the blessed occasion for eternal plenitude and beatitude.

Man cannot see God, for man is only a lack. Only God can see God. Blessed is the one who sees the face, for then he knows that he and the face are one and the same: The Inexpressible.

The Esoteric Nature of The Intellect

Pure Intellect in the face of the Absolute

It is the case that mysticism is often associated with faith or spiritual experience rather than reason and intellect. Many mystics have condoned intellect as a means of attaining to the truth. The way of the mystic is understood to be alien to the way of the intellect. But!

But if it has happened that for millions of mystics the intellect has not pointed toward truth, we should not be hasty in putting the blame on the intellect; it can very well be that the failure did not originate from the intellect but rather from their intellect.

In accusations against the intellect the first misunderstanding comes from confusing reason with intellect. Reason is that faculty which works on the data given to it from the outside, thus reason works indirectly; the task of reason is to infer and conclude based on those inferences. The intellect, on the contrary, is a direct means of knowledge; it intuits its object as it is. Thus, intellect can be compared to light; and it is often spoken of as the light of the intellect. A true mysticism can’t function without the intellect. In fact it is intellect and only intellect that can guide the aspirant toward the goal, for intellect is that part of man that belongs to truth, thus the intellect naturally tends to take man home; it is its intended function.

It is the intellect that sees and intuits the truth at the end of the path of knowledge. Esoteric traditions that consider faith as an obstacle in the way of the truth are all aware of the supreme role of the intellect in its function of bringing knowledge. In such traditions intellect, or intelligence, is considered to be the only aspect of human that is divine, the only component that is capable of grasping the absolute and the infinite.

No esoteric path can go closer to truth than the path of the intellect. Faith always belongs to the exoteric aspect of divine life. The intelligence the man of faith stands in sharp contrast with that of the man of knowledge. The whole of religious tradition as a body of forms and rituals is suited to the man of faith, for he cannot transcend forms and thus the idea of a personal god.

The man of knowledge, on the other hand, cannot accept forms though he is conscious that all forms reflect the absolute. The personal god of religion is a childish toy for the man of knowledge who has chosen the path of the intellect.

Considering the finite and contingent nature of all names and forms, the face of truth is never intended to be disclosed to the man of faith, for he is emotionally and spiritually invested in forms and names, thus he is essentially incapable of handling the truth. Truth must be veiled due to its incapacitating power.

The face of truth can be seen only by those whose intellect has attained the perfection and detachment necessary to stand the piercing gaze of an impersonal, absolute, and the infinite truth.

“Knowledge of truth is the fire that burns up all hopes and desires.” Only the intellect can attain such knowledge and survive it.

The Living, Breathing Present

There is only a living, breathing now; everything happens in this narrow opening; it has to be there for everything else to be at all.

Now is a peculiarity of consciousness. In this infinitely small place the infinitely large cosmos is experienced. We are at once the site and the occasion in which the infinitely large fits into the infinitely small: We are black holes scattered in the void.

In and through the now we experience ourselves as human beings inside a world, but this world itself, including our humanity, is something experienced inside our consciousness; we experience the world as something that contains us, but this experience is itself something contained in our consciousness. To be more precise: The world that contains consciousness is itself contained in consciousness! How strange is that?! Yet few of us ponder this mystery. Ponder my friend, for therein lies the secret of all secrets.

There is a breathing now in the depths of void; its breath makes the tale of Being. In its exhale we are thrown into existence; in its inhale we are sucked into oblivion.

This living, breathing, eternal now daydreams both me and the world.

There dwells in the void only a singularity, a whirling dervish, whose dance makes Maya: We are all that.

My friend, existence is a misunderstanding, world a hearsay, and I am just a word.

Yet there is concealed behind this I the I of all Is: We are all the many faces of that one whirling dervish whose breath is the eternal now and whose dance is the ephemeral Maya the Noema.