Sufism is a discipline, a methodology, for enhancing and refining spiritual perception. The human being has a range of subtle faculties for knowing, the totality of which we can call the spiritual heart. The science of the heart is a science of qualities, not quantities. Through the heart we can know this existence qualitatively. Behind the beautiful images and met- aphors of Sufi poetry lies a systematic knowledge of spiritual perception. When Rumi, for instance, speaks of the Beloved, he is describing a qualitative relationship with Being. The heart is the core of our subjective experience through which we experience relationship with other living beings, and ultimately with Being itself. Ultimately, knowledge and love are not two contrary functions, but a synergy through which we discover this communion and intimacy with the Absolute.
Kabir Helminski is a translator of the works of Rumi and others; a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order, which traces back to Jalaluddin Rumi; co-director of The Threshold Society (Sufism.org); and a Director of the Baraka Institute (Barakainstitute.org). His books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages. Among his recent publications are The Book of Language: Exploring the Spiritual Vocabulary of the Qur’an and Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey. In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. He has toured as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey, bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people.