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Muslim Perspectives
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 12, 2015 06:59PM

Muslim perspectives on Sufism.

[forum.whyislam.org]

[www.ummah.com]

Why read this?

Well...universalist 'sufism' was popularized in the West early to mid twentieth century.

Late in the 19th and early in the 20th century, few if any Muslim Sufis fluent in English and with secure and unassailble economic and social status would have been in Europe and the UK.

There suggestions that Inayat Khan was stranded in Europe at the outbreak of the First World War, and in need of support.

The upper class social circles which supported Indayat Khan were heavily influenced by Theosophy and by the Theosophical preoccupation with identifying a Messiah figure.

These were persons who first supported Inayat Khan and within which universalist Sufism was conceived.

These socialites were ill informed about Islam and thus about Sufism.

Within this naive context any allegation about Sufism could be made with no fear of refutation.

There was no educated Muslim Sufi with secure status and no fear of social ostracism who
could stand up at a lecture full of disciples from theosophist backgrounds and disrupt the pious mood by challenging "pir-o-murshid" Khan to define his or her terms -- and produce an ijaza as proof that a Master had qualified him to teach and take murids.

Today, nearly a century there large and articulate communities of well educated Muslims Sufis in the United States and the UK.

Claims of sufi status well received at the turn of the 20th century would be
challeged today.

This means one may meet a well educated Muslim Sufi who might, listen
to one's initiatic claims and then politely but very persistently raise questions about one's teacher and lineage.

That person might state that one's teacher's credientials may at worst be bogus or at best originate from a group that that did operate in good faith but has since been discredited.

Frithjof Schuon did start out solidly within Muslim parameters, but gradually took his group toward increasingly non muslim praxis -- to say the least. Schuon was based in Switzerland and France.

Schuof remains influential today via Sophia Perennis Press

[books.google.com]

[books.google.com]

[books.google.com])

[en.qantara.de]

Many Muslims question Schuon and are to say the least, perturbed by 'perennialism'/'traditionalism' the terms associated with Schuon and those
influenced by him.

[www.ummah.com]

[www.sunniforum.com]

[sunniport.com]

[traditionalistblog.blogspot.com]

[www.religioscope.com]

(Small excerpt)

Quote

...what remains of Tradition may be preserved by certain elites who are initiated into the sophia perennis.

Quinn suggests, on the basis of his readings of Coomaraswamy and Guénon, that this inellectual elite might serve a function similar to that of the Hindu Brahmans as a priestly caste to reestablish Tradition after the passing away of the modern age.

The scenario painted by the Traditionalists seems unlikely, and may God forbid any such destiny.

Where there are Brahmans, untouchables are usually not far.

Or, where there is a rank ordered hierarchy, many must remain peons with laptops to support and maintain a few elite with expensive tastes.

It’s a very gradual progression. You take one step and then the next one makes sense.

And it can all start with an recommendation from a trusted friend.

And, years later, you are run ragged and wearing colors you swore you'd
never be caught dead in.

And being scolded or snubbed by people you'd never have associated with,
back in your college days.



Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2015 08:08PM by corboy.

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One former guru in training reflects..
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 09, 2015 12:11AM

One former guru (Shayam Dodge) in training has this to say.

He used Vedanta. Others might use some reincarnation doctrine.



Quote

"Grief never ends.

"You learn to tend to it, to have a relationship of increasing complexity and depth with it.

"But you never transcend it—and if you do, then you’ve simply fractured and severed yourself from a significant portion of what it means to be human...I grew sick with spinning theological nonsense in the effort to disintegrate our (my sister’s, my brother’s, my mother’s) mourning.

'...The denial of grief’s validity was representative of the futility of my Vedantic quest to void the significance (and reality) of my humanity. The body-negative, ironically, was the ultimate denial of death and so, ipso facto, I was a fraud. I was a fraud on the page. I was a fraud as I instructed my students in grief denying meditations."

[forum.culteducation.com]

Invalidating grief is a potent .way to alienate people from their
genuine inner lives.

What ensues is construction of a fictitious inner life built on denial/dissociation of painful painful emotions, plastered over
with smiles, kept in place by periodic boosts of ecstasy from
group activities.

Systematic denial of grief creates an exhausting civil war within oneself.

And, over time, one may fear to leave the group because departure
means not only losing the structure of the group, but facing the backlog
of grief one has suppressed.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2015 04:33PM by corboy.

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Hypnosis: Confessions of a great musician
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 11, 2015 01:47AM

Quote


Quote
Leonard Cohen, speaking to author Pico Iyer in April 1998

I have always had a great suspicion of charismatic holy men. I think it is very very dangerous to hook up in a certain way with these guys. A lot of them are just head hunters. They know how to do it. It’s not the content of their presentation that is of any significance. They know how to do it. They know how to gather people around them. That’s what their gig is. They make you think that something important is going on and you’re hooked. I was always suspicious because I was able to do it in my own small way. I was always suspicious of that kind of activity. I know it can be done. It’s just a kind of gift, like hypnosis. I was a very good hypnotist when I was very young. It doesn’t necessarily indicate any special concern for others, or any sense of charity in your soul. It just represents the exercise of a gift, usually for your own mean purposes. I have always been suspicious of holy men and that gift.

[forum.culteducation.com]

What Leonard Cohen reportedly did using hypnosis when young.

[www.google.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2015 01:56AM by corboy.

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Astrology and fortune telling can be distractions
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 19, 2015 06:25PM

The hazard in relying on astrology and other forms of fortune telling is
the grave risk of distraction from God, to a delusional worry about signs, portents, and worse, becoming worshipful of seers, when God is the true focus of Sufi worship.

Another risk too few consider is whether a fortune teller will keep matters
confidential -- or disclose this to someone they collude with.

It should arouse your great concern if any guru or sheikh orders you to
go to a fortune teller as part of assessment for your initiation readiness.

It should be a matter of concern if your progress with a sheikh is made conditional upon patronizing a fortune teller favored by that sheikh.

(Ditto if a sheikh hints that you should go only to psychotherapists, physicians and other businesses favored by that sheikh.)

Nor should an ethical fortune teller advise you to go consult a Sufi sheikh.

What if the two of them are in collusion?

Other good reasons to be .cautious if your group gives excessive attention to alleged psychic phenomena and to persons who claim to experience these.

To anxiously depend on a seer, even if the person is given the title of sufi master, means an unhealthy slavish dependence on a human being.

Persons who claim to be psychic adepts often fall into patterns of claiming
to attract both good and malevolent psychic entities. These types of
seer can turn their followers from God to an anxious fear of alleged malevolent
entities. If the seer gets indigestion or wakes up hungover from a party,
disciples may be blamed for having negative thoughts that attracted
dark forces to the seer and made him or her ill.


A pampered flattered seer often becomes spoiled, childish and has the fey
charm of a child, yet will project his or her issues onto followers --
often designated scapegoats.

The allegedly psychic leader becomes an exciting secret for oneself, but also from skeptical friends, family and co-workers.

In time, you may drop those relationships and end up only
with associates who also share dependency upon that seer. This will trap
you in a group where everyone thinks alike and share the same intense hopes
and fears. You isolate yourself socially and get trapped.

Dependence on a psychic can be intense and seem to confer specialness, but
usually a deep undercurrent of fear develops, especially if an emotionally
entangled group is orchestrated to depend more and more on alleged psychic
phenomena.

If too many anxiously crave access to a psychic, this gives rise to intrigue and squabbling, and development of an inner circle of favorites with easy access to the seer and those excluded.

In Islam, to treat anything created as partner of God is treated as a grave sin.

[www.google.com]

Quote

This is a kind of major shirk which puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Or such as those who make fun of religion or who liken Allaah to His creation, or say that there is another creator, provider or controller besides Allaah. All of these are major shirk and a grave sin that is not forgiven.


[shaikhsohail.wordpress.com]

[www.islamicity.com]

Ibn Arabi is cited as having referred to astrology, but his was a later
version of Sufism, highly theosophical, and other Sufis did not always agree that he was reliable.

A Sufi should never become slavishly dependent on any human person, no matter
how charismatic, as an intermediary with God.

Too great an emphasis on a leader's alleged psychic abilities risks
distraction from God, and becoming anxiously dependent.

Worse, psychic abilities may result from a quite mundane overlapping of
subconscious processes - a phenomenon known to psychoanalysts described
as intersubjectivity.

An alleged seer may have no gifts from God at all, merely well developed charisma. Even a rascal can have charisma.

* A fortune teller may have learned how to cold read people.

[www.google.com]

Cold reading technique is so effective that it is listed as
part of a skill repertoire for PUAs - Pick Up Artists -- what Lenonard
Cohen refers to as 'head hunters.'

[www.google.com]

* A fortune teller may be told background information about a client
prior to the interview and then pretend that knowledge was gained through
psychic means, when gossip is the actual source.

In tragic cases a master may in old age be flattered and fooled by a rascal
and appoint that scamp as a successor.

Anyone claiming to be sufi, who relies on an astrologer to determine whether
an aspirant is fit for initiation should be fact checked.

Worse, that alleged sufi leader may be working in tandem with the astrologer;
the subject may trustfully disclose misgivings to the fortune teller and
the fortune teller may then rat them out to the alleged sufi leader.

If a fortune teller refers you to some alleged Sufi leader, the two of them
may also be working in collusion.

Remember, people often disclose intimate matters to a fortune teller, such as money matters, health, relationship worries or confess anxiety about past
crimes.

The fortune teller is thus in a position to learn who is wealthy or likely to become so, through inheritance -- and thus worth cultivating, and who is
rebellious and thus to be kept on for awhile and then booted from the group after he or she has outlasted usefulness.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2015 06:48PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 22, 2015 06:27PM

Giving expensive gold rings is not a true sufi practice. The Sufis got their name from wearing wool, not gold.

Later, their characteristic garb was some sort of patchwork robe or coat (khirqa).

If you're in some set up where certain members wear special gold rings,
dare wonder if the inspiration comes from a non sufi source, such as Tolkien
or Freemasonry.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

In the Tolkien system the ring of power is a gold band; subject rings have
colored gemstones.

Quote

.."the “sigil” design is not “topped” by the One Ring. The One is the plain band surrounding the Eye. The jewelled ring being drawn towards it through the flames is one of the other, subject rings – which makes the whole design even more meaningful.

[www.openculture.com]

Lower rankers would wear cheaper rings, those yet lower would wear generic items purchasable through a catalogue.

That sort of thing engenders envy and mystique -- which inflame ego, and form a hindrance to spiritual practice.

Its also a child's fantasy, rather an adults' way of life.

More seriously, someone calling him or herself sufi, yet utilizing this sort of material is a type who will whimsically select other material -- ensuring
that devotees must rush to keep up.

Any set up where a leader and that leader's fluctuating moods and shifting enthusiasms are the sole referent is a group stranded in a boat at sea, with a delirious captain, no map, no radio, no compass, and no view of the North Star.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2015 06:36PM by corboy.

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"Others Have to Call You That"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 07, 2015 06:40PM

A contemporary example of Sufi praxis in its full context.

"You cannot label yourself as Sufi. Others have to call you that."


'Sufi is not a fad, it about purity of heart, passion & love'

The author has posted comments on this articlePriyanka Kachhava, TNN | Apr 15, 2015, 03.55AM IST


CHANDIGARH: Khadim Hussain Warsi - in his own words - is neither an artiste, nor a musician. He calls himself a messenger who has brought the Sufi message from across the border. Serving at the Darbar Waris Shah, where he has been living and devoting his time as caretaker khidmatgar since 1996, Warsi says Sufi is not for everyone.

"It's almost a fad - as much in Europe, where you can find long haired, bead-wearing foreigners smoking pot and wearing their hair long, as in India of Pakistan. That's not what Sufism is all about. It is about selflessness, genuineness, purity of heart, speech and thought. It is passion and love," said the 50-year-old singer.

Warsi was initiated into Waris Shah's Sufi kalaams at the tender age of 14, when most of his peers spent time playing in the field. His father, who used to read the kalaams, asked him to recite them. "That is how it started. Over the years, I understood the depth and meaning of his words," he said.


Warsi adds with a smile, "I was the most useless student in my class and I couldn't pass Class VII! Not even class VII," he repeats. Despite being the most "nalayak" student, he says, the supposedly 'bright' students - PhD Punjabi scholars - are now his students.

Besides Heer by Waris Shah, Warsi performs Sufi Kalaam of Baba Bulley Shah, Sultan Bahu and Mohammad Bakhsh. "They have the same message. Only the style and words are different," he adds.

Ahead of Tuesday's performance, Warsi said he couldn't tell what he was going to perform. "I don't decide. It just happens on stage - whatever comes to me and whatever the listener wants from me," he says.

The darbar's legacy was passed on to him by Hazrat Baba Rehmat Ali, who was the former caretaker and his mentor. Warsi set up the Syed Waris Shah Foundation, which was earlier known as the Bazm-e-Kalam-e-Waris Shah.

The foundation, which works towards helping girls from weaker sections get married, besides conducting other activities, also has patrons like Gurdas Mann this side of the border.

The foundation has been trying to host the two century old annual dargah fair in India. "The fair has been taking place for 217 years in district Shekhupura, where the dargah is situated. I think it will be a reality in India this year," he says.

Coming back to the fashion of Sufi, after mentioning that he only likes Gurdas Mann's music in Punjab, he says, "You cannot label yourself as Sufi. Others have to call you that."

The performance, "Paigham-e-Mohabbat", by Warsi and his group was organized by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi and Heritage, Mohali at Tagore Theatre on Tuesday evening.

Rajasthani roots

Coming from a tribal community that produced singers like Reshma and Naseebo Lal, Shama Lal has performed in countries across the world. She performed with Khadim Hussain Warsi in Chandigarh, accompanied by musicians Mohammad Riaz (tabla) and Aamir Sultan (tabla), who also come from the same family. They are carrying forward the legacy of folk music that traces its roots in Rajasthan. Lal even surprises the audience when the group starts performing 'Kesariya Balam', the famous Rajasthani folk song.

"We perform all kinds of music - even ghazals, songs, Punjabi or Sufi music - whatever the audience wants, but we haven't forgotten our music. It is very much sound and people still love it," Lal says. "People are well educated and well-read these days. They know a lot about music and really appreciate it. We get more appreciation on this side of the border - whatever the reason may be," said Riaz.[/quote]

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

The Prophet Mohammed's night-journey(Ishra) to and ascent (Miaj) to Paradise is an important theme in Sufism.

[www.google.com]

Quran 17 Al-Isra

[quran.com]

So if evaluating a group going by the sufi name, use discernment.

It is not all white marble, white clothing, gold, nor is it all white and yellow roses.

That journey was made not by light but in the darkness of night.

Nothing said about Mohammed going to heaven in a Mercedes-Benz whilst
wearing gold jewelry.

Why?

Gold and glory mean nothing in darkness.

Confining Sufism to white and cold, white toothed smiles and daylight - that
censors life's fullness.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2015 07:00PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 08, 2015 06:06AM

Sarraj - a list of fallacies

[books.google.com]

[books.google.com]

Sufism: The Formative Period By Ahmet T. Karamustafa pp. 159--160


Sarraj who died in the late 10th century (About seventy seven years before
the Battle of Hastings) gives this list.

Quote

"...Sarraj (died 989 C.E.gave a full listing..in the 'Book of Errors' in his Light Flashes(Kitab al-luma'fi 't-tasawwuf) under the heading "On those who erred in fundamentals and were led
to misbelief'.

These included the following:

1) Those who thought that once mystics reached God they should be called 'free' instead of Godservants.

2)A group of Iraqis who thought that God's servant could
not achieve true sincerity unless he ceased to pay attention to how others viewed him and who thus preceded to ignore social norms in his actions, whether these were right or wrong

3)Those who placed sainthood above prophecy on account of their baseless
interpretation of the Quranic story of Moses and Khidr.

4)Those who argued that all things were permitted and that prohibition only applied to taking license with someone else's property

5)Those who believed in divine inherence in a person.

6)Those who understood fana (passing away) as the passing away of human nature.

7) A group in Syria and a group in Basra (abd al Wahid ibn Zayd is named)who believed in a vision of God with a heart in this world.

8) Those who believed they were permanently and perfectly pure

9)Those who believed their hearts contained divine lights that were uncreated

10) Those who sought to avert blame from themselves when they incurred the punishments laid down in the Quran and violated the custom of the Prophet by
arguing they were compelled by God in all their actions

11)Those who surmised that their closeness to God exempted them from
observing the same etiquette that they followed prior to achieving proximity with the Divine

12) A group in Baghdad who thought that in passing away from their own
qualities they had entered God's qualities.

13) A group in Iraq who claimed to lose all their senses in ecstacy
and thus to transcend sensory phenomena

14) Those who erred in their beliefs concerning the spirit (ruh)
with many versions of this error listed, most noteably the belief
in the uncreatedness of the spirit and the transmigration of spirits.

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How to tell if your Sufi group or teacher is cultic
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 11, 2015 06:08PM

How to Test a Lodge or Sect or Tariqa

It might be asserted that one must be a servant of others in order to burn off one's bad karma or sanskaras and thus learn to serve God.

Please consider that most Westerners who are spiritual aspirants tend to be kind people. Very few become aspirants because they have had happy, joyous lives. Most have already endured a lot of hardship that has led us to ask
big questions about God, justice, why so many suffer.

And, just to earn a living and pay rent, many of us already submit our egos just to get jobs and then stay employed. At work we submit to the whims of others. We already struggle to stay sane - or at least stay courteous -- when in gridlock on the freeway.

We clam up when someone loud and confrontational shoves through the subway car and tries to start a fight. Or when an intimidating group sit in the back, turn up their boom boxes and scream greetings and cuss words out the windows at friends.

There is already a shameful wealth and privilege gap between the upper 1% and the rest of us - gap that is growing larger by the day.

Ask yourself if this Sufi lodge you so want to join could be a replica of the unjust society and economy that is already mauls and coarsens you. You have every right to find out their actual stance on money, property and prestige before you risk your own privacy.

And, if you should by some remarkable fluke, happen to have access, whether earned or inherited, to money and privilege, subjecting yourself to humiliation and abuse will not equip you to handle your resources benevolently.

Please note a group may seem uninterested in your money or social background. But they may do this to reassure you. Some gurus have been known to refuse offers from wealthy disciples, making sure this is done publicly so that stories are told of this. But later, that same guru will find ways for wealthy disciples to give support. But -- it is always the gurus initial refusal of large sums of money that will be remembered and talked about.

Look around. If you see expensive buildings and gardens, perfect complexions, elegant clothes, perfect hairdos and perfect teeth -- the guru or sheikh is getting support, no matter how many tales are told of Lady Poverty.

If you are tricked and conned into giving your wealth to an oppressive leader and hierarchy, that will assist the lodge or tariqa to extend the oppression yet further. Your prestigious presence might make a
a covertly exploitative fiefdom appear attractive and benevolent.

Before joining any group or sect, find out its actual history. Do not
go by what you are told in its approved literature. Get outside sources.
Find out how the ordinary members are treated. Find out if anyone has left this lodge or tariqua, how they were treated before and after they left.

Do your reading outside of the literature published by the sect. They may
be using literature that is based on out of date sources.

Do some research and find out if there are any other sects besides this one. You have the right as a citizen, as a human being, to do this. You show respect for your own life, your own dignity as a human person, by doing this. .

If you profess Islam you
have a special responsibility to see that a lodge will make you a better Muslim and help you serve the entire Muslim community, not cause you to
isolate from the larger community and merely be an inmate of the lodge and just one more servant to its living leader.

Conversion to a sect is similar in some ways to dating someone.

If you know or suspect you have grown up in a secret ridden
family, you will re-enact your suffering if you unknowingly enter
a church or lodge that is full of its own 'family secrets.'

The vibe may feel homelike and familiar, but that is because it
matches the unconscious landscape of your internalized taboos.

Begin by finding out who its leaders have been. All of them. If there
are gaps in the leadership record, find out why. Was a leader kicked
out in disgrace and then scrubbed from the group history?

Was a genuinely wise and saintly candidate rejected for succession with an egregiously unfit person being chosen as sheikh?

What properties does the group actually own? Do these have unnecessarily
expensive features that could be a drain on resources, both financial and human? If you are expected to give substantial donations of time and money,
ask if you want to be care taker of a vanity palace. The earliest proto -Sufis were Islamic renunciates who were troubled by the urban wealth of the Abbasid Caliphate. (Sufism: A Global History 2012 by Nile Green and Sufism: The Formative Period2007 by Ahmet T Karamustafa)

A further consideration if you are expected to give donated labor (aka 'sweat equity" -- suppose you sustain an injury while doing this? Twist an ankle while
taking care of the lodge garden, skid on a marble pavement while rushing to do something or other. How is your medical care going to be paid for? How will this affect your outside job? Who will take care of you if you have trouble managing a cast, getting in and out of your shower?

If you are expected to pay for any injuries you sustain while donating labor to care for a lodge's property, and that property just happens to be large and especially if that property is luxurious and high maintainance, ask what this has to do with love and with God?

Meanwhile, find out if the group has a governing board. Are family members of
former Masters members of that board? If so, ask if these DNA board members have access to the group's finances and if so, whether their use of group funds
is transparent, or kept a secret. Is board membership electoral by all members? Or is it a closed shop? Find out which.

Are disciples expected to give free labor to take care of houses, gardens belonging to board members and relatives of former Masters? Drive them to the airport? Run errands? Give them haircuts? Do their laundry?

Do these board members and relatives of former Masters get fancy lodging in buildings belonging to the tariqua? Are disciples expected to wait on them, cook for them, be servants?

Your time and life are valuable. You don't know how much longer you have to live.

You deserve to know if by entering a lodge, you are serving God, or being
conned into becoming wait staff for a bunch of people who, merely by getting there first, or by sheer luck of DNA are high rankers.

Two, what if you go on to marry and have children while in this tariqa or lodge?

You want your kids to grow up in a situation uncluttered by secrecy, where
any disputes about money property and prestige are honestly and openly
documented and discussed, rather than being unspoken secrets.


What if you've been told that the sect is the only one of its kind, and you do independent research and learn that the sect is actually a splinter group that
split off from an older sect.

What was the history behind this quarrel? A dispute over money, property, prestige? Concern that leadership was going in an increasingly dictatorial
direction? Board membership becoming a closed corporation based on wealth rather than merit?

A sect that fails to disclose its full history makes it impossible for us to make a fully informed decision whether to join -- or to remain a member.

A disciple has the *right* to test a teacher or group by doing these things.

Why?

First, because discernment is important when assessing spiritual matters.

All too often a teacher or group may be on best behavior when courting you, and during the early stages of your participation.

(Honeymoon phase)

Doing this kind of research is not negativity. It is respect for yourself
and based on humble knowledge of your vulnerabilities, the ways you know you are malleable. Recognition of your specific areas of vulnerability is actually the best form of personal empowerment. Knowing where you are "For Sale." .

Disagree. Do Take breaks. Do research.

Especially if they expect you to report to a minder or mentor.

If you are worried about a a friend or family member, ask,

"How do they treat former members?

"How do they react when you disagree?

"Have you ever voiced a disagreement---and have refused to back down?"

If your friend or relative gets upset with you, or goes chilly, all you
can do is say, "If you feel this way now, you may feel much more this way
later on.

"You can always call me."

Another test -- and a good test.

"I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."

H.D. Thoreau

"Beware any sect or group if you cannot tolerate their taste in clothing, visual arts, music, decor."

Corboy

Ask yourself if you actually **like** the aesthetics of a group or sect.

Especially if this is a situation in which you may spend years of your life.

Be honest and own recognize what you actually enjoy and what aesthetics turn you off or make you squirm. This is a link to your true self.

Ignore any claim that you should be 'tolerant' and subject yourself to an aesthetic environment and dress code that you just cannot stand.

If you detest the aesthetics of a sect, you will vandalize your inner life.

Remember, you have to tolerate a lot of annoying stuff if you share work space and make allowances if your kids adore art or cartoons that you just don't like.

Society pressures us to accommodate. Don't sell out your actual likes and dislikes when it comes to art, clothing, interior decoration. .

(BTW: Never, ever select a dog or cat or other pet based on dictates of a guru or sect. Never get rid of a beloved animal if some guru pushes at you to do so.) Suppose you get a new Master who happens to be allergic to animals?

Will you give your beloved pet away to accommodate this person?

If you are repeatedly invited to their events or orientations and you
notice a uniformity of dress or favored color, wear something out of kilter, or slightly out of kilter. If they all seem to favor white, beige, or pale 'ethereal' shades of colors, wear darker versions of those same colors or a different color altogether.

You want to find out how they treat dissidents now, not after you have been in for years at a time.


The old stories are replete with examples of teachers testing the disciples' loyalty.

IMO, the testing process should be reciprocal and remain that way.

So long as you are docile and go with the flow, you can never learn
whether love is genuine or just theatre, whether the smiles are genuine or
just cosmetic.

Here's how to do it. Or have your friend do it.

If they try to talk you out of it, run guilt trips, give you hell when you return -- they want to own you.

If they spit out their tea and jump, when you mention what you learned
after doing outside reading on the groups' background -- you remain at your peril.

Better, far better to learn this early in the relationship than to discover this after ten plus years.

If you feel afraid to do any of this, this fear is a signal that something is amiss.

Being required to attend each and every meeting or class and being scolded, glared at, if you do not - that is beneath one's adult dignity.

So be concerned if you are expected to report to the equivalent of a probation officer. After all, you are most likely not a criminal; most American
spiritual seekers tend to be nice people.

(If you do have a heavy past, have done things you are now ashamed of,
be careful whom you take into confidence on these matters.

You do not want to make yourself vulnerable to shaming or blackmail.
Any group which demands total confession as part of
its initiation process should be regarded with caution.

(What if the guru's favorite minion (or teenaged son) sneaks into disciple files and reads your their intimate disclosures?)

So before you go too far into membership, demand to know about confidentiality and get it in writing.

Don't back down on this.


Finally, there is no reason for someone else to know about your finances or your sex life. Any set up that claims you must tell them about these matters
is robbing you of the inner privacy needed for true spiritual development.

Drug use should remain your own business, unless you are living in a
residence where house rules forbid ETOH or drugs on premises.

If a spiritual tradition forbids or discourages alcohol or drug use, disciples should be trusted to follow guidelines on their own without any need to submit to interrogation from mentors or the guru.

A genuine spiritual community will not keep files on members.

Signs of Emotional Inbreeding, Social Inbreeding and Loss of Autonomy

* Does nearly everyone have a similar psychological profile --such as being offspring of abusive or addicted families? It is all too easy to share the same
fear of conflict, and this can lead to a high degree of group submissiveness. This could be called 'emotional inbreeding.'

Social Inbreeding

* Member's children have the same small network of care providers and babysitters. This can make it difficult to entertain doubts or to leave. You've
become dependent on childcare provided within this community; your kids
are friends with other member's kids. All too easy to swallow one's
misgivings and stay in for the sake of these amenities.

* Instead of hiring outside help for gardening and house repair, members
get these services from other members. Its all convenient, but it can
serve to keep things secret. To leave the group means re-learning how
to take competitive bids for painters, contractors, etc.

* Similar décor in members' houses. Similar taste in music, similar
modes of dress.

* Most members consult the same small group of therapists, florists,
interior decorator, massage therapists.

* Members patronize the same small cluster of restaurants.

* Members socialize with each other and tend drop or distance from friends outside the group.

This close social support and mentoring may feel very sweet and nurturing at first. Like the bar at Cheers "where everybody knows your name."

But without a tight guarantee of confidentiality to ensure your privacy and autonomy, things can go off kilter.

Here are some fear and bondage tactics:

The leader has such a high rank in the cosmnos that he or she
is targeted by bad energies or malign forces and that doubts
and bad thoughts from disciples will make the leader sick. This can
replicate a small child's terror that bad thoughts make Mommy or
Daddy sick.

Allegations and hints that former members have all suffered misfortune.

A lengthy indoctrination period in which you are forbidden to take
breaks without permission. Makes sense during military basic training.
But -- boot camp takes place by schedule. There is a designated end - point
for basic training. Boot camp does not go on for ever.

(And, you can find out what happens in boot camp before you sign up. Plenty of veterans will gladly tell you all about it.)

And in the military, there is a Uniform Code of Military Justice - justice is supposed to take place by rule of law, not the egotistical whim or favoritism
of the commander.

Officers do not presume to know what
God wants or what is best for your soul. They tell you they're there to train your asses, not your souls.

In the armed forces, you choose your chaplain - or none at all.

But -- we are not talking about boot camp.

We are talking about spiritual growth that is compatible with citizen
autonomy.

These are questions consider right now instead of waiting ten or more years,
when you may be so embedded that you cannot get out. (As in getting married
within the group, having kids, then discovering you dare not leave for
fear of losing visitation of your children.)

Reasons to ID an end point for apprenticeship.

The period of submission to a minder may go on for so long that
you forget where the exit signs are. You become docile.

You risk becoming used to supervision.

This is analogous to what happens when women spend too much time in high heeled footwear. Without those spike heels, they find they cannot walk comfortably. That footwear gave them glamour yet robbed them of physical stability and mobility

Let us look at the effect that emotional and social inbreeding may have on you - you become compliant in ways you cannot easily recognized.

If you happen to be an adult child from an alcoholic family, you may
be adept at becoming a psychological chameleon, mimicking social context
but losing oneself in the process. If a large number of ACA's are recruited
into a sect, this chameleon phenomenon may be pervasive. Feels deeply intimate
but this is a matching of coping strategies, it is not true communion of soul.

Over time, you may
become accustomed to answering to someone and, without realizing it,
become submissive, become an inmate. You subconsciously avoid deeds and
reading matter that you sense your minder and sect friends would disapprove of.

Your first mentor may pass you on to a new mentor, and it may be framed as an honor, if that person has prestige in the group. But...you're still
answering to an authority figure, albeit a more prestigious one. .

Or, you may be punished by assignment to a less prestigious minder. You go
into a funk and become more eager to please and succeed in regaining approval.

You forget that you once lived quite competently without needing to answer to
someone.

Without a clearly designated end point where you graduate from needing a minder, months, then years go by. You risk becoming used to asking permission, answering to an authority figure. Worse, you risk becoming used to scolding, admonishment, and come to distrust your own judgment.

Over time, you may lose ability to enjoy being on your own. You may become
afraid of freedom.

Another way you may be trapped.

If you let yourself remain submissive to a minder, you maybe targeted
for subtle promotion -- you're invited or ordered to become a mentor to
someone newly arrived or a prospective recruit.

You're likely to feel flattered and also eager to please.

You continue to report to your own mentor, about your progress and your
behavior, and at the same time report on your own protégé.

Your genuine friendships with outsiders may, without your awareness,
be turned into recruitment. Your minder may ask you about these friends,
ask if they show any openness to spiritual matters. This is how
you may be shaped to become a recruiter.

Without realizing it, you have spent years adjusting to life in a network
of tightly monitored relationships. You lose ability to enjoy freedom.

You may even tell yourself this is good for you, that its character building.

Without realizing it, you've become an inmate in a set up where your
training was supposed to be time limited. You've forgotten where the exit
signs are. You've been kept busy, precisely so you will forget.

If writing letters is part of the group's practice, how will confidentiality
be maintained? Who will read your letters? Demand clear answers and a guarantee in writing. What happens to your letters when the present guru dies?

If you've written a lot of intimate letters to your mentor or the guru, you
may subconsciously feel afraid. You've given over a large part of yourself and
cannot stand to admit that you entrusted all these letters. You may shut down
doubts because you feel intolerable fear if you face that your letters are
now in the hands of people who may be unworthy of your love and trust. Your
letters, once so trustfully written, may contain disclosures that could
hurt people you know and love.

So, that is why one must ask questions about confidentiality at the start of
one's schooling.

So, after all that time answering to a minder, you forget you've not had a vacation by yourself and that you used to enjoy
a lot of things you've abandoned doing so as to adjust to this subtly
demanding, ever smiling group.

New scenario. Someone in the group goes out of line. Reveals secrets, or
aroused the Master's unconscious hangups.

You get called in. You are told to describe what you saw and heard X say and do. You may be asked who sympathizes with X.
You may be asked, even ordered to disclose what someone has said.

What if your report to a guru leads to punitive banishment/expulsion of
a group member who trusted you?

How are you going to live with that? Face your conscience, or stuff it
all and trust that Master Knows Best?

If you answer to minders, you may be trained, without even knowing it,
to become a henchman, even part of the surveillance network through
which a seemingly benign and loving group actually exerts inner
domination through submission, fear, erosion of boundaries and
autonomy.

Best to think about this now, and test what kind
of a society this is.

Ask yourself what is so freaking important that you must answer to someone
for a period of months and years with no clear finish point?

Most spiritual traditions allow for people to go home for holidays, with
no requirement to answer to the monastery or ashram, apart from being
expected to return by a set date.

Be wary if required to sign promises of multi incarnation contracts or non disclosure clauses on pain of damnation or rebirth in some hellish place.

So, be cautious about being required to accept supervision from someone
and especially if you must not only disclose your thoughts, your conversations, your reading, but especially if you must get
permission to take breaks or go out of town.

A more robust test is to take a break. After a few days out of town, send
a message that you're doing fine and that you had to take care of business.

Say nothing else.

If you catch flak, these are people who want to own you.

If your therapist happens to be a member of the group (bad sign -- that is a dual relationship, which is forbidden by professional ethics guidelines) -- if your therapist is a member of the group, don't even tell the therapist you are taking a break. He or she may try to talk you out of it.

Instead, give plenty of notice prior to the next appointment, state you'll be back, by X date, then ignore your phone and emails.

Then, see what they do to you. If you feel afraid to do this -- that in itself is a bad sign.

One only knows a relationship is toxic when one exercises autonomy - by disagreeing, by taking a break and not asking for permission to do so.

If they exile you or kick you out -- good.

You've dodged a toxic bullet.

A note on sufi colors and clothing.

Contrary to the modern stereotype, white is not an especially sufi color.
.
Rumi's Mevlevi Sufis wear white robes in their dances, but this order was wealthy and had brick and mortar lodges (tekes)-- and Rumi lived nearly two centuries after Hujwiri's time -- when very many Sufis and Sufi orders had become wealthy and supporters of the Establishment. White garments are only feasible if one has housing and laundry facilities.

Here is what Hujwiri in his 11th century manual on Sufi praxis (Kashf al-Mahjub )wrote. Hudjwiri gives many anecdotes which illustrate the range of clothing options, but most of the descriptions are of woolen and patched frocks, and that the travel costume was often blue.


"The Wearing of Patched Frocks"

[travel-culture.com]

"Now, as to their garments being mostly blue(kabud), one of the reasons is
that they have made wandering (siydhat) and travelling the foundation of their Path, and on journeys a white garment does not retain its original appearance, and besides, everyone covets it.

"Another cause is this, that a blue dress is the badge of the bereaved and afflicted, and the apparel of mourners, and this world is the abode of trouble, the pavilion of affliction, the den of sorrow, the house of parting, the cradle of tribulation......one wears blue for the death of a dear friend; another for the loss of a cherished hope."

*
So one could be whimsical and in modern idiom suggest that the sufi wanderers were "blue collar" workers in God's service.

Corboy. White garments are easily soiled and result in laundry expenses. It is a hardship to demand that workers use white uniforms unless both the company both pays for the uniform and the laundry costs.)

Full text of Nicholson's translation of Kashf al Madjub here:

[archive.org]

If anyone like this showed up at a white clothed gathering, would
they be recognized as salik -- or would someone call 911?

[www.khiva.info]

Later versions of the patched frock could be flamboyant.

[www.google.com]

[www.google.com]

Down to basics:
Quote

Sufism is part of the Orthodoxy and is not distinct from it, it is the heart of Islam. Haqiqah and Shariah come together, they both go hand-in-hand. There is no tasawuff without laws, nor there is any merit in adopting the laws without tasawuff. This video tries to show that the likes of our masters Jalaluddeen ar Rumi, expressed the non significance of Shariah, which is a distortion of what he truely meant from his proses/poetry.

Jalaluddin Ar Rumi spoke of haqiqah and shariah in such terms ," To be a real Sufi, is to be to the Prophet Muhammad sallahu aliye wasalam just as Abu Bakr was to him, peace be upon him."

Shaykh al-Akbar Muhiyuddeen Ibn Arabi mentions,"When we see someone in this Community who claims to be able to guide others to Allah, but is remiss in but one rule of the Sacred Law - even if he manifests miracles that stagger the mind - asserting that his shortcoming is a special dispensation for him, we do not even turn to look at him, for such a person is not a sheikh, nor is he speaking the truth, for no one is entrusted with the secrets of Allah Most High save one in whom the ordinances of the Sacred Law are preserved "

[www.sunniforum.com]

Corboy: If a group calls itself sufi but actually spends most of its effort teaching members about reincarnation and dares offer therapies on past life regression, please wait.

Instead, look up some professors of Islamic and Sufi studies at reputable universities.

Ask them if this stuff has anything to do with sufism and tassawuf.

If you are going to spend money, attention and years of your life,
at least give it to a genuine tradition, not a jumble sale of
doctrines thrown together at someone's fluctuating whim.

The last thing you need is to become one more member of some guru's private
court, one more purveyor of emotional supplies to a guru who is an imaginary monarch at some gimcrack Versailles or Petit Trianon.



Edited 21 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2015 05:16PM by corboy.

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A reminder for this day, 9-11
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 11, 2015 05:20PM

The real heroes took action in spite of it all.

They didn't dress in white and hide out in a lodge and
engage in fantasies about deflecting astral forces.


[forum.culteducation.com]

And, not all Sufis dress in white.

[www.razaqvance.com]

[www.google.com]

[www.google.com]

[www.aljazeera.com]

Suppose these fellows appeared at an upper middle class lodge in the US.

Imagine the reaction.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2015 06:10PM by corboy.

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Beloved or Serial Psycho Arsonist
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 18, 2015 09:43PM

Beloved: Servant of God or Covert Pick Up Artist?

It is very important to ask yourself if you feel able at all times
to discuss your sect membership and beliefs with friends who are
outside of the sect, as well as with family members who love you though
they do not agree with the sect's dogma.

For what is important is that you remember at all times that it is possible
to love without sharing the sect's dogma.

Once you are influenced to equate the group and Master with Love Itself -- that is, when sign and symbol are equated: boundaries, both intellectual and emotional collapse.

Without being conscious of it, you risk being led to believe there is no love, possible outside the group, no life possible outside the group, no happiness outside the group.

That is when the distinction between inside and outside vanish. Exit' signs vanish. Anything or anyone outside of the group or opposed to the group equals psycho-death. You may feel blissful, but you're actually trapped.

That is why one must never let go of friends and family who are outside of the group and who know you and love you.

Don't drop your friends, don't vanish on them, just because you're
so in love you think you can't survive unless you're with your lover
24-7.

Suppose you and your Perfect Lover get married. If you've dropped all your
friends and alienated your family, who will show up at the wedding?

What if you discover your Perfect Lover is not the type who is reliable in
a long term partnership?

Who can you talk with?

You'll have to go through a lot of effort to re-build bridges with the buddies
you dropped.

Stay involved with your friends if you are in a love affair, and you'll
actually be more secure, feel more secure. It will take a lot of pressure off
of your lover, too.

If you have a longing for Quest, for a guru, a longing for Magic -
recognize this about yourself.

Make sure you can share this side of yourself with friends and family, especially the ones who do not share your passion, but can respect it. You
want preserve ties to people who have known you long term.

Because these are the people who can tell you whether you're staying grounded.

They can tell you if you're looking nervous, scared, off kilter.

And, they will be able to share concerns and stick to their guns, even if you
yell at them.

In India it is not at all unusual to give devotion to and bow to a Sheikh, a Pir or a guru.

In the US and UK, this is still regarded as unusual, and often meets with
jokes, or worse.

If you fear your family or friends would laugh at the guru who is your newfound source of hope, you may be tempted to keep it all a secret. To protect your newfound happiness by concealing it from family members and friends whom you fear would not understand, and worse, might ridicule you.

This resembles how many will hide their lover if they dread their families
would disapprove. One may even feel one's new religion and guru are one's secret
True Love, to be kept secret from those who do not understand.

The hazard is - you may find yourself isolated with no one to confide in
life you later have doubts about the same guru or group that has brought you
this early hope.

A person who genuinely loves you, whether it is a mere human being, or someone
named a guru, sheikh, pir, or Master -- a person who genuinely loves you
will want your freedom and not demand your surrender.

A person who loves you doesn't love you in isolation - that person wants
you to stay connected to all your sources of strength and that means your
friends and family.

A true lover will not want to isolate you and will not monopolize your time and energy and will NOT want you to drift away or drop friends and family.

A true lover will want you to be free and will not demand you become a
slave.

A true lover will not demand your servitude.

(To see what slavery has done, look at the history of your African American sisters and brothers.

If you become a guru's slave, what will happen to your
children??

Their children's children?)


And your true lover will want your friends and family to remain free. . He or she will not try to charm them or turn them into allies.

You want to keep ties, literally keep in touch with your friends and family members.

For what if your Beloved turns out to be a pick up artist?

A person who is merely a psycho - pyromaniac -- a serial arsonist who
sends people not to god but sends human hearts to the burn ward.

Someone who does not love you, but who is aroused by the sound of his or her own promises?

Who can you phone if you wake up in the burn ward?

There you are, your heart on the burn ward. Even if friends and family visit . they cannot help and heal you unless you give the full name of the pyromaniac who used your heart for fuel. If you hide the name of this person from your friends, that secret keeping will keep you trapped.

If you've risked disgrace and rejection from family, you may do all you
can to tell yourself that you are not actually harmed, not actually going septic, that you Beloved is not actually a typical firebug, seeing only him or herself, and never saw you as a person at all.

This is too hideous for must suffering people, so all too often they
will say this is merely a test for them.

You tell yourself the long list of tragic lovers
in history and myth. Anything to avoid the horror of recognizing that your heart was burned not by God, but by the spiritual equivalent of a pick up artist who gets thrills from his or her own words.

You may settle for the rest of life being spent in white bandages, with other burn casualties, also in white bandages, flowers at your bedsides.

Rather than admit you're harmed, you go looking for people to coax into your
betrayer's arms.

All so you can tell yourself that you are not septic but blessed and that others need this blessing too.

You avoid telling anyone who is an outsider, who would not understand Grand
Passion, anyone you fear would warn you, beg you to escape.

You avoid anyone you even suspect would say, "You're not blessed. You've been
harmed."

You feel passionate, hopeful, emotionally invested in your membership
and participation.

Your new friends in the ashram - burn ward will share your excitement. Some may
or may not tell you to keep your commitment to yourself and not
inform outside friends and family members until "they are ready".

Over time, this may lead to your keeping more and more secrets
from those people who knew you and knew who you were before you got involved with the sect and its feverish life.

You apply ever more expensive
ointment to your unhealed and septic burns.

You unwind and rewind each other's white bandages, telling yourselves it is a lover's discipline.

Suppose on advice (spoken or unspoken) from the guru and other disciples, you change how you decorate your house. You no longer meet your old friends
on a particular day because its a special day you have to spend by yourself.

You fear your family or friends might get worried if you admitted
to them that you did this on advice or on orders from your guru.

You conceal you are spending more time at the lodge or ashram and that you're
no longer involved with activities you used to enjoy. You hide that you
are no longer see your fishing buddies. If you run into them, you mutter you
have responsibilities elsewhere or let them think you're dealing with an
aging relative.

You cringe when you imagine the following:

"What? You actually allow some guru to influence your choice of interior décor?

"You didn't used to be this way."

"But you didn't even like this kind of décor. This isn't you".


Rather than admit that your pals and family members might have a valid point and that (important!) you yourself have misgivings, instead, you may
decide to entertain your outside friends and relatives at a café or restaurant
and you stop bringing them to your home. That way, you avoid them seeing
that you've changed your décor, have added guru pictures to your walls, and
by doing this, you dodge awkward questions.

Or you may let them notice you've changed your household décor, but you
make it seem it was your free choice.

You may go through a phase of hiding guru pictures before visitors arrive. You
hope that later on they will be more receptive, that they will someday
understand what True Love is all about.

Over time, you may find it easier to see those outside friends less often.

All this is a subtle pattern of incremental secret keeping.

Hiding.

You prefer to see yourself as a Lover rather than as a suffering human being
who is getting exhausted by lying to oneself and others. Who wants out but cannot admit it.

Rather than feel any misgivings, you spend more and more time with devotees and less time with friends who knew you before you got involved with the ashram.

After all, there is always something to do.

Path's swept. Ponds to be skimmed, plants tended to, meeting rooms tidied
and new flower arrangements. Always something more to do.

In extreme cases, one may decide that since so much time is being spent
socializing with sect affiliated friends that it makes sense to
relocate and move to an address that is closer to the ashram.

But all that time spent disavowing that we are avoiding old friends
accustoms us to living with tension and unease.

Then, after we spend most or all our time in sect related activities,
a new unease replaces the earlier one -- instead of ridicule from
outsiders, we come to fear the disapproval of the only friends
we have left -- the ones in the ashram.

But, one can get out.

But one has to dare question the romance of it all.



Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2015 03:54PM by corboy.

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