Mysticism East and East
Since the beginning of consciousness, human beings, male and female alike, have sought the reunion with the Source Of Being. Human beings have walked a common path that they believe will lead them to this reunion with the Higher Power. Although in the material world of duality, we may find ourselves in different forms, faced with good and evil, light and darkness, pleasure and pain, and arguable the most drastic form of duality: life and death. In this paper I will explore the nature of love. More specifically, I will explore the concept of love as it relates to the writings of St. Maximos the Confessor and Sufism. The heart of spiritual life is love and spiritual life is about how we love. The spiritual teachings of both Sufism and St. Maximos speak directly to the subject at hand ' the true nature of love. Although love is the immediate subject, they touch on much more than the subject of love. They provide descriptions and instructions that illume the heart and challenge the mind to see life from a new perspective. The writings of St. Maximos and the teachings of Sufism inspire and convict one to seek God more zealously, more faithfully, and to understand love in a more comprehensive way. It is through love that one is united with God. Both St. Maximos and Sufi traditions emphasize the recognition of this truth.
Sufism has come to mean a wide range of beliefs that center on the quest for personal enlightenment in the union with God. Sufism can best be described as a specific kind of mysticism developed by Muslims. Mysticism asserts that man is capable of reaching or uniting with the ‘Absolute Being’, ‘The Creator’, and ‘The Metaphysical World’ using the capacities that have been given to him. Simply, it is the direct experience of the divine. Mysticism, as a part of any religion, is an unvarying, universal quest of the human spirit for personal communion with God. The basic tenants of Sufism...