Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Sufi master transfers an evil destiny from this world to a dream world



Writer and scholar Musharraf Ali Farooqi, whose works include a wonderfully spirited translation of The Adventures of Amir Hamza, alerted me to a most interesting story he discovered in an Arabic manuscript. The story involves a 12th century Persian Sufi master, Abdul Qadir Gilani, and how he is said to have saved the life of a merchant by transferring his evil destiny from this world into a dream world.
    The manuscript is a book of parables; the key passage is quoted from another
book titled Behjatul Asrar or Behjatul Israr, attributed to Abdul Qadir Gilani himself.

     Musharraf Farooqi has generously shared his translation:


A merchant named Abul Muzaffar visited his friend Sheikh Hammad and informed him that he was departing to Syria with a merchant caravan, and asked for the Sheikh's prayers for his safe return. The Sheikh told him to postpone his plans for it would have dire consequences. He told him that robbers would rob and kill him.
     As the merchant was returning from the Sheikh with an uneasy mind, he crossed paths with Abdul Qadir Gilani who asked him the reason for his distraught looks. When Abul Muzaffar told him about Sheikh Hammad's prediction, Gilani told him not to worry and to depart for the journey with an easy mind. He assured him that no harm would come to him.
     The merchant followed his advice, departed for Syria as he had planned and returned after turning a good profit.
     During his return journey he misplaced his purse of gold coins when he reached Aleppo and went to sleep with a troubled mind. He dreamed that robbers had attacked the caravan and looted all his possessions and killed him.
     He awoke from the nightmare in terror and found himself safe and also remembered where he had kept the purse.When he returned to Baghdad he wondered whether he should first call on Sheikh Hammad or Abdul Qadir Gilani. Abul Muzaffar met the former in the bazaar.
     The sheikh told him that he should convey his gratitude to Gilani because God had transferred his destined fate, about which he had been warned by Sheikh Hammad, from the world of wakefulness into the world of dreams
by Gilani's praying seventy times for him
.


Musharraf Farooqi asked: "II wonder what you make of it and if you have read any references about such a transference of destiny from the world of wakefulness into the world of dreams."


My response: I am familiar with apotropaic procedures for averting an unwanted future event, especially one foreseen in dreams, and have actually used some of these myself. While I enjoy the way the author here speaks of sending an evil event from the physical world into a world of dreams, in today's language (as recognized in mainstream physics) we might speak of shifting an event into another parallel universe.
    In this story, what might have happened is revealed in a dream. The attack and murder seem to be taking place, in the dream, at the same time they would have unfolded in physical life, except for Abdul Qadir Gilani's intervention. I have seen dreams of this kind myself.
     However, the process that is most familiar to me is that we foresee an unwanted event in dreams and then take action to avert it. Some cultures have rituals for this. A traditional Iroquois practice was to play-act part of the content of an evil dream in the hope that this partial dramatic enactment would fulfill the dream, while containing its consequences, so it would not have to manifest completely. As described in my Dreamways of the Iroquois such play acting could be very fierce; thus a war chief who had dreamed he was taken by enemies and fire-tortured to death had himself burned with red-hot knives and hatchets.
      I have seen gentler, improvisational versions of such rituals of containment work. So we see that while the Syria-bound merchant's life was supposedly saved by the devout prayers of a saint, there are things that ordinary dreamers can do for themselves to shift a "destiny" from one event track to another.

The feat attributed to the Sufi master becomes more explicable, if no less extraordinary, when we consider current theories in physics of Many Interactive Worlds. Leading edge physicists suggest that we are living right now, in one of numberless parallel universes. They are forever splitting. However, they can also converge and influence each other. If this is how it is, then it is not so hard to imagine that an unwanted event could be deported to a parallel reality. The merchant survived, in what he thought was the real world. He died in world he may have continued to see in his dreams. We are not told what he discovered to be fundamental reality when he died and was able to see that the life just ended was also a dream. 

4 comments:

Cristina said...

Thank you for your wonderful work,Robert!
Regarding the transference of some event to a parallel universe: if this is so, it means that the event should happen anyways,somewhere, and some version of ourselves will have to live it?
Therefore,it means for me that we cannot fully change things, just change the reality we are aware of now?
What about the "I " from another realities? How is it possible that we are not aware of them,and do they fully exist?
Cristina

Robert Moss said...

Thank you, Cristina. Those are excellent questions. The answer to your first question is probably YES, though I like to think there is a Delete button for some parallel event tracks. The answer to the second is, again, probably YES in most cases but I think we do have the ability to intervene in positive ways in some of our parallel existences.

As for how we can know about our parallel selves, as an active dreamer I have an immediate and simple answer. By recalling and recording our dreams over time, we gain first hand evidence of continuous lives we are leading in parallel and other realities. I give personal examples in several of my books, especially in THE BOY WHO DIED AND CAME BACK. As we become more practiced in conscious dream travel, we can drop in on parallel selves, entering their minds and even their bodies, for mutual understanding and benefit. We actively experiment in this mutidimensional field in my advanced workshops and trainings, often by group shamanic journeying.

Cristina said...

Thank you Robert! I actually started to read the book you recommended to me!
I read some of your other books, and try to work on my dreams daily.
I really admire you and hope to meet you personally someday!
Best wishes for you!

Betsy Budney said...

Thank you for the story Robert. I am wondering if it is ethical to transfer a misfortune to a parallel world where one of your selves will suffer the fate you in this world do not want to endure.