“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know….

Nothing ever goes away until Pema Chodron

“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know….

…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion.

perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched.

maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast.

but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive.

it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”

― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi 1165 -1240AD

Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi 1165 -1240AD http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/ibnarabi.html

Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad b. ‘Ali Ibn ‘Arabi is one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. Known as Muhyiddin (the Revivifier of Religion) and the Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master), he was born in 1165 AD into the Moorish culture of Andalusian Spain, the centre of an extraordinary flourishing and cross-fertilization of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought, through which the major scientific and philosophical works of antiquity were transmitted to Northern Europe. Ibn ‘Arabi’s spiritual attainments were evident from an early age, and he was renowned for his great visionary capacity as well as being a superlative teacher. He travelled extensively in the Islamic world and died in Damascus in 1240 AD.

He wrote over 350 works including the Fusûs al-Hikam, an exposition of the inner meaning of the wisdom of the prophets in the Judaic/ Christian/ Islamic line, and the Futûhât al-Makkiyya, a vast encyclopaedia of spiritual knowledge which unites and distinguishes the three strands of tradition, reason and mystical insight. In his Diwân and Tarjumân al-Ashwâq he also wrote some of the finest poetry in the Arabic language. These extensive writings provide a beautiful exposition of the Unity of Being, the single and indivisible reality which simultaneously transcends and is manifested in all the images of the world. Ibn ‘Arabi shows how Man, in perfection, is the complete image of this reality and how those who truly know their essential self, know God.

Firmly rooted in the Quran, his work is universal, accepting that each person has a unique path to the truth, which unites all paths in itself. He has profoundly influenced the development of Islam since his time, as well as significant aspects of the philosophy and literature of the West. His wisdom has much to offer us in the modern world in terms of understanding what it means to be human.

If the believer understood the meaning of the saying ‘the colour of the water is the colour of the receptacle’, he would admit the validity of all beliefs and he would recognise God in every form and every object of faith.

Ibn ‘Arabi, Fusûs al-Hikam

Articles in this section:
A good introduction to Ibn ‘Arabi is Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi: The Treasure of Compassion by Stephen Hirtenstein. – http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/treasureofcompassion.html

There is more detailed information about the life of Ibn ‘Arabi on the web site of Anqa Publishing.

Four key articles for understanding interfaith as inter-spirituality

1) Best introduction – https://universalistspirit.wordpress.com/about/extracts-from-interspirituality-bridging-the-religious-and-spiritual-traditions-of-the-world-by-william-keepin/

NB the whole of the book in which Keepin’s superb piece is free online HERE – http://www.satyana.org/pdf/SongoftheEartheBook.pdf

2) Mysticism as the Crossing of Ultimate Boundaries – by Wayne Teasdale – http://csp.org/experience/docs/teasdale-mysticism.html

3) The Mystical Core of Organized Religion – David Steindl-Rast – http://csp.org/experience/docs/steindl-mystical.html

4) Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy is HERE – https://archive.org/stream/perennialphilosp035505mbp#page/n5/mode/2up

You might also enjoy

Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (Translation of Bhagavad-Gita by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood.) by Aldous Huxley – http://parvati.tripod.com/perennial.html

TAGS: Aldous Huxley, interspirituality, Perennial Philosophy, inter-spirituality, interfaith, interfaith as inter-spirituality, Mysticism as the Crossing of Ultimate Boundaries, Wayne Teasdale, William Keepin, The Mystical Core of Organized Religion, David Steindl-Rast,

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I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery. – Aldous Huxley – Those Barren Leaves (1925). – cf –

Who are our enemies this week? The enemy of self?

I came across this extract from George Orwell’s 1984

Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
Orwell, George. 1984. – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

RP At our worst we define our self from those we hate and those who govern often manipulate by giving us a new hate target. At least one UK newspaper sells on the premise that most of the public cannot fail to respond to daily tut-tutting which is low-level hatred.

The answer to the question of the title is the same as last week and the one before – ‘The only enemy is the enemy of self’

Susan gammage on this subject starts an article with;

‘Abdu’l-Baha talks about seven material ideas and worldly thoughts which attract man to the centre of self. These seven “invisible enemies” prevents us from ascending to the realms of holi­ness and imprison us in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. These seven are:

Anger
Passion
Ignorance
Prejudice
Greed
Envy
Covetousness
Jeal­ousy
Suspicion

Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the centre of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jeal­ousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holi­ness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

What does surrendering to these enemies result in?

We’re prevented from ascending to the realms of holi­ness
We’re trapped in the claws of self and the cage of egotism.
Whenever we try to escape from one of these, we will unconsciously fall into hands of another
Let’s look at each one separately to see why ‘Abdu’l-Baha refers to them as enemies.

TO READ SUSAN’S article go to – http://susangammage.com/7-invisible-enemies-that-trap-us-in-the-prison-of-self