The possibility of escape from the imprisonment of our delusions about the nature of reality only exists in serious self-study and inner work.
The beginning point is to understand that there are two planes of existence. However far we go on one we will not reach the other. The centre of the life plane is the sense of “I”. The centre of the Spiritual plane is Oneness. Though our Teachers speak of being nothing (that is “without I”), we are all convinced we have it and attest to its reality. We cannot conceive what it would be like to be without “I”.
We often think we can arrange and do things in life as we like. Actually, we almost always act in ways that are most convenient for ourselves. We fail to realise that wherever there is pleasure there is also pain, for “every stick has two ends”. By rushing after what is easiest for us - in effect our pleasure - we must suffer the other end of the stick at some point. One law, which exists in spiritual undertakings, is that which one pays most for is most valuable.
We do not see the connection between things and live under the illusion that things are separate. Interchange of energies goes on without ceasing. We fail to realise that we ourselves are processes. We need to study ourselves to discover this. The person who is working on himself or herself realises that they are responsible in life. Every action or inaction has consequences and we cannot tell how serious these may be, hence the need for awareness and vigilance in what we do.
Only the study of our reactions can lead to significant results. Recurrence of experience depends on sameness of reactions. Where reactions are the same, life will be the same. Our real power lies in our capacity to change our reactions to what happens to us and only then does the possibility of change entering one’s life really exist.
The power of delusion lies in seeing things as being small, insignificant and lacking in connection. This outlook binds us to a certain quality of experience, a level at which we remain.
We fail to see processes and connections between things. That which happens depends on circumstances. Under one set of circumstances will be one set of happenings. Under another will be another kind. Because all things are processes and all things are connected.
In order to go anywhere you must have a fixed point of reference. In life we think we are moving somewhere, but this is for the most part an illusion. Most of us are moving like a mouse in a wheel.
The first characteristic of observing ourselves is that in this state we are no longer at the centre. We are no longer separate. Sitting in a room we are aware of the whole room, of ourselves as only one of the objects in it. Likewise we are aware of others and do not put ourselves above them or criticize or judge. This is the beginning of real love. In this state we have no self as we are usually aware of it. It is impossible to become or act negative, for the moment we do the state of witnessing and remembrance vanishes.
For consciousness, collection of the energy of attention is necessary. Attention is the oil in the lamp. Consciousness is the light. Where there is consciousness things are illuminated.
When we wish to move along a spiritual path we must decide which place we wish to leave and to which place we must go. For this we must study ourselves and come to know where we are. Then we need to act upon the guidance we are given from those who have reached the destination we seek. Endurance and adaptability are the two qualities we demand of the things we use. The same is necessary for us.
It takes time to change and great flexibility in our approach, and this is why endurance and adaptability are necessary.
All inner work begins with the control of attention. We must struggle with the wanderings of our minds and negative emotions. There is a specific place assigned to us in Creation, a destiny if you will, and it is almost certain that we are far from our ordained place.
Our Naqshbandi Sufi Way can help those who know their own nothingness; believe it is both necessary and possible to change; and, are ready to actively engage in the Guidance given to us by those who have escaped the prison and tyranny of the lower self.