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We are all One

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WE ARE ALL ONE: An Interview with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (from One: the Movie) Your name, background, a bit about yourself. My name is Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. I was born in England in 1953. I had a sort of English middle-class upbringing. And then when I was nineteen, I met a Sufi Teacher called Irina Tweedie, who had studied in India under a Sufi Master. I stayed with her for many, many, many years. And then twelve years ago, I was sent to America to make a Sufi Center in California. And I've continued her work of this particular Sufi Tradition, which is known as the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition. We are known as the Silent Sufis because we practice the silent meditation. Our Tradition goes back to the thirteenth/fourteenth century in the Middle East. Describe what happens to a person after they die. It depends on the evolution of the Soul. Most people have these near-death experiences: they go through a tunnel, they meet a bright light at the end of the tunnel. That bright light is actually their higher Self or the Soul, which people reconnect with, after they die, after you leave the physical body. In our Sufi practice we aspire to “die before we die” to reconnect with that bright light, the higher Self, while we are still in the physical body. And that is one of the central aspects of our spiritual practice, which as I say, is encapsulated by the phrase, "to die before you die." Why is there suffering and poverty in the world? That's one of those big unanswerable questions. Because human beings are ignorant? Because they have forgotten their divine nature? Because they don't help each other? Because they fight against each other? There are many, many reasons why human beings have to suffer. From a spiritual point of view–maybe I should explain... If you look at things from a spiritual point of view, it is quite different than if you look at it from a worldly point of view. And if you look from a spiritual point of view, anyone who has begun the spiritual journey knows that suffering is a process of purification, where we clean out the debris that we have accumulated inside of us, the denseness, the darkness within the psyche; and that suffering, that purification–the Sufis call it "polishing the mirror of the heart"– until one day the mirror is so polished that it reflects the divine light of God through the heart into the world. And that is part of our spiritual practice. I firmly believe there is enough to go round in the world; I believe in oneness, and if you believe in oneness, there must be enough for everybody. Why do some have more than others? Because people are greedy, because they want more than what belongs to them, because we haven't yet evolved as a culture into this new perspective, this new understanding of oneness, which, as far as I understand, is the next step of human evolution. We have the technology to give everybody what they need. There is enough food in the world for everybody, but it needs a transition beyond a certain grasping, greed, and desire for power, to take the step into a global unity in which there will be enough for everybody, and a whole level of suffering will cease to exist for humanity. What would happen if everyone in the world truly learned to love their enemies? I don't think it's possible. Because in this world of duality nothing is perfect, nothing is pure; it is part of our dynamic of life. Carl Jung, the great psychologist, he said somewhere, "You should never take somebody's problems away from them, because it is through their problems that they grow." It is through this friction of light and dark that we grow. It would be a totally different species if we all loved each other, because the conflicts of life are part of our evolution. You grow through the conflicts with your parents. You discover yourself. Yes, there is a level of evolution where you realize the love that is everywhere. This is one of the basic mystical experiences that many, many people on the path have. And you see that everything is made of love. There is nothing other than love. Then once you have reached that level you do love everybody, because as the Sufi says, "wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God." When I look at you, I don't just see you, I also see the divine. I see the divine that is in you just as it is in me. And then I can't help but love you. But that is a long way for most people to travel. And so most people are caught in this dynamic of conflict of light and dark, which is part of the fabric of their life. If we lived in a perfect world we would not be here, because in perfection there is no evolution, because everything just is. Why are so many people depressed? Because they have forgotten God. Very, very simple: we live in a culture of forgetfulness. I do a lot of meditation. I've been meditating–since I was sixteen–for thirty-four years; and you can see inwardly–because this physical world is not the only world there is. And once you do much meditation, you begin to see somewhere else, you begin to see what the Sufis call, or what is known as, the "inner planes," what is beyond the physical–there are many different planes of creation. And if you look in the inner world, if you see how our culture looks in the inner world, you see this dark cloud of forgetfulness that covers the world. The desecration is also phenomenal. We have desecrated almost everything we regard as sacred. We have destroyed it. So we have cut ourselves off from the source which nourishes us. If you don't have physical food, your body starves, If you don´t have spiritual food, your soul starves. And if the soul starves, the meaning goes out of life. And if the meaning goes out of life, you get depressed; and we have forgotten. To me, one of the great tragedies is not just that we've forgotten as a culture –we have for example forgotten that the world belongs to God. That is the most basic fundamental reality that exists: the world belongs to God. We've not only forgotten the world belongs to God: we've forgotten that we've forgotten. It is such a dim distant memory of a time when everything was sacred. Historically it's not so long ago; two or three thousand years ago, everything was sacred. Now what is sacred? Hardly anything. And so, of course we are depressed, because we are deprived of that which gives meaning and joy to life; it is very, very simple. My teacher said: "Mystics teach simple things, but those simple things change people's lives." Why? Because God is a simple essence. The more you go on in meditation, the more you go on in your spiritual practice, you go back to the essence, you go back to the simplicity of what is. And these fundamental realities of life are very, very simple. It's not complex. It's not easy, but it's very simple. Describe God, and where can God be found? You can't. It is a ludicrous question, because no one knows God but God. Us, with our limited mind capacity, we cannot know God... The Sufis say: "God is beyond even our idea of the beyond." And where can God be found? God can be found everywhere, because one should never limit God. It is in every breath you breathe. That is why, for example, so many spiritual practitioners do a mantra, or for the Sufis a zikhr, which is done with the breath, because with the breath you remember the divine that is present throughout everything. In many spiritual practices it is easiest to find God in the heart. This has to do with the psychic center "the heart chakra," which is where the divine and also the Higher Self– because for most human beings the Higher Self and the Divine are synonymous. It is our nearest experience people have to the Divine. And the Higher Self is most accessible in the heart. According to the Sufis, there is in the heart an innermost chamber of the heart that belongs only to God. And if you go there in meditation and prayer you are with God. It is a place of oneness. There the lover and the Beloved are one. But God can be found everywhere. There is a lovely practice by Brother Lawrence: "The Practice of the Presence of God." He was a monk, I think in the sixteen century, and whatever he did, he did with God. He worked in the kitchens–he hated working in the kitchens–but whatever he did, he did with God. He peeled the potatoes with God, he washed the carrots with God; God is everywhere. What's the relationship between science and religion? Science and religion will become one. It is part of the next stage of human evolution. It has to do with the speeding up of the planet; it's very exact. It has to do with the question of speed. Spiritual things are a question of speed: the more spiritual, the quicker the vibration. And if you look at the life around us, why is it speeding up so much? What is the underlying reason? Because as a mystic you always look to the underlying reason. What is the underlying reason for our life speeding up to such a degree? It is so it can get near to the spiritual vibrations. So that the spiritual and everyday become one. And part of the science of the future will be to understand how the spiritual and physical interrelate. What are the world's two biggest evils? Greed and the desire for power. The greed you can see. It is very interesting. In meditation, you see how greed corrupts all the values of our Western culture, and our Western culture is spreading throughout the world. And the desire for power is very, very dangerous, because now we have the ability through power to destroy the world. We are doing it slowly, but we could do it a lot quicker. Describe the main beliefs that are common to every faith system. I think belief in the goodness of God, and that we have a sacred part of ourselves which we can reclaim. What is the most important quality that humans possess? We have in us a divine spark that you can see. It's a light that shines in the human being. It is our direct access to Truth, or direct access to God. The purpose of all the spiritual practices that exist are to awaken that spark, to give it life, to give it energy, so it can transform you. And one of the energies that comes from that spark is love, and you learn to work with it. Part of spiritual practice is learning to work with this energy you have within you, so you can benefit your environment and really the world. This spark is exceedingly beautiful. If you see it within a human being, it is like a sun that is shining, and every human being has it. It is the divine consciousness that is given to humanity as a gift. If it is used correctly it can incarnate the Will of God. It is very, very beautiful. Human beings, when you see them as they really are, are unbelievably beautiful. We are made of light. Yes, we have a lot of denseness and darkness in us, but our real essence is light. What is amazing is when a human being turns towards God, the light in them increases tenfold, a hundredfold, and they start to radiate in space, to give off light; and that is why a spiritually evolved human being helps the environment and connects also inwardly with other people who are spiritually evolved. It is very, very beautiful. Describe the circumstances in which the world, as we know it, will come to and end. The world as we know has already come to an end. As a mystic you see how things change first in the inner. There is a law that everything that happens in life first constellates on the inner planes. For example, this movie that you are doing, first constellated as an idea, inwardly. It was given to you as an idea; it came from somewhere within. And then slowly it comes into the outer world, and you have a camera, and you go around and meet people. If you do mystical practices you begin to see how things come into being. And the world, as we know it, inwardly has already ended; it is already over. I think somebody once said, it's like the last dance on the Titanic. It is already over. There is a whole other level of evolution, which I call "Evolution of Oneness" or "Global Awareness." I don´t just call it myself; many, many people see it. And it is already setting the scenes for the next level of human evolution. To me, one of the most interesting things is the Internet, because it is a direct example of how oneness works, and how it is incredibly efficient, and it is everywhere at the same time, and anybody who has a computer can have access to it, and it was just given to humanity, and it works. The world as we know it has somewhere already ended. But it is our work–the work of you who are making this film, the work of the people who are watching this film–to bring this next level of evolution into being, because it needs human beings who can see beyond the debris of the civilization that is around us. If you look around with open eyes, you see the debris of a dying or dead civilization. Why? Because there is no meaning. What is it that it gives life to any culture? It´s meaning. And without meaning... Meaning does not mean to have a bigger car or a bigger house, because human beings are made in the image of God. We are divine, we are spinning organisms of light and love. If you look back throughout all the cultures, it's always the spiritual that gives meaning to people. It is our work to bring this next level of evolution into form. It does not yet have any form. If I may go off this now. I want to understand it still. So we're right now in a transformation? Yes, we are in a very, very major transformation. People think this is just the end of a 2,000–year cycle. It is actually the end of a 100,000–year cycle. It is a very major transformation. Do you have any idea how long this transformation is? 100 years? 1,000 years? No. No, no. The next 20 or 30 years will determine how the next 1,000 years evolves. That is why it is so crucial. That is why so many people are being drawn from all walks of life to work on this transformation. And it is very interesting, because I think America, because it is the most powerful country in the world at this moment, has a spiritual responsibility it has not yet fully acknowledged. It doesn't just have a financial, global responsibility. But because of that, it has a spiritual responsibility. And this is not yet... it has not yet taken up that responsibility. You see, the change will happen! The last civilization is already over. It does not work anymore. I mean, to have a civilization that destroys the planet, is a joke! It means it isn't working anymore. It means it is over. But the next civilization, which is being born, which is embryonic, which is coming into being–it is already here but not yet visible, which has to do with Oneness–it can function on many different levels. It can come into being on many different levels. The highest is when the heart of the World awakens, and the whole of humanity remembers God. That would be a tremendous step. I have seen in meditation, I have seen what that could be for humanity. It is unbelievably beautiful. It is a quality of harmony and togetherness. And many of the problems, which confront our world would cease to exist, because we will work together quite differently, from a place of oneness, from a place of understanding rather than from a place of discord. And, then, there are certain, organic, and very deep changes that are happening. You see, it is difficult to describe, because the real changes happen on the inner. For example, in a human being... The Sufis say when the hearts wakes up, when the organ of higher consciousness that belongs in the human being, when the heart wakes up, you are a totally different person. Your perspective on life changes. You behave totally differently. Your values change. You have experiences of bliss, of happiness, of oneness, of merging, that for most people are totally inaccessible. There is a possibility that the whole world could transform in that way, that something in the organic structure of the world– because the world is not just a physical blob floating through space! Just as a human being is not just a physical entity. The world, like a human being, is a multidimensional living organism. It exists on many, many levels. And it also has a heart. It is called the Soul of the World, Anima Mundi. It is the ancient, alchemical expression, because the alchemists understood this process of transformation. And, when that starts to wake up, and this is a possibility for the present time, the awakening of the Soul of the World, then, I say, then magic will return to life, then things will happen we can't even imagine, because... because that is the nature of creation. Creation is incredibly magical, incredibly beautiful. And things happen that you couldn't even imagine because it is miraculous, because it belongs to God. Unfortunately, we have treated the world like we treat ourselves, as if it doesn't belong to God. So we deny this whole magical dimension of life, this whole miraculous dimension of life. When is war justifiable? There is a very interesting misunderstanding– well it's not a misunderstanding–which is in this expression "jihad." Jihad is the holy war. It is said that there is the greater jihad and the lesser jihad. And the greater jihad is the war against the nafs, one's own lower self. And anybody who embarks upon any serious spiritual quest has to conquer their lower nature. For example, their power drive, their lust, all of those qualities. And you have to fight it. Because it doesn't just lie down and give itself up. You don't just suddenly transform the power drive into loving kindness. You have to fight it! And often it is a very, very painful process. It is sometimes like a fight to the death. And so the mystic, the one on the spiritual quest– this is why I feel that spiritually, people who have some spiritual understanding have so much to give back to humanity. Until now they have been isolated within their own spiritual practice, but they have a depth of understanding that is vitally important. We understand how we have to fight our lower nature. And sometimes that also has to be done on the world stage, when evil is been committed, when there are acts of terrorism. Then you have to stand up and fight. And sometimes it is one's duty to fight. And sometimes it is one's duty to pray. And it is discrimination to know when to pray, and when to fight. Define true love. That's a good one. How to define true love! It wants nothing for itself. It is totally and completely free. Most people have no idea what true love is, because they always want something. They associate love with their emotional and personal needs, which is very understandable, because probably not many of us were totally loved as children. We were caught in patterns of codependency, in our parents' dynamics... But, well, the Sufis have a saying, that once you take just one sip of the wine of love, you are lost forever; because it is completely different than anything you can expect. I remember for myself, the first time I experienced that. I was sitting in meditation. I was 25. And it was as if a butterfly's wings touched the edge of my heart. And in that moment I was given everything I ever wanted. I was loved completely. Every cell of my body was loved. My heart was singing with love. I could not believe there was anything more one could ever be given. It was complete. It was total. It was pure. That is why the Sufis call God, the Beloved. Because for Sufis the relationship with God is of lover and Beloved. And, we are loved so much. Actually, what is very interesting is that every cell of creation is loved. You can have mystical experiences in which you see that. It is loved completely, because the whole fabric of life, the whole fabric of creation is love. Love is this beautiful substance that comes from the inner planes. It is part of God, I suppose, for most people. But everything is God. But this love comes into life. And everything is nourished by love. They say it's love that makes the world go round. It is actually true. If that note of love was missing, the world would fall apart. And, part of a spiritual journey is to go, to experience this pure love. I would say, the difference between what most people call love and this love is like the difference between a glass of beer and 100% proof alcohol. This love, true love, pure love, is incredibly intoxicating. It destroys your mind, because in that dimension of love, all your notions of yourself and your world are dissolved. Because it is just completely different. It is absolute. And it is there! What amazes me is, it is present in everything in life. Because everything in life is made of love. And we don't have direct access to it. It is one of the– I don't like to say jokes, because it is rather a painful joke– but it is one of the... the Sufis call it, the veils of the Beloved: the way He hides Himself from us in His creation. And part of the journey of the mystic is to uncover those veils, and to find what is Real. And when you find what is Real, and your heart starts to sing, you become a drunkard. The Sufis talk about the tavern of ruin, because you are just drunk, in love! You are a mystic. You are drunk and in love, and you don't care anything for anything anymore, because you have been given everything you want. What are we all so afraid of? Oh, we are afraid of our shadows. We are afraid of the darkness inside of us, and so we project it outside, and we have to go and fight these monsters that we project it onto outside. We are afraid of the dark; we are like children. Again, part of the mystical journey is to face that darkness. You need the sword of your own aspiration, to go into the darkness inside of yourself, and to face that darkness, and then you discover that it isn't quite as dark after all, and the fears that you had... Things change! And then you begin to discover the light that is hidden in the darkness. This is one of the great alchemical secrets. This is one of the great secrets of human transformation: that you go into the darkness, and it is terrifying at first, and then you discover this light of your divine nature that is hidden in the darkness. It is called the pearl of great price, that is at the bottom of the ocean. In the depths of darkness there is something so beautiful. But most people are afraid of it, because there is a price to pay to confront your own fears, your own anxieties... and to go deep within yourself. It is much easier to project it, and to have enemies outside, or people you dislike... Then you can project your problems and it's somebody else's fault. For the mystic, it is always us. If you had the world's attention for one minute, what would you say? I would say that it is time for the world to remember that it belongs to God, and that there are, in the world, helpers of God– the Sufis call them “The friends of God”– who look after the spiritual wellbeing of the world. And they have been helping humanity more than humanity is aware. They have been working to create a container for the next level of evolution of humanity. You can see it in meditation: it is a web of light around the world. It is incredibly beautiful! It is time for us, who are here in this world, to work together with those helpers, which is our own spiritual heritage. And to help the world remember that it belongs to God. We cannot save the world, except through the intercession of the Divine. It is too far gone. The situation is too disastrous. All the well-meaning people in the world will not be able to help it, but the Divine can because it belongs to God. If you were granted one wish, what would it be? That people stopped wasting their time and woke up to what they are here to do, and what life is really about; because it is such an extraordinary thing, life. And we only have a few years! We are only in this world for maybe sixty, seventy, eighty years... And there is so much to do. There is so much light to bring into the world, there is so much wonderful things to do. And people waste their time. And it is very, very sad, because they never have that time again. And a lifetime that is wasted is lost. And a bit of divine remembrance, a bit of God, didn't come alive, as it could have come alive. What keeps most people from living to their full potential? Fear. Fear... It stops them stepping into the light of their own self. It is this lovely saying that people are not so much afraid of the darkness as of their light, of their own power, of their own potential, because then you have to become a responsible adult, and most people prefer to be children to blame somebody else. But it is never anybody else’s fault. Once you take full responsibility for your life, it is your destiny, it is your life; nobody else can live it for you. Nobody else can ring that particular note. You see, every human being has their own unique note to play in the symphony of life. And when it is played, then it makes the most beatiful contribution that nobody else can make. Because each human being is unique, each human being is a unique creation of the Divine. It is sad when people for some reason or other decide not to play that note, to stay in their fears, in their anxieties, in their pettiness... And then a lifetime is wasted. Discuss the most critical role a parent can play by shaping a child's development. Loving them! That's all you need, just to love. You see, I am a parent and I know, we make mistakes. I always say: the great art of being a parent is knowing you are going to fail, because you are going to make mistakes. But if you love, there is in the love a substance, that speaks to the soul of the child. So the soul of the child knows that it is accepted, that it is accepted for itself, not for what the parent wants it to be. And love, somehow, goes right through all the barriers, and speaks to the essence, and then the child can go out into life and stand on its own feet, because it knows it is loved. And once you know you are loved, nothing else really matters. On the surface things matter, but you have that foundation. You know you are loved. What is wisdom and how do you gain it? It is different. If you are a mystic you are given it, because if you are a mystic you become totally empty, and you are given whatever you need. For example: there is a plane in which all the knowledge is, and you can go there, you can get whatever you need. So, as a mystic, we are trained to be empty, and so something that needs can get reflected into it. For most people, of course, that is inaccessible, so wisdom is the knowledge they gain through life experience, and this is very valuable: you learn how to be with people, you learn whatever individual people learn. But for the mystic it is different. You see, I said before that for the mystic... Maybe I should explain, there is a difference–this is not generally understood– there is a difference between spiritual life and mystical life. In spiritual life you aspire to something: you want to get close to God, you want to lead a good life, you want to make a connection to your spiritual nature, and you can evolve, you can develop higher states of consciousness. A mystic wants nothing. We aspire to be completely empty, to be used by God for His purpose. We don't even want heaven or anything like that. We aspire to be empty. And so we are used. “I do not ask to see, I do not ask to know, I ask only to be used.” That is one of the prayers of the mystic. And so we know nothing, but we are given what we need. It’s very beautiful how it happens: you need to know something, and suddenly it is just there in the mind. It comes from somewhere else, like an intuition. For most people their access to this level is through intuition. Suddenly you know something you didn't know before, and it is just there in your mind, you don't know where it comes from. For the mystic this is our state of being. Yes, we learn practical skills: how to drive a car, how to… But from a spiritual point of view, the Real Wisdom comes from somewhere else. It comes from the Beloved, comes from this plane where all the knowledge is. You can go there in meditation; everything you need to know is there. All the knowledge of the past, all the knowledge of the future, it is just there. And you have access to it and you use it where you need to use it, or where you are allowed to use it. Because when you have access to that level of knowledge, there are very strict laws about how you are allowed to use it; because you can know somebody's future, but you don't want to tell them their future, because it would interfere with their journey through life. Do all souls have the possibility of being a mystic? No. Do all souls have the possibility of being a mystic? Absolutely not. There is a nice expression: “Mystics are born, they are not made.” You see, you have to be a little bit crazy to be a mystic, to give up everything in your life, everything that people consider precious, even your beliefs, –there comes a time when even your beliefs have to go. Nobody would do that in their right mind. So you have to have this substance in you that belongs to the soul. You bring it with you into life, and it starts to make you a little bit crazy, and then this world, as you know it, starts to dissolve. It no longer becomes real. And then it's time to find a teacher to help you through this process, because it is very dangerous, because you can go crazy, because nothing that seems to be real is real anymore. Because you have to become transformed so you can be used by the Beloved for the sake of the Beloved, not for your own sake. That is the difference. What is heaven and how do we get there? Heaven is a complete waste of time. There is a lovely Sufi mystic, called Rabia. She was a great Sufi mystic. And she said: “Give the rewards of this world to your enemies, give the rewards of the world to come to your friends, Thou art enough for me.” Heaven is a state. It is a plane where you can go after you die, for a while, because nothing is permanent. It is very peaceful, it is very tranquil, and it gets a bit boring, because nothing happens, you know?... Nothing happens. There is so much to do; even after you die there is a lot to do too, but it isn't generally known... There are so many dimensions of Reality. Once you leave this body, you go into another body–you get a body made of light. And you work in other planes, and there are so many interesting things going on. This world is really rather dense, but somehow people have created this idea of heaven. I understand why, because for most people this life is very hard work. And they want to have an idea of somewhere they can go where it is peaceful and tranquil. And yes, if you do good works and you are a good person you can get taken somewhere like that for a while. It doesn't last. What is prayer and what is its purpose? What is prayer? Prayer is being with God, prayer is… It begins, I think, prayer as a sort of private communion with God, when you can turn away from the world, and sit alone with God, and open your heart to God, and pray to God... however God is for you. Later, of course for the mystic it becomes a continual state. You pray all the time. It is actually–your heart is in a continuous state of prayer and praise of God. It is a recognition that He is God, that the Divine is present in every moment, in every breath you breathe. It is so wonderful to be with God, and you want to be with God all the time, and when you are with God, you automatically bow down and praise Him. I mean, not physically, but something in the human being is just awake with the wonder of God. So really for the mystic, there comes a time, they say, “when the heart is awake,” and then you pray continually, all the time, twenty-four hours a day. It gives meaning to life because it is your remembrance of God, your remembrance of that extraordinary Being, greater than any being. This quality, this energy, this power–call it what you will. The Sufi says: “In the name of He who has no name, but who appears by whatever name you call Him”. You speak to Him all the time somewhere. You are always in communion with God. And if you are not speaking to Him, you are listening to Him. There is a lovely story; I think it was a great Sufi mystic Al Hallâj who said, “Why does God not answer your prayers? It is because He is listening to you”. Sometimes He just likes to hear you ask Him things, so He doesn't answer right away because He likes to hear you talking to Him, asking to Him, because there is nothing sweeter for God than the human being whose heart looks towards God and says: “Please Beloved help me.” I think it is the saying of the Prophet Muhammad–peace be upon him– when he said: “The prophet loved three things: perfume, and beautiful women, and the shining of eyes in prayer.” When a human being prays, there is a light in their eyes. It is so beautiful! Then you see the divine in the human being, and suddenly you say: “That is what we are here for.” Because the whole human being lights up, and when you see what a human being is, when they are a light. Then, it is like a miracle. We are here to praise God. That is really one of the deep reasons of our existence: just to praise God. What is religion, and is current religion serving its purpose? I am not answering that. I am a mystic. How does one obtain true peace? It is very, very simple: peace is the essence of the soul. The sheath of the soul is bliss–Anandamaya Kosha– and the substance of the soul is peace. It is called “The peace that passes understanding,” because it has nothing to do with outer situations, and you achieve it through spiritual practice and meditation. You go to that place in the soul where there is peace, and once you have access to that, it is always with you. It is also traditionally the gift of a great Teacher to his disciples. Apparently Christ gave it to his disciples. It is the Gift of Peace. And it is given. But it is really the substance of the soul. What is the highest duty a person owes to the world? Service to God. The highest duty a person owes to the world is service to God. Without question. That is what we are here for. He has a beautiful title for the Sufis, which is “The Servant of His servants.” We are here to serve God, or to praise God–it is the same. The difficulty is when you separate the world from God. To me that is one of the great, I don't say tragedies because obviously it was meant to happen, but this patriarchal era that has come to an end, it banished God to heaven. And so we were left in this world without God. But the mystic... we experience things. We don't read about them, we don't talk about them, we go in meditation and we experience them. And once you experience how this world is divine, everything in this world is God! You are God, I am God, the trees are God, the sunshine is God, everything is God! So our duty in this world is to be of service to God, which means to be of service to life, which means to be of service to the Oneness, which means to live our destiny, because it is all the same. And then there is so much joy, because once you do what you come here to do, the soul wakes up, it starts to sing. It sings this extraordinary song of praise to God, which is your song, which is your offering to life. And the plants respond, and life responds, and people respond, and the bus arrives on time, and it works! Because it's life, because it's God, because there is no difference. There never was any difference. It was a big misunderstanding. Yes, humanity had to realize the transcendent aspect of the Divine, because in the matriarchal consciousness three thousand years ago, there was no transcendent God. And so, there is an aspect of God, the Sufis say, “Beyond even our idea of the beyond.” But that didn't mean that we should banish God from the Earth. Because who's earth is it? What else is there? Everything is God. What stands in the way of world peace? That is a very very difficult question. A big misunderstanding; that we are here for ourselves, that humanity is here to survive. Yes, we have a very deep survival instinct. But interestingly we bring with us two instincts into incarnation. Everything else is added afterwards. One is the will to survive, and the other is the will to praise God. It is imprinted into the soul. It is part of the genetic imprint of the soul. Everything else–culture, civilization–everything else comes after that, and somehow we have focused on the will to survive, and we have forgotten the will to praise. If you praise God you automatically understand how everything is one. And once you step into that sphere, then things start to flow differently. This has, again, to do with the next level of evolution of humanity. Once you see how everything is one, the energy flows differently. For example, in Africa so much of the starvation comes from war, not lack of food; because people fight, they destroy everything. If you are intelligent, if you are awake, and if you see this oneness that belongs to all of life, then there is no need anymore. It is actually very scientific, it is not difficult. What is the meaning of life? It is what is the meaning of life to you. Because for me it is different to you; because each of us is unique, each of us is different, each of us has a unique note to play. Carl Jung, he said: “Find the meaning and make the meaning your goal.” Just like Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss.” It is exactly the same thing. And so the meaning of life for me is different to the meaning of life to you, and there is no point in you trying to follow my meaning or me trying to follow your meaning, because we are each unique, we are a unique creation. A butterfly doesn't try to become a tree. You have a unique contribution to life, which you are beginning to make now, and I have a totally different contribution to life. And they are, in a strange way, coming together at this moment of time. And there is another meaning at this moment of time. Through your meaning and my meaning coming together, something else is present, something else comes into existence for just a moment. When people–this is quite esoteric– but when people who live their meaning meet each other, a connection is made outside of space and outside of time that has a very lasting effect. It is like it becomes part of this bigger network, this bigger connection of light, that gives meaning to the whole of life, where your meaning and my meaning for a moment intersect. And then, we are outside of space, outside of time, and we are working together in a totally different way, that affects not just you or me, but the whole. And that is very meaningful. Despite all our apparent differences amongst people, the theme of this project is We Are All One. What are your thoughts on this? Of course we are all one. This is the most basic, fundamental principle to life: we are all one. The mystic knows it because we experience it. It isn't just an idea. You have mystical experiences in which you experience how everything is one, how every leaf on the tree, and the sky, and everything is one. And you see how people are one. And you see that in that oneness their individuality is beautifully expressed. The oneness does not deny their individuality. Oneness and individuality directly complement each other. And in oneness, the individuality of every person is respected, the uniqueness of everybody is respected, and their contribution to life has a place in oneness. Oneness is the next step of evolution of humanity, without a doubt. It is the awareness of oneness, the consciousness of oneness, the energy of oneness, is what is being given to humanity, and you can see it as a global consciousness, but that is just an aspect of oneness. It is a totally different energy, which the mystic knows, but is now being given to humanity as a whole, and it is a fundamental step in humanity's evolution. And how we work with it will depend upon the future of humanity. .

Video Details

Duration: 51 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Views: 405
Posted by: oneness on Jan 30, 2013

Interview with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, A Sufi teacher.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee was interviewed in Fall 2002 as part of an independent film project titled We are All One by Circle of Bliss Production. The project, an exploration of spirituality in a new millennium, began in 2002. The filmmakers have interviewed over 100 people across the world. Asking the same thirty questions of all interviewees, from spiritual teachers to atheists to the homeless, they seek to produce and promote messages of mutual respect, understanding, love, and oneness.

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