Reverend Charles Gibbs, an Episcopal Priest and the Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative, spoke on the topics of “Each of us Will Die One Day - An Invitation to be Truly Alive”. He recounted his attendance at an IAS 40 Day (The Alchemy of Tranquility) program two years ago: “We had rich, rich content in the morning and in the afternoon, we were set out into the sunlight of a glorious day to reflect on what we heard...and this is what came to me in my refection: Each of us will die one day. It doesn’t matter. More important is to practice living. Still all that does not serve our truest becoming. Listen to music of the universe inviting us to begin the dance that is ours alone. The beloved has been waiting for before time for our first steps. For our next step. No matter our age, our life is “new” in this moment. Let us dance!
Dr. Seyyed Ali Kianfar, Sufi Master and co-founder and co-director of IAS spoke eloquently and captivatingly on the longing of the soul, summing up the essence and purpose of life: The desire for life is rooted in human consciousness. When a researcher or scientist witnesses eternal and limitless possibilities, and the universe is within his or her sight, he or she must come to
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 1
the conclusion that the inner world of the human being is also eternal. The human body as the outer manifestation of our being is an expression and demonstration of the eternal. That form which we see through our physical vision we call body; that which we cannot see, we call soul. In fact, there is no distance between the soul and the body. If we espouse belief in the primary reality of the unity of existence, then our inquiry, must rest on this foundational principle which does not admit of duality. Hence, there is no distance between our soul and our body. The body is the extension of the soul, and fulfills its duty in service of the soul’s mission. We have many names for soul, but we are unable to locate it. We must find it within the body of the human being before we drop our physical form. It is like a light switch – once it is switched off, the light is gone. We need to catch this light before we miss the opportunity. You are the best and perfect example and sample of the whole creation. Don’t look anywhere else. All you are looking for is you. The whole story is only about you.