A place to discuss mystical experiences by the Saints of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith groups. Like Christian Saints, Chassidic Rebbis, and Sufi Saints. To the outside these seem very Para normal and Supernatural.
  • Two Categories of People, Fly and bee, St. Paisios the Athonite

    We once asked Father Paisios:

    – Father, you constantly tell us to have positive thinking. We would like you to give us some advice on how to deal with the following problem:

    – Often people come to us to tell us that some priests charge a lot of money for performing the Holy Sacraments; they say that they smoke, or hang around coffee shops; they even say that some priests are involved in immoral acts, and in general, make strong accusations against them and present evidence to justify them. What answers can we give to people who accuse the clergy?

    The Elder started telling us:

    – I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other. The first one resembles the fly. The main characteristic of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground. It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. If the fly could talk, and you asked it to show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: “I don’t even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets and dirt.” There are some people who resemble the fly. People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.

    The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar; it only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil.” This is the second category of people who have a positive thinking and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface. When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people and puts me in a difficult situation, I tell him the above example. Then, I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.

    https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/two-categories-of-people-fly-and-bee-st-paisios-the-athonite/

    I want to be a Bee I think. I am beeing as good a Human as I can. Enjoy the reading!!!!

    Fly and bee
    Two Categories of People
    St. Paisios the Athonite (July 12)

    “For perverse thoughts separate men from God” (Wis 1:3)

    Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _ св. Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_82cc04095a6a9ff6We once asked Father Paisios:

    – Father, you constantly tell us to have positive thinking. We would like you to give us some advice on how to deal with the following problem:

    – Often people come to us to tell us that some priests charge a lot of money for performing the Holy Sacraments; they say that they smoke, or hang around coffee shops; they even say that some priests are involved in immoral acts, and in general, make strong accusations against them and present evidence to justify them. What answers can we give to people who accuse the clergy?

    The Elder started telling us:

    I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other. The first one resembles the fly. The main characteristic of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground. It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. If the fly could talk, and you asked it to show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: “I don’t even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets and dirt.” There are some people who resemble the fly. People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.

    The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar; it only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil.” This is the second category of people who have a positive thinking and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface. When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people and puts me in a difficult situation, I tell him the above example. Then, I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.

    Elder Paisios was constantly stressing the importance of pious thinking in spiritual life. He used to say that a single positive thought equals a vigil in Mount Athos. Once, he told us the following incident:

    5rose“One day someone came to see me, but as I was busy I told him to wait in the chapel. Later on, when he left the chapel to come into my guestroom, I did not notice that he had forgotten to take his cigarettes and had left them on the chapel’s seat. Meanwhile, another guest arrived; he also went into the chapel to wait, until I was free to see him. When I called him in, he asked me:

    – Elder, do you smoke?

    – No, I said. Why are you asking?

    – I saw a pack of cigarettes in the chapel, that’s why.

    – The person who was there before you must have forgotten them, but I did not notice it.

    After he left, a child came to visit me for the first time. He knocked on the door and I immediately asked him what he wanted:

    – I wish to see Elder Paisios. Is he here?

    – I’m afraid he is not, I replied. He went to Karyes to buy cigarettes.

    The child answered innocently:

    – It does not matter, Father. I will wait for him to come back.

    You see the difference between the two ways of thinking, said the Elder. The first person, who found the cigarettes in the chapel, had negative and suspicious thoughts, whereas the child, even when I told him that Elder Paisios went to buy cigarettes, reacted in the opposite way. He simply said he would wait without asking if the Elder smokes or what he needs the cigarettes for.

    Priestmonk Christodoulos (1998), “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain”, ON POSITIVE THINKING- Part three, Holy Mountain

    Apolytikion St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain in Tone 1

    The offspring of Farasa, and the adornment of Athos, and the imitator of the former righteous, equal in honor, O Paisios let us honor O faithful, the vessel full of graces, who hastens speedily to those who cry out: glory to Him Who gave you strength, glory to Him Who crowned you, glory to Him Who grants through you healings for all.

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  • The Last Jewish Sufi...
    It isn't often in Western Culture that we hear of the crossover of spirituality between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim groups. But here is a link to an article about the Last Jewish Sufi. Obviously, this is an example of Islam and Judaism cross pollinating.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1188/the-last-jewish-sufi

    Excerpt:

    "Relations between the Islamic schools of tasawwuf and the Jewish mystical movement of Kabbalah have been discussed in numerous works, mainly by Jewish rather than Muslim commentators. The two phenomena were linked from early in the history of Islam as well as in the process of development of mainstream Jewish theology and Kabbalah. The historian of Judaism Paul B. Fenton, whose work is occasionally flawed and whose attitude toward Islam has proven ambivalent – like that of various Jewish scholars – nonetheless points out that the association of Sufism and Jewish mysticism attained such a high level that the 13th century Muslim Sufi Hasan Ibn Hud of Damascus led a group of Jewish students in studying the Judeo-Arabic classic by al-Hakim Musa ibn Maimun al-Qurtubi or Maimonides (1135-1204), Dalalat al-Ha'inn (Moreh Nevuhim or Guide for the Perplexed).[1]

    Ariel Bension, born in Jerusalem in 1880, and a rabbi serving before the first world war in Manastir, Macedonia, may be described as the last of the great Jewish Sufis. That is, he was the last of the Kabbalists who was also thoroughly learned in and sympathetic to tasawwuf, and who wrote with deep perception on outstanding Muslim Sufis, as well as on the Kabbalists influenced by Sufism. But the life of Rabbi Bension comprises elements that seem drawn from literature – and particularly from the classic Western author, Jorge Luis Borges – rather than from ordinary scholarship. The most important work of Rabbi Bension is The Zohar in Moslem and Christian Spain[2] – written in English with its title referring to the preeminent classic of Kabbalah. Zohar, meaning "Splendor," is known in Arabic as Kitab Al-Zawhar or Kitab Al-Zuhar. It is a "religious novel" composed in Aramaic (aramejski jezik) in the 13th century C.E. Like many Sufi and Kabbalist works, Zohar is ascribed to a much earlier Jewish figure, Rabbi Simon ben Jochai of the 2nd century C.E., but we believe from linguistic evidence – Castilian loan-words and other Hispanic elements in the Aramaic of the text – that it was written in Spain by Rabbi Moshe Šem Tob [Musa of the Blessed Name] of León (1250-1305). The distinguished 20th century Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, in his prologue to the 1934 Madrid edition of Bension's work, compared the Zohar with the Castilian classic, Don Quijote, thus underscoring its fundamental literary character.[3]" (Continued in article)

    This is very interesting that a well known Rabbi would also be well versed in Sufi Islam. It doesn't surprise me seeing as, (IMHO) that Judaism and Islam have more in common than either one and Christianity. Even though all three influenced each other.

    Interesting reading.....
    The Last Jewish Sufi
    [Presented to the International Scholarly Conference on "The Place and Role of Dervish Orders in Bosnia-Herzegovina – On the Occasion of the Year of Jalaluddin Rumi – 800 Years Since His Birth"] [Presented 2007, Revised 2010, Published 2011, Further
    WWW.ISLAMICPLURALISM.ORG
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  • Here is a You Tube Video on Sufi Mysticism....
    https://youtu.be/1EQtaQYpzTw
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  • Here is a You Tube Video discussing Jewish Mysticism...
    https://youtu.be/G9MSOIDRj8Q
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  • Here is a YouTube Vidieo that is a good starting point to discuss Christian Mysticism...
    https://youtu.be/iDWPPZDZFlE
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