The Way to Success in Surrender
Understanding Our Search for Innocence
through Surrender and Self-Discovery
ABIDANCE!!! - "If I could just Stay there!"
How many of us know from experience that the Peace and the Love is surely there somewhere and wish only that we could find it when we need it or stay in it when we've found it? We all have moments when the self lets go and we catch glimpses of our greater reality. How can we identify that? It feels totally great, like the resolution to ALL our problems. But how can we "capture" it? And where do we find the time?
The real question here is "What is the Way to Permanent Abidance in Divine Peace and Love?"
Believe it or not, this quest "to Abide Permanently in Divine Peace and Love" is the underlying spiritual motivation for ALL human actions, no matter how we judge them or by what standard.
The Search for Innocence
Just as surely as death itself is that abidance, abidance can be known here and now. But death will be feared if we are still carrying the shame of guilt, for that is what prevents us from experiencing and expressing our innocence. As long as we are "claiming" it or "searching" for it, we are not in it or acting from it. What we want is total absoulution. The ego will remain as long as there is felt the need to defend. The need to defend comes from feelings of guilt and worthiness of punishment from God. These feelings are quickly and effectively annihilated by true Surrender (and acceptance of Islam) in the pure Sufi way.
It is only through total surrender that the absolution and healing power of peace may be experienced, which sweeps us directly into the arms of the love in which we so desperately long to abide. That is the essence of the Sufi invitation. We are invited by the surrendered and absolved to Surrender and Absolution. Therein lies the bliss that we are seeking, for it is the annihilation of all guilt, fear and shame. And this is what the Sufi teaching is all about - inviting you in the Sufi way to Surrender - to "accept" surrender, cleansing and guidance, from the Divine, to the Divine, by the Divine, and in the Divine. We can only offer what we have.
The Key to complete Self-acceptance is to Investigate Rejection
So What, again, is the Way to Permanent Abidance in Divine Peace and Love? I reply in a word, "Self-Acceptance". And the key to complete self-acceptance is to investigate rejection, and specifically any motivations for your rejection of Islam. And it is to help you with this investigation that the masters of the Sufi way offer their services. We are here to help you with your acceptance and understanding of Islam because we know how important it is, both to you and to society at large, that we come to peace with our selves, religion and God. Peace with God implies accepting all things as from Him, and a fearless willingness to investigate all things as from Him. Then there is no fear that there is something "not" from Him, somewhere that we should "not" go, a dark closet in which something fearful may lurk.
So investigate your rejection. It is through investigating our rejection that we will find the way to our deeper truth. Investigate it through sensing your reactions and feeling your resistance. Surrender and listen. Investigate all things inwardly and outwardly rejected. Re-accept yourself, including your "darker" side, over and over again. Investigate what you reject, what you have rejected, and why your reject, because in that is the key to the deeper self-understanding that leads to total acceptance.
It is only when we can accept our whole self completely that we can claim the real success of liberation and freedom from our fears. And that's when the whole world opens up to us. It is important that we investigate our preferences and their motivations, because it is easy, and they are the keys to our beliefs, i.e. understanding why we believe the way we do.
We definitely prefer to be the way we are and to not be some other way, but why? It is the part of ourselves that we have rejected that holds the greater influence over us. It is true, much as we may prefer it not to be.
So investigate rejection, the act, the motivations and the objects.
Rejection is the active opposition to acceptance. It is the means by which we block knowledge. We simply "don't want to know", so we reject either through condemnation or aversion. We condemn unwanted knowledge as invalid or untrue, which indicates a prior commitment and prejudice, or we reject by quick aversion, which comes from a recognition that it is true but an unwillingness to hear it, which is also from some inner fear that feels important to keep. So investigate your motives for rejection and re-question their origin and validity.
Guilty by popular consent
In our early attempts to express ourselves, which were the expressions of innocence itself, we have at one time or another been "judged", and we have, in one way or another, felt or been forced to accept that judgment. That's how we "learn" or are "taught" to get along in a world of harshness, judgment and uninvestigated assumptions. This "education" continues to deeply influence our attempts to express ourselves in our current adult life. Chances are, we're expressing what we think we "ought" to be expressing in an attempt to be popular or prosperous, and suppressing, to the point of total denial, our true feelings, all in the name of and for the sake of "accomplishment".
"This is the way it is done", we believe, so we follow the false religion of faith in lies and deceitfulness in the name of social acceptance for the benefit of material gain. All the while our true selves are rotting and lonely in a prison of our own construction. And we "think" this is right. Any attempt to liberate our feelings from this oppression is considered socially unacceptable, so we even self-punish ourselves for trying, or even wanting it. This is called pre-emptive self-punishment. We are telling ourselves that we are bad, before and to avoid anyone else from doing it. So we assume the guilt, and think of our inner selves as bad, and our outer selves as "trying" to be good. And then we joyously justify it by accepting the doctrine of "original sin".
Clearing Guilt and Depression
Inherent in the reestablishment of our purity and innocence is our joyous freedom from fear of death and the willingness and ability to accept, share and live in the love of God and abide together in a joyous, harmonious peace. The discovery of this "authentic" self requires a willingness to recognize and work through our self-defeating limitations as well as our concepts of success. It is the release of our spirit and soul from our driven motivations and the reestablishment of our innate joy and innocence. It is what we all long for. But how to find it and even if we do, how many of us can stay in it all the time? In Islam, as well as other spiritual paths, it is stated that the Divine knows we cannot do it alone and that's why we have teachers.
The relationship between Belief and Reality - "As we believe, so shall it be"
It is true that "as we believe, so shall it be". Why then do we not seek and believe the highest possible? And who is more capable of informing us of the highest beliefs possible than The Divine Oneness of all Unity, the Author of all Creation who understands His purpose better than anyone. So accepting Islam as revelation is of course the way to walk toward the fulfillment of our need and desire for divine pleasure.
It may be difficult to understand, but we believe that
rule of logic
is that "it IS that way, that's why we believe it is that way." The
in that statement is an objectification, coming from a belief that is,
for the most part, accepted without question. "Since that's the way it
IS, I would be an obvious fool to question even the most fundamentally
and commonly accepted and functional foundations of our human reality,
wouldn't I?" it is because of this belief that the real truth remains
and reality is referred to as "mysticism". But this is changing rapidly
in the American scene. For an excellent book on how this came to be,
please read Peter Kingsley's Reality.
So you believe that reality comes first, and then your belief in it. That's your belief and you have never questioned it. You accept, on your own faith, a reality that only appears to you when you look at it. You "objectify" it, prefer it to your feelings and intuitions, and project it as real. And then partake unquestioningly in your own projection.
Starting to feel a little uneasy about this? Does this not prove the truth of "as we believe, so shall it be"? How easy is it for us to change our beliefs? Very! We do it all the time, but never before at the level of our fundamental concepts of reality. In order to do that successfully, we need guidance.
Islam is sent to expose the myth of Original Sin
Islam comes as a direct challenge to those
illusory and intangible concepts of "materialism as the only way".
the way of True Surrender, would replace them with something
and completely reliable, a direct and transformative revelation from
Lord of the Worlds, the One in Whom we ALL believe, other than Whom
Now you can question this all you want. It will withstand your investigation, but not your derision. So please do not turn away from this message, thinking so highly or little of yourself as to seek solace in the derision of your friends and fellow human beings who are offering you the help that you are looking for. It is because you believe it and do not feel worthy of it that you turn away. If this were not true, you wouldn't need to turn away in derision of anything. But you are worthy, and is not worthiness itself a major issue?
So what harm will it do you to accept and investigate Islam as the truth, in the Sufi way, which is your way? To simply accept that the One true God in Whom we all believe can reveal whatever He wants to whomever He wants whenever He wants. At least accept that as truth. So what truth do you accept? And where can we meet? Are you willing to investigate the validity of your resistances to accepting a revelation? It is only in your acceptance of belief structures that they release their hold over you. There's that word again, "Acceptance". Acceptance leads to full self-realization. And that is a goal worth striving for.
Devotion to Separation
The quest for comparative success creates the separation in the mind that causes the acceptance of some things as fitting the pattern, dream or picture, and the rejection of others as not. And that devotion to separation keeps us from attaining the deeper success that all the other successes are designed to produce. We will not accept what we have already rejected.
Take for example "finding time". Do you have "no time"? Then just how smart do you think you are? No time to rest leads to collapse and loss of more precious time. No time to love leads to no love. No time to take care of yourself means no self. No money to spend on healthy food leads to no money and indebtedness to health "professionals" to take "care" of you. Denial, denial, denial. Endlessly complaining about what we do not have and a constant rejection of what we do have.
Our standards - truth or imagination?
It's only through permitting the possibility of an "objective truth" in the inward way that we can posit the idea of a genuine standard of truth by which we can gauge the proximity of our imagination.
By the standards of outward success, some moves are cool and other flop. Some of us "make it", and some of us don't. It's all comparative, but to what? The contradistinction of success or failure is a common driving dichotomy, and one becomes the standard of the other. So "failure" is the standard of "success", and success is the standard of failure. Which is "real", either or neither? One is always judged by the other, so they are in perpetual opposition, and this leads to the war mentality. Opposition with preference leads to struggle, conflict of interests and war. War, or inner conflict, leads to degeneration, ill-health and destruction.
The key to success is in your concept of it
The concept of success in Islam is one of inner achievement. Qur'an is quite clear about that. It describes the successful "muflihun" as those who have drawn near to God. And that it is they who are the successful in both worlds. This teaching is quite a challenge and contradictory to the educational processes of western society geared to training us for outward endless consumerism posing as achievement and status.
The unified self and the divisive self - The land of peace and the land of war.
Your achievements - are they really you? Many of us may feel ourselves to be standing on very shaky ground in the face of this challenge to our achievements as who we really are. But simply self-realize, we do it all the time. Our achievements will not disappear. They will simply lose their hold over our minds as our identification and sense of reality. Disease results from our unresolved inner conflicts. We are trained to seek resolution in the outer. Our unified selves have no conflicts and are already established in the peace and the love. It is the unified self that is our basis for health and longevity.
Guidance to Abidance -
Islam the Easy Way
There is a part in each and every one of us that is already deeply surrendered, believing and faithful, already "Muslim", otherwise the statement that Surrender (Islam) is the Way of our True Basic Nature (Ad-Din ul-Fitrah), would not be true. Understanding that "Islam" means "Surrender", and that "Surrender" is the return, through the thick of our fabricated lives, to the authentic truths of our innocence and basically adoring nature, makes it very easy to comprehend and put into practice. "Islam", in Arabic, is a command and means, "Surrender" (to God), pure and simple. This is the real meaning of Islam, and that's why there is a part of us, a quality of our soul, that is already Muslim (Surrendered). The rest of the work is simply in maintaining the recognition and honoring of that part - our souls.
The masters of "abidance" in the Sufi way make it very easy, and say that it takes only a little practice, and a little willingness to explore the validity of the factors in your life that distract you.
Abidance requires guidance. Liberation without guidance is fraught with difficulties arising from the past. We simply do not know what to do, and especially in face of the failure of all our best laid plans. Guidance manifests as positive, affirmative spiritual practice and leads to success. So I'm saying: do as I have done and do, follow the guidance of the masters to your own peace with God. Mastery means in both worlds, because there is no separation.
You may not "feel" it, but you ARE liberated and operating under your own steam. So why do you make the choices you make? Freedom from emotional bondage is the underlying motive of even our "bad" choices, and in that light, there are no "bad" choices.
Stay where? The deep peace and love does not "go" anywhere. We simply choose to explore some interesting looking distraction and end up getting so involved that we forget where we are. Why?