There is a Sufi story about the master who was telling a story to the uninitiated. He got to the end of the story and paused to let the point sink in. Then a puzzled listener spoke up to ask, “What does it mean?”
The master looked him over and said, “What? I have given you a luscious bunch of ripe grapes, and you want me to eat them for you?”
I have been eating grapes for a while after the incident I described in my other blog, Rose Opening Forever, and I wanted to explore it here in this blog with my mind rather than as I do there with my heart.
This event actually took many years to occur. I now recognize that I have seen Him approaching all my life, but beginning in a very indistinct and veiled form, as if a face in a crowd in a photograph, just a vague blur in the distance without detail, without even a coherent form. But over the years He came closer and closer until I understood that I was seeing Him in a primal setting with all other beings, arrayed in formation, witnessing Him. This appearance had great impact on me intellectually, but it was nothing compared to the contact I describe in my other blog, where I found myself alone with Him, “two bows-length” away.
Now, the Naqshbandi masters, especially Ibn al-Arabi, contend that one cannot meet God this way in the flesh. To do so would cause annihilation. Instead, they say we are witnessing via the line of Baraka that is the spiritual reality behind the Silsila, the chain of divine grace that stretches from the Prophet, sallahu alahi wa salaam, down the line of 40 Shaykhs to my own, Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani al-Qubbrusi. The Greatest Shaykh explains that even the prophet Moses was killed when God explained the ten commandments to him, and then reanimated afterward.
But the salient facts are that I had experienced Him before in an intellectual way, without the shattering personal element, which makes all the difference. There are other details I want to consider, too.
My experience, as I remember it, could be seen by me in several ways: as I have described it, in Sufi (Islamic) terms and in the context of the Diamond Approach. Almaas’s overall structure of experience is so close to the Sufi model that his high-level overview book, The Inner Journey Home, can be seen as an exegesis on Ibn al-Arabi’s Journey to the Lord of Power. His understanding of the Enneagram of Holy Ideas and the Enneagram of Personality also rhymes with that of the Sufis.
As an individual with an Enneagram Type Four fixation, the corrective freeing of the fixation comes from realization of Holy Origin, the Holy Idea that frees the vision from fixation on narcissistic delusion. And this is what I experienced, the certainty of being and existence coming into reality from the Source, quenching the concept of a meaningless and blank universe where only suffering was real.
That experience can also be seen as an encounter with the Logos as boundless dimension, the ground of all activity and expression and differentiation into the universe of form and meaning. I don’t know if the experience of ultimate intimacy typically occurs with apprehension of the Logos, but in my case it did, as did my experience of the Holy Name number 17, Al Qahhar, the Crusher, Who crushes quantum fog into the unitary reality we see in everyday life, material existence. It is interesting that the “corresponding” pair-Name of Al Qahhar is Al Latif, the principle of Divine Infoldment of meaning into infinite resolution, as existence shows in the mathematical artwork of the Mandelbrot and Julia sets, and in everyday life in clouds and landscapes and the human mind.
I will probably write more about this later, but I wanted to launch the blog entry now…