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that we may need to remind ourselves of the importance of individual and not overlook the individual’s potentiality for leading toward the survival of humankind as well as the planet. It is important for us to remember that for the individual to lead towards global or individual peace and happiness, the individual has to find peace and happiness within his or her own being first. And, so the journey towards selfawareness becomes an essential embarking point in human life, a journey that begins from limitation and steps towards liberation. The foundation of such awareness and knowledge is the human self. It is such awareness that promises freedom and liberates us from the unknown dictates of technology and the unpredictable destiny of globalization. The journey of self-awareness will necessarily require individual and global responsibility, perhaps a good starting point towards peace and happiness. A journey towards knowledge, just like any journey, begins at a station and continues towards a destination. It requires a goal, a map, a guide, a direction. Each successive station becomes a locus of new learning, an experience of its own--yet all stations relate to one another as distinct stages of the journey. Ordinarily, when we undertake a journey, we check all the requirements for a successful journey. We should not give lesser importance to an inner journey, the journey of the heart leading towards knowledge. In the journey of the heart, the goal for a Sufi is to attain the knowledge of self, as a doorway towards understanding the Divine, the Ultimate Reality. Such a journey is not a philosophical description, a theory or ideology we 17

Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 2

hope to achieve. It is an individual journey, focused around the individual and actualizing the potentiality of the human self. The journey of self-awareness transforms our limitations to possibilities, our self-absorbed goals to the pursuit for humanity’s wellbeing. This journey leads us to discover the wealth and richness of being, entrusted to the human heart, and it frees us from the blind paths to unknown destinations. Such journey helps us to search within rather than without, helps us to become rather than be consumed, values our individual being rather than letting the individual Being be suffocated under globalization and gradually disappear at the dictates of technology. A journey towards understanding such Reality involves actual steps on the road; one must learn the rules, honor its disciplines, and practice according to the instruction and teaching of a teacher. The teaching of such teacher is founded upon the eternal rules and laws of Being; these laws are not man-made laws and are not bound to the limitations of the human mind, the changing moods of emotions, human likes or dislikes, preferences, and prejudices, and other qualities which describe an ordinary human. In science, for instance, the pursuit is to understand the laws of nature, thus achieving a greater freedom and reaching a universe of possibilities; just so the force of limitation decreases and humankind achieves a greater freedom when applying the laws into ones life. Science and religion may use different terms to express the same discovery. We should not be surprised if they both arrive at the same meaning and thus the same destination: understanding the Ultimate Self through successive stages of

Sufism: an inquiry - Vol16.2  

A journal for people of the heart.

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