Skip The closer the object of our affection to our eye, the more this closeness obscures the sky behind it. In the perfect alignment of celestial realms and human objects, it is the smaller human, however beautiful, who can obscure the vast realms beyond. Love can be one of allowing the foreground of our endeavors to fade into the backdrop of divine destination. If you love what you ultimately attain to, you keep, in this love, all those in the path of procession.
Simply put, an ocean of love can be obscured by a drop of obsession. There is an image of monkey grabbing a fistful of marbles from a jar; swollen from holding so many, he cannot remove his hand from the jar. Unless he takes just One.
Jonathan The Moon can entirely cover up the Sun, due to its proximity to us, even though the Sun is vastly greater in size.
Skip Love and these astonishing eclipses.
Jonathan And what to say of the thumb’s power to even eclipse both Moon and Sun altogether! What can be reached with our hands seems even more powerful to our human obsessiveness than what can be only seen with the eye. The closer the object is to us, the more vulnerable we are to “optical illusions”.
Skip There is an “eye” within the “eye.” One sees the outward nature of things, the other the inward nature of nothing. Perhaps paradox, perhaps flux (Hericlitean Unity of Opposites?) between vision and blindness, perception and deception, true love and true obsession. We cannot submit that a single thumb can deceive all of mankind!
Jonathan What the inner eye perceives is only “nothing” from the outer eye’s point of view, of which it can see nothing. Actually, from the inner eye’s point of view, it is what the outer eye sees that is nothing, while what it itself sees is everything. The outer eye sees only surfaces, while the inner eye sees the inmost heart of things, beneath the mirage of sensible things. Where the outer eye sees only a mirage, only a treacherous lie in the midst of a brutal desert from which it despairs to drink even a single drop, the inner eye sees an oasis from which it can drink forever. To the inner eye, the mirage that would seduce and betray the outer eye is itself the water of eternal life. Everything in nature is mortal and deceptive as perceived with the outer eye, eternal and real as contemplated with the inner eye.
Skip yes! The truth has a lesser reflection…aesthetics and caricature. As we polish the mirror between the inner and outer and weigh their similarities, so we should find their distinctions. The outwardly perceived carries various scents of a truth known only within; so the astute pay attention to that granted for the outward non-ascetic eye. What is true of the world around us is that which is a manifestation of the world within. One eye is not the enemy to the other… they are lovers in flux. This dialogue is a fine polishing cloth for their mirrors reflection. Yet, we speak of this eye and that eye as if there were a “third eye.” Something omniscient. Horus. This truest vision whispers, “Khamosh,” then she goes silent, as if there was ever a voice at all.
Jonathan The outer form is the fragrance of the inner reality, but only the inner “nose” can smell it
In the orchard a Sufi inclined his face Sufi fashion upon his knee,and sank deeply into mystical absorption.
An rude man nearby became annoyed:
“Why are you sleeping?” he exclaimed.
Look at the vines, behold the trees and the signs of God’s mercy.
Pay attention to the Lord’s command:
Look ye and turn your face toward these signs of His mercy.”
The Sufi replied, “O heedless one, the true signs are within the heart:
that which is external is only the sign of the signs.”
The real orchard and vineyards are within the very essence of the soul:
the reflection upon that which is external
is like a reflection in running water.
In the water only a reflected image of the orchard
quivers with the water’s subtle movement.
The real orchards and fruit flourish within the heart:
the reflection of their beauty
falls upon the water and earth of this world.
If this world were not merely the reflection
of that delectable cypress, the heart of the saint,
then God would not have called it the abode of deception.
Oh happy is the one who has died before death,
for he has become acquainted with the origin of this vineyard.
[Rumi, Masnavi IV, 1358-66;72]
Skip Maselli So going back to Emerson, perhaps then, true affection toward another person, is a bridge to true affection for the One. Hm, what is that poem by Rumi…
Skip Maselli stunning….your quote came up as I was hitting send… the mystics are running this dialogue now.
Jonathan “You may try a hundred things, but love alone will release you from yourself. So never flee from love – not even from love in an earthly guise – for it is a preparation for the supreme Truth. How will you ever read the Qur’an without first learning the alphabet?” – Jami