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Observations placeholder

Shah, Idries - The Sufis - On Rapture



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Sufis – Idries Shah

Illumination cannot be sustained by someone who is not ready for it.  At the best it will  throw him into an ecstatic state in which he is paralysed, as it were, and unable to consummate the contact.

This is why, although dervish poets speak of being "mad for love," they emphasise that this madness is the result of preview, not of genuine experience.  It is recognized that genuine experience must take an active, mutual meaningful form, not a form of useless intoxication.

Inebriation mystics are those who stop short at this stage, and try to reproduce the experience repetitiously, or approximate them on paper or in emotional art. This is the stage at which much experimentation in mysticism becomes bogged down.

"Rapture" (wajd) and "existence" (wujud) refer to two states of which the first is the prelude to the second (Junaid).  In rapture, the individual is immersed in a sensation which is opposite to the one which he formerly felt. He also becomes attuned to a form of cognition other than that to which he is accustomed.

A person experiences this state when he is still at the stage when he is primitively linked with sensual qualities and has little understanding of any deeper perspective to them.

Existence is the name given to the state of "acquisition," when real existence, as opposed to simple physical existence, is perceived by the devotee.

The source of the experience

Shah, Idries

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps