THE FOUR JOURNEYS
In these millions of universes are many systems with planets. Some are in gaseous states, some in states of solidification, some of stone and metal, some which also have vegetation. Some have also developed life forms such as worms, some also fish, some also birds, some also animals, and a few also have human beings.
Thus it is that throughout the myriads of universes there are planets on which the seven kingdoms of evolution are manifested, and the evolution of consciousness and forms is completed.
But only on the planet Earth do human beings reincarnate and begin the involutionary path to Self-realization.
Earth is the centre of this infinite gross sphere of millions of universes inasmuch as it is the Point to which all human-conscious souls must migrate in order to begin the involutionary path.
This involutionary path has seven stations and arrival at the seventh station completes the first journey to God.
Although the completion of this journey is the Goal of all human souls, only a very few at any given moment embark upon it. The arrival at the end of this journey is the drowning of individuality in the Ocean of infinite consciousness, and the journey's completion is the soul's absorption in the state of "I am God" with full consciousness, and, as God, it experiences infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss.
Out of all the souls who complete the first journey, a very few enter the second journey. This journey has no stations. It is an instantaneous journey the journey of infinite consciousness being shaken from its absorption in "I am God" to abiding in God as God. In this state individuality is regained, but individuality is now infinite, and this infinity includes gross consciousness, and so as man and God it experiences infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss in the midst of most-finiteness the unlimited Soul knows Its unlimitedness in the midst of limitation.
The third journey is undertaken only by those who have accomplished the second journey, and whose lot it is to bear the burden of the exercise of infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss and so live God's life both as man and God simultaneously.
There are only five such masters living on the earth at any given moment, and they control the movement of the universes and the affairs of the worlds of men. Only when one of these five Perfect Masters drops his body can one of those who are abiding in God as God move onwards and complete the third journey to fill the vacant office.
It is the duty of these five Perfect Masters to precipitate the advent of the Ancient One (Avatar) and to hand over to Him the charge of His own Creation.
All those who live God's life on earth and all those who abide in God as God on earth, when they drop their bodies, also shed forever their subtle and mental vehicles and pass away utterly as God, retaining infinite individuality and experiencing infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss. This is the fourth journey.
In reality these four journeys are never journeyed, for God has nowhere to journey. He is without beginning and without end. And everything, which has the appearance of being, appeared from That which has no beginning and passes back into That which has no ending.
GOD SPEAKS, pp. 292-294
1973 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.