Love in Community
Our unique spiritual journey is, in one sense, alone. In another sense, we absolutely need each other to reach completion. We need each other to translate the Divine Names into action, to complete the realization happening within our souls and to free us from aspects of our own egoism which otherwise can ruin us. Teachings, metaphors, stories and inspiring exemplars in this living tradition educate our reason and motivate our hearts. Our community is an invisible connection with tangible moments. Its vertical dimension goes through time and space and is beyond any particular religion. One glimpses and understands experientially the true universal dimension of this path for oneself. Love in community provides a high enough platform from which each individual’s state can be raised to an even higher level. A community of people who awaken the Resonance of Love also awaken the spectrum of Divine qualities. They can live in the Vibration of Love. Along the way, we are increasingly awestruck at the Reality of Divine Grace, Mercy and Gifts. We experience and know the breadth of Divine Love through each other. The proverbial familiarity bypasses contempt and leads us into a Vibration of Love. The Vibration tames and softens our egos. Reactivity gradually lessens. Attempting this journey of transformation alone is a nearly impossible task. If an individual practices the disciplines of spirituality within a community dedicated to this transformation, and informed by an adequate knowledge of transformation, transformation will be natural, spontaneous and inevitable.
Transformation occurs through knowledge, experience, and being mirrored by the faithful and the generous in community. Once we have a certain amount of knowledge, we can attempt to live according to it. Most of what the world takes to be knowledge is external knowledge. Spiritual knowledge comes through inner experience. External knowledge can be a burden. Inner knowledge—the experiential, spiritual ilm in the Quran—is like having a spring within yourself.
Discussion of a text from Nefari tells us needed inner knowledge is given to each of us directly by the Divine at the right time on our journey along a continuum. Subtle movement along the continuum results from meditation, prayer, mindfulness, being awake, being present here and now, and Remembrance. Each continuum point is a unique world with its own knowledge. Having mastered one point, you enter a staying. God personally teaches us the adab of the next level in that staying or intermediate state between one Presence and another. Work through community to increase awareness and choosing to exercise will through the spectrum of love’s qualities allow us to work with adab. Love provides the greatest power for this transformation. The spectrum of love consists of these qualities: patience, kindness, generosity, humbleness, guilelessness, good temper, courtesy, altruism, sincerity, endurance, forgiveness, courage. If any of these qualities is awakened through reason, social encouragement or even imitation, the Original Power of Love that’s the Source is invoked. The Effects evoke the Cause and Cause evokes the Effects.
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