Feel Erfanic?

by masoudA

According to the famous Erfansit Bayazid Bastami - state of one's life completes in 3 stages:
Stage 1: One is in love with Self -
Stage 2: One is in love with God -
Stage 3: reaches perfection: In love with both Self and God.

What do you think stage 3 is about?
PS - I don't know


Recently by masoudACommentsDate
Arab Spring
Nov 28, 2012
Sep 28, 2012
The Fool!!
Sep 25, 2012
more from masoudA


by Nur-i-Azal on

Let's explore the concept of religion itself. When I talk about religion, I am talking about esotericism and 'irfan, not exotericism or mazhab-gara'i. Religion - all religion - possesses symbols which when in the hands of the mature gnostic ('arif) can be used to successfully navigate through the various stages of wayfaring (suluk). This is kind of like navigating through the archetypal stages of psychological individuation that Jungian psychologists talk about except that spiritual individuation transcends (by building upon) the psychological one. That is all religion is in the hands of the true mystic/'arif, especially since  a true mystic/gnostic, once realized, can discard the outward religious forms like a garment or even take on new ones, or build new ones, whatever. In Alchemy (kimia-gari) we use  the symbols of metals, minerological processes and the general processes in the natural world to exactly the same end. In Alchemy you also find that the symbolisms of the natural world are often fused and explained through the symbolisms of the religious universe, etc. If you get the chance, take a look at Carl Jung's famous study Psychology and Alchemy.

The Islamic tradition of esotericism, whether Sufi or Shi'a gnostic, possesses an incredibly potent  and deep arsenal of gnostic doctrines and symbolisms that have been tried and implemented with successful results for centuries now.  In the traditional Islamic art of Iran you see the doctrine and symbolism in action, especially since almost all of these artists and craftsmen where practicing Sufis or Shi'a gnostics of one sort or another. Arts and crafts are precisely the place where ideas and spiritual realizations take concrete shape and where the truth and beauty of such forms of practice are displayed for all posterity, since from a mystical and esoteric point of view beauty and truth are equivalent, one and the same.Take a look at the interior of the dome of the Shaykh Lotfollah mosque in Isfahan. This dome conveys a highly metaphysical and symbolic visionary narrative regarding the nature of reality as perceived through the cultural lense of the craftsmen who made it.

That said, I invite you to look at the following work by the late French Iranologist Henry Corbin: SPIRITUAL BODY AND CELESTIAL EARTH: From Mazdaean Iran to Shi'ite Iran. This work offers one of the most potent phenomenological discussions of the continuity in the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian spirituality of Iran with its Islamic one ever written.

By providence, I mean "qismat." But collective global wisdom can also be called the Perennial Philosophy which Shaykh'ul-Ishraq Shihabuddin Suhrawardi discussed as Javidan Khirad (and he conjoined the names of Asha Zarathustra with Abraham, Hermes and the Sufis in his philosophy, fyi)!






Dear Nur

by masoudA on

You made some good points - but....

1- As I said Erfan is the higher stage after religion - consider religion a platform which can be used to get to Erfan (Enlightenment).   Yes I do know Bayazid was a Moslem, so were Molana, Hafez, and Khayam.... but what is significant about them was Erfan not Islam. 

You did make this great comment: "we realize the God/Imam/Angel-of-our-own-being which is that reflection and projection of the Infinite specific to each of us."   This is pretty much in line with "An-al-Hagh" or the concept of "We are of God" - not we are god, but we are of God.   Sort of like what an individual cel is to a human body.  

You also say: " So the Goal for each person by themselves is to get to this stage by any means necessary providence has provided them with to get There.    The key word here is providence, and "the means" is what I am hoping to explore here.   We must not lose sight of the first step towrds Erfan is to not get stuck on Religion.    If by providence you mean God or as Zartosht puts it the "Collective Global Wisdom" then we are on the same page.




by Nur-i-Azal on


You tell me not to quote hadith, then invoke the authority of Bayazid Bistami yourself! You are aware that Bayazid was a Muslim, right? BTW I also quoted you from the Upanishads, and all the rest of those quotes are part of the universe of 'Irfan (gnosis) which BTW is an Arabic word ;-)

Selflessness (anatman) has no meaning unless you understand what the Self (atman) even means or stands for. As such selflessness is as much an illusion as is selfhood, and the pietistic religious life  as much a mirage as is its absence. 

We only become complete when.........???? 

When we realize the God/Imam/Angel-of-our-own-being which is that reflection and projection of the Infinite specific to each of us. Bayazid himself says,"I went from God to God, until It cried from within me, "O thou I!" So the Goal for each person by themselves is to get to this stage by any means necessary providence has provided them with to get There.

But, then again, the Infinite can never be fully reached in total completion or satiation so the notion of completion is itself an illusion. Even the Buddha can expand further into infinite more stages and stations of Enlightenment because there is no end to the Truth, nor can there be. So every completion is the commencement of a further stage within the Godhead, ad infinitum. Bayazid says, "I quaffed from the waters of the infinite shores of the Divine abyss, yet I say from  within this station, is there yet not more?"

You criticize me for quoting the hadith kumayl, but when Kumayl asks what is Ultimate Reality and Ali finally answers by telling him, "extinguish the lamp" (small self) "for the Dawn has arisen" (the Divine Self) the very answer you ask me for (and your general question) is already given in cryptic detail by the Imam and Commander of the Faithful, and it is, the inner spirit and Self of Kumayl himself. And the process of finding that thread from the outer Imam to the inner Imam is the veritable process of 'Irfan!



Nouri Azal

by masoudA on

Take a deep breath and without posting any more quotes and BS hadis - tell us what you have learned in your life.   In simple words.  Again - please don't quote Ayeh or Hadis - This is about Erfan - it is a stage above religion. 

According to Bastami - and I am not saying he is right - those who become selfless and dedicate their lives to God and religion are better than the selfish - but still incomplete - get it?   We only become complete when we add love of self to love of god.  When we realize we are of God?   Or ? 

 Dear Yolanda  - I don't think we will come up with any answers here and I do not expect many responses - this post was meant as just another angle to consider.  


Stage 3: extinguish the lamp in the face of the Dawn

by Nur-i-Azal on

What do you think stage 3 is about?

Tat Tvam Asi/Thou art That - Upanishads

man 'arafa nafsahu faqad 'arafa rabbahu/Whomsoever knows their Self knows their Lord - hadith


What it is about is that the small self (nafs-i-jozi) is already-always the projection of the Eternal Self (Atman/Nafs-i-Kulli) which in-itself is the reflection of the Ultimate Mystery, i.e. the unknown Godhead. There is a famous dialogue between 'Ali and his disciple Kumayl, known as the hadith kumayl or the hadith al-haqiqa, that lays out the stages of this mystery even further. This is what it says:

Kumayl: O commander of the faithful, what is Ultimate Reality (ma'l-haqiqa)?

Ali: What have you and Ultimate Reality to do with each other?

Kumayl: Is it not the case that I am sharing your secrets as a companion?

Ali: Yes, indeed, but that which billows unto you is billowing through me unto you.

Kumayl: So what is Ultimate Reality?

Ali: The Disclosure of the Majesties of Glorification (subuhat al-jalal) without indication.

Kumayl: Tell me more.

Ali: The apophatic negation of all speculation and the realization of that which can be realized.

Kumayl: Please explain further.

Ali: The nullificative annihilation of the secret by the victorious rending of the veil off the mystery of the secret.

Kumayl: Tell me more.

Ali: The attraction of the Divine Oneness by the attributive apprehension of the Divine Unicity.

Kumayl: Please explain further.

Ali: A Light Illuminating from the Morning of Pre-Eternity and shedding its traces upon the Talismanic-Temples of Unicity.

Kumayl: Please tell me more.

Ali: Extinguish the lamp for the Dawn hath indeed arisen!



by yolanda on

 Thank you for the super interesting blog! I will definitely come back and read the posts!

Delaram Banafsheh (Yolanda)

"Cactus in the Desert"