Joel Goldsmith isn’t actually a Sufi, but his ideas and teachings do seem to be in alignment with the Sufi way. Here is what he has to say about the soul:
The soul is a part of man which is little known and only seldom realized.
Often those in the depths of some deep sorrow break through the mist of material sense to the recesses of their innermost being, where they discover the Soul, or Reality, of being. They become Soul-conscious, and find new values, new resources, new and different strength, and an existence of an entirely different nature.
The exercise of the Soul-faculties results in breaking the illusions of sense. All human discords are products of material sense and are experienced through the five physical senses – that is, all mortal inharmonies are seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. Existing only in this material state of consciousness, discords and disease have their being merely as false sense, or illusion, though naturally seeming very real to the senses.
There are many means of securing temporary relief from erroneous conditions of health, wealth, and other inharmonies of daily existence. Complete and final destruction of error comes only through the achievement and exercise of the faculties of the Soul.
The Soul is that part of man which lies buried deepest within him and is therefore seldom realized. We use our mathematical faculties and our musical faculties because these lie nearest the surface of our being, and much more than these, even, our ordinary business faculties and our sense of direction, or even our artistic sense, but artists and authors and skilled musicians go deeper within their being and bring forth the great harmonies of fine music, good literature, paintings, sculpture, and architecture.
Hidden even deeper than these, yet within the reach of our own consciousness, lies the Soul and Its faculties. These Soul-powers, when touched by us, come forth from within us and reach every avenue of our daily life, giving inspiration, beauty, peace, joy, and harmony to each moment of our existence and clothing every event in our experience with love, understanding, and success.
Those too busy with the pains and the pleasures of sense will not, of course, reach the realm of Soul. Throughout the ages the invitation has been extended to mankind to drink of this fountain of living waters, and every generation has produced many men and women who have found eternal youth and peace within themselves.
Every so often one arises who has drunk more deeply at the fount of Soul, and these seers have told of the kingdom within and of the life that may be lived through Grace when this consciousness is achieved.
On the other hand many answer that they have great human duties which occupy all their time; others require so much time for sense pleasures, pastimes, and recreation; still others are immersed in a accomplishing and acquiring.
More and more, people are beginning to realize that freedom from fear, insecurity, want, and ill health is not to be found in the material realm. Wars will not end wars; investments will not ensure security from want. Medicines alleviate pain, but do not produce real health.
Some greater power than can be found in the human body or thought must be tapped to give us the happiness and harmony and peace that are our birthright. This power is available to everyone because it is already a part of our being – in fact, it is the greatest part of our being. As the iceberg reveals only a portion of itself to sight above water, so our human powers of body and mind represent not more than one-third of our powers and faculties.
The powers of the Soul are more real and tangible than any of the material powers of nature or invention. They operate on a higher level of consciousness, but are made evident in so-called human affairs.
Soul-forces act upon the human body to produce and maintain health and harmony. They touch every avenue of daily existence as protective influences and are the source of infinite supply.
The Soul-conscious people of this world live an inner life of peace, joy, and dominion and an outer life in complete harmony with themselves and with all the world of men, animals, and things. They are in tune with their Soul-powers, and this constitutes their at-one-ment with all creation.
Everyone may have access to the Soul. It lies deep within the recesses of our own being. Desire for the higher attainments of life is the first requisite, and then must follow a continuous turning within until the goal has been attained.
~The Infinite Way
A Hasid complained to Rabbi Wolf that certain persons were turning night into day, playing cards. “That is good,” said the zaddik. “Like all people they want to serve God and don’t know how. But now they are learning to stay awake and persist in doing something. When they have become perfect in this, all they need to do is turn to God – and what excellent servants they will make for him then.!”
Mullah Nasruddin was sitting in a tea shop when a friend came excitedly to speak with him. “I’m about to get married, Mullah,” his friend stated, “and I’m very excited. Mullah, have you ever thought of marriage yourself?”
Nasruddin replied, “I did think of getting married. In my youth in fact I very much wanted to do so. I waited to find for myself the perfect wife. I traveled looking for her, first to Damascus. There I met a beautiful woman who was gracious, kind, and deeply spiritual, but she had no worldly knowledge. I traveled further and went to Isphahan. There I met a woman who was both spiritual and worldly, beautiful in many ways, but we did not communicate well. Finally I went to Cairo and there, after much searching, I found her. She was spiritually deep, graceful, and beautiful in every respect, at home in the world and at home in the realms beyond it. I felt I had found the perfect wife.”
His friend questioned further, “Then did you not marry her, Mullah?”
“Alas,” said Nasruddin as he shook his head. “She was, unfortunately, waiting for the perfect husband.”
~Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
Mullah Nasruddin is both a fool and a wise man. He was out one day in his garden sprinkling bread crumbs around the flowerbeds. A neighbor came by and asked, “Mullah, why are you doing that?”
Nasruddin answered, “Oh, I do it to keep the tigers away.”
The neighbor said, “But there aren’t any tigers within thousands of miles of here.”
Nasruddin replied, “Effective, isn’t it?”
~Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
Four Indians enter a mosque and begin the prostrations. Deep, sincere praying. But a priest walks by, and one of the Indians, without thinking, says “Oh, are you going to give the call to prayers now? Is it time?”
The second Indian, under his breath, “You spoke. Now your prayers are invalid.”
The third, “Uncle, don’t scold him! You’ve done the same thing. Correct yourself.”
The fourth, also out loud, “Praise to God, I haven’t made the mistake of these three.”
So all four prayers are interrupted, with the three fault-finders more at fault than the original speaker!
Blessed is one who sees his weakness, and blessed is one who, when he sees a flaw in someone else, takes responsibility for it.
Because, half of any person is wrong and weak and off the path.
The other half is dancing and swimming and flying in the Invisible Joy.
There is a tale of a man who fell gravely ill and then appeared to have died. His body was gathered up, washed, and placed in a coffin, all the funeral preparations were made, and the priest invited.
The coffin was being carried to the graveyard when there came a knocking from inside. It was put on the ground, the lid was opened.
As people stood around he spoke up, “I am not dead, I have not died – you must take me out of here.”
But the priest in charge of carrying the coffin said “I’m sorry sir, you can’t be alive. The doctor has certified your death and the priest has also agreed upon it.”
Whereupon the lid was closed back down and the man was buried as planned.
~Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
This is a South Indian story about soap:
Soap is the dirt we buy. We introduce it to the dirt we have, and the two dirts are so glad to see each other they come out and mix! They swim together in the warm pleasurable water and, at just the right moment, the washer lifts the cloth of our true being free of both soap and dirt.
Mystical poetry and other practices may function this way, as soap that dances with what disturbs our clarity. Then at some moment they drop away and leave us clean, ready to be worn again.
~The Essential Rumi
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