” Although we have not so many words of Jesus Christ as of other prophets, many of these words have been a source of inspiration to the initiate and of confusion to the uninitiate, and that is, perhaps, the main reason why many Christian people, with all worthiness and devotion, have not been able to follow closely in the footsteps of their master.
The Christian Churches have rendered a great service in their reverence for the beatitudes, the blessings o ered by Christ to the multitudes. He even said, “Bless them that curse you” and this would appear not to have been followed. Some have said that when a man harms you, you should do him a favor. This interpretation assumed that man, the man who is hurt, is the source of blessing, that he can bless and that he does some good by blessing the evil doer. Some extremists have even counseled non-resistance which is not in harmony with the esoteric traditions for the sages say such an a itude might encourage the evil doer to more wrong doing.
Another way of translating this passage is, “Bless, when anybody curses you.” Now, ordinar- ily, the devotee will be in a state of communion with God, be a uned to God, in unity or in harmony with the cosmos. Then one is not in a state of separation, and when one is not in separation or dual- ism, one has the control over the atmosphere and there is li le likelihood of being cursed.
Yet there will come a time when you are cursed or hurt; why? You will nd mostly that one is able to curse or hurt you because you are not in the state of union or communion; you have descend- ed consciously or unconsciously into egotism, into vanity, and have thus laid aside for the moment the protection and guidance which is always there for your bene t. According to metaphysics, all things, states, conditions, divisions, numbers, multiplicities, qualities—every thing as Solomon has taught is vanity; vanity is the mark of Samsara (Nufsaniat) and Samsara is vanity.
Therefore, when the initiate is cursed or hurt he blesses, he employs Baraka and reenters into the state of union by Darood or other means. He realizes that he has not been in the state of God- ness when he should have been. Now Godness does not mean thinking of God; the initiate strives to rise above that sphere of thought to the sphere of the reality of God. God is called living (Hayy) and truth (Haqq) and this stage of the spiritual journey is called Hakikat. By proper a unement you can create, cultivate and increase your atmosphere so much that when cursed or hurt you can tell at an instance that you have been neglecting your spiritual Dharma, which can be restored by the practice of issuance of Baraka.
This issuance of Baraka comes through God, by man’s praising God within and o ering bless- ings without. By praise, although it appears to be giving, we receive; while in blessing, we give. By both means we purify the atmosphere and protect ourselves and all with whom we have relations, over whom we have in uence and over whom we are able to exert in uence or protection. And this issuance of Baraka may enable us to disarm the enemy, to win him over, for one cannot oppose an- other long after that one has do ed his nufs. From this point of view, therefore, the teaching of Jesus shows wisdom, not weakness.
The other aspect of Baraka comes from the examination of the saying of Jesus, “Swear not at all.” That is to say, do not consume Baraka unnecessarily. Baraka, to be pure, should be dissociated from the earth sphere when it can be (although there is a sort of Baraka in things), and be maintained upon the highest plane. Swearing by any object, man identifies the divinity with that object, and swearing by any ideal narrows the God-concept of the moment to that ideal. God should not be so limited, either to object or ideal. When God is narrowed to an object, that is equivalent to physical idolatry and when he is narrowed to an ideal, that is like mental idolatry.
Jesus also said, “Resist not evil” or “Resist not the evil person”—either translation of which is acceptable. Our duty is to increase Baraka, and that increase becomes a natural self-protection. People who practice non-resistance may be good people, but they do not increase life or livingness, they do not see God, El-Hayy. The initiate makes God the center of his universe and of his being and does not eschew any portion of life, as all come from God. The evils that he avoids may be those of wasteful living, of needless dissipation of vital energy, of misuse of the love and power and magne- tism that God has given him—these things he always guards against. For the rest he has the spiritual freedom, so he treads as far as possible the path of a rmation, and removes himself from the path of negation except when in the silence.
Continuing with this subject, Su s have two terms, Yaqin and Riza. Yaqin is trust, living trust and faith to the point of certainty even when there is no evidence, and Riza is complete satisfaction for which reason also is not needed. So the disciple is taught to trust in God as a living Presence, and to rely even on the guidance which is always there, as prayer says, “Open our hearts that we may hear Thy voice which constantly cometh from within.”
The a itude of non-resistance may be di erent. It prevents the loss of life without adding to life; in the spiritual way there should be an increase of life, prevention is not enough. Therefore the initiate is called upon to increase the capacity for life and spirituality in God, and not to follow pas- sivism. Passivism confuses surrender to the conditions with surrender to God.
The Hindus have made a special worship to Vishnu the Preserver of Life, they want to preserve the life. Vishnu signi es the protector and preserver and in this aspect of Divinity he does not add
to the life, He maintains it, He prevents loss. Yet in the Avatars and most especially in Rama and Krishna we nd men of action, men who were great lovers and great warriors, men skilled in their own lines, adding to life and showing perfection.
Jesus has also been made the authority for the way of passivism, quietism, asceticism and all manners of incomplete living, as if avoiding sin were the purpose of life. According to the myster- ies, ancient and modern, purgation is one part of life; it is needed in the beginning. When purgation becomes the goal, the way of a rmation becomes impossible; and the way of a rmation is the way of the abundance of life.
The Christian Scripture states, “Love ye your enemies.” The initiate says, “Allah is All in All and Allah being all, when you have an enemy you are at that moment separated from Allah.” There- fore, it becomes your duty to reunite with Allah, and repeat His Holy Name, cultivating all the love that is possible in your heart and mind and being.
The Christian Scripture states, “Bless them that curse you.” The initiate says, “In the right at- titude of mind, in practicing the presence of God, in holding to unity, there can be no curse.” When Bajazid in hal u ered, “Ani Hayy, Ani Haqq,” his disciples a acked him therefore, and then their knives were turned upon themselves. It is not necessary to wait for the curse before delivering the blessing. Unite with God, receive the Holy Baraka and share with humanity!
The Christian Scripture states, “Do good to them that hate you.” The initiate says, “If anybody hates me and I do not know it, nor the cause thereof, yet am I to blame.” Therefore the wise keep their hearts xed upon God and have no thoughts of hatred, either of receiving hatred or sending forth hatred, and verily this of itself becomes a source of blessing, of bestowing Baraka and sharing it.
The Christian Scripture states, “Resist not evil.” The initiate says that holding the thought of evil itself is an evil, and the heart must be freed even from the thought of “Resist not evil,” so that the heart over ows with love and light and life.
The Christian Scripture states, “Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The initiate regards this as a commandment of commandments. Those who practice non-resistance are more concerned with resistance than with God and to God they cannot go even on the day of Ri- salat. Those who practice the presence of God, verily they are blessed and they shall bestow bless- ings (Baraka).
Living is doing, life is action and there is a greater justi cation in Zat (Essence) than in all de- fense and o ense. The words of Jesus Christ have not always been understood by the discriminating mind (ci a) of the generality. The words are simple yet in their depths most profound. The Christian Scriptures themselves say, “Put on the mind of Jesus,” which is to say, “Get into the buddhi.” By the mind of Jesus only can the words of Jesus be fully comprehended.
And what was and is that spirit which was in Christ Jesus? What is this mind of Jesus? It is to seek perfection, to seek God, to rise above limitation unto the unlimited. Even all morals, all principles, all doctrines, all distinctions shall go and only Baraka remain. This is the heart-doctrine whereof the heart is the fountain, a ood of living waters. Man is justi ed in his a unement to the living God, and then although for the moment all humanity deserts him, yet a thousand or a koti of angels shall be at the side of the holy man, and all the beloved ones of God will sooner or later be his friends.
Thus in hierarchical understanding is the sage justi ed, and more than justi ed. Words of his will stand when all the thoughts and u erances of his enemies become as naught. For in him is the sign of life who has e aced the mark of Cain (nufs); he is the beloved one of God, who will not be deserted.
SOURCE : The Bestowing of Blessing
by Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Dedicated to Rabia A. Martin on her birthday, July 25, 1937