For many, Sufism is the path of love. To love others, to love the beauty of this world develops the capacity for love. The more we can love, the more we can love God. To love God is to know God.

Many of us are afraid of love. We have been disappointed before, not only by our romantic loves but also by friends and family we have loved. We can become afraid to open up and love again. There is an old Turkish saying, "The one who was burned by the soup blows on the yogurt." Yet whatever our past hurts and fears of future pain, we must learn to love again. One of the most important functions of a teacher and a Sufi group of sincere seekers is to provide a safe place to risk loving.

We also fear love because it may transform us. And it is so. For the true lover, the sense of self dissolves so that lover, love, and beloved become one. The ego is afraid of losing control, and even more afraid of dissolving, and comes up with reason after reason for refusing to let go, refusing to let ourselves love fully.

James Fadiman, Robert Frager, Essential Sufism by James Fadiman, editor, Robert Frager, editor