Every single success you experience is a combination of two things: your effort and Allah's help. When you don't put in enough effort, Allah does not give His barakah. And sometimes you might put in a lot of effort but you may not see the result you expected. That, also, is Allah's barakah.
the ordinary man's experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary. [He] falls in love or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter, or the smell of cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes
Young men are as apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are to think themselves sober enough. They look upon spirit to be a much better thing than experience; which they call coldness. They are but half mistaken; for though spirit without experience is dangerous, experience without spirit is languid and ineffective.
If one wanted to depict the whole thing graphically, every episode, with its climax, would require a three-dimensional, or, rather, no model: every experience is unrepeatable. What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.
It is easy to fail when designing an interactive experience. Designers fail when they do not know the audience, integrate the threads of content and context, welcome the public properly, or make clear what the experience is and what the audience's role in it will be.
Some of us can accept others right where they are a lot more easily than we can accept ourselves. We feel that compassion is reserved for someone else, and it never occurs to us to feel it for ourselves. My experience is that by practicing without 'shoulds,' we gradually discover our wakefulness and our confidence. Gradually, without any agenda except to be honest and kind, we assume responsibility for being here in this unpredictable world, in this unique moment, in this precious human body.
Human life is so strangely constituted that even perfected intellectual understanding combined with the richest experience is incapable of conquering innate weaknesses. Even if it thoroughly analyzes itself, psychology (and this is one of the dubious aspects of psychoanalysis) can, to be sure, recognize its flawed native characteristics, but it cannot eliminate them. Understanding (them) is not the same as overcoming (them) and, again and again, we see the wisest of human beings helpless in the fact of their small follies which everyone else observes with a smile.
At the same time that you've got to open yourself up to the fact that experience is going to teach you year after year, decade after decade. I remember I very badly wanted to write a newspaper column when I was only 21 years old, and I went to my editor and told him that, and he said, "You're a really good writer, but you haven't lived long enough to be qualified to live out loud."
Visionary experience is not the same as mystical experience. Mystical experience is beyond the realm of opposites. Visionary experience is still within that realm. Heaven entails hell, and 'going to heaven' is no more liberation than is the descent into horror. Heaven is merely a vantage point from which the divine Ground can be more clearly seen than on the level of ordinary individual experience.