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    Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2



    Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2

    CHAPTER 1


    Seven Valleys
    27 August 1977 am in Buddha Hall


    THERE WAS ONCE A WOMAN WHO ABANDONED THE RELIGION IN WHICH SHE HAD BEEN BROUGHT UP. SHE LEFT THE RANKS OF THE ATHEISTS TOO, AND JOINED ANOTHER
    FAITH. THEN SHE BECAME CONVINCED OF THE TRUTH OF YET ANOTHER. EACH TIME
    SHE CHANGED HER BELIEFS, SHE IMAGINED THAT SHE HAD GAINED SOMETHING, BUT
    NOT QUITE ENOUGH. EACH TIME SHE ENTERED A NEW FOLD SHE WAS WELCOMED, AND
    HER RECRUITMENT WAS REGARDED AS A GOOD THING, AND A SIGN OF HER SANITY AND ENLIGHTENMENT.

    HER INWARD STATE, HOWEVER, WAS ONE OF CONFUSION. AT LENGTH, SHE HEARD OF A
    CERTAIN CELEBRATED TEACHER, IMAM JAFAR SADIK, AND SHE WENT TO SEE HIM.
    AFTER HE HAD LISTENED TO HER PROTESTATIONS AND IDEAS, HE SAID, ’RETURN TO
    YOUR HOME, I SHALL SEND YOU MY DECISION IN A MESSAGE.’

    SOON AFTERWARDS THE WOMAN FOUND A DISCIPLE OF THE SHEIK AT THE DOOR. IN HIS
    HAND WAS A PACKET FROM THE MASTER. SHE OPENED IT, AND SAW THAT IT CONTAINED
    A GLASS BOTTLE, HALF FULL WITH THREE LAYERS OF PACKED SAND – BLACK, RED AND
    WHITE – HELD DOWN BY A WAD OF COTTON. ON THE OUTSIDE WAS WRITTEN: ’REMOVE
    THE COTTON AND SHAKE THE BOTTLE TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE LIKE.’
    SHE TOOK THE WADDING OUT AND SHOOK THE SAND IN THE BOTTLE. THE DIFFERENT
    COLOURED GRAINS OF SAND MIXED TOGETHER, AND ALL THAT SHE WAS LEFT WITH WAS
    A MASS OF GREYISH SAND.

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