“Yet here you are not to fall. into the clumsy error of supposing that the things which are beyond the grasp of reason are necessarily unreasonable things. Immediate feeling, so far as it is true, does not oppose but transcends and completes the highest results of thought. It contains within itself the sum of all the processes through which thought would pass in the act of attaining the same goal: supposing thought to have reached–as it has not–the high pitch at which it was capable of thinking its way all along this road.”

Evelyn Underhill


Wells Cathedral Interior, Somerset, UK (12th Century)


The interior side view of the main dome of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey.

The interior side view of the main dome of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey.

The Principle is Reality in contrast to all that appears as real but which is not reality in the ultimate sense. The Principle is the Absolute compared to which all is relative. It is Infinite while all else is finite. The Principle is One and Unique while manifestation is multiplicity. It is the Supreme Substance compared to which all else is accident. It is the Essence to which all things are juxtaposed as form. It is at once Beyond Being and Being while the order of multiplicity is comprised of existents. It alone is while all else becomes, for It alone is eternal in the ultimate sense while all that is externalized partakes of change. It is the Origin but also the End, the alpha and the omega. It is Emptiness if the world is envisaged as fullness and Fullness if the relative is perceived in the light of its ontological poverty and essential nothingness. 7 These are all manners of speaking of the Ultimate Reality which can be known but not by man as such. It can only be known through the sun of the Divine Self residing at the center of the human soul. But all these ways of describing or referring to the Principle possess meaning and are efficacious as points of reference and support for that knowledge of the Real that in its realized aspect always terminates in the Ineffable and in that silence which is the “reflection”or “shadow”of the non-manifested aspect of the Principle upon the plane of manifestation. From that unitary point of view, the Principle or the Source is seen as not only the Inward but also the Outward, 8 not only the One but also the essential reality of the many which is but the reflection of the One. At the top of that mountain of unitive knowledge there resides but the One; discrimination between the Real and the unreal terminates in the awareness of the non-dual nature of the Real, the awareness which is the heart of gnosis and which represents not human knowledge but God’s knowledge of Himself, the consciousness which is the goal of the path of knowledge and the essence of scientia sacra. 9

— Seyyed Hossein Nasr (SCIENTIA SACRA)

9 This is the view of the Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism and of the transcendent Unity of Being (waḥdat al-wujūd) in Sufism which, because of the myopia of a reason divorced from the sanctifying rays of the Intellect, have been often mistaken for pantheism. See Nasr, Three Muslim Sages (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), pp. 104-108; also Titus Burckhardt, Introduction to Sufi Doctrine (London, 1976), pp. 28-30.


What I like about the following passage is that it speak very much of my nearest and dearest and her philosophy. Yet, as far as I am aware she has never read this passage. What I like about such passages is it is written by someone who knows that which they write of. It is also a window into many perspectives, so from a purely just wanting to learn stance, this is an interesting exploration of tradition. As such with an open mind, I think any one of any spiritual or not background when facing the big questions in life…can enjoy the passage…


All actions bear fruit of one kind or another whether we are aware of those fruits or not. To every action there is a reaction, and this principle j not only a law of classical physics but also holds true morally and cosmically. That is what the traditions that came from India call the law of karma. Our good acts bear positive fruit even if not immediately, and our evil acts have negative consequences that boomerang upon us sooner or later. The great moralist Persian poet who lived in the thirteenth century, after whom Ralph Waldo Emerson named one of his most famous poems, that is, Sa‘di, said:

Do a goodly act and cast it into the Tigris River,
For God will recompense thee in the desert.

The spiritual person who seeks the Garden, however, performs an jet of goodness not for the sake of recompense but because of goodness tself, leaving the rest in the Hands of God. To be able to have the cor¬rect spiritual attitude toward action, one must become detached from 3e fruits of action. Detachment is a cardinal virtue required before :ne advances on the path. One must act for the sake of the Truth and a total detachment from the fruits of the act. This is of course much more easily said than done. There is a famous story in the Mathnawi of Rumi that epitomizes the correct spiritual attitude toward selfless and detached action. It begins with the verse:

Learn from ‘All sincerity in action,
Know that the Lion of God is untainted by blemish.

In a battle ‘Ali confronted a powerful enemy and after a fierce fight was able to throw the enemy to the ground and sit on his chest with his sword drawn. At this moment the enemy warrior spat in ‘Ali’s face, whereupon ‘Ali immediately disengaged himself and abstained from delivering a blow with his sword. The enemy warrior, who was an idol worshipper, had never seen such an event. He became agitated and asked ‘Ali why he had not killed him. The response of ‘Ali, which in the verses of the Mathnawi constitutes one of the masterpieces of Sufi poetry, was that ‘Ali was fighting at first for the preservation of the Truth, but once the enemy warrior spat in his face ‘Ali became angry, and he would never react on the basis of anger and certainly not get into a battle or slay someone for personal or selfish reasons. In Rumi’s words,

‘Ali responded:
Said he, “I wield the sword for the sake of the Truth,
I am the servant of the Truth not the functionary of the body.
I am the lion of the Truth, not the lion of passions,
My action does witness bear to my religion.”

‘Ali is said to have been the founder of spiritual chivalry (futuwwah
in Arabic and jawanmardi in Persian), and this story bears witness to what constitutes the very essence of chivalry, namely, sincere and de¬tached action devoted to a noble cause. Chivalry combines action with selflessness, actions devoid of worldly motifs or tainted by vices such as anger, covetousness, lust for power, or thirst for revenge. It is far from accidental that in Islam orders of chivalry became integrated into cer¬tain schools of Sufism and that within the Sufi tradition it is expected that those who aspire to march upon the path to the Garden of Truth possess the virtue of chivalry.
There is much talk of jihad today, both in the West and among cer¬tain Muslim extremists, most of whom are unaware of their own tradi¬tion. The word jihad means not war but exertion in the path of God. And then there is, according to a well-known saying of the Prophet, the inner or greater jihad, which is the constant battle of the followers of the spiritual path to correct the imperfections of their soul and make it worthy of inhabiting the Garden. This is the highest form of inner action. There is also the lesser jihad, which can include war to defend oneself, one’s family, one’s nation, and one’s religion. From the spiritual point of view, however, even this kind of jihad must be selfless, detached, and not caused by anger or hatred. The fact that this story about‘Ali takes place on a battlefield, as does the great Hindu classic the Bhagavad Gita, demonstrates that selfless and detached action must extend to even that most trying and violent form of human action that is war.
Detachment from the fruits of one’s actions is not unrelated to the Chinese doctrine of wu-wei, that is, to act without acting.Our ordinary actions plunge our souls into the cosmic chain of actions and reactions, or the chain of karma, as the Hindus would say. But that is because of our attachment to the fruits of our actions and the loss of the contem¬plative spirit, which reduces the soul to a substance that identifies itself solely with acts rather than with being, with preference for action over contemplation. But to act without acting requires also

that one die before dying, as asserted in the famous Prophetic tradition, “Die before you die.” It means to detach our will from our passions and impetus toward external actions and surrender it to God. The sage acts without acting like a lamp that illuminates its surroundings by simply existing.
The sage contemplates and lives in the dimension of inwardness and by virtue of that interiority has a sympatheia with the inner reality of other beings and then acts upon them in the deepest sense without external action. The sage demonstrates in his or her reality the precedence of
being over all external accidents and the priority of contemplation over action. But the sage nevertheless does act, and his or her acts are selfless, detached, and based upon sincerity, goodness, compassion, and truthfulness.


Just in case there are those who refuse to be caught forever by ugliness and seek some alternative, the evil of cruelty makes its claims. Cruelty is something we recognize so easily as a physical activity, yet find so hard to identify in its finer but no less dangerous forms. It is essentially an intentional misuse of power by a strong entity toward a weaker one on the same plant’ of action. For instance, a helpless cripple could scarcely be physically cruel to a strong and healthy person, yet could very well be diabolically cruel mentally to the same person if he were intellectually vulnerable. Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energy directed at feebler creature unlikely to retaliate effectively. Thus cruelty automatically implies cowardice as well.The motivation of cruelty is commonly again the artificial ego-enlargement resultant from its practice. It makes the little boy feel bigger when he kicks his baby brother. If we can make others frightened of us we seem larger by comparison to their shrinking. That is the secret of cruelty. A false sense of boost because of aggressive action which appears to avoid injurious reprisals. To hurt and kill some helpless and defenseless creature makes cruel people feel enormously powerful by contrast. They may even delude themselves for an instant that they are acting like gods. Taking their pathetic little share of life energy, they are willing to expend this on damaging the lives of weaker beings for the sake of supposing themselves more powerful than they truly are. None cry louder than such cowardly criminals when justified retribution rebounds on them. Nobody hates being hurt more than those who hurt with hate.

We need not always look for evident violence in order to recognize cruelty. It is possible to be extremely cruel in the “nicest and sweetest” ways. Staging little scenes deliberately to humiliate and hurt someone’s feelings while remaining righteously on the side of conventional virtue meanwhile. With the aid of a little intelligence people can contrive all sorts of cruelties yet themselves keep in the clear so far as rule books apply. Attendants in mental hospitals, for instance, have ample opportunity on these lines. So has anyone in charge of children or animals, or whoever is unable to hit back where it hurts most. Let those who think they could not be cruel examine what conscience they have within their own life-frameworks If we are still in human bodies then we are yet capable of cruelty in some degree or another. It is well to see this and convert our energies otherwise as we can.

–William G. Gray (Exorcizing the Tree of Evil)


If only this did not relate to numerous people in my life at the moment… lol oh well, can’t change them, when it is their own internal battle, their own lack. A baby will eventually soil it’s diapers, a hateful, spiteful, ungrateful, manipulative personage will soil their diaper too…although as they are so oblivious they’ll probably sit in their own feces and not notice the difference…..

Sometimes kitty’s are so honest… at least their malice is only over kibble, belly rubs and how much wool you dangle in front of their face….

We and God are not two separate existences; therefore the will of God is also our own will. If we want to change, then God will not stop us from changing. The poet Nguyen Du put it like this:
“When necessary, the heavens will not stand in the way of humans.
The result of past actions can be lifted,
future causes and conditions can be created.”
The real question is, do we want to change or not?

Do we want to hold on to the lure of suffering and let our minds wander around in dreams? If in your heart you want to change, then whatever spiritual being you believe in will also be happy for you to change.

Families work the same way; no person is completely separate. If the son or daughter changes, then the father and mother will also change. If the energy arises from the son or daughter and effects a change in them first, then it will also produce a change in the heart of the father and mother some time later. Families are not made up of completely separate entities. Even if God has predisposed things to be a certain way, we can still change because, as the Bible says, “we are children of God” (I John 3:2).

What is the relationship between the creator and the creature? One has the ability to create and the other is what is created. If they are connected to each other then we can talk about them as subject and object. If they are not connected to each other, how can we call them subject and object? The subject that creates is God; the object created is the universe in which we live. Between the subject and the object there is a close relationship, just as there is a close relationship between left and right, night and day, satisfaction and hunger; just as, according to the law of reflection, the perceiver and the perceived have a very close link.

When the angle of incidence changes, the angle of reflection will change immediately. What we call the will of God is linked to our own will. That is why the retribution of our past actions can be changed.

— Thich Nhat Hanh (The Energy of Prayer: How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice)


Lord, who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am;
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man?


Permission is given to every human being. If one chooses to incline himself to a path of goodness and be righteous, the right is in his hands. If one chooses to incline himself to a path of evil and be wicked, the right is in his hands.

Mishneh Torah by Moses Maimonides

The gift of giving this holiday is to give. When we give, we give of ourselves, we give our very selves. Money is ultimately not that important it is the thought behind it. When loved ones around you… repeatedly give for the sake of reward, they are brown nosing. Giving is about intention, consideration. To give is to seek no reward, you are telling another that you love them. Brown nosing is for the spiteful, shallow and contemptible.
It’s a real shame when loved ones act like brown nosers, they only show their own inner lack, their inner childishness and perhaps their inner ugliness. Brown nosers are often totally oblivious that life exists or can happen any other way. Be glad if you know only one or two brown nosers. Much better to surround yourself with people that actually consider each other….. You know? That silly thing, called love….
Life is a journey in consciousness. In truth, God is always one and we are always one with God and with each other. The problem is that we don’t know that truth. This is a critical point. We are always one with the ultimate—our work is to achieve an awareness of that truth. This awareness is the ecstatic experience of ultimate love.
This helps us understand the true meaning of the command¬ment “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
How can we be commanded to have feelings of love toward another person? What if we simply have nothing in common? What if we seriously disagree over many political and social is¬sues? How can we be expected to love people who are so different from ourselves?
The commandment is actually telling us that in reality we are already one, and we can definitely experience that to be true and feel the love. However, to achieve this realization we must act in ways that express and reveal that truth. This is the theme of all the commandments dealing with interpersonal relationships.
This is the same dynamic behind the commandment to love God. We are already one with God. But we need to acknowledge that in what we think, say, and do. Then we will feel it. This is the theme of all the commandments dealing with our relationship to God.

David Aaron (The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You)


Only by becoming hollow (empty of self through submission to the Divine Will) can the reed-pipe sound its plaint of love as the Breath of its Maker (the Breath of Compassion, nafas rahmani) blows through it again, thereby re-creating its ac

hingly beautiful melody of love in an act of mysterious intimacy. Through such sweet surrender, faith experiences Truth as Presence and develops the existential certitude that the transcendent essence of our existence is nothing less than divine. The intellect, by contrast, is the repository of the transcendent foreknowledge of this truth (aletheia, suggesting “not forgetting” or awareness), inscribed within our hearts and recollected – by grace – in moments of tranquility. This recollection (anamnesis or “re-minding”) is the intimate access of our deepest perception into the mysterious heart of transcendence.

The relationship between faith and intellect can also be understood in terms of the relationship between communion and sacrament: the pining for mysterious intimacy through communion and the intimate recollection of mystery through sacrament. Faith proceeds from the intimate center or “heart” of our being and is rooted in communion, while the intellect is a relationship to the mysteries of revelation, interpreted by the “eye of the heart” sacramentally. At its highest level, faith functions as the intellect through its openness to the intimacy of immanence. This openness to intimacy is the source of our awareness of our communion with the Divine, that the spiritual substance of our innermost heart is itself divine and is thereby the source of our certitude and felicity. Correspondingly, at its highest level, the intellect functions as faith through its openness to the mystery of transcendence. This openness to mystery is the source of our awareness of the sacramental nature of creation as a continual revelation, that each moment and every atom is a unique and sacred radiance of the Divine, “the Truth whose theophanies are never repeated” (Nasr).

Doing the right thing is always a good thing; keeping the peace; maintaining the status quo; remaining calm, collected when everybody around you is panicking or losing their minds. A snake is a snake though; it will eventually always bite y

ou no matter what you do. In life some people are snakes. Sometimes then, doing the right thing is refusing to pick up the snake. Allowing the snake to continuously bite you, (because you are helping and forgiving the snake or person) is foolish. How is the snake to grow and learn if it is allowed to continue to bite you? How can the snake move on, grow and become more than a snake if all you are doing is allowing that person to bite you? Being the better person, parent, child, teacher and student does not always blindly mean subservience and servitude or giving. One can be giving by being harsh. Too much sugar and a child will rot its teeth. One does not allow a child to rot their teeth simply because they want to, by ingesting large quantities of candy. Allowing an abusive sociopathic personality to continuously abuse you is not the correct way. The correct way is to remove one’s self. So that the sociopath, be they parent or child..or whatever relationship so that they may stop. Without oxygen a fire will not burn. Have the Wisdom of Solomon and demonstrate that you will cut up the child; because you love your abuser, and refuse to let them abuse you. Love is submission to God, not to selfishness and self-interest.
Hesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet
Theosophical Kabbalah, part 4

The second triad in the tree of the sefirot is that of hesed, gevurah, and tiferet, or lovingkindness, judgment, and harmony. This triad is probably the easiest to understand, and I

often begin with it when teaching beginning students, though there are many subtleties within it (as within all of the sefirot) as well.

I sometimes express the dynamic relationship between hesed and gevurah in terms of human relationship. We might suppose that all we want in the world is more hesed, more lovingkindness, and a person should try to cultivate and express as much of it as possible. Often, that may be true. But imagine a relationship in which one partner is always full of hesed, doing everything for the other partner, not caring for his/her own needs, and trying, all the time, to help, nurture, feed, support, guide, provide for, and generally love the other. Quickly, such a relationship will become dysfunctional. Eventually the other partner will form a dependence on the first one, or will feel smothered, or will yearn for self-expression and some degree of self-sufficiency. A relationship in which separateness is completely lost is not a healthy relationship. So even in the case of two lovers, gevurah — restraint, holding back — is necessary.