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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 1998
Irina Tweedie's diary of her experiences with her Sufi Master and Teacher lifts us beyond any one religious viewpoint, beyond set ideas about enlightenment, and catapults us into realizing what a one-pointed focus and continual surrender it takes to become a spiritual master. Mrs. Tweedie's disarming humility and intimate experiences during her years of training in India with her Sufi Master will expand the mind and heart of virtually anyone who is interested in a spiritual life. She is the first Western woman to be trained in this ancient yogic lineage.
This detailed diary spans five years of the agonies, resistance, fright, and doubt that Mrs. Tweedie went through as she gradually opened to the love that surpasses all understanding.
Daughter of Fire was such a catalyst for me that I spent several weeks listening and talking to Mrs. Tweedie in London. The author is a living demonstration of the rare synthesis of Spiritual Truth and Spiritual Love.
Daughter of Fire sits close to my meditation chair where I frequently open it to catch another wave of the wisdom and love that radiate from its pages. I expect to keep reading it for the rest of my life.
What a rare opportunity to recognize and begin to dissolve the resistance of our own personalities to spiritual direction-and to release this all- too-familiar barrier to our spiritual illumination. I wholeheartedly recommend this rare and beautiful book of wisdom and spiritual understanding. I consider it one of the greatest of all contemporary spiritual literature.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2000
A true spiritual path is never easy and is never what we expect. Everyone's process is different because people are different. Irina's experience is true and unedited and what she experienced was for her and her only. But a lot of what she experienced is common to others that are on a mystical/spiritual path. Being on a very similar path myself, I would like to be bold enough to validate her book and experiences and how neccessary that they are. To achieve high spirituality is NOT an easy path, but VERY worth it. The highs and the lows of it are all relative to each other. This book is a perfect example for someone that would like a TRUE idea of what that type of path is all about.
I keep this book handy all of the time. The more I read it over and over, the more I learn. I recomend it highly. But you need to stick with it and get through it..... just as with anything else.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2000
Excellent book. Although some might believe that Sufism cannot be separate from Islam and should be limited to those of the religion, this book instead presents the understanding that mysticism, including Sufism, is available to all who seek with sincerity. There is nothing within it that contradicts the teachings of Islam, nor any of the other major religions. It is not a book for those who are simply seeking an easy template upon which to base their own spiritual lives upon, but rather, recommended for those who are pulled into the mystic life by something within themselves. . . and often in spite of themselves. It is also a good preparation for beginners, in showing that the true teacher is often not what one expects a teacher to be, and that the experiences of the mystical path are not limited to those that one hopes for. Those already on a genuine Sufi/mystic path might find much to relate to. Heartily recommended.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2000
Daughter of Fire,an incredible account of spiritual experiences.Step by step and day by day the progression in acquiring spiritual powers is described in detail.After what has been written in poetic Persian literature this is the first time in English literature the spiritual experiences of sufism have been revealed.Sufism has been described to be the religion of humanity without distinctions and boundaries.As the sufi master of Mrs Tweedie 'Bhai Sahib' relates "The roads to God are as many as human beings" .It is about ultimately merging with "The Creator" no matter which religion we belong to.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2002
This book is the narrative of one woman's extraordinary perseverance on her spiritual path; clearly illustrates the essence of a true spiritual life - it's not about coddling and self-fulfillment - but rather the grace-given will to transcend the illusions and self-imagery of the ego. "No one is the beloved of God", said one illumined being. What this means is that, WE must love God! We must surrender ourselves, not the other way around, to realize anything. The tests Ms. Tweedie's teacher puts her through are precisely the elements necessary for her to penetrate the veil of the ego, and to ultimately go beyond the illusion of "self" and "other", into the heart of Love itself - God, Consciousness, Radiant Being. She describes her experiences in detail and with rigorous honestly uncommon in most "spiritual" books. There's no fluffly, new-age stuff in here. It's the real deal.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 1999
If you're weary of channeling, ET's, and other new-age fluff, and seek an honest, authentic account of what is required of the initiate for the transformation of human consciousness to one that is merged in the Divine Will, merged in Love, you've got it here. Like nothing I've read--at least nothing published for general consumption--DOF gets straight to the nuts and bolts of the spiritual path, pulling no punches, sparing no details, however personal. The Sufi path, it's goals and it's teaching techniques are revealed in as explicit a fashion as you are going to find. If there is one point of Ms. Tweedie's that stands out as most important to the serious seeker, it the importance--the absolute necessity--of the teacher. One can go only so far on their own. At 820 pages of first-person, journal-entry style writing, Daughter is occasionally tedious and repetitive, but it's a roller-coaster ride that's worth the effort. And what else could it be? After all--that is the spirititual path.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2003
Most people associate Sufism with Islamic mysticism, but the path, the teachings laid out in this book, the System, was ancient before the days of Buddha. The book is the day-by-day journal of one woman's guidance to Absolute Truth, with her experiences, thoughts, fears, anger and discoveries laid out with rare transparency. As Rumi has noted however, "this is not a path for easily broken, glass-bottle people." Ms. Tweedie discovered the truth in the Persian couplet: "The self does not go with kind words and gentle caresses; it must be chased with sorrows and drowned in tears." While reading this book, my lower self wept at the cruelty, injustice and severity of the training. But at the same time, my higher Self wept in joy at finally finding a System that works and that can take one Home. Ms. Tweedie herself later became a renowned Teacher of this same System. If you heart aches with a longing that you cannot define, this maybe is the book for you.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2004
The original version of the book was shortened by the publisher as it was considered too long. This is why there are two books: the shorter, first published The Chasm of Fire (1979), and this one, more complete Daughter of Fire (1986).

Irina Tweedie's story takes the mystery out of a Sufi master and pupil situation and tells what love is like in practice.

Reijo: How was it possible for Irina Tweedie to go to India and stay about one and a half years with a teacher, who totally rejected her and whose family also showed her their rejection?

Agnes: Love is not simply being lovely! I am not talking about love in personal relationships. The love of Guruji towards Irina Tweedie was impersonal, what you (as a Gurdjieffian) would call "Conscious Love". Impersonal is not the right word in the sense that this love comes to you through a person and his/her personal expressions. It leads to the source of love in yourself.

Reshad Feild: "Do not look for love - look for the source of love!" A teacher leads the pupil to the source and that is what Irina Tweedie experienced.

Reijo: How about Irina then? She was 52, totally rejected, gave away all she had - how could she go on?

Agnes: A teacher holds the pupil and nourishes the intention. Irina's intention was to find the truth. This clear intention was the hook where she was hanging. This would not have been possible without a total commitment, unconditional and demanded by the teacher. For her there was no way to go back.

Her story reminds me of Odysseus, who let himself be tied to the mast of a ship and in full senses went through the temptations. To quote Reshad again: "Come with both hands, not one hand behind your back."

Reijo: What you are saying is that Guruji was totally in control of the situation?

Agnes: No, what was happening to Irina was not in his control. He was connected to a place in himself and through that he received an impulse of what to do in the various situations. To be conscious does not mean that we have life under control.

Reijo: In other words, because he was "present" he could influence the situation.

Agnes: Not only that. He was, and a teacher is, connected with the creation that takes place every moment new. He could get the fresh impulse that is needed out of the present moment and DO what is necessary.

Reijo: Yet there was to my disappointment no final exchange between Irina Tweedie and Guruji about the method. He never told clearly what he was doing with her.

Agnes: In my view what he said could not have been stated in a clearer way! He gave her the essence of the teaching; everything else came to Irina through her experiences and through her understanding of them. She was prepared to find her own method, which was needed in London and not in India, in her time, in her place in Europe.

The essence of the teaching can only be understood through experience. The method can be copied, but the ability can only grow in oneself.

A real teacher lets the ability to grow and does not allow the pupil to become a copy.

Reijo: In any spiritual way there are three main stages: identity, direction and commitment. Irina found her identity to be nothing, her direction was her intention towards the truth and her commitment was without any conditions. It sound hard!

Agnes: But she had an insurance: a spider's thread coming out of the blue sky to which she could hang on to!

Her book is about the way to the source of love. On my way I experienced the pure love of a teacher clearest and strongest when Reshad Feild was shouting to me in front of a group of 80 people. I don't know what he shouted about, but I remember the strong, pure love. Nobody understood why I kept coming back to him and looked him up as he only immediately started to shout again.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2005
I strongly disagree with the reviewer that says this is spiritual abuse. What a small price Irina paid for her enlightenment. Her Guru's ignoring Irina and a few times appearing sharp with her are a small price to pay. If I could find a Shaikh like this who would help me, I would be overjoyed (eternally). This is a book I will read for the rest of my life. Thank you Irina
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2007
Full of fire. Sure not for the light hearted seeker. Helpful to all those that feel challenged in similar ways. As it is autobiographic and personal, readers will find themselves in the book 100% or be turned off by her struggles. I benefited much by reading it. Although lengthy at times, it is honest and straight forward.
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