Friday, June 10, 2011

Mystics, Awakening and the Divine: A Sufi View

 … Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,
From God who is our home.
 -- William Wordsworth --
("Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.")

"Mystics are lovers going home," writes Sufi teacher and author, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, "living the passion and commitment that are needed to surrender and be taken, to become empty of oneself and filled with the Beloved."

"Little can be told," he suggests, "of the innermost mysteries of the heart, of how our own soul opens to God. And for each of us this jouney, our heart's pilgrimage, is unique, because each of us is unique. We are each a unique creation by the Great Artist, and each of us makes our own offering in the fire of love."

"We all come from God," he continues, "but when we are born into this world we forget. We forget from where we have come and that we are children of light. We take on the clothing of the world, leaving behind the "clouds of glory" of our true Home. The Sufi calls this the "journey from God," a journey of forgetfulness in which we leave Paradise behind."

But," Vaughn-Lee observes, "there are those who never quite forget, who keep a distant memory buried deep within them. As a result this world never seems like home; there is often a sense of not quite belonging, not fitting in."

"Mystics," he notes, "are strangers in this world, just because they remember their real home."
["Love is a Firre: The Sufi's Mystical Journey Home," pp. 20-21.]

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In the following six-part video lecture, Vaughan Lee examines spiritual awakening, who and what it is that awakens, and what they awaken to.

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