Fana-fi, Darshan

From An Interview with Shamcher Bryn Beorse

J=Jelaluddin Boru, S=Shamcher

S: There was one thing that I forgot to say about fani-fi-sheikh and fana-fi-lillah. I was initiated in October of 1923, and then in 1924 saw Inayat Khan again, in Suresnes.
At that time he gave me some practices. One of which was to look at a photograph of him for concentration. And I thought, look at a photograph? What a silly thing! It is impossible to do this, but all right, all right, if he says to do it I’ll do it…
And then as I was walking home, there was this great clacking of shoes, on the pavement in back of me, and a man was shouting, “Oh Mr. Beorse, Inayat Khan wants to see you right away.” And so I came right back and Inayat said, “Shamcher, I am so sorry, I made a mistake. You should not look at photographs. You should think of the great teachings of the world, those of Buddha, Christ, etc…”
So what he had done was give me the fana-fi-rassoul instead of the fana-fi-sheikh, because he knew it was right for me. What would have happened had he rigidly adhered to the step by step process of fana-fi-sheikh, fana-fi-rassoul, fana-fi-lilah…?

J: Do you think that he was actually experiencing what you were going through?
S: Yes. I think he felt the vibrations. He did that always…

J: Again and again in the life of Inayat Khan we see how important his ability to attune himself to vibration was…
S: Yes. It should be remembered that he was an extremely sensitive musician. Sound and vibration were to him tremendous things. He was more in touch with them than anyone else I’ve ever seen. He could even use this to throw thoughts into my mind. For example, when I first met him I was to translate his lecture. We didn’t get a chance to talk about it. So he just gave the whole lecture, and then I gave the lecture again, in Norwegian. It was really him of course. He had this ability to not only be in touch with me but to completely be in my mind. Nobody else has ever been able to do that..

J: How does this differ from mediumship and the use of oracles?
S: The Greek oracles used drugs and fumes and things like that. And sometimes they would get into an entirely different world in which they did get in touch with spirits and things on the other side. But what kind do you think? Very crude spirits, and ones that might do the worst things…
Inayat was not like that. He was clear. Sufi means pure, a clear perspective without mixtures of anything. You know, he was the first man I met with whom I felt I could not make circles around him. He knew things. He had the right feeling, and he could make me feel him…

J: When Pir Vilayat gives Darshan, is he attuning himself to vibrations in the same way?
S: That’s what he is trying to do, yes.

J: Or is he predicting?
S: No, not predicting…

J: In Toronto I heard you say that there is not any such thing as prediction, that the future is fluid and even God doesn’t know the future…
S: Yes, that’s my opinion. That’s beautiful…

J: That day you disintegrated a certain kind of dependency I had had on the I ching. This was very painful at first, but then I felt a tremendous freedom, in the thought that we can make our own future. But you do like the I Ching even if you separated me from using it as an oracle, right?
S: The I Ching has beautiful practices which I do. For instance, its practices stressing a breathing out. These practices are in the same vein as spiritual disciplines…
About breath: you know, most people in this culture don’t breathe out. In a stingy sense they keep it in, thinking ‘I have this breath inside, l can’t let it out, its very precious’. And it is this kind of obsession that some try to overcome when one fasts so long one almost starves, or goes into very prolonged retreat. (One doesn’t need to do that, by the way. I have a lot of work, for example, and could never go on a retreat like that, because I have to finish this work while I am still alive.) Anyway, the purpose of these disciplines is to learn how to give up food, to give up air, whatever one is too full of.

J: Would you speak more on darshan?
S: Yes, in darshan, Inayat would sit with a mureed before him, and he would close his eyes and then the mureed would close his eyes and then suddenly, they would both open their eyes and be in touch–the mureed may not have been in touch but he was in touch–and then Inayat would feel the longing and wishes of the mureed without them being otherwise expressed.
Darshan is not the kind of thing that I would go for, because, in my case at least, it would be a sort of almost an imposition. Rather, I would advise everyone to sit–or stand or whatever–and simply get in touch with what emanates from the silence within them. This is the thing, drop the personality, the worries, everything and just be in touch with that silence within yourself…
And there are many people who understand this…

J: Would you say that this practice breaks up the descriptions we hold of ourselves in our everyday life, and lets us view ourselves once again as a center of possibilities instead of as an object…?
S: I so agree with that! To me now, if you ask who I am, I don’t really think that I am anything… But there is a center here that collects, or at least takes charge of a lot of beings–thoughts, feelings and beings. An example of this is how the human body is constantly being served by all of the devoted beings. It is not yourself, really, it is they who take care of you…
People will go to a doctor, and he will say, “Oh, you have a disease!” And they will think, Oh my goodness, I have a disease! What do I do now? They shouldn’t care about all that. It is these beings that can restore and heal you, and your mind prevents them through fear, and through the thought projected by the doctors saying this and that.
In a moment of silence you would feel that you are not really ill…
In the Dhikr we say, “This is not my body, this is the temple of God.” And you needn’t even use the name “god” if that is offensive to you, the important thing to know is that it is a temple, and so it is sacred…
It’s really strange when we get caught up in who we think we are, or who others think we are…Take my image for example. If I took these things seriously, I’d have to be a little ashamed. In the first place, because all the descriptions are wrong since I don’t really exist, in the second place because I can never live up to what I am supposed to do. Too much is expected of one, one can’t do all that, and so one is always a disappointment to somebody else …When this happens, it is time to think, well if I am all that important then at least I’m somebody, and then it doesn’t matter anymore.

J: The key–the attachment to the description…?
S: Yes.

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