Action At A Distance

by stewart

Whoever is initiated by us and follows us and loves us, whether he is near or far, wherever he is, even if he is in the East and we are in the West, we nourish from the stream of love and give him light in his daily life.

-Bahaudin Naqshband

In this quote from one of the great Sufi masters we have a description of one of the natural laws of the universe. Action at a distance: this phenomenon describes how some objects can affect others, depending upon their relationship, at varying distances.

Consider the effect of a young child’s hand magnet as it pulls along a paper clip or the gravitational effect of the moon against the ocean tides. On our planet, feel the warm, life giving rays of our sun, generating tremendous heat millions of miles away, and the electric tug, at our heart, when our beloved enters the room.

Selective Acceptance of Ideas

In each of these daily occurrences, because of our own experience, we have natural phenomena which we take as quite ordinary, yet, when this same natural law is viewed within the context of spiritual learning- it is often viewed as extraordinary. According to our natural sciences and the laws of physics, because we can quantify and measure outcomes, some objects do indeed affect others, even at a great distance.

Yet when we apply this same universal law to the spiritual sciences, for the average spiritual traveler, there is considerable skepticism and lack of first hand experience. In this quote above, is Bahaudin describing physical phenomena or speaking metaphorically, even poetically?  Notice your bias, when we assert, he is describing actual, physical phenomena which have been well documented in the spiritual literature and which we in our modern times are again rediscovering.

Certainly you would be entitled to say look there is a big difference between testing out this natural law with a magnet, something I can hold in my hand, and testing out this law, on a spiritual level. In one instance, I can see and hold the magnet and in another, I have to take someone’s word for outcomes. My answer to this would be, we are always taking another’s word for explanations of natural phenomena and are quite selective about it.

Believers have been saving for thousands of years that when that they pray to Jesus their prayers are answered; yet many discount or minimize their testimony. Further I would counter, look we all can see the motion of the ocean and changing tides, yet, how do we know for certain this motion is based upon the gravitational pull of the moon? The answer: well, I guess it is based upon certain experiments and what our scientists tell us.

Typically we have no first hand knowledge of gravitational pulls between the earth and moon, yet are willing to believe what one group tells us and not another. Why the selective belief or skepticism?  Skepticism is healthy unless it is randomly applied. Remember there are literally hundreds of experiments proving the positive effects of distant healing through prayer and the healing effects of meditation. These experiments have been conducted by our scientists and well documented on the Internet and all kinds of journals. Sometimes it takes many years for ‘new ideas’ to reach and percolate up to the level of common acceptance.

The point of the present writing is to further share some ideas and experiences, concerning the importance of action at a distance, within the context of spiritual learning.

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Belief & Action

Do you really believe every snowflake is different or the world is populated with 7 billion people?

If so consider why you believe these statements to be true. You probably never examined 100 different flakes or met 5000 different people. On these issues, you are willing to accept what someone has told you.

Next consider why some of these same people do not believe there is a God/Light or that human greed is the cause of much of the world’s problems.  Surely someone has told them there is a Universal Energy which governs the universe and a balance between personal and community need must be maintained.

I wonder why some people choose to believe some things and not others?  Is it a matter of who is doing the telling or who is doing the believing? Or perhaps both?

Most often, our collective beliefs serve as basis for our collective actions.


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Distance Learning of the Sufi Mystics

In September 2012, Sadiq Alam, Editor, and I co-wrote an article entitled: “Distance Learning and Direction from a Distance of the Sufi Mystics.”  It is posted on Technology of the Heart Blog and the reader is referred to this article:

This piece examines some of the history and tradition of learning at a distance within one of the great mystic superhighways, Sufism. Also it narrates my initial orientation to this process and first hand experience of spiritual contact and learning across distances, both near and far. Much of this material is taken from my book: Sufism for Western Seekers which is a first hand account of spiritual learning in 2 modern mystical spiritual schools. The second school being primarily a distance learning venue.

Sufi learning is dependent upon entering and participating in a learning structure, traditionally, called the Path/Way; this structure retains its life force and vibrancy through Grace or Baraka passed down through different Teachers. As this article and experience suggests, a learning structure can take place independent of the current Sufi Orders; with most of the learning taking place in ordinary daily life.  For Western spiritual travelers, reluctant to wear the traditional robes of present day Sufi Orders, there has always been a viable alternative. Always what is required is a sincere student/traveler, the grace of the Path and a Teacher who knows the Way.

At this point, if you have not taken a look at the above referenced article, I would suggest you do so. The information contained serves as a foundation for the rest of what is to be discussed.

Distance Learning Concepts

The following is based upon Sufi tradition and/or first hand information and experience.

  • In our universe, the Light is the Life Force or Supra-Energy of the spheres. It is the Source, the Directing Element and the basis for all life and creation. It is termed the Light because it dissipates Spiritual Darkness. There is an aspect, or piece, of this glorious substance within each of our souls termed: the heart.
  • In this physical world, the Sufis are the guardians of the Plan for Humanity; they focus and direct this wondrous life giving substance, daily, onto all parts of the planet. There is a hierarchy or corporation of sorts that has as its primary job making sure each heart, daily, is watered with this life giving substance.  Absence of this life force over a 3 day period, and this planet as we know it would wither and die; it is the same for each heart.
  • There is a part of each of us, the heart, which is continually in contact with the Light; although on a conscious level we may be unaware of this connection, we are continually praying and united with our Source. It is this central directing aspect to the soul, or heart, that provides life for the human body, directs the many processes and will lead us on to the next place after our body is no longer needed.
  • Because we are continually in contact with the Source, through our heart, the goal of spiritual studies is to bring this realization into day to day consciousness. Living in the world, with all its wonders, pains and distractions blocks the inner awareness from coming into full consciousness.  Like the stations on our TV Set, the spiritual station is always playing, but we are watching another channel due to the demands of the physical experience.
  • The process of bringing this inner realization into full consciousness is termed both awakening and remembering. We awaken to the potential of our spiritual consciousness by remembering we are a spiritual being through living the life of the heart. The process of coming into spiritual maturity involves the awakening of certain inner capacities and skills that we bring with us to this experience.
  • It is the job of the spiritual teachers or masters is to help guide the spiritual traveler in this process of maturing. Because on a spiritual plane, there is no time or distance, these masters are able to guide the student from great distances. In the opening quote, this is what Bahaudin is discussing and why prayers are answered by great teachers, like Jesus, who are long deceased.
  • In this physical realm, these masters are able to project and use the Light to bring forward our own latent potential. They operate in dimensions that we are shut-off from, because we are living in the world. Ordinarily our consciousness is concerned about the day to day and we must make time for the spiritual; this is all part of the Design that we have chosen to participate in.

Situational Potentials

Over the years, I have come in contact with many travelers who are looking for a teacher and most are familiar with the dictum, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will call.’

Rarely does this saying satisfy the inner hunger of the spiritual traveler, who is seeking to fill that empty place of longing the true ‘Friend of God,’ can help fill. One cannot minimize their personal effect, yet travelers forget the Light: this beautiful life giving force is always watering down upon us and available. Fully, we have not learned to recognize and remove the obstacles that are in our way. Also ‘the Friends’ are always touching, helping and monitoring us spiritually through this wondrous element. We are never without the Teachers.

After more than 10 years of study, reading the material written and compiled by Idries Shah, it became clear that contained therein was everything the modern spiritual traveler needed to make the journey. There is over 30 books, tapes and other materials that impact us on many levels: helping to remove the obstacles. This body of work is a detailed learning structure, compiled by one of the great masters, for this modern, communication age, where travelers are spread all across the globe. Contained therein, is learning on many levels, supplemented by the help of the Unseen Forces; monitoring each, these Beings shine their Light all across the planet, helping each to rise higher.

Also today with the added communications available on the Internet, all kinds of distance learning spiritual programs, added to the personal impacts of learning while we are asleep and our own latent inner spiritual potential, surely, we all can say:

We Have Been Given Enough For The Journey.


Check-out my two books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream.  Both books are also in Kindle format and available on or local bookstore.

If you are interested in learning more about universal mysticism and Sufism contact:


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