You Contain a Mirror In Your Heart, a.k.a. You Are the Microcosm Reflecting the Macrocosm
One of the deep teachings of Sufism is about mirrors. Everything you see “out there” is a reflection of your inner state. If you see darkness or negativity in the world, you notice it because it (or trace amounts of it) reside in your own being. Clean from within yourself and it will begin to vanish from your perception. You are a microcosm of the reality of Allah. The truth of who you are is a reflection of the holy qualities He placed inside the human being.
There was a famous experiment conducted at a prestigious university in California. The setting was an inner courtyard where there were a lot of people. A mock event was staged, a mugging where a woman was pushed down and her purse was snatched. After the event, the people conducting the experiment went around and gathered eyewitness testimony regarding what they saw. This experiment made the headlines because each person saw a different story unfold. The perpetrator was male, female, black, white, Hispanic, yellow shirt, green shirt, etc. People “saw” different things.
How can this be? What we see or notice is a reflection of our own internal world. If your heart is full of fear, then you will most likely report how dangerous the world is. If your heart is full of hate, you will see all the justification for reasons to hate. If your heart is full of sadness, you will see the world as full of heartbreak. If your heart is full of grief, you will see the world as full of loss.
How do We Clean the Mirror of the Heart?
The Sufi practices of Remembrance, al-Wird, writing the books, and especially Sufi healings help polish the mirror of the heart to clear up misconceptions and heal old wounds that lead to distorted reflections. As the mirror of the heart becomes more clear, it reflects the truth–the truth of divine unity, the truth of peace, love, mercy, justice, and freedom. When the mirror of the heart is polished, then we see only Allah in every face, and every flower, and every thing.
A Spiritual Key
The important thing to remember when you are seeing a lot of something in particular “out there” is to ask yourself, “Do I carry any of this hidden in my own heart?” or “Why am I being shown this? How is it a reflection for me?”
Many times Sidi’s students heard him say to someone who was complaining about all the darkness they saw in the world and asking him what they should do about it, “You take care of yourself!” If you put all your attention on the outer, then the inner will never change.
See Sidi’s books The Reality of Imagination and The Reality of Gnosis (pp 24-26) for a deeper understanding of this.
A veil is anything that obstructs, mists, blocks, distorts, or clouds your experience of the Divine Truth. Veils develop as a result of experiences that are painful or traumatic. Not all challenging experiences create veils, and it is the job of the seeker to find all of the veils within his or her own heart and bring them to Allah to be transformed.
A child is feeling a little isolated and hungry and wants his mother to feed him, but she is busy and cannot attend to his needs in that moment. The child becomes more and more upset as he waits, because he is hungry and he wants his mother’s attention and love. After a few more minutes he starts screaming for his mother. In his heart, a veil has been created containing the beliefs: My mother doesn’t love me. My needs aren’t important to others.
Now that the child has that veil containing those negative beliefs, he will start to see the world through that lens. Each time he perceives the world in this way it reinforces the veil, obscuring his perception of the Truth, which could be something like: My mother loves and just because she is busy doesn’t meant she doesn’t love me. Her love is with me even when she’s busy and I don’t have her eye. My needs are important to her and she will attend to me as soon as she can.
What Else Can Be a Veil?
A veil can be a belief, a habit, a misconception, a thought, or a segment of faulty programming, etc. At the core of any veil is some form of misunderstanding or something false or not true. More examples: I was abused by a man with a beard; therefore, all men with beards are dangerous. God did not cure my wife’s cancer; therefore, there is no God or God doesn’t care about me.
Usually veils are self-effacing and derogatory in nature: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I don’t deserve, I’m not worthy, I’m a failure, etc. None of these things are true, but we have chosen to believe them and our belief in them is causing us to be unable to see or connect with Allah. Then we experience even more pain.
How to Clear Veils
Always remember that Light has dominion over darkness. Say the Name, “Ya Allah!” and know that the Light will come and the darkness will recede.
If your intention during a healing session is to clear a veil, the practitioner will likely guide you into experiencing the discomfort and distortion of the veil in some manner. Once you are fully present with the veil, call out to your Lord! Ask for help, for forgiveness, for Allah to heal it for you! It’s common to do tawba (repentance) at this point, which is the process of recognizing where you made an error (you forgot the Truth of your Lord’s ever-presence), apologizing, feeling deeply, sincerely sorry for your mistake, asking for forgiveness, and promising to not repeat the mistake in the future. Read more on tawba here.
The Truth is Allah. And the Reality of Allah is perfection. Any sign of anxiety, agitation, fear, anger, sadness, or worry is a sign that we are veiled from the Truth. When the heart is witnessing the Truth, it is tranquil and at peace. Sidi repeatedly said, “Don’t stop at the pictures, go behind and behind” until you see the Truth.