This is in sincere acknowledgement to a great friend David Anderson, who sadly passed away several years ago. He started a rather obscure and yet fun Institute of Not Knowing; to which I was only, in passing, a member. David was an animator and filmmaker and a thoroughly creative individual. Near the end of his time, he would fondly mention this institute, and I realised what a profound, ironic name for a fellow traveller to use, emphasising his profound dislike of ‘this is how it is’, didactic remarks that so many of us teachers, therapists, wannabes are good at.

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In Islamic Sufi (Taṣawwuf [1] Arabic: الْتَّصَوُّف‎) philosophy there are said to be many stages of inner development. It was considered so important that it was codified, structured and proscribed. There are many Sufi paths, with their particular proclivities or processes that facilitate murids (students) each of whom, has a Sheikh or similar who represents the embodiment of a realised state. They arrived at this station due to their own diligence, and the hardships encountered on their particular path. The sheikh’s duty is to guide the initiate to foster their inner development, and these guides use many differing techniques to facilitate internal changes. These sheikhs, both men and women, on the whole, have lineages, that can often be traced back through to the Prophet (Mohammed pbuh) himself, his offspring, relatives or his immediate companions. Recent additions are sheikhs who have been initiated as head of orders who are European or American; and whose lineages are not similar, have little resemblance to the classical notion of an order, that the barakah or blessing that is said to follow through the bloodlines of their sainted origins. This allows for new blood and thought to permeate through orthodox Sufi circles.

This process of inner development is not limited to the inner path of classical Islamic thought. Much of Sunni and even Shia dogma find the eccentric and to some, idolatrous path of the Sufi to be anathema; as it challenges the orthodoxy and the Sunna. This inner development has not ever been the sole proprietorship of the Sufi but is in every religious rite and exegesis. It includes shamans, ‘witch’ doctors, traditional healers and all the broad band of individuals around the world who facilitate others in their inner lives.

This site illustrates a process whereby we facilitate the pulling-up of narratives that dog individuals and which prevent humans from finding their purpose, passion, humanity and connection to higher understanding; whereby they expand their mind into larger schematics or greater noosphere. Their ability to receive inner guidance is then greatly enhanced, and this inner guidance can then be their guide to a greater life, and to the person having a more human process rather than one guided by their constitution or hereditary, or one that is bigger than their emotional quotient (EQ). They can move out of old behaviours and mindsets to live bigger, wider and more meaningful lives.

However, during therapy, most therapists operate from their particular maps, learning, biases and those pivotal moments that have left a barb, wound or hurt within. Our thoughts and behaviour, emotions and body states echo our historical upbringing; and those patterns are often hard to erase or to reset unless we know them. It is important that certainly the Hippocratic modus operandi of ‘physician heal thyself’ is obviously, for many of us, paramount. However often we don’t know what therapy to utilise or how to pick the right therapist. Therapy and those of us who practice as therapists – irrespective of the title we may or may not sport, are always confronting the feeling that we don’t know what is wrong with our particular client’s infant of us. We don’t resonate with them, and thus cannot feel or intuit the causal pattern.

Consequently, it is inclement upon us to develop. Here, I reiterate the opening thought, that we need to develop internally, inwardly. I don’t ask us to go down the path of Sufism, but to nevertheless start to address the inward processes that create us. In order to do this we need to see that we are three-fold beings. We are made of two distinctly different aspects, outer and inward (internal) and inner.

[1] (a.), Taṣawwuf: the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam. It is the maṣdar of Form V of the radical ṣ-w-f indicating in the first place one who wears woollen clothes ( ṣūf ), the rough garb of ascetics and mystics. Other etymological derivations which have been put forward in Western and, especially, Islamic sources, are untenable. Hence a mystic is called ṣūfī or mutaṣawwif , colls, ṣūfiyya or mutaṣawwifa .

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