"Relating happiness and fulfillment to a process of alchemical transmutation of the human mind, Ghazali gives a story of Bayazid, one of the early classical Sufi masters, in his Alchemy of Happiness, to stress how the amour propre (Commanding Self) must first be seen in its real light before any refining can actually be done:
A man came to Bayazid and said that he had fasted and prayed for thirty years, and yet had not come near to an understanding of God. Bayazid told him that even a hundred years would not be enough. The man asked why.
"Because your selfishness is working as a barrier between yourself and truth."
"Give me the remedy".
"There is a remedy, but it is impossible to you."
The man insisted, and Bayazid agreed to describe it to him.
"Go and shave your beard. Strip yourself naked, except for a loincloth. Fill a nose bag full of walnuts and go to the marketplace. There cry out, 'A walnut for every boy who slaps me!" Then make your way to the court where the doctors of law are in session."
"But I really could not do that. Give me some other method."
"This is the only method," said Bayazid, "but I have already told you, there is no answer for you."
Idries Shah, 'The Sufis'
- ► 2016 (108)
- ► 2015 (124)
- ► 2014 (252)
- ► 2013 (199)
- ► 2012 (435)
- Kashmira Kakati and the wild cats of Assam
- Do not be afraid, little brother...
- I am Right Here, I am With You, and I Love You
- Water Lights
- Remembering Arvind
- And everything is new....
- Atlantis: The end of an era
- Hear it from the kids :)
- Sleeping through Change
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being
- Early on Tuesday
- Cayman Islands
- A flock of swallows
- And may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath...
- From Ugliness to Beauty
- Music and Mysticism
- Second to None - Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Restore!
- Inspirational leadership
- In other words, hold my hand...
- Momentary deities
- Always, always, guard your fort
- For the first forty days
- Writing for Divination
- The death of the environment ministry. An obituary...
- Déjeuner du matin
- Survival - the Movement for Tribal Peoples
- Turning Point
- Monotony, an absence of male friends
- Progress Report
- Nindiya Re
- Songs from the Helmet Studio
- A day
- The Function of Dreams
- The aroma of curry leaves...
- Riding to work
- A space to write or cry
- Suffering comes when you try to hold on to continu...
- Renovation of Stupas at Sanniti
- Cleaning up Bangalore, Bin by Bin
- And I love her
- ▼ July (57)
- ► 2010 (200)