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Chapter 1: The Tale of the Sands

A few things more before we start enjoying the story: I said to you that Sufism is not a world-view. It is a vision, not a world-view. A world-view means you remain the same and you start believing in a philosophy, in certain explanations about reality. You remain the same, you are not changed at all. The world-view adds some knowledge to you - you become more knowledgeable.

A vision transforms you. A vision is possible only when you are transformed, when you are taken to other altitudes, other heights, other depths of life.

Sufism is a vision. In fact to call it “Sufism” is not right because it is not an “ism” at all. Sufis don’t call it “Sufism”; it is the name given by the outsiders. They call their vision tasawwuri, a love-vision, a loving approach towards reality. It is falling in love with existence. The person who thinks about existence is a little bit antagonistic because he creates a problem out of existence - as if existence is challenging him and he has to decipher it, he has to decode the mystery, he has to destroy the mystery. He fights.

Sufis say: We and existence are one. There is no need to fight. Persuade, coo, invite, love, befriend, and the existence itself starts revealing its mysteries. There is no need to rape it. The philosophic approach, the scientific approach, the intellectual approach, is a rape! It is forcing existence to reveal its heart. It is undressing existence by force and violence. The violence may be of scientific methods or of logical methods - it doesn’t matter - but the violence is there. The philosopher has taken a standpoint as if nature is not ready to reveal its mysteries; it has to be forced. It is a violent approach.

Sufism says there is no need, existence is waiting for you to come close so that it can reveal its heart. Existence is waiting for you to fall in love with it. If you are deeply in love with existence, it starts opening, it starts revealing its secrets. It has been waiting long for you to come close. There is no need to force it, there is no need to rape! You can fall in love.

A world-view is an aggressive stance, a vision is a love stance.

I said to you that Sufism is not a system, because all systems create bondage. They create prisons around you. Sufism is freedom. It does not create any system around you. It does not tell you to believe in a certain system. Yes, it talks about trust, but not of belief.

Trust is a totally different thing. Belief is belief in a theory, in a philosophy, in a world-view: you believe in Islam, you believe in Hinduism, you believe in Christianity. But when you trust, you trust in life. You don’t believe in life, you trust in life; you believe in philosophies. Belief is a poor substitute for trust. And remember, belief is again from the head, trust is from the heart. Their qualities are different, altogether different, diametrically opposite. Never become part of a belief system: never become a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Jaina or a Buddhist. When you become part of a belief system you are becoming a slave.

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