Dr. Omid Safi introduces the Sufi Heart Podcast and explores the path of radical love found in the Sufi tradition.
What is Radical Love? (Opening) – Omid reflects on the aspect of all-encompassing love that distinguishes the Sufi tradition. He talks about the exchange of love between ourselves and the divine that is celebrated in the beautiful teachings, stories and poems from the Sufi tradition.
“Radical love is, more than anything else, this notion of a love that is to the utmost. A love that is extreme. A love that it is indeed radical, which is the distinguishing feature of this particular path.” – Omid Safi
Stepping into the Fire (6:40) – What does it really mean to pursue the spiritual path without self-interest and to be after God’s own heart instead? We hear the story from 12th-century Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar of a luminous saint that dreams of the day that all men must stand before God in judgment and the choice that is given between desire and true devotion. Omid discusses journey we can undertake to soften the ego’s desires in this life and the possibility of experiencing God in the here and now.
“We are told that all of us are going to see the face of God someday, but the radical lovers want to see the face of God here and now, in this realm. They are the ones who experience this radical love which is nothing other than the very being of God.” – Omid Safi
Love: Lost and Found (21:30) – There is a great suffering that comes when we feel cut off from the kind of love expressed by the Sufi poets. For some that love has never been known, while others have tasted love’s potential but feel like that love has left them for good. We look at the connection that we can form with others when we pursue love from a selfless place.
One Love (30:40) – The path of radical love took some really bold stances against the cultural norms it originated from. Omid shares the history of the Sufi path and talks about what distinguishes it from the traditional beliefs and practices of Islam. He looks at what the path of love teaches us about how we as human beings must love and serve on another in order to love and serve God.
“What they are really saying here is really quite bold. If we claim to love God, we must also love God’s creation. There is no room on this path for someone who claims to be religious or claims to be spiritual but is not kind or loving to God’s children. The measure of what it means to be a spiritual and realized human being is to actually be able to love and serve humanity. So, the way that we are with one another is actually a measure of how luminous we are.” – Omid Safi