Man and Woman
Man And Woman, suhbat with Sheikh Burhanuddin
(for seminar info www.the-sufiway.org)
Be in Love
Sufis live contrary to “the world” in many ways. Their calculations are different from
the calculations based exclusively on the ego’s self-interest. They return hostility with
kindness; they meet immaturity with patience; in a world of role-playing, they are guileless.
Be in Love.
Behind this simple phrase is a metaphysical principle: The awakening to true Being is the
attainment of conscious, objective love. So we emphasize the first word of this phrase:
Be in love, but learning to be is a process that involves our being awake and relatively free of
the incessant, habitual demands of our false self.
These demands are motivated by illusory motivations based in an unrealistic
notion of how things should be. These four basic motivations are:
1. The urge toward pleasure and comfort, to avoid all pain,
2. to gain attention, to avoid being ignored or rejected,
3. to gain approval, to escape disapproval and blame,
4. to gain a sense of importance, to have control over other people,
and to escape the sense of inferiority, or the inability to control others.
Furthermore these basic motivations typically lead to counterproductive
behaviors. We have several strategies that we apply in order to actualize
this imaginary, unrealistic, non-disturbed state.
1. To complain, which is generally ineffective, or if it may temporarily seem effective,
actually produces negative effects in the long run.
2. Feeling victimized and demanding our rights. This doesn’t work so well, either.
The circle of lovers is not the place for demonstrations and protests.
3. Trying to (manipulatively) please people. It sometimes works,
but it creates inner havoc as we forsake our own integrity.
4. Trying to believe and do as one is told by authorities. This is the sign of a weak mind.
It results in dogmatic thinking, fanaticism, and mass suggestibility.
The Path of Sufism is a matrix of transformation, refining, purifying, elevating all relationships.
We do not realize, at first, how much we are conditioned by the false self, the egoic perspective,
in our relationships, and how our egos are counterproductive to our highest hopes.
Whether we realize it or not, these egos may be pushing away what we hope to attract,
damaging our relationships, making us less lovable.
If we are to learn to be in love, these motivations and the demands they make of us, and all the
strategies we devise, will need to be recognized and released.
There really is nothing to lose except the useless suffering engendered by these demands.
Sufi values are precisely the opposite of the four illusory motivations described here.
1. Instead of seeking to maximize comfort and pleasure, the Sufi exercises a healthy
discipline, training the nafs to accept hardship and difficulty without complaint.
One of the most foolish behaviors human beings indulge in is complaining to
get our way. Worse yet, is the misguided belief that expressing anger, in the vast
majority of cases, can contribute to a positive outcome, and yet so much of
everyday life is characterized by resentment and complaining.
2. Instead of seeking attention, unconsciously or otherwise, the Sufi cultivates
modesty and invisibility.
He or she may take on servanthood and put others needs before his own, but,
while a Sufi may serve others and gain their respect and affection, his or her
motivation is to serve Truth (al Haqq) alone, not to manipulate other people.
3. Rather than compulsively seeking to gain approval and escape disapproval,
Sufis, especially those who practice melamet, the way of blame, may even flirt
with blame and disgrace, though without doing anything blameworthy.
Melamis (people of the way of melamet) make no effort to appear as more or
better than they are, and may even intentionally make a practice of appearing
as less than they are.
4. Anything that engenders self-importance, any kind of self-promotion,
is contrary to the basic values of the Sufi path. A Sufi’s humility is a freedom
from ego-based needs, not a form of low self-esteem.
Adab, spiritual courtesy, is one of the transforming principles that operates within
the Sufi matrix. But adab is not merely excessive politeness, nor avoiding conflict.
Sometimes we have to pass through difficulties and disagreements, and yet in the end
be saved by adab, in order to know its real value.
Relationships that are governed by adab are protected and elevated,
while relationships based in ego are unstable and tend to devolve.
lives. To accomplish this you will find here teachers providing students with
spiritual tools based on principles of the Sufi tradition, that students can then
apply as they fit to make better decisions that not only benefit themselves but
at the same time help make the world better.