By way of metaphor, one can describe the centre of the human experience as the being in the chest. And one can distinguish between fundamentally two different modalities, two modalities that you can experience the subject as, the subject being the self or the one that’s experiencing. In Tasawwuf we refer to one modality as nafs and the other modality as ruh.
I’ve heard a number of shuyukh say when a faqir, when a person on the Path has trouble, then he knows that he’s basically on firm ground. It is when things start going well that the faqir gets worried because then he knows that sooner or later the difficulty is about to hit him.
We have two basic modalities that we exist in as human beings. The one modality which is the predominant modality for most people is that they function under the assumption that they exist separately from and somehow contra-distinct to the world. The other modality is that you recognize that you are not separate from the world but that there’s a oneness which connects you with all things.
Realize that Allah is the Author and Director of the Big Drama, you are the actor and we are your co-actors. How do you act appropriately?
Given that man is the only physical creature, as far as we know, to be endowed with an intellect, and has been searching for so long, is it not amazing that he has still not made much headway as to finding the answers to those essential questions?
Our base condition, our root condition, our normative condition, is ecstasy. That’s what we’ve been designed to experience. An ecstasy of such a profound character and nature, that to experience it even for a moment, is to fulfill a life. It is to have achieved the purpose of a life.