[On Sufis and Mahatmas as Non-Religious]
Theosophist, August, 1882
Article Selection from “A Treatise on Sufism” | Notes by H.P.B.
When man arrives to a knowledge of his own nature, of the affinity he bears to the universal Deity by his soul being an emanation of that essence, and has attained that state, and knows how to appreciate that knowledge, he may himself then look upon those outward prescribed forms as nugatory. It may not be unworthy of remark, especially in this place, that we are, generally speaking, at least in this country, looked upon as a species or one kind of Sufi, from our non-observance here of any rites or forms, conceiving a worship of the Deity in the mind, and adherence to morality, sufficient. In fine, the present free-thinker, or modern philosopher of Europe, would be esteemed a sort of Sufi, int he world and not the one retired therefrom. This has occasioned another Hudees Nebooi, or tradition of the Prophet, As Sufi lu yemūzhiboo, “The Sufi has no religion.”1
1. That is to say, no external, ritualistic, and dogmatic religion. The same may be said of every Mahatma, or any one who seriously strives to become one. He is a Theosophist and must strive after “divine,” not human, wisdom.—Ed. [H.P.B.]