By way of metaphor, one can describe the centre of the human experience as the being in the chest. And one can distinguish between fundamentally two different modalities, two modalities that you can experience the subject as, the subject being the self or the one that’s experiencing. In Tasawwuf we refer to one modality as nafs and the other modality as ruh.
The objective of dhikr and of the dhikr that you have just done is if you like, a loosening up or a shaking off of our ideas of who we are, of our chains. It is about re-orientating oneself to the Lord, to Allah.
The natural order for the human being is disturbance and disquiet. The state of the heart outside of dhikr is one of agitation. It is with the dhikr of Allah that the heart becomes tranquil.
Our current and normal way of looking at things is to see things upside down. Where we in our consciousness see blessing we are probably seeing curse. Where we see curse there is blessing. And in no other context is this true as particularly in the pursuit of wealth – and in wealth itself.
Why do we keep on deluding ourselves and taking ourselves away from that which is real and that which is present and precious to that which is illusory? Why do we only wait for death to come near before we say and do what is needed, and resolve what needs to be resolved?
The qasida that we sing most frequently “Aheemu wahdee” has really three operative stanzas in terms of instructions and its significance that spontaneously this has become the qasida that we sing most frequently because it really, it is a summary of our Path. In those three stanzas the whole of this endeavour is summed up.
The measure of a man’s freedom is the degree to which he can stay courteous under provocation. Conversely, the extent of the man’s slavehood and bondage is the degree to which he can be provoked.