This Universe is a collection of all those planets, stars, humans, animals, and all the other living beings. There is a link between all the creatures in this cosmos. Whether the physical eyes see that link or not we can not help but attest to its existence.
When we look at anything, the first thing we do is to see it. By beholding it, we get the idea of its essence and its characteristics. Similarly, when we think, see, or hear about any particular thing then its essence and attributes flow into us. When we see fire, or imagine it or discuss it, then the attributes of fire flow within us in the form of perception. Whether this process is very low or high to the point of feeling is another matter, but it does happen. With the imagination of fire, we sense heat and light. In the same way, just by hearing about a lush green place (for instance, Hawaii), a sense of calm and serenity overcomes us.
Based on this rule when we see, John Doe or hear about him, then what appears in our mind is not his name or its spelling, instead what appears is his image and personality, which is a collection of unlimited attributes.
There are two ways by which knowledge or skill can be transferred to humans. First, he or she has to gradually learn any branch of knowledge or skill, one step at a time. The teacher byways of words, written manuals, or demonstration, instill that particular skill or knowledge in the student. The student on the other hand gradually absorbs the content of what is taught over a period. Depending on the depth of the knowledge and the learning ability and enthusiasm of the student the whole process may stretch to weeks, months, or even years.
In the second way of learning, words, writing, or demonstration is not needed. Knowledge or skill is simply transferred based on the concentration and mental coherence itself. The best example of this type of learning is the learning of the Native language. The child does not take any written or spoken lessons from his mother or those other people from his environment. Yet merely because of creative cohesiveness and mental nearness and link, he begins to speak the language of his mother or of the people of his environment. He draws the same meaning from the words, and sentences of the language the way other people do. Not only the native language but also many other skills and habits are transferred to the child from his environment as well. The child does not have to go through the usual role of a student.
In the spiritual sciences, the transfer of knowledge is carried out using the later method. Through this spiritual link between the Master (shaykh) and the student (murid), the angle of perception and the light of knowledge is gradually transferred to the student until he is able to grasp the true meaning of the subject matter. Secondarily, the Spiritual Master teaches the spiritual knowledge through different grades, lessons, and demonstrations as well so the consciousness of the student would be able to retain it in an orderly fashion.
The love (Ishq) for the Spiritual Master also serves as the tonic for the mind of the student. As the student joins the company of the Master, asks questions, and learns from the directions (Irshad) of the Master, then based on the above-mentioned Creative Rule, the personality and qualities of the Master start flowing into the inner self of the student (murid). That is why being often in the company of the Spiritual Master is always strongly encouraged.
The other aspect of this rule is for the student to use that power of imagination to absorb the qualities of the Master. To carry it out, the Muraqaba of the imagination of the Master (shaykh) is given, so that through the imagination a mental link can flourish with the Master. Therefore, when a student imagines his or her Spiritual Master, then his qualities and skills start flowing in their soul. The longer the focus the more the attributes and his light of knowledge fall on the mental screen of the student. Continued practice of the imagination of the Master creates a state in which the spiritual link with the Master is established permanently. Through this link, the capacity of Divine Cognizance is gained as well until a point is reached when the student (murid) becomes the reflection of his Master (murad). In Sufism, this station is referred as “fana fi shaykh” and the imagination of the Master itself as tassawar shaykh.
There are different methods in use:
The student imagines during the Muraqaba that the Master is sitting in front of him. The student imagines the Master is focusing on him and the lights (anwaar) and blessings (barakah) are being absorbed into him. The essence of the Master is enveloping him. He sees himself as the personification of his Master as though his essence is the same as of his Master. This is best of all the methods as in it the student negates his own self or ego.