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Sufi Monk Credentialing
This self-explanatory English poem of mine was originally drafted Monday (evening) August 5, 2013, while I was still in Independence, Missouri. I revised it a bit in November and December of 2014, while “traveling” in Arizona and New Mexico. By: Moji Agha Sufi Monk Credentialing Late this afternoon a self-proclaimed “Sufi Monk” was seeking to dis-cover further stations of the journey, while being hugged by the cavernous bosoms of an “Independent” Temple of Community. Then, suddenly this Iranian-American civility activist was asked, [on my hurried -- hence not "smart" -- tired old cell phone on the very edge of the Land of OZ], by a well-meaning fellow peace and justice activist: "Moji: WHAT are your credentials as a Sufi Monk?” Humm! I mumbled in im-mediate reaction. As a matter of brutal fact, however, I was quite awed by this odd and quite pragmatic question from this "ruggedly individualized" American attorney. Wow! OH MY GOD! Please tell me: What ARE my Sufi Monk credentials with YOU? (Who cares about what the "Independent" lawyer thinks?) Wow! Even my skin has heard and seen the awe of this question, while tasting the delicious fragrance, in the heart of this awesome query, of quite a few cross-cultural, and cross-spiritual, ironies and contradictions! Wow! OH MY GOD! Please tell me: WHO (on Earth) is qualified to issue MY “Sufi Monk” credentials? Are such credentials, umm, like graduate degrees? Like a Ph.D in Advanced Monkology? Who has ever been a "Dr. Sufi Monk?" Rumi? Hafez? Ibn-Arabi? It is awesomely fair to ask: Can ANYBODY, really anyone, claim to be a “Sufi Monk,” and boom... become one? JUST by self-proclamation? Yes! Oh, my God! YES, I suppose quite radically. It is a brutally awesome fact that the diverse (and united) gates to "Sufi Monkdom" [where monkish egos are supposed to find their right place in the order of Love] have been (and will be) wide open for all eternity. And as awesome as it may be, or SEEM, there CAN NOT be a credential-issuing gate-keeper (or board of visa-issuers) who allow, or not allow, entry into this awesome “monkdom,” at least as far as this humble "sufi monk" knows, in my present “station” of awareness. However, in brutally awesome fact, again, by far the best reply to the self-shaking question of: “Who can PROPERLY claim Sufi Monki-ness?” has come, metaphorically, beautifully and radically honestly, from the usual suspect, that immortal lover of true peace and justice: Rumi was asked, quite a few moments ago: "Is drinking wine [alcohol] allowed or disallowed to a [Muslim / Sufi] Believer?" Citing brutally awesome fact, again, the greatest lover of all times replied: “It depends on who is doing the drinking,” dear seekers of Truth. Well, Rumi is Rumi, the ultimate “Sufi Monk” and I am who I am with my ordinary “sufi monk” wanderings. So I wonder this: Do Sufis, and other lovers, need some kind of "Rumi-approved" formal credentials to get drunk by the “monkish” wine of awareness? Of real Love? OR, Is actually living, in brutal and awe-some fact, a Sufi Monk's humble (and quite hard) "traveling" life sufficient self-evident credentialing? Now--and here, I suggest this would be a good "cross-examination" question, to be put to the "counsel" on the "OTHER" side! Don't you all think so?
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