A Sufi Saying about Virtue and Sin: By Dr. Mourad Rashad
There is only one virtue and one sin for a soul on the path: virtue when he is conscious of God and sin when he is not.
Abu Hashim Madani (Sufi Master)
God is lost to Man when he becomes conscious of himself. Conscious of my own actions, of my own achievements, of my own position in the society, of my own physical body and so forth.
Consciousness of these entire things is only an interpretation, a particular interpretation to what is actually taking place in his experience of living. Strictly speaking, the objects of Man’s consciousness are his thoughts, concepts and views. Man’s being is linked, colored and affected by these interpretations. So Man is always conscious of the thoughts, concepts and views that establish his separate position, making his being subject to all these interpretations. When this Man realizes that all these are interpretations just to establish his identity among others, he assumes the responsibility of his own happiness and misery. If this Man is keen and sincere to take his search a few steps further, Divine intervention will provide him with the means to continue. Divine intervention will send him a fellow, a companion, or a Master.
Divine intervention -in whatever form it takes- will guide this Man to the true significance and the actual meaning to the experience of his life. When this Man glimpses what is the actual significance of what is occuring in his life’s experience, he will formulate another set of interpretations, concepts and views that are entirely based on the true significance of what is actually taking place. For example, this Man will discover and then say “No one does anything, but God does everything”. This is another interpretation, but based on a true seeing of what is actually taking place. Now, this Man will replace the old interpretation that used to say “I do“, with new interpretation saying “God Does“.
As a result of this change in interpretation, Man’s consciousness now witnesses the interpretation -concepts, thoughts, view- that establish God as a central reality in his own life, instead of establishing himself as this central reality.
A further step in the path of this Man will come up.
When this Man becomes fully and totally convinced that God does it all. Then this Man comes to see that it is a burden to continue on keeping this new interpretation that has replaced the old one. The new interpretation also will drop away, leaving a pure witnessing of this Consciousness to what is actually taking place, without any interpretation from his part. This Consciousness will become extremely silent but highly cognizant of its actual content. The actual content is the phenomenal appearances and what they truly signify. The true significance of the content of this virgin Consciousness is the Kingdom of God or Paradise or the Reality of Being or the Garden of Eden or Nirvana or Sat Chit Ananda….etc.
This transformed Man’s consciousness only witnesses the Presence of God.
This is the virtue Abu Hashim Madani is talking about, and it goes without saying that to be conscious of yourself -as described above- is a sin.