As a writer on various spiritual subjects and religions, Samael Aun Weor discussed the beauty and depth of Sufism throughout his writings, particularly The Perfect Matrimony: The Door to Enter into Initiation, as well as The Aquarian Message and The Narrow Way. We have included some excerpts from these texts in order to elucidate the essential knowledge at the heart of Sufism, the mystical doctrine of Islam.
If you are interested in learning more about the gnostic teachings within Sufism, you can listen to the following course from the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy: The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge.
The most ineffable part of Mohammedan mysticism is Persian Sufism. It has the merit of struggling against materialism and fanaticism and against the literal interpretation of the Koran. The Sufis interpret the Koran from the esoteric point of view as we, the Gnostics, interpret the New Testament.
What is most disconcerting to Westerners is the strange and mysterious mixture of the erotic with the mystical in the oriental religions and Sufi mysticism. Christian theology considers the flesh to be hostile to the Spirit. However, in the Muslim religion, the flesh and the Spirit are two substances of the same energy, two substances that must help each other. This subject-matter is only understood by those who practice positive sexual magic. In the East, religion, science, art, and philosophy are taught in an erotic and exquisite sexual language. “Mohammed fell in love with God,” state the mystic Arabs. “Select a new wife for yourself each spring of the new year, because last year’s calendar is no good,” says a Persian poet and philosopher.
Those who have carefully studied the Song of Songs by the sage Solomon find that delicate mixture of the mystical and the erotic, which scandalizes infrasexual people a great deal.
A true religion cannot renounce the erotic because it would be its death. Many myths and ancient legends are based on the erotic. In fact, love and death form the base of every authentic religion.
The Sufis, Persian poets, wrote about the love of God in expressions applicable to beautiful women. These scandalize the infrasexual fanatic people. The idea of Sufism is the amorous union of the soul with God.
Indeed, nothing can better explain the amorous union of the Soul with God than the delectable sexual union of man and woman. That is the brilliant idea of Sufism. If we want to talk about the union of God with the Soul, we must do so in the erotic language of love and sex. Only in this way can we express what we have to say.
The symbolic language of the Sufis has marvelous expressions. Among them, sleep signifies meditation.
Actually, meditation without sleep damages the mind. This is known by every true initiate. One must combine sleep with meditation. This is known by the Sufis. The word ‘perfume’ symbolizes the hope of divine favor; ‘kisses’ and ‘embraces’ amongst other things, signify the rapture of piety; ‘wine’ means spiritual knowledge, etc.
The Sufi poets sang of love, of women, of roses and of wine, and nonetheless many of them lived the lives of hermits.
The seven mystical states described by the Sufis are something extraordinary. There are certain chemical substances closely related with these mystical states. Nitrous oxide and ether (especially nitrous oxide when it is dissolved sufficiently in air) stimulate the mystical consciousness to an extraordinary degree.
We have to acknowledge that this present humanity is subconscious. People like this are incapable of knowing the superior dimensions of space. Therefore, it is urgent to awaken the consciousness and this is only possible during ecstasy. If we analyze ecstasy with dialectic logic, we discover that it is sexual. The same sexual energies that are expressed in erotic pleasure, when transmuted and sublimated, awaken the consciousness and then produce ecstasy.
Fatality is the loss of ecstasy, it is the fall again into subconsciousness. This happens when we spill the Cup of Hermes.
A great Master stated: “With the sexual impulse, the human being finds himself in the most personal relationship with Nature. The comparison of the sensation which a man experiences with a woman or vice versa, with the consent of Nature, is indeed the same sensation as that offered by the forest, the prairie, the sea, the mountains; save that in this case it is even more intense, since it awakens more internal voices, provokes the sound of more intimate chords.” This is how we reach ecstasy.
Ecstasy, the mystical experience, has its principles based on dialectic logic. This logic can never be violated. Let us reflect for example on the unity of experience. This principle exists among the mystics of the east as well as those of the west, among the hierophants of Egypt, as well as the Sufi sages, or among the Aztec magicians. During ecstasy, the mystics speak in the same universal language, use the same words and feel united with all creation. The sacred scriptures of all religions show the same principles. This is dialectic logic, superior logic. This proves that the mystics of all countries of the world drink from the same fountain of life. The conditions of the causes of the world (another of the principles of dialectic logic) show with exactitude, precision, and complete agreement of facts the reality and truth of ecstasy. The mystics of all religions of the world totally agree in their affirmations about the conditions of the causes of the world; the concordance is therefore perfect. —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, "Fatality"
The seven degrees of ecstasy through which the mystic reaches the perfect state of the soul are described in the school of Sufism. The school of Sufism teaches about ecstasy. The state and secret of our level is revealed in Sufism, because this is the interior state of life in God.
While on the path of interior peace we must perform the will of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” This conformity to “the mild yoke” takes us through the narrow stretch and difficult path that leads us towards the light.
Everyone who works in the magisterium of fire must learn how to meditate on the seven churches. The mystic must profoundly focus his concentration on the Immolated Lamb. The mystic must pray, beseeching the beloved to awaken the longed for chakra, disc, wheel, or faculty. Afterwards, when the supplication is done, the mystic must then search for refuge in the nothingness. His mind must remain silent and serene.
Illumination and ecstasy come when the mind is silent, when the mind is quiet.
Drowsiness in combination with meditation produces ecstasy.
God searches the nothingness in order to fill it.
Ecstasy has seven degrees of power:
The first is the fire that instructs and teaches us.
The second is the gnostic unction, which is a soft, solar liquor, that when diffused throughout the soul, teaches, corroborates, and prepares us in order to incarnate the truth.
The third is the mystical exaltation of the humble and sincere disciple.
The fourth is illumination.
The fifth is the internal joy of divine sweetness that emanates from the precious fountain of the Holy Spirit. This joy is for those who have “continuous consciousness.”
The sixth is the decapitation of the “I.”
The seventh is the Venustic Initiation, the incarnation of the Son of Man within us.
There are other degrees of contemplation and ecstasy, such as: rapture, liquefaction, bliss, jubilation, osculation, embracement, transformation, etc.
When our mind becomes submerged within the nothingness, then the Lamb enters the soul in order to sup with her. Therefore, the nothingness is the medium utilized by the beloved in order to work within our soul, awakening centers and performing marvels. The divine spouse comes in order to betroth his soul through this nothingness, within the nuptial bridal bed of paradise.
Thus, this is the path for returning into the innocence of paradise. While submerged within the nothingness, the soul will successfully experience the spiritual martyrdoms and the interior torments. God searches the nothingness in order to fill it.
Internal meditation produces changes in our internal bodies. Through it, the awakening of the consciousness arrives.
All human beings live within the supra-sensible worlds with the consciousness asleep. Meditation provokes the solemn awakening of the consciousness.
This awakening is like lightning in the night. This awakening of the consciousness occurs during the normal sleep of our physical body. When this body sleeps we move ourselves in our internal vehicles.
When the body sleeps, the soul travels throughout the superior worlds. When the consciousness awakens we stop dreaming. Then we live in the internal worlds in a state of intensified awareness. This is what is called “continuous consciousness.”
Whosoever has awakened the consciousness lives awake in the superior worlds.
While in the supra-sensible worlds we feel the mystical beatitude of the ineffable light. Then, the past, the present, and the future harmonize within an eternal now.
There is no better pleasure than feeling one's soul detached. Then we taste the divine nectar of eternity, and we enter through the doors of the temples filled with joy and amidst the ineffable melodies of the great mysteries. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
The Passion of Al-Hallaj
The omnicosmic and most holy Al-Hallaj was born in Madina al-Bayda, a little village in the ancient province of Fars, in southern Persia, in the year 224 A.H. / 857 C.E., and was the grandson of a devotee of the great Master Zoroaster.
Al-Hallaj was initiated into the great mysteries of Sufism. Arabian traditions tell us that when he was forty years old, he disagreed with the jurists and orthodox traditional, religious scholars; thus, he went to the streets to directly teach the multitudes the sublime principles of spiritual life.
It is written that Al-Hallaj, the great Sufi master, taught with his word and with his example. Indefatigably, he travelled throughout Iran, India, Turkey, etc., reaching even the very borders of ancient China.
The great Master Al-Hallaj was without a doubt a tremendous revolutionary. Jealous and envious politicians accused him of being a dangerous agitator. Religious scholars of the law accused him of being a heretic when he mixed the human with the divine. When divulging the esoteric mysteries amidst the people, the masters of Sufism themselves did not have any difficulty in accusing him of breaking the discipline of that which is arcane. Thus, as is natural in those cases, judges were willing to condemn him for many supposed crimes, for example: being a fraud, impostor, black magician, warlock, sorcerer, profaner of mysteries, people’s agitator, ignorant preacher, enemy of the government, etc.
Al-Hallaj, the mystical Sufi, was imprisoned in an infamous jail for nine years, and afterwards vilely mutilated and executed on March 27, 922, in the year 309 of Hejira.
Sacred Islamic traditions tell us that when the terrible night came, the night in which he was taken from his dungeon in order to be executed at dawn, he stood and uttered the ritualistic prayer and prostrated himself two times.
Those who saw him said that when his prayer was concluded, he persistently repeated, “Deceitfulness, deceitfulness…” through the long and dark night, and after a long and profound silence, he exclaimed, “Truthfulness, truthfulness,” and raised up again. He tied a veil on his head, covered himself with his blessed shroud, extended his sacred Christified hands, turned his divine countenance towards the Kaaba, entered into ecstasy, and spoke with his internal God.
At daylight, when he left the prison, the multitudes saw him happily dancing in a complete, joyful ecstasy under the weight of his irons.
The merciless executioners took him to the public square, where, after flagellating him five hundred times, they cut off his hands and feet.
Ancient traditions from the Arabian world state that after having been flagellated and mutilated, Al-Hallaj was crucified. Many people heard him talking in ecstasy to his Father who is in secret from his own Golgotha: “Oh God of mine! I am going to enter into the abode of my wishes; there I will contemplate thy marvels. Oh God of mine! If you manifest thy love even to him that wounds Thee, how then would Thou not give thy love to the one who is wounded because of Thee?”
After this prayer sprouted from the most holy heart of Al-Hallaj, the people who watched the torture saw Abu Bakr Al-Shibli, while advancing towards the scaffold of tortures, shout very strongly the following verse, “Did we not prohibit thee to receive guests, whether man or angel?”
Then Abu Bakr asked, “What is mysticism?”
Al-Hallaj answered, “Behold, his minor degree before thee.”
Abu Bakr asked again, “And where is his supreme degree?”
Al-Hallaj answered, “Thou cannot have access unto it; nonetheless, tomorrow thou shall see what shall come. I testify it in the Divine Mystery within which it exists, albeit it is hidden for thee.”
At the evening hour, the hour of prayer, came the order of the cruel sanguinary Caliph, authorizing the beheading of the victim; yet, his executioners said, “It is too late; let him be decapitated tomorrow.”
Very early in the morning, the Caliph’s command was fulfilled, and Al-Hallaj, still alive, was brought down from the cross and carried away in order to have his throat slit. Then, a certain witness heard Al-Hallaj uttering in a loud voice, “What the Ecstatic One wants is the Unique, and no-one else but Himself.” Thereafter, filled with ecstasy he recited the following sacred verse, “Those who do not believe in the last hour are dragged with haste towards it; however, the believers wait for it with a reverential fear, since they know it is the Truth.”
Thus, this is how with these solemn words the life of the omnicosmic and most holy Al-Hallaj concluded. Hence, his venerable, bleeding, blessed head fell under the edge of the sword as a sanguinary holocaust on the altar of supreme sacrifice for humanity.
The poisonous hatred of his executioners was so great that they did not even authorize his cadaver to be shrouded or have a burial service.
Ancient traditions of Islam tell us that the sacred ashes of the old Sufi Al-Hallaj were dispersed in the winds from the heights of the Manarah.
Ancient Arabic legends state that instead of a white blanket, this saint’s cadaver was rolled up in a filthy rug formerly damped in petroleum.
When the holy body burned, consumed by the fire of the holocaust, the whole of nature shook filled with infinite terror.
The great hierophant Sufi Al-Hallaj, by means of chisel and hammer, transformed the brute stone and gave a perfect cubic shape onto it.
Before physically dying, the great, immolated Al-Hallaj was already absolutely dead psychologically.
The resplendent diamond soul of Mansur Al-Hallaj is treading upon the heavenly path heading towards the Absolute.
The great Sufi initiate Al-Hallaj was born, died, and sacrificed himself completely for humanity.
Now it is worthwhile to conclude this chapter with that ineffable prayer written with infinite love by the Mohammedan Christ Mansur Al-Hallaj entitled:
"Oh Thou, Wholeness of My Wholeness…"
Lo and behold, here I am, here I am, oh my secret, oh my confidence!
Lo and behold, here I am, here I am, oh Thou my aspiration, oh Thou my consequence!
I call upon Thee… No, Thou art the one who calls me towards Thee!
How could I have talked to Thee, if Thou would not have talked to me?
Oh Thou, essence of the essence of my existence, oh Thou, end result of my design,
Thou who makest me talk, oh Thou, my enunciations, Thou my blinks!
Oh Thou, wholeness of my wholeness, oh my ear, oh my sight!
Oh my totality, my constitution, and my parts!
Oh Thou, wholeness of my wholeness, wholeness of everything, equivocal enigma,
I darken the wholeness of thy wholeness when wanting to express thy being!
Oh Thou, from whom my spirit was suspended before now when dying of ecstasy,
Ah… thy pledge continues being my misfortune!...
Oh supreme objective that I request and wait, oh my guest,
Oh nourishment of my Spirit! Oh my life in this world and in the other!
Let my heart be thy ransom! Oh my ear, oh my sight!
Why so much delay in my seclusion, so distant?
Ah, albeit, thy presence, before my eyes, is hidden within the invisible,
My heart by now contemplates Thee, from my remoteness, yes, from my exile!
—Samael Aun Weor, The Narrow Way, "The Passion of Al-Hallaj"
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free articles, lecture transcriptions, scriptures, commentary and courses on gnosticism.