Popping & Path

An awakening can happen spontaneously, out of the blue, apparently uninvited. Or it can happen following a period of practice, of deliberately walking the path.

In sufism, the initial version is apparently called majzub, and the second salik. One is obviously grace, the second apparently effort. Although there is also effort in the first one, in terms of exploring and living what happened. And there is clearly grace even in the second one, first in the external and internal circumstances coming together for someone traveling the path, and then in the awakening itself.

As J. Nurbakhsh says in The Path (p. 31), both have to be present for it to be complete – especially if that person is to guide others. If there was first an awakening out of the blue, then the path has to be traveled later on (either from within the awakening, or after an apparent fall). And if the path was traveled initially, then the grace and popping of awakening has to happen for it to be more complete. One alone is not sufficient.