Lesson Seventeen

The Beloved every moment through the portals of Attributes (Sifaat) shows a de novo face to the lover and the eyes of the lover every moment is illuminated by a different light and realize a different vision anew. Because the more (the Beloved’s) beauty is offered, love conquers more and the more love subdues, Its beauty better manifests and consequently the Beloved more estranged from the lover until the lover suffering from the heartache of the Beloved seeks a sanctuary within loving. Whereupon the duality of the Beloved and the lover (Creator and creation) is then suddenly immixes into oneness and unity. Some have said, “The perception of the Divine luminous rays according the measure of cognitive faculties and emanation (of knowledge…) according to the measure of (spiritual) worth”:

If the owl weakened by the light of the sun
Indeed its own enervation and not by Its cause
The more the surface of your heart polished
More radiant the reflection of Its Light

This by itself is an eloquence brightly elucidating: When the Beloved wills to reveal Itself to the eyes of the lover, first by Its radiant beauty enlightens the eyes of the lover. Therefore the lover is empowered to see the beauty of the Beloved and pleasured by It and once full portion of the pleasance of this effulgent manifestation enjoyed, again some more beauteous beams of Its Face enlighten the eyes of the lover whereupon the lover’s perception illuminated more than before. Similar to the thirsty drinking the salty water of the sea, the more he drinks the thirstier he will get. The more (the lover) finds the more seeks (the Beloved Creator). Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said, “My Lord increase my bewilderment of Yourself (evermore)”:

For all things unless you seek you wont find
Save for that Beloved unless you find you seek not!
As I glimpse upon your face more
My eyes desire to behold you evermore

Ma-Oz Raazi wrote to Abu-Yazid:

From the wine of this love drunken with such intoxication
That if taking one more sip, I am completely non-existent

Abu-Yazid wrote in response:

Drinking love goblet over goblet
The wine ran out and thirst unquenched

If a thousand times I see you per day
I burn in desire of one more gaze

Abu Bakr Worraq said, “There is no Farq (divide) between I and my Lord, except that I am progressing (towards It) through Acquiescence (slavish obedience)” in actuality he meant, “In weakness or poverty and in aptitude or power indeed I am the key to treasures of Its existence” [1]. So someone heard this and asked, “What was the first key? (Before Mankind)”, Koran [6:59]:
With It are the keys of the unseen, the treasures that none knoweth but It
Abu Talib Makki said, “It is the creator of the Nonbeing as It is the creator of Being”[2]. Another said, “Divine Decree does not affect the aptitude (of the slave’s perception) and the aptitude stays unchanged”. Indeed the manipulation of the Ist’daad (aptitude to perceive the Lord) occurs someplace specific (beyond this universe). In the universe of Unseen (Qayb) the Divine Edict for perceiving the Lord, within the essence of the salve has been fixed as an aptitude (Ist’daad). By means of this aptitude, the revelation of the Lord’s Being can be perceived like an eye. Once this is in place (eye-like within the slave’s essence) in our manifested universe (sensing with our senses) this aptitude causes (the existence of) another aptitude to perceive [3] the Lord’s external manifestations (through Sifaat i.e. Attributes) whereupon depending on the circumstances every moment a new Ist’daad (Aptitude to perceive the Lord) is offered (to the salve) upon every revelation of the Lord’s outer-manifests and since the Lord’s manifestations are infinite and each Divine Manifestations begets/requires a specific knowledge therefore the capacity for slave’s knowledge has no bounds! [4]
The people who solely place their judgment upon reasoning think that once reaching the destination, the goal is attained and finally the object of the desire simply reunited. Far Out! The destination to unite with the Beloved is placed at the infinite end of all infinities!? Then how can It be reached? When does the path end? How can one find the way through infinite path? Then what use even to move towards It?
If the seekers are not excited by the frenzy of a passion, not seeking the most noble the loftiest, then they may halt at any moment content with an inferior result (if the path was not infinite) and for those reaching the end of this infinite path, “Wherein they shall dwell: no change will they wish for from them(Koran [18:108]). [5]
[1] The act of traversing through Acquiescence to Beloved is likened to a key to a treasure. Beloved is the treasure and the traversal of Acquiescence the key to It. Now this key could be within us during the high times of affluence, knowledge and power or during the low times of ailment, poverty and weakness! No matter which state we are, we are traversing the boundaries of obedience towards It, hence a key regardless of our condition.
[2] Most people think that nonbeing is the default statement of being nonexistence and for the most part an imaginary state. In Sufism there is another universe where we dwell when we are nonbeing. This universe is the subject of much Tahqiq (research) by Sufis.
[3] First Ist’daad (aptitude to perceive) is for perceiving the Lord’s Being and that cannot occur in this universe we are in. This aptitude causes the worldly aptitude of perceiving the Lord via Its manifestations, namely through the Sifaat (Attributes) e.g. Divine Mercy, Divine Guidance, Divine Provision and so on.
[4] I found this conclusion shocking. That although man is a finite object to the best of our ability nonetheless he can be cognizant of infinite knowledge! Because the Beloved reveals Itself to us moment upon moment in a different manifest and each manifest begets a specific knowledge to see the manifest, thus the boundless ability of the Man’s Divine cognition.
[5] Which means once the lover goes through all the uncertainties and hardships of path of Love then the end is an eternal abode where there is no further change desired or caused by anyone, since change is what experienced e.g. trees going by, exits going by, weather changing, a characteristic throughout the path but not an attribute of the end abode. There at the end there is no order of before-after or past-future these are for here and now.

© 2004-2002,  Dara Shayda