by Nejmi MuHammad
THIS Is an important point about all prayer:
YOUR Success on behalf of others as well as yourself is in direct proportion to your silence.
By this I mean that all exercises, including the method I described in 'How To Pray, are mainly for your benefit. Only to the extent that these exercises serve first of all to regenerate the personality of the one praying will they–can they–be of any use to others.
Therefore your success is in direct proportion to your learned ability to keep your silence.
The ordinary human being has the potential to become a living container for all that exists. This however is a lot of work. Therefore, it is the purpose of all of all instruction to give the one who prays first of all rule over their selves (NB). The unregenerate human being is a bundle of routines all running at once. Most of these have short cycles. This is actually a mere matter of brain-chemistry. If you choose to do the breathing-exercises I described before (in connection with the images that rise up in your thoughts of others), you will notice for a long time how your thoughts race ahead to land on whatever worry has at the moment the greatest power in your mind. Then you will notice that they 'fart out' (I learned that wonderful idiom from si' Smeet, er, Smeeth!) after awhile of their own accord. All you have to do is to hold onto your intention and outwait these cycles.
The muslim Sufis contend that these selves (which sometimes are called 'archetypes'), these 'thoughts', are at once the enemies of developed humanity–and they are also so many angels who act as our teachers. Their names are five, and they are known classically as anger, fear, greed and lust, and–laziness.
Think of them as wrestling-partners….
THIS Will become clear when I point out the real motive for your desire to pray for others. The heart of the matter is that, while you may think your motives are high-up and loving, the fact is that your real goal is to become those things. This is your purpose, the pull of the future, of what you may become. However, your motive–the push of your past–is nothing more or less than the longing to escape past misery, and the urgent cravings of anger and fear and greed and lust–and, laziness.
These all have the habit of seeking immediate satisfaction. They are physical cycles intimately connected with appetite and fatigue. They would have you settle always for a little bit of 'paradise' now–NOW!–and, so, laziness and fear (of hard work) and greed (to be important) will always try to short-circuit your process.
A typical result is that whenever you may notice someone about whom you coincidentally (NB) have thought is enjoying a moment of temporary good fortune, you will have an overpowering desire to say run up and something nice, like:
'Wonderful! Do you know I've been praying for you?'
This is because you no doubt have read a little too much for your own good about the 'magic' of 'synchronicity', and so you want to cash in on all of the prestige and nice feelings:
'Wonderful! I'm glad you met me!'
AFTER All everyone knows that it is only natural to want and need a little ego-satisfaction. I have no quarrel with that. By all means, seek satisfactions. There are plenty of legitimate arenas in which to fulfill the social needs of your perfectly human and unexceptionable sense of I-ness. Starting a successful business as a night-time contract-janitor comes to mind…. Or, indeed, displaying yourself in scanty clothing and holding musical instruments in ambiguous DVD's with your friends, if you are in fact such an extravert!
After all, you can learn successfully to gather the living images of those around you no matter what your sphere or station, and hand them all on safely into al-'Abru, the Beyond. Indeed there are many workers now as we speak operating on all levels of society, in the real estate offices and prisons….
It is only if you talk about how 'you' are doing it, that there then will be no lasting results for anyone.
All you will have done then is to make a number of messes for more advanced workers to have to clean up–and you will have taken out your pay now in vanilla malts, as they say.
[Emmett R Smith
[All transcription rights reserved.
25 March 2006]