Archive | May 3, 2010

The Flowering Tree

Native American, Hyemeyohsts Storm tells the stories of the Plains Indian People (The people of the Cheyenne, the Crow and the Sioux), stories from which to learn. Well versed in the ways of his people, Storm conveys stories full of symbology, just as life is full of the signs of Allah (SWT). As you read the old story that follows remember his words:

“Even as we unfold some of the Teachings within this Story, you may possibly become fixated upon one particular understanding of a symbol that Reflects many meanings. It is for you to move these symbols within your own experience so that you may learn”

The Flowering Tree (from “Seven Arrows”)

    “It seems that at One time the People were Living Scattered Out all Over the World, and Each of them heard about a very Powerful Person who Lived in the River. It was Said that this Person could Settle any Problem, no matter what it was.

    “Because no one really Wanted to Admit to Anyone Else that they Possessed Problems, Everybody had to Sneak Down to the River Alone when they Wished to Hear this Powerful Person Speak. Any Everyone did Sneak Down to the River to Hear the Powerful Person, but No One ever Spoke to Anyone Else about it!
    “Then One Day a Little Boy and a Little Girl returned from the River. The Little Boy and the Little Girl began to Talk to Everyone About their Journey.

      “It was a very Strange thing,” the Children said.

      “What was it that was so very Strange?” the People asked as they Gathered Around the Children, Pretending they did not Know.

      “Have you not Seen what is at the River?” the Children asked.

      “No,” the People All answered. “ What was it that you Saw there?”

      “Have All of you not Sneaked Down to the River, just as we Did?” the Children asked in Surprise.

      “Whoever Said such a silly thing?” the People asked Angrily

      “We did,” the Children answered, Becoming Frightened.

      “Never say such an Awful thing again,” the People told them Accusingly.

    “The Children Became even more Frightened.

    “They perceived that they were Strangers even to their own Mothers and Fathers.

    “This Caused All the People to Move Away, Leaving the Little Boy, and the Little Girl Alone Upon the Prairie. That Night they were all Alone Upon the Prairie. That Night they were all Alone and Frightened. They Cried, because Everything seemed to be so Terrible.

    “Calm yourselves, my Children,” a Gentle Voice suddenly said to them. The Children Looked to See who had Spoken.

    “Who are you?” the Children asked.

    “It is me, Old Man Coyote [the gentle trickster of learning],” the Voice said. As he Spoke, Old Man Coyote Entered the Children’s Lodge and Set Down a Bundle of Firewood Beside them:

    “And it is me, Old Woman Coyote,” another Voice said to them Softly. She Sat Down and Bgean to Turn an Arrow Within her Bow to Make them a Fire.

    “Soon there was a Wram Fire and there was Light Within their Lodge, Sitting Across the Fire from them were an Old Man and an Old Woman.

    “Who are you?” the Children asked. They were now feeling better.

    “We are your Grandfather and your Grandmother,” the Old Woman answered, Offering the Children some Buffalo Meat.

    “And we are Also the Powerful Person at the River,” the Old Man added, Offering the Children some Sweet Foods.

      “But we Saw Only ourselves when we Visited the River,” the Little Boy and the Little Girl said Together.

      “Yes, that is True,” the Old Woman and the Old Man answered Together.

      “I do not Understand this,” the Little Boy said.

      “The People have All Visited the River as you Did,” the Old Woman began.

      “And they All Saw Only themselves, just as you Did,” the Old Man Finished the words.

      “How very Strange,” the Little Girl said.

      “I do not Understand,” the Little Boy said.

      “They too Thought it Strange,” the Old Woman answered.

      “Were you also their Reflections, as you were ours?” the Little Girl asked Excitedly.

      “And they did not Trust their Eyes,” the Little Boy said with Excitement.

      “Yes,” the Old Man said, “.., you are Right. Now you must Find the People and Offer them these Gifts.”

      “What are these Gifts?” the Little Girl asked.

      “They are these Two Coyote Robes,” the Old Woman answered, “Tell them to Put them On and they will not be Hungry anymore,”

    “And so the Children Did this. They Found the People the Next Day and Offered them the Two Coyote Robes.

    “What are these for?” the People asked. “ There are Thousands upon Thousands of these Coyote Robes to be had,” they laughed. “What we Need to Satisfy our Hunger are Buffalo, not these silly Robes.”

    “Put them On,” the Two Children Coaxed the People. And as they Coaxed the People to Put On the Coyote Robes, they Spoke to them of their Vision. But this only made the People Laugh even Harder.

“Within this Camp there Lived Two Kind People. One was a Man and the Other was a Woman. They were Living Together in the Same Lodge. These Two Kind People Loved the Little Girl and the Little Boy, and Wished to Care for them. They Both Stepped Into the Circle of People and Put their Arms Around the Two Children, Adopting them.

    “I will Wear One of the Robes,” the Man said to the Little Girl.

    “And I too will Wear One of the Robes,” the Woman said to the Little Boy.

    “The Children Gave their Robes to the Man and the Woman who had Adopted them, and the Man and the Woman Put Them On.”

    “There are Buffalo to the North and to the South,” the Man said to the People, because now he could See them.

    “And there are Buffalo to the West and the East,” the Woman said, because now she too could See them.

“The People All Became Excited, because Suddenly they too could See the Buffalo.

    “Let us Hunt them in the North,” some of the People said.

    “No,” Others Quickly Shouted. “The Buffalo are much Fatter in the South.”

    “No! No!” still Others argued. “They are Bigger in the West.”

    “No! No!” the Rest of the People said Angrily. “The Best Ones of All are to the East.”

    “Please! Please! Do not Fight Among yourselves,” the Man, the Woman, Little Boy and Little Girl

    Pleaded. “You are Only Tricking yourselves. Put On the Coyote Robes and you will Understand.”

“But the People were very Angry, and they would not Come Together in a Circle to Counsel.

“Kill these Trouble Makers,” the People shouted. And they Rushed in All Together Upon these Four who were Sitting in the Middle of the Camp Circle. But when they Reached the Center of the Camp Circle, they Discovered that the Little Boy and the Little Girl had Become a Flowering Forked Tree. They Quickly Looked for the Man and the Woman who had Adopted the Two Children, but All they Found of them were their Tracks. These Tracks were Leading to the North.

The People were so Angry they Struck at the Flowering Tree.

“Let us Follow the Two Lions and Kill them,” the People then Decided Together. They Followed the Tracks to the North to Find Them. They Ran and Ran, until Suddenly the Tracks of the Two Lions Became the Tracks of Four Lions. These Led the People in a Great Circle Back to the Flowering Tree.

“The People Sat Down Together Around the Tree because they were so Tired, and they Began to Talk to One Another.

    “Why are we Doing this?” Some of them asked the Others.

    “We do not really Wish to Hurt or Kill Anything,” said some Others.

    “Then why were you Running?” asked Still Others.

    “We were Only Following you,” those Spoken To said in Amazement. And they All Began to Laugh.

“Then the People All Heard Singing in the North, they Saw a White Coyote and he was Singing. They Also Looked to the South, and Sitting there was a Green Coyote. She too was Singing. Then they Looked to the West, and Sitting there was a Black Coyote and he was Singing. Finally they Looked to the East, and Sitting there was a Gold Coyote and she was Singing.

“The People Sat there Quietly All Together and Learned these Four Beautiful Songs. They were the Songs of the Four Lions. Then the People Looked All Around and Saw that Each of them was Wearing a Coyote Robe. They put their Arms Around Each Other and Began to Dance Toward the Flowering Tree Together in a Great Circle. The People were Happy.

“This Story we have just heard has now become a portion of our awareness, or understanding. Stories are like paths, or Ways. Whenever we hear a Story, it is as if we were physically walking down a particular path that it has created for us. Everything we perceive upon this path or around it becomes part of our experience, both individually and collectively” – Hyemeyohsts Storm.

Every time you see a Flowering Tree, recall the meaning of this story!

Related Links:
When the Waters Were Changed
The Patterns of Our Lives

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The Patterns of Our Lives

The Patterns of Our Lives
The Natural Laws of Life
Intro + Law of Nothingness

By Hwaa Irfan

In Islam today, many Muslims have been facing many questions that challenges their faith as they gradually submerge themselves more and more in the secular world; and so it has been for all people of faith.
Some of these questions could be answered but shouldn’t, if it is about convincing them as to why they should remain a Muslim. In fact those questions can be faced by anyone from any faith, as they essentially question the idea of God, as secularism increasingly makes their minds and hearts unavailable to them.
Life reflects God – even when we ignore the pattern of things, life still reflects God no matter how much we try to take Him out of the equation. Everything is built on a pattern, and when we stray away from that pattern consciously and/or unconsciously, the consequences lay down their own patterns the result of which are inevitable. Everything in life reflects His laws for there are signs in everything.

    {It is He, Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead…<strong>} (Ar-Rum 30: 17)

    {And among His Signs is this, That He created you from dust; and then, Behold, ye are men scattered} (Ar-Rum 30: 20)

    {And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that ye may dwell in tranquility} (Ar-Rum 30: 21)

    {And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors, verily in that there are Signs for those who know} (Ar-Rum 30: 22)

    {And among His signs is the sleep that ye take by night and by day and the quest that ye (make for livelihood) out of His Bounty} (Ar-Rum 30: 23)

And so the above are examples of the signs pertaining to our world whether physical, psychological or spiritual, with each serving a purpose which we may or may not know.

Just think of a scenario, small or big, and transfer the sequence of events to another situation and so on and so forth. All the modern sciences are based on this pattern from social science to political science; however the only thing that cannot be guaranteed is how the subject will react/respond as we all have our weaknesses and strengths. In whatever way the subject responds, there too are patterns for each reaction up until a certain point – a point which not many experience. The beginnings of western science are founded upon these patterns or laws of nature/universe for these laws describe what is otherwise there would be chaos. Look at the world we live in today, and the emerging chaos.

The Source

The west came to know of them through the Arabic “Kitab Sirr al-Asar”, a book of guidance which was translated into Latin by Johannes Hispalensis in 1140c. Muslim scholar Jabir ibn Hayyan (a 12th century, Andalusian astronomer and mathematician known in the West as Geber) translated these laws as follows:

0) Balinas mentions the engraving on the table in the hand of Hermes, which says:
1) Truth! Certainty! That in which there is no doubt!
2) That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one.
3) As all things were from one.
4) Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon.
5) The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly,
7) as Earth which shall become Fire.
7a) Feed the Earth from that which is subtle, with the greatest power.
8) It ascends from the earth to the heaven and becomes ruler over that which is above and that which is below.
14) And I have already explained the meaning of the whole of this in two of these books of mine.

Sir Isaac Newton, 18th century English born astronomer, mathematician, and theologian translated the text as follows:

1) Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
2) That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do ye miracles of one only thing.
3) And as all things have been & arose from one by ye mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
4) The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
5) the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nurse.
6) The father of all perfection in ye whole world is here.
7) Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
7a) Separate thou ye earth from ye fire, ye subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
8) It ascends from ye earth to ye heaven & again it descends to ye earth and receives ye force of things superior & inferior.
9) By this means you shall have ye glory of ye whole world & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
10) Its force is above all force. for it vanquishes every subtile thing & penetrates every solid thing.
11a) So was ye world created.
12) From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof ye means (Or process) is here in this.
13) Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of ye philosophy of ye whole world.
14) That which I have said of ye operation of ye Sun is accomplished & ended

Sufi mystic Idries Shah translated it as follows:

1) The truth, certainty, truest, without untruth.
2 )What is above is like what is below. What is below is like what is above. The miracle of unity is to be attained.
3) Everything is formed from the contemplation of unity, and all things come about from unity, by means of adaptation.
4) Its parents are the Sun and Moon.
5) It was borne by the wind and nurtured by the Earth.
6) Every wonder is from it
6a) and its power is complete.
7) Throw it upon earth,
7a) and earth will separate from fire. The impalbable separated from the palpable.
8) Through wisdom it rises slowly from the world to heaven. Then it descends to the world combining the power of the upper and the lower.
9 )Thus you will have the illumination of all the world, and darkness will disappear.
10) This is the power of all strength- it overcomes that which is delicate and penetrates through solids.
11a) This was the means of the creation of the world.
12) And in the future wonderful developments will be made, and this is the way.
13) I am Hermes the Threefold Sage, so named because I hold the three elements of all wisdom.
14) And thus ends the revelation of the work of the Sun.
The West became acquainted with these laws through branches of Islam, or to be more accurate through Muslim scholars like ibn Sina, Sufi ibn al-‘Arabi, and the Brothers of Purity or Ikhwan al-Safa’.

What is the actual source of these laws will probably remain unknown, but if all was born in a state of Islam i.e. submission to our Creator, and the “originator” of these laws gave rise to them out of this state, then the laws should reflect the laws of nature as what goes round comes round. Many great scholars both Muslim and on-Muslims have explored these laws to their satisfaction, but how do they affect our personal lives?

Our physical is governed by the law of the land though there are attempts to govern our hearts and minds, but our body is not just physical, and is not just our hearts and minds, and therefore can only be governed by the law of the land if we relinquish our higher selves, and think only of the material world. Our spirit recognizes the truth of any given situation, but when our minds are disconnected from our spirit, we communicate a lie, which can then translate into actions of envy, greed, lust, hate, manipulation, corruption, death, death and more death in terms of our own self development, and in terms of others whether that death occurs on the emotional, psychological, spiritual, economical, environmental, and/or socio-political plane – in others words injustice reigns as we become pawns instead of rising to our higher selves to become the player. Many great scholars have explored how the laws of nature apply, so let us see what it means for our personal lives.

The Law of 0 = Nothingness = All is Mind/Spirit

Can you imagine a world that is not earth, where day and night (i.e. time), hot or cold, gravity and mass, and all that you can touch does not exist including yourself? Fourteen million years ago: (who can tell actually as we measure everything according to earth time, even that which is not within the sphere of the earth.

The Law of Nothingness says that everything came from the Void. From Him we come, and to Him we return the Qur’an tells us. Cosmology tells us that the beginning of everything and the end of everything is the Void for He is our Alpha and Omega.

All sounds familiar, but what does it mean? A Cherokee Indian teaching describes it as follows:

    “From the Mystery all came forth. All manifestation is in harmony with that sacred Law; nothing is outside of it”!

So from nothing came something, but evolution has led us to believe that everything came forth and originated of itself from the Big Bang. This understanding is contradicted by the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states:

    “Energy cannot by itself be created nor destroyed. Energy may be changed from one form into another, but the total amount remains unchanged.”

{Surely We have created everything according to a measure} (Al Qamar 54: 49)

So His intention was made manifest and from the Void came energy. Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter is but another form of energy as represented in the famous equation E =MC². If all energy came from the Void, and all matter is energy transformed then we are energy transformed in part to matter. Spirit, thought, mental activity, and emotions are but forms of energy before being transformed to negative or positive energy – after all we have a choice!

But where did the energy come from?

Again we measure in earth terms. We measure what we can detect, and we can detect the universe and so it is measureable, or would it be more accurate to say that with earth time, and experience, that man has learnt to detect now what he could not detect before. Man can now detect planets he could not detect before, so how is he supposed to detect the Source of the energy, the Void? Quantum theory gave birth to the ability to detect quarks of energy that could not be detected before, but it has always been there!

Hold This Thought

As recent as 2001, the Wilkinson Microwave Anistropy Probe (WMAP) was sent into space to explore the ability of X-Ray cameras to map the constitution of the universe. Two years later the evidence revealed that the universe is made up of 73% dark energy, which is invisible and is the cause of spaces itself, 23% dark matter, which generates a gravitational pull that keeps the universe together, and what we can see with our eyes is only 4% physical matter!

Now say it is impossible to create something from nothing!

{He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things} (Al Baqarah 2: 29)

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics also contradicts the theory of evolution, which is:

    “All things gradually and ultimately decay”

Whereas in the theory of evolution, it is believed that all living things become more complex. From an evolutionary point of view there is a case in terms of the evolution of the species, but with all species, including man there is a “sell by date” especially as the prediction of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics proves itself i.e. a system left to itself will, in the course of time, go towards greater disorder. Man has been proving this to be the case, as man insists on eliminating His Creator from the equation called Life.
A life system cannot sustain itself without the Creator. We cannot sustain ourselves without His Laws maintaining the balance, which we deny: because from Him, everything both seen and unseen is derived.

{Say: He, Allah, is One. Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like Him} (Al-Ikhlas 112: 1- 4).

What Does the Law of Nothingness Have to Do With You!

When we believe we have no reason to rise above our situation, we become a slave to that situation because for us at that moment, the situation is our god. It directs and influences our thoughts and emotions, and we feel powerless. A people who feel powerless allow their minds eye rule, and this creates the self perception that they are alone or separated from their Creator. Of what is within their physical realm, they become possessive, and the truth of their spirit is submerged by the lies they tell themselves so that they can feel in control in order to create a false sense of security through neglect, blame, persuasion, manipulation, deceit, greed, bullying, and a gamut of other negative emotions.

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) struggled with the ignorance of the town in which he lived, an often escaped to the desert to meditate in a cave. The process of meditation is a process of connecting with the Nothingness, of letting go of thoughts that invade the mind, of arriving at the point of complete silence, by which one can listen to one’s spirit, and connect with the Creator. In that Nothingness, comes the Truth, that we are all one in Him, and life is more than what we have limited our lives to. We discover what we have and can be grateful for, and we open inner lines of communication to a more wholesome self because then we would have accessed our subconscious mind where our will aligns with His Will, and the Laws of Nature. As Muslims, we are given the opportunity to do this at least 5 times a day in a state of submission(Islam)/prayer where we can open ourselves to the power of gratefulness to Him. Our mind becomes more in line with our spirit, and with the collective consciousness because we would have flowed with the pattern:

Attention + Intention = Manifestation

Reaching that meditative state increases relaxation, there is increased activity in the limbic area of the brain which connects both the left and right side of the brain, triggering positive emotions. One becomes more receptive to the higher self, and less responsive to external influences allowing for new patterns of thinking. One improves ones relationship with one’s self, God, and with others.

Our Creators attention led to His intention and so the universe was born becoming manifest. Your attention to your relationship with Him, and thus your higher self brings about intention/will that manifests to bring about a more balanced life from a state of nothingness. Open to the new learning experiences of life, you become more acquainted with other parts of yourself over your limited self. Equally the equation attention + intention = manifestation can bring about for example “war on terrorism”, which goes to show the pattern of our lives for good or for bad.

Sources:
The First Law of Thermodynamics http://thermodynamicstudy.net/first.html

Needham & Holmyard. Sacred Text. The Emerald Text of Hermes http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/emerald.htm

Seyyed, H. Nasr. “Mystical Philosophy in Islam” http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H004.htm

Ywahoo, D. “Voices of Our Ancestors” Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire”. Shambala. 1987.

Related Links:
Who or What Gave You Life?

Happiness Doesn’t Grow on Trees!