a political manifesto


“It is not important to understand what I am doing; perhaps it is better if they don’t understand, but just respond to the dance.” - Kazuo Ohno

Dance as an Act of Grace. Grace as the Unfolding of your True Nature of Oneness. 

edited by Masha Karpoukhina

Be A Foreigner

by Salam

That's what the Prophet Muhammad said – peace and blessings be upon him. Don't stay with the crowd. Be an ever-changing mystery, the "other." Don't be like sheep. Be unique, individual, and be inside, internal – the essential Sufi message. I can't begin to settle all the wild and myriad misinformations and misrepresentations and misunderstandings about Muhammad here in this pocket zine. And that's not my point writing to you now. As a Muslim Sufi in the wine country, I simply want to convey my thanks to the mighty US of A. Because here I can be as foreign as I want. 

In the Quran, in all its mystical, healing and poignant truth, it talks about the devil. HIs name was Iblis. He was a jinn, a being made of smokeless fire. When God, or Allah, which translates as The One, or the Force, put His essence or secret into the human, Prophet Adam – peace and blessings be upon him – God said, “Hey, Iblis, and all you jinn and angels and beings, bow to the human,” Iblis refused.

Iblis responded, "I won't bow to clay, a human, when i am a jinn, made of fire. BECAUSE FIRE IS BETTER THAN CLAY." And there is the trap. The judgment and egotistic one-upping of another's inner and outer foreigner.

One of the biggest no-no's in Sufism, in the quest of finding one's truth and self in the eternal congruence with the Truth of the Force, in the quest of being the best you you can be as Oprah would say, that is, to rock your unique inner foreigner: you cannot say you are better than anyone else. That's the devil's trap. In the Unity of things, we are somehow deeply the same, unified, in our pulse, our heartbeat, our DNA. One heart, one hand, somehow, in the end, it is said.


So, while we all navigate survival with the most basic, primal, interpersonal struggles that are now at every turn, and try to love our foreign personal freak-flag selves, we must strive to not, even if we find Trump the most deplorable mother fucker, say, as enlightened, educated and spiritual beings, believe we are better. There is no separation, folks. And whatever horror we find in him or any other distasteful person, place or thing, they are only recognizable if they already live inside of us, hence, them being so viscerally recognizable. It's a mirror. As above, so below, the Sufis say. Again, the Unity shows herself.

People, open your heart. Take the High Road. Find seclusion and peace and reflection so you can present your best self. Do not become one of them. Because “us vs. them is an illusion”. We are all one, all foreigners in this strange land, for a blink of an eye, just passing through. Look deep, be patient, and be careful, with every step. 

* in reference to Hadith 40