Perennialist Teachers Socrates
Author Background Material Preparatory Study

 "The Creator . . . provides Guides to assist in human transformation."

Plato, Timaeus

      The phenomenon of Perennialist teachers is so extraordinary and enigmatic that it's difficult for most people to understand its essence. Yet it's extremely important to fathom the elemental reality of this phenomenon, for it is Perennialist teachers who transmit the hidden Perennial Tradition, the secret legacy, the single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the original, authentic schools of philosophy and mysticism.

     Throughout human history, Perennialist teachers--which have included Hermes, the Wisdom Teachers, Eastern Masters (e.g., Krishna and Shankara), Pythagoras, Diotima,1 Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Paul, Hypatia,2  Plotinus, Boethius, Al-Junayd, Rumi, Bernard of Clairvaux, and numerous others--have taught select students how to reawaken organs of perception, resulting in a higher state of consciousness. This higher consciousness enables the student to discern that what we take to be reality is actually a kind of illusion and that there are higher dimensions of being.

     We've examined various aspects of the characteristics, capabilities, and methodologies of Perennialist teachers in previous essays.

     In this essay, we'll examine additional facets of the concepts and practices of Perennialist teachers. We'll discover surprising elements which help explain what kind of people they are and how they operate. We'll explore the characteristics of hiddenness, spiritual poverty, the ability to communicate via a supersensible psychic current, and life-long learning in Perennialist teachers. We'll also compare such savants with their diametrical opposite: false teachers.

The Hiddenness of the Perennialist Teacher

     Though some Perennialist teachers have a fairly wide reputation during their lifetime, such eminence is not what the savant seeks and any fame is usually based on a totally false conception and appraisal of the teacher.

"God has chosen that in you which He desires in order that He may select you for that special gift which He has chosen for you. First God chooses you, then He causes to appear before you that with which He intends to endow you: with this He overwhelms you in the magnificence of His revelation, elevating you high above the vision of your fellow men, concealing your true nature from them.

Khidr the hidden Sufi Teacher He withholds from them the knowledge of your (high) status and in His graciousness to you, He reveals to you the essence of the secrets of your status."

He has concealed all traces of it from the perception of him who would perceive it. Thus, in this state, you are in the unseen world of whose true nature there can be neither doubt nor denial." 3

     The Perennialist teacher is "hidden" because through her union with the Divine she is elevated high above the discernment of her fellow humans, concealing her true nature from them. The Perennialist teacher's mystical, transphysical state conceals from ordinary people the understanding of her exalted status.

     While the Perennialist teacher's true nature is unknowable by ordinary persons, the graciousness of the Divine to the Perennialist teacher consists in revealing to her the essence of the secrets of her sublime status. Aware of her eminent standing in the spiritual domain, the Perennialist teacher does not, however, agree to appear on a television program featuring the rich and famous.

Charkhi and His Uncle

It is related that a young disciple of Baba Charkhi was sitting in the hallway of his house when a man arrived and said: "Who are you?"

The disciple answered: "I am a follower of Baba Charkhi."

The man said: "How can Charkhi have followers? I am his uncle, and I would have known if he had. As to his being a 'Baba,' you have been misinformed, my child . . ."

Even after Charkhi died, there were many people, some of them frequent visitors to his house, including merchants with whom he had business dealings, who did not believe that he was a saint.

Yunus Abu-Aswad Kamali, the theologian, spoke for some of these when he said: "I knew Charkhi for thirty years, and he never discussed higher things with me. To my mind, such behaviour is impossible to a learned man. He never tried to describe his theories, and he did not attempt to make me a disciple. I only heard of his supposedly being a Sufi through the butcher." 4

     Having achieved a continual psychic identification with a higher center of consciousness, the Perennialist teacher attains a status which is unfathomable to the ordinary person. Her nature has been transmuted: her external characteristics remain the same, but her individuality has vanished. She is at once present and absent. The Perennialist teacher is unconcerned with the appraisal of uninformed persons and keeps her own counsel, arrogating to herself no false airs of superiority, knowing that whatever she has is a grace of God to her.

     A Perennialist teacher deliberately eschews the ordinary trappings of success: wealth and fame. Most often, she is not a public figure and does not strive to gain wide popular recognition. This means that the knowledgeable student has to distinguish the genuine teacher from all the best-selling authors of counterfeit spiritual books and widely acclaimed metaphysical imposters and pretenders with large followings. This "situation" of lack of fame and popularity is a numinous "element" infusing the atmosphere surrounding a Perennialist teacher, making her invisible and undiscoverable to minds conditioned to believe that a person is only worthwhile or "important" if she is famous and wealthy.

"It is necessary to remark that there are souls that God keeps hidden and little in their own eyes, and in the eyes of others. Far from giving them striking qualities, His design for them is that they should remain in obscurity. They would be deceived if they desired to attempt a different way. If they are well instructed they will recognise that fidelity to their nothingness is their right path, and they will find peace in their lowliness."

Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751),
Abandonment to Divine Providence

     Ordinary fame--or lack of fame--and material wealth--or lack of wealth--are of no concern to the Perennialist teacher. She is overcome by an all-consuming and constantly increasing thirst for knowledge of the Divine. Her soul is entirely devoted to submerging her individuality in the attainment of intimacy with God. This thirst for God is an anguish even more intense than the mourning for a beloved one.

            
"Though half of mankind were to draw near to me, I should not find any delight in their company, and though the other half were to keep away from me, I should not feel lonely because of their distance from me!"

Al-Junayd
 

     Constantly striving to achieve spiritual knowledge of the significance and ultimate purpose of both transcendental and terrestrial realities, the Perennialist teacher is unconcerned with common, mistaken opinions thought to be the height of wisdom in the ordinary world. To her, every terrestrial person, object, or event is a sign containing hidden meaning from which she can learn.

"In souls abandoned to God everything is efficacious, everything is a sermon and apostolic. God imparts to their silence, to their repose, to their detachment, to their words, gestures, etc., a certain virtue which, unknown to them, works in the hearts of those around them; and, as they are guided by the occasional actions of others who are made use of by grace to instruct them without their knowledge, in the same way, they, in their turn, are made use of for the support and guidance of others without any direct acquaintance with them, or understanding to that effect."

Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751),
Abandonment to Divine Providence

     Students seeking to study with a Perennialist teacher must have enough intelligence and insight to know that a genuine teacher is not going to be a popular figure. She will not be found on prime-time television. Wealth and fame will be of no interest to her. However, because wealth and fame are the primary contemporary cultural criteria of success, a genuine teacher may make it appear that she is interested in these to deflect unsuitable students from pursuing her as a teacher.

     In fact, a genuine teacher may use any appropriate means to discourage unsuitable students, so that students are required to develop finely-tuned discernment to "find" an authentic teacher. Part of what a teacher must do is to discourage counterfeit students while encouraging genuine ones. The student is learning to use his inner sense of discernment to find a teacher whose reality is authentic.

     It is not a true teacher's responsibility to proclaim herself as a great spiritual authority--quite the opposite. A genuine teacher will seem to most people to be a failure--because she is not preaching to thousands in Yankee Stadium like Billy Graham or receiving huge donations from a large television audience as do James Dobson and the demonic Pat Robertson.5  She will seem excessively unassuming and retiring, because the popular model for a "religious" leader is self-advertisement and self-promotion of every possible kind.

"Those chosen were able to transvalue all the world's values, to step entirely out of the world-stream by the current of which the majority are content to be borne along, to negate the affirmations of the senses and natural reason which for the multitude provide the criterion of the desirable and the true, and generally to adopt towards phenomenal existence an attitude incomprehensible to the average man to whom that existence is of paramount moment. They were animated by no motives of merely personal salvation or of spiritual superiority over their fellows; on the contrary they will be found to have been the humblest, as they were the wisest, of men. They had advanced far beyond that complacent stage where religion consists in fidelity to certain creedal propositions and in 'being good' or as good as one can, and where sufficiency and robustness of faith are represented by the facile optimism of 'God's in His heaven.'"

William Kingsland, The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures, p. 31


Transmitting Understanding Via the Psychic Stream

     As Kingsland indicates, Perennialist teachers "step entirely out of the world-stream by the current of which the majority are content to be borne along." They enter a unique supersensible psychic stream through which they are able to communicate with those few persons who are attuned to this psychic stream and to an element within each human's psyche which has innate connection to this transcendental current. Coleman Barks, the outstanding interpreter of Rumi's poetry refers to this current as a "resonance of ocean" residing in everyone who connects with Rumi's writings "felt as a salt breeze traveling inland."

"The entire cosmos is a complex matrix of sound and light vibrations. Every element in our world and every kingdom of beings derives its essential nature from the keynote resonating as the basis of its consciousness. All primary questions concerning origins and destiny turn upon the rate of vibration, the plane of matter and state of consciousness, and corresponding conceptions of space, time and motion. Beyond the planes of manifestation and prior to the primal differentiation of spirit and matter lies the one invariant and all-potential vibration of the Paramatman,6  which through its radiation gives periodic form and substance to the septenary universe. Ultimately, this is a purely transcendental process entirely exempt from rational analysis. It is necessary to discard the false notion that each human being is somewhat like a machine or a self-contained box. As the universal vibration of the One Life is at the core of every living form, no being in the universe is entirely dependent upon any external source of motion. Owing to the transcendental commonality of consciousness, all beings are inevitably involved in a universal system of mutual interdependence."

Raghavan Iyer, "Resonance and Vibration"

     The phenomenon of resonance possesses both a physical and supersensible reality. Physical resonance refers to the ability of a vibration to reach out through oscillation waves to set off a similar vibration in another entity (person, object, event). Every physical and extra-physical element in Reality is an energy resonator sending out and receiving impressions (impacts, messages, influences) in the form of waves of sound, light, thought, and psychic energy. Each organ in our body is
composed of cells of similar vibrations that have gathered to form that organ, just as our mind has been formed by the amalgamation of congruent conceptual and emotional fields. Our body and mind have the capability of responding to and acting upon all discernible sounds, light waves, ideas, or energy currents in Total Reality.

     Perennialist savants have attained the ability to reach out through physical and extra-physical frequency waves to communicate a signal to and to elicit a similar vibration from another entity. Perennialist teachers are able to receive and transmit using resonating frequencies which are "invisible" or "inaudible" to ordinary persons. What is called "receiving inspiration" is actually the ability of an initiate to register frequencies of thought, sound, and energy from Perennialist teachers (carnate and discarnate) which are undiscernible to untrained persons. To a person who has not developed the capability of using extra-physical senses such as inspiration, intuition, and higher awareness, these concepts make little if any sense.

     The Perennialist teacher sends out a certain "signal" or "frequency" through his special knowledge of how to operate at a higher level of consciousness. He will produce finely tuned written material, images, sounds, and psychic missives that possess a specific frequency, which will resonate with those persons (seekers and students) who are "attuned" to his messages.

"Catharism was not meant to become a mass religion. It neither could nor desired to replace the Catholic Church in a role that belonged to that Church. The spiritual influx of Catharism was more essentially individual, intended for the man inwardly awakened by the call of the Spirit. Its social influence and resonance at the collective level were a consequence of the current climate of religious affairs at that period of the Middle Ages. It was perhaps the result of a mentality already awakened where the spirit of Catharism and the people of the South were in agreement."

Philippe Roy, "Catharism in the Spiritual Evolution of the Western World"

         Every historic era operates within a distinctive psychic current or resonance band, as in the case of Catharism mentioned above. At present, utilizing specially designed material and "psychic messaging," the Perennial Tradition is being transmitted through a contemporary "world current" which resonates with specific persons through elements within their subliminal consciousness. Even as the physical world at present--in its political, economic, and social aspects--is dominated by demonic forces, the Perennial Tradition continues to transmit its transformative information and energy to persons who "are on the same wave length." Often, these persons are not consciously aware of the source of the knowledge and impressions that "come to mind."

     We're seeing some of the effects of the Perennialist transmission in the awakening of American and world citizens to the physical and mental devastation that depraved forces are wreaking on them. Unplanned events7 such as the Katrina disaster help awaken people to the nature of the despots preying on them--"they're deliberately allowing poor people to die" they suddenly realize. But there is still the necessity that clear, carefully organized, easily understandable information be available for persons awakening, so their dormant organs of discernment can be activated. Part of the current "mission" of the Perennial Tradition is the rendering of information in simple, clear terms, so issues are comprehensible to the non-expert, intelligent world citizen.

"When [Perennialist teachers] seek to give an explanation it is well within the comprehension of their audience. . . They pass on such knowledge as they have acquired in simple language soundly expounded, their counsel comes from the heart and their words are exact."
Junayd

Spiritual Poverty

     Some might assume that in speaking of spiritual poverty we're referring to the degenerate condition of contemporary organized religions and their hucksters. Orthodox religious cults are examples of spiritual bankruptcy, not poverty. Spiritual poverty is a transcendent quality which Jesus and other Perennialist teachers spoke about.

Francis of Assisi
"Blessed are those in the state of spiritual poverty for they have attained realization of the sovereignty of a higher realm."

The Good News According to Matthew, 5:3
     

     The concept of spiritual poverty in the Perennial Tradition differs acutely from most other seemingly similar religious or metaphysical notions. Spiritual poverty in this tradition involves: 8

  • Living by means of God's secret bounties

  • Renouncing all things external and turning exclusively to the Divine

  • Having nothing, including not having the feeling of loss

  • Not becoming rich by having anything or poor by having nothing

  • Rejoicing in having nothing

  • Being aware that true wealth belongs only to God

  • Knowing that spiritual poverty is wealth in God

  • Not the state of being empty of worldly things but being empty of worldly desires

  • The soul leaving behind even her consciousness of self in order to ascend and lose herself in the One

"O God, grant me

the riches of poverty

for in such largesse lies

my power and glory."

Hafiz


     The Perennialist teacher has the appearance of earthly impoverishment when in fact he possesses the God-given hidden radiance whose resplendence fills the universe, whose brilliance illuminates all persons able to discern true spiritual attainment. The prerogative of the Perennialist teacher's wisdom carries with it the responsibility of instructing those who truly seek. Such surpassing understanding carries with it the invisible raiments of the Divine and communion with those in the Higher Realm.

Counterfeit Students

      Perennialist teachers are able to discriminate between students "who truly seek" and those who only appear to be seekers. In this benighted era, there are as many counterfeit students as there are fake teachers. One Perennialist teacher explained the difference between fake students and genuine students in this manner:

"The human approaches wisdom through report and noise, preaching and reading and excitement. After he has approached it, however, he stays near it to demand more of the same: not whatever it can give, which is what it is there for.

"Bees approach flowers by scent, but they do not, once arrived at the proximity of the bloom, demand merely more and more scent. They adjust to the nectar, which they have to collect. This is the equivalent of the reality of wisdom, of which the report and imaginings are as it were the scent.

"So the number of 'real bees' among humanity is very small. Whereas almost all bees are bees, in being able to collect nectar, almost all human beings are not yet human beings in the sense of being attuned to perceive what they were created for." 9

False Teachers

     It's necessary to distinguish between genuine spiritual teachers and various types of persons and groups that claim to be holy or religious. It's even useful to paint a complete picture of the self-deluded guru type, to help people understand its mindset and mode of operation. Many people find it difficult to realize that most of the "religious" leaders who claim to assist individuals "gain salvation" are in fact counterfeits. Persons following such imposters may feel they're "making great personal improvement," or "becoming closer to God," or "getting in touch with their inner self," or some such self-delusion. But the ultimate test is whether or not the person experiences genuine transformation or not.

     In reference to this touchstone of transformation we can distinguish between various types of groups which claim to be "spiritual:"

  1. Cults: groups created by deluded, egomaniacal persons who create dependency in their followers, manipulating them for their own selfish interests, making the group into a personality cult.

         Some cult leaders go to the extreme of having their benighted disciples write books lionizing them as fantastic luminaries heading a supernatural, universal alliance of secret mystagogues. The most obscene charlatans are those who write their own books of self-adulation, using a pseudonym to hide their vainglory.

  2. Religious coteries dominated by self-appointed "spiritual masters," priests, ministers, rabbis, sheikhs, mullahs, or "counselors" who produce in their victims phony feelings of "spiritual upsurge," "release from mental turmoil," "merging with other people," and other bogus sentiments and impressions--to the extreme of brainwashing followers to destroy their religious or political enemies

  3. Conduit teachers and groups which transmit transformative knowledge but are affected by the knowledge to a limited degree, sometimes almost not at all

P. D. Ouspensky       Clear examples of conduit teachers and cult leaders are Peter D. Ouspensky (1878-1947), Idries Shah (1924-1996), and Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998).

      Ouspensky studied with Gurdjieff (1866-1949), a conduit teacher of Sufi material. Ouspensky appears to have been an alcoholic much of his life. His books which transmit the Gurdjieff teachings are dry and lifeless, clearly the product of an unimaginative, pedantic mind-set.

      I studied with Idries Shah a short time beginning in 1971, but discontinued in 1972. Comprehensive critiques of Shah and his work have been written by L. P. Elwell-Sutton 10, James Moore 11, J. G. Bennett in his book Witness, and Peter Washington in his exposé, Madame Blavatsky's Baboon. In her book The Destiny Challenge, Kate Thomas complains that during her personal discipleship with Idries Shah he used her, on inner planes, to seek out and neutralize demonic enterprises she traces as far back as dynastic Egypt.

"Idries Shah was a most successful mystagogue, who succeeded in deceiving a wide range of people. One of these was the poet Robert Graves, probably already beginning to suffer at the time from the dementia which was later to incapacitate him. Shah, together with his brother Omar, persuaded Graves that they had an ancient manuscript of the Rubaiat of Omar Khayyam, which had been preserved by their family in Afghanistan for generations as an heirloom. This manuscript was, not surprisingly, never produced, but Graves (who knew no Persian) agreed to 'translate' it and it was published under his name. This was not the first literary scam that Shah perpetrated. [Peter] Washington says that he [Shah] was almost certainly 'Rafael Lefort', the pseudonymous author of 'The Teachers of Gurdjieff', a book purporting to describe a journey made to discover the sources of Gurdjieff's teachings in Asia." 12

      The best way to discover the manipulative, destructive tendencies of Carlos Castaneda is by reading the book Sorcerer's Apprentice (2003) by Amy Wallace, a "true believer" and disciple of Castaneda. Wallace's book is the record of a person who allowed herself to be physically, verbally, and emotionally abused by Castaneda for decades--and never developed enough insight to see through Castaneda completely or free herself from his malignant influence.

      Castaneda manipulated and abused all his "disciples" in the same manner, creating a personality cult around himself and his writings.

      All three of these thinkers are clear illustrations of conduit teachers who were able to transmit useful information about spiritual matters but seem not to have been positively affected by the knowledge they conveyed. I continue to find useful ideas in the writings of all three of these writers despite the unfortunate flaws in their personalities and behavior as documented by persons acquainted with their work.

4. Deteriorated or derelict groups: those which once possessed a measure of transformative knowledge or force but have lost the original impetus or endowment: examples: orthodox Christianity, orthodox Buddhism, orthodox Islam, Islamic Sufism

5. Genuine transformative groups whose teachers have been able to attain personal transmutation and have achieved the capability of assisting their students to attain personal transformation as well

"The false teacher has donned the raiment of knowledge, put on its clothes and reveals in his subjective interpretations the traces of his knowledge. He calls the attention of the world to his personal views, gives his name to the opinions he holds and expounds them to the people. Now when his position becomes known, when his fame spreads abroad and people come to him he is personally delighted with his following and flattered by the praise of the ignorant--praise which he scarcely deserves. His head is turned by the continued chorus of applause, the seeming deepness of their respect for him, the awe with which they speak of his findings and he has credit for that which God knows to be the very reverse of that which is concealed deep within him. When he has established his reputation with the common people and the uninformed, and the multitude who praise him wrongly and in error, he looks to a reward for publishing his knowledge and is pleased with his immediate reward for his knowledge. He has become a vendor of knowledge at a cheap price, of little account. He accepts the ephemeral in exchange for the eternal, in exchange for the garments which God bestows as a reward for right action."

Al-Juanyd [830-910 CE]

     A genuine Perennialist teacher does not begin teaching out of personal desire or egotism. Her own transformation process, directed by her teacher (which may be her everyday life-experience, her dialectical companion, or her Inner Guide) unfolds in such a way that her work leads to her receiving inspiration to take up teaching and forming a group. Specious "teachers" concoct conditioning systems to magnify their sense of self-importance. With a genuine teacher, the need for involvement with a teaching group emerges through the natural course of events.

The Perennialist Teacher as a Life-Long Learner

     A Perennialist teacher is a life-long learner as well as a teacher. He recognizes that he will be developing new and improved understanding through his lifetime. He must continue to seek out elements within himself that impede his development, he must persist in studying new material, and he knows that it will be necessary for him to engage in new activities that will enable him to gain increased experiential awareness of higher consciousness.

     No matter how much a Perennialist teacher learns and develops, he continues to work at his own evolvement and improvement. One of the most touching stories about Jesus is the incident when he encountered a non-Jewish woman, a Canaanite.

"Jesus left that place (the Galilee region after clashing with the scribes and Pharisees about what really makes a person clean) and retired into the Tyre and Sidon district. There a Canaanite woman from those parts came to him crying at the top of her voice, "Lord, have pity on me! My daughter is in a terrible state - a devil has got into her!"

"Jesus made no answer, and the disciples came up to him and said, 'Do send her away - she's still following us and calling out.'

"'I was only sent,' replied Jesus, 'to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'

"Then the woman came and knelt at his feet. 'Lord, help me,' she said.

"'It is not right, you know,' Jesus replied, 'to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.'

"'Yes, Lord, I know, but even the dogs live on the scraps that fall from their master's table!'

"'You certainly don't lack faith,' returned Jesus, 'it shall be as you wish.'

"And at that moment her daughter was cured."

Matthew 15:21-28


     As a person raised in the Jewish faith and living at a time when Jews looked upon Gentiles such as Canaanites as "dogs," it appears Jesus had allowed this bias to become a part of his own feeling toward these people. The woman's imperviousness to his insults and her continued importuning of him, seems to have awakened him to his own erroneous sentiments. Even Jesus had to recognize and correct his prejudices.

Personal Transformation

      All humans, including Perennialist teachers, must work throughout their lives to discover and extirpate negative elements in their personalities. Therefore, true Perennialist teachers, such as Paul, at some point in their lives may be found to have some negative elements in their personalities. The essential question is whether or not these persons work to discover those negative elements and then eradicate them. In some instances, as with Saul of Tarsus, the transformation is so total that a new name--Paul--is appropriate in referring to the new personality. Each of the persons above ascertained to be false teachers, conduit teachers, or cult personality teachers not only evinced negative elements in their personalities, but retained those negativities throughout their lives.

"The proud soul despises one in whose sight it is as nothing, who beholds only God in it, and in all its actions. Often it imagines that the modesty of the simple soul is a mark of appreciation for itself; when, all the time, it is only a sign of that loving fear of God and of His holy will as shown to it in the person of the proud. No, poor fool, the simple soul fears you not at all. You excite its compassion; it is answering God when you think it is speaking to you: it is with Him that it believes it has to do; it regards you only as one of His slaves, or rather as a mask with which He disguises Himself. Therefore the more you take a high tone, the lower you become in its estimation; and when you think to take it by surprise, it surprises you. Your wiles and violence are just favours from Heaven."
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751),
Abandonment to Divine Providence

      Some persons who come in contact with the Perennial Tradition at some period in their lives, such as Augustine in his early life, later change into agents of demonic force, as did Augustine. Persons overpowered by their debilitating selves are those who relish discovering errors in other persons' judgments and actions that they made earlier in their lives, and assuming that the others have made no discovery of these negative elements and have not extirpated them from their personalities. We can identify a debased person as one who delights in seeing faults in others and relishes a sense of self-righteousness, assuming that the other person has never changed or improved--and assuming, quite erroneously, that they themselves are above such defects. The person who allows himself to be overcome by his debilitating self gains a false sense of superiority through exposing faults in others in a bigoted and self-righteous manner.

"Only he can be regarded as a true philosopher who is never tired of acquiring new knowledge, who always thinks very lightly of what he knows already . . . and who is ready to admire all people in whom he can find accomplishments of which he feels that he cannot boast himself."

Hermann Gauss, Plato's Conception of Philosophy





Notes:

1 Diotima was Socrates' teacher, as is explained in Plato's Symposium

2 Hypatia (370-415 CE), a Perennialist teacher and head of the Neo-Platonist school in Alexandria, murdered on the orders of "Christian" Bishop Cyril (who was later canonized by the Church)

3 A letter from Al-Junayd [(830-910 CE] to one of his fellow mystics (Ali Hassan Abdel-Kader, The Life, Personality and Writings of Al-Junayd, p. 126)

4 Idries Shah, Wisdom of the Idiots

5 On August 23, 2005, televangelist Pat Robertson said on his Christian Broadcast Network: "We have the ability to take him [Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez] out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with. You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if [Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war--and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

6 In Hindu theology, Paramatman is the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul or Spirit (also known as Supersoul or Oversoul) in the Vedanta and Yoga philosophies of India. Paramatman is one of the aspects of Brahman : Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan. (adapted from Wikipedia)

7 "Planned" events such as the atrocity of 9/11 are deliberately contrived and carried out by the demonic cabal to manipulate the minds of ordinary people into mindless fear, acquiescence to destruction of such Constitutional rights as habeas corpus and others, and resignation to joblessness, lack of health care, and inhuman deprivations of all kinds.

8 These descriptions of spiritual poverty are discussed in detail in Hujwiri's Kashf Al-Mahjub (The Revelation of the Veiled Mysteries) written in 1040 CE.

9 Idries Shah, Seeker After Truth, "Scent and Reality," pp. 10-12

10 Sutton: "Sufism and Pseudo-Sufism," Encounter, Vol. XLIV No. 5, May 1975, pp. 9-17

11 Moore: "Neo-Sufism: The Case of Idries Shah," Telos, Volume 6, Number 4, Autumn.

12 Book review by Anthony Campbell of Peter Washington's Madame Blavatsky's Baboon