' Male and Female '...


A man asked a Sufi, “People talk about male and female, but what is the essential difference between the two?”

The Sufi replied, “O man, both are formed of the five elements. The concept of male and female applies to the body. The Artist who created the male and female merely decorated them differently. The body is a cage, a house in which either can dwell, but you are deceived by the decorations.

“If you think of this with wisdom, you will see that womanly qualities are soft and delicate. In the decorations of womanliness, there is a beauty that is like gold, a beauty that attracts. The energy in their faces and bodies is like a magnet. The male has a similar magnetic energy, but his is on the inside. Though men lack the gentleness and outer softness which attracts externally, they have the strong inner magnetic energy which is attracted by, and connects to, the outer magnetism residing in the face and form of a woman.

“The world says male and female, but if you reflect with your wisdom, you will realize that male and female are like two kinds of breath, like the sun and the moon. The two breaths are called the art of the sun’s heat, which is the male, and the art of the moon’s coolness, which is the female.
“In the sky, the moon is lower and the sun is higher. The moon takes in the light of the sun and sends it out as cool yellow rays in the night.

“But the original light must be understood. The power which is neither male nor female is light, and that is the point which both male and female must reach. You can understand this through the example of the sun and the moon in the sky and through the example of male and female on earth.

"In the same way, the soul which came from Source must return to its source. You must return to Source in the same form in which you came from Source. This is the only state The One will accept.

“The five parts called earth, fire, water, air, and ether cannot reach Source; they belong to the world. Do not be enamored with them, thinking of them as male and female. Discard them and say La ilaha on the left, and illallahu on the right. There is nothing other than Unity. If there is nothing else, then there is no male or female. When there is no male or female, there is only light. You must attain that light. That is divine wisdom, or jnanam.”

—Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

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