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.


My mercy equals that of a hundred fathers and mothers; Every soul that is born is amazed thereat. Their mercy is as the foam of the sea of my mercy;
It is mere foam of waves, but the sea abides ever!

What more shall I say? In that earthly shell There is naught but foam of foam of foam of foam!

God is that foam; God is also that pure sea for His words are neither a temptation or a vain boast.
Plurality and Partial Evil, though seemingly opposed to Unity, subserve

Good. The story is now concluded, with its ups and downs, Like lovers’ musings, without beginning or ending.

It has no beginning , even as eternity,
Nor ending, for ’tis akin to world without end. Or like water, each drop whereof is at once Beginning and end, and also has no beginning or end.

–Rumi (Masnavi)