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  • A Sufi tale tells us that every passage in the Koran has “seven meanings, each applicable to the state of the reader, or listener”
  • According to the Sufis, Muhammad said: “Speak to everyone in accordance with the degree of his understanding.” which also means “Demonstrate the unknown in terms of what is “known” by the audience”
  • Again, “Seek knowledge, not possessions, for possessions without knowledge are useless”
  • And, “a man alone cannot achieve the traversing of the road of the inner path. He should not try to set out alone, for there must be a guide. That which we call a king, or God, is the guide and the Seeker is a poor boy”.

The Dervish tradition tells us “There are three sciences in the study of man:

  • The first is the science of ordinary knowledge
  • The second is the science of unusual inner states, often called ecstasy
  • The third, which is the important one, is the science of True Reality, of what lies beyond the first two.”

Only the real inner knowledge carries with it the knowledge of the science of True Reality. The other two are the reflex ions, in their own form, of the third. They are almost useless without it.

Let us try to understand what is meant with the following story:

“A charioteer is seated in a vehicle propelled by a horse that he guides. Intellect is the “vehicle”, the outward form within which we state where we think we are, and what we have to do. The vehicle enables the horse and man to operate. This is what is called “tashkil”, outward shape or formulation. The horse, which is the motive power, is the energy, which is called “a state of emotion” or other force. This is needed to propel the chariot. The man, in our example, is that which perceives, in a manner superior to the others, the purpose and possibilities of the situation, and who makes it possible for the chariot to move towards and to gain its objective.

One of the three, on its own, will be able to fulfil functions, true enough. But the combined function, which we call the movement of the chariot, cannot take place unless all three are connected in the Right Way”.

Only the “man”, the real Self, knows the relationship of the three elements, and their need of one another.

Among the Sufis, the Great Work is the knowledge of combining the three elements. Too many men, too unsuitable a horse, too light or too heavy a chariot, and the result will not take place.”