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Synopsis

An exploration of the profound Sufi practice of Itlak Yolu

• Examines the three main facets of this practice: zikr or breathing exercises, fasting, and mental suffering

• Shares new Sufi parables, the sayings of Sufi master Hasan Lutfi Shushud, and Rumi’s philosophy on annihilation of the Self

• Reveals how once the Self is annihilated higher levels of perception are reached

In this exploration of the profound spiritual practice of Itlak Yolu, the Sufi path of annihilation, Nevit Ergin examines the three main facets of this path: zikr or breathing exercises, fasting, and mental suffering. Sharing experiences and discussions with Hasan Lutfi Shushud, renowned Sufi saint and final guide of Gurdjieff’s disciple J. G. Bennett, the author illustrates how suffering--“the searing fire of contrition”--is the most effective instrument of spiritual progress, for it is suffering that burns the Self. He explains how faithful practice of zikr and fasting will bring on this kind of suffering when the student is ready and will make the suffering tolerable. He shows how once the Self is annihilated higher levels of perception take hold and one finds oneself on the path to sainthood and immortality.

Interwoven throughout with sayings by Shushud, Sufi parables, and poems by Rumi, Ergin shares the unique Itlak perspective on the major questions of every seeker: the true nature of love and religion, life and death, and other major spiritual questions. The book also includes an essay on annihilation and absence in Rumi’s philosophy and biographical portraits of Hasan Lufti Shushud by other aspirants who met with him.

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