The Past Few Days

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From what I can tell, something inside of me has indeed changed or altered- and whatever has changed or altered hasn’t become undone for something like a week at this point, and so I’m beginning to guess that this must be largely permanent, even if there are fluctuations within the state of being.

Now, what exactly has changed, I cannot begin to explain to you- I’m not totally sure what’s gone or altered. The Self is still present- there’s definitely an emotional system and a sense of being alive. So, too, the ego still seems to be around, which is to say that I still have a sense of an “I” within me.

But what has changed? How can I begin to explain it?

First, there’s been the tiredness or the Grace of God or what have you that has almost not let up at all. There seems to be a great, deep stillness within me, but that may not even be the correct word. Peace doesn’t do it justice, either- it’s just something deep that isn’t moving as it once was, which is not something that most people would understand.

Here and there I’ve also had incredible bursts of love and affection, a sense of seeing other humans as essentially my children. In seeing other people as my children, I came to an understanding that I didn’t have before. My sense of being different from them is not necessarily a matter of feeling superior to other people but seeing the difference in spiritual maturity that allows for me to be compassionate towards even the most hateful of people. There are still human tendencies in me where I can see that I don’t like certain people or have a sense of anger at others, but these things aren’t terribly strong.

Last night, a certain kind of mystery was revealed to me that I can explain here but that will likely be beyond the comprehension of those who hear it. I’ll take the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and use them: let he who has ears, listen.

When I tried to meditate, I found my mind was particularly filled with music, and so I decided to look up music online. I talk about the “brain radio” that I have- I can hear a song, and my brain will encode so many details about the song that it’s difficult for me to not hear the music constantly. The playing in my head is constantly, and this has been going on since childhood, I know. The dhikr, if placed here, could be and would be repeated automatically with no volition of my own, and that’s the way it should be.

In the meantime, I looked up the music from video games that I played in my childhood, and hearing the music, I began to understand why music calls me in the way that it does, why I have been drawn into the world of music, why I love music- it is because it is God crying to Himself. This is difficult to explain, but there is a saying of the Sufis about a man who cried to God, and khidr comes to him to tell him, “Do you not realize that your, ‘Allah, Allah, Allah’ was His ‘Here I Am?'”

This takes us to a point that is purely experiential. You come to understand that it is only God who loves, only God who rejoices, and only God. ONLY GOD. The meaning of the shahada, “La ilaha illa Allah” becomes clear at this point- there is no God but God, there is no Divinity that is not Divinity, that ultimately, God is the one who experiences, who rejoices- all Hope is God’s, all Joy is God’s, all Love is God’s.

But this makes no sense to us, as humans- why, then, are we the ones who suffer, who seemingly contain this experience of God? I have no idea.

I do know in hearing the music last night and being caught in the fit between laughter and tears that I kept looking up at the crucifix on my wall and had a distinct impression that I finally understood what it is that Jesus had been trying to tell me all this time. I understand the mystery that Jesus attempted to explain, but His Mystery is beyond words, pure and simple. At least right now the Mystery is beyond words. Maybe in the future, I’ll be able to explain it.

Today, I awoke with a sense of love burning in my heart, and I had, for one of the first times in my life, the sense of burning with love AND the sense of being the guy I am supposed to be, a working together of both the heart chakra and the solar plexus chakra, something that had been a kind of intellectual antagonism before. This, too, should eventually reveal the mysterious connection between Sufism and Christianity, though my ultimate guess is that the Gnostics show a perfect Sufi relationship in the central redemptive myth of Sophia’s fall and her subsequent longing for Christ, whereupon Christ saves her by command of the Father. I look forward to the further revelation of these things.

To have a sense of who you are, who you truly are, and for it to be something that is beyond a narrow social definition and at the same time for it to not be some weird, abstract sense of the Buddha-nature is a powerful experience indeed- and what I mean is that the Buddha-nature and Atman are discussed in terms of this kind of faceless, personality-less sense of being, and this is clearly not the case. There is a distinction among personality and ego and Self, and with all the garbage and mental masturbation that goes on about spirituality these days, it’s ridiculous to see that nobody gets something this simple.

But of course, a great deal of what we see today has nothing to do with experience- instead, people spew out the accounts and speculations of others and have absolutely nothing of their own to contribute, and this is a great error in our age.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so critical, as I’ve made the same mistake- just look at what happens when I get interested in orthodox Christianity. But the truth is, I’m not an orthodox Christian, and I may not even be Christian for that matter, and hell, I may not even be Sufi! Who knows at this point?

Beaux


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The Vision

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One second, I was lying in bed having random thoughts in my head about my childhood and playing video games with one of my cousins.

The transition was then abrupt, unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. Suddenly, I was standing in what I would guess is a dream, and I knew certainly that I was in the unconscious. Vivid, real images, terrifying- I was standing in a building, on a balcony, and I looked out to the orange horizon, the crowns of skyscrapers and city building, and beyond them clouds, and a wind, a forceful, terrifying wind coming.

No ordinary wind.

The equivalent of dismay in the vision was that the world was coming to an end. I had the sense that an atomic bomb had been dropped somewhere, but also the sense that this was not exactly that. I knew in the vision that if I were to have felt the radiation, I would have hurt with all the pain a person would feel. This world was very, very real- as real as the waking world.

The images were not as stable as the waking world, but they had the same consistent theme.

The wind grew more forceful, and I put my hands up to challenge whatever was coming at me.

Then, I did the only thing, the sole, one, and only thing, that I knew to do.

I began to recite the Name of God in my heart.

Then I forced myself to say it aloud, and out came the whisper:

“Allah.”

The winds died down considerably. I knew that was the key. I could see a visible repair of things destroyed.

And I woke, repeating His Name, again and again and again.

“Allah, Allah, Allah.”

He has me. I belong to Him.

Sufis bow to no one but God.

Beaux


The Grace of God

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No worries, everyone, I’ll continue writing on the Memoirs of my religion in due time.

In the meantime, I should like to turn to an experience that I’ve had recently, meaning yesterday, in fact.

Different faiths would likely call this experience different things, and coming from the Western world, the most apt explanation is to say that it is the perceptible descent of God’s Grace.

While I stood with my friends in a circle, as we were getting ready to go out to eat for my friend’s birthday, suddenly I felt that familiar, warm, golden glow filling me. Nothing less than the Grace of God had descended upon us.

The experience continued for maybe an hour, and I was filled with a sense of deep love and gratitude, the likes of which only the most fortunate among us are ever able to experience. Even for that short time, that experience was extremely powerful and left a definite impression upon me.

Now, to understand theologically what Grace is, ultimately we must turn to the Christian tradition and see that Grace is some kind of mercy or outpouring of blessings from God that are either wholly or partially unmerited.

According to the Gnostic catechism,

“Grace is the effective manifestation of the supernal Life of God, appearing to us as a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through Gnosis and also other means.”

Gnosis is here defined.

“Gnosis is the revelatory and salvific knowledge of who we were, of what we have become, of where we were, of wherein we have been thrown, of whereto we are hastening, of what we are being freed, of what birth really is, and of what rebirth really is. This is an ancient definition which is still accurate.”

Notwithstanding, the experience of Grace this past Sunday was by no means merited, for I had done nothing to call upon God or to merit the outpouring on the energy, and yet there it was.

Grace certainly gives me the impression that things are as they are meant to be- feeling God’s presence shower upon us in the moment, knowing that we are all doing exactly what God means for us to do in that moment. This is both a humbling and hallowing encounter with the Ultimate Reality.

Unnerving is the fact that the Ultimate Reality does seem to indeed intervene in daily life, right in the middle of human affairs, and the intervention was absolutely astonishing at a moment that was otherwise so simple and innocent.

I would also like to point out that in my own experience, God’s Grace also dscends at certain times of the year, especially around the High Holy Days and the changing of the seasons. I knew the moment the Grace came during the Autumn Equinox, and it is a most peaceful, blissful experience.

I’ve written enough for the moment. Likely, I’ll write more later.

Beaux