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Sufis & The Secret Teaching

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

“A real secret is something which only one person knows.”
-Idris Shah

The purpose of this paper is to examine what the Sufis have to offer and a hidden or inner, spiritual teaching called by some The Secret Teaching. Rumors of this esoteric Secret Teaching have existed since the beginning of time and for most periods in human history aspects of this teaching could not be publicly revealed. Historically for its proponents, to reveal such a Teaching has led to death and considerable misunderstanding. 

Because we are living in a more open age, a discussion about this topic may be undertaken with some of the elements of this Teaching identified. In part, the Sufis see  their role as guardians of this inner, sacred knowledge; offering this previously hidden information/teaching because the elements have combined. It is now the right time, right place and the right people have gathered.

“Right time, right place, right people equals success.
Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, equals most of the real human history.” 
-Idris Shah

Historical Background

Since the beginning of man/woman’s appearance on this planet there has been a continual succession of spiritual teachers. This mostly hidden chain of Masters has protected and shared Spiritual Knowledge with those people who were capable of using it. Throughout the ages, the external form of this Knowledge has changed to meet the shifting needs of different societies and geographical regions, yet, internally all the Great Religious Forms are united in the Light.

Some have called this Way of Knowing, the Perennial Philosophy, the Secret Teaching or the One True Religion. In ages past it was offered by the Adepts in the Great Pyramid, it was the Gold of Alchemy and in more modern times the Wine that the Sufi becomes intoxicated with. Historically some of its exponents have included: Raymond Lully, Roger Bacon, Paracelsus, Geber, Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas  and different Popes such as Pope Silvester II just too name a few.*

What is this Secret Teaching you ask? It is an inner spiritual knowing or experience of the Divine, and assumes an ever changing and evolving external form so it may be understood and we may grasp and use it.  For our age offered below are some of the key aspects of this life altering elixir. Here take a sip of this wondrous, spiritual wine and may you grow closer to your true lasting self.

The Message

The message has always been the same. We are the ones who have forgotten. The religion is one and humanity has a common Source. Over time because people are different, culturally, messengers and religious forms vary. This confuses people.

The Light is the binding force of the universe and is the mother and father of us all.  It is the great river from which we all came. On the surface the river’s water shifts due to changing currents and wind. Yet beneath the surface the water remains calm and tranquil.

In this age people are frightened and searching for something to help ease their fear and unite them.  It is there but we have forgotten to go deep and embrace our common spiritual heritage.

Within each the Light is waiting to bring us Home and illume the darkness.

Selected Aspects

The following 15 points concerning the Secret Teaching are offered. Ultimately this Teaching is spiritual, taking on a physical form as required so that it may be known. These points or aspects are not considered exclusive to this Teaching and are found in other spiritual forms; indicating a level of connectivity between the differing forms and paths.

One Family. All the religions are one. Humanity is one family and we have come here to express more fully who we are and join in creation with the Source.

Individual Expression of the Source. In the Universe there is a uniting and primal energy that connects all things- some call this energy, the Source or God. We are a unique expression of this energy/creative force and have come here to more fully understand our relationship to this energy and sing its praise -joining in- with the melody of the spheres/universe as mature creative beings.

The Duality. While in this world, we can experience and express our self in many ways. We have left the world of spirit and entered into a world of forms. This duality of spirit and physical form, which is beautifully endless, further confuses people and they get caught-up and forget who they are- their duality. They are both physical and beings of Light, spiritual travelers, going from world to world expressing them self in many ways and the highest form of expression is always loving and helping another.

Disconnect from Spirit. Because we have entered a world of physical forms there is a basic duality and seeming disconnect from our higher, spiritual nature. Here in this world, we can both destroy and create- this is our birth right; the traveler who doesn’t give-in to his/her basic or lower self has learned to conquer his own obstacles and is on his way to fuller expression of the higher self. The higher self is always connected to the Source, and knows on an inner, spiritual level where it is going and the point of the long journey. We came here to be creators and join in King/Queen ship with the Source.

World Problems. All of the problems of living in this world are due to spiritual travelers forgetting who they are and giving into their lower self; this selfishness comes in many forms and is root cause of the destruction due to war and individual greed that routinely expresses itself on this planet.

Empty Place. Within each of  us there is an empty place, a longing for our Home beyond the stars; this longing pushes us forward to fill the empty place within and remember who we are-Beings of Light- who have come here to express who we are in a multiplicity of form. 

Forgetting Who We Are. Because of the beauty and variety of this physical world, many travelers get caught-up, forgetting for a time who they are and try to fill this empty place with all manner of things/people. For a time, they are ‘ill,’ have ‘world sickness’ and go about looking for the cure: which is spiritual knowing and Light. The Paths and servants exist, in part, to help others find their way back Home; starting the return journey, spiritually, while in this present physical form.

Love & Fear. All human emotions arise out of 2 basic, primal expressions of the physical duality; these are love and fear. Fear drives the lower nature and can cause people to think of self over others; while love is the ultimate expression of the higher self and most perfectly aligns with the Source. The higher nature is always connected with the Source; while the lower nature is concerned with personal physical expression and when exaggerated causes us to forget and drown out the call of the Higher.

Remember. When the spiritual remembers who we are- this is a beginning of conscious spiritual awareness and learning to express self more fully in a spiritual form. 

Each Soul is Unique. Each traveler is a unique individual expression of the Source and as such has many unique capacities. Each has come here to express these capacities, helping self and others; more fully understand who they are.

Passing On. The very nature of the physical experience, because it is tied to time and place, is transitory and we must travel on. We have come here for a brief afternoon in the timeless eternity and take with us to the next place our love and all the love we share with people, other creatures and all the wonderful things we create in expressing our higher self.

Forgiving Self & Others. Those expressions of the lower self remain attached to us for a time, until we learn to shed them and reach higher. Through love these creations are altered and return to the universal ether. Forgiving self and others, we learn to travel higher.

Many Levels of Help. Throughout our stay in this world, we are helped by many, as we are helped by the Source with the life giving energy of the Light. This assistance comes in spiritual and physical form; many are assigned these tasks.

Inner Knowing. The Secret Teaching is an inner spiritual knowing and experience of the Source and its outer form is contained, in part, by the words offered here. Humanity is one family- all the religions are one- and the ills and evils of this world are due to traveler’s excess- putting their lower need before their higher and the need of others.

Listen to Your Heart. If you wish to know who you are- then travel inward; go beyond religion, go beyond fear; find your inner center or heart. Listen to its whisper for it will lead you Home and is always connected with the Source. Everyone is a beam of Light from a larger Sun and none is different in this regard. 

The Religions

Traveler: There is only One God, or the Light,
Yet there are many paths and religions,
Why is this so?

Master: Each traveler finds God/Light
In a different way.
One traveler may seek salvation
As a loving spouse and parent
And another may find God’s Face
On a distant shore.

Each traveler is a universe
And in this vast expanse
It is easy to go astray.
Only the Light’s Grace
Leads the traveler home.

Religion may be compared
To a great river that feeds the land.
The river winds its way as a mighty force
And smaller tributaries are formed
To serve the distant regions.
Some travelers are satisfied
To drink of the smaller stream
And forget they must travel 
The river to its Source.
Beyond the river’s gate,
The Ocean is waiting.

Traveler: Where is the boat
To journey the river
For I am ready to depart?

Master: O little one, you are so eager;
Yet you are already assail
And your soul is the vessel.
Your heart is the compass
And the Light’s Mercy is the breeze
At your back.

If you bow in prayer to the Light,
The Light will provide all you need
And Guide you to the Ocean.


For a time many forget who they are become lost and strike-out in selfishness and greed; this is the basic duality of the experience we have chosen to experience. To rise higher, remember who you are: a Child of Light and have brought with you everything you need for this experience; this knowing and love will help you with your journey through this world and the worlds to come.
Both Idris Shah quotes taken from Goodreads, accessed on 3/11/16, 9:10 am: www.goodreads.com/quotes/a-real-secret-is-something-which-only-one-person-knows.
For more information about The Secret Doctrine and other great historical exponents, the reader is referred to: Idries Shah, The Sufis, The Octagon Press, London, 1964, pg. 243.

Check out my book on Amazon: The Appleseed Journal.

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