We are All Members of One Human Family
Talking of oneness in the many. I talk of unity in diversity…I invented that as my saying 30 years ago…I wonder if we are either sourcing from the same source or…whether Llewellyn has come across my work!
Following on with my theme of The Infinite Breathes Me, this is an article which I am providing link to; which I found very interesting from a perspective of Islam. There is much more in this post, which if you are interested in more on breath including the correct and specified instructions as to how to read the Holy Qur’an…visit the link below.
The Universe of the Breath
And remember when thy Lord said
unto the angels:
Lot I am creating a mortal out of potter’s clay of black mud altered.
So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit . . .
The Qur’anic verse above reveals in a very condensed form the entire mystic relationship between Allah and His human creation. He says that He made the human being out of the elements and then breathed life into the body. The Qur’anic words used here are significant.
Allah uses the word nafas for His own breath, and He uses the word Ruh for His own soul. These same words are used to mean the human breath and human soul–confirming the fact that we are originally from Allah, of Allah, for Allah, and in the end will return to Allah.
Of all of the physical realities that have a bearing upon health, that which is least often considered in medicine and healing is the breath. The breath has the following important relations with health:
1. It is the agent upon which the divine permission (idhn) is borne.
2. Breath is responsible for conveying the divine attributes from the heart to the various centers of the mind, body, and soul.
3. Breath creates the equilibrium and harmony of the temperaments of the body.
4. Breath carries life-supporting elements from the exterior of the body to the interior physiological functions.
Breath is not synonymous with air, nor with oxygen. Breath is that which emerges from the divine origin and has as its essence the temperament of the celestial realms. Breath is a luminous substance, a ray of light; breath is the life force of Allah Himself!
Breath is the regulator of joy, sadness, delight, anger, jealousy, and other emotions. Both the quantity and quality of breath have a definite and direct effect upon human health. This is so because various physical events can alter or in a sense cover over the divine essence that is being conveyed on the breath. Industrial pollutants, alcoholic beverages, and various foods can all intermingle with the breath and disturb its intended purity of action.
All of these actions are changed by age, climate, and habits. An example will make this clear. When one experiences great depression, there is a weakening of the natural powers and a concentration of the breath. This concentration causes a violent aggregation of the breath, which consequently obliterates part of the natural heat and gives rise to an imbalance of coldness. Depending upon how prolonged the depression is, the cold imbalance can extend into one or many organs of the body, thus producing varying degrees of disease.
The emotions of dread and the effects associated with great and impending danger also dissipate the natural heat. Anger will cause an increase in the amount of yellow bile essence created. If the anger is sustained, the diseases associated with excess yellow bile will occur.
Therefore, medicines must be chosen for their effect on the breath and its temperament (or its altered temperament). This is why compound medicines are frequently used, to balance not only the physical symptoms but also the underlying temperaments of the physiological essences and the essences of the breath.
This is also why flower essences, in the form of attars, are so effective in producing cures. It is vital that they be given at the same time as medicines that strictly affect the physical symptoms. Flowers have the greatest capacity to rebalance the breath and the internal essential temperaments.
The breath is the nexus between our Creator and ourselves. The healing methods of the Sufis have placed more importance upon the breath than on any other factor of life.
I belong to the Beloved, I’ve seen the both worlds as One
Unity is what I sing, unity is what I speak
Unity is what I know, unity is what I seek
These are truly our words as Mystics…
Why think thus O men of piety
I have returned to sobriety
I am neither a Moslem nor a Hindu
I am not Christian, Zoroastrian, nor Jew
I am neither of the West nor the East
Not of the ocean, nor an earthly beast
I am neither a natural wonder
Nor from the stars yonder
Neither flesh of dust, nor wind inspire
Nor water in veins, nor made of fire
I am neither an earthly carpet, nor gems terrestrial
Nor am I confined to Creation, nor the Throne Celestial
Not of ancient promises, nor of future prophecy
Not of hellish anguish, nor of paradisic ecstasy
Neither the progeny of Adam, nor Eve
Nor of the world of heavenly make-believe
My place is the no-place
My image is without face
Neither of body nor the soul
I am of the Divine Whole.
I eliminated duality with joyous laughter
Saw the unity of here and the hereafter
Unity is what I sing, unity is what I speak
Unity is what I know, unity is what I seek
Intoxicated from the chalice of Love
I have lost both worlds below and above
Sole destiny that comes to me
In my whole life, even if once
Forgot His name even per chance
For that hour spent, for such moment
I’d give my life, and thus repent
Beloved Master, Shams-e Tabrizi
In this world with Love I’m so drunk
The path of Love isn’t easy
I am shipwrecked and must be sunk.
Followers may find a comment from a visitor from Alexandria, Egypt that just come in on my previous post [this morning] interesting…I carry on in peace.
Regular followers of my blog will know of my earliest experiences with Jesus Christ; graced to me before I was even aware of his name or the world around me, or Christianity and so on. I have pondered upon those following years of nightly teaching and companionship experiences and the ones that followed for many years and still do. I still do not have any comprehensive, educated understanding of what or why or how. Why me? Why was I given this? It was years before I could found a description of what my experiences of God were…because no one else I knew of, even the priests I spoke with had my experiences. It made for hard going as I tried to fit myself into the available cages of conformity. I was confirmed into the Church of England and literally experienced the receiving of the Holy Spirit, coming through my head and shooting through my entire body and out of my hands and feet in blinding blue light. I looked up and saw the Christ smiling at me, standing next to the priest. No-one else noticed a thing. I was confirmed into the Catholic Church, and as the priest anointed my forehead with the oil, I felt the familiar tingle of Sacred Presence, opened my eyes and saw the Christ smiling at me, in the inner circle with the priests. No one else felt a thing. I found myself spilling out of the rigid structural boxes of religious traditions…the rules and dictates all over the place. The priests could not answer me. I grew to know that look in their eyes when their theology let them down to answer the questions Christ had told me to ask of them. Each time I tried to slide in undercover to just satisfy my human urge to belong….Christ opened the door and set me free, bidding me to wander and listen to His call of and in my heart. These priests were wise men, Beloved of the Lord they were good men of faith…but their path was not the one Christ chose for me, though I longed for it to be.
I had an absolute unshakable knowing that all was One, that although we express things in different ways they are shades of the same wondrous tapestry and that we should be only celebrating our diversity in unity. There is but One God and we are all His children. Each of us is Beloved of God. Thus it makes no difference to me whether I am praising and praying to God in a mosque, in a church, in a field or in a prison cell. All these places are holy because a child of God carries within its heart the Sacred Presence, wherever it may go in life. The gift of the Sacred Presence lies within us where no man may harm it, steal it nor take it from us by deception and false words, deeds and actions. But-it can remain hidden within us, never fully operational if we do not activate it within ourselves of our own choice and Love. It is also visible outside of us in each living thing we see. It is in the rocks, the water, the deer of the forest, the mountain goat, the bear in its lair. The Sacred Presence, the Divine is everywhere we look, in everything we encounter, within and without…we just have to learn to open enough to recognize it. God is indeed in the last place we look…in everything right in front of our nose and every breath we take in, each gulp of air, every morsel of food, each drink of fresh clean water. Life is given by God, sustained by God…nothing exists except for its very existence within God.
The priests had a problem…what are you they said, are you Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Sufi? I am all of these and more I answer, all of these, none of these and more. I am a Child of God. Then I found the Sufi, the contemplative, the Mystics, the Hermits and I laughed…ah now I understand, now I am with those who know the ancient language. The anchorite enclosed for her life in her cell has more freedom than the worlds wildest adventurers, for there as she meets her Beloved under starlit canopies strewn with rose petals she travels on His wings of love across the world, to all destinations, sees all things, meets all people in her Beloved. Just as the shaman flies through the eagle to countries across the world, traversing physical time and space; seeing all things…so the mystic, the hermit, the contemplative travels through time and space, to the source of all things past, present and future. She dances the slow seductive dance of Sacred Presence with her Beloved and He shows her all things of which she may not speak.
The religious traditions have always had a bit of a problem with mystics, we are the “wild cards”, they are never quite sure of what we are going to come out with next…yet over time, all religions have followed their paths, so maybe a description could be “trendsetters”, the ones who travel the boundary lands first, the ones who escape from Plato’s cave and relate the sunshine and trees that lie beyond the blank wall, the majority are busy staring at. When mystics have finally given up on fitting in, they understand that each man and woman has a unique experience of God, thus no religion can express the whole of the divine mystery. There is thus no objective truth about God to which all must subscribe, since this God transcends the category of personality, predictions about His behavior and inclination is impossible. Any consequent chauvinism about others faith at the expense of other people’s is unacceptable, since no one religion has the whole truth. We see the universe as a theophany of God’s myriad Names.
This wonderful story that Rumi told expresses it well. Its named Moses and the Shepherd. He tells it to illustrate the respect we must show to other people’s conception of the divine.
One day Moses overheard a shepherd talking familiarly to God; he wanted to help God, wherever he was-to wash his clothes, pick the lice off, kiss his hands and feet at bedtime. ‘All I can say, remembering You’, the prayer concluded, ‘is ayyyy and ahhhhhh.’ Moses was horrified. Who on earth did the shepherd imagine he was talking to? The Creator of heaven and earth? It sounded like he was talking to his uncle! The shepherd repented and wandered disconsolately off into the desert but God rebuked Moses. He did not want orthodox words but burning love and humility. There were no correct ways of talking about or to God.
What seems wrong to you, is right for him
What is poison to one is honey to someone else.
Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship,
These mean nothing to Me.
I am apart from all that.
Ways of worshiping are not to be ranked as better
Or worse than any other.
Hindus do Hindu things.
The Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do.
It’s all praise, and its all right.
It’s not Me that’s glorified in acts of worship.
It’s the worshipers! I don’t hear the words they say.
I look inside at the humility.
That broken-open lowliness is the Reality,
Not the language! Forget phraseology.
I want burning, burning…
Be friends with your burning. Burn up your thinking and your forms of expression.
We are all One.
There is One God.
Let us celebrate our diversity in unity.
I just came across this very interesting statement. And this interesting article. Given the troubles at the moment in certain areas of the world which are gaining our attention, I thought this might interest you too. I like things that challenge my thinking and perceptions…and teach me something I did not know of before. And I had never come across this statement. I know of this one below, penned by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play, Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy.
True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!
Anyway here is the article:
Role of Knowledge and Science in Islamic Civilization
by Dr. Mohamed Elmasry
It is becoming more widely known that the first university of Europe was established in Spain by Muslims. But how many of us – whether academically inclined or not – know that university professors’ formal black gowns originated with the kaftan, the traditional outer robe worn by Arabic men since ancient times?
Six centuries before Christopher Columbus sailed westward to prove the earth was round (only to be “interrupted” by the New World!), Muslim mathematicians of Kufa in Iraq not only knew that our planet is a globe, but had also calculated its circumference with remarkable accuracy. It’s no wonder that Crusaders who trekked from Europe to the Holy Land to liberate it from “heathen” Muslims, returned home with many new lessons in civilization, as well as practical inventions and scientific insight.
From the eighth to the tenth centuries, Baghdad flourished as the world’s most civilized city. Its university was attended by 6,000 students from all over the world and it boasted an endowment equivalent to millions of dollars. Baghdad streets were also paved, drained by covered sewers, and illuminated – while pigs still roamed the dark and muddy streets of Medieval Paris. For some four centuries (roughly 700 through 1100 AD) Arabic — not Latin — was the international language of knowledge. During this Islamic “golden age,” many Christians studied this language and attended Muslim universities.
Aristotle and Plato were rediscovered by Muslim scholars who translated many Greek manuscripts into Arabic. They are the originators of modern chemistry, meteorology, mathematics, sociology, and geography. Muslim surgeons were also the first to dissect the human body, which was forbidden to Christians by the Church.
Muslims during this period had a renowned passion for intellectual and scientific pursuits; the first known telescope was built for a Muslim caliph.
Without the Arabic numbering system, which included decimals and the cipher (zero), modern science and business would be impossible.
Many of today’s finest cotton fabrics — including muslin, damask and cambric — originated with Muslim agriculturalists and artisans. And in tribute to Muslim metallurgy, Damascus swords and Toledo blades are still highly prized. Sugar, coffee, rice, cherries, citrus fruits and numerous other culinary delicacies and seasonings reached European (and ultimately, Western) tables because of Muslims.
One of the greatest contributions of Islam to the Western world was the art of papermaking, adapted and developed from techniques pioneered by the Chinese. Without good quality affordable paper, the spread of printing and the availability of books for universal education would have been impossible.
The duty of every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime brought together scholars from the most distant countries; thus, scientific knowledge spread rapidly and new discoveries were easily shared and exchanged throughout the Muslim world and beyond.
While Christian Europe was still enveloped in darkness, poverty and gloom, overshadowed by ecclesiastical intolerance, Muslims had established a highly advanced and sophisticated civilization that historians to this day have not satisfactorily explained. The Belgian-born American writer May Sarton, referring to Islam, said; “The creation of a new civilization of international and encyclopedic magnitude within less than two centuries is something that we can describe, but not completely explain … It was the most creative movement of the Middle Ages down to the thirteenth century.”
And while the Christian world dealt with those who dared to question established dogmas by burning them alive at the stake, Islam encouraged free thought and developed the rational experimental method, which is the foundation of modern science and philosophy. Before the Prophet Muhammad, people did not dare to conduct experiments, for fear of reprisal by evil spirits. Muhammad dealt a mortal blow to many false superstitions and elemental fears and helped to prepare human society for the great potential of scientific inquiry.
In one of his most memorable sayings on the subject, Prophet Muhammad affirmed that “the ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.” He taught Muslims that ignorance was humanity’s greatest poverty, that a mind without education is like a brave man without arms, and that knowledge brings people — irrespective of gender, age, race or religion — into the highest rank of human accomplishment.
The greatest Jewish treatise of the Middle Ages was written by Maimonides, not in Hebrew, but in Arabic. And in another example of interfaith engagement at that time, a Christian served as head of a college in Damascus.
Islam also developed its own distinct architecture, whose influence can be traced through India, to China, Africa, and Russia. While the Tartars transmitted Islamic culture and art to Russia, the Turks brought it to the Balkans, Austria, Poland, and Southern Germany. Bavarian native costumes, Hungarian rugs, and Prussian helmets still reveal their Islamic origins in design.
Christian Europe was admittedly slow in recognizing Islamic culture as the originating source of the Renaissance. But through the influence of Islamic scholarship, especially in Sicily and Spain, European civilization was transformed. “Let us compare the two civilizations,” said Seignobos in his Histoire de la Civilization au Moyen Age (History of Medieval civilization) “which in the eleventh century divided the Ancient World. In the West Ð miserable little cities, peasant’s huts and great fortresses – a country always troubled by war, where one could not travel ten leagues without running the risk of being robbed; and in the Orient – Constantinople, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad – all cities of the ÔArabian Nights,’ with their marble palaces, their workshops, their schools, their bazaars, their villages and with the incessant movement of merchants who traveled in peace from Spain to Persia.
There is no doubt that the [Muslim] and Byzantine worlds were richer, better policed, better lighted than the Western world. In the eleventh century, these two worlds began to become acquainted; the barbarous Christians came into contact with the civilized [Muslims] in two ways Ð by war and by commerce. And by contact with the Orientals the Occidentals became civilized.”
Today, it would seem that the civilizations of East and West, or the Muslim and non-Muslim world, have become reversed. But perhaps it is more a case of having forgotten those former glories in the pursuit of present-day material and political agendas. A re-discovery and renewed appreciation of Muslim accomplishments would benefit all of humanity, allowing us to see – and hopefully resolve — present conflicts within the wider spectrum of human history.
Dr. Mohamed Elmasry is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo and national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.