|The Method of Sufism
The writings of the
Sufis are much veiled in imagery and symbolism and have a stronger sense of duality than
perhaps any other religious esoteric system, except the Christian mystical writings. But
there emerges even from them the same expression of truth and the same basic method. The
following excerpts from the oldest Persian Treatise on Sufism will show. It is interesting
to note that those writings persist the longest and show the most wide usefulness which
come from those who are Knowers, and who can relate their experience of divinity in such a
way that they can teach and outline, as well as declare and affirm.
"The first step in unification is the annihilation of separation because
separation is the pronouncement that one has become separated from imperfections, while
unification is the declaration of a thing's unity... Accordingly, the first step in
unification is to deny that God has a partner and to put admixture aside..." 
"Our principles in unification are five; the removal of phenomenality, and the
affirmation of eternity, and departure from familiar haunts, and separation from brethren
and forgetfulness of what is known and unknown."
"The removal of phenomenality consists in denying that phenomena have any
connection with unification or that they can possibly attain to His holy essence; and the
affirmation of eternity consists in being convinced that God always existed...; and
departure from familiar haunts means, for the novice, departure from the habitual
pleasures of the lower soul and the forms of this world, and for the adept, departure from
lofty stations and glorious states and exalted miracles; and separation from brethren
means turning away from the society of mankind and turning towards the society of God,
since any thought of other than God is a veil and an imperfection, and the more a man's
thoughts are associated with other than God the more is he veiled from God, because it is
universally agreed that unification is the concentration of thoughts, whereas to be
content with other than God is a sign of dispersion of thought..."
- Nicholson, Reynold A., The Kashf Al-Mahjub, pages 281-282.
Again we find these words:
"One of the Shaykhs says: 'Four things are necessary to him who prays:
annihilation of the lower soul, loss of the natural powers, purity of the inmost heart,
and perfect contemplation.' Annihilation of the lower soul is to be attained only by
concentration of thought; loss of the natural powers only by affirmation of the Divine
Majesty, which involves the destruction of all that is other than God; purity of the
inmost heart only by love; and perfect contemplation only by purity of the inmost
- Nicholson, Raynold A., The Kashf Al-Mahjub, pages 302-303.
Thus again we have the same truth.