THE PROCESS OF PERFECT FAITH
"When this works and catches on,
there will be no more financial problems,
and that is the wisdom."
Know God and sit with your fear. Admit, confess and accept your unworthiness to present this material. Nervous and afraid of ridicule and derision, embarrassment and humiliation, failure and dejection. You know that it's true, but you are afraid to raise your head from prayer, to come out of yourself and declare the world a safe place to be because it too is in the hands of the God in Whom you trust and believe.
The question is, Do I have faith and trust in God? And the answer is, Not a lot. So afraid of making mistakes which will be used as excuses to not follow to the conclusion. My own search for and belief in perfection makes me, has taught me to, believe that everyone is as intolerant of imperfection as I am, and rightly should be, and of my own particularly. "What's wrong with you that you come to me?" Find what you're looking for from someone who has it! Damn my imperfections, they always get me into trouble. They cause me embarrassment and pain.
The search for perfection is the search for God. Only God is perfect, so living IN God is the only safety from our own imperfections. It is the Real Life. Is it the heaven that we are promised? Is it true that "as it is in this life, so shall it be in the next"? I'd certainly like to believe that.
So Here it is.
Lillah, Billah and FillahIt is stated by the Sufis that the 'path' to perfect faith comprises three stages, lillah, billah and fillah, which mean, roughly, to God, with God, and IN God.
Lillah - The Path
Lillah, "to God", is the belief of the ego, that feels itself separate from God and is willing to do the work necessary to escape the uneasiness, pain or suffering of that feeling of separation. So it sees itself on the "pathway to" God. It knows that it must learn to be "with God", so it learns of fana`, the non-existence, the "annihilation" of itself, and reacts to that, and defends itself out of fear of loss. It then learns how to handle, heal or deal with those reactions to the thoughts and fears of its own death.
The point is to be able to sit with our fear in a rational frame of mind until it dissolves of its own volition.
This is not easy, but we seek this annihilation and know that it is both necessary and inevitable in spite of our fears and reactions. This is the "process" of Surrender, the hard work of the path, learning to be "with God", to Surrender and let God do it. Remembering that "Surrender Works!", it is here that the value of Surrender is learned. This is where we learn the true "meaning", as in the perceived (not imagined) value, the "fruit", of Surrender, or Islam. This is where we die before we die.
The Fear of the Mind
The Sufis say the work of the path is comprised of three practices - Dhikr, Fikr and Himmah - Invocation, Contemplation and Yearning/Longing. This is the work of Fikr, the Contemplation of God that brings to light the Reality. It is the deep "work" of the Sufis and that which is ardently avoided by the masses. It is the silent remembrance one hour of which the prophet (pbuh) declared to be worthy of seventy years of worship. It is the very scary stuff in the trusting of which any demons in the heart are definitely released, as opposed to Dhikr, which is joyous invocation. And yes, we can stay in remembrance all the time, but there are two kinds, invocation and contemplation, and then forgetfulness or confidence.
And what happens when we don't, when we are not in invocation all the time? Are we any less close or beloved to God? Are we not then in thought, in mind? Do we really need to fear? Is there really anything to be afraid of? And if so, why shouldn't we discover it and face it? Is not salvation for the sinner first, and then for the righteous?
The fruit of the work of Fikr is not so easily attained - a pure, joyous and confident contemplation of God and the goal of all healing. If we are running or hiding from our fears, we are still residing in the land of lillah, of duality and conflict from which we seek to escape. We have not yet arrived in the land of Unity, peace and contentment, the Darussalam. This is why the healers and teachers of God need to be clear or willing themselves, free of their own fears, to go where the client needs to go so that they can be and anchor reality as a destination for the seeker on the pathway "to God".
Dispelling the illusion of separation is the work of the healer - student or teacher. It is first identified as a felt sense perception and therefore not a reality (felt, as in not the feeler; perceived, as in not the perceiver). This is done with a logic that appeals to and awakens the Rational Mind (laa ilaha illa 'llah). The origin of this sense is then identified by investigating the feelings before the time in life when the sense first became manifest. When the origin is known, it becomes obvious to the student that the sense was instilled - learned from an outside source and not innate, as in inherent in one's essential being. One can then separate or distinguish oneself from the sense, and from that perspective rationally identify the sense as an illusion and let go of it; and also identify its source, towards which the annihilatory power of love can be sent to bring it to its resolution.
Note: This process is taught in The Essential Work: "Healing Separation - The Work of Surrender" - which can be supplemented by an optional course of training and personal work - at the completion of which the student should be able to be free from the control of emotionality, leave the world of emotional reaction and fear (nafs) and enter into the true knowing (not the knowledge) of rationality, or the second stage (billah) of the process of perfect faith where the true learning of the faith (Iman) and religion (deen) can take place. It is the nature of this work that it cannot be done alone or in isolation. It requires a teacher in community or someone capable of reflecting the truth of the goal. It is this reality that brings people together and ends the isolation of fear and separation.
On the Rational Mind
We are told that the rational mind - the purified intellect (`aql) - is the crowning gift of God on the Human race. Intellect is that which distinguishes. Its highest and most crucial function is to distinguish truth from illusion, or God from 'other'. The purified intellect is able to sit endlessly in divine contemplation without any disturbance arising, and the guided intellect is confident of its contemplative practice no matter what disturbance may arise. From the point of view of the rational, God-perceiving mind, the mind that operates out of emotional response to love and fear is reactive, personal and has not yet discovered itself and is considered still irrational. Reasoning, another derivative of `aql, is considered in most schools of thought to be highest faculty and the ultimate guide and judge for the autonomous individual. Hence the idea, in Western and Buddhist thought, of a common or universal mind, or "common sense". We simply call it "God Consciousness, and it is the beginning of our learning how to behave is such reality.
Billah - Arrival
Billah, "With God" or "by God" is the annihilation itself, the peace and bliss of knowing God is the Everything and the All. This is the clarity of contemplation, the reality of the contemplative state, that which is contemplated and the Peace and the Trust of belief (Iman). It is the safety and the security of our truth and the truth and reality of everything. It is that in which we have always existed and always will exist and the dissolution of foolishness, fear and suffering. It is the garden of life, beauty, freedom and happiness in which the little children play. It is the heaven, the nirvana, in which we all exist in spite of our fears, doubts, observations and experiences to the contrary. It is the freedom to which all are invited. It is the goal of liberation. It is the end of suffering, the Heart, the DarusSalam, the Madrassah, and the place of real learning.
Now we can learn! But what?
The Wisdom Process
Learning in this place (Darussalam) has a beginning, which is a certain confident uncertainty, a shortage of real knowledge, and an end, which is a confident certainty and a desire to help others understand. And within it there is a process to be discovered that helps its travelers traverse it from beginning to end.
This process has been described by the masters as The Wisdom Process, or the process of completion. In Sanskrit it is called Samyama, meaning "the power of inclusion", and comprises the final three steps (after detachment) of the eightfold yoga path called Ashtanga. In Sufi lore its goal is referred to as Iqan, or Divine Certitude, (or the authority of personal experience) and its possession is why 'certain' people are referred to or revered as holy, divine, rabbi, reverend, lord, or saints, friends and teachers of God. I'm not sure if the process itself actually has a name in Arabic, but the three stages are clearly expressed as `Ilmu Yaqin, `Ainul Yaqin, and Haqqul Yaqin. These would be expressed as "the knowledge or science of certainty", "the sight or actuality of certainty", and the "acquisition or attainment of certainty". In short, the hearing, the seeing and the having - hearing or learning about it, seeing it in action in others, and having it for yourself.
It is the knowledge of this wisdom process that is so essential to teaching and learning, as well as to wisdom itself and its acquisition. Without understanding it, the process and goal of learning becomes confused and limited to the first stage, that of learning about, rather than actually learning. So education becomes a matter of competitive acquisition of information, rather than an improving skill, a selective process of evaluating quality.
***** In other words, if we do not know how real learning takes place, we need to learn about the process so we will not be fooled into believing that the preliminary stages are the goal. if we do not know how to learn or what real learning is, it follows that we do not know what to learn and can remain in essential ignorance all our lives while filling or lives with meaningless information and suffering for the lack of the healing of our essential knowledge. *****
Learning how to Learn - So after the course on Healing Separation we will enter into The Second Workshop: "Learning the Wisdom Process" - the Process of Understanding itself. Upon completion there should be no further questions about what healing is, or about what learning is, and the wisdom of keeping them in sequence should become apparent.
Fillah - Freedom, Autonomy and Gratitude in Islam - Living the Rich Life IN Allah
Here's where the learning takes place, because one now sees its pertinence and direct correlation to one's well-being. Is not our destiny a rich and abundant life? Are we not called to it in the Call to Prayer? Do we not wish that for our children? Is it not true that as it is in this life so shall it be in the next? Don't separate us from God by saying that the goal is God. We've already been over that, right? A little bit of honesty should bring us to the realization that life is here for us to share in peace and abundance, is it not?
Should we not all have the opportunity to live it in richness and abundance? Is that not the goal of the human race? Are we or are we not living IN God? Is that not our reality - lillah, billah, fillah? Doesn't the realization of that bring you the promised joy and happiness of a child in a garden? Well let me state with certainty (on the authority of personal experience) that it does, and if you do not feel it - the ecstasy of life - then please come do this healing work with me. Or not, and stay under the illusion of a reality of economic scarcity. You're free! It's your choice!
Muslim, Mu`min, Muhsin - Healed, Educated and Doin' Well, thank you God!
Believe it - faith, trust, belief (Iman - learning from God) and money are two of the same thing. If you have true Iman, you have money and community, and that's what we're all working on, no? And that's why welfare follows education. Education is Iman/Belief, and Healing is Islam/Surrender. So let's get healed and educated on the way to Ihsan, Excellent Well being in a Perfect Life.
Allah does not intend for the believers to remain powerless. He is the Withholder as well as the Bestower. He deprives us of power so that we can re-evaluate our circumstances and conditions. Everyone knows the phrase, "Back to the drawing board." If we as Muslims adopt this new/old paradigm of healing, education and welfare as the basics of Genuine Classical Islamic Education, we are as bound by the laws of God and nature to become as successful in this life as any others who have discovered and practiced, and That is the light of the Sunrise in the West.
And it is for this reason, the reason of our need to discover this that the abundance has been withheld from us. Some Sufis say, "All you need is need", in that Allah always provides for us what we need. Our need is what causes us to think, with a healed rational mind, about our circumstance and thereby to discover what is wrong with our thinking that is causing us so much pain, suffering and deprivation.
Presenting a new (haqiqi - the real) paradigm should inspire the people to reinvigorate their efforts to succeed, which will bring the very increase in prosperity that we are missing and looking for. And that's why it's so important for us to refine the work and practice of healing and education in Islam and present it as the main thrust in our schools and universities.
When this works and catches on,
there will be no more financial problems,
and that is the wisdom.
Now we can learn and progress, but how?
"Seek the needs of the people." ~ Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal
"Income is created by providing a regular supply for an increasing demand."
"The ever-increasing demand is for self-knowledge."
"We get Rich by Being Rich, so Know Yourself to Be Rich."
"We Live in a Natural, Holy and Divine Kingdom of Abundance."
"Overcoming karmic fear is paramount to self realization."
"The need of Islam is found in the acceptance, not conquest, of others."
"Conquer yourself, and all else shall be added unto you."
"Money and Faith are like your first two fingers, inseparable."
"Compulsory giving creates poverty as a defense."
"The only thing that sends people to hell is their inability to stop themselves."
"The job of the doctor is to put himself out of business."
"Conflict of interest is when you can't tell people they don't need what you have."
"Healing is a matter of individuation and education."
How about ourselves, what do we want? How can we continue to serve? Do we even need to? From the point of view of liberation, serving ourselves is both serving others and showing others the right way to serve themselves and to liberate themselves from fear. It has been established that our fear is always of ourselves, which we in our irrational minds have turned into an enemy because we always got into trouble trying to be our true selves at what ever age.
So now that we're living successfully and happily IN God, how do we use our wisdom process to get to the next level?
Well, anyway, that's where I'm at. How 'bout you? So please join me in The Third Workshop dedicated to Discovering How to use the Wisdom Process to increase Prosperity and Abundance.
At this level there are no teachers, only collaborators.
Applying the Wisdom Process
- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -
How to be well and prosper
First, we sit with it and contemplate what the next level is. What does it look like? Feel it as a reality yet to appear. Schools, classes, workshops, lectures?