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The Eighth Valley

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 "The path is revealed with progress"
 
The waves crash on land like a whirlwind and take all that are precious as safekeeping and this is carried out only through Divine Command. Thus to those of you who have taken an oath, be in the contemplation of rising up from the earth and proceed to the commanded destination.
 

 

 

 When the supreme power created the human being, one of his favorite angles who had a high position in the heavens opposed the divine command and refused to respect the status of this new creation and began a rebellion. Perhaps, the supreme power himself wanted this to happen. Nevertheless, this angle or commander whom we refer to as Satan, thought with the power he had received from the supreme power he can rule the creation, therefore he asked for a respite to keep his power. And so the supreme power gave him a deadline until the promised day and banished him from his court. Thereafter, he gathered a group of his supporters and made human beings his number one enemy. Then, the angle announced that he will use all his power to mislead humans from the right path and make them disobey the divine laws. Satan knew that human being is the only creature with free will and the gift of choice which means he can either choose the path of virtue, love, truth, compassion and honesty or the path of vice, crime, hate, corruption and bloodshed.

At this time, Adam and Eve were in heaven and soon Satan’s conspiracy deceived them and they disobeyed the supreme power’s commands. The supreme power questioned them about this and they apologized and said: “we made a mistake, please forgive us and we will make amends.”
The supreme power accepted their apology and told them that they had to show their remorse in action. Thereafter, he gathered all the mankind who were in the heavens and told them: “I make a pact with all of you, am I your Lord? That means do you acknowledge that I am the supreme power, your Master and that you will obey all of my commands?” We all said “yes.”
The pact was made and the supreme power said: “go to earth and the path is revealed with progress but I warn you that Satan is your greatest enemy. Go and it shall be known in deed and direction which one of you are determined to keep this promise, that which one of you will obey the Satan whose appearance is beautiful and deceptive but has a terrifying nature, and which one of you will traverse the path of light and divinity. In the end, your position is determined and if you move in the right direction you can arrive at the initial point from which you have diverged and return to your Lord with honor and joy. Although the point from which you started this adventurous journey is the same point that after many sufferings, adversities and joys, you will return to, but there is a sharp contrast between them. Because all the knowledge, awareness and teachings remain with you and they can be used to control the hidden aspects of one’s personality.” This valley of “the path is revealed with progress” is a universal law similar to Newton’s law and how beautiful a wise man described this law: Persian poem “if you are the man of battles, you must pass through the battle field filled with blood; if your feet are tired you must crawl the rest of the way; you step on the path and don’t say anything, the path itself will tell you how to continue the journey”.
That’s right; the path itself will tell you which way to go. Of course, we must emphasize that we need to plan and have a strategy for any journey and we can’t just simply say we move forward and everything will fall into place. For example, how can anyone cross over a freezing mountain without a guide and equipments and finish the journey safely? Fortunately, we have the previous seven valleys in our backpack, like the first valley that says “structures are formed with contemplation” or the fourth valley which teaches us that “in vital matters, one must not leave the responsibilities to god.” This valley tells us that when we want to march toward a goal after gathering all the information about the journey, we shouldn’t expect to know all the details as it is impossible to predict everything that might happen along the way. This means that what I imagine can be very different from reality and when theory is put into action many of our calculations could have a different outcome.
Therefore, in this valley we learn not to panic in these situations and rely on God and continue our journey and as we go further down the path, our destination will become clearer. Along the way, we might come across guides and friends who can assist us in our difficulties. For example, if we want to apply for a job, we have to leave home and go down to the office and fill up an application form, otherwise if we sit and wait for eternity nothing will happen by itself. So, we can say that we knew about this law and have used it for many years especially in the way of the vices; for instance, when we needed drugs and we had no money, we usually didn’t sit at home and wait for drugs to appear; first, we thought a little and then made our move and began an intense search for our fix. We made phone calls to dealers and friends looking for money and drugs and we did this until we finally got the drugs.
Today, we have learned to use this law in the positive direction and if we come across any problem, with contemplation and careful planning we solve it. We have learned that when we attend the meetings in Congress 60 we must respect the laws and sanctity of congress which would lead us in the right path to redemption and we believe that when we redeem ourselves from the chain of our carnal desires, then:
Day by day we strengthen our bond of love to the supreme power and make an unbreakable connection with him and we shall go to the highest peaks and scream with the loudest voice that “we only worship you and we only praise you for this great act” and maybe we can get a little closer to him and he, a little closer to us.
 
Paying back our debts
In this valley, we have learned that we have to move forward in order to repay our debts and rebuild the damages we have caused. The first person that we have to pay back our debts is ourselves, and you might be surprised by this. If we only pay careful attention to ourselves we can see the extent of physical and mental damages caused by our addiction. Our body produces natural opioids which are essential to our health, but by entering opioids into our body from external sources we have destroyed these vital factories within our body. We must begin the repayments in the following ways: a) our body and psyche and b) our personality or integrity and honor.
 
1- Our psyche and physical body
The first payback is to repair the damages done to our physical and mental structures which are either being repaired or have already been repaired; that means we are either in the middle of the first journey or has finished it (i.e. being in treatment or in recovery). If our first journey (treatment process) has ended we must begin a physical activity such as swimming, football, volleyball, jogging and even if we can’t do any of above mentioned sports we must walk for at least one hour per day. Athletic exercises are vital in order to gain a healthy physical and mental balance and also to achieve a cheerful personality alongside restoring the production of body’s natural opioids.
This means that in our first journey we must try to carefully taper our drugs or medications according to the plan given by our guide or our doctor in order to restore the proper function of internal opioid system and avoid doing any heavy or intense physical sports. Because while our body’s opioid system is being repaired, heavy physical activities are harmful. On the other hand, physical illnesses and defects which were hidden due to drugs consumption can suddenly show themselves during the tapering of our drugs. Of course, experience has shown that some of them will be healed due to the reconstruction of the crucial systems in the body. However, if the illness is serious then we must visit a doctor.
 
2- Our personality or honor and integrity
The next stage is to restore our honor or personality. Of course, we must mention that not every addict is without honor or personality as this is not a wise thing to say. What we are trying to say is that by abusing drugs on a regular basis we have caused some damages to our personality and reputation and it could be a minor or a major damage. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs we have behaved in an unusual and unreasonable manner and in turn have diminished the level of confidence others have in us. Sometimes we have felt the humiliating looks others have given us even though we might have ignored them all the time. Now we have to move in a positive direction and carry out certain plans so that others gradually trust us again and change their views about us. This can be done by doing decent acts and when we believe in ourselves, others will also believe in us.
Second phase of this payback is in regard to our family, friends and loved ones. During our years of addiction and due to our destructive habits and manners, we have caused them so much pain, misery and sorrows. Why do they have to pay such a heavy price for our irresponsibility? Is it their fault that they became our father, mother, partner or siblings? These pains and discomforts are material and spiritual and they have lost face and reputation in the society because of us. The payback is not done through words so as to apologize and ask for forgiveness, but it must be done through action and deeds.
Making amends have to be carried out by changing our thoughts, words and deeds. In other words, we must move in a direction of knowledge, justice and decency and their combination with love and affection must be displayed in our thoughts, words and deeds.
The last stage is the payback to our society and the universe as a whole. If we have any financial debts we must gradually repay them and if we have caused any detriments, we should compensate. By being a decent person we can contribute to the society as well.
The pact
Carrying out this stage voluntarily is designed for individuals who have completed their first journey successfully and at least six months has passed from their redemption date. First, they talk to their guide and announce their eagerness to make the pact and then upon permission they can carry out the ceremony. Until further notice the permission is given only by the Guardian of Congress 60. Individuals who have quit drugs using the cold turkey method must have at least 18 months of sobriety.
Location of the ceremony: beside a river or a seaside or in a valley or a mountain
The starting time for the ceremony: 12pm (noon)
The finishing time of the ceremony: 4pm (afternoon)
 
Conditions of the pact
1- Cleansing of the body before leaving for the location of the ceremony, wearing clean clothes like a white shirt or a white scarf
2- No one else should be around us
3- No one should hear our voice
4- During the ceremony food and drinks must not be consumed
 
Equipments needed for the ceremony
1- A blanket to sit on
2- Pen and paper
3- Matches or lighter
 
The ceremony of the pact
The ceremony is divided into two sections:
1- Writing the list
2- Requesting from the supreme power
 
Writing the list:
The time to write the list is from noon to 1:30 in the afternoon and the time to read the list is from 1:30 in the afternoon to 2pm.
The method of writing the list: first, we pay our respect to the supreme power in whatever way we feel comfortable, and then we clarify our intention. Then, we write all of our actions that we think were inappropriate or bad (sins in the past) on a piece of paper and read it in a loud tone 3 times and then we ask God for guidance and forgiveness and we promise not to commit any more indecent, immoral and harmful deeds. We ask for opportunities to make amends and serving the humanity, especially substance abusers.
After contemplating for about one minute, we will burn all of our writings and scatter the ashes into water or wind. If there is any time left we spend it in solitude and silence and let our thoughts take us wherever they wish and we try not to resist them. At 2pm the first stage of the ceremony must end.
 
Request:
In this phase, we must write whatever we want from the supreme power for ourselves or others and any prayers we have, on a piece of paper and we promise to put all of our efforts in achieving these wishes as well. Afterwards, we read these whishes and prayers 3 times aloud and we plead with the supreme power to comply our prayers. Then, we observe one minute of silence and then we tear that piece of paper into small pieces and slowly leave them to the wind or the river as they also have been the witness of our ceremony and our pact. Thereafter, we sit in silence until 4pm and let our thoughts take flight. At 4pm, we end our ceremony. We wish you the best and pray for us too.
Important point: you should carry out the ceremony in a manner that no one under any circumstances can come close to you or disturb you or read your list of wishes and confessions. This is a pact between you and the supreme power and no other being should know about this; even the closest people to you.
 
Written by: Hossein Dezhakam
Translated by: Saeed Moeini

 

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