Does one require a spiritual guide?

Guidance from God to quiet and soothe

God Most High will send him the kind of right guidance that will quiet his lower self and soothe his heart. As part of this process, God Most High will lead him to a saintly spiritual guide who will help him advance more quickly in understanding. In time he will have need neither of the guide nor of anyone else. The seeker need only purify his intention toward God Most High and refine his way of thinking about Him. And he will already have begun to achieve that. Strictly speaking, however, there is no formal introduction for him in these things.

To sum up, then, the person who sets out to travel the Path, acting purposefully through deeds of heart and body such as I have described, whether by commission or avoidance, will be among those who are unfailingly led along the Path, if they are worthy of it. And anyone who has been successful in these matters is worthy. The mystics generally agree that one can come to God only by God’s help and that only the lower self stands as a barrier between the servant and God. The lower self that does not go against itself struggles against God. If the lower self struggles against God, it is inconceivable that a person could travel the Path while fending off and thwarting- the protection, watchfulness, and support that God wishes to give the seeker in the way He wishes to give it. God refuses to sustain the faithful servant except in ways of which the servant has no knowledge. The lower self’s veil between darkness and light does not simply vanish; it is lifted and dissolved little by little until certitude comes.

This is the beginning of the Wayfarer’s Path toward the multileveled states of Sufism. Its culmination is none other than the total realization of the Divine Unity, “And that is the gift of God which He gives to whom He will” (62:4). So long as one remains preoccupied with “being on the way” and with “getting there,” the goal is unattainable. One must abandon himself at all times. Only then will he experience a freedom and an exaltation commensurate with his stage of advancement, and that is to experience the joy of homecoming.

Contrary to the speculations of some people, there is no desert or wasteland on the Path of God Most High. Wherever the wayfarer makes camp he is provided a dwelling and a place of comfort. Every situation is easy for him; servants and helpers facilitate all his comings and goings. But if the servant of God should fall back on the familiar, on things he feels sure of, then indeed he experiences a desert and a wasteland in the hunger of the lower self and in reliance on his intellect and conjecture. When at last the veil is lifted, that will become abundantly clear to him. And we seek refuge in. God from an unfavorable judgment.

Once the seeker has grasped the full truth of all that I have been talking about, the journey along this Path will hold no terrors for him and he will not deem it difficult.  He will undertake his travels with delight and expansion of the core of his being and he will not tax his soul or his intellect with the kind of superfluous investigation the speculative thinkers talk about. Such concerns only confuse, baffle, and restrain one, making him reticent to embark on this Path and effectively blocking for him the door to the journey. Even if a servant were compelled to hold most of these speculative concepts as authentic, and were able to fulfill his duties by acting in accord with their essential requirements, in conformity to the Revealed Law and the legal procedures of the religious scholars, he would probably not achieve fulfillment that way. And how could he? Thank God, the matter is much more accessible than all this!

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