Jabarut by Pir Vilayat Khan


by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

(from the booklet Awakening through the Planes)



We have already learned to shift our consciousness within. Now comes the radical about-turn. We can only establish this connection by trying to see things from the antipodal point of view to our personal vantage point, the Divine vantage point, the heavenly witness.

The breakthrough that marks access to what the Sufis call the Jabarut level is triggered off by grasping meaningfulness, which is not based upon an interpretation of existential experience or a search for causality or retrocausality. If consciousness is voided of any perception or conception, being resorbed in its ground, which is intelligence, then a meaningfulness is revealed that makes sense of what we could not figure out with our mind. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan calls it “the reason of reasons.”

Ecstasy comes by touching the reason of reasons, and by realizing the essence of wisdom.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

If we consider our problems while, instead of identifying with our psyche, we identify with our consciousness, we gain an objectivity that will free us from the very personal bias against which we have been cautioned earlier on. Remember that our first step to free ourselves from the bias of our psyche’s vantage point was to transform the psyche by arousing and unfurling its seedbed–turning within by the power of creative imagination. Now, we eschew imaginary projections.

Absorb yourself in the Dhikr until the imaginary world escapes you.

Ibn’ Arabi

If we identify with the witness, it will give us an overview. However, our assessment is still limited by the fact that our personal consciousness is the focalization (or convergence) of the consciousness of the universe (the Divine consciousness), and so is our logic.

The pure consciousness has so to speak gradually limited itself more and more by entering into the external vehicles, such as the mind and the body, in order to be conscious of something.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Spiritual Liberty, “Manifestation.”

That is not the kind of knowledge we acquire but the kind of knowledge that is written right into our intelligence. It’s rather subtle. The word Jabbar is the bonesetter, like a chiropractor that puts our bones back into place rather forcefully.

We look at things around us, we see things are out of place. For example, there is the wrong person in that job and we would like to be in that job, but that ‘s the way it is. That person is there, the wrong person. The right person is in the wrong job and everything seems wrong. It takes a lot of faith to believe it will all settle into order, so our faith is being tested.

The same thing is true of our minds. That’s the reason why our thoughts are random when we are meditating. We think, “I’ll never be able to meditate because these thoughts don’t make sense. I can’t make them make sense by my will or in my usual mode of thinking. The only thing that can make sense of these random thoughts is if I change the notion of the spectator in me.”

Remember the key thought, a delightful thought actually, of Najm ud-din Kubra, who talked about the witness in the heavens. What does that suggest to us? How would an angel look at us? Instead of considering the view a person has of us or even that the world is looking at us, as Saint Francis said, imagine if we were able to look at ourselves through the eyes of an angel, how would we look?

I suppose we would say that is looking at things through the understanding of the heart instead of the understanding of the mind. If we are moved by a very noble feeling, the feeling of the angel, then the way angels would look at us would be those standards of nobility. That would be the criterion.

Cosmic GlorificationIf we remember, we get in touch with our nostalgia. It’s not in the realm of understanding; it’s in the realm of emotion. The curious thing is that in order to reach this level of understanding which the Sufis call Jabarut, we have get in touch with our ecstasy, our nostalgia, Ishq Allah. This is a new dispensation and we can not do it in cold blood. Its only when our attunement is such that by the act of glorification and our attunement the emotions we’re experiencing are cosmic. They carry us beyond our personal emotions. It starts by bewondering and it ends by glorification.

The way to do it is to get into the consciousness of the trees, like Saint Francis walking in the woods. Instead of just looking at the surface of the leaves or the trees or the boughs of the trees, he was getting into the consciousness of the trees. The trees were looking at him. When we do that we have a very different picture of the environment than from our personal vantage point. We are in a transfigured world. We feel like we’re walking on air. If we want to be high, we can just switch on something in our consciousness and there we are.

Even if we say the consciousness of the whole universe is present within our vantage point, if we’re not aware of it, then it doesn’t mean anything. We want to make this real. We must know we are always seeing things from two antipolar vantage points: our personal and the Divine, which we could call the overview the universe has of itself. Then we learn how to extrapolate between those two. With this bipolarity, we have a kind of dynamic we would not have if we were limited to, we were trying to reach beyond, our personal vantage point.

Imagine there’s this wonderful being whom we don’t know; whom we would like to know and who is revealing all the different dimensions of his/her being to us. At first, using devices, then gradually we get more and more into the consciousness of that being, with his/her being. I could even think about some of the great rishis I have meditated with in the Himalayas, or dervishes in Ajmer, or of course Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. That’s the first step. Then afterwards we try to imagine what it’s like for this to be God instead of a person in whose presence we can be seated.

When I was wandering in the Himalayas in search of great beings, as my father advised me to do, I was impressed by the extraordinary majesty and beauty of these beings. There was an ashram with a very old guru. They say that he was 108. Hardly anybody went to this ashram and here was the real person. He was silent. I used to go and sit in his presence. All I had to do was look into his eyes, and he was revealing to me the Divine splendor through the light of his eyes. It’s two ways. It’s not just that we are observing, but there’s a revelation at the other end.

Consider that, for example, the physical world is the body of this great being. This great being is revealing to us his/her majesty or beauty in the forms of the physical world, the beauty of nature. These two things, majesty and beauty, Jelal and Jemal, according to the Sufis.

The forms of the world are devices through which that being is revealing some kind of clues about something that is beyond those clues. According to the Sufis, that is the Divine splendor, which doesn’t have a form but is transpiring through that which appears. We’re wandering in nature and all of a sudden find ourselves in that transfigured state. It can happen if we are just at the crest of that which transpires behind that which appears. Then there comes a time when consciousness peters out altogether and that’s where the revealed knowledge, the Divine insight into all things, is revealed to us. Particularly ourselves, the way God sees us, instead of the way we see God.

Seeing things from the impersonal, antipodal point of view will dismiss our personal bias.

Spiritual attainment is to be reached by the raising of the consciousness from limitation to perfection.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, The Alchemy of Happiness

The Sufi dervishes try to see things from the Divine standpoint. In this perspective acquired knowledge is replaced by revealed knowledge. The way to achieve this consists, as we meditate, in trying to orient our consciousness towards its origin, which is now facilitated by “that process whereby he is able to touch upon that part of himself that is not subject to death.” Thus we maintain our high vantage point while surveying the existential world.

In the primal stage of manifestation the consciousness has no knowledge of anything save of being, not knowing in what or as what it lives. The next aspect of the consciousness is the opposite pole of its experience, where it knows all that it sees and perceives through the vehicles of the lower world but is limited by this.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Spiritual Liberty, “Manifestation.’

Intuiting the Divine IntentionThe Sufis call it being privy to the Divine strategy, being invited to the court of the king and queen, where the Divine intention is intimated in the intimacy of confidentiality (Uns). In the early stages, we looked upon the physical world and the idiosyncrasies of our personality as clues, devices whereby the underlying reality is revealed to us. At the present stage, emancipating our minds from basing their understanding upon an interpretation of these spoors, we have direct access to the meaningfulness engineering existential conditions. At an advanced stage, we learn to grasp God as He is in Himself rather than the knowledge gleaned of Him.

There is a further knowledge: God makes Himself known to us through Himself reveals to us His knowledge of Himself through Himself.

Ibn� Arabi, Kalabadhi, 1981, p. 64.

It is a further mode of knowledge not based upon experience. We could call it an intuitive hunch. At this level, meaningfulness is disclosed regardless of the clues offered by experience. We cannot acquire cognizance of the Divine qualities which we inherit, although they are known to us unconsciously, but they are disclosed to us according to our station (maqam), the place we have reached in our developmental stages.

From the moment we dismiss our identification with ourselves as a discrete individual, we think differently. In fact we think as the universe thinks, but less well, just like the fragment of a hologram. To emancipate our understanding from the limitations of our personal vantage point, we need first acquiesce to the fact that it indeed only gives a restricted insight, and therefore try to represent to ourselves how things would look from the point of view of the universe. We would therefore first ask ourselves whether the universe as a global reality is self-aware, whether behind these fragmented focal spotlights of consciousness, which we assume are our consciousness, lies a global consciousness. Shall we at least make allowance for, “What if the universe thinks?” By the same token, or the planet Earth, of which we are participants?

We are of course referring not just to the meaning of the universe to us, but its meaning to itself.

David Bohm, Unfolding Meaning, p. 99.

There is a storehouse of all knowledge in the universal mind. If you can touch it, all knowledge that is there in amplitude will be poured out to you with perfect ease.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

If physicists have any faculty of gaining insight into the functioning of the cosmos, it is because our thinking is isomorphic (of the same nature) with the universe, just as the fragment of a hologram, which functions as the whole (rather than as a part of the whole), but less well.

I think as God thinks.

Isaac Newton

To overcome the personal bias of our commonplace thinking, we need to grasp our interconnection, ultimately our co-extensiveness with the universe, which we commonly imagine to be other than ourselves. The key to ‘knowing’ is interconnecting with the global reality–the cosmos of which we are holistically a part–and discovering the transcendent dimensions of our consciousness, of which our vantage point is the focalization, and trying gradually to grasp our life situations from that pinnacle of awareness, the intelligence of the universe.

We remember a time when we were enjoying walking in nature, and then we found ourselves in a transfigured state. We thought, “I am the eyes through which God sees, the lens.” Then finally we found our glance was the Divine glance. So that’s the way. Those are the transitional steps leading to the point where that great being is inviting us to see things through His/Her eyes. We realize that our glance, is His/Her glance. What the Sufis say is that now God invites us to get to know Him without any devices. There is no form. There are no qualities; it’s beyond the qualities, just consciousness. When consciousness has been voided of its object–we’re not conscious of a physical perception and we’re not conscious of a mental conception–consciousness will return into its ground, which is intelligence, as Pir-o-Murshid says.

Consciousness Resorbed in Its Ground: IntelligenceWhile, where consciousness is active, there is an antinomy between the spectator and the perceived, at this stage there is unity. Since at this stage, having downplayed the perception of the existential world or even our judgment about the way it appears, consciousness, being voided of its object, is resorbed in its ground, which is intelligence. Consciousness is intelligence when there is nothing before it to be conscious of. When there is something intelligible before it, the same intelligence becomes consciousness.

Consciousness must always be conscious of something. When consciousness is not conscious of anything it is pure intelligence. Intelligence confined to phenomena becomes limited, but when it is free from all knowledge, then it experiences its own essence.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

These lights are gushing forth to illuminate his face. The outpouring takes place between the two eyes and between the eyebrows. Suddenly you are gazing at a person who is also irradiating lights. The opening of the inner sight (basir) begins with the eyes.

Najm ud-din Kubra, in Corbin, The Man of Light, Shambala, 1978

Most importantly, concentrate upon the thought that the light coming through our eyes is that of the heavenly witness; the light that we have spirited operates is simply as the catalyst.

Every time a flame arises from you, behold a flame comes down from the heavens toward you.

Najm ud-din Kubra, in Corbin, The Man of Light, Shambala, 1978, p. 87.

In the practice of satipathana, the Buddhists devise a method to achieve this transit from the personal witness to the impersonal. First watch what we used to identify with–our body, our psyche–without identifying with them. (Note that this is not being oblivious of them as in asamprajnata samadhi.) Then watch our consciousness as it watches an object or considers a problem. Here we may recognize two steps. Instead of thinking, “I am the spectator, the witness, I am the eyes through which God sees.” However, if we think thus, we are thinking in terms of duality. Next think, “My glance is the Divine glance (or my consciousness is the consciousness of the universe), the witness in the heavens, but focalized (as through a lens).”

Now we identify ourselves with the witness, not with our psyche. What Ibn’ Arabi said was to let go of imagination. Imagination has taken us so far but at this stage it will stand in our way.

The form at this point is the form of our etheric body, aura, and higher bodies of light. Those are only media through which reality is coming through, what the Sufis call Ayat, meaning these are signs, signals, clues to that reality which we call God, or, clues whereby God reveals Him/Herself to us. At this stage what Ibn’ Arabi says we know God not through those clues but by God Him/Herself. That’s a real breakthrough. That’s awakening.

This is a very advanced stage, because now we are not grasping reality. We realize that we are ourselves reality. That’s why when Christ was asked by Pilate what is the truth, he said, “I am the truth,” and that’s why al Hallaj was crucified because he said, “Ana’l-Haqq, I am the truth.”

Reconciling the Irreconciliables

We stumble upon a paradox which arises out of the difficulty (or nigh impossibility) of earmarking a boundary between our individuality and the universe. By the same token we clearly envision our consciousness as a focalization of the global consciousness. The whole universe has contributed to the way humanity thinks today. If the planet did not have an intelligence, it could not have intelligent beings on it.

The collective working of several minds and the activity of the whole world in one direction are governed by the intelligence of the planet.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

This arouses troubling queries in our ordinary way of perceiving, that is conceptualizing, the world. No sooner we do this, we find our ordinary assumptions stand in our way and we are therefore called upon to question them and replace them. How can we, for example, reconcile our uniqueness with the ultimate Oneness in which we are included? Our commonplace logic proves inadequate. We are in the throes of super-logic.How can we reconcile our uniqueness and the oneness that we are? We need a new logic. Our commonplace logic proves inadequate. It stands in our way in our meditation. I find I can only maintain myself in this state so long as I give up assuming that I am the spectator.

“Thou art both thou and not thou,” corresponds to a super-logical formula.

P.D. Ouspensky, Tertium Organum, Vintage 1982, p. 236.

Thou art not thou, thou are He without thou.

Ibn’ Arabi, Who So Knoweth Himself, Beshara, London 1976 p. 4.

Thou art not Him and yet Thou art Him.

Ibn’ Arabi, Fusus al Hikam, p. 34.

~ by James Myoe on December 27, 2007.

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