Sign in to follow this  
terry

taoism and sufism

Recommended Posts

aloha,

 

   Can't find a forum here to discuss my topic and am somewhat dismayed to find no sufis here. Any sufi bums around?

 

   The classic in the field is toshihiko izutsu's "taoism and sufism" but I would enjoy discussing anything by ibn arabi, william chittick, henry corbin or tom cheetham in relation to the parallels between the mystical nondualism of islam and that of taoism.

 

terry

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! I’m Muslim but not Sufi. Currently reading through “Taoism and Sufism” and enjoying it. @Nuralshamal might have some interesting things to share as he learned from some Sufi masters if I’m not mistaken.
 

What are you currently practicing?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hey guys, thanks for the heads up :D

Sure, let me share some of my experiences.

Some similarities:
1) Using the body
2) Using the breath (including mantras)
3) Using the mind
4) Using energy
5) Going into Being
6) Going into Non-Being


Let me say a few words about each.

The body
Muslims pray using their physical bodies. It's very similar to yoga postures or qigong postures. When you go through them (if you have knowledge of meridians, energy centers etc), you can feel the qi and blood moving in different ways.

Daoism puts great emphasis on taking care of the body through qigong, herbs, diet, sexuality, living in harmony with the seasons and the astrological energies.

Breath
Many sufis use breathing exercises, including holding the breath.
The use of mantras are extensive, recitation of the Qur'an, dhikr, du'a and salawaat.

Similarly in daoism, breathing exercises are very heavily employed.
So are mantras and prayers.

Mind
In sufism, you have different ways of using the mind. A small tip which completely flipped my practice was, when I was told to "imagine God is watching you". It seems so simple, but it completely changed and supercharged my practice (Qur'an, Du'a and Dhikr).

In Daoism you visualise different things as you pray, do qigong, breathing etc. Visualise the sun, moon and stars etc, in order to connect with them and exchange energy.

Energy
In daoism you employ the three dan tien and the meridian system in order to work with your own personal energy. Later you work with the energy outside yourself (connecting to masters, "deities", nature (rivers, trees, mountains) and celestial objects (sun, moon, stars).

In sufism you have the "lata'if" or "subtle centers". They are directly empowered through transmission from the shaykh, through touch, through mantras and through the eyes.

Being & Non-Being
Pure being, a state beyond the mind. It's shared with minerals, plants and animals.

In Islam the word "Allah" itself contains many interesting facets.

"Al" is the article in arabic, e.g. "Al Qur'an" (THE Quran), "al kitab" (THE book) etc. By taking "al" by itself, just the article, not adding anything, it could be anything. This symbolizes everything in manifest existence.

"La'" in arabic means, "no, nothing", it's a negation, it's symbolises the state of "non-being" before manifestation, or "behind" manifestation, holding it. 

The last "hu" is our life breath, our energy, the workings of the "non-being" (la) in the world of being (al).

Al-lah also means "THE GOD" the one and only supreme source of creation. Al-'ilah means an individual God/deity. This is the unique and individuated soul of individual beings. We and God are one.

All together it means that the life breath (hu) of the one and only creator (Al-Lah) is the ground of Being holding everything but being transcendent (la), yet circulates in all of existence (al), and is part and parcel of each individual being (Al-'ilah).

Allah is also related to the verb "waliha", meaning to loose yourself in love. This means that Love permeates and is the ground for all of existence. God loves us, and we love God.

In Daoism you have Dao (the beyond), then Wuji (non-being, infinite potential) and Taiji (being, the world of energy and manifestation).

Conclusion
As you can see, there are many similarities in the principles behind creation, as well as the principles behind spiritual practice.

The need for a master, the need for continous and daily spiritual practice as well as the need for virtuous living.

Edited by Nuralshamal
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

aloha pak,

 

   My formal practice, such as it is, is only to just sit. Currently a half hour each morning and evening. If I even think about meditating I get a buzz and start to melt. Very gradually it has become easy and most pleasant. Otherwise I just try to do the best I can. Of course, every being does the best it can by nature, so it is easy to do and hard not to embellish and navigate and comment and etc etc. Snow white does her best while the seven dwarves make their characteristically immature and short-sighted comments, craving love and discipline and eventual maturity and authenticity.

 

   Seems newbies are restricted so while I can post I will continue in this message with what I want to talk about.

 

 

   My major focus is the work of ibn arabi. I'm not a sufi and have enough experience with so-called real sufis not to have any interest in organizations. I'm interested in hermeneutics, in ta'wil. I like coleman barks if not ladinsky, and think fitzgerald's version of omar khayyam superior to literal sufi versions. I see all religion philosophy science literature psychology through the lens of art and music. All truth is art, as keats says. All art is poetry. All bullshit is prose.

 

   The nexus here with taoism is in the names. God taught adam all the names. God the creator says to a thing "be" and it is. The kernel here is that existence is simply the names, the symbols we manipulate in order to kindle consciousness. In taoism, the ten thousand things are the direct result of naming, they are "the named." I cannot stress strongly enough that this is the root of all consciousness and to understand this is the end of all seeking.

 

To begin with, a couple of quotes from william chittick, "ibn arabi, heir to the prophets":

 


In effect, among all creatures Adam alone was taught" the meaning of the name “God” itself. He came to know and understand this name and all subsidiary names by knowing himself, made in God’s form. This sort of knowledge does not come by means of discursive thought, but directly from the nature of things. Ibn ‘Arabi refers to it as “tasting,” a standard expression for unmediated knowledge: 
God taught Adam all the names from his own essence through tasting, for He disclosed Himself to him through a universal self-disclosure. Hence, no name remained in the Divine Presence that did not become manifest to Adam from himself. From his own essence he came to know all the names of his Creator. (F. II 120.24) 

 


In the multileveled reality that is the human self, the traces of God’s names and attributes are relatively internalized. They extend from the corporeal to the spiritual realm, and they circle around the heart, the luminous center of the being, the spirit that God blew into Adam at his creation. 
 

 

   In meditation, we (may or may not) have access to the ocean of consciousness unmediated by symbols, the womb of existence; reality. In a real sense this ocean is unconscious, unclouded by mediation, by explanation and reflection. The cloud of unknowing in which coping is perfect and self-consciousness is absent.

 

   Reality includes both this vast ocean of unconscious voidness/potentiality, and our tiny little shadow of a consciousness of this infinitely vast reality. It is our tiny little consciousness I want to put in perspective and examine.

 

   The nuts and bolts of consciousness are the names, the little marks we put on this vast sheet of paper. The taoist formula is "the blank that is a blank is not the true blank" and we find similar in the diamond sutra. For example, the horse that is a horse is not the true horse. An ordinary reasonable common sense person sees a horse and sees a "horse" - a variation on a theme, maybe it is brown, taller than most, sway backed. A child sees a unique animal with many interesting and special features. A horse dealer sees a whole set of parameters individualizing the horse. The horse that is simply categorized as a "horse" and is dismissed and unacknowledged as an individual sentient being by the average person is not the true horse, the authentic horse, the being looking at you and trying to say something about the world and its condition in respect of the liberation of all sentient being. Every thing has a name which is its unique essence, from which its thingness derives. It is not its "thing in itself" reality but its naming which makes it exist. Unnamed things do not exist, Even the Unnameable is beyond existence.

 

   What exists for us is purely symbolic but is taken uncritically as real, which is the problem. True reality may be "tasted" and directly perceived (as in the suttas) without the mediation of symbols. Even more interesting is that new symbols may be created and the old ones given new names. Other planes of being may be accessible. We may create, god-like, imaginal worlds "nearer to the Heart's Desire."

 

   It is henry corbin who has made luminous the work of ibn arabi and put it in the context of western spirituality, blending in heidegger and swedenborg, another nexus I would love to explore if there are any heideggerians or swedenborgians, and even if there aren't if I can be tolerated. Best introduction to this material is tom cheetham's "all the world an icon." And william chittick's volume on ibn arabi is sublime.

 

izutsu's book opens with this:

 

I Dream and Reality

 

So-called ‘reality’, the sensible world which surrounds us and which we are accustomed to regard as ‘reality’, is, for Ibn ‘Arab!, but a dream. We perceive by the senses a large number of things, distinguish them one from another, put them in order by our reason, and thus end up by establishing something solid around us. We call that construct ‘reality’ and do not doubt that it is real.

 

According to Ibn ‘Arabi, however, that kind of ‘reality’ is not reality in the true sense of the word. In other terms, such a thing is not Being (wujiid) as it really is. Living as we do in this phenomenal world, Being in its metaphysical reality is no less imperceptible to us than phenomenal things are in their phenomenal reality to a man who is asleep and dreaming of them.

 

Quoting the famous Tradition, ‘All men are asleep (in this world); only when they die, do they wake up,’ he remarks:

 

The world is an illusion; it has no real existence. And this is what is meant by ‘imagination’ (khayal). For you just imagine that it (i.e., the world) is an autonomous reality quite different from and independent of the absolute Reality, while in truth it is nothing of the sort1.

 

. . . Know that you yourself are an imagination. And everything that you perceive and say to yourself, ‘this is not me’, is also an imagination. So that the whole world of existence is imagination within imagination.2

 

What, then, should we do, if what we have taken for ‘reality’ is but a dream, not the real form of Being, but something illusory? Should we abandon once for all this illusory world and go out of it in search of an entirely different world, a really real world? Ibn ‘Arab! does not take such a position, because, in his view, ‘dream’, ‘illusion’ or ‘imagination’ does not mean something valueless or false; it simply means ‘being a symbolic reflection of something truly real’.

 

The so-called ‘reality’ certainly is not the true Reality, but this “must not be taken to mean that it is merely a vain and groundless thing. The so-called ‘reality’, though it is not the Reality itself, vaguely and indistinctively reflects the latter on the level of imagination. It is, in other words, a symbolic representation of the Reality.

 

Excerpt From: Toshihiko Izutsu. “Toshihiko Izutsu Sufism And Taoism.” 

 

 

   My interest here is not simply to deconstruct and understand the imaginal and symbolic nature of the reality we perceive, but to take hold of the machinery generating this imaginal world and tweak it, bend the rules like morpheus. Talk to angels like swedenborg, visit heaven and hell like blake. Go for magic carpet rides, rub the lamp and open the treasure house.

 

   There is no "magic" here which contradicts the laws of physics, no levitation or passing through walls, though there is much conjuring.

 

   Lastly I want to emphasize ibn arabi's comment that life is a dream from which we wake up at death. All stories about heaven and hell and life after death are metaphors. One dies to ego and wakes up to the divine presence. The day of reckoning resembles the confrontation with ego many experience through psychedelics. The elaborate egyptian death rites all actually refer to the passing over of the ego into cosmic consciousness. And so on.

 

  Hey, thanks for listening!

 

terry

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by terry
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2022 at 3:09 AM, Nuralshamal said:

We and God are one.

 

there is no god

 

but

 

GOD!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I disregard finger-wagging types.

 

 

Edited by Cobie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@terry Maybe, you should consider to open a specific thread, for instance, World as a Dream in Sufism and Daoism.

And for each subject you have something interesting you could open a thread.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Cobie said:

I disregard finger-wagging types.

 

 

 

  I don't always, so I'll respond.

 

  Diogenes was carrying on in the agora one day when someone reminded him that the good citizens of sinope had sentenced him to exile. He responded, "And I sentenced them to stay home."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, damdao said:

@terry Maybe, you should consider to open a specific thread, for instance, World as a Dream in Sufism and Daoism.

And for each subject you have something interesting you could open a thread.

 

I could weave a carpet.

 

  There's a sufi story about a locksmith who was falsely convicted of a crime and sentenced to death. He languished in prison for weeks awaiting execution. His wife tried to send him packages but the jailers refused. Finally the night before he was to die, the jailers allowed his wife to give him a prayer rug she had woven herself, that he might pray before dying. The locksmith was not much of a prayer, but since he had no options, he kneeled on the rug and bent his head to the ground in submission. When he did so he saw that his wife had cleverly woven a diagram of the wards of the lock into the carpet at the place his head would rest. With this information he was able to free himself and was reunited with his beloved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cobie said:

I like Rumi. :wub: 
 

 

 

well then...hehehe....

 

 

this is from “feeling the shoulder of the lion,” rumi, trans barks…

 

 

THE GAZELLE


A hunter captures a gazelle and puts it
in the stable with the cows and the donkeys.

The gazelle runs about wild with fear and confusion.
Every night the man pours out chopped-up straw
for the barn animals. They love it,
but the gazelle shies quickly from side to side
in the big stall, trying to get away
from the smokey dust of the straw
and the animals milling to eat it.

 

Whoever has been left for a time
with those who are different
will know how forsaken
this gazelle feels.

 

Solomon loved the company of the hoopoe.
“Unless she has a valid excuse to be absent,
I will punish her for not being here 
with the worst punishment there is.”

And what might that be? What the gazelle
is going through: to be confined somewhere
apart from your own kind.

The soul is that way in the body,
a royal falcon put in with crows.
It sits here and endures what it must,
like a great saint, like an Abu Baker,
in the city of Sabzawar.

 

Once the great king Khwarizm
besieged Sabzawar,. They gave up easily.
“Whatever you require in tribute we will give.”

“Bring me a holy person, someone who lives
united with God, or I will harvest
your inhabitants like corn.”

 

They brought sacks of gold. They knew that
no one is Sabzawar lived in that state.
“Do you think I am still a child
that I should be fascinated with coins?”

For three days and nights
they called through the town
looking for an Abu Baker.

Finally, they saw a traveler
lying in a ruined corner of a wall,
sick and exhausted.

Immediately, the recognized a True Person.
“Get up! The king wants to see you.
You can save our lives!”

 

“I’m not suppose to be here.
If I could walk, I would already have arrived
in the city where my friends are.”

They lifted him above their heads on a board
like corpses are carried on
and bore him to the king.

Sabzawar is this world,
where a True Person wastes away,
apparently worthless,

yet all the king wants from Sabzawar
is such a one. Nothing else would do.

 

Muhammed says, “God does not look at outward forms,
but at the love within your love.”

The Qalb, the inner heart, that space 
in which seven hundred universes 
are just a lost speck,

we’re looking for that in the small,
seedy town of Sabzawar! And sometimes,
we find it.

 

One who has that love is like a six-sided mirror
through which God can look at us, here.

The gifts come through such a one.
His palm opens without conditions.
That union cannot be said.

I leave this subject with you.

 

Wealthy people bring money.
God says, “Bring devotion to one
whose loving mixes with mine.”

That love is what God wants.
That love is a mother and father
to us and is the origin of every living creature.

You might say, “Lord,
I have brought this heart-love.”

“Qutu, an ordinary town in Turfan
is full of this kind of love. Instead,
bring the Qalb of the Qutb, the soul
of the soul of Adam.”
 
God waits for that.
One may wander days in Sabzawar
and not see such a being.

The noblest native in Sabzawar might come,
and God would say, “Why do you offer this
rotting corpse? Bring the inner love
of one who can save Sabzawar.”

Just the sight of them together,
a native of Sabzawar and a True Human Being,
who might be traveling through,
is painful. Yet sometimes they talk.

A townsperson may behave kindly
toward a Qalb-person, but it’s almost always
hypocrisy. He nods and says yes.
He acts sincere, but he’s really tricky,
and looking for an advantage.

If a saint accepts his hypocrisy,
he’s saved, and that often happens.
The holy ones love to buy damaged goods,
and turn lying into truth.

If someone’s trickery seems charming to you,
remember he’s only your saint, not a real one.
Someone who is like you will often sound prophetic.

Renounce sensuality so you can sharpen
your spiritual sense. Your olfactory nerve
has been deadened. You cannot catch the fragrance
of sweet musk or ambergris. It’s as though
they no longer exist for you.

 

All this time, our gazelle
has been running back and forth in the stable!

For many days this precious animal
wriggles like a fish thrown up on dry ground.
Like dung and rare incense closed
side by side in a box.

One donkey says sarcastically, “This guy is wild!
He must be somebody special!”

Another, “With all his ebb and flow, he must be
making a pearl. Probably a cheap one."

Another, “Why can’t he eat what we eat?”

Another donkey gets indigestion and offers 
the gazelle his fodder with a formal invitation.

“No thank you. I am unwell too.”

The donkey is offended. “Don’t be so aloof.
Are you afraid of what people will say
if you’re seen eating with me?”

The gazelle doesn’t answer, but he thinks, 
“Your food is for you. It revives your strength.
But I have known a pasture by a creek
where hyacinths and anemones and sweet basil grow.
My food is there. Some destiny put me here,
but I can’t forget the other. If my 
body gets old and sick, still my spirit 
can stay new.”

The donkey seems to know what the gazelle 
is thinking. “Yes, anyone dan brag
in strange country. Who’s to know?”

The gazelle, “This musk gland identifies me,
but no one here has a nose tuned to that scent.
Donkeys like to smell donkey urine on the road,
and that’s all.”

 

Muhammed says, “True surrender is odd
in this world. Even ‘Islamic’ relatives
avoid a perfect saint.”

He or she may look human, but there’s a lion nature
inside. If you’re happy being a cow, stay away.

 

Potiphar, the king of Egypt, in a dream once
saw with his spiritual eyes seven well-nourished cows
and seven lean cows that came and ate the fat cows.

Lean cows are lions inside,
like a True Person who can detach you completely
from the dregs of your cow-nature

and make you so pure and spacious
that your foot touches Orion’s belt.

 

How long will I keep caw-talking like a crow?

Husam, why did you kill your rooster?

“Because I began to hear
the friend’s voice
inside me.”

A rooster loves lust, and lust again,
and instant satisfaction of lust,
that poisonous, cheap wine.

If it weren’t necessary for procreation, Adam
would have castrated himself in shame
over his own lechery.

 

Satan comes to God and says,
“I need some powerful bait.”

God gives him gold and silver
and herds of beautiful horses.

“Bravo!” says Satan, but his lip drops,
and he screws up his lemon face.

God throws in the other precious metals 
and the gemstones.

 

“Oh thank you! And might there be anything else
around here that I could use?”

God gives the marbled meats,
and the tasty sherbets,
and the silk robes.

“But I need something that will hold and keep holding
like a rope woven of palm-fiber,
so that your holy people can show their holy strengths
by bursting something very powerful.
I want an even more cunning lure.”

God brings wine and a harp.
Satan smiles a crooked half-smile.
Those are not exactly what he had in mind.

The suddenly, as though a dry path appeared
through the Red Sea, Satan saw the beauty of women,
and he began to dance. “More! More!”

The hazy eyes, the fascination of a soft cheek,
a cheekbone, a reddening lip, the glance
that burns a man like a cumin seed
on a hot fire-brick!

A young woman’s light, coquettish half-walk, half-run
springs to Satan’s eyes like a revelation of divine glory,
and a lifting of the veil.

 

Some comment on the text, We created man  woman
in the best physical and mental proportion,
and then We reduced them to the lowest of the low.

The garden beauty, to which the angels bowed down,
after a time, was dragged by the hair
by Gabriel and led out.

Why? Why was paradise lost?
Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age
wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald?
Why is the tall, straight figure
that divided the ranks like a spear
now bent almost double?

The bright-red anemone grows saffron.
Lion strength weakens to nothing.
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
is led out with two people supporting him,
their shoulders under his arms.

These are all messages from the fall.
What fault was committed?

God answers,
                       “The crime is
that they put on borrowed robes
and pretended they were theirs.

I take the beautiful clothes back,
so that you will learn the robe
of appearance is oly a loan.”

The sheaf-stack belongs to God.
Human beings are gleaners.
Rays from the sun.

The earth-colored glass
makes everything seem diverse,
but that glass eventually shatters.

Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

Lend, is the divine command.
Make God a loan from your existence,
and see what fortunes accumulate!

Diminish a little, for your own sake,
all this eating and drinking, and watch
a new basin fill in front of you.

Then God may say, “Death, 
give back what you took.”

But you’ll turn away.
You won’t want those things.

Sufis throw away their wanting and their objects.
They abandon pieces of clothing in the dance,
and those articles are never returned.

They are given to the singer,
or divided among the dancers.

They arise from a briny, annihilating 
ocean into pure clarity.

They confront the world openly with its arrogance
and its hypocrisy. They are warriors 
for non-existence.

The planter works with the most joy
whose barn is completely empty,
the planter who works for that 
which has not appeared.

 

Second by second I know you’re expecting
some sure understanding, some spiritual perception,
some peace, but I am not allowed to say
more about this mystery,

or else I would create a Baghdad
in the wilds of the Georgia mountains,
and there would be no more doubting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cobie said:

I like Rumi. :wub: 
 

 


Rumi makes numerous appearances here on TDB.

I have been to Konya, waaay back in da day

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thread thread thread thread

 

 

 

A Dream Within a Dream
Edgar Allan Poe - 1809-1849

 


Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

 

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

 

 

 

 

 

from "thirty poems," hafiz, trans murray:

 

 

LXXIV


(Since reason is of no use to the lover, he must abandon himself

to chance and to impulse. It lies in himself whether he shall prove to

be of the chosen few who may achieve that perfect union which they seek.)


KNOWING love's ocean is a shoreless sea,
What help is there? - abandon life, and founder.
Bring wine; don't scare us with Reason's prohibition:

That magistrate has no jurisdiction here.
When you give your heart to love you make the moment lucky:
No need of auguries to perform good deeds.
Ask your own eye whose is the murderous glance ;
0 friend, this is not Fate's crime, nor the stars'.

Pure eyes discern him like the crescent moon:
But not all eyes have scope to see that splendour.

Seize the chance offered by the drunkard's road:
Like the clue on the treasure-track, not all can fmd it.

You are not moved, witnessing Hafiz' tears ?
I cannot understand that heart, harder than stone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, damdao said:

@terry Maybe, you should consider to open a specific thread, for instance, World as a Dream in Sufism and Daoism.

And for each subject you have something interesting you could open a thread.

I agree with this. @terry seems like he has a lot of knowledge we could learn from, would like to see some in depth stuff from him on different topics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, terry said:

 

I could weave a carpet.

 

  (...)

Well...

The carpet was a technology which the masters of design (the naqshbandis) liked very much.

I remember reading that tale in one of the Idries Shah's books...

So while infinite intervowen threads in one could be good to break the ice I think that in the daobums a couple of different threads could be useful to put order into the conversartion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want order...

 

drunk and disorderly, thats my condition...

 

(I'll probably run afoul of the police if I haven't already

"keep a clean nose and watch for the plain clothes

don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows")

 

besides I posted on a number of threads already, so many I was blocked for a day...if no one responds there is no dialog and I have nothing to say...

 

 

 

rubaiyat of oar khayyam, trans fitzgerald

 

XXXIX.

 How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
 Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
   Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
 Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.
  
XL.

 You know, my Friends, how long since in my House
 For a new Marriage I did make Carouse:
   Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
 And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.
  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, damdao said:

 

I remember reading that tale in one of the Idries Shah's books...

 

 

   i have all of shah's books, or most of them, and know most of the stories well enough to repeat many of them without having to look them up. I find the stories immensely useful.

 

   Here's one that could serve, from "tales of the dervishes"

 

 

 

When the Waters Were Changed

 

 

ONCE upon a time Khidr, the Teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad.

 

Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.

 

On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.

 

When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.

 

At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.
 

 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's  a sufi story...

 

about a drunk laying in a gutter. A friend comes along, and seeing his condition, lifts him up on his shoulder and starts to carry him home. As they are walking the drunk peers around and sees another drunk lying in the gutter. He calls out to him, "If you only learn to hold your wine better, you could be walking around freely, like me."

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you bums want to talk about heidegger, I could open a thread on heidegger, ditto swedenborg, or anyone I mention...

 

nietzsche?

 

dogen?

 

averroes avicenna aristotle and filosofeh...

 

the roots of sufism in neo-platonism, plotinus the original sufi?

 

 

as monkey likes to say, "it's all one to me"

 

 

try me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

anyhows whatever thread you pull, it all unravels to the names

 

every named object is a facet of the one gem

 

 

every plant you look at is a sprout of one plant

 

every animal part of one organism

 

this one has 99 most beautiful names

 

 

ttc/feng

 

 

One

 

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, terry said:

 

 

   i have all of shah's books, or most of them, and know most of the stories well enough to repeat many of them without having to look them up. I find the stories immensely useful.

 

   

  

 

Do you include Shah's writtings under others pennames like Arkon Daraul, Rafael Lefort, Omar Burke, Laura (I don't remeber the last name, it was about secret societies).... and the anonymous study material of his groups? 

I like the classics the way of the sufi, tales from the dervishes, knowing how to learn, knowing how to know, etc.

I found, though, a little distubing his earlier books and translations on magick and wicca.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to preface this post by saying that I am a very busy person and can't see spending the time needed to make long contributions to this topic at this time.  I have spent sometime since its appearance thinking about it, reviewing some aspects of previous research and wondering how I might be able to contribute to it.  Here is the first thing that I wanted to add:

 

On 7/31/2022 at 11:13 PM, terry said:

The classic in the field is toshihiko izutsu's "taoism and sufism"

 

Since this is the "classic" in the field, then this link to a downloadable PdF would seem to be in order:


Toshihiko Izutsu Sufism And Taoism

 

I have not had time to read all of this, though i do have some ideas about its proper use and potential abuse, but i will have to do more reading to see if my first impressions are accurate.

 

As for this:

 

6 hours ago, Cheshire Cat said:

Daoism is a religion, (Emphasis mine, ZYD)

sufism isn't

 

I am in complete disagreement with the notion that "Daoism is a religion".  As far as I am concerned as a practitioner of what is usually referred to as "Relitigous Daoism", that it is a complete misnomer to call it such foisted on it by Western scholars of "religions", that it would be more properly referred ti as "Ritual Daoism" and its structure would be better modeled by something like Freemasonry.  Basically Ritual Daosim was developed by Fangshi for Fangshi, as a combination of professional guild and teaching hall and has nothing to do with the "worship" of gods in the sense of a grovelling submission to such beings motivated by threats of punishment and promises of rewards for such behavior.  It's all about learning and practicing magic, which involves a great deal of time and study as anyone who has read and studied the works of Professor Jerry Alan Johnson can amply justify.

 

This is all I have time for today, and all that I can say is that I will try to respond to any comments in a timely fashion, but I cannot guarantee that what I consider to be a timely fashion will be the same as yours.

 

As for what I might like to see here, these would be of interest to me:

 

21 hours ago, terry said:

averroes avicenna aristotle and filosofeh...

 

the roots of sufism in neo-platonism, plotinus the original sufi?

 

Zhonyongdaoist

usually ZYD for short

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cheshire Cat said:

Daoism is a religion

sufism isn't

 

I don't agree with either of these statements. The contraries are closer to true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this