October 2007 · Vol 4, No 10  
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Words can be sweet in this world, but there is no greater burden in the next world.
Ibn Arabi

The hidden purpose of one’s life is to become the initiate of one’s divinity, to step through a doorway into the invisible, perpetual Self within. The Indian mystic Shankara writes, ‘The physical body is the vehicle of experience for the Self.’ Yet this potential is not immediately obvious to us, it becomes obscured by the pressures of ordinary existence. As childhood gives way to youth, youth to adulthood, the body becomes the servant of a terrestrial master rather than the spiritual one. There is no explanation for our existence until another person or influence initiates one into this mystery. In the guiding ritual of initiation, the lover meets the Beloved, the traveler discovers the destination, the soul sees God.

One needs guidance to this conscious inner world because it is vast, alien, immortal. Such scale is reflected in outer monuments, as in the Sphynx at Giza, whose gaze travels as far inwards as it measures and masters the eastern horizon. Those who built the Sphynx were initiates of immortality, and the Sphynx was built to initiate the subtle attention of those ready to receive it. At the very least, the beauty and eternal gaze of the Sphynx has moved humanity for centuries. And there are other monuments that were built to instruct and to initiate. In the Egyptian desert near Aswan, the ancient stone circles and megaliths of Nabta Playa represents a star map, many millennia old, showing the earth’s journey towards the center of the galaxy. Here science was used to serve the intention of a school, for the monument is not only a great physical map of the heavens, but a mystic revelation for initiates.

Learning of the earth’s journey within the galaxy produces an understanding of one’s mortality, and at the same time, creates a yearning to outlast the stars. Whatever form initiation takes, whether provided by an expert in mystery, or coming from a private, arcane source, it offers an escape from common existence. After a close brush with death, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, ‘An eternity of joy for a day’s exercise on earth.’ In a second of consciousness, an eternal second, one’s life arises from its wandering and embarks on a true, mystic journey.

Related thoughts

The real Tula is not a physical place, but a spiritual dimension that spreads through all four directions of the universe.

Only the spiritual guide can penetrate the veil of the lower self.
Ibn Abbad of Ronda

Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? …My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.

The present is the nestling place for the hearts of initiates: they take refuge and dwell in it.
Ibn Ata’Allah

The body is the house of God. That is why it is said, ‘Man know thyself.’
Temple Aphorisms from Luxor

There is no wilderness and no desert save you, for you are your own veil upon yourself.
Ibn Arabi

It is not possible for a person to reach the state of unveiling by his own effort alone.
Naqshbandi Order

Everything born from God overcomes the world.
Meister Eckhart

Whatever does not cause revelation, is a veil.

When the mind is silent, then it can enter into a world which is far beyond the mind.
Hindu Texts, Upanishads

The inner eye is more powerful than the external eye. Al-Ghazali

In Gurdjieff’s last journey to the caves at Lascaux, he observed that the drawings of deer crossing a river represented an initiation rite and that these drawings were made by masters of wisdom who lived many thousands of years ago.

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Fellowship of Friends, Inc. (a non-profit religious corporation) • P.O. Box 100 • Oregon House, CA 95962.
Copyright © 2007 • All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be copied, reprinted, or reproduced in any form without written permission from the Fellowship of Friends, Inc. (The images included here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for any other use.)