The Prayer of Saints
"When this secret is revealed to you, you will know that you are not other than God and that you yourself are the object of your quest." - Awhad al-din Balyani
The humblest prayer is the prayer of total self-immolation. But, paradoxically, in that total sacrifice of the self, nothing is lost. Why is that? Because, the only thing that can be lost is that which was never you.
Once there lived a very devout man, who spent most of his waking hours in deep prayer and meditation, longing to be with his Lord. One day during his meditation, he was whisked away and found himself standing in front of a door that led to the abode of the Most High.
He knocked and a powerful voice from the room behind the door asked, "Who is there?"
"It is I, Lord" the saintly man responded.
"Go away, there is no room for you here" was the unexpected response.
Immediately, he found himself again sitting in meditation and in total shock.
None the less, being the devout man he was he decided to double his efforts and devoted all his day to his adulation.
Not long after, during his deep prayers, he again found himself standing in front of that door to the abode of the Lord and again he knocked.
"Who is there?" came the stern voice from behind the door.
"It is I, Lord" the devoted man replied.
"Go away, there is only room for one in here" was the stinging response.
Once again he suddenly found himself seated in meditation and in total bewilderment and once again he doubled his efforts, forgoing all food, sleep and comfort to devote all his heart and soul to his devotions.
After while in the midst of his meditation a great insight appeared and, as it did, he once again found himself standing before the door of the Holy of Holies.
"Who is there?" came that still stern voice from behind the door.
"It is you, Lord" the saint replied.
"Ah, yes! Come in, come in, my beloved."
One is purely One, without a second, without a boundary or border, without limits of any kind. This One is The One, that has been worshipped in various forms for measureless time. In our immature imagination, we have given the One various names and forms. It has been anthropomorphized and been reduced to human like figures, often exuding the worst of human behavior.
To ponder this Oneness, is to sit as this man did, on the very threshold of the dwelling place of the most high. If there is in fact just One, then oneness is not a relationship or a connection or even intimate closeness. It has to be completely free of any notion of person, place or thing other than that One.
And so the humble prayer, "Lord, replace me with you" is the only valid supplication. But this level of devotion happens naturally when it is recognized that all you had thought you were, was just learned. It was just second hand knowledge, accumulated in imagination.
You have never been anything but that One and, realizing this, you are welcomed into the inner sanctuary of Truth as the devotee, the devotion and the object of that adoration.
As I quoted earlier from the Sufi Mystic, Awhad al-din Balyani, "When this secret is revealed to you, you will know that you are not other than God and that you yourself are the object of your quest."
"Come in, come in, my beloved!"
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