by Hammed Nedgam
Whatever else may be said, the work of the Sufi while often stated rightly not always to be intended for immediate practical application is nonetheless being done in every case on behalf of the immediate situation. This is so in the fullest sense of the word and it is always true. Hence, critics who claim to perceive that the Sufi is simply a self-absorbed human social and moral failure, or a minority psychological type of intuitive, or a cultist intent only on his or her own measly salvation, are not getting the point. Nor usually of course are most of the self-pity cases, the psychological minorities, or the cultists themselves. It is not so much a question of how much can be shared by Sufis, although on average people do have quite a knack for example of not living up to the best of their scientific and religious traditions in any case. So much is this the rule in fact that plenty of diversionary operations are always in play in societies, simply to entertain people and draw off their excess emotional energy until they are ready for something else. In the meantime the enthusiasts and true believers do supply a certain component of raw power, naturally. In the main then Sufi reticence about what they really do is actually a mere question of energy efficiency. The contemporary fuel shortage should help some at least to grasp this by analogy. After all, the central characteristic of immediate situations in linear timestreams as such is that “there is just never a enough time.” From that point of view then there is no good to be achieved, on this Earth at least, by making outrageous claims that derail everybody and cause endless dispute about the work of the Sufis. After all, really, there is just not enough time for that. And in any case contemporary people still need a lot more cultural re-equipment (this work is going on now) before properly speaking they even can begin to exercise their proudly acclaimed “individual” free will in matters. The claim of the reality of free will in many quarters in the West, as well as the reality of the authentic human individual, is merely a cultural image or idea which only now is actually being realized. And still more is this the case before bona fide individuals can properly decide the truth and falsehood of most if not all of the other Sufi assertions. In this respect the average man or woman is in just the same position with Sufi principles as they are when confronted with integral and differential calculus. Or the factitious dispute between evolutionists and creationists. Therefore the very first step in any preliminary human refinement before attempting further learning and work must be the wholehearted ability to say that I do not know something when, in fact, I do not. And the corollary of this kind of practical modesty is that it is in fact neither very moral nor humble to harbor the secret idea or plot that, if I will just say politely that I don’t understand what is going on, that an immediate explanation of everything shall be forthcoming from the grateful Sufis!
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-right reserved
[4 October 2008]