In Islam, self-education is praised and encouraged, for it is the manifestation of true desire and sincere intention, and will result in the best of accomplishments. Even though I have no 'degree' in the concept of Western education, the extent of my interest and the dedication of my study has brought me exceptional recognition in every Sufi community. At an early age, I was recognized and consulted as the "Hakim", the one who studied, understood, counseled and practiced the ways of natural medicine, the healer, as it were, by every Sufi Master in whose community I was honored to reside.  

My years of extensive study, research and self-education in Islam, Sufi studies, Natural and Energy Healing, Homeopathic Medicine and Orienta Philosophy have always been for the sole purpose of helping me to deepen my understanding of Self, and spiritual and human psychology. The point has always been self-improvement - to become a deeper human being, more in touch with my true self, a better counselor, through an understanding of the spiritual nature of psychological problems, a better healer, showing, in the way of transformational psychology, the 'flip-side' of emotional and physical difficulties, and a better therapist, offering healing and therapeutics to ease the sufferings of the mind. In short, a Sufi. The principles and results of these studies, along with many others, will be outlined in detail in this and many others works in progress. 

In my early college years, I was moved to feel that the way of formal education was not for me, and that I would prefer a life of direct experience, whatever it might lead to, over a life of learning, without experience, what others would have us learn. After some time in the military and some years of amazing adventure and world travel, and spiritual search and study, I came to understand that a classical education, in Sufism or any other spiritual study, is much more rigorous that a few years spent in a modern college or university. It required a lifelong dedication to the learning of the path of the masters. 

In the Classical Sufi Tradition, certification, for the believers, comes with a "Permission" to teach, a formally applied for and patiently earned authorization, a "nod" of recognition that the subject matter is now understood, from a currently established and recognized "master" in the field. This form of education is not for everybody, nor am I recommending it as such. But the benefits that an individual, a group or a society can reap from accepting and recognizing the presence of one educated in this manner are great. It is the basis of the spiritual communities of old. 

It is not to be thought that spiritual realization is in some manner 'impractical', unworthy of a 'real achiever', or frivolous and 'off the point'. It is becoming increasingly obvious that it is the point. 

The whole point of peace is to be able to self-realize. Even play and love are opportunities to realize the true value of self. But without peace, there is little opportunity to enjoy, and without enjoyment, there is no self-realization. The disruption of peace is the manifest purpose and energy of the shaytan (referred to in religious studies as Satan, or the great distracter) and the point of war. It is to keep us distracted by and involved in our fears, whatever they may be, for all our lives, that we will never have the opportunity to self-realize, to know and honor God, and attain truly successful and magnanimous lives.

The purpose of struggle is to end struggle. But we do not end it by domination, for that would entail the further struggle of constant vigilance against an unseen enemy, and this is the very situation the American society finds itself in right now. We end struggle by giving up struggle, by surrendering our lives to God (Allah) in a New World and "taking our chance". If Allah wills, and He does, that we have long, healthy and prosperous lives, then nothing cam prevent that from happening, in a peaceful, easy and natural way. And if He does not, then nothing we do can make it happen. 

This is not to imply that the goal of Surrender is a long, peaceful and prosperous life. It is not. That is an expected byproduct, an endless overflowing of bounty upon us from the One who created life to be rich and rewarding. But no, the true goal of Surrender is simply to Know God, in this and every moment, and to rejoice, to be happy and manifest in that endless moment and knowing. 

And now back to therapeutics and healing. It is understood in the Sufi way that when one truly knows oneself, one know "all things" in the sense of that which is pertinent to Self and God-realization. This is not a knowing as in stored information, which is obviously, and dangerously, limited and limiting. It is a true knowing of Source - which knowing is the source of knowing, knowledge and understanding. This may or may not be easily grasped by the analytical mind - and that's why it's referred to by many analytical minds as "mystical". But it is a well-known fact among the Sufis, spiritualists and spiritual healers of all ways and faiths, and is, in Islamic psychology, considered to be the requisite groundwork for true health and success, without which nothing of any great consequence will happen. And this is proving itself true in western society. 

In the end it is only that connection to Source-personal that can be discovered, established, strengthened and confirmed. After that, you're on your own. Any way, path or religion may be offered in the form of an opening to continue walking in the way of the Realized, the way of the true Muslim (Surrendered to God) and the way of the Sufi. But accepting that is your choice, and it should be looked at only after the healing, the peace, the fulfillment, the self-contentment and the satisfaction is found in the way of realizing God, Self and Unity. This recognition is called "Ma`arifat", the true wisdom of honor and recognition. It is the highest goal in Sufism and Islam. Seeking it and passing it on is the true way of healing the heart in the classical Sufi tradition.