Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and News from the Publishing World.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
#AuthorInterview with Mushtaq Jaafri
Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott is talking with Mushtaq Jaafri, author of How to Maintain the Presence of God in this Hectic World: How I Remain in the Presence of God Daily?.
FQ: How did you organize your time and energy to compose this book, given what must be a very busy life of work and spiritual dedication?
JAAFRI: I believe that you are referring to what I mention on page 41 of this book. This book came from my ‘inner-knowledge’ –and not from me. But perhaps, the most significant benefit of the practice of the presence of God came about by the discovery and the revelation of the practice of the way to stalking the Spirit.
Let me explain! If I had only one day left on earth to live how would I spend it? Perhaps it is a silly question, but for me it’s worth spending time thinking about it. I reasoned that since I don’t know the exact moment I am going to die, so I can forgive myself and pray and focus on the presence of God and say: “Lord, I did the best I could.
I want to make peace with everyone. Why? Because everyone lives inside me! Suddenly, I was starting to see how precious is and the time I already have? This helped me organize my time and energy to compose this book in my busy life.
FQ: You use examples from the Bible to illustrate certain points; are any of your own spiritual views reflection in religion other than Christianity?
JAAFRI: Barbara, this is an excellent question and does go right back into the core component to what hinders the spiritual paths of most people who are seeking a direct way to the practice the presence of God anytime, anywhere, day and night 24/7. talking and conversing with God isn’t something new.
For example, Abraham talked to God when he was commanded to sacrifice his only son to show his love and devotion only of God. Moses talked to God when he was ordered to free the slaves from Egypt. Noha talked and have conversation with God and he was commanded to build a boat large enough to carry a pair of humans and animals in the sea. God gives us the time and energy to do His will.
This book is a testament to the true meaning of our existence, our being, and our Relationship with our creator. It’s a proof that God speaks to us and we speak to him. A relationship with God is the only way to peace and salvation in a world that can sometimes be overwhelming. Time and energy to do will just seem to come.
The funny thing is that you do not need any special skills, talents and knowledge to talk and have a heart-to-hear conversation with God. I’m a living proof of the validity of talking with God 24/7, anytime, day and night anywhere. Try it. You will be pleasantly surprised to know how easy it is and it does work for all.
FQ: Do you identify with any particular personage ties to in the Bible?
JAAFRI: Barbara, I believe what you re referring to is about what I mention in Chapter One, page 2 about my identity with any particular personage in the Bible. But, before I answer your question please let me share this with you.
When I was trying to compose this book, I did a Google-search for my identity with this particular person in the Bible and to my amazement, I found that this person was also mentioned in all the holy books, Qur’an and in the holy Torah.
An even more amazing thing about this person’s identity in all the holy books of God was that the story of this person was mentioned word-for-word and, was repeated several times and verbatim in all the holy books. Just think of it!
Here’s what I say about my identity with this particular personage in the Bible: It was Adam. Then, suddenly I remembered the Adam, one of God’s prophet and how God blew His Spirit into his body and he became a living human being.
FQ: Have you traveled to or maintained any personal ties to the country of your birth; how that affect your thinking?
JAAFRI: Barbara, I do believe that just now, you are asking me two questions. Here are your two questions as I understand them. Correct me if I’m wrong. First, Have I traveled to or maintained any personal ties to the country of my birth. Second, how that affects my thinking?
Barbara, the answer to your first question is given on page 60 of this book: Here’s what I say: “In August of 2019, I had the opportunity to visit my family in my home land Pakistan. One day I met a very famous artist who showed me his world famous painting about the nature, all things living and the universe and specially about the Soul. I truly enjoyed looking at his outstanding paintings. I was indeed very impressed by work of art.
One of his paintings caught my attention. This artist had painted beautiful flowers, trees and people. Then, this artist told me that when his father saw this painting for the very first time, he said: “Flower buds are nice but be sure not to paint faces because Allah will ask you to put Soul in them.”
Suddenly, I began to ponder on what his father had said to him about Soul. I began to mediate and contemplate on what if God had asked me to help mankind and humanity to become aware of our Souls not, just in theory but, a living reality in human life. Barbara, to answer your first part of the question: Yes, I do travel to or maintain my own personal ties to the country of my birth. In fact, you may have noticed that I dedicate this new book to the Sialkot City, Pakistan where I was born along with my Mother, Father, Grandparent who I still admire the most.
Now to answer the second part of your question: How that affects my thinking? Barbara, please let me be perfectly honest with you and confess to you that it is indeed a privilege and an honor for me to live in America. To think that someday I will be an author of a book that will share my own permanent relationship with my Creator God—would be no more possible for me than my going to visit the moon. But, it did happen to me.
Barbara, with this in mind please let me confess also that you never ever forget your own roots. I believe that you know what I mean.
I would love to die in my home land country and be buried next to my own MOM’s grave in Sialkot city Pakistan. But, since all my children were in America, this is my home now. But, I think you get the picture.
FQ: Is your book offered as a manual for workshops or gatherings within your spiritual organization?
JAAFRI: Barbara, this is another wonderful question you have asked. I believe that you have already given in details in your book review. Here’s what you write in your book review, and I quote:
‘In his newest book, How to Maintain the Presence of God in This Hectic World, author Mushtaq Jaafri, a Minister in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), offers a glimpse into his personal contact with God, showing its origins and gradual evolution.
As Dr. Jaafri emphasizes many times, he experiences not merely daily but constant communication with God, talking to Him and consulting with Him “24/7.” He recognizes that he has a physical being, which he has come to regard as something akin to a movie that he watches and performs in, while fixing his mind on the separate, higher reality of God’s presence. He likens this to being able to listen to a sermon while drawing a picture or making a list. He believes that God dwells within him; connecting to Him took practice but by now, it has become “second nature.” In daily life, he splits his mind; one half is involved in worldly activity and the other, in spiritual exercises. Jaafri is careful to distinguish between religion, which entails rituals, and spirituality, which is a free and open expression of God’s continual blessing.'
So, to answer your question, “is my book offered as a manual for workshops or gatherings within my (MSIA) spiritual organization?" Barbara, please understand that what I offer in this book is just a drop in the vast ocean compared to what my organization (MSIA) offers in workshops or gatherings, live at the Church or On-line. Log on: www.msia.org. You’ll see what I mean. The book is more for any who is searching for the truth.
FQ: You state that you experience a constant sense of oneness with God; do you think your unique experience led you to this point, and if so, would someone who did not have those experiences naturally reach the same plateau of understanding and you have?
JAAFRI: As I fully explain in the INTRODUCTION of this book under the headline that NO SPECIAL SKILLS NEED to have heart-to-heart talk and conversation with God anytime, anywhere, day and night, 24/7.
You don’t need any special talent or any advance degrees from the universities to talk and have conversation with God. Some of the most holy people this world has ever known who constantly commune with God were just average people like you and me. Some were not even educated, intelligent or intellectual in the worldly sense. People can be a cook by profession or a shoemaker for making a living.
God does not care who you are. All that is necessary for anyone is a heart committed to entirely and completely to God out of love and devotion for God above all others, nothing else. That’s all.
Like most of us, I used to believe that you have to be a very holy and spiritual person to ever talk or have conversation with God. Nothing can be more true . Just try to talk to God and see how it works for you. Sinners make the best students.
If it works for you accept it as a reality. If it does not work for you let go. Let me make something perfectly clear that my own experience a constant sense of oneness with God to this point isn’t unique only to me, the experience of oneness with God is for you and me and everyone on the surface of the earth just for the asking.
For 40+ years, I’ve experienced this oneness with God and I became quite well off. Everything I ever desired or wanted just seem to come from nowhere. The most important part of holding the presence of God lay in renouncing, once for all, whatever does not lead to God.It allow you and me and everyone else, to become involved in a continuous conversation with God in a simple manner.
Finally, let me assure you that someone who does not have those experiences naturally reach the same plateau of understand that I have attained—and much more than I. Remind me if I am wrong.
FQ: What single piece of advice would you give to a person preparing to read your work with no previous knowledge of your spiritual philosophy?
JAAFRI: Barbara, you have asked a question that is very dear to my heart. As I mention in the Author’s Notes (page 141), that this book is a reflection on my own forty plus years of spiritual understanding of the subject under discussion.
It isn’t intended to speak for any other modern-day religion or spiritual path. It wasn’t until I joined an organization called the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), and became a student of its teachings that I began to learn that beyond my mind, body and emotion there is the Soul.
Soul transcendence is a journey of traveling into and above the consciousness of Soul—and into oneness with God—where you see things in perspective, attune to Spirit and releases karma.
Soul transcendence is an active process and a positive state-of-being. It lights up a path for you to become established in Soul consciousness and beyond, where you are freed from creating more karma, and can stop the wheel of 84. (This is a direct excerpt from the MSIA. Please log on: www.msia.org.)
FQ: Do you have plan for more writing of a similar nature?
JAAFRI: Barbara, as I repeatedly mention in this book that one of the key things I do is that whenever I want to do some good work, I always ask God for His help. The reason is that whatever I’m writing in my book, is directly from God given to me intuitively, and I make sure that it isn’t from my own intellect(mind) or my intellection (emotions) or my Personal-self the (ego). Over the years during my meditation, contemplation and spiritual exercises, what I have discovered is the three parts of the human psyche—Mind, Ego and True-self. Ego, Mind and Spirit—the Spiritual Trinity. Interestingly enough, what I have found is that the human ego has the same ability to use the Soul ‘energy’ just as readily as the Spirit can use the Soul “energy.”
And, the only difference between the ego and the Soul is that the human ego uses the Soul “energy” for the most technologically advancements on the planet earth; and on the space. And the Spirit uses Soul “energy” for reaching into the Kingdom of Heaven while still in our physical body. Amazingly, both the human ego and the divine Spirit uses our mind as tool or a vehicle to gain the power of the Soul-energy. When humans came into physical embodiment, humans did exercise their choices. Thus, within the concept of free will, human-made choices. Sure, we have advanced enormously technologically, but as a human race we are still doing the same destructive things that were reported in the Bible thousands of years ago.
So, to answer your question (I bet you thought I forgot it), that do I have plans for more writing of a similar nature? My answer is that it is all up to God. Frankly, I thought that my very first book was the last one to write but, this new book is my seventh book of a similar. When I do write my next, I do hope you will be the one to review it, Barbara. May God bless you always—in in ALL ways—‘amen.’
Lastly, let me say this Barbara, it was an honor talking with you. I truly enjoyed our conversation. You have asked some of the most ‘thought-provoking’ questions. Bar None! Peace!