Positive Mysticism

The mysticism we present is based on pioneer human culture, the culture that arises from the definite doctrines of the pioneers of human knowledge and mysticism, not what the Sufis or monasteries believed in. Mysticism should see man’s perfection possible through caring for people, and hard work.

Such mysticism not only does not neglect social matters, but also considers man’s external endeavors as significant as his internal attempts to achieve perfection. This kind of mysticism is derived from God's words, quotations from Imam Ali in the Nahj-ul-balaghah and his midnight prayers in the palm groves of Kufa, and Imam Hossein's prayers in the Arafat desert and his battles on Ashura.

Mysticism is the path that can take man to his highest possible level of character, and let him devour the taste of being related to divinity.

If man follows a mystical way of life, he will achieve two results:

1- Attaining the highest, most divine of all possible pleasures.

2- Getting closer to God, which is feasible through purifying the human soul.

Thus, we may state that: Thus, positive mysticism consists of the expansion and divine domination of the “human self” over the universe, in order to let his “self” be absorbed by absolute perfection, which eventually leads to man’s reaching God.

There are a few points about mysticism that must be kept in mind:

1- Mysticism is quite vast in range and depth, so it can both involve the life of somebody like Imam Ali and at the same time the pleasure-orientated aspects of everyday life.

2- Various kinds of mysticism have one thing in common. Whether Pythagorean, Islamic or Western mysticism, they all emphasize that animal-like desires and needs should be controlled and avoided by the mystic.

3- Mysticism is applicable to several groups of people:

1- Those who have achieved the highest level of human greatness possible.They possess both high knowledge of the universe, and have also established the greatest level of contact feasible with the Creator of the universe, but still remain socially active. This kind of mysticism can be called positive mysticism.

2- Those who have isolated themselves inside mortal desires because they have failed to achieve knowledge of the universe and establish a relationship with God, and tend to escape the frustrations of the world around them. It can be named negative mysticism.

3- Those men of great elegance and enjoyment who get delighted with the appearance of beautiful spiritual states while relating to the universe, and only ask mysticism to give them these spiritual states. This kind of mysticism can be entitled “inward” mysticism.

The Characteristics of Positive Mysticism

Positive mysticism can also be called intelligible mysticism, for all efforts in positive head towards activating all of man's potentials onto the path to the ultimate end of the universe. In positive mysticism man gains full domination over both internal and external worlds; while establishing an intelligible relationship with the universe and other humans, he can also achieve a life free of his natural self.

Positive mysticism has a starting-point, a path and a destination – the highest goal of life. The starting-point is awareness of the soul and its perfection-seeking tendency on the path to greatness. Such an awakening can make man take the world he lives in seriously and move on the path to an elevated life.

The path is the conscious effort and exploration that takes man from “what there is” to transformation into “what there should be.”

The characteristics of positive mysticism are:

1- The “self” is not humiliated in positive mysticism. People are never told to destroy their own egos. Those who speak of humiliating and destroying it are actually inviting people to self-destruction, not self-enhancement. They do not know that self-humiliation is as lethal to man as being overconfident and conceited is.

2- In positive mysticism, simultaneous attention is given to both the advantages of man's spiritual evolution and to the moderation of his natural self. The issues positive mysticism undertakes in order to elaborate the greatness and values that can save man from self-obsession:

a) Thinking about the world of nature

Paying attention to the order and discipline dominant over the world.

Observing the fascinating glory of the universe and paying attention to the objectiveness of nature

Identifying spiritual pleasures and realizing that satisfaction and pleasure is not limited to purely natural pleasures

Knowing virtual pleasure and how it flourishes

3- In positive mysticism, not only are the harmful effects of the natural self emphasized upon, the role of the attractiveness of perfection in the development of man is also considered important. Sufficient attention is simultaneously given to the lethal harms of the natural self and also the necessity of endeavoring to escape it; the positive aspects of man and his potentials and his potentials are also of great importance.

4- In positive mysticism, there is no self-overgrandisement nor is there self-humiliation. When man intends to defy selfishness and overconfidence – which are, indeed evil – he unfortunately humiliates his advantages and talents; this can inhibit his way to greatness and perfection.

5- One cannot only think of saving himself in positive mysticism; he cannot be irresponsible towards others, for man can never reach human perfection unless he recognizes the needs his fellow men have, and try to adjust their physical and spiritual life. As the Holy Prophet has said:

من امن بی من بات شبعانا و جاره المسلم جائع

“He who sleeps on a full stomach when his Muslim neighbor is hungry has no faith in me.”

In positive mysticism, one cannot claim, “It's none of my business how the others are.” The greater man's steps toward positive mysticism are, the”vaster will his divine rays shine on other human beings.”

6- Responsibility and duty play a significant role in positive mysticism. Feeling responsible out of freedom and consciousness and not in return for a reward or for fear of punishment is the key to spiritual freedom from animal desires.

7- All events in positive mysticism are reflected in accordance with reality, for expressing things in any other way is in fact fighting against one's own self. Alas, some so-called “mystics” have turned to lies, claiming that sometimes lying is more “proper.” They do not realize that the spiritual harm in lying is far greater than its “advantages.” A true mystic is never deviated from the truth in various individual or social opportunities.

8- One always moves on the path towards the truth and righteousness in positive mysticism. The meaning of free movement on this path is much more elegant than and elevated than the common dealings between people every day. Man cannot find the right path amidst all the ups and downs of life unless he can let divine light shine on him.

9- In positive mysticism, the pilgrim moves in accordance with God's orders and the ways of the Holy Prophet .

A life based on mysticism is established on clear reasons, not whimsical desires or fatalistic factors of life. The pilgrim is always enlightened by divine light, and he sees everything as expressing the glory of God, for he is at all times obeying God's orders.

10- The true mystic is always on his way; he never believes that he has arrived at his destination.

من غــلام آن که او در هر ربـــاط خويــش را واصل نداند بر سمــاط

(I'm at the service of that who never thinks he has reached the peak. I am willing to serve and follow that person who never even thinks about the possibility that he may have achieved the highest of mystic levels.)

Jalal-addin Muhammad Molawi (Rumi)

Many men have the capability and quality to lead others, but their selfishness prevents their followers from progress. As Maxim Gorky says, 'A good teacher needs to have been a good student before.

He never claims, “I have reached God; my search is over.” In positive mysticism, stopping and paying attention to oneself only is a barrier on the path to divinity.

11- The pilgrim does not try to deceive himself in positive mysticism. And one who does not deceive himself cannot be deceived by others, either. He must take extreme care not to fall for worldly pleasures, for man is full of dreams, baseless speculations and hallucinations that draw him towards them. If he can continue his way without being contaminated by hallucinations and desires for pleasure, nothing can trick him and prevent him from reaching God. The deceiving self, which is in fact no other than the “natural self,” can inhibit man's capability to manage his strengths and talents, and prevent him from moving on to the “real self.”

12- The true mystic is far above public acceptance or defiance, for his character is completely independent. In other words, neither can a large number of supporters add to his glory nor can people's turning away from him cause him any fear or worry.

13- In positive mysticism, the world is not neglected. Mystics do not consider the world as worthless, and do not insult it. He sees the world as the best possible place for exploring facts and honesty. It is the place to lead a healthy and intelligible life. A mystic believes that development and change in the world follows certain order and man should also move along this path. One example of that orderly fashion is that if man does not have a developed character and freedom employed on the path to goodness and perfection, he will never be able to see the real face of the world.

14- If a mystic is given a position of great power and leadership, his spirits and leadership will remain the same as when he is praying to his God. The mystic, as leader of people, does not expect them to thank him – he is free from such petty desires. He sees himself as equal to others, one who needs to move along the path to perfection; thus, he does not expect people to act as his slaves. He considers himself as the factor promoting the others' dynamic development, not an inhibitor. He does not believe that he should be pretentious toward people. He is not superior to them.

The Characteristics of Negative Mysticism

1- Those who support negative mysticism believe that in order to build a divine, spiritual self, the “self” must be crushed and the natural instincts have to be disabled. Indian beliefs, such as Buddhism, insist on this a great deal. Instead of harmonizing the different aspects of man's existence, they tend to eliminate some of his potentials and powers.

2- In negative mysticism, the mystic escapes the torturing problems of both his personal and social life. Sometimes the frustrations and inconveniences we suffer when we fail to achieve our goals make us develop a negative point of view toward natural life, and thus flee into our own self to escape them.

Considering the ultimate secret of the human spirit, we realize that if inconveniences and failures make the human soul suffer, natural joys and pleasures should also be in conflict with it, for the secret of the soul is hidden; the mystic, hence, should be sensitive toward both the difficulties and the pleasures.

3- Negative mysticism shows our incompetence toward man and nature. Some of these so-called “mystics,” although totally ignorant of what exists in the human world or in nature, still tend to drown themselves in their mystical states. Such pleasing psychological states based on ignorance convey a false mysticism, not a true one. True mysticism moves on a path through the light of knowledge, not dark ignorance. Negative mysticism entirely neglects thought and wisdom, whereas positive mysticism considers them as highly significant.

4- The world outside is completely ignored in negative mysticism, and the mystic sees only his “internal dark room.” It seems the observable world is of no value to them. Contrarily, the key to the world inside and mystical domains is taking the world outside into consideration. The truth is that if man deviates from gaining knowledge about his outside world – which has provided the means for his natural existence, and influences him and is influenced by his soul and mind up to his last breath – and does not realize the crucial need of this knowledge, it is like trying to play a beautiful piece of music without a single musical instrument.

It is impossible to enter the domain of receiving and understanding the mystics of the universe without accepting the universe that has dispatched the mystic to this spiritual world. As the renowned Iranian scholar and poet, Sheikh Bahaee says,

ز حدوث پا کشيدم، به قـدم رهم ندادنــد ز وجود هم گذشتم، به عدم رهم ندادند

به کنشت سجده بردم، به صنم رهم ندادند به طواف کعبه رفتم، به حرم رهم ندادند

که تو در برون چه کردی که درون خانه آيی؟

(I passed the mortal, and I was deprived of the immortal. I overlooked existence and the universe, and was rejected from entering non-existence. I circled God’s house, but they did not let me in. Why? ‘What have you accomplished outside this great world that should make you eligible to enter?)

5- Sometimes the reason for being attracted to negative mysticism lies in escaping from awareness and freedom, for deep awareness brings about attention toward ideology, which in turn creates a feeling of responsibility and duty. Since dutifulness requires avoiding petty desires, worldly pleasures and creating awareness, escaping awareness traps some inside themselves and keeps them happy in their so-called mystical world.

The Ecstatic

The supporters of this kind of mysticism are greatly eager about sheer joy, ecstasy and psychological excitement and enthusiasm. Many mystics begin their mystic journey excited by reaching these ecstatic states, but later on pursue a new path and a new goal.

If the joy of these ecstatic states is caused by perfection-seeking and the human self flourishes by the illuminating rays of divine light on it, a correct move toward development has been made. This is where man feels ashamed about his initial pleasure-seeking endeavors. Although the joy and ecstasy produced by mystic excitement is immensely enjoyable, man is in fact too great to amuse himself with such short-living states. Man can make real contact with God, activate his internal potentials and elevate himself.

The pleasure-based nature of these ecstatic mystic states inhibit the divine light from shining onto man, because pleasure is one of the levels of selfishness, pertaining to the natural self. The phenomenon called pleasure – whether natural, physical pleasures, or the spiritual pleasure mystics enjoy – is quite different from the prosperity and joy of the soul. Any form of pleasure-seeking contradicts with the holy sorrow that those advanced toward God receive. Such a sorrow does not arise from material or financial shortcomings, but out of the possibility of not reaching the peak of perfection.

True mystic pilgrims are not only not worried or sad about themselves, but their anxiety is that they may deviate from the path to perfection. In brief, joy and sorrow cannot be regarded the mystic's goals; he cannot be neglectful toward the highest of human potentials. It is all right, of course, if the mystic feels the properness of psychological joy at the beginning of his journey, and use it as the base of reaching divinity. We must keep in mind that joy and prosperity differ from pleasure seeking. Joy is a highly significant spiritual state, and very difficult to describe, especially since it cannot be made understood to those drowning in their selfishness.

Man cannot achieve this joy unless he frees himself of his spiritual chains. The special spiritual state produced by being released from the jail-like chains of the spirit is, although quite pleasing at first, followed by the spirit moving alongside the universe. Briefly, this kind of joy can be regarded as release from the soul and reaching the truly original world of nature. As we said, pleasure-seeking originates from self-worshipping, which strongly opposes to spiritual prosperity. Pleasure-seeking and self-worshipping make human potentials intertwined and confused, whereas in the state of human spiritual joy, human potentials actually begin to flourish.

The deadly contradiction between self-worshipping and the prosperity and joy of the human soul can be considered as based on this principle: selfishness and showing off intertwines all human potentials in the self, sending man back to the domain of fatalistic, natural ignorance he had tried so hard to escape; spiritual joy and prosperity, on the other hand, involves the activation and development of human potentials in accordance with the general rhythm of the universe, heading for the highest possible state of perfection – the Almighty God.

The Conditions and Obstacles on the Path of Mystic Endeavor

There are several obstacles on the mystic's way:

1- A mystic should never feel he has gained any advantage, accomplishment or superiority. Such a poisonous feeling can not only inhibit his promotion to higher levels, but even deteriorate his perfection-seeking nature.

2- Worldly interests and attachments like greed for wealth, fame, power and popularity among people are destructive to mystic progress. However, if wealth and power can serve as a means to adjust one's and also others' life, not only will it be constructive, but even a kind of worship, for the mystic must undergo a great deal of suffering to do so.

3- Saturating the feeling of selfishness in any way or by any means greatly hinders mystic advance. So is claiming piety and purity. Some people believe that claiming to be pious and pure is not a fact showing selfishness, but great mystics disagree; every glory or advantage the mystic gains arises from divine favor, so associating them to the mystic's own endeavor is a kind of blasphemy.

4- The blinding lights and joys the mystic experiences in his spiritual states can also be inhibiting. Some mystics drown in such pleasing states, thinking they are at the peak of perfection; these states, however, serve merely to encourage and activate the mystic on his path.

5- Other things that may hinder a mystic's progress are the activation of amazing powers such as knowing what goes on in people's minds, awareness of the unseen, past and future, and the ability to influence others' lives both physically and mentally. The mystic should remember that his goal is reaching God, not God's favors. Reaching God is much more difficult than discovering amazing God-given powers.

6- Absolute tranquility and freedom and complete knowledge and dominance over the universe are among the amazing effects of human glory, but if the mystic considers them as his own, he might fall astray of his spiritual greatness, and even claim to be God himself!

7- The feelings of spiritual joy and expansion are signs of entering divine attraction and the appearance of divine qualities in the mystic's heart. He should prevent the above mentioned feelings from inhibiting his way to divine perfection.

Mysticism and the Four Relationships

It is important to consider the four relationships of the mystic – with himself, with God, with the universe and with his fellow beings.

1- The Mystic's Relationship with Himself: The human self is of great significance in mysticism, for it possesses various aspects and potentials, and their activation and development is essential for reaching perfection. The human self is situated in the middle of its two extreme conditions – the purely natural self and the highest possible human self – which are infinity apart. In order to join them together, it is necessary to transform the purely natural self into the highest possible state of the human self, for which cleansing of the natural self and deserving to be attracted by divine perfection is required.

2- The Mystic's Relationship with God: In Islamic mysticism, the existence of God is accepted as clearly obvious. People have different relationships with God, and the highest possible form is “finding God,” not “calling for God.” The mystic should feel God's existence with every particle of his being. Internal purification, complete dominance and knowledge of the universe and witnessing its glory are among the factors that influence the process. The mystic achieves joy and spiritual prosperity by means of making contact with God and feeling His presence.

No joy or pleasure can ever be comparable to that. The greater the mystic purifies his nature, the closer he will get to God. The more progress a group makes in their internal purifying and cleansing, the more successful they will be in making the transition from occasional sparks to continual witnessing of the blinding divine light; their involuntary receptions will change into controlled, voluntary observations. Reaching so high a mystic state is the result of one factor: the arising of the capacity to bear divine light, which makes witnessing the shining light last longer, just like when greater capacity to understand a branch of science increases the time period of the activity and its voluntary recall in the brain.

3- The Mystic's Relationship with the Universe: The mystic can go three ways in his relationship with the universe in order to reach God:

a) Realizing the immense glory of the universe

Observing the order and harmony of the universe

Feeling life in nature

The mystic should see the universe as a great place of worship for the pilgrims of divine truth.

4- The Mystic's Relationship with His Fellow Beings: The mystic's behavior toward other people is based on the fact that all human beings are virtually dignified. However, people are different, so the mystic treats them differently, too. He can easily get close to those who are advancing on the path to perfection, for they are of his kind. But he cannot feel close to the people who have fallen astray of the truth, and have drowned in their desires. Yet, the mystic always tries to do his best to bring them back to the right path

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 Muhammad Molawi (Rumi) says:

پای استدلاليـــان چوبيـــن بود پای چوبين سخت بی تمکيــن بود

عقل رنجـور آورد پيــش طبيــب ليک نبود در دوا حکمــش مصيــب

آن نمیدانست عقل پـای سسـت که سبــو دائــم ز جو نايـد درست

عقل، بند رهروان است ای پســر آن 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 Muhammad 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 Muhammad 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 Muhammad Molawi, mentioning that the supporters of rationalism and dialectics have a weak standing, has not completely defied reasoning, because Jalal-addin Muhammad’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 Muhammad 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.

Mysticism and Jihad

It is God's will that the human nature head for perfection in this world. There are many impurities and thorns on the path to perfection that can harm not only pure hearts, but also others. Thus, in true mysticism, both the development and training of pure human natures and uprooting all impurities and thorns are considered as important. In other words, guiding those rich in potentials toward perfection on one hand, and removing disruptive persons from the path to development on the other are both of high importance in true mysticism. This is why jihad against enemies – internal or external – is a basic principle in original mysticism.

Criticizing Nonsense

Those who claimed 'I am truth,' 'There is nothing in me except for God,' and 'How pure and glorious my being is!' have definitely activated their 'self' to an expanded level of mental control over the universe; however, having reached that unusual state, instead of continuing their progress toward the peaks of divine perfection, they overemphasized their 'self' – which could have gone on to reach God – stopped making progress, using their self like a mirror spread before them, thinking that is divine greatness.

Vertigo halfway on the path (even if we can say they have gone half the way) could not distinguish molten iron from real fire. If they had processed their 'self' correctly, they would say, 'I am from truth, with truth, and heading for truth' instead of, 'I am truth,' 'There is nothing in me except things that are from God, for God, and heading for God,' instead of, 'There is nothing in me except for God,' and, 'How glorious and pure God is!” and, 'My greatness, dignity and existence is from God, for God and heading for God!' instead of, 'How glorious and pure my being is!'

Some intellectuals, including Jalal-addin Muhammad Molawi (Rumi), regard such expressions as rude, and attempt to correct them by saying that man is capable of reaching God's divine presence, but when he does, he mistakes God with himself, and incorrectly says these things. Jalal-addin Muhammad Molawi adds that despite all this, being present but rude is better than not being there at all.

بی ادب حاضر ز غايب خوشتر است حلقه گر چه کژ بـود، نی بر در اسـت

(Being rude and present is better than being absent; the handle of a door may not be straight, but it’s still there on the door!)

Such excuses are rude themselves, and being in God's presence is incomparable to any other presence. When in the presence of God, man cannot make a single mistake, let alone be rude. Even if his rudeness were possibly excusable – which it absolutely is not – such words are academically and developmentally wrong and spread corruption in the society. Being in God's presence and claiming to be truth itself should not be mistaken.

Religion, Rule of Life, and the Truth

Some of those who claim to be mystics believe that religion (shari 'at), rule of life (tariqat) and the truth (haqiqat) are distinctly separate things. Religion, they claim, consists of the means that guides the mystic seeker toward the truth – his ultimate goal – and when he reaches it, he needs religion no more.

Religion, the rule of life and the truth are different forms of the same reality, preached by all holy prophets, men of wisdom and true mystics. Literally, Shari 'at refers to the way of reaching what man or God wants. Thus, religion – Shari'at – includes the rule of life, too. Islam and the Holy Qur’an also believe that having faith in God and doing good deeds is religion, and is the way to reach spiritual perfection. What is important is the path to the truth, but Jalal-addin Muhammad Molawi (Rumi) and some others believe that having reached the truth, man does not need religion or rule of life anymore.

The truth has also been described by various expressions, like “reaching God” or “perceiving the absolute mortality of the universe in divinity.”

The truth should not be regarded as the ultimate point of development and perfection – so that religion and rule of life are subsequent stages on its path. Any step man takes obeying God's orders is virtually moving toward the truth. Such a spiritual movement and progress should not end at a point entitled “reaching the truth.” The process infinitely goes on, and religion, rule of life and the truth are combinable at any level.

In fact, man's distance from God should not be considered as infinite, on which religion and rule of life are located, and the truth is situated at the end of the path. If the mystic intends to enter divine attraction, he can reach his destination without going through the path. When Moses asked God how he could reach Him, God replied, “The decision to reach Me means reaching Me.”

It is wrong to believe that the truth is the end of a long path of spiritual endeavor, and that religion and rule of life are milestones on the path. Any footstep we take in accordance with God's commands, the slightest particle of dust we remove from the mirror of our souls, takes us closer and closer to the absolute truth.

Separating religion, rule of life and the truth from each other can lead to these harmful effects:

1- Those in search of the truth will be deprived of it, for religion is not virtually desirable; only following it is the means to reach the truth.

2- There will be a conflict between science and wisdom – the best tools for seeking the truth –and love and mysticism.

3- Although they are not, materials and meanings will seem to conflict; it is, in fact, the incapability of the mystic in realizing the natural cycle.

Mystic Change

Mystic change provides the knowledge for the preliminary action, which in turn provides the preliminary for the next knowledge. The first step of knowledge makes man “wake up,” and deeply dominate the universe. This knowledge makes him take action, competing against others in doing good and heading for perfection. Each deed done with pure intentions leads to new knowledge.

If man takes each reality he understands seriously, his knowledge will increase, and his deeds will also become more meaningful. Anything fulfilling one of man's needs is a truth to be taken seriously. In the initial steps of evolutional mystic change, the knowledge of the truth and its actions are considered as separate, but when man's character develops mystically, his knowledge and action will find supreme unity.