Positive Mysticism

Mystics and the Order and Harmony of Life

It is necessary for a mystic to observe order, discipline and harmony in every aspect of life. Unfortunately, some so-called "mystics and Sufis" neither have a disciplined, orderly life themselves nor invite others to do so.

Slyness, meanness, and scolding are not acceptable in true mysticism. Being messy and irresponsible has no place in Islamic mysticism; it even makes the religion obsolete. 

Mysticism, Work and Effort

In this world, which is actually a contest to do good, work and effort is the most important element. When man is doing physical or mental work, he is in fact dealing with divine symbols. Islam regards any kind of work and effort aiming to adjust and improve his own or others' physical or spiritual life as equal to worshipping God. 

In this kind of mysticism, treating the wounds of someone injured is equal to calling God's name in the middle of the night. Indeed, when a mystic fits a bolt or a nut in a machine useful to man's life, or ploughing the earth to plant what man needs, bending over in a laboratory to look through a microscope and study the structure of living beings, the student's look at the teacher's mouth, are all the same as worshipping God directly. 

Mysticism and Power 

Mysticism makes man use his power on the path to intelligible life. It harnesses power. In mysticism, power never opposes righteousness, for power is truly, originally righteous, and cannot bear any other identity. The mystic controls and directs his power on the path toward perfection, and never abuses it. As he has dominant knowledge of the universe, his scope of man and the universe is much higher.

Mysticism and Politics

Some people think there is no relevance between politics and mysticism, for the former involves managing people's social life, whereas the latter is a personal spiritual state. They do not realize that if we are to take every aspect into consideration, politics will be related to mysticism too, as it is to the arts, culture and moral ethics. If we accept the fact that politics means managing the members of the society and paying attention to their highest physical and spiritual goals – which is only feasible through activating all human aspects and potentials in both individual and social domains – we can no longer neglect mysticism, which actually aims to develop human potentials. Mysticism safeguards politics from Machiavellian hands. 

Mysticism and the Society

Mysticism makes the people in the society feel connected and united toward each other. Man will never reach supreme mystic states by isolating himself from others and heading for divinity alone. It is the mystic's duty to serve the well-being of the members of his society, not to keep away from them. 

Mysticism, Wisdom and Science

Wisdom and science help the human self dominate the universe. Some mystics regard wisdom and science as a veil. It can be so, when it serves to make man hide behind selfishness and overconfidence. Even mysticism itself, if used as the means to decorate the human nature, can become a thick veil that prevents the heart from witnessing righteousness – God. Mysticism can be a much thicker veil than science and wisdom. 

Science and wisdom can be quite enlightening for the mystic, for they reveal facts and realities to him. Some have imagined that mystic facts either need no reasoning or cannot be reasoned at all. As Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi (Rumi) says:

پای استدلاليـــان  چوبيـــن  بودپای چوبين سخت  بی تمکيــن  بود

عقل رنجـور آورد  پيــش طبيــبليک نبود در دوا  حکمــش مصيــب

آن نمی‌دانست  عقل  پـای سسـتکه سبــو دائــم ز جو نايـد  درست

عقل، بند رهروان  است ای  پســرآن رها کــن ره عيان است  ای پسر

(Those who insist on reasoning and deduction stand on wooden legs, which are very weak. Wisdom takes the sick patient to the doctor, whereas it knows neither medicine nor the truth about its ailment. Thus, the treatment on the wisdom will be totally ineffective. The weakly-founded wisdom did not realize that the jar cannot always fir into the stream and be filled up. Wisdom obeys Intelligible thinkers, those who act wisely and thoughtfully; so leave it alone, for it knows its own way quite well.)

In fact, Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi  is condemning the partial wisdom method which always tends to perform reasoning and deduction. There is no doubt that man needs science and knowledge; yet, the human soul can see and receive things totally incomparable to what science and knowledge can do. Reasoning is one of man's most important faculties. What Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi means is that theoretical wisdom is not free of error. He believes it a blessing, but it can also lead to war and conflict. 

It cannot be denied that the mystic receives many facts about his relationship with man, God and the universe through science; nevertheless, this kind of perception is not obvious and independent of reasoning for others.

A great deal of information about the realities needed to receive mystic witnessing and its reasons and conditions should be presented to normal people before they can comprehend mystic realities. In other words, descriptions, definitions and reasoning are essential preliminaries to reaching mystic states. Even Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi, mentioning that the supporters of rationalism and dialectics have a weak standing, has not completely defied reasoning, because Jalal-addin Mohammad’s style includes a lot of reasoning, and taking his poetry into consideration, we realize that he tends to defy the kinds of reasoning that people use to show off to others. Jalal-addin Mohammad Molawi (Rumi) has used reasoning to prove mystic facts about 25 times. We must remember, however, that mystic witnessing itself needs no reasoning, but the reasons and conditions that make it happen or inhibit it, and the effects it presents can be subject to discussion. Mystic evidence itself goes far beyond reasoning.


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