Sufism [“The Way of Love”] is a beautiful and mystical artform [I do not view it as a religion, since it can be found at the root of all religions] that teaches through poetry and stories which question one’s thoughts and beliefs. The chief purpose of this education is to lead the student to true understanding, freedom, and ultimately love.
Among the most famous Sufis are Rumi and Hafiz, who have influenced generations through their beautiful poetry. Another instrumental teacher in Sufism is Mulla Nasrudin. Nasrudin is the classical character created by Sufi masters to increase consciousness of any who listen and understand the deeper meaning of the jokes and stories told by the Mulla. There are many levels within each simple teaching, and each story should be contemplated on a deeper level. Perhaps the most prolific writer on all things Sufi, Idries Shah, shares the following illuminating discussion and story in his book The Sufis:
“People do not know where to look when they are seeking enlightenment. As a result, it is hardly surprising that they may attach themselves to any cult, immerse themselves in all manner of theories, believing that they have the capacity to distinguish the true from the false.
Nasrudin taught this in several ways. On one occasion a neighbor found him down on his knees looking for something.
“What have you lost, Mulla?”
“My key,” said Nasrudin.
After a few minutes of searching, the other man said, “Where did you drop it?”
“Then why, for heaven’s sake, are you looking here?”
“There is more light here.”
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