Excerpted from Rahshahat ‘Ain al Hayat: Beads of Dew from the Source of Life, translated by Muhtar Holland, p. 181-182:
When asked why he seldom adhered to the technical terms and topics of Sufism, he responded by saying,
-That would be all very well, if we merely wished to deceive one another, turning a subject of real importance in a verbal plaything. The real meaning of Sufism is not expressed in speech. Nevertheless, in order to understand each other’s method, two masters of the heart must join in conversation.
-The sacred words of the saints are gathered from the light of the Muhammadan Reality. The speech of the saints deserves to be treated with the same respect as the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition [hadith]. If someone seeks good fortune for himself, he must accord due reverence to the speech of the saints.
-If anyone experiences the slightest fear and tribulation in his spirit with regard to the path of the Masters of Wisdom, that person has attained to protective fellowship. In cases like this, I have seen very few individuals denied access to the Order [Tariqa]. Novices in this Order are equal to those who have reached the final destination of the other Orders. Of those accepted into this Order, few have been seen to be abandoned, however great their addiction to the lower self and its passionate desire. In dealing with such an offender, they pull him out of the circle and drag him into the central arena.
-This is one of the special features of the path of the Masters of Wisdom: Unless the great saints of this path are inclined to address the spiritual state of those who come to receive their bounty and unless they are disposed to grant them attention and support, nothing can be gained from this path.
This is how the venerable Mawlana clarified a characteristic peculiar to the path of the Masters of Wisdom [Khwajagan]:
One day, a spiritual pauper [faqir] comes along, asking Mawlana to set him on a task to perform on this path. Mawlana teaches him the practice of remembrance by way of negation [nafy] and affirmation [ithbat]. He also instructs the seeker, while doing so, to envisage his blessed face (the principle of bonding [rabita] with one’s spiritual guide). The man complies with these instructions. Meanwhile, in himself, signs peculiar to this path start appearing. he sees himself in a radiant space, where he feels that he is swimming in the light, and that his inner being is filled with limitless joy and delight. When he describes this state of his to the venerable Mawlana, he receives the reply: “This is the spiritual state of our path. It is such a secret that it must be kept hidden even from one’s closest friend. Keep it up!”
The man duly continues, and his spiritual state becomes more profound at every moment. He frequently experiences states that cause him to lose his ordinary self. He is so happy in this condition, that he complains to Mawlana about the fact that external interests distract him. At this point, he receives from the venerable Mawlana the instruction peculiar to the special character of the path of the Masters of Wisdom: “There is no remedy! It is necessary for you to combine this state with one of those external interests and occupations. You must not part from the fellowship of the person from whom you have received this spiritual connection [nisbah], whoever he may be, and you will need to camouflage your state with one of those external occupations. You will be obliged to materialize in yourself, by making full use of your own resources, the bounty you have obtained by means of reflection [in'ikas] from your spiritual guide. You must also conceal yourself from the world! You need to hide yourself behind a veil of external business. You need to be seen among the people as no different from the rest. As a matter of fact, one of the seekers of Truth, someone just like you, having consulted his guide and accepted his instruction to engage in some external business, has now become a dealer in secondhand wares. You must know that, for a member of this Sufi community, there can be no spiritual progress without an external occupation.”