Connect the Dots

A friendly instruction by Yahya Shamaal Hansson


La vérité, dans quelque domaine que ce soit, ne saurait être le monopole d’une seule forme traditionelle à l’exclusion des autres; ce ne peut donc être un sujet d’etonnement, sauf sans doute pour les »critiques« qui ne croient pas a la vérité” – René Guenon


Med venlig tilladelse fra forfatteren bringer vi her & nu et, synes jeg, vældig godt eksempel på, hvor fine anvisninger, der kan komme ud af hjerterne på dem, der går i skole hos vise mænd fra Østerland.

Gid vi på vores måder må bringe tilsvarende perler frem fra egne skaller – hver enkelt på egen post, i samlet sans for hovedsagen:


أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أنّ محمّد رسول الله

All around the World Truth and Wisdom are one. In every pretty looking little corner of this good Earth seekers are amazed by the dedication of hard-working people who have committed themselves to a path, and puzzled by the laid back attitude of initiated individuals who claim to be in the effortless business of igniting possibilities of insight wherever and whenever the moment meets its Maker. Between these two kinds of figures there is no opposition, just a minor shift of perspective. 

In the Inner teachings of Islam, often referred to as Sufism, but also known under other names, we find an illustrious image of this flip of positions. The image is this: Imagine an enlightened teacher riding a donkey – backwards. Behind him are disciples devoutly following to devour the honey of his heart – while eagerly letting out a lot of sounds about their own conditions and concerns.

Now, one thing is that our donkey riding friend does not stop his pupils from shamelessly blabbering about their personal matters. That is, in itself, a clever way to roll. Because, as some say, nothing that is not lived out can be circumvented. The talkative nature of man should not just be suppressed by severe commandment, but also find its own point of exhaustion by being allowed, in some cases even encouraged, to walk the line, and suffer the night – so it can joyfully disappear. 

This is the reason why our iconic Teacher permits his students to babble tower-high until the sands of time suddenly pass the mark, and this is why he rides a donkey backwards. You see: If his face was turned forward, if his eyes were on the path ahead, they would not hear whatever it is that he occasionally says to them and – of even greater importance – they would not have the tiniest chance to discover what’s in his eyes.

There is a secret, they say, that cannot be stolen and should not be hidden away. When all comes down the mystery is in the eyes: a certain, silent quality of gaze in someone who has found their Peace in all of this. It is a matter of exposure and experience to sense that kind of moment, and connect the dots. 

Now, as we know, if our kind is mindful, Awakening is always in the Air, right there. One Sufi style of conveying the blessed shock of early dawn is through a mindless scattering of pearls. Another one is dancing. Obviously the two are really one – and none of them should ever be alone. 

And here we are approaching our end. Please listen to a single sentence to remember and reiterate when it all gets dark and noisy. It is a scenic glimpse of true Arabia. So, come along, my friends, get ready for a blast of idiotic Wisdom of the Real. It goes like this:

A voice whispered to me last night:
‘There is no such thing as
a voice whispering in the night’

Please hear it one more time:

A voice whispered to me last night:
‘There is no such thing as
a voice whispering in the night’

Now, don’t forget, it truly is allowed to laugh, even in silence: The holy drink of Sufis is a tricky cup of coffee. Until it is not.


And now, as words are coming short, a simple scene to seal the deal: One day a most devoted student said: Oh, teacher, please disclose your splendid secret; why do you ride your donkey backwards?

So you will someday face my gaze, the Sheik patiently replied – and slowly turned his eyes towards the Sun.

* * *

Maybe there is, I dare to add, as a remark entirely of my own, also another reason why the Master does not look directly at what lies ahead when casting out His pearls: Even a creature crystallised by whirling would, I guess, turn just a little dizzy at the sight of all that is to come.

At least I know ‘I’ (sometimes) am.


In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful.
Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds.
The Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful.
Master of the day of judgment.
Thee we worship, and in Thee we seek help.
Guide us upon the straight path.
The path of those on whom Thy grace is,
not those on whom Thine anger is,
nor those who are astray.

* Surah Al-Fatiha *


An He endure, then love endures :
— so El Qahar will ever sing,
Till he the world from milk of prayer
to wine of meditation wean

*Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz*