Thinking Allowed: Essential Sufism (James Fadiman) Video
Essential Sufism (James Fadiman)

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Thinking Allowed: Essential Sufism (James Fadiman) (2001)

Episode 65
Available worldwide

With host Jeffrey Mishlove, James Fadiman discusses essential Sufism, and describes it as being interested, involved in or part of the mystical tradition of Sufi.

The mystical tradition maintains that human experience has not changed greatly over the millennia and that the problems faced by the Ancient Greeks, by the Egyptians and by Columbus are the same problems that we face today, which are: Where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going?

The idea of the Sufi path is that you can both live with a mystical awareness and handle your material obligations in the world, that we are in this world to be compassionate, caring and useful. The Sufi tradition doesn't separate a person from human culture, but instead raises human culture up.

Jeffrey Mishlove
James Fadiman


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dbgate, posted on March 16, 2016

I think of Satan as the controller aspect of God (all things/the Universe). As such, Satan attracts those souls who, in their immaturity, seek to control others, essentially because they have not yet learned to control themselves (weak Ego). God allows us all to flourish (up to a point) -- but eventually our choices give way the ultimate consequence -- soul survival or dissolution. Ultimately, to survive, a soul must embrace the Christ consciousness (or the Oneness/Equality of all things in God's Eye/Divine Nature of God).

I think the story James relates about Satan describes other events/controller beings) somewhat down the ladder. The words Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, the Lord -- all relate to specific aspects (for instance -- the Lord is usually used in the Bible to indicate Karma or Justice.) I see aspects of his Lucifer story as a reference to what many call the Archons these dayz. No fault to James -- it is difficult for teaching stories not to get intermingled over time -- as the differences in language/cultures also make translations of stories between different communities near to impossible.

Allah Akbar -- God is Great -- as James describes -- is essentially The First Commandment of the 10 Commandments : "I am the Lord, they God. Thou shall not have any other gods before me." As a child I took this Commandment to heart -- and because I could not reconcile in my child's mind the Father/Son connection -- I, essentially, similarly to Lucifer, refused to put Jesus before God (or make him equal) -- even though I attended a Catholic elementary school. I also kept my opinion to my self -- but, in private, I never prayed to Jesus -- only God.

There are many stories/teachings about Lucifer -- including the one that the Jesus' soul was the Lucifer soul. Lucifer means "light bringer/bringer of dawn" -- however, somewhere along the line, Lucifer seems to have gotten tagged as a bad soul and used to represent an opposition to the source of creation rather than (more likely) the opposition to placing the creation above the Creator.

Thanks for a wonderful show! It has definitely enhanced my understanding of my Sufi nature -- despite my disagreement with some of the couplings between narrative and character.

dbgate, posted on March 16, 2016

Wool, like beeswax, has a relationship with negative ions. The wool clothing they wore was most likely not incidental. It probably enhanced their ability to "open" a localized "black w/hole" (particularly when twirling) enabling them to [more easily] connect with source. Once opened, perhaps the garments also enhance its sustained connection.

DRMLJG, I think it is the suppression of Ego (which is akin to an expression of source by our human selves) that distorts the ID (our subconscious, emotional-instinctual human biological selves which also includes our will to survive). The ID then becomes the dominant expression of ourselves. To me, a dominant, healthy Ego is a good thing. imo, when we say "too much Ego" what we are really naming is the inability of a person to control, moderate, and integrate the ID.

drmljg, posted on June 11, 2013

A non-denominational introduction to the Path of Sufism (True Closeness to God). There is no reality but the Ultimate Reality. Books are not helpful in the Sufi path . . . one needs a living teacher. The ego is a trickster. James Fadiman clearly describes how the devil tests us and tricks us. Sufi teachers earn their own income; they do not live off their students. Watch more videos and begin learning about this mystic path to God.

RABIAHBEGUM, posted on August 17, 2012

The blurb accompanying the video is accurate, so I was very surprised by the authors' representation of Satan in (what is essentially) a favorable light. He also misrepresents the devil a being an angel, after having clearly identified the 3 types of creation. I initially felt that the author simply misunderstood his source materials,but after having thought about it for a day or two, I wondered if his representation of the devil isn't exactly what he wanted it to be, something to make you doubt your belief system, or even worse,God forbid, embrace satanism.
Mr. Fadiman tells us he is not a Sufi. The information he shares is very basic, and easy to find in the Holy Quran, Hadiths, or other books about the Islamic faith.
For some readers Fadimans' remarks probably seem hardly worth the time I took to write about it. However, those readers of the Islamic faith,or members of a tariqa are sure to understand.

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