The very purpose of death is Realization.
Let me put it another way. Realization is the purpose of death. The realization of which I speak is that of the real life, everlasting in the Bounty, Mercy and Glory of Allah. How we spend it depends a lot on the choices we make in this life.
Realization is more than belief. It is more than just a belief and an understanding in the mind. The believer says "Yes. I realize that." Meaning, "I understand and believe that that is true." But he has not "Realized" it, as in being in full body/mind/heart awareness of it at all times and behaving appropriately. "It has not yet entered completely into his heart".
The Purpose of Life is Realization.
Once the heart is healed, and the mind is realized, there is no longer any fear of or "need" for death, as an opposite to life. It is only in our self-definition of life, as being that which belongs to us and to which we must cling, that death appears as the ugly and undesirable opposite. To the realized being, the life belonging to Allah has no end, and the death of the body is nothing more than a transition from one state of being to another.
God (Allah) created to be known. Period! His will be done. It is now as it will be. He IS known. By ALL, even those who deny it. Else what purpose denial? Simply to oppose and thereby distinguish through the definition of opposite, what IS! And what is it that they are denying? They are denying that they know already. It is, in reality, only self-denial, and that is why it is so deadly. Because it (denial) sets itself up in direct opposition to God and the benevolent energies he has arranged for our everlastingness. And if we deny that, we deny ourselves access to it and thereby to the benefit of it, which is nothing less than everlasting felicity, the "gardens of paradise" that are the "promise" of a Worthy and Capable God, in the company of the Best of His Creation.
Realization in Arabic (Ma`arifat) shares the same root as recognition (as in to be aware of and honoring), and knowing (as in Gnosis, or the direct realization of God).
Life is simply a process of self-realization. The actuality of life is a coming to realize what actually is, and an ongoing freedom of choice to accept it or turn away from it into illusion and its inevitable destiny. But "Resistance is futile". You are, already, "assimilated". So Why NOT Surrender? We are given a long but definite period of time to realize, recognize, honor and take responsibility for ourselves as the glory of life and its creator. Succeeding at that is THE Success. Failing at that is THE failure.
And that is both the warning and the invitation of the word "Islam" (which is simply the Divine command and invitation to Surrender"), in a nutshell. In another work we will show how the purpose of illness is Realization, also.
The origins of disbelief, war and the attitudes of duality
Now look at the origins of the attitudes of duality. The feeling of separation leading to the attitudes of duality, or dualistic thinking, are bases of the "I'm right, you're wrong" attitudes that precede all wars and acts of retaliatory destruction. This sense of separation, and the understandable and resulting sense of desperation that leads to the need for and clinging to materialist acquisition as a way of life, is the exact cause of disbelief and rejection. If we could experience Unity, we would believe.
It matters not in what society, Muslim or otherwise. Materialism and our desire for it is what blocks us from the experience and blinds us to our own reality and to the correct belief that frees us and liberates us. Most people believe that spiritual liberation is impossible, and react with disbelief when I insist that it is not and that it is happening all around us. "Well, not to me!" they emphatically state. And I respond, "because you do not want it". And they say, "that's right. I do not want to be free". But spiritual liberation is not the same as licensing the desires to unrestrained indulgence, much as we might like to hope that it is. As long as spiritual fulfillment is viewed in this light, it remains a good thing to be restrained by the limits of behavioral religion. But let's not through the baby out with the bath water, and totally deny that a true knowledge of God and appropriate behavior are more than compatible, they literally assure one another.
Q. What is that we are to believe in and what is it that keeps us from believing in it.
A. Believe in God and the Life in Him, which is often referred to by the people of the outside as the life hereafter, because from the ego point, it must occur after death.
This is not to deny that the body must die and that life does go on after the death of the body. It is however to affirm that the ego and the clinging to life out of desperation from the perceived lack of alternative, is the great denier. Not only of the soul's true desire and purpose to manifest completely on the plane of existence, but of the claim and experience of the realized masters, most of whom are famous and undisputedly revered Muslim mystic scholars and saints. And they all claim and teach that the reality can and should be known in this life, and that that is the point of the religion of Islam and the true salvation of the soul.
Fear of loosing keeps us from believing in it. But what
we are afraid of losing.
Q. Why is belief important if we already know?
A. Belief is a very important thing. Belief in Allah is a tool to know reality and keep an open mind. It is important to teach that other may know it also. We either believe in reality or we believe in falsehood. But we act according to our beliefs. And it's our actions that bring us happiness or grief.
Even wrong belief is still belief. And wrong belief can
help us to
keep believing. But that is what Qur`an and the Divine revelation was
On the Nature of Material Acquisition
Material acquisition is the natural response to the frustration arising from the repression and non-support of the inner quest to discover oneself and one's true motivations for earthly inhabitance.
Children are 'made' to be either like their parents or like what their parents want and need. They are, for the most part, 'forced' to fill a gap, to be what their parents 'never could be' or to have what their parents never could have. In every case, even in the most liberal of families, they are rarely given what they need in order to grow up as an authentic soul on the planet. This is quite natural and as it should be, but the time has come to recognize that this trend has become a human disaster, and start to reverse it.
Again I emphasize that the knowledges of Life in Surrender (Islam) were sent to correct the malignant tendencies of this nature, and a proper understanding of it will do exactly that.
But I stress again that I mean a proper Islam in the way of the Classical Sufis, who are dedicated to keeping open the gates of heaven by means of truly understanding the teaching of the Divine revelation. Only by experience can the correct interpretations be known. And experience can only be had by them who are dedicated to it and to the people of it. It cannot be represented or 'explained' by the people of learning. And that's again another example of what I mean when I refer to the difference between learning and experience.
(More on the difference between learning and experience?)
It is made to appear as though the majority of people choose to believe that materialism is the only goal of life, and that creates a mass belief system which takes on a life of its own and grows in a self-perpetuating and self-expanding manner. And this assumption is popular and easily drawn. It is also easy to assume that English is the language of material success and in a sense prerequisite and mandatory for a true material success. If people believe that, as it seems most of the world does, then the learning of the English language becomes all-important, along with all of its errors in interpretation of the meanings of the words understood with difficulty in the student's original language.
So for many, materialist education is taught in the form of the English language. This is not necessary, it has simply happened. The English language can be used to convey accurate spirituality, but it must come from the people of experience, not the people of learning. For the people of learning have nothing new to contribute. They simply learn and repeat. But for the first time in the History of the English language and in the world, we have a large and growing society of truly experienced and self-realized spiritual masters of our own. And we are more than capable of adequately expressing the truth and realities of the mature life experience in the English language. We need no one to teach us that. And these expression must be taken seriously, as well as the leadership of these people in changing the usage of English words to mean what they say it means and thereby allowing and accepting the evolution of the language and the understanding of the human experience in that language.
(This leads us to the argument of linguistic definition which is significant in that it opens the question of the true basis for interpretation of Qur`an.)
So if the experienced unanimously say that the experience is more aptly described with one word than another, who is there to argue with them, and why would one care to bother. The only reason would be out of commitment to conviction and unwillingness to re-investigate conclusions. This dichotomy has its equivalent in Islamic history where it is told that the people of letters would always pay a visit of respect to the known people of heart before publishing any writings on the subject of religion. This was to seek their blessing by confirming that the writing was not only accurate but not inaccurate, causing harm. The "Students" would not assume knowledge, but check their work with the recognized real masters.
This is my personal understanding for the need to interpret and translate Qur`anic words and phrases with new and pertinent meaning. And just as the word Islam means is best translated into "Surrender", the word denial is best translated into Kufr. The word Kufr is closely related to the meanings of "covering up", "denying", rejecting, disbelieving, infidelity, as it is often stated in Qur`an, "untrue to themselves.
On Personal Interpretation of Qur`an
It is highly stressed that interpretation of Qur`an to fit the needs and desires of the individual is wrong and forbidden, but even this prohibition is subject to personal interpretation and there are a variety of personal interpretations all claiming authenticity. What's a poor fellow to do? Well, let's look at some facts.
One is that he insertion of the parenthetical (Muhammad) after statements from Allah that could be coustrued to apply to the individual reader is specifically for that point. Disallowing the individual reader to feel or know that the Qur`an is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds to each and everyone of us individually. The intended effect of this insertion is to separate and glorify the connection that the prophet had with Allah from our own, even to disavow that we as individuals have any connection at all.
Q. What do you say to people who argue for a more narrow interpretation
On the propagatory value of translations of Qur`an,
The significance of inexperienced learning and translation
and the misuse of religion to justify it,
out of fear and frustration with soulful expression, It is a mass belief system.
yet we know that everything is present all the time.
Being aware of whether you have wudhu or not is a very holy awareness of self and a key to true self-realization, the realizing what is your true self.
THE ROAD TO WISDOM
It does not matter how many perfect expositions there are already, what matters is self-exposition, one must be one's own song. So learn to perfect your understanding in your own being. You've completed the course on "Islam - Its Meanings and Perfections". You understand Surrender in all of it's manifestations. It is now time to perfect your understanding of Iman, in it's dual aspect of action (belief) and possession (faith). Iman begins with action and ends with possession. Believing is the action that will result in recognition of faith.
Surrender is preparation, allowing for the physical experience of health and well being. It is well covered in the teachings of the masters and healers. The teaching of the true Faith, and how to learn, possess and understand it is the next and palpably missing element. The faith is not being taught in context. And it must be taught in context in order to be understood and readily accepted.
I am here to teach you your religion, the Sufi Religion, in the context of the World Spiritual Awakening. This is the religion that explains to you your truth. It does not claim to experience your truth, for that gift is for you alone. But it claims to know your experience and claims the ability to explain your experience to you in ways that will help you to understand it better and deepen your experience of it.
Part of this teaching is an explanation of the dynamic functions of belief
"IMAN 101, Knowledge of God and the Dynamic functions of Belief"
Belief begins by doing. If there are blocks to the doing then we go back to the healing practices learned in "Islam 101, Self-knowledge the Dynamic functions of Surrender."
Islam Iman Ihsan
The new (to you) slant on Islam Iman and Ihsan is this -
Islam is self-acceptance, surrender (to your life as a Divine manifestation) and self-discovery (of the deeper aspects of yourself).
Iman is belief and faith. Belief is the active aspect, it is something that can be consciously done. It's opposition is only refusal, and refusal is a choice. With a little investigation, the reasons that you are making that choice will be uncovered, which will allow for the opportunity to experience the freedom to open your mind to the possibility of making a different choice, and experiencing the freedom of belief.
Belief as a conscious choice will be a big part of this teaching. If you have it already understanding its dynamic will help you in your healing practice.
Faith is a different aspect. It is not something we do but rather something we have. And we have it by claiming it. It is available but for the most part rejected, so simply claim it by saying "I have faith!" (that such or such will happen)
Ihsan remains yet to be explored, but it exist already as perfection. Understanding perfection is the third part of this educational experience.
So, I call on you, O warriors who would pretend to be knowing and knowledgeable, you youthful long-beards, self-righteous, intellectual and pious, who manifest your anger at the world and the people in it, and call it your religion. Cease now to speak in the name our beloved Prophet, who brought peace and liberation, not war and oppression, to the earth, who urged us all to wage the holy battle against our compulsive selves to come to the higher knowledge of God within. Bring down upon yourselves, if you choose, the destruction of your enemies, but do it not in the name of God but in the name of your own personal anger. Your speech is only a manifestation of the anger in your hearts for your own feeling powerless to make the changes you want and your lack of understanding of how to do it.
For you have been taught incorrectly and therefore lack the true faith, the trust and surrender which was not taught to you, which is the power of the knowledge of conversion, that will change the things you hate into the things you love.