According to Hazrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah will give guidance to those who seek to know Him. Knowing Allah is a return to Unity from limitation and involves gaining knowledge of the ultimate consciousness. "Allah Most High Himself shows the way to those who seek to remember Him. Remember Allah as He has guided you (Holy Qur'an, Sura II, Baqara, 198). This means to remember that your Creator has brought you to a certain level of consciousness and faith and that you can only remember Him in accordance with this ability."
In Sufism, unlike most other disciplines or methods of inquiry into consciousness, the capacity for and awareness of consciousness or existence is in the heart rather than in the mind. However, because of the concept of unity, it is within the whole being that consciousness, or Divine Wisdom, is realized. There are different levels of remembrance and each has different ways. Some are expressed outwardly with audible voice, some felt inwardly, silently, from the center of the heart. At the beginning one should declare in words what one remembers. Then stage by stage the remembrance spreads throughout one's being - descending to the heart, then rising to the soul; then still further it reaches the realm of the secrets; further to the hidden; to the most hidden of the hidden.
Hazrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani goes on to say, "To do this one has to be conscious, to remember - to remember Allah, night and day, inwardly and outwardly, continuously." Through these statements we can learn that consciousness is an awareness of all existence that moves to the hidden realms (beyond the senses) and must be strived for at all times. This is in the realm of cosmic consciousness, but includes simple consciousness and self-consciousness. The awareness of which Hazrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani writes is practiced in the awareness of sensory stimulation and perception, the conscious use of language and conceptions, and in the individual's cumulative experiences which may eventually transcend temporal reality and the intellectual conceptualization of self-consciousness.
In Sufism, the heart is considered to be the center of the intellect and the conscious center of Being. When a heart is veiled in ignorance it indicates a state of less than full consciousness. This state is also defined as living in darkness or searching for light. The light can be considered a metaphor for ultimate or cosmic consciousness. In Sufism it is understood that wisdom, light, and a complete system of existence exists, yet they are often hidden from view. On the subject of the heart, Henry Corbin writes, “In Ibn Arabi as in Sufism in general, the heart (qualb), is the organ which produces true knowledge, comprehensive intuition, the gnosis (ma’rifa) of God and the divine mysteries, in short, the organ of everything connoted by the term “esoteric science” (‘ilm al-Batin). It is the organ of a perception which is both experience and intimate taste (dhawq).”
Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani writes: “Some of the properties of this
darkness are arrogance, pride, envy, miserliness, vengeance, lying, gossiping,
backbiting and so many other hateful traits… To rid one of these evils one has
to cleanse and shine the mirror of the heart. This cleansing is done by
acquiring knowledge, by acting upon this knowledge, by effort and valor,
fighting against one’s ego within and without oneself, by ridding oneself of
one’s multiplicity of being, by achieving unity. This struggle will continue
until the heart becomes alive with the light of unity - and with that light of
unity, the eye of the clean heart will see the reality of Allah’s attributes
around and in it.” [Source - Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, The Secret of
Secrets, Interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti]