• February 11, 2019

    The Sufis are fond of quoting Mohammed: “Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” There are many ways to understand this. I offer you one. I do this because I wish for you to understand that these sayings may contain not only tremendous depth but also practical directions for our guidance. This inquiry uses logic to penetrate the words but it is provoked by repeated experience.

    Notice that these words do not invite me to see God. Although I may see His creation, I have never seen Him in any sense and I do not expect to do so. It is too great a thing. But there must be an experience of His face or there would be no point in telling me that His face is always there. Also, is it not implied that He sees me? Otherwise, why speak of His face?

    The words invite me to know that my experience of Him is independent of the direction in which I turn. Perhaps He is not to be found in one direction…neither one religion nor one type of practice? It is as if the space in which He can be encountered is not defined by, or contained within, the dimensions of the world.

    Yet, turning is part of my finding His face. I must turn. Is this a turning away from the world? I have inquired into this. It seems to me that it is not a rejection or negation of my ordinary occupations but it is most definitely turning towards something else and there is an immediate feeling of connection that I take to be Him, which I feel in my heart.

    I observe myself as I turn towards Him. What do I observe? As soon as the turning begins, which is seemingly a movement of my attention, I spontaneously have a response of humbling myself. This response is a part of the turning. The response to my response feels like what I know of love. Perhaps this is His face?

    My apologies for the gender-limited nature of traditional English. Obviously, God is not a guy but the contemporary ways of de-gendering seem strange applied to a Being who is outside time.

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