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Except as permitted under !S! Copyright "aw# no part of this book may be reprinted# reproduced# transmitted# or uti$i%ed in any form by any e$ectronic# mechanica$# or other means# now known or hereafter in&ented# inc$uding photocopying# microfi$ming# and recording# or in any information storage or retrie&a$ system# without written permission from the pub$isher!
'his book is for tra&e$ers e&erywhere( )ighting i$$ness# suffering *nd straining to reach +igher! ,ay a $adder of "ight Be extended# $ifting you up# )ar beyond tears# pain and sadness! -SB
Religion may be compared To a great river that feeds the land. The river winds its way as a mighty force And smaller tributaries are formed To serve the distant regions. Some travelers are satisfied To drink of the smaller stream And forget they must travel The river to its Source. Beyond the river’s gate
The !cean is waiting. -SB
Note to Reader
First, I’d like to present a few thoughts on why I was inspired to write this book and share the messages contained here with a wider audience.
-n my $ife# - often beha&ed as if god$iness was next to id$eness! ,ost often - sought time away by myse$f to contemp$ate how spiritua$ - was! - tru$y be$ie&ed sa$&ation was to be found# away from others# meditating upon profound thoughts! *nd when - tra&e$ed a $itt$e further# - rea$i%ed .contemp$ating my na&e$/ was the antithesis of what the 0ath was about! *s Saadi taught# so many years ago# 1'he 0ath is in human ser&ice! -t is none other than this!2 'his is sti$$ true today! 3hen a hand is extended to he$p another# the human sou$ reaches toward the hea&ens! Ser&ice that is free of persona$ interest is one of the highest forms of human existence! *nd so - present this work as a form of ser&ice to my fe$$ow humans here on Earth# most of who are spiritua$ tra&e$ers# 4ust $ike me! And now, a few notes about the format of this book. In literary works readers have come to expect material to follow a basic, familiar structure. Usually this format includes the following
'he writing has a c$ear beginning# midd$e and end! 'he use of chapters a$$ows simi$ar materia$ to be grouped together 'here is a centra$ theme or set of ideas that is discernib$e# f$owing and de&e$oping through sections and chapters! 'hrough the writer/s expertise# the reader is brought to reach their own conc$usions rather than being to$d what the conc$usion shou$d be!
Spiritua$ writing often does not adhere to the structure described abo&e! 'his type of writing is designed to impact on an inner $e&e$# using a scatter approach and a different set of under$ying princip$es! -t works on a conscious# subconscious and spiritua$ $e&e$! Sometimes the synergy of understanding takes months or years to achie&e!
is di&ided into two sections! 0art - is a co$$ection of 55 6uestion and answers that co&er a range of spiritua$ topics! 0art -- presents stories# &erses# sayings and obser&ations that enrich this materia$! Co$$ecti&e$y# this writing exp$ores basic concerns that peop$e ha&e about the spiritua$ 4ourney and its connection to wor$d prob$ems! ,any of us ha&e had a re$igious upbringing but we may $ack an inner connection to what we $earned# and wonder what to do with this ear$y $earning in our day7to7day $i&es! )urther# this materia$ focuses on making that inner spiritua$ connection8 most important$y that connection is the point at which re$igion and spiritua$ity meet! )or mi$$ennia# the wise ha&e c$aimed on an inner $e&e$# a$$ the re$igions are one! By shining a "ight on spiritua$ $earning and mystery traditions which ha&e $ong been hidden# it is intended that the information presented wi$$ stimu$ate and push the reader further to seek their own 6uestions and answers! So here our 6uestioning# rationa$ mind is represented by each 6uestion and higher consciousness or spirit is its answer! 3hi$e these 6uestions may appear at times random and unconnected# this is in fact the way higher consciousness or spiritua$ $earning takes p$ace! *t times our thoughts and 6uestions are a$$ o&er the p$ace! 9et another part of our awareness# which is deep$y hidden# works to integrate and pro&ide ba$ance and direction! ,ost often# the answer to 6uestions is open$y stated and pro&ides a grounding framework for the reader! 9ou do not ha&e to wonder what the author is trying to say! 'his is done so that you might react and $earn! 'he abi$ity to obser&e our reactions and master our responses is one of the goa$s of the spiritua$ 4ourney! -n this regard may this writing be of ser&ice and may your 4ourney be fi$$ed with "ight! )ina$$y# as you tra&e$ through these pages# may you take this information and reach toward the u$timate 6uestion and answer( understanding who you are and creating your own# indi&idua$ destiny! 7SB
Part 1: Questions & Answers
Who or what is God?
:od is the "ight of the uni&erse and is the mother and father of us a$$! :od is present in e&erything and is the under$ying unity of a$$ things! :od is the $ife force and binds
together the wor$ds! :od is a$$ $o&ing and mercifu$# and a piece of :od# a spark of energy ca$$ed the +eart# is in e&eryone! :od is greater than a$$ creation and exists beyond the uni&erse! 3hi$e we may know and experience :od# many aspects of :od are beyond our experience and remain a mystery! -n our age# science has defined :od as a supra7energy force that is part of e&erything and connects a$$ things! ,ystics ha&e percei&ed this rea$ity and used it for count$ess centuries( bringing "ight to the spiritua$ darkness! )or some# the word ; name 1:od2 has many negati&e connotations8 if this is true for you# substitute the word# 1"ight!2 'his may he$p you tra&e$ through these pages8 remember it is the "ight which dissipates spiritua$ darkness!
Why did God create man & woman?
,an and woman were created as :od/s representati&es on earth! * human being is the meeting of the spiritua$# menta$# psychic <emotiona$= and physica$ rea$ms! ,an is destined to reign in kingship# be$ie&e it or not# in this rea$m a$ong with :od as a co7 creator of rea$ity! 'he tra&e$er who has mastered himse$f and reigns supreme in his own kingdom# is master of a$$ wor$ds! ,an and woman are ref$ections of a$$ the different expressions of :od!
Why was I born?
3e take on the physica$ form so we might better know :od# create our own rea$ity# and ser&e :od! +ere in the earth phase# we can $earn# create and experience many beautifu$ and wonderfu$ things and acce$erate our spiritua$ 4ourney back to :od! 'he contrast between the earth$y and spiritua$ pro&ides a friction that pushes us to 6uestion our existence and the meaning of $ife! 'his friction increases our $earning and understanding!
Why are there so many religions? Which one is really right?!
:od is >ne! +owe&er# the many re$igions exist because peop$e and cu$tures are different8 these differences in re$igious form exist to he$p peop$e better understand who they are and where they came from! -n this matter there is both an interna$ and externa$ rea$ity! 'he interna$ rea$ity is the spiritua$ experience of :od and# for a$$ re$igious forms8 the c$oser you get to :od# the more this experience is the same! Externa$$y re$igious forms differ8 re$igion puts on 1different c$othes#2 so to speak# because the socia$ c$imate and peop$e/s needs &ary!
-magine re$igion as a beautifu$ woman! >ne day she tra&e$s to a $and where it is co$d! By necessity she puts on a fur garment to keep warm! 'he next week# as circumstances dictate# she tra&e$s to another $and where it is much hotter! -n order to ad4ust# she sheds the fur and adorns a cotton dress! ?epending upon the day you met her8 you wou$d describe her outward appearance different$y! 9et beneath the c$othing# she is the same# beautifu$ woman and any difference in appearance is superficia$! -t is $ike this with re$igion! 0eop$e get caught up with the externa$s# argue about the c$othing and forget about the core truths!
Why does the world as we "now it e#ist?
'he wor$d is a magnificent cornucopia# fi$$ed with wondrous and de$ightfu$ items! +ere we can find exact$y what we are $ooking for! -f we seek en4oyment of the senses# there are many opportunities! Simi$ar$y if we seek to $earn and draw c$oser to our higher se$f# this opportunity exists as we$$! -n part# the earth phase of our existence is an opportunity to $earn# create and experience a$$ the parts of se$f and grow c$oser to that which we wish to become!
What is mysticism?
,ysticism is the process by which one studies or $earns about the mysteries or mystery traditions! 3ithin each of the great faiths# there is an inner# hidden teaching that is transcendent and unifying! 'he reason this teaching is hidden is that in order to study it# a number of factors ha&e to be in p$ace! nti$ recent$y# these factors were not pub$ic$y stated or no attempts ha&e been made to make them pub$ic$y understood! 3hen &iewed from a distance# these criteria are app$icab$e to any human endea&or! Suppose we want to $earn about f$y7fishing! 3e wou$d ha&e to find out what time the c$ass is starting# where it is being he$d# who is teaching the c$ass and what preparations ; materia$s are necessary! -s the c$ass for beginners or more ad&anced students@ -t is the same with mystica$ studies# howe&er# one other additiona$ factor is operating! 'his is termed 1sincerity2 and re$ates to the intention of the student! -f the student wishes to a$ign with 'ruth# not for indi&idua$ gain# but for its own sake8 these are the students who attain know$edge# and it is this sincerity the teacher is drawn to and recogni%es in the student! Because of this inner condition# traditiona$$y the teacher finds the student! 'ogether they un$ock the mysteries of the spiritua$ path!
$o we really ha%e &ree will? I& there is an ultimate destiny that we are su''osed to get closer to God( why do we ha%e choices other than those that will bring us there?
Each person has the abi$ity to choose and create! 'his is what sets us apart from other creatures! 3e can choose and create our own rea$ity e&ery moment of the day8 and inf$uence our $ife and wor$d as co7creator! 3ithin ourse$&es we ha&e a magic wand and can turn each day into a beautifu$ or frightening experience! >ur imagination and abi$ity to make thoughts come true is the magica$ e$ement! 'hrough our consciousness# we can create a$$ sorts of things and must be carefu$ to make usefu$ and wise decisions! Choices that are in front of us are 4ust that A choices! >n a +igher "e&e$# there is rea$$y no such thing as a good or bad choice8 on$y choices that bring us c$oser to :od or further away from :od! >n a day to day $e&e$# peop$e can and do make bad choices a$$ the time! >r make choices because it may ser&e a persona$ need! Such as doing what your boss wants you to do which may not ser&e the greater good but preser&es your 4ob and income for your fami$y! ?eep down inside# we know what wi$$ resu$t from the choices we make! 'he ski$$ $ies in being ab$e to tap that know$edge that a$ready exists and use it for a +igher 0urpose!
What is 'rayer? $oes it really wor"?
0rayer is a song that arises from our heart and te$$s the sweet ta$e of $o&e! Bot $o&e as we ha&e e&er experienced it# but a deep# transcendent $o&e that spans the ages! -t is a whisper that comes from the depth of our sou$ and a me$ody through which we can share secrets# weaknesses# dreams and desires with :od! -n prayer there must be no compu$sion8 it is not something that can be forced or taught! Cea$ prayer is as natura$ as breathing8 it is a song# an expression of our eterna$ se$f! ,ost of us $earn through our re$igious upbringing that prayer is done by rote! 3e memori%e our prayers and say them e&ery night before bed! 'hen we can ask :od to gi&e us something we rea$$y want# and he wi$$ $isten! 9et# this is not the higher prayer8 the higher prayer is he$ping and praying for others# as :od/s ser&ant! -f you can $earn to make your $ife a prayer# e&ery moment you can sing the song of creation! 9es# prayer used in this form can assist us in co7creation of our rea$ity with :od! -t works!
Part ): *tories( +erses & ,bser%ations
'here is a much repeated story about a Ser&ant of :od# and how he set aside traditiona$ re$igious training to fo$$ow his mystica$ teacher and reach spiritua$ comp$etion! *nd by under taking this 4ourney# the wor$d benefited! >ne day# a ?octor of 'heo$ogy was seated beside a water fountain# outside the uni&ersity where he taught! Beside him on the fountain# were many books of re$igious $aw that had been passed down to him by his father# who in his time was a renowned theo$ogian! *s the doctor read through one of the books and memori%ed a passage# a$ong came a desert wanderer! *s was customary this fe$$ow was dressed in a patched robe# with hair in disarray and a wi$d# far away $ook in his eye! Before the ?octor of 'heo$ogy fu$$y noticed# the wanderer rushed forward and grabbed a$$ of the doctor/s books# inc$uding the one he was reading and tossed them into the water fountain! Surprised and astonished at this beha&ior# the doctor ca$$ed out# 13hy did you do that@ 'hese books are fi$$ed with great wisdom and are price$essD2 'he desert wanderer# stared at the doctor# then rep$ied# 1-f you wish to $earn something rea$$y usefu$8 wisdom that is not found in your books then fo$$ow me!2 'hen the wi$d desert wanderer turned and wa$ked away! Stunned and unab$e to mo&e# the ?octor of 'heo$ogy considered what to do! ?ecided$y he $eft the books that had been passed down to him in the fountain and for three years fo$$owed this wi$d man of the desert! -n time this doctor passed beyond know$edge of re$igion# into know$edge of se$f and spirit8 becoming a sun whose rays sti$$ shine unti$ this day! *fter their time together# nothing was e&er heard again of the wi$d mystica$ teacher from the desert! 'oday this ?octor of 'heo$ogy# Ea$a$uddin Cumi# is wide$y recogni%ed as one of the greatest mystica$ teachers and poets of a$$ time!
3hy do peop$e +a&e so much troub$e accepting 3e came into this wor$d 'o grow c$oser to :od@ 3hi$e our time in this wor$d Ser&es a mu$titude of purposes# -n some respect# it wi$$ ha&e been wasted n$ess we come to understand and accept this unifying princip$e!
!raveler 'here is on$y >ne :od# or "ight# 9et there are many paths and re$igions# 3hy is this@ "aster Each tra&e$er finds :od ; "ight -n a different way! >ne tra&e$er may seek sa$&ation *s a $o&ing spouse and parent *nd another may find :od/s )ace >n a distant shore! Each tra&e$er is a uni&erse *nd in this &ast expanse -t is easy to go astray! >n$y the "ight/s :race "eads the tra&e$er home! Ce$igion may be compared 'o a great ri&er that feeds the $and! 'he ri&er winds its way as a mighty force *nd sma$$er tributaries are formed 'o ser&e the distant regions! Some tra&e$ers are satisfied 'o drink of the sma$$er stream *nd forget they must tra&e$ 'he ri&er to its Source! Beyond the ri&er/s gate# 'he >cean is waiting! !raveler 3here is the boat 'o 4ourney the ri&er )or - am ready to depart@ "aster > $itt$e one# you are so eager8 9et you are a$ready assai$ *nd your sou$ is the &esse$! 9our heart is the compass *nd the "ight/s ,ercy -s the bree%e at your back! -f you bow in prayer to the "ight# 'he "ight 3i$$ pro&ide a$$ you need *nd :uide you to the >cean!
'he wor$d is a giant ba%aar! * market p$ace 3here you wi$$ find Exact$y what you seek! -f you seek garbage# it is there! Simi$ar$y if you desire sweets 'here are many &endors! )ortunate is the tra&e$er 3ho knows what to seek! ,ost $ea&e without making 'he right choice!
!raveler 3hat of the wor$d@ "aster *$$ things in this uni&erse *re Created for an appointed term! 'he sun# the moon# *nd you and *re here for a brief afternoon -n the time$ess eternity! 'he Be$o&ed is the Eterna$ Cea$ity! :od was here Before the sun and moon *nd wi$$ be "ong after they are a memory! 'his wor$d is Created )or a fixed period *nd when the hour arri&es -t too wi$$ pass on! >n$y :od Cemains! !raveler -f this $ife is temporary 3hy must - participate -n the e&ery day affairs of the wor$d@ "aster "itt$e one# you were Created 'o ser&e :od/s 0urpose! Each tra&e$er has a 4ob to do *nd each must contribute 'o the benefit of a$$! 9ou wi$$ not ser&e the Creator
By sitting on a mountain *nd praying for your own sa$&ation! 3e must participate in the wor$d *nd work for the benefit of a$$! *$$ of us cannot sit on mountains8 3ho wi$$ do the work to feed humanity@ 'he secret is to remain separate# -mmersed in the +o$y Bame# 9et participate in e&ery day affairs! *sk the Be$o&ed *nd :od 3i$$ 'each you 'he secrets of the wor$d *nd how to $o&e +is ; +er ser&ice!
World as 0an%as
'he can&as is the wor$d! 9ou are the artist! 0ick up the brush8 Create your own $ife!
1reedom -o 0hoose
*s spiritua$ tra&e$ers# we participate in the same design! 3e are born8 we $i&e and then die8 tra&e$ing onto the next p$ace! 9et within this pattern there is tremendous &ariabi$ity and much freedom to choose! -n the main how we $i&e our $i&es is up to us!
!raveler +o$y >ne# speak to me of prayer! "aster *s the robin serenades the morning *nd offers thanks for another day# -n this way# prayer is a song 'hat arises from the heart! *s the mother caresses the babe *nd her heart swe$$s with $o&e# -n this way# prayer is sweeter 'han the rarest wine!
*s the sun tra&e$s the hea&ens *nd hera$ds the morning# -n this way# prayer is the work 'hat we must do! 0rayer takes end$ess forms *nd many times we are confined 'o the ritua$ of praying! 'rue prayer is performing *$$ the tasks of the day as :od/s ser&ant! Cemember we pray to the Be$o&ed Because we need :od! 'he ,ost +igh ?oes not need our prayers!
Beyond words *nd beyond experience 'here is know$edge! Beyond know$edge 'here is :od! +ere the seeker *nd goa$ are united!
.e Not *hy
Beyond the mountains :od is waiting! Ca$$ing to the +eart -n sweet whispers! Beckoning with a caress! Come forward my $o&ers! Be not shy of my Fiss! Come forward and 4oin me -n peacefu$ surrender! 'ake one step toward me *nd - sha$$ fi$$ you 3ith the Secrets of Eternity! >ne tear from your heart "onging for me Sha$$ $ead you to the garden! >ne sigh from your sou$ -mp$oring my grace and mercy Sha$$ p$ace you at my side! >ne hand extended to another
-n my Bame Sha$$ raise the cup to your $ips! >ne $ife de&oted to my ser&ice Sha$$ fi$$ humanity with the rarest wine!
"ike a capti&e bird 'he sou$ sings# Cemembering its home! -t is precise$y )or this song# 'he bird is caged!