by Alireza Nurbakhsh
A guide is only a channel to aid the traveler in arriving at the truth. Guides by definition, therefore, cannot be the objects of spiritual quests; their only function is to show followers the right path in a wilderness full of dangers and pitfalls. We cannot overcome our shortcomings by ourselves. We need help transforming into a better person—into someone who can exhibit divine character traits. If we are left to ourselves, we take the easy path of ignoring or even worse not seeing any flaws in ourselves. In this context, a guide can be anyone who helps us to overcome our shortcomings.
It is through love that the guide tries to purge the seeker of idols. Such love, however, may come in different shapes and forms including such harsh measures as ignoring the seeker’s demands, admonishing and even rebuking the seeker, or giving the seeker an undesirable task. If one wants to aid in changing a loved one’s behavior, one will resort to anything to bring about this change. To remain indifferent is not to love at all. Buy the current issue to read the entire discourse.
Artwork – Alex Cowie