You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘mysticism’ tag.

According to Si Hamza Boubakeur “Sufism itself is not a theological-juridical school, nor a schism, nor a sect, since puts itself above any obedience. It’s primarily an Islamic method of inner improvement, of balance, it’s a fount of fervour intensely lived and gradually ascending. Far form being an innovation or a divergent way, parallel to canonic practices, above all it’s a risolute march of a category of privileged souls, captured, thirsty of God, moved by the shock of His Grace, to live only for Him and thanks to him inside His law meditated, interiorized, proved”. Again according to Si Hamza Boubakeur the components of sufi doctrin are: total love of God; gnosis, which getting over detective and incomplete intellectual knowledge directly unites the sufi to divine, so the certitude of His existance and of impossibility to understand Him with human forces alone; the intuitive knowledge achievement; the Mystic ascent thorugh a series of  states and stations, integrated by remembrance of God and ecstasy.
The path which a sufi follows is made of ten stages, each of them having ten learning-understanding stations, for a total by consequence of terms-representations remembering the thread of the path to follow. Each of them has corresponding verses of Koran to lighten its values. In this way the sufi reaches seven subtle grades emblematically corresponding – according to Simnani’s description – to seven great prophets.
The ten stages are: beginnings, doors, behaviours, virtuous habits, principles, valleys, mystic states, sanctity, reality, supreme abodes.

The seven grades

In the descending arc, form macrocosm to microcosm, from divine to soul, are divine essence, divine nature, the world of informal, the world of imaginal, the world of spiritual perception, the world of forms, the world of nature and human being.
In the ascending arc, that which sufi performs to get from self to God, the seven evolutive grades are simbolized by seven prophets and by relevant descriptions of Holy Koran. The matrix of the body, in acquiring an embrional matrix of a new not physycal form, is represented by Adam.

Second grade (vital sense) corresponds to animal spirit, or psyche, field of struggles as proved Noah with his people.

Third grade (heart) is that of spiritual heart, pearl inside the shell, comprehension of authentic self at embrional state. This spiritual self is simbolyzed by Abraham, since Abraham was close to God.

The fourth grade (limit of overconscious) is the Secret, the point of overconscious, of spiritual monologues as those of Moses.

Fifth grade (the spirit) is the noble reaching of spirituality, as divine otherness, and is David of existing.

The sixth grade (inspiration) is properly oneself receiving of inspiration, and is symbolized by Jesus, beacuse was Jesus which announced the Name.

 Seventh grade (the Truth), that of last one subtle organ, activated at the end of this path, corresponds to divine centre of Being, to ethernal Seal, to transcendent and immanent reality of every human being, and is symbolized by Prophet Muhammad (S.a.S.), since he was the Profecy Seal.

 The seven colours.
Each of these seven stages of the journey has his relevant color, which corresponds to light color which the sufi sometimes sees during the dhikr (remembrance). Seven colours are, starting from the base: black, grey, light blue, red, white, yellow, black light, emerald green.

 The seven symbols
The seven grades have relative symbols, whose study and elaboration during sessions helps its comprehension: sound, light, number (geometry, construction, golden section), letter (secret meanings of names, grammatical construction), word (dhikr, Names of God, Holy Koran), symbol, rythm and symmetry.

Anyway, this brief description is imperfect and limited. Describing the journey step by step is not enough to express what experienced and its actualization. So we resort to other terms, to define an acquired psychic reality: states, stations, presences.

Ahl (plural ahwâl). Pivot moments, transitory. As a metaphor they could be so described: “The terrain hit by sound is itself undulatory movement. The wave is the measure, rhythm comes out from tones’ combination along this wave […]. Tones are divided by measure, regular or not regular; they can fill it rapidly following one another, or on the countrary leaving huge empty intervals. Sometimes they tie up in bundles themselves, sometimes they space out themselves […]. Due to this reason of freedom in dividing and priming, tones can give to the basic form, constantly sinuos, a noble profile, continuosly different. […]. These tone’s games along the sound wave, this self-modelling of the wave substance, coincidence and opposition of these two components, their reciprocal tension and their mutual continuous adaptation, here what we call, in musica, rythm. Tone’s ripetion has a double aim: to satisfy needs of simmetry wich pretends to be fulfilled, and to play role of connection in the amplification chain. Spritual states and music tones, which costitute varying and unpermanent qualities pretending to meet, or a place, where get down to modify the rythm, are symbolically expressed by human works of art”.
Spitual state itself is complementary to the meeting moment and to the inverse of stability. It translates multiple indescribable, unitary, emotions, whose seating is soul; it’s mutable and permanent at the same time, since search is struggle but mysticism is quiet.

Maqâmat. Spiritual stations, are definitively acquired conquests. They have both an active and a passive one attitude: introiection/dilatation; union/separation; sobriety/drunkennes; annihilation/total subsistence; presence/absence. To be in the world but not taken by world.

Hadrat. The presences. For sample multiple realities of calligraphy. It’s the complete human being, âlInsân âlKâmil.

 Text of  Gabriele Mandel, translation by Massimo Failoni

Lutheran theologian and Christian pacifist.

Dorothee Soelle was a German theologian who came of age during the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II. Studying at the University of Cologne, she became a professor of theology at Union Theological Seminarym where she served from 1975 to 1987 during which time she embraced mysticism and saw justice and peacemaking as its natural expression in a world reeling from consumerism, economic inequities and ecological trauma.

“Not one to be as concerned about organized religion as about living out God in the world, Soelle’s brand of radical Christianity finds connections between mystical experience and political activism, between suffering and resisting the status quo… She insisted that being Christian meant one needed to stand against the war in Vietnam and was adamant that any theology that allowed soldiers to work in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and still go to church on Sunday must have some serious problems. Soelle called for a democratization of mysticism because experience of God is available for all and cannot be holed up in cathedrals or church dogmas. Like many others whose lives of the spirit are inspirational, Soelle seemed to have encountered and lived out God in ways that questioned much of what we accept as ‘given’ about our world. Her critiques of capitalism, consumerism, nuclear arms buildup, Vietnam and Christian theology that created the space for Auschwitz were all scathing.”

“She was and remains the political conscience of Protestantism,” said Maria Jepsen, the Lutheran bishop of Hamburg, where Soelle lived, reported the German Protestant news agency. A popular speaker in Europe, Soelle displayed radicalism and themes in her early works that prefigured later developments in feminist theology.

“She was genuinely and deeply rooted in the spiritual tradition of the Christian church and intensely engaged in the struggle for justice,” said Konrad Raiser, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Soelle developed a massive following during the post-World War II student revolt in West Germany. With Fulbert Steffensky, the Benedictine monk whom she later married, she founded in 1968 the Politisches Nachtgebet in Cologne: Late-evening prayers linking spirituality and politics in churches that became full to overflowing. These were prayers for peace that directly tackled the current political issues in the world, such as the Vietnam War, Cold War, the dictatorship in Greece, prison conditions, the Solidarity movementm the Chilean coup and arms manufacturing.

Current events were linked directly to Gospel passages. For example about Vietnam she prayed that, “I was hungry and you have chemically destroyed the harvest in my country. I was naked and you have clothed me with napalm.” Such a form of prayer was shocking at the time, especially for the conservative Catholic Church which had participated in the first event, unaccustomed to directly engaging relevant political issues and using the Gospel as a yardstick to measure the world’s corruption.

“It was the first time, in this form, that conflictual political issues were used as the focus of attention in a context of liturgical celebration and prayer,” noted Raiser, who was then a university assistant in Germany.

Another notable feature of these events was the new creed Soelle penned:

I believe in God,
Though the world does not.
God always remains so,
Even while the world refuses to be governed by the eternal laws,
Which are designed for all from rich to poor,
Experts to the uninformed,
Rulers to the ruled.
I believe in God;
The contradiction of the world’s will.

Later she travelled to the United States where she led protest marchers against a number of wars, from Vietnam onwards to the Gulf War and Afghan and Iraq conflicts. She had faith that all true Christians would understand that pacifism was an essential tenet of their religion.

She wrote a large number of books, including “Theology for Skeptics: Reflections on God” and “The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance” (2001).

In “Beyond Mere Obedience: Reflections on a Christian Ethic for the Future” she coined the now-commonly used term “Christofascist” to describe fundamentalists. To Dorothee Sölle, Christofascism was caused by the embracing of authoritarian theology by the Christian church. It is an arrogant, totalitarian, imperialistic attitude, characteristic of the church in Germany under Nazism, that she believed to be alive and well in the theological scene of the late 20th and turn of the 21st century, particularly in the United States of America. Christofascism allows Christians, or disposes them, to impose themselves upon other religions, upon other cultures, and upon political parties which do not march under the banner of the final, normative, victorious Christ. This allows the fundamentalists to establish a dubious moral superiority to justify organized violence on a massive scale, a perversion of Christianity that is at the heart of Christofascism.

George Hunsinger, director of the Centre for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, regards the conception of Christofascism as being an attack, at a very sophisticated level of theological discourse, on the biblical depiction of Jesus Christ by fundamentalists. Douglas John Hall, Professor of Christian Theology at McGill University, relates Sölle’s concept of Christofascism to Christomonism, that inevitably ends in religious triumphalism and exclusivity, noting Sölle’s observation of American fundamentalist Christianity that Christomonism easily leads to Christofascism, and that violence is never far away from militant Christomonism. He suggests that the best way to guard against this is for Christians not to neglect the humanity of Jesus Christ in favour of his divinity, and to remind themselves that Jesus was a Jewish human being.

Perhaps Soelle’s best-known work in English was “Suffering,” which offers a critique of the assumption that God is all-powerful and the cause of suffering; humans thus suffer for some greater purpose. Instead, God suffers and is powerless alongside us. Humans are to struggle together against oppression, sexism, anti-Semitism and other forms of authoritarianism.

In 1983, invited to be a main speaker at the World Council of Churches (W. C. C.) assembly in Vancouver, Soelle began her speech: “I speak to you as a woman from one of the wealthiest countries in the world–a country whose history is tainted with bloodshed and the stench of gas.” Offering the W. C. C. platform to Soelle irritated leaders of her country’s main conservative religious body, the “Evangelical Church in Germany”.

Nonetheless, after her death, Manfred Kock, the church’s current head, praised Soelle. Her teaching was no longer a “marginal stance,” said Kock. “It is a significant part of our church, preserving it from pious exclusiveness.”

Soelle died after collapsing at a workshop in Göppingen, Germany in April 2003. She was 73 years of age.solle

Blog Stats

  • 16,855 hits
August 2021

Support 2007, 2008 and 2009

More Light Presbyterians

Visite recenti

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Blog Stats

  • 16,855 hits
Follow Ecumenics without churchs by on