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Escaping from God to God

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.islam.sufism,alt.sufi,alt.religion.gnostic,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: (haramullah)
Subject: Escaping from God to God
Date: 12 Jan 1999 12:46:18 -0800

49981221 IIIom 

assalam alaykum, my kin.

#># We and the world are not; only God is.

even an illusion is something.  we and the cosmos are called thus
because there is a referent to these things, however illusory.
denying our reality is one thing, denying our existence is
mere folly.  Descartes provided the basis for dismissing it as a
hypothesis centuries ago (cf. 'Cogito ergo sum'/'I think therefore
I am'), though admittedly he didn't go far enough and evaluate the
reality of that which he logically deduced to exist.

a thing's reality is its essential or ultimate primacy, whether
this is judged by virtue of its endurance (as it can be in cosmo-
logical systems like Buddhism) or its dependence upon that which
is presumed to have originated all things (as it is in cosmologies
of Judeochristislam).

to suggest that we and the cosmos are 'not' implies our distance
from this Creator or our ephemerality in the face of the real.
it is as much a metaphysical statement indicating how one sees
one's place in the cosmos as it is how one sees the cosmos's 
place with respect to the divine.

to suggest that there is a great deal of distance between the
divine and the cosmos indicates, to me, a feeling of despair or 
anti-materialism.  it is the perspective of the Gnostic, trapped 
in a hell not of hir god's devise, trying to get back into the 
arms of a Beloved long lost and far away.  

to say that the two are identical indicates, to me, that one is 
capable of identifying what is with the divine.  if one perceives 
faults or flaws in this cosmos, then such an identification is 
tantamount to admitting that one's god is imperfect.  of course 
if one believes, with Professor Pangloss (cf. Voltaire's 
"Candide"), that this is the 'Best of All Possible Worlds', then 
such an identification can imply that one's conception of the 
divine is as the best possible being that can be attained.

#> And the moment you're convinced of God, you and the world pop back
#> into existence, complete with all their illusions and dilemmas.  Better
#> to be ignorant of God - move beyond such a wounding idol with all its
#> human caricatures, and instead be open to the original reality, which
#> was never lost, never invisible, never otherwise but at peace, complete,
#> resolved in love and in truth which is prior to truth.  "God" is nothing
#> more than an elaborate idea and catchall for selfish human desires and
#> fears.  Reality isn't God - but God is a painted doorway leading either
#> to reality or to forgetfulness and misery.  Which way have you gone?

'God' can indeed be an excusing label for one's own desires and
preferences. it can become the justification for all manner of
travesty, and countless historical examples testify that this
happens over and over to human beings. 

yet the problem that lies behind this justification scheme is 
pride, and the ascendancy of certainty over the phenomenon of 
love, compassion.  for want of 'truth' we can overlook love
and destroy our kin with the approval of some condoning idol.

where the doors are marked 'God is Truth' and 'God is Love',
those who select the former are heartless and those who choose
the latter are witless.  this choice is a fool's gambit whose
only outcome is loss.
# I believe in Allah as the only real Reality.  Why you want to 
# separate God from Reality, I don't know.

when we begin to identify reality with certainty (Reality), we
in fact lose our humility and identify ourselves with the divine
through purchase of knowledge we can never obtain.  separating
the divine from the real is never the choice.  instead, it is a
cautionary dissembling of knowledge of the real from certainty
about what that reality IS.  

the certainty is the problem, not the reality, because inevitably 
we discover that what we take to be the Real is different than
what our kin takes to be the Real, and suddenly we are justified
to dismiss and discount the expressions and thoughts of our kindred.
we are justified to disrespect, to leave the path of love for the
benefit of clinging to what we have, in our immaturity, seized upon
as the Truth.  we cannot be correct if we have left love behind in
our wake, however, as the certainty which feeds our heartlessness
can only show us in time.

#> And the moment you're convinced of God, you and the world pop back
#> into existence, complete with all their illusions and dilemmas.  Better
#> to be ignorant of God - move beyond such a wounding idol with all its
#> human caricatures
# I don't know what you're talking about.  It has no relation to my
# experience.  To invoke the Divine Name and meditate and surrender 
# to the Divine Presence is the only real liberation I have ever found.

invoking the divine name is a meditation which can move us to a kind
of liberation from which we can offer our hearts freely and without
judgement.  what a glory!  but to become *convinced* of God, to be a
BELIEVER (in the special sense I mean here) is to become a dictator,
a ruthless and cruel dominator of minds by virtue of certainty, rather
than the experience of liberation.  the liberated act from the joy
of perfection which they experience.  the dominators do so in an
attempt to 'show others what is correct' and try to get everyone else
in conformity in order to demonstrate their power and correctness.
# I think what Frank (and Khairi's sheikh) are saying is that 
# one develops only a partial understanding of "God" and often 
# this understanding is what arises not from the actual truth 
# (or the source) but what one *thinks* that God is like. In 
# this case, *God* becomes an idol with fixed, stonelike aspects.

crafted of the clay of our imaginations, this 'God' is the worst
form of idol, for we are transfixed and trapped by our own minds,
incapable of escaping the horror we have created.

# On the very superficial level, this often leads to the 
# unilateral vision of God as a frightening wrathful entity 
# whose punishments are felt repeatedly, but whose mercy and 
# forgiveness and love are rarely felt. (or never felt as 
# strongly) and are often felt only in terms once again, of 
# the mind. I.e. "if I am doing well in life, then God is 
# happy with me, if I am failing at something, then God must 
# be angry with me."

this is the error which the story of Job and the entity known
as Satan is said to rectify.  if one is merely attempting to
please the authority based on reward, then one's faith is weak.
if one takes one's position with respect to authority based on
one's experience and dedication, then holds it no matter what
the opposition, then one's faith can be seen to be strong.

where our faith becomes certainty then we become arrogant.
where our faith supports us despite adversity, then we become
penitent and worthy of any boons Allah sends our way.

# This often leads to people not only judging themselves, but 
# judging others.

'Judge not, lest ye be judged.'

# Yet. . .rain falls on both sinner and saint alike. . .and God 
# himself, is supposedly, unknowable. To create the empty space 
# through which one might feel the Truth of Him, one often has 
# to remove the first impressions of Him - or realize that there 
# is a deeper understanding of Him in the heart than can ever 
# exist in the mind. but to get to the understanding of the heart, 
# one often has to run away from the "idol" created by the mind 
# - and thus run towards the Truth of Him.

beautifully said. the truth of the divine INCLUDES love, the
marifa or gnosis is a knowledge OF the heart. the peace that
comes from holding fast to its instructive course comes not
from an intellectual certainty but from resting on a foundation
which transcends mental constructs.  

the path to it can, for some of us, lie directly *through* 
these mental mazes, yet not so much because the Solution may 
be found at their center as that, having penetrated to an 
experience of them, one comes to see their limitations and 
the greater significance of what lies beyond and within them 
(human beings, love, compassion, life). grasping both the
value of introspection and philosophy and holding tight to
the primacy of love, we cannot fail to enter into the
presence of Allah.

peace be with you,

-- (emailed replies may be posted); cc me replies;;

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