The Man With The Inexplicable Life

I haven’t written in a little while, because I’ve been pondering how to introduce this story.  I felt for some time that I needed to write a post about Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, but I wasn’t happy with anything I wrote, so I’m going to interrupt this story occasionally.  I first encountered this story many years ago, in the book “Tales of the Dervishes” by Idries Shah.

There was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had obtained a post as a small official, and it seemed likely that he would end his days as inspector of weights and measures.

One day when he was walking through the gardens of an ancient building near his home, Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green.

(Khidr’s very name, al-Khidr, means “the green one”  Khidr is a revered figure in Islam, whom the Qur’an describes as a righteous servant of God, who possessed great wisdom or mystic knowledge.)

Khidr said, “Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and meet me at the riverside in three days’ time.” Then he disappeared. Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and they said, “Poor Mojud! He has gone mad.” But, as there were many candidates for his job, they soon forgot him.

On the appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, “Tear your clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone will save you.” Mojud did so, even though he wondered if he were mad. Since he could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before a fisherman hauled him into his boat, saying, “Foolish man! The current is strong. What are you trying to do?” Mojud said, “I don’t really know.”

“You are mad,” said the fisherman, “But I will take you into my reed-hut by the river yonder, and we shall see what can be done for you.”

When he discovered that Mojud was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write. In exchange, Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman with his work. After a few months, Khidr again appeared, this time at the foot of Mojud’s bed, and said, “Get up now and leave this fisherman. You will be provided for.”

Mojud immediately quit the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he came to a highway.

As dawn was breaking he saw a farmer on a donkey on his way to market. “Do you seek work?” asked the farmer, “because I need a man to help me bring back some purchases.”

Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two years, by which time he had learned a great deal about agriculture but little else.

One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, “Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin-merchant.”

Mojud obeyed.

In Mosul he became known as a skin-merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years. He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.”

Mojud did so.

(Google Maps reports a traveling distance of 2,900 kilometers or 1,800 miles between Mosul, in the northern portion of Iraq, to Samarkand in Uzbekistan.)

Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination. He healed the sick, served his fellow men in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.

Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, “under whom did you study?”

“It is difficult to say,” said Mojud.

His disciples asked, “How did you start your career?”

He said, “As a small official.” “And you gave it up to devote yourself to self-mortification?”

“No, I just gave it up.” They did not understand him.

People approached him to write the story of his life.

“What have you been in your life?” they asked.

“I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that, I became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin-merchant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to Samarkand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now.”

“But this inexplicable behavior throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples,” said the biographers.

“That is so,” said Mojud.

So the biographers constructed for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life.

And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true. It is a representation of a life. This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.

Why do I share this story?  Because the word “inexplicable” is a word which rings and sings and resonates in describing the experience of Knowledge.  Mojud was one of the few that entered by the narrow gate, who made the rare accomplishment of finding the true path.  I consider Marshall Vian Summers to be a modern-day version of Mojud. While I don’t consider myself to have an inexplicable life, it is inexplicable indeed that I am on this path.

* * *

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5 thoughts on “The Man With The Inexplicable Life

  1. No words required except thanks for sharing.
    Isn’t it exciting as to how many are waking up from all the illusions 🙂

  2. Douglas–Loved the story!
    Loved the beautiful pictures!
    Loved the ending!
    Loved the mystery!
    Loved the gift for me!
    Thank you

  3. Douglas, this is one of my most favorite stories of all time!

    While I do not have this exact experience of Knowledge, there is in fact, a golden thread of Knowledge experiences running through my life, in a mysterious, inexplicable manner, through ups, through downs, through loss, through gain.

    One thing though, is that like it says in Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume 1 in the chapter on the Greater Religion (? I think?), that when I’ve had things really going my way, I’ve been sleepwalking. When things are easy, my untrained & overly active surface intellect has taken control & I’ve become complacent. Why, that Wisdom chapter says, do people create such horrible situations for themselves? Its to create a situation where Knowledge must come to the fore, and the person must respond to that which was their source of their strength within their life all along: Knowledge & its inner guidance within them.

    Its when things haven’t gone my way that I’ve been forced to wake up a bit more & get back to trying to follow Knowledge. Making so many errors out of my intellect, violations of Knowledge, rushing ahead, living inattentively to the road & signs along the way, that kind of life has been hard. It has been a bucket of ice water at times poured over my head.

    But asking the greater questions in life & reaching & living with the unknowing and deeper experience and following a Calling out of the ways of the world & back into listening for the inner experience of Knowledge, it has been a steady, potent, & moving pathway. One which I cannot leave for beauty, wealth, or pleasure. I know the New Message pathway is for me, I know I must build real stability in my 4 Pillars Practice & Steps to Knowledge practice, and I must do so not only for myself but for those whom I can serve in the Great Waves of change and in overcoming the effects of the Intervention into human affairs. Nothing else could be more important than following Knowledge in me and Knowledge in others in getting ready for this threshold.

    In this, the choice is easy and the sacrifice is natural. Knowledge feels and feeds me like nothing else I know of. Marshall Vian, Patricia, Reed, and other long time Students of the New Message and Knowledge keep burning & feeding the Fire of Knowledge within themselves. I can feel it in their life, in their priorities, in their demonstration, and in their regard for and engagement with me and with those around them. They are living a truly inspired life, a sacred life, and I am Called to respond and be a Student as they are a Student of the new revelation themselves.

    Keep writing, you have a gift Douglas, others must find this now, so that humanity’s sleeping brilliance can awaken within enough people in time to turn the tide for a runaway train of reckless ecological destruction and competition over resources among the Human Family. We’ll have to unite to put out the fire burning our own planetary-house, or risk perishing and declining permanently out of ignorance and arrogance and self-serving short sightedness as we destroy our only Mother Earth home we will ever have.

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