Shah, Idries - The Sufis - On the call of the force
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Sufis – Idries Shah
The difference between all evolution up to date and the present need for evolution is that for the Past ten thousand years or so we have been given the possibility of a conscious evolution.
So essential is this more rarefied evolution that our future depends upon it. It can be called "learning how to swim," in the words of our fable [learning how to swim in the spiritual world – water is symbolically spirit].
How are these organs developed? By the Sufi method.
How do we know that we are developing them? Only through experience.
In the Sufi system there are a number of "stages." The attainment of these stages is marked by an unmistakable if ineffable experience. This experience, when it comes, activates the organ in question, gives us a relief from our climb upward, and grants us sufficient strength to continue the climb.
The attainment of stages is permanent. Until one of these stages has been reached, the photographic plate, as it were, may have been exposed and developed, but has not been fixed; and actual experiences are the fixative substance.
This is the meaning of mystical experience, which, however, when indulged in without proper harmony with evolution seems merely to be something sublime - a sensation of omnipotence or of grace, but no assurance of where the happy or unhappy mortal is going next.
Sufis believe that Sufic activity produces and concentrates what might be termed a centrifugal or magnetic force. This force calls to similar force elsewhere. With the coming together of such forces, work continues. This is an explanation of the mysterious "messages" which Sufi teachers get, telling them to repair to such and such a place, in order to respond to the call of the force there which has become derelict (in the sense of abandoned) or needs their reinforcing.