Sufism is not concerned with knowledge. Its whole concern is love, intense, passionate love: how to fall in love with the whole, how to be in tune with the whole, how to bridge the distance between the creation and the creator. The so-called organized religions of the world teach a kind of duality, that the creator is separate from the creation, that the creator is higher than the creation, it has to be renounced. Sufi's don't renounce, they rejoice. And that's what I am teaching you here: Rejoice! My sannyas is a way of rejoicing, not a way of renunciation.
Rumi has said:
If you are not one with the Beloved,
And if you are in union,
I am initiating you into the ways of love . . .One needs to be in such love that one is ready to risk all. That love is called ishq. You have all known muhabbah, the so-called ordinary love, which is just an emotion, a sentiment, superficial. One day you are in love, another day you are in hate. One day you love the person and you are ready to die for the person, and another day you are ready to kill the same person. One moment you are so nice, so beautiful, another moment you are so nasty, so ugly to the same person.
This is not ishq, ishq has depht. Ishq, passionate love for God, is not of the personality. It is of the essence. It comes from your center; from the very ground of your being it arises and possesses you. It is not within your control; on the contrary, you are in its control. Yes, you are drunk and you are mad.
Sufis have found ways and methods of how to create ishq. That is the whole Sufi alchemy: how to create ishq in you, how to create such a passion that you can ride on the wave of it and reach to the Ultimate.
Wherever the wild ones meet, the mad ones meet, wherever there is simplicity and love, and wherever there is prayer, zikr, remembrance of God, this miracle happens. You may not be able to see it. It is happening. I am not just teaching you about God. I am not interested in giving you knowledge about God. I am sharing my God with you; it is a sharing. I want to challenge your God which is asleep inside you, to provoke it. And that is the work Sufis have been doing down the ages: provoking the potential into the actual.
11 october 1978