Uniqueness - A Common Quality
Each of us is Unique. However, we take that fact and reality so much for granted that the uniqueness of our individual uniqueness and its value gets buried under the taken for granted commonality of it. Yet it is our individual uniqueness that is our special value and which we are really developing and marketing. We are selling ourselves, putting ourselves on the service market, and developing our individual value with the intention of increasing it; and when we realize that fact, which it appears most of us do not, it gives us the true advantage over our "competitors".
So what do I mean by that? Let me spend a moment elucidating, because I believe that this topic is about probably the most important thing in the whole world - or at least in my whole world - our individual uniqueness, and why we are in denial of it and what happens when we stop that and recognize what God is actually doing with us and how it's to our advantage and what we can do to aid it and add to it instead of just being pushed or dragged along by it - and why we've been in denial of it for so long.
What I'm referring to is simply our own personal share of the commonality of individual uniqueness. It's about understanding our individualities, our own individual uniqueness and our ability or lack thereof to describe and appreciate it, which must dawn on everyone at some time, but only appears to miss most people, for they appear to be so buried in the commonality or ordinariness of individual uniqueness that, taking it so much for granted, they fail to see it and the personal value of it, and to polish and develop it.
And those that do see it prove to be the ones who truly shine forth in society because they notice and pay attention to their own evolving individual uniqueness, appreciating, developing and polishing it, and see the value of it to others and society in general. Such are the successful ones like Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford and Bill Gates, all of whom, among many others in a galaxy of world leaders, significant humanitarians, spiritual guides and modern industrialists, through seeing and developing their own individual uniqueness in society have contributed so much to our world that without them it would never have been the same, and without whom absolutely nothing in the "modern" world would exist. And the 'modern' world is important because without the evolving capacity for communication based on the power developed after the discovery of electricity, the illumination and coming enlightenment of our world through the catalyzed recognition of the universal commonality of our spiritual realization would simply not be.
So I continue to seek and ask myself, even at my stage in life, what is the key to this kind of world-changing, earth-shaking greatness, and I come up with this -
a genuine and clear-sighted recognition of and appreciation for our own individual uniqueness.
For it's certain that if the individual does not clearly recognize, honor and appreciate his or her own uniqueness and unique place on God's creation nothing great can come forth, and, no matter how much we may wish for it or try to make it happen, nobody else will recognize it either.
While others are seeking their own salvation, e.g. discovering themselves and their own individual uniqueness, the ones that have are seeking the salvation of the world through contributing their own personal work and values. This is typical Buddhist philosophy describing bodhisattva activity.
Souls are unique. The "ordinary commonness" of mankind is in the denial of their souls and their uniqueness, and in that they are all common and alike and that's what they like about it - the sense of security and acceptance they get is from their commonality in denial of their souls and uniqueness, which is their most important attribute, and which they discard so readily in quest of the security of commonality. So they live "common" lives, in fear of their power, and revel in asserting that their reality is the only reality there is for them and that the exceptional people who have contributed to making this world we live in work and exceptional, are really the inexplicably exceptional exceptions from the ordinary reality of the "common" people, in whose company we take such pleasure and in whose acceptance of commonality we find ourselves.
But if we look closely, we will find that it is nonetheless our uniqueness that we are marketing. It is only our uniqueness that separates and distinguishes us from the competition - and there is competition. Everybody is after their share and maybe yours too. Why do people come to you and not to the others? It is because of your uniqueness. It is what you show of your quality of uniqueness that distinguishes you. So we need desperately to be honest about our individual uniqueness, and not fall into the deceiving trap of making up stories about ourselves that are not true.
If we look closely enough we will find in even the most novice and inexperienced practitioners a beautiful unique quality, an individual uniqueness that sets each apart from the other and that is their true advantage, not false. And if not, then commonality is the breeding ground for the development and discovery of individual uniqueness. Perhaps it has simply not become evident yet, then patience and perceptive careful observation is in order. It often takes time for genius to appear.
So from this perspective I look at my life and can see as I always have the uniqueness of it very clearly, and the purpose with which I set out to develop it and refine it, to become as close as I could to a perfect human being according to the precepts of all the religious and spiritual teachings I could find.
At a quite early age - I dare say it is our intention even from birth - I became aware of the possibility for this and the desirability of it and set out to follow as best I could the guidelines that promised it. I must and will say, categorically, that I have not been disappointed. I do, upon occasion, and according to the principles that I hold high and dear, find my self disappointing, but I have not been disappointed, neither by the path nor by my own feeble yet graced efforts to follow it.
I do see the perfection of Allah's creation and the perfection of Allah in His creation, and the perfection of the imperfections that so perfectly abound, but not. And is this not at least one of the promised goals of our spiritual (Sufi) path? Is it not the perfection of Surrender, the perfection of Security, and the perfection of Perfection that the Sufis mean and are promised by Islam, Iman and Ihsan, the three meanings, guides and goals on the path to them?
So now I find myself in this described position.
After 64 years of life, certainly forty of which have been intentional, I am currently a student of the most perceptive and effective Sufi Master of my life, whom, in the Sufi tradition, I consider to be one of the teachers of the age and to whom I invite you. And after having devoted my life to the study of the possibility and reality of human perfection through attaching myself, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to a great many of the evident masters of this age as well as studying, as we all do, the works of the ancients and as much of the entirety of the teachings of Islam and all other religions and spiritual paths as are available in the English language (and that's a lot), I can say this.
We are the students and practitioners of an ancient healing system in a lineage that revives and coincides with all the other ancient healing and wisdom systems universally recognized by all the current and contemporary teachers of spirituality who are the manifest inheritors of the recognized published and unpublished masters of the ages before us, espousing the same doctrines and eliciting the same magnificent results, all of whom have avowed that their students will bring even more than they have brought and that they (the masters) are but the stones upon which the guides of humanity will step forth on their path of leadership over the stormy waters of life to the other side of suffering and malaise. Why then should any of us adopt attitudes of false humility denying our positions, however humble, among them and refuse to attribute to ourselves that reality of our being.
It is because of this recognition that I even offer myself as a healer and teacher, but it is not just so little that I claim. I claim to carry, as we all do but I recognize it and claim that by this recognition I am unique and can help you to recognize it and claim to your own uniqueness too which will help you succeed in this life with a success that will be everlasting, not just healership but by the virtue of the unique yet common Sufi path that we follow, and by my own unique station or position in life and my relationship to it, a healership that will help develop and confirm not just the healership in everybody but all healership. I have said, and it's nothing new and still believe, that there is no one who would not benefit from taking this course with me. For nearness to God is the station of us all, but how many of us live in conscious recognition of it day in and day out.
It is specifically this conscious recognition that is desired by God and for which He pours out His Gratitude from His Fountain of Abundance. And should not God be Grateful? Is He not Ash-Shakur also, the Grateful? Does He not reward and punish in the forms we all feel, know and respect? And as we draw closer do we not increase in His Bounty? And is not hardship there to cause us to seek Him and His help? And does He not give it when we seek it of Him in the proper way? And does he not hold us all in His love, even in our hardship, that we might learn to turn and how to turn to Him?
As a matter of fact it is by the grace of my ability to keep abreast of my contemporaries and reach into the depths of the development of human knowledge in general and psycho-spiritual healing in particular in the now universal yet comparatively still infantile English language, that I see coming forth from my efforts to know perfection and by the grace of my faith in the Source of my developing intuition, which I call Soul, newer discoveries, or at least newer iterations of the ancient or previously known truths. And I realize that by the very uniqueness of my own personal being and chosen course of life study, evolution, development and determination, these discoveries are not simply rare, even though of universal applicability, but liable to misinterpretation and misunderstanding, leading to their dismissal by the less interested, or complete oversight due to the prevalent distraction of "other" interests.
Nonetheless, I am not to take the lack of interest by the others whom I do wish to impress with the efficacy and seriousness of my findings as discouragement or the placing of true value. No. True to my course I will continue to investigate the applicability of my discoveries with full trust and confidence that one day they will prove to be as true and useful to humanity in its struggle for a final healing and peace as I believe them to be. In that way, should my interests prove to be guided as I believe they are, I will be following not only my interests and my path, but fulfilling my destiny by contributing or leaving something of value that may be developed and actually manifested in the universal usefulness that I am pursuing and believe it to be.
True to the vows of the bodhisattva, and in the perfection of my own incompetent and inept ways, I am seeking the salvation of the world from the bonds of misery and illusion. And isn't that what we were sent for?