Articles & Newsletters
Pleasure and Happiness
A pleasure is something one can share, one can buy. It is related to attachment and is a worldly thing while surur, joy, is for its own sake. The bird sings because its nature is to sing, irrespective of whether the hunter is hunting it or the neighborhood is giving it extra food. A pleasure is a result of something that has occurred. A person is lonely, then he meets a companion who echoes much of what he believes in – that is a pleasure. Someone was hungry, there was emptiness in his stomach and it was filled with food – that is a pleasure. Pleasure is like neutralization: the negative and the positive meet and are neutralized.
We all want happiness and we define happiness as desires achieved. When all desires are achieved, we say, 'I am tranquil.' Well, why can't we be tranquil to begin with? Who made me have all these multitudinous desires? There are basic needs, but we don't suffer from the lack of those basic things now, things such as shelter, clothes, food. It is ingrained in us, in our chromosomes, to keep the body alive as well as we can, in order to discover the purpose of it all - that is the purpose of living.
Emptying Out, Sweetening and Purification
The First step for a seeker to take is to witness, pure and simple. It is to be watchful, to be aware, to allow that which is higher in you to enable you to witness what goes on within you. In the state of watchfulness, at the beginning, there is usually a storm of thoughts. With guidance and perseverance, these bubbles of thoughts surface and vanish. This is the stage of emptying out. It is the cleaning of the mind-processor so that no psychological or emotional memories remain to contaminate the mind-computer.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had taught: 'Die before you die.' The Suf sage retold this teaching to his disciple as: 'Lose your (lower) self and there will remain only the (higher) soul - Allah's light within your heart.' This is the purpose of human life.