All that I have ever been is ‘knowing presence’ – Rupert Spira
Gnostic or irfanic knowing is a matter of God’s grace ie its a gift not an achievement. But practicing at-one-ment, i.e the non-dual, tunes you up to be prepared to receive the gifts when they come along – otherwise you might miss them!
Jesus and Nicodemus
…7 “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”…
Sufism is the attempt of the individual mystic to achieve union with the divine Beloved, the Absolute from which human beings are separated by their base selves.
It typically involves a regimen of at least moderate self-denial, regular prayers, supplications, and the recitation of spiritual formulas and the divine names, and group chanting and textual study.
Among the greatest of Sufis were Rabi`a of Baghdad, Junayd, al-Hallaj, Bayazid Bistami, al-Ghazali, Ibn al-`Arabi and Jalalu’d-Din Rumi.
`Irfan is a later, especially Iranian and Shi`ite tradition of mysticism that is more individualist and more metaphysically oriented than many of the formal Sufi orders in Sunnism. Great figures here include Mir Damad, Mulla Sadra, Muhsin Fayz Kashani, and Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’i.