The sustaining forces of a society and formal order are customs, conventions. usages, folkways, mores, norms and standards.
They serve, and are recognized and accepted as the guidelines. The individuals, comprising the society, are expected to rise up to them and derive sanction for their behaviour in society therefrom.
They, in fact, guide and control the society. They serve as social controls.
Religion, too, constitutes an important and potent instrument of social, moral and ethical progress.
There can be no doubt, that our modern society has been a uniform attempt to avoid the imperatives and social obligations, which rest upon the people.
It is an escape from reality, realism and responsibility. Love or hatred denotes an attitude;whereas friend or enemy indicates interest.
Thus, terms like love, fear, hatred, pride, sympathy, respect, homage, denote attitudes; whereas, terms like friend enemy, family, the oppressed, the depressed, connote interest.
Classifications of attitudes
Attitudes may be :
Among the dissociative attitudes may be mentioned the following: Dream; Fear; Terror; Envy; Intolerance; Arrogance; Contempt; Repugnance; Disgust; Suspicion; Malice; Cruelty; Hate; and Dislike.
Among the restrictive attitudes may be mentioned the following: Love; Devotion; Humility; Modesty; Submissiveness; Pride; Tolerance; Forbearance; Rivalry; and Jealousy.
Among the associative attitudes may be mentioned the following- Gratitude; Sympathy; Affection; Courtesy; Helpfulness; Love; and Trust.
Classes of Attitudes
There are, thus, different classes of attitudes. Their fundamental distinction is to be judged by the question whether they tend to unite, or tend to separate the members of society.
This Implies patterns of avoidance and approach. Thus it is that, sympathy unites, whereas hate separates. Love Seeks to approach; whereas fear seeks to avoid, and disgust does the same. A sufi mystic, must then encourage the attitudes which tend to unite.
The Birth of Sufi mysticism
The birth of mysticism denotes a milestone in the quest of higher values. The tumbling masses and the tired classes saw in it the fulfilment of their inner urges and aspirations.
Sufi Mysticism came like a physician, lived as a guide and friend, and ruled over the hearts of men.
Sufi Mysticism has come to stay. Its past performance indicates,that it has brought about revolutionary changes of great magnitude, and a transformation of far reaching importance in the concept of values, and ways of living and life of the people.
The function of Sufi Mysticism
The function of Sufi mysticism, throughout the ages, has been of interpret truth, mould people into a better and cheerful frame, to encourage common endeavour, to rouse common spirit, to infuse common enthusiasm, and to reflect, or embellish common aspirations, common ideals and common dreams and devotions.
It lays stress on the development of life. It insists, that an individual should be taken out from darkness into light, and be freed from the maladies of the soul.
Apparently, the rock on which so many ships, carrying the cargo of culture and civilization, have floundered is the usual one- infatuation with material acquisition.
Unfortunately, the people yielded to the temptation of putting the pursuits of material acquisitions above the more abiding and exacting goal.
The pathological character of the people is an appropriate reflex of the sickness of society.
The birth of Sufi Mysticism marked a revolutionary change and transformation in the thoughts of the people. When thoughts are changed, action is sure to be changed.
The change of thoughts led to a change in action and deed. The change, in the concept of values and way of life, produced by Sufi mysticism, led also to a profound change in the society. The propagation of Sufi mysticism was an attempt to rescue, and to save the ailing and sick society from superstitions, materialism and ethical scepticism.
The Sufi Mysticism were, in fact an unfailing source of inspiration to the multitude of humanity. The contribution of Sufi mysticism to world culture was multifaceted. It included religion, Philosophy, Logic, Psychology, Ethics, Sociology, Literature, Poetry, Arts and Architecture.
These constituted the external expressions and manifestations of the internal excellence in man.
The excellence in man was fostered through the teachings of mysticism, since the dawn of civilization.
An individual has now to decide how to proceed towards the higher values in modern society. He has to decide, what does life hold for him? Is mere breathing life? Is life meant to be high-life walk, or a mere low crawl in the dumps?
Some people Feel sick tired, exhausted, disgusted and bored. But life is not meant to be boring, dull and dry. It should not be stiff, broken all round, distressed and depressed.
(This is a series of postings to come on the subject of Sufi Mysticism. The postings will give in-depth knowledge in the complete world & ultimate sphere of Sufi spirituality. The postings are enlisted in Categories : “Sufis Spirituality” (Tasawwuf ) & in “Tasawwuf (Path of Mysticism).