3.3 Islam: Flowers of Sufism – Tolerance as a vehicle to transcend polarities
The series of Islam “The Flowers of Sufism” is inspired by quotations from the Koran on tolerance, a subject which is one of the main pillars of Sufism.
“Tolerance” may be a word very often used in theory but in order to be fulfilled in the practice of daily routine, we have to be free of prejudice or idiosyncratic preferences. In order to be released of an a priori state of mind, we are required to go through a drastic emotional transformation, aiming to enhance self observation when observing the world. The peak of attainment is to always maintain the purity of Heart. Tolerance is not necessarily the means to search for the common characteristics or the reflection of oneself in the others; rather it denotes the aptitude to be all including.
Instead of cultivating the instinct of competition and survival, tolerance teaches to share and therefore to Be.
Instead of avoiding or annihilating the outsider, tolerance opts for pluralism, sensing that everything is inter-linked and separateness is illusive.
Due to the virtue of all inclusiveness, tolerance assists the spirit in apprehending the most precious of Secrets – Being, meaning the exploration of infinite alternatives, mirroring Infinity or The Divine.
Quotations of the Koran Suras, here presented, demonstrate the benefits of tolerance exercised towards other faiths, nature, the enemy, fellow man, women and orphans.
This series exemplifies, in word and image, the phases to attain tolerance by liberation of idiosyncratic concepts.
It is inspired by Zen insights and ancient esoteric imagery and symbolism of Tarot card wisdom.
One of the issues Zen Buddhism deals with is how to diminish the gap between elusive psychological space/time notion of reality and the real experience of Reality beyond time and space.
Ideas and concepts tend to be static while the world is an infinite flux of transient phenomena. Forcefully the more dynamic the mental and energetic characteristics of the seeker of True Reality are the better one can be part of the flux. Attainment of Enlightenment, according to Zen Buddhism, Chinese Taoism or Indian and Tibetan Tantric knowledge, consist of the complete integration of the psychological aspect within Reality. At this point there is no gap existing between the psychological entity and Being. The mind becomes a virtual mirror which does not retain any former pre-concepts, and thus is able to explore and experience transience (or Being) without personal interpretative screens. Thus, the mind is able to grasp what there actually is, rather than imagine the world according to expectations or anxiety.
Both expectations and anxiety are products of an idea fix, a direct cause of intolerance. Instead of learning how to be an integral part of Being, the mind insists in the illusory task of making the world fit its own false reality. By becoming one with Reality, as it is, we start living the Essence.
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