“A Sufi need not be a Mohammedan. A Sufi can exist anywhere, in any form __ because Sufism is the essential core of all religions. It has nothing to do with Islam in particular. Sufism can exist without Islam; Islam cannot exist without Sufism. Without Sufism, Islam is a corpse. Only with Sufism does it become alive.
Whenever a religion is alive it is because of Sufism. Sufism means a love affair with God, with the ultimate; a love affair with the whole. It means that one is ready to dissolve into the whole, that one is ready to the whole to come into one’s heart. It knows no formality. It is not confined to any dogma, doctrine, creed or church.
Christ is a Sufi, so is Mohammed. Krishna is a Sufi, so is Buddha….Sufism is the inner core __ as Zen is, as Hassidism is. These are only different names of the same ultimate relationship with God.
The relationship is dangerous. It is dangerous because the closer you come to God, the more and more you evaporate. And when you have come really close, you are no more. It is dangerous because it is suicidal, but the suicide is beautiful.
To die in God is the only way to really live. Until you die, until you die voluntarily in love, you live an existence which is simply mediocre; you vegetate, you do not have any meaning. No poetry arises in your heart, no dance, no celebration; you simply grope in the darkness. You live at the minimum, you do not overflow with ecstasy.
That overflow happens only when you are not. You are the hindrance. Sufism is the art of removing the hindrance between you and you, between the self and the self __ between the part and the whole…….
An ancient Persian dictionary has this for the entry ‘sufi’… the definition given by this dictionary goes in rhythme : Sufi chist? Sufi Sufist! Who is a Sufi? A Sufi is a Sufi. This is a beautiful definition. The phenomenon is indefinable: A Sufi is a Sufi. It says nothing and yet it says it well. It says that the Sufi cannot be defined; there is no other word to define it, there is no other synonym, there is no possibility of defining it linguistically, it is an indefinable phenomenon.
You can live it and you can know it; but through the mind, through the intellect, it is not possible. You can become a Sufi __ that is the only way to know what it is. You can taste the reality yourself, it is available. You need not go into a dictionary; you can go into existence………. Sufism is a special kind of magic, a rare kind of magic.
It can be transferred only from person to person, not from a book. It cannot be transferred by scriptures. It is also just like Zen __ a transmission beyond words. The Sufis have a special word for it: they call it silsila [selsele]. What Hindus call parampara, they call silsila. Silsila means a transfer from heart to heart, from one person to another person. It as very, very personal religion.”
“ For a Sufi, God is not a lived idea; it is his reality.”
“The Sufi lives in the present. To live in present, the basic need is to withdraw yourself from the past, to withdraw yourself from the future. Then comes a concentration of energies; then this small moment becomes luminous, you pour your total energy into it. Then there is joy and benediction….”