sufism
Over the past few decades a large amount of the Western public's attention has been drawn to Islam in the form of fundamentalist belief and practice. This movement, and its effects on the Muslim community and Middle Eastern societies in particular, has proved nothing short of disastrous for many. But what is largely unknown to most is the inner tradition, wisdom and philosophy known as Sufism; what some consider to be the 'mystical' dimension of Islam. Through the poems of Rumi, the writings of Ibn Arabi, and analysis by academics like Prof. William C. Chittick we come to learn that Sufism - as it was inspired and conceived - laid out a cosmology for individuals that sought to help individuals grow 'spirituality' through the rigorous use of their minds.

This week on MindMatters we discuss several ideas central to Sufism: the nature and value of 'transmitted' knowledge - compared to direct knowledge and understanding, the striving towards perfection of man's inner nature, and the process of nothing less than coming closer to God; knowing one's self in order to know God, and vice versa. Along these lines we also look at some correspondences with Gurdjieff's philosophy and methods for working on the self. Far from being a mere footnote in religious and philosophical thought, Sufism couldn't be more relevant to a world that has effectively moved away from God and away from one's own relationship to the higher order of the Universe.


Running Time: 01:02:10

Download: MP3 — 56.9 MB