Sufis aim for the development of certain light-enhancing qualities in human beings, which will make us more truly human. These qualities are associated with the purification of the self and the heart, ethical awareness and practice, doing what is beautiful (ihsan), becoming closer to God, developing inner knowledge or intuition (ma’rifat), annihilation in God (fana’), and subsistence in God (baqa’). In this way, the true purpose of Sufism is the transformation of the seeker into a more humane and conscientious person. The character of the seeker is developed by means of spiritual training.
Human beings have other centres of consciousness, apart from the mind, which can be developed, by the Grace of God, as inner faculties for attaining knowledge. The most important of these centres is the heart. In the process of purifying and ‘polishing’ the heart, the heart becomes a mirror, which can reflect the light of Truth. The preliminary practices of the School of Sufi Teaching are designed to connect the seeker to all of these centres (or lataif), beginning with the heart. By activating, clarifying and refining one’s heart consciousness or awareness, a deep level of intuitive understanding and realisation can be attained.