Friday, May 26, 2006

Sufis, Sufism and Tyrants

Where ever we turn we are confronted by tyrants. We find them at our places of work, in our homes, running our countries, in our schools, and at our places of worship (temples, synagogues, churches and mosques). Who are these people, and where do they come from?

According to Sufism, as taught by the Rose Crescent tradition, the false self easily metamorphoses into the tyrant. Cut off from the Source, and refusing to surrender, the false self seeks to rule over others, be it at work or in the home.

The false self seeks to have power over others, to pretend that it is the warden and that the others are its trustees; that it is the master and that others are its slaves.

The false self uses tyranny as a way to establish itself as a false god, enthroned. By having power over others it seeks to fool itself that it is both the “source” and eternal.

From the tyrant to the fiend is but a small step. Tyrants often attract demonic beings, who encourage it to go on, pursue tyranny, abuse others, worship itself and ultimately turn away from the Divine Light (Allah).

Religiously, the tyrant is attracted to all forms of legalism and the tyrant is against spiritual and individual freedom.

What can we do if we discover that we are in danger of being a tyrant?

The first action is to understand the true role of a Sufi leader, for the tyrant is an inverted leader. The Sufi leader seeks to awaken others, to assist others, desires the best for others, is willing to allow others to make mistakes, encourages dialogue, has developed deep listening skills, doesn’t expect others to be perfect, smiles and cries at human frailty, and works to develop a atmosphere of love and nurturing where others can evolve and blossom.


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