There are two distinct schools of thought within the Sufi Way of Life, which are Sobriety and Intoxication. The golden age of Islam is coeval with the emergence of great poets like Saadi Shirazi,  Rumi (1207-1273) and Attar (1145-1220).

The Credo and epistemology of intoxication in Sufism was inspired by the life of Bayazid Bastami, whose grandfather was a Mazdaean/Zoroastrian. Bayazid gave vent to many strange utterances while deep in throes of mystical intoxication. Self-annihilation and self-abnegation are recurring motifs in this prevalent idea of the ego becoming subsumed in the I consciousness-of being immersed completely in Oceanic Light of Eternal Verities. 

There are indeed many poetic inferences that succinctly describe this Summit of Consciousness, where the Ego is effaced in the brilliant light of illumination; and the heart now becomes a palimpsest on which praiseworthy spiritual attributes can then be inscribed by the divine golden stylus.

Sobriety, on the other hand, is the concomitant consequence of having attained the Peak of All-Embracing knowingness! This transformative experience must somehow be integrated into that space of being without outward ostentation.

Junayd of Baghdad was an early proponent of this school, and is still very much admired by various Sufi Orders.

Sobriety and Intoxication are like antipodeans and antoecians on the spectrum of Spiritual Upliftment.


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