Chapter 1: A Rare Kind of Magic
The eye of the heart.. Remember this: Sufism is the path of love. It is more dancing than Zen, it is more singing than Zen, it is more celebrating than Zen. That’s why the countries where Sufism has existed have created the best and the most beautiful poetry that has ever existed in the world. The Persian language became so poetic, and it has created the greatest poets of the world. The very language has become poetic, the very language has become very juicy - because God is thought of as the beloved.
That too has to be understood - the last thing today. For Zen people there is no God, your own awareness is the ultimate. Zen comes out of Gautam Buddha’s insight. Sufism comes out of Mohammed’s love affair with God.
The year was 610AD. Mohammed was in the cave on Mount Hira. He received his first spiritual experience and feared that he had become either mad or, as he said, a poet. He went to his wife trembling with fear saying, “Woe is me. Poet or possessed?” He had even thought of casting himself down from the high rocks to kill himself. It was such a shock, it was such a great voltage of love. For three days he was trembling constantly as if in a deep, dangerous fever.
The fear was that he thought that he had either become a poet or he had gone mad. Out of this experience of Mohammed’s starts the river of Sufism. It has always remained both poetic and possessed. He was both. He had become a poet and he had become possessed. He had gone mad and he had become a mystic.
You must have heard about the beautiful Sufi legend of Majnu and Laila. It is not an ordinary love story. The word majnu means mad, mad for God. And laila is the symbol of God. Sufis think of God as the beloved; laila means the beloved. Everybody is a Majnu, and God is the beloved. And one has to open one’s heart, the eye of the heart.
That’s why Uwais says, “Yes, but how many of them feel it?” People have become completely unfeeling, they don’t feel at all. They have bypassed their heart. They don’t go through the heart, they have reached to the head. They have avoided the heart. Hence there seems to be no benediction in life. It is only through the heart that the flowers bloom and it is only through the heart that the birds start singing, and it is only through the heart that you come to realize life not as a dry awareness, but as a celebration.
Sufism is great celebration. I invite you to celebrate it with me.
Enough for today.