Towards the One – on many different paths

UnitheumAt the 32nd Protestant Kirchentag in Bremen, Germany, Zamyat Gramann and Kaivan Plesken of the Unitheum CC also spent one day at the information desk of the Sufi Order International providing information on the Unitheum. This led to many profound, moving and inspiring talks with people who visited the information desk. The spiritual message of Hazrat Inayat Khan as such and the specific concern of the Unitheum were of great interest even to Protestants with religious zeal who were eager to convince others of their point of view. Nevertheless, some interlocutors tried to point out the exclusiveness of their own belief, sometimes behind the old fear of hell and damnation. 

On the other hand, a clergyman from Kenya, for example, who first erroneously thought we were representatives of a Protestant church, showed an open mind and open heart. Having overcome communication difficulties caused by lack of proficiency in English on both sides, we agreed that God is above all names and forms and the common background to all religions.

Sabri HoffmannBuchWe were delighted that Sidi Sabri W. Hoffmann, a member of the board of the German Muslim League Bonn (DMLBonn) and Chairman of the Christian-Islamic Society (CIG), which is the oldest and biggest German association for Christian-Muslim dialogue, visited our desk and offered to help us make contact with the Reisu-l-ulema of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa efendi Cerić.

 
Very informative, too, was the talk with a small delegation of Kurdish Yezidis. One of their pirs and his interpreter visited us to remind of the tradition we have in common and to express the wish for a closer dialogue. Yezidism is an approximately 4,000 year old monotheistic religion, which in Persia later assimilated the teachings of the great Sufis. Today there are approximately 800,000 Yezidis, who are strongly persecuted in their countries of origin. Pir Dima presented to us an illustrated book he wrote about his religion and its main temple in Lalish and asked for a book by Hazrat Inayat Khan in return.
 
Beckerhoff SchimmelpfengOn another day we had the opportunity to attend some accompanying cultural events. Thousands of people listened to the famous musical message delivered by the clarinetist Giora Feidman to reconcile the Abrahamic religions with one another. And we also were among the listeners at an excellent overtone concert — unfortunately of a very small scope — with Reinhard Schimmelpfeng and Uli Beckerhoff (one of the most excellent German jazz musicians) and the actor Rainer Iwersen (Bremer Shakespeare Company) reading texts critical of religion by Nietzsche and others. Here ideals based on dogmatic lip service were shattered on the rock of truth, and a spirituality of the future bound up with Mother Earth was celebrated. “Stop burying your heads in the sand of heaven!”
 
 
Zamyat Gramann and Kaivan Plesken