Knowing the World to be but a Reflection
of How We See Ourselves in it.
On the Importance of seeing the world as a huge angelic butler standing by to serve you with whatever you need.
The sense of security that one can feel from this essential part of God-realization may not have been stressed in earlier Sufi times. Insecurity, anxiety and depression were apparently not major problems in earlier times in the Islamic world, so the realities of the lives of our predecessors were not focused on these issues. But the beauty of this aspect of existence (existential reality) shines through in the face of the predominance of these manifestations in contemporary times.
I am using the term Existential Reality to indicate the fundamentally Divine existential truth of us all. In Arabic it is called Haqiqat, the Reality, and it refers distinctly to the Reality as it is known to God only, and definitely not to the interpreted reality of the personally fixated mind. This realization, this truth so precious to all seekers of enlightenment, is the purported beginning or starting point for the Sufi Journey through what is known as the "quagmire" of Unity. This Journey leads to the Throne of "The Sublime and Supremely Veiled Owner and Creator of the Unity Which Veils the Enlightened From His Knowledge".
So when I refer to existence, it means "His" existence, Not the Existence of God (which from our standpoint is only a conjecture), but the existence (as we know it) which is not conjecture, that points to His Existence. That is what I mean by His existence. In other words, this existence, the existence in which 'our' existence is but a drop, however we see it or know it to be, in any and all forms, is HIS existence (as in 'not ours' at all). Understand?
So existence, however we know it, is HIS existence. It is not HE, even though, in His quality of Wahid (One-ness), there is nothing but HE. Nor is there anything separate, in the same quality, from HE. Yet HE, in His Quality of Ahad (Unique), is Sublime, far removed from anything we can attribute to Him or imagine of Him. It has often been said that He can only be best indicated in terms of what He is not.
So who is there among the realized of the realized and the enlightened of the enlightened that can claim any proximity to Him at all except by the knowledge that He Himself reveals of Himself? And who is there that can claim to know Him except through proximity gained by His worship as He Himself reveals as a means of approach for whom He chooses. La ilaha illa'llah! Existence is not God. People are not God. Existence is Divine, and a manifestation of God through His awesome power. People are divine manifestations of God's Existence, created to know Him as he wishes to be known, to worship Him as He wishes to be worshipped. To serve Him as he wishes to be served. Or not. But even that is by His Divine plan.
Existence, His (this) existence, however we know it, is an interplay of Divine Qualities. Read about the "99 Qualities of God" and it becomes easy to understand how He can manifest a creation as vast and endlessly awesome as this. The web most definitely has a Weaver. And He does indeed want us to step out of it. Not only are we to step out of the shell (of Unity) in which we find ourselves 'trapped", but we are to step out of the stepping out. And this final stepping out, called the 'walking' in Sufi terms, can only be done by accepting the guidance that He Himself offers us.
Bilqis was the Queen of Sheba (Yemen, in the South of the Arabian Peninsula), the ruler of all that she saw. Benevolent, kind to her people and beloved by them, but she worshipped the sun, for it was as far as she could see. Prophet Solomon heard of her and invited her to the knowledge of The Supreme Creator, which had been revealed to him by that Same Supreme Creator (which was why he was a Prophet). As much as she resisted, he eventually prevailed. It is a beautiful story of power and wit. He married her and she became a knower in truth.
Knowing this facet of existence is more than enough to overcome anxiety, yet paradoxically enough, anxiety must be overcome in order to know this truth. It is one of the many inherent gifts from God (a taste of heaven) that are available for them who would accept it. If you are unaware of it or do nor believe it, it is a sign of the existence of fear and anxiety. So release the overwhelming healing effects of the energy of Love, Safety and Laughter. This secret is the basis for the Sufi claim that Islam (True Surrender) is the broad gateway to the garden of endless bliss (Sa`adat ul `Abadiyyah).
The world will not go away (until it does). If you can find your centrality and maintain it long enough to vanquish/overcome the persistent and nagging influences of your old habits of concern, insecurity, anxiety, need, lust and desire (and this is easier than you think, because Allah will help you), you will gain the joyous patience of them who know how to get what they want from the world. Who see the world as their oyster, and they the pearl. It is anxiously seeking to provide more than could ever be imagined (jaza`un bima kanu ya`malun) "a reward for that which they have done".
And who see that they themselves are keeping it back from their own wisdom, knowing themselves not yet ready, and still in preparation stages. The wisdom of great minds still comes from Allah. I now see myself as under the guidance of a truly great mind and master planner of successful lives. The One who has everything that I need and want and who is capable of giving the right thing at the right time, and of withholding the unknown until the time to make it known.
For in this step along the way they have truly won a great victory in the battle of awareness. This is the battle called the 'Jihad al Akbar', the greater holy struggle. For with Allah's Help and Gratitude, they have surrendered their hearts and beings and entered into the great void fearlessly and with true faith, only to discover therein the garden of their hearts. With the courage of Abraham they leapt with faith into the fire of their fears only to find therein the garden of their hearts in which all things are provided at their beck and call. Willing to make the journey of a thousand miles, Allah shortened their journey and they discovered that the goal, which they had been promised, was right next door. They need only say "Be", and it is. They become the central pillars of creation. The world does indeed revolve around them, because they revolve around their own hearts, which contain the Throne of Allah.
They also find that it is in accordance with Divine wisdom that they do not ask for their wealth before its time. It is I who am saying "No". Why then am I beating myself up about it. Why is it that we question our own wisdom - so eager to impress others with our 'powers' that we try to negate our own power of negation, making it somehow bad and a sign of weakness that we cannot overcome our own wisdom and make things happen all right now. Listen to the "No". What in reality is it saying? Is it saying "No forever", or is it saying "Not yet. Not right now. Please wait"? Is it 'negative' only in relation to that which our ego-minds deem positive? Is that true negativity, or is it really our deeper wisdom, the wisdom of our souls?
All children are Jesus. All children are speaking from the cradle. All children are messengers from God. It is our Divine birthright. And we must reclaim it by disproving, with Allah's help and one by one, each and all of the negative and soul-repressing statements to the contrary. They were constantly repeated to us by our parents and the rest of their society until we had no choice but to come into the believing of it ourselves.
On the importance of forgiveness of sins. Knowledge of Divine forgiveness of sins is another of the gifts of Surrender. This forgiveness is manifestly and dramatically felt as a lifting of huge burdens from the shoulders of your spirit.