Friday, November 28, 2008

Mysticism, the work of Idries Shah, letter to feldie forum

When I first read Marty' s Mystical remark,
I thought of a couple of things,
and then thought the world could live without those

That is probably still an accurate guess,
but since Jeff's delightful threading in these waters,
here goes:

1. The Sufis have a strong and clear teaching about
avoiding and/or leaving behind mystical experiences,
for many of the reasons that Jeff mentions,
and most importantly, that they keep a person back from
real development.

Quotes below.

2. Not too long ago I was receiving a lesson from Marcie
L., and she asked about the lessons my trainer gave. (Don't guess,
doesn't matter.)
I said, they were amazing, though more mystical than anything.
I didn't mean this as criticism,
but I certainly didn't think of this as praise, since
a this sort of "oh wow" experience, at this point in my learning/ growth,
seems to bring the Functional
Integration lessons to the level of stimulation
rather than information.

3. Idries Shah, burst into the world in the 60's
gifting the world with all sorts of previously hidden
or poorly translated Sufi material.

three main strands:
a. Amazing stories, that operate at many levels. The best, Tales of the Dervishes, is must reading every five or ten years.

b. Explanation and overview and opening view into
the real world of Sufism,
the best book being, The Sufis.

c. The teahouse, underground route to Sufism in the humor
stories (supposedly) of Mullah (not a bad word back then) Nasrudin .
The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin.

4. Some quotes from the Sufis:

(page 375, my old edition, in section, Miracles and Magic):
"This limiting effect of the sense of wonderment
is the reason why Sufi teachers have spoken against
indulgence in the ecstatic experience,
which is only a stage in the development of the Sufi. Lost in awe and wonderment, the Sufi Seeker is halted when he should be going forward
to the realization beyond.
The seeking of temporary (or even permanent) mystical
experience is therefore spoken of as a 'veil.'"

page 380 : "The Sufi's task is to organize himself
as to make possible for the meaningful operation of an organ or perception
and action
which will have a continuing effect."

page 381: "Both high magic and ordinary mysticism,
viewed from this light,
become for the Sufi merely the struggling on of a partial
methodology which will simply reproduce its own pattern.
Unless it evolved far enough to enable it to reproduce more than it inherited,
unless, in fact,
there is a genetic amplification of scope and sufficient power
of reproduction of that scope,
the whole thing is a creaking anachronism."

5. The first story in the Sufis,
called the Islanders,
read side by side
Moshe's beginnings in Awareness Through Movement
about the fate of humanity resting
in whether we will all be fitted nicely to be like
everyone else,
or find the way to become that which we truly could,
makes amazing tribute
to the breadth of Moshe's vision,
and the deal I sometime harp:
the link of Moshe and Gurdjieff
and the slight problem of sleeping me, you, us, humanity.

Chris Elms

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