THE ONE LACKING A SPIRITUAL GUIDE WILL ONLY HAVE HIS EGO AS A GUIDE
On one hand, some people would rather pass the responsibility of their own life to somebody else in order to get rid of the terrible burden, which is regarded as free will.
The authentic spiritual master will challenge his disciples to discover their spiritual aspirations by themselves, helping them overcome any obstacle, especially the ones generated by their own ego.
On the other side, most Westerners are suspicious about the existence of the masters of wisdom that can guide others towards discovering the profoundness of their being.
The Suphi tradition says: Those lacking a spiritual guide, will have Satan as a guide. (Here Satan is a symbol of the individual, egotistic personality. It also asserts that: if you go on the spiritual path by yourself, you will get to your own ego).
WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC SPIRITUAL GROUP?
Modern culture, pretends to be democratic and disdains the idea of hierarchy. Webster’s Dictionary defines the term hierarch as the master of ritualistic ceremonies or the preserver of sacred mysteries.
In a certain kind of hierarchy (spiritual hierarchy), the spiritual masters perform some sacred rituals that people cannot do by themselves. The hierarchy is supported by the entire society, but, unfortunately, nowadays it is structured according to economical power.
There is another type of hierarchy belonging to some cults that control the whole life of their followers. It is obvious that this type of hierarchy has a bad reputation.
FINDING A MASTER AND YOURSELF
In Suphism, the personal relation with God is watched by the mental union with someone who has greatly overcome, or even transcended his own ego. One who can live and exist in union with God can become a channel through which His will manifests.
In this type of hierarchy, the student, the teacher, the founder of the tradition or of the order are in a process of resonance that implies a certain purity of mind and heart.
You can achieve this state by developing a state of friendship, respect and worship. Sometimes, the guide is compared to a harbor that allows the ships to reach the ocean. Eventually, the harbor itself is the ocean. All spiritual traditions assert that the identification with your Master is a means of perceiving yourself.
This is not a hierarchy of personal achievements, powers or privileges related to spirituality, but a hierarchy of responsibility and serving. In Suphism, the spiritual guide or master is compared to a shepherd that protects, feeds and serves the crowd of sheep.
This is not a task an egotistic person would like to have because it requires a huge effort. It is said that a Suphit spiritual guide will refuse to get into Nirvana until each of his disciples deserves the same grace.
The spiritual guide should pass through all the stages that his disciples will have to pass and should be what they aspire him to be.
Rumi said: A horse tamer should expect to be thrown out of the pad. Thus, the Master will live the joy of feeling how the human beings begin to find out the treasure within their soul. He himself will be in front of God through each one he guides there.
THE ONE WHO KNOWS SERVES THE ONE WHO DOESN’T YET KNOW
Kabir Helminski asserted: I once asked an authentic sheikh what does it mean to him to be recognized by tradition. He said that it means to possess all the necessary means to transmit knowledge and to do it without expecting to be financially rewarded.
The Suphit teachers have never sold their knowledge. Teaching the enlightening knowledge cannot be done for material gain, because in this case both the knowledge and the reward are poisoned.
The knowledge is not sold but offered. Once, when I wanted to reward a hafiz friend for the time he had spent teaching some of us the Koran in Arabian, he told me: “Dont you know that in the Islamic tradition knowledge is not sold but offered?”.
Kabir Helminski goes on: “The modern world is a commercial world. We have a value and a price for almost anything”. But people who want to live without God lose the most important things in their life.