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Archive for May, 2010

Mystic knowing in Islam has its source in the Qur’an. Similar to the Jewish and Christian traditions, the Qur’an speaks of our being created by God, being given a home in heaven, and emphasizes our reunion with God. The phrase, “Unto Him shall ye return,” is oft repeated in the Qur’an (10:4; 19:11; 29:57-58; 31:14). The legend of the Night Journey of the Prophet to Jerusalem, and his ascent from there through the seven heavens to God, is symbolic of this return, and has a veiled reference in the Qur’an (17:1). It has long been the purpose of the Sufis, in representing the mystical core of Islam, to experience and explain this journey back to God. The central Sufi doctrine of tawhid refers to union with God, as well as the oneness of God, and has to do with shedding attachments to the world.

Regardless of our own tradition or belief, connecting to our own divine nature, to our mystic core, is what will best help us to remember who we, where we came from, and where we are going. We all have our own Night Journey on this earthly plane, and it is not necessarily smooth sailing. Our existence here is made up of all kinds of challenges and struggles, each one key to uncovering the mystery of who and what we are. The important question is do we see the reason, purpose, or value, and yes, even the wisdom, in what vexes us.

A 31st way to review your life story – What is your Night Journey, and where has this taken you in your journey back to God? In recognition of Thomas Moore speaking in Maine this week, what struggles, losses, failures, and imperfections have lead you closer to the mystery of your soul? How have you learned to appreciate everything that you have been given that makes you the complex, mysterious being you are? What wisdom have you found in your most difficult moments? How have you given up – detached from – certain things you thought you needed? How have you learned to embrace both the highs and the lows, both the fullness and emptiness of your life? How have you cultivated an attitude of acceptance of all that your life is and isn’t?

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