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Re: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?

Nov 16, 2002 06:30 AM
by netemara888


Hi Mort,

I think I need some better scholarship on the Sufis. When I was at 
Notre Dame this summer I noticed that a new Encylopedia about Sufism 
and the like had just been published by a Middle Eastern scholar. I 
wish I had that book title now. But I see your drift. It is like 
the "HU HU" sound, and the other sounds that imitate the natural 
sound current heard inside one's head. Now, the gurus that Daniel and 
I were discussing and juxtaposing them with TS teach such a yoga. It 
is called Surap Shabd. Okay, there is that prefix again "su" it is 
one of those sounds that is perhaps common to man like "mu or ma" and 
the root of the word mother in every tongue imaginable. You are 
making me wax Blavatsky here, but I will see where this line of 
thought leads, anyway the reference I made and you made also link the 
Sufis to whom else? But the Christian forefathers who also broke away 
from the mainstream and began their own line of clothing--no, not 
that line, just kidding. 

But seriously they were the keepers of the records and the flame so 
to speak. They did wear long robes of wool probably because wool 
breathes. Whether it is hot or cold you can wear wool. I don't know 
if people realize that but you can. And as an anthropologist I have 
to ask myself what was available to those people in terms of woolen 
things? You can't get wool out of turnip...hehehehe.....

Blavatsky says her arm hurts now, so I will give her a rest. Talk to 
you. Let's keep looking for this. I will try to go to the library 
today or bookstore.

Netemara


POST SCRIPT: One thing I find that may be inaccurate in your 
statement BELOW about the Christian anchorites is this: Were there 
anchorites in the desert? Do you know what that term means and 
references? In England Julian of Norwich was an anchorite because she 
lived permanently in one place, one room. There were rules for the 
anchorites "Anchorweiss" (sp) I have to find the title but it means 
anchorite wisdom, and was their rules of order. But the straw is that 
they NEVER leave this one room cell, that is their ANCHOR, they are 
anchored to it, tied and bound to it spiritually. I do not know if 
the desert fathers like Anthanisus of Egpyt were also called 
anchorites--I doubt it.

That is my other line of scholarship and study other than TS. That 
the Sufis imitated the Christians in this respect makes me happy.
****************


Note to Mort: can I forward this post with your comments on it? Thanks
--- In theos-talk@y..., "Morten Nymann Olesen" <global-
theosophy@a...> wrote:
> Hi Netemara and all of you,
> 
> Well, according to my source Idries Shah the following could spark 
some
> afterthought on the Syrian Druzes
> which Dallas recently mentioned:
> 
> According to some authors, and they are in the majority, "Sufi" is 
traceable
> to the Arabic word, pronounced
> "Soof", which - litterally means "wool", referring to the material 
from
> which the simple robes of the early Muslim mystics were made. These 
it is
> further claimed, were made of wool in imitation of the dress of 
Christian
> anchorites who abounded in the Syrian and Egyptian deserts and 
elsewhere in
> the Near and Middle East.
> ("Wool is the garb of animals", "As-Suf libas al-Inam": Arabic 
quotation
> from Hujwiri's "The revelation of the veiled"; See Sirdal Ikbal Ali 
Shah,
> "Islamic Sufism" (London, 1933), p.17
> But this definition, plusible though it may appear, will not solve 
our
> problem as to name...Equally important lexicographers, however, 
stress that
> 'wool is the garb of animals' and emphasize that the Sufi objective 
is
> towards the perfectioning or completing of human mind, not the 
emulation of
> a herd; and that the Sufis, always highly conscious of symbolism, 
would
> never adopt such a name. Furthermore...
> 
> (..and then we are given the story about "The Companions of the 
Bench",
> which I recently emailed.)
> 
> ***
> Elsewhere: Sufi="wool". Externalists in the East and the West has 
often
> adopted this etymology, which therefore often appears in reference 
books as
> the derivation.
> (The word "externalists" could be siad to unveil some truth.)
> 
> ***
> You can check this out: I
> dries Shah was not just a half-learned scholar - he knew a trick or 
two on
> wisdom for sure.
> 
> It is also said somewhere in some of the scriptures from The Middle 
East,
> that the Armenian mystics wore white robes of wool - even before 
Christ
> came along. Maybe some of the more wellread ones can confirm that.
> 
> But as stated by Idries Shah, - the sound of the word "Sufi" - i.e.
> "SSSUUUFFF" is maybe the key to the mystery.
> You know - sounds makes a certain penetration upon the brain. And 
those
> suited for the word "SUF" etc. they could be said to be the ones 
who get
> aquainted with the teaching.
> 
> 
> 
> from
> M. Sufilight with himself entangled in Wool...>:-)
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "netemara888" <netemara888@y...>
> To: <theos-talk@y...>
> Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2002 1:10 AM
> Subject: Re: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?
> 
> 
> I just posted that on another forum that Sufi comes from sufl which
> means 'wool' like the woolen clothes they wore, as a retro to simple
> clothing in expressing direct displeasure over the rich caliphs and
> their fine clothing. That was from one reference source. I don't 
know
> if it is true or not.
> 
> Netemara
> *************
> 
> -- In theos-talk@y..., "Morten Nymann Olesen" <global-
theosophy@a...>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Dallas and all of you,
> >
> > Thanks for your very kind answer Dallas.
> >
> > The following could maybe enhance something, while keeping in 
mind,
> that I
> > hold the below word "Sufi" to be the same as the
> word "Theosophist" - as the
> > Ancient Wisdom Teaching of all ages past:
> >
> >
> > The Sufis are also called -
> > "heart spies", "the lovers", "the builders", "the people of
> truth", "the
> > near ones", "the Masters", "the pillars", "the rose", --- or ---
> > "Mutassawif", "the Blamworhty", "those in white clothes" (a kind 
of
> > 'clairvoyant' version), ...etc.
> > ...
> > The Sufis claim that a certain kind of mental and other activity 
can
> > produce, under special conditions and with perticular efforts, 
what
> is
> > termed a higher working of the mind, leading to special 
perceptions
> whose
> > apparatus is latent in the ordinary man, Sufism is therefore the
> > transcending of ordinary limitations
> >
> > ...
> > It would maybe reduce the problems of the student to learn that it
> is said,
> > with all the authority of the Jewish Encyclopedia, that the Hebrew
> experts
> > regard the Cabbala and the Hasidim, the Jewish mystics, as
> originating with
> > Sufism or a tradition identical with it.
> > (*Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. XI, pp. 579,580,581 et passim. Jewish
> sages
> > regarded by Western Scholars as following the Spanish Sufi Schools
> include:
> > Juda Halevi of Toledo, in his Cuzari; Moses ben Ezra of Granada;
> Josef ben
> > Zadiq of Cordoba, in his Microcosmus; Samuel ben Tibbon; Simtob 
ben
> > Falaquera.*)
> > Neither would it encourage him/her to hear, that although the 
Sufis
> > themselves claim that their knowledge has existed for thousands of
> years,
> > they deny that is is - derivative, - affirming that it is
> equivalence of the
> > Hermetic, Phytagorean and Plantonic streams. (Identity of Sufi
> ideas with
> > ancient Egyptian, Phytagorean and Platonic schools noted; by M.A.
> Ubicini,
> > Letters on Turkey (London, 1856).
> >
> > Our still uninitiated student may by now be thoroughly confues; 
but
> he/she
> > had a glimpse of the problems of studying Sufi ideas, even if only
> because
> > he for himself can witness for himself the unproductive struggle 
of
> the
> > scholastics.
> >
> > ...
> > Since Sufi study is carried out mainly by direct methods (and it
> has known
> > to be conveyed entirely by gesture, symbol and demonstration), 
when
> we lose
> > this element in our study, relying upon books, we must be at the
> mercy of
> > those who advance al kinds of subjective theories.
> > ...
> > Serious problems in locating genuine and relevant Sufi ideas and
> practises
> > exist, too, for any student who has alreday met a watered-down,
> generalized
> > or partial variety of Sufism, wheather in the East or in the West.
> There are
> > many hundreds of people in America and Europe who 
practise 'dervish
> dance,
> > whirling or turning' in spite of the fact that it is psecifically
> on record
> > in easily accessible dervish litterature, that this practise was
> especially,
> > precribed, for local reasons, by Rumi (A great Sufi and poet; d.
> 1273) for
> > the people of Asia Minor in the region of Iconium.
> > (Shamsudin Ahmad El-Aflaki, Munaqib El-Arfin: trans. Redhouse
> as "The Acts
> > of Adepts" (London 1881); reprinted in facsimile ed. Kingston
> as "Legends
> > of the Sufis" (London 1965). See also El-Ghazali, "Alchemy of
> Happiness".)
> >
> > ******
> >
> > There is the awkward fact, that the so-called Companions of the
> Bench - the
> > Ashab as-Safa - are traditionally soppposed to be the sufis of the
> time of
> > Mohammed (d. 632). It is said, that they formed themselves in to 
an
> esoteric
> > group in the year 623 A. D. And that their name is a derivation
> from the
> > phrase Ashab as-Safa.
> > "Sawfa" meaning "piety" and "saff" (contracted from the
> phrase 'First Rank
> > of the Worhty').
> >
> > "saff" - "safran" - "sif" - "sign" - "design" .....
> >
> > ***
> > These are the words taken in part from the Afghan Sufi - Idries 
Shah
> > (d.1996), who lived England.
> > ***
> >
> > To the reader: Feel free to enlighten us all...
> >
> >
> > from
> > M. Sufilight with some new sounds of..."free cultural 
mixing"...<:-)
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <dalval14@e...>
> > To: "AA-B-Study" <study@b...>
> > Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 9:24 PM
> > Subject: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?
> >
> >
> > > Nov 15 2002
> > >
> > > Re: "Sufi" -- ( also "white," and "pure")
> > >
> > > Dear Friend:
> > >
> > > Here is an entry from H P B's THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 311
> > >
> > > SUFFISM (Gr.). From the root of Sophia, "Wisdom ". A mystical
> sect in
> > > Persia something like the Vedantins; though very strong in
> numbers,
> > > none but very intelligent men join it. They claim, and very
> justly,
> > > the possession of the esoteric philosophy and doctrine of true
> > > Mohammedanism. The Suffi (or Sofi) doctrine is a good deal in
> touch
> > > with Theosophy, inasmuch as it preaches one universal creed, and
> > > outward respect and tolerance for every popular exoteric faith.
> It is
> > > also in touch with Masonry. The Suffis have four degrees and 
four
> > > stages of initiation:1st, probationary, with a strict outward
> > > observance of Mussulman rites, the hidden meaning of each
> ceremony and
> > > dogma being explained to the candidate; 2nd, metaphysical
> training;
> > > 3rd, the "Wisdom" degree, when the candidate is initiated into 
the
> > > innermost nature of things; and 4 final Truth, when the Adept
> attains
> > > divine powers, and complete union with the One Universal Deity 
in
> > > ecstacy or SamÔdhi.
> > >
> > > Other references in the same book will be found on pp 36, 105,
> 118,
> > > 156, 158, 216,
> > >
> > > On p. 280 the mysterious force ROWANEE is mentioned and H P B
> prints
> > > there a contribution by W. W. W WESTCOTT
> > >
> > > ROWHANEE (Eg.) or Er-Roohanee. is the Magic of modern Egypt,
> supposed
> > > to proceed from Angels and Spirits, that is Genii, and by the 
use
> of
> > > the mystery names of Allah; they distinguish two forms-Ilwee,
> that is
> > > the Higher or White Magic; and Suflee and Sheytanee, the Lower 
or
> > > Black Demoniac Magic. There is also Es-Seemuja, which is
> deception or
> > > conjuring. Opinions differ as to the importance of a branch of
> Magic
> > > called Darb el Mendel, or as Barker calls it in English, the
> Mendal:
> > > by this is meant a form of artificial clairvoyance, exhibited 
by a
> > > young boy before puberty, or a virgin, who, as the result of
> > > self-fascination by gazing on a pool of ink in the hand, with
> > > coincident use of incense and incantation, sees certain scenes 
of
> real
> > > life passing over its surface. Many Eastern travellers have
> narrated
> > > instances, as E. W. Lane in his Modern Egyptians and his 
Thousand
> and
> > > One Nights, and E. B. Barker; the incidents have been introduced
> also
> > > into many works of fiction, such as Marryat's Phantom Ship, and 
a
> > > similar idea is interwoven with the story of Rose Mary and the
> Beryl
> > > stone, a poem by Rossetti. For a superficial attempt at
> explanation,
> > > see the Quarterly Review, No.117 [w.w.w.]
> > >
> > > In another place (same book, p. 105) H P B indicates there is a
> > > connection between the Sufis and the Druzes of Lebanon and Syria
> > >
> > > DRUZES . A large sect, numbering about 100,000 adherents, living
> on
> > > Mount Lebanon in Syria. Their rites are very mysterious, and no
> > > traveller, who has written anything about them, knows for a
> certainty
> > > the whole truth. They are the Sufis of Syria. They resent being
> called
> > > Druzes as an insult, but call themselves the "disciples of
> Hamsa ",
> > > their Messiah, who came to them in the ninth century from
> the "Land of
> > > the Word of God", which land and word they kept religiously
> secret.
> > > The Messiah to come will be the same Hamsa, but called Hakem-the
> > > All-Healer ". (See Isis Unveiled, II 308, et seq.)
> > >
> > > In the Glossary (p. 36) another reference associates them with
> the
> > > "Assassins"
> > >
> > > ASSASSINS . A masonic and mystic order founded by Hassan Sabah
> in
> > > Persia, in the eleventh century. The word is a European
> perversion of
> > > "Hassan ", which forms the chief part of the name.
> > > They were simply Sufis and addicted, according to the tradition,
> to
> > > hascheesl-eating, in order to bring about celestial visions. As
> shown
> > > by our late brother, Kenneth Mackenzie, "they were teachers of 
the
> > > secret doctrines of Islamism; they encouraged mathematics and
> > > philosophy, and produced many valuable works. The chief of the
> Order
> > > was called Sheik-el-Jebel, translated the 'Old Man of the
> Mountains',
> > > and, as their Grand Master, lie possessed power of life and
> death.'
> > > ( p. 36)
> > >
> > > Thus the secret "societies" including the ancient order
> of "Masons,"
> > > (builders, cosmocratores) was shown to be united in their
> teachings
> > > concerning the origins and purpose of the World and our 
universe.
> > >
> > > Another entry of interest is here given ( p. 37)
> > >
> > > ASSYRIAN HOLY SCRIPTURES. Orientalists show seven such hooks: 
the
> > > Books of Mamit, of Worship, of Interpretations, of Going to
> Hades; two
> > > Prayer Books (Kanmagarri and Kanmikri: Talbot) and the 
KantolitÚ,
> the
> > > lost Assyrian Psalter. (p. 37)
> > >
> > > ASSYRIAN TREE OF LIFE . "Asherah" (q.v.). It is translated in 
the
> > > Bible by "grove ' and occurs 30 times. It is called an "idol"; 
and
> > > Maachah, the grandmother of Asa, King of Jerusalem, is accused 
of
> > > having made for herself such an idol, which was a lingham. For
> > > centuries this was a religious rite in JudŠa. But the original
> Asherah
> > > was a pillar with seven branches on each side surmounted by a
> globular
> > > flower with three projecting rays, and no phallic stone, as the
> Jews
> > > made of it, but a metaphysical symbol. "Merciful One, who dead 
to
> life
> > > raises! was the prayer uttered before the Asherah, on the banks
> of the
> > > Euphrates. The "Merciful One ", was neither the personal god of
> the
> > > Jews who brought the "grove" from their captivity, nor any 
extra-
> > > cosmic god, but THE HIGHER TRIAD IN MAN SYMBOLIZED BY THE 
GLOBULAR
> > > FLOWER WITH ITS THREE RAYS. ( p. 37)
> > >
> > > Further investigation shows a relationship with "Hamsa" as
> follows:
> > > (p. 134)
> > > HAMSA OR HANSA (Sk.) "Swan or goose", according to the
> Orientalists ;
> > > a mystical bird in Occultism analogous to the Rosicrucian 
Pelican.
> > > Tile sacred mystic name which, when preceded by that of KALA
> (infinite
> > > time), i.e. Kalahansa, is name of Parabrahm ; meaning the " Bird
> out
> > > of space and time". Hence BrahmÔ (male)is called Hansa 
Vahana "the
> > > Vehicle of Hansa (the Bird). We find the same idea in the Zohar,
> where
> > > Ain Suph (the endless and infinite) is said to descend into the
> > > universe, for purposes of manifestation, using Adam Kadmon
> (Humanity)
> > > as a chariot or vehicle.
> > >
> > > HAMSA (Arab.). The founder of the mystic sect of the Druzes of
> Mount
> > > Lebanon. (See "Druzes" .) [ see above ] (see MAHATMA LETTERS 
p.
> 116,
> > > Modern Panarion p. 375, S D II p. 27; H P B Articles III
> 281...
> > > "Lamas and Druzes" -- showing a relationship with the Tibetan
> > > Esoteric philosophies.
> > >
> > > ISIS UNVEILED makes a very interesting reading if one is in
> search of
> > > evidence relating to the past of Theosophy as seen in and at the
> base
> > > of every ancient Theogony, Religion or Secret Society. These 
were
> > > also closely related to the Egyptian and Greek MYSTERIES.
> > > Best wishes
> > >
> > > Dallas
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Morten Nymann Olesen [mailto:global-theosophy@a...]
> > > Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 9:38 AM
> > > To: Theos-Talk
> > > Subject: Theos-World The word Sufi...
> > >
> > > Hi all of you,
> > >
> > > It is said that the word "Sufi" is a new one.
> > > It is said to have German origin from year 1821.
> > > The book by the author F.A.G. Th÷luck is titled: "Ssufismus sive
> > > Theosophia Persarum pantheistica" (Berlin 1821) - yes - in latin
> > > The book has a title with the word Theosophy in it, and that is
> > > interesting.
> > > As H. P. Blavatsky uses the word "sufi", it could be interesting
> > > to know in which books she has read that term --- if any reading
> took
> > > place at all.
> > > Someone says that the word has a distinct sound
> called 'SSSUUUFFF'.
> > >
> > > Do any of you have anything on this ?
> > >
> > > from
> > > M. Sufilight
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> > >
> > >
> > >
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to 
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