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Sufism: The Transformation of the Heart Paperback – June 1, 1995
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For those who have tasted this desire for God, Vaughan-Lee's passages will blow on the fire of their longing. For those new to Sufism, this book is an excellent introduction to a spiritual path that leads to the heart's transformation. I love how simply and lovingly Vaughan-Lee points our attention away from ego-identification with this transformation, reminding us that we are here for the Divine to reveal the Divine to Itself. (It is so easy to get caught in the ego's games of claiming spiritualness for itself.)
Vaughan-Lee's unique contribution to Sufi literature is his application of Jungian psychology to help Westerners understand this process of transformation. I found the chapter "Polishing the Heart" particularly helpful, where he describes a woman's relationship to her animus much more clearly and more intimately than Jungian texts covering the same subject. Vaughan-Lee also gives attention to the suffering of the feminine in Western culture and how we have collectively repressed feminine qualities, inner experiences, and a mystical connection with God. This book is very accessible and a valuable resource.
I particularly appreciated the chapter in which Dr. Vaughan-Lee discusses the relationship with the teacher. It's so different to the way we've been culturally conditioned to experience relationship in the West, as some form of association between person and person, ego and ego. The author shows the real relationship with the teacher, that the teacher is an empty space through which the love and grace of the path flow.
The gentleness in this man made me want more. I immediately downloaded Sufism: The Transformation of the Heart on my Amazon Kindle. At the same time I ordered the paperback from Amazon as well. The book is well written, gentle in nature, and on my bedside table. I whole heartedly recommend it.
According to the book's definition, "Sufi is a name given to a band of mystics who are lovers of God". The goal in Sufism or a Sufi is to become one with God by mediating and chanting (dhikr). Some of the concepts are similar to other spiritual teachings such as "Divinity of humans" (Holy Spirit or God living in every human like Unity teachings), "The real reason of unhappiness or feelings of unfulfillment is the result of separation from God" ("A Course in Miracles") ," Living in the world but not of it" (Bible) and "Living in the presence of God every moment" (Marianne Williamson's writings)
After finishing it, I was terribly disappointed by the book which is terribly dry, abstract and repetitious. ( "The mind and the ego can never grasp an experience of total unity in which there is no distinction between observer and observed, but the heart's experience of His unity is reflected into our ordinary consciousness." )I learned more about Sufism from a three minute video of Jonathan Brown from Georgetown University, a video clip of a documentary about Sufism by PBS on the internet and Rumi's official website maintained by his descendants(Mevlana Rumi), than reading this book.Read more ›
I love the feel of a book in my hand and owning a copy
of the book. I read to know that I am not alone and this
was one book that taught me a whole lot...We are more alike
than different. The book gives a history of the Islam belief
and the Muslim true culture. It also tells us that we
are looking for the same thing...Love...Love for God, Love for
others, and Love for self. Reading this book gave me hope for
my belief...We Are One...One In God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am building a library and thought this book would be a great addition to my library.Published 5 months ago by S. L. Pieper
Nice book! I had to ignore the proper names (there are so many) and just focus on the great beliefs and values in this book. I did send it to a friend because I like it so much.Published 6 months ago by Tina Miller
For years I had no true understanding of the term "heart" other than in the context of a blood pump and/or some elusive indescribable motion. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Denny Irwin
llewellyn vaughan-lee's voice is clear and true, and such a transformative inspirationPublished 15 months ago by Mary frank slaughter