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Chapter 1: Non-Being is the Way of Being

When you love, when you really love, there are no conditions. It is unconditional. You love for the sheer joy of it. And love is absolute - it knows no wavering, it knows no hesitation.

Sufism is a great experiment in human consciousness: how to transform human consciousness into ishq. It is alchemy.

And this is what I am doing here with you. You may be aware, you may not be aware of it, but this whole experiment is to create in you as much love energy as possible. Man can be transformed into pure love energy. Just as there is atomic energy discovered by physics, and a small atom can explode into tremendous power, each cell of your heart can explode into tremendous love. That love is called ishq. Sufism is the path of love.

Remember that it is a path, it is not a dogma. Mohammedans have a particular word for dogma: they call it shariat. Dogma, doctrine, religion, morality, philosophy, theology, all are contained in shariat. Sufism is not a shariat, it does not depend on books. Sufis are not the people of books. Sufism is a tariqat: a methodology, a technique, a science, a path, a way to truth, to haqiqat, to that which is. Remember the difference between shariat and tariqat.

Theology thinks about God. That is the very meaning of theology; it consists of two words, theo and logy: logic about God, contemplation, thinking, philosophizing, speculation about God. Sufism does not think about God, because, Sufis say, how can you think about God? Thinking is utterly inadequate. You can think about the world, but you cannot think about God. You can only be in love with God, so it is not a theology, but it is a method. It is an experiment in your consciousness, an experiment to transform it from gross energy into subtle energy, from material energy into divine energy.

Tariqat is the way by which the Sufi comes into harmony with the whole.

And two things are basic requirements to follow this method. One is faqr: faqr means spiritual poverty, simplicity, egolessness. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” he is exactly talking about faqr. It does not mean poverty, it means spiritual poverty. Even a king can be spiritually poor, and even a beggar may not be. If the beggar is egoistic he is not spiritually poor, and if the king is egoless he is spiritually poor. Spiritually poor means there is nobody inside, utter emptiness, a silence prevails. This poverty has nothing to do with outer poverty. Outer poverty can be easily imposed; that is not going to help. An inner poverty is needed.

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