Threshold Society Theme for December 1995
We are responsible for every moment, every breath, and every action. Our “remembrance” can extend to how we handle every relationship of our lives. There is a Sufi practice called “self-reckoning” (Muhasiba), which means examining at the end of our day every action, every thought, and feeling we experienced that day. What did I do, what did I think, how did I respond?
At the same time we need an objective framework of knowledge for this self-reckoning. The simplest framework could be expressed this way: This life is a school of love and there is nothing more important to learn than this. The love we speak of is the final answer to every question, the most complete solution to every problem.
We are living within the electromagnetic field of Love. We have all been created from a single soul, as the Qur’an reminds us, and each human being is like an organ of a single body. What if, like the Karagoz puppet show, there are many characters and only one puppeteer? If we maintain a separative, egoistic perspective, we are totally lost in the drama.
We are melting the ice of our false separation in the sun of Unifying Love. As separation melts, the dirt and grit of fear, suspicion, indifference, complacency, presumption, self-importance, arrogance are washed away. When all untruths and distortions are washed away, we are left with the Truth, with the Reality of Love.
The purpose of self-reckoning and self-examination is to open us to this Truth. Here are three quotes from Hazrati Ibn ‘Arabi to help remind us to live in the Unity:
No reward that a human being can receive for his or her actions can compare
with the felicity awarded to whomever shows compassion for humanity.
Treat well those who are dependent on you: your wives and husbands; your children; the people who work for you; animals in your care; plants in your garden. Allah has given them into your hands to test you, and you are in Allah’s care. Treat the ones in your care as you want the One in whose care you are to treat you. Muhammad, the Messenger of God, says, “All creation are God’s dependents. God has left a few of His dependents in your hands.” Show love, compassion, delicacy, generosity, and protection toward those who depend on you, and in fact to everyone.
Treat everyone equally, whether they are kings or paupers, old or young. Know that humankind is one body, and individuals are its members. A body is not a whole without its parts. The right of the man of knowledge is respect, the right of the ignorant one is advice, the right of the heedless one is to be awakened, the right of the child is compassion and love.