Spiritual Letter 31 - Original Version About Spiritual Letter 31
Title: "Who's On First Base", Date: August 20, 2002
Written by: Shaikh Muhaiyaddeen (Louie Beutler)
Written to: Muhammad Sulaiman (Curtis Wahlgren)
Go To Table of Contents - Spiritual Letter 31
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. Al-salam 'alaykum wa-rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu kulluhu. May all the peace, the beneficence, and the blessing of God be upon us all.
My love you (anbu), my dearest brothers and sisters - Shaikh Muhaiyaddeen (Louie Beutler)
1. Introduction And Opening Prayer - O our Father, our Shaikh, our Guru, we need
Your love, please, please, please destroy us and reveal You
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. Al-salam 'alaykum, my dearest brother Muhammad Sulaiman
(Curtis Wahlgren). My love you (anbu) very, very much - Shaikh Muhaiyaddeen (Louie Beutler).
Thank you for the beautiful letter, which we have added to the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Library as part of Spiritual Letter 31 - "Who's On First Base". Your letter can be accessed by first accessing, Spiritual Letter 31, and then by clicking on "Letter From Muhammad Sulaiman (Curtis Wahlgren)".
After a detailed study and analysis of your letter, at the feet of His Holiness, of our Father, Shaikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (may God be pleased with Him), we have come up with a beautiful set of questions, some explicitly asked by you in your letter, and others implied in either your statements or your questions, which we have listed below.
But first, let us start by properly setting our intention, and properly inviting His Holiness into our dialogue, making this letter, and you and I, what Bawa is doing within us, for His purpose, and for the purpose of God within Him, not something that you and I are doing separate from our relationship with Bawa within us, or separate from His relationship with God within Him within us. Or said another way, let us establish each leg of the stool within us known as the Triple Flame of God - God, the Shaikh, and the Disciple - upon which we can then sit while Bawa teaches us "what we do not know".
And this child has learned to do this by saying the "Father's Prayer", which is something Bawa has told us to say each day, during our day, and at the end of our day, in order to do just that, in order to line up our life and intentions with the life and intentions of wisdom within us, which is our Shaikh within us, and of God within our wisdom within us, which is the Truth within our wisdom within us, which is to reveal True Man within the Creation of God within us, which is the dunya or the earth world within us, and to revearl God within the Creation of True Man within us, which is
akhirah or the hereafter within us.
The Father's Prayer
"O our Father, our Shaikh, our Guru, we need your love,
please, please, please destroy us and reveal You."
"Destroy us as separate from You and You as separate from us,
and reveal Us as One with You and You as One with Us."
"Destroy the life of separation and differences that You have given us,
and reveal the life of Oneness and Unity, of Justice and Truth,
and of Compassion and Unity that You have also given us."
"Amen, Amen, Ya Rabil Alameen.
Amen, Amen, Ya Rahman Alameen.
Amen, Amen, Ya Rahim Alameen.
Al-hamdu lillah. Allahu Akbar."
2. List of Question From The Heart of Muhammad Sulaiman - and a beautiful
list at that. What a wonder is this God of ours, and how He moves us forward in
our life by bring us together within the heart of our Shaikh, of our Father, Shaikh
Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (may God be pleased with Him).
We are all so very blessed
1) What Is The Triple Flame of God Within Us?
2) Who Is On First Base?
3) Who Are We?
4) Who Is God, and What Is Our Relationship?
5) How Do We Move Forward On The Path of God?
Now let us take a pass at answering each of these five beautiful questions that you have asked my dearest brother Muhammad Sulaiman. What? They don't look like the questions that were asked? Well hold on, they are what came out of the heart of this child, when he handed your letter to the wisdom within this child, to the life and teaching of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen within this child (may God be pleased with Him).
So, let us trust in God, let us have patience (sabr), contentment (shukr), trust in God (tawakkul 'ala' Allah), praise of God for whatever come before us (Al-hamdu lillah), and the realization that only God is Great (Allahu Akbar), and step back from what we think, and from what we are doing, and see what God has to offer, from within the life and teaching of our Shaikh within us. Let us approach your letter and these five questions in this way. Perhaps that is the point of it all anyway, of your letter and this letter in response, perhaps that is the answer within the answer, the Mother of all Answers, after all. Just step back and see what God has to offer. Let us try to do this, my dearest loving brother of my heart.
3. What Is The Triple Flame of God Within Us? - it is "us" no longer alone, it is
"us" having become the school, the student, and the teacher, no longer just the
One day we were sitting in the room with Bawa, and He looked at us and told us the following,
"You are not the student, you are the school, and you need to invite the student
within you into your school within you, so that this student can study and
complete the learning that He came here from God to learn, so He can
understand who He already is, and having understood this, through this
understanding, He can return to God, from which He came, and take you with
Another day Bawa told us,
"God has already taught you everything. It is all written within you.
Before you came here He told you,
'I am sending you to a school called the world. It is a temporary place
where you have to go for a little while in order to learn about My history,
your own history, and the history of many others.'
'You have to know who created everything, who is responsible for
everything, who is the guardian in charge of you, and what is your
'Once you have learned and understood all of these histories, you will
realize who you are, and who is the One you need, the true One, the One
who will live forever.'"
Finally, a short story from the life of this child living at the feet of our Shaikh, of our Father, Shaikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (may God be pleased with Him).
One day Louie was sitting on his back porch, where Bawa had told him to go, reading a book, that Bawa had told him to read, and while reading this book (we believe it was the book by Bawa called, "Golden Words of a Sufi Shaikh") the following two wisdom points stuck out and we started to think about them:
1) The most important thing for a disciple to know is his current station.
2) We can do four things with our life in the world, use it as a farm and grow the
crop of God, use it as a school and learn wisdom, use it as a prayer mat and
worship God, and finally, use it as a stage of drama, and spend all of our time
dancing, singing, and acting out all of the dramas of life.
Putting these two wisdom points together, this child formulated a question for Bawa, which this child proceeded to ask Bawa, which was very unusual for this child in his relationship with Bawa, as this child had mainly learned at this point in his life with Bawa, to just patiently wait and everything will be provided by God, that there is usually not a need to ask questions, since God already knows everything about us, including every possible question that we could ask, and will answer it automatically when it is time, using whatever is necessary to best answer all of our questions, and in this way optimally moving our life forward on the path of God within us.
However, in this particular case the following question was asked of Bawa by this child, sitting on his back porch:
"Bawa, you said that the most important thing for a disciple to know is his
current station, and you also said that we can use our life in four different ways,
as a farm, as a school, as a prayer mat, and as a stage of drama."
"Well taking the example of the farm, as one way of properly using my life,
upon which I can grow the crop of God. Then who am I? Am I The farmer?
And Bawa immediately said,
"No. You are the earth, and I am the farmer."
This one answer changed everything in my life, forever. It started to open the truth of my life, the truth that I was not alone, the truth of the Triple Flame of God within me, within all of us, that I was all three, the earth, the farmer, and the power that made the crops grow, not just the farmer.
That I was the school, the student, and the teacher, not just the student, and that I was the prayer mat, the one who prays, and the One who accepted the prayer, not just the one who prayed. Let me explain a little, my dearest loving brother. This is a very important wisdom point. Lets start by taking about baseball.
4. Who Is On First Base? - the ball, the bat, the glove, the field, the ballpark, the
sky, the sun, the clouds, the hotdogs, the chairs, the soft drink, the cars in the
parking lot, the people in the stands, the umpire, the coaches, the lights, the
first base pad, the first base fielder, or the base runner?
Some would say the first base fielder, some may say the base runner, and a few may say the first base pad, that you step on when you stand at first base, and must touch when "rounding the bases", but nobody would probably select any of the other items in our list. Why?
Because first base, in a ball game, has only to do with the one who defends it, namely the first base fielder, the one who wants to get onto it, namely the base runner, and what is being defended, namely the first base pad. That is the whole point of the game. Everything else, everyone else, is basically irrelevant to first base, instead,
they have to do with either something else about the game, or about putting the game on, or about enjoying the game, but they don't have anything specific to do with first base.
Such is the nature of the Triple Flame of God within us, it has to do with three different things or aspects of what God is doing within each of us, and everything else within us has to do with something else, like supporting the game of life being played within us, but not specifically about the Triple Flame of God within us. For example, first the Triple Flame within us has to do with what can be achieved or accomplished within us, like awakening the wisdom surrounding our soul so it can do battle with the enemy of our soul, so the game of life within us can move forward, which is like touching or standing on first base, on the first base pad.
Second, it has to do with the one who can succeed in moving the game of life forward within us, like the soul becoming liberated from the cross of our elemental body, and joining with the wisdom within us, which is like the base runner successfully hitting the ball out of the infield, without it being caught on the fly, and running to and touching and/or standing on first base.
And third, it has to do with the One who empowers the whole process going on within us through His grace, the One who facilitates the game of life within us, allowing or preventing it from moving forward, sort of like being the traffic cop of our life, which is like the first baseman, who defends first base, tagging the runner out if possible, or allowing the runner to safely get to first base, and even run past him if he has met all of the requirements for getting to first base safely and/or for touching first base and moving on to second base, which is sort of like being the traffic cop of first base.
5. Who Are We? - we are what lets the Triple Flame of God operate successfully
within us, who lets the game of our life be played successfully within us, by
those within us who can play it successfully within us, by those who can bring
it to a successful conclusion within us, like a life of "Oneness with" God within
us, like letting our wisdom win over our fate within us, or we are what lets the
triple dirt of arrogance, karma, and illusion, operate succesfully within us, as
those within us who would instead take over the game of our life and take it in
some harmful direction, have their way within us, turning our life into something
else, into something it is not, like a life of "separation from" God within us, like
letting our fate win over our wisdom within us, which in our ignorance would only
prevent the original game of our life from moving forward within us, ever if we
think in our ignorance that we have done something significant, or important with
our life, or insignificant, or unimportant with our life, with the game of our life,
either way causing our life in the end, for the whole team within us, to go
Then, "who are we? Who is God? And what is the relationship between Us and God? This is the question that all of the questions in your letter beg, that all of your question are dancing around, that we both need to be very clear on, my dearest loving brother Muhammad Sulaiman.
We are what "Lets". We are what "lets' what is within us happen, either our wisdom reasoning over our fate, or our fate winning over our wisdom. But we are not our wisdom or our fate, we are what lets them happen within us, either one of them.
They are both within us, a life of "separation and differences", or a life of "Oneness and Unity, of Justice and Truth, of Compassion and Unity". We have both, and the choice is ours, not God's because God has given us both, like the first baseman can either tag us out, because we have failed to hit safely, or he can let us take over his first base, and stand on it, and claim it as our own, or run right past it, just touching it for a moment, because we have met the requirements, we have hit safely, and are allowed to advance to first base, or to second base, etc.
Bawa describes this so beautifully in the opening of the book, "The Pearl of Wisdom", in the "Invocation to The Guru", when Bawa lists the 16 steps to success in our life, to allowing our wisdom to win over our fate:
1) To let Grace spring forth,
2) To let darkness vanish,
3) To let the love of Guru grow,
4) To let qualities be purified.
O graceful Guru, give us a remedy.
Show us a way to dispel the darkness in the world.
5) For the Silent One to appear as Grace,
6) To find the world as a tiny thing,
7) To destroy Sorrow which is a maiden,
with help from the Master Guru's graceful way.
8) Seek and learn standing on the path,
and ask with a melting heart.
9) Let the body become the true mystery,
dominant with grace,
10) Let the seed be destroyed,
blinding both eyes.
11) Enshrine in thy heart,
the lamp of Guru's graceful words.
12) With a heart of love,
see Aathi as a thing.
13) Spread the Guru's words with delightful heart.
14) Unfurl the flag of the Guru words everywhere.
15) Then the fate that accompanies
shall turn into dust.
16) My true and perfect pupils, gems of My eyes,
ask for the remedy in order to shine everywhere.
6. Who Is God, and What Is Our Relationship? - God is everything within us,
and God is what has transcended everything within us, and God is what
Creates, Rules, and Destroys everything within us, and if we will let Him,
God will destroy everything within us as He again transcends everything within
us, this time within us, making Him and Us One
Then who is God, and what is the relationship between us and God? God is everything, which is like the whole game of baseball and all of its parts, and God is what transcends everything, which is like transcending everything about the game of baseball by transcending each part of the game, part by part, like learning to play it without playing it, or Zen Baseball,
And God is the one who can orchestrate all of everything to complete His intention for having created everything, which is like setting up the game of baseball so there is always a winning and a losing team, a play off, and a final Championship Game with One overall winner, with the Goodness within us eventually winning over the Evil within us, if our intention and God's intention become One within us.
And God will do all of this automatically within us if we will but let Him, if we will but trust in Him, and in Him alone, if we will but love in Him and in Him alone, and in the process if we will but become Him, by becoming One with Him, by letting all that must be transcended within us, be transcended within us, which is everything within us, everything of the game of life within us.
7. How Do We Move Forward On The Path of God? - in each thing, when we put
yourselves down and raise our Shaikh up, when we lower ourselves and elevate
our Shaikh, then He puts us above Himself, then our Shaikh elevates us higher
than Him. This is how God and True Man within us will gradually transcend
everything within us, revealing in this way True Man within God within us and
God within True Man within us
In this way, my dearest loving brother Muhammad Sulaiman, in your letter you are trying to be the farmer, not the earth, you are trying to find a role for you to play, rather than letting Bawa play all of the roles. This is not how you move forward on the path of God within you.
Rather than this approach, in each thing, you must learn how to lower yourself and raise your Shaikh above you, you must learn to elevate Bawa above you, making Him the doer of everything that needs to done, like doing the Zikr, like breathing properly, like guiding your life.
And in this way, making Him responsible for everything in your life, and in the life of everyone else, making Him always responsible for you and for everyone else, like for your wife, your children, your job, what you eat, what you know, and what happens to you in each situation.
And in this way, giving Him the opportunity to raise you up above Him. This is how you move forward on the path of God, not by any of your actions done separate from Bawa, not by you stepping our in front, in front of the Shaikh in anything. May we both reflect on this very important wisdom point, my dearest loving brother, and adjust our behavior accordingly.
In this way, rather than thinking about what you have to do, like saying the Zikr or trying to breath properly, or trying to get answers to your questions, or trying to hear Bawa talk to you, or trying to get Bawa's guidance before you do something, instead of this approach to moving forward, try handing Him "you" unconditionally, try giving Him all that is within you unconditionally, so He can accomplish what only He, joined as One with God within you, can accomplish within you, which includes:
1) Liberating your soul from the cross of your elemental body by pulling out the 5
nails of desire within you, desire for earth, fire, water, air, and ether
2) Joining the liberated soul within you with the wisdom within you, which is your
Shaikh, revealing in this way the Palace of the soul, the House of wisdom within
you, the life of Qutb Muhaiyaddeen Abdul Qadir al-Jilani within you (may God
be pleased with Him), and in this way, going in search of and joining with the
Nur Muhammad within you, which is the light of your wisdom, the body of the
soul within you, which was placed on the forehead of Adam within you (peace
be upon Him) by God within you
3) Revealing in this way the Triple Flame of God within you - Ya Allah, Ya Rasul,
Ya Muhaiyaddeen - and the Triple Flame within the Triple Flame, which is the
Nur Muhammad within the Nur Muhammad within you, which is the
understanding of the Nur Muhammad within us, allowing the Triple Flame to
become One within you.
4) Revealing in this way Allah Muhammad within you, or True Man within the
Creation of God within you
5) Allowing True Man to reveal God within the Creation of True Man within you.
6) Revealing in this way the Oneness of God and True Man within you, which in truth
is God within you
We cannot do any of this work alone, my dearest loving brother, this is what God and True Man do within us, what the Triple Flame of God does within us, when we get out of the way, when we elevate everything that comes to us as "from God to God" within us, not as "from the world to us" or even "from God to us".
And in this way, we must hand each thing that comes into our life to our Shaikh, and to God within Him, as what They needs to complete what They are doing within us, not to complete what we think we are doing in the world that we see in our ignorance as existing "outside" of us, but rather to complete what They are doing within us, which is to reveal True Man within the Creation of God within us, and to reveal God within the Creation of True Man within us.
Stop thinking about Curtis, and the life of Curtis, and what will happen to Curtis, and how Curtis can do the Zikr, or not do the Zikr, or anything else. Instead, get into the idea of the end of Curtis, the end of what has grown within you as a result of your ignorance of "Who you are", of "Who God is", and of the "Relationship between you and God".
There is another Curtis, a new Curtis within you, which is you as "one with" God, which has been hidden by God within the old Curtis within you, within the Curtis of "separation and differences" within you, within the Curtis that is "separate from" God, that is "separate from" all of your true brothers and sisters within you, and is "separate from" the Creation of God within you, that God has personally and so very lovingly placed within each of us, before we came here.
In this way, become peaceful with the ending of the old Curtis within you, the Curtis that you are now experience as "who you are", in the world that you now see in your ignorance as existing "outside" of you, and become peaceful about the beginning of a new Curtis within you, that must be harvested by Bawa and God within you from the old Curtis within you, if you will but hand Them the old Curtis within you, and be done with the old Curtis within you. This is your real work, not "you" trying to do the Zikr, either with or without Bawa's assistance.
But for this new Curtis to come to maturity within you, you must treat this new Curtis within you very differently from the old Curtis within you, because the new Curtis within you is not "you" as "separate from" God, but is "you" as "One with" God, and He naturally appears within you after you become One with your Shaikh within you, with our Father, Shaikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (may God be pleased with Him), after your life becomes the life of your Shaikh, with you becoming His form and He becoming your soul.
That is the "student" within you that you must invite into you as its school, and that is the "prayer to God" within you that you must invite to stand on you as its prayer mat, and that is the "farmer" within you that you must invite to plow you under as its earth. This is the way, my dearest loving brother.
In this way, when Bawa told this child that I was the earth and that He was the farmer, He was offering to liberate me from the old Louie within me, the Louie of "separation and differences within me, the Louie of "separation from" God within me, and to reveal the new Louie within me, the Louie of "Oneness and Unity, of Justice and Truth, and of Compassion and Unity within me, the Louie of "Oneness with" God within me.
In this example, Bawa was teaching me about this very important wisdom point, that in all things, we must elevate our Shaikh above us, and lower ourselves below the Shaikh, and in this way, offering ourselves up to our Shaikh, to be used by the Shaikh within us for His selfless purpose, not for any selfish purpose of ours, then and only then, when we have lined up properly with our Shaikh, with the life and teaching of our Shaikh within us, will He use us within us to accomplish what He has come into us to accomplish, which is to join with God within us to reveal True Man within the Creation of God within us, and to join with True Man within us to reveal God within the Creation of True Man within us.
Then when we have elevated Him and lowered ourselves, then our Shaikh elevates us above Him. For example, when this child accepted what the Shaikh had told me, that I was the earth within me and that He was the farmer within me, then Bawa said to me,
"Then I will plow you under as the earth, plant the seeds of God's grace
within you, and grow the crop of God's grace within you, and then that is you,
then you will no longer be the earth, you will have become the crop of God's
grace that I have grown within you."
This is the way, my dearest loving brother Muhammad Sulaiman, not by you trying to do the Zikr, or by you trying to feel your breath move properly, but by you becoming the earth of the Shaikh within you, and submitting to your Shaikh within you as the farmer of this earth, so He can grow the crop of God's grace within you, for the benefit of all of the Creation of God in the 18,000 universes within you, and for the benefit of all of the Creation of True Man within you, in the Kingdom of God within you, which is
firdaus within you.
By you becoming the prayer mat of the Shaikh within you, and submitting to your Shaikh as the One who prays within you, who prays within you by standing on you as His prayer mat, in this way praying to God within you, doing du'a's to God within you, for all of your brothers and sisters within you who are still trying to live in the world within you, still stuck in the 71st and the 72nd groups within you.
By you becoming the school of the Shaikh within you, and submitting to your Shaikh as the true student within you, who studies within you by using you as His school, so He can extract the wisdom of God from within you, extracting first the 6th level of wisdom from within you, the wisdom of the Qutb of God from within you, the wisdom that explains within you, the wisdom that can differentiate the darkness within you into heaven and hell within you, into the Palace of the Soul within you.
And then extracting the 7th level of wisdom within you, that is the mirror of the innermost heart within you, revealing God within the Goodness within you, the wisdom that can reveal the 8th heaven within you, which is the Kingdom of God within you.
Then He will transform the earth within you into the Crop of God's grace within you, into the 99 wilayat of God within you, which is the Qutb of God within you, within the
dunya within you, then He will transform the word and the worship of God within you into the Zikr of God within you, into the word of Allahu, which is Allah Muhammad or True Man in akhirah within you, and finally He will transform the wisdom or consciousness of you into the form of Divine Luminous Wisdom within you, which is the Oneness of God and True Man within you.
For as Bawa teaches us in the new book, "The Resonance of Allah",
"The state of silence is invaluable to you. Let the form of Divine Luminous
Wisdom grow within the state of inner silence. Scrutinize yourself as the
consciousness within the form of Divine Luminous Wisdom. It will appear as
One. That form is that, and that is You. That state is the One, shining as the
all pervading, radiant effulgence."
8. Closing Comments And Prayer
Please give my love and salams to your wife and family, and to all of our brothers and sisters, and share this letter with them. It is very important that you do this work.
Thank you again for the beautiful letter, it allowed all of this beautiful clarity to be shared. My love you my dearest brother Muhammad Sulaiman.
May all the peace, the beneficence, and the blessing of God be upon all of us. May God help us all.
My love you (anbu) - Shaikh Muhaiyaddeen (Louie Beutler).
End of Spiritual Letter 31
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