Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rose Crescent and Traditional Sufism

How is the Rose Crescent different from Traditional Sufism?

There are a number of ways that we differ. First, and most importantly, traditional Sufism places a heavy emphasis on reliance and adoration of the Shaykh. We disagree. All of us have a Spark of the Light within us. Our goal is to clean the dross from our mirrors so that we realize that Spark, e.g. our Higher Selves. The best guide is the Shaykh (or Teacher). But this is not a human (as misunderstood by most Sufi groups). Every individual has a Shaykh that exists as a Spirit Guide in the Higher Realms. Our goal is to meet that person, commune with him/her and gain guidance.

In addition to our personal spirit Shaykh, we also teach that each of us must enter into a personal relationship with one of the great Prophets and Manifestations of the Spirit of Wisdom (especially Fatimah). Moreover, those wishing to deepen their understanding of Sufism as it arose from ancient Egypt are encouraged to directly work with the Great Teacher Al Khidr.

Second, we reject the patrilineal elements of most Sufi groups. We do not agree with the way in which most sufi groups pass on spiritual leadership from one generation to the next.

Third, we reject the paternalistic elements, the often male dominated leadership of most groups.

Fourth, we trace our own heritage (and in fact the entire world's hidden spiritual evolution) through the Three Swans of Heaven, the Heavenly Mothers, Khadija, Aisha and Fatima back to the Prophet and then even further back to Al Khidr - and beyond him to Osiris and Isis.

Fifth, unlike some neo-Sufi groups, we draw inspiration and value the spiritual authority of the Glorious Quran (along with all of the world's sacred and revealed scriptures).

Finally, we do recognize that the Spirit of Wisdom is at work in the cosmos today, having most recently Manifested herself (in varying degrees) in a variety of male and female persons, including: Tahirih Qurratu'l-'Ayn, Baha'u'llah, Annie Besant, Rudolf Steiner, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Khail Gibran, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Krishnamurti, Peace Pilgrim, and many others.


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