Namaste my beloved soul friend!

Recently I published my book called “ Dance Of No Name”, which is a manual and introduction for a method of conscious dance I established.

Dance Of No Name is based on “ 7 Forms” and in the book I talked about the philosophy behind the number “ 7 “ and how symbolically it was represented in different cultures as steps toward Unity and Radical Love.

I was listening to some Osho discourses about Sufism in his series of talks called” Sufis, people of the path” where I found this beautiful talk and interpretation of a Sufi persian poet called “ Imam Ghazali” on the ways toward “ Vahdat” or Unity or one-ness.

There are Seven stages of soul journey into spiritual awakening mentioned in sufism :

1- TOBEH            ( Repentance )

2- WARA             (Watchfulness)

3- ZOHD              ( Renunciation) 

4- FAGHR            ( Poverty,Referring to letting go of worldly desires)

5- SABR               ( Patience)

6- TAWAKOL       ( Trust) 

7- REZA               ( Satisfaction) 

The seven valleys , Attar , another Master persian sufi mystic talks about in his book  Manteq al-Teyr (The Conference of the Birds) 

“ Haft Vadi” are :

1- TALAB                                ( Quest)

2-ESHGH                                ( Love)

3-MAREFAT                            (Understanding)

4-ESTEGHNA                          ( Independence) 

5-TOHID                                  ( unity)

6-HEIRAT                                 ( Astonishment)

7-FAGHR & FANA                   ( Nothingness)

As you can see and can also find more resources in my book ( see the link below this post) ,  These Seven steps are mentioned and symbolic in many cultures on the spiritual path. I mentioned the above 7 steps as they are the steps mostly referred to in the path of a Sufi.

All leading to “ Unity”, to the Godliness in us all, to Love.

As Osho mentioned Sufism is “ The path of Love”.

Here I will share with you a short introduction of the Seven Paths the mystic Sufi Ghazali wrote and Osho took us into the valleys in his sweet and suiting words.

“7 Valleys to one-ness”

There was a great Sufi Master – one of the greatest in all the ages – Al-Ghazzali. He says: ’On the path of human growth from man to God – from man the potential to man the actual, from possibility to reality – there are seven valleys.’ These seven valleys are of immense importance. Try to understand them because you will have to pass through those seven valleys. Everybody has to pass through those seven valleys.

The first valley…. The first valley is called the valley of knowledge.  ( Shenakht)

The path of knowledge has nothing to do with scriptures. opinions, systems, beliefs. It has something to do with the capacity to know – you can know. You have this immense energy of being conscious. So be concerned with the container, the consciousness, and don’t be concerned with the content.

Don’t be concerned with the known, be concerned with the knower. Knowledge is a double-arrowed phenomenon. One arrow points to the known, another arrow points to the knower. If you go on looking to the known you will be lost in the valley. If you start looking to the knower you cannot be lost, you will be able to transcend the valley. And once you transcend the valley of knowledge there is great, great joy – because you have understood something very essential in you, something that is going to remain to the very end, something that is very fundamental: the capacity to know, the capacity to be conscious.

So if you look at the knower, if you become more alert about the knower, you have used the positive.

The second valley is called the valley of repentance.( Tobeh)

Positive part is being conscious of your deeds

Negative part of it is guilt

When you start looking at who you are, naturally great repentance arises. Because of all that you have done wrong, all that you have done and should not have done. you start feeling repentance.

So a great peak comes with consciousness – but suddenly, with consciousness, conscience arises. Remember, the conscience that you have is not the true conscience. It is a pseudo-coin; it is given by the society.

People have told you what is right and what is wrong; what is moral, what is immoral. You don’t know exactly what is moral or what is immoral. But after crossing the first valley you will be able to know exactly what is right and what is wrong. And then suddenly you will see what wrong you have done – how many people you have been hurting, how sadistic you have been with others, how masochistic you have been with yourself, how destructive, violent, aggressive, angry, jealous, you have been up to now. All that will come to your vision. That is a natural by-product of becoming conscious – conscience arises.

With the first valley crossed, your own conscience arises. Now you know exactly what is wrong and it becomes impossible to do otherwise. This is the point where the Socratic dictum becomes meaningful – that ’Knowledge is virtue’.

Now the negative part of the valley of repentance…. The negative part is that you may become too worried about the guilt concerning the past – that you have done this wrong and that wrong, and you have been doing millions of wrongs. You have been unconscious here for so long that if you start counting all of that, it will create a kind of morbidness. You will become so guilty that, rather than growing, you will fall into great darkness.

So if guilt arises and you become morbid and you become too troubled by the past, you will remain in the second valley. You will not be able to surpass it. If the past becomes too important, then naturally you will be continuously crying and weeping and beating your chest and saying, ’What wrong I have been doing!’

The positive part is that you should become concerned with the future, not with the past. Yes, you have noted that you have been wrong, but that was natural because you were unconscious. So there is no need to feel guilty. How could one be right when one was unconscious? You have taken note of it – that your whole past has been wrong – but it does not create a burden on your chest. You take note of it. That taking note helps you because you will not be able to do it again – you are finished with it. You feel sad that you have been hurting so many people in so many ways, but you feel joyous also, simultaneously, because now it will not happen any more. You are freed from the past and guilt! You don’t become concerned about it, you become concerned about the future, the new opening.

The third valley…. The third valley is called the valley of stumbling blocks. ( mavaneh)

Once the conscience has arisen you will now be able to see how many blocks exist. You have eyes to see how many hindrances there are. There are walls upon walls. There are doors too but they are few and far between. You will be able to see all the stumbling blocks.

Al-Ghazzali says there are four: one, the tempting world – the world of things. They are very fascinating. Lust is created. Why have all the world religions been saying that one has to go beyond the temptation of the world? – because if you are tempted too much by the world, and you hanker too much for the worldly things, you will not have enough energy to desire God. Your desire will be wasted on things.

A man who wants to have a big house, a big balance in the bank, great power in the world, and prestige, puts all his desiring, invests all his desiring in the world. Nothing is left to seek God.

Things are not bad in themselves. Sufis are not against things, remember. Sufis say that things are good in themselves. but one who has started seeking for God and the ultimate truth cannot afford them. You have a certain quality and certain quantity of energy. The whole energy has to be put into one desire. All the desires have to become one desire, only then can God be attained, only then can you surpass this third valley.

So the first is the tempting world; the second is people – attachments to people.

So the second is people, attachments. The third Al-Ghazzali calls Satan, and the fourth, the ego.

By Satan the mind is meant – the mind that you have accumulated in the past. Although conscience has arisen, although you have become more conscious than ever, the mechanism of the mind is still there lurking by the side. It will lurk a little longer still. It has been with you for so long that it cannot leave you suddenly. It takes time. And it waits and watches – if some opportunity is there it will immediately jump and take possession of you. It has been your master, you have functioned as a slave. The mind cannot accept that you have become a master so suddenly. It takes time.

And the fourth is ego – one of the greatest stumbling blocks on the path of seeking. When you start becoming a little conscious, when your conscience arises, and you start seeing the stumbling blocks, a great ego – from nowhere – suddenly takes possession of you: ’I have become a saint, a sage. I am no longer ordinary, I am extraordinary!’ And the problem is that you ARE extraordinary! It is true! So the ego can prove it. That is the greatest problem, because the ego is not just talking nonsense. It is sensible. It is exactly so!

Still one has to be alert that if you get entangled with the ego, with the idea that ’I am extraordinary’ 

then you will always remain in the third valley. You will never be able to reach the fourth, and the fourth will bring more flowers and higher peaks and greater joys – and you will miss.

Then comes the fourth valley: the valley of tribulations. ( ranj )

then you will always remain in the third valley. You will never be able to reach the fourth, and the fourth will bring more flowers and higher peaks and greater joys – and you will miss.

This is the place where SIDDHIS – spiritual powers – become the most hindering thing.

The negative part is to start fighting with these stumbling blocks. If you start fighting, you will be lost in the valley. There is no need to fight. Don t create enmity. Just understanding is enough.

Fighting means repression. You can repress the ego, you can repress your attachment to people, you can repress your lust for things, and you can repress your Satan, your mind, but the repressed will remain, and you will not be able to enter into the fourth valley.

Only those who have no repressions enter the fourth valley. So don’t start repressing.

Entry into the unconscious happens in the fourth valley. Up to now you were confined to the world of the conscious. Now, for the first time, you will enter into the deeper realms of your being, the unconscious, the darker part, the night part. Up to now you were in the day part. It was easier. Now things will become more difficult. The higher you go, the more you have to pay. With each higher step the journey becomes more arduous and the fall becomes more dangerous. And one has to be more alert. On each step more awareness will be needed, because you will be moving on higher planes.

The valley of tribulations is the entry into the unconscious. It is the entry into what Christian mystics have called ’the dark night of the soul’. It is the entry into the mad world that you are hiding behind yourself. It is very weird, it is very bizarre. Up to the third a man can proceed without a Master, but not beyond the third. Up to the third one can go on one’s own. With the fourth a Master is a must.

The negative part of the valley of tribulations is doubt – great doubt will arise! You don’t know what doubt is you don’t know yet! All that you think is doubt is nothing but scepticism, it is not doubt. Doubt is an altogether different phenomenon.

Somebody says, ’God is’; you say, ’I doubt.’ You don’t doubt. How can you doubt? You are only being sceptical. You are only saying, ’I don’t know.’ Rather than saying ’I don’t know’ you are using a very strong word ’doubt’. How can you doubt? Doubt is possible when you are facing a reality.

In the fourth valley you encounter the first glimpse of how the ultimate death is going to happen to you. If you reject it, if you defend yourself against it, if you create an armour, you will be thrown back to the third valley, and you will miss. And once you have missed the fourth you will always remain afraid to go again into it.

The fifth valley… the thundering valley.( ghorridan) 

In the fifth valley you enter death. In the fourth you entered sleep, darkness; in the fifth you entered death. Or, if you like to use modern terminology for it: in the fourth you enter the personal unconscious; in the fifth you enter the collective unconscious. Great fear arises because you are losing your individuality.

In the fourth you were losing light, day, but you were there. In the fifth you are losing yourself – you don’t feel as if you are, you are dispersing, you are melting. Your feeling that ’I am a centre’ starts becoming vague, cloudy.

With entry into death, entry into the collective unconscious, great fear arises, great anguish is felt – the greatest anguish that you will ever feel – because there comes the question: to be or not to be? You are disappearing; your whole being will hanker to be. You would like to go back to the fourth. It was dark, but at least it was good – you were there. Now, the darkness has become more dense. Not only that, you are disappearing into it. Soon not even a trace will be left of you.

The negative part is clinging to the self. That’s why great teachers – Buddha or Jalaludin Rumi – insist – ’Remember, no-self, anatta.’ Sufis call it fana – one disappears. And one should prepare for this disappearance, one should be ready – not only ready but in a deep welcome. It is going to bring great joy, because all your misery is contained in your ego. The very idea that ’I am’ is your ignorance. The very idea that ’I am’ creates all kinds of anxieties and problems for you. The ego is hell.

So the negative part is clinging to the self and the positive part is relaxing into no-self, into nothingness – being ready to die, willingly, joyously, voluntarily.

Then comes the sixth valley – the abysmal valley. ( vahshat)

One disappears. In the fifth, one was disappearing; in the sixth, one is no more. One is a memory of the past, one disappears. In the fifth, one was entering into death; in the sixth, death has happened, one has died, one is no more. That’s why it is called the ’abysmal valley’. It is the most painful, because it is the sixth – the last but one. One passes into the greatest pain of not being, of nothingness. One cannot believe it – because in a certain sense one is, and in a certain sense one is no more. The paradox has come to the ultimate peak. One is and one is not. One can see one’s own corpse – one is dead – and still one knows that one is seeing, so one must be in some way, in some sense. All the past ideas of the self have become irrelevant. A new idea of self arises.

Death happens, one disappears

Death happens, one disappears. This is what Christians call crucifixion. Nothingness has arrived; one is just an empty sky. Hindus call it samadhi, Zen people call it satori.

Complaining is the negative part of it.


If you think of your past and then complain – ’I have been doing all that was asked of me to do, all that you have ordered me to do. I have followed you blindly, and this is the result? This is the fulfilment…?’

The positive part is deep gratitude. With the second, the positive part, one forgets the past, one looks into the future and one trusts. The last test has come, the ultimate test, and one feels grateful that ’If this is your will, let it be done.’ That’s what Jesus did. He showed both the attitudes.

Rebirth, resurrection, happens in the seventh valley. ( surud va jashn) ( Kashf) 

Rebirth, resurrection, happens in the seventh valley. That is the meaning of the Christian idea of resurrection – that Christ is reborn, reborn in the body of glory, reborn in the body of light, reborn in the body divine. Now there is no positive, no negative. Now there is no duality. One is ONE. Unity has arisen – what Hindus call ADWAITA. The dual has disappeared. One has come home.

The valley of the hymns…. Al-Ghazzali has given it a beautiful name. Now there is nothing left – just a song, a song of celebration, praise of God, utter joy. This is what I call the ultimate orgasm.

If I were going to name this valley I would call it the valley of total orgasm. Only celebration is left. One has flowered, bloomed. The fragrance is released. Now there is nowhere to go. Man has become that for which he was seeking, searching, struggling.

As beloved Osho describe it so beautifully :

“This is a beautiful map of a Sufi”

I hope that you find this article and insights from these beautiful sages

 “ Imam Ghazali” & “Osho” inspiring.

If you like to dive deeper into the world of Persian Sufi poetry in a simple language and practical , meditative way be in touch with me and get updated on my upcoming course on the subject.

Wish you Abundance Of Love and Light and May you always be rising in the path of Love.

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Be Love,



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