Miserable yet Mystical

This week’s Tuesday post is Bipolar themed, (back to normal scheduling.) Last Tuesday I took that plunge to share some old work and the response was very generous. This post was written before then. Today I’m off doing some job-shaped things.


Hello Escritori,

This is largely a Ponderland post. On bad, “I don’t want to move, I’m just a rubbish excuse for a human being” days, I sometimes read through the back catalogue of my creative writing, hoping to write more, live life – and stop sabotaging the good things in it.

I need to remind myself that I can do stuff. Well. And I don’t have many avenues for this.

In the course of my delving, I found this quote from Jalaluddin Rumi:

If you could get rid
of your Self just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.


Much perplexes me about the boozy vein of mystic poetry created by many notable Sufis: including ideas of interconnectivity between God and the Beloved, and problems of the Self impeding a union with the Divine.

(To be fair you can’t really meld with the Divine absolutely until you’re dead, but in Rumi’s case, you can’t blame a guy for trying: on both counts.)

To ‘get rid of your Self’ less absolutely, would suggest a death of the ego in order to reach a plane of communion with ‘the unknown.’ In Islam, we often seek the ‘face’ of God during prayer, because we’re turned towards a unified holy place, and although God is everywhere, it helps us to focus.

The idea of the ‘Mirror of your perception’ suggests that we are all capable of seeing into the next world by observing the example (or investigating the reflection) of this one. This is also something which the Qur’an puts up repeatedly as proof of an afterlife or other unseen worlds.

A mirror also shows a world within a world, although inverted, which also has resonances to me of pre-Renaissance Dutch paintings where they would paint a concave mirror into an interior tableau as a mark of skill and as a “private” commentary on whatever they were “officially” depicting – often for a patron. Thereby be careful who controls the degrees of your perception, if it’s not God.

God as ‘The secret of secrets’ is shown here by Rumi to be both the epitome of mystery, and also, almost so easily visible – if you consider the ego and superego as nothing more than the water-vapour of your own breath ‘…on the/Mirror of your perception.’

This indicates a beautiful but worrying transience, showing that in life Human consciousness and Divine connection are fleeting things, things that can easily be wiped away with humans as physical mortals sandwiched somewhere in between.

Humans exist on this plane, feeling an essential spiritual dissatisfaction and displacement, which they need not feel at all, if God, or maybe even Love, is so close.

Keep scribbling,

~ Pola ~


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