To Find It Within

May 7th, 2014

We have discussed how people tend to look outwards to find God and to find God’s ayat, and we have furthermore seen how several of those who proposed other ways to finding God have been made controversial figures. However, appreciating cultural and traditional differences can help us understand forms of embodiment and forms in which people have found God.

Some of these forms could be found in Al-Hallaj’s passages on being God, through which we read the following:

I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I,
We are two spirits dwelling in one body.
If you see me, you see Him,
And if you see Him, you see us both.
We also see how Rumi had found God within himself when he was busy searching for God outside. But in that, Rumi advocates for a relationship of Love, through which he declares: “There is no god but Love.” (la ilahailla’l-ishq). Furthermore, in this love relationship, Rumi’s suggestion is for the humans to purify themselves to be able to reach this state of mind, he says: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Hence, when a person is purified from the barriers that lie within, he or she is able to find God. 

Poets and artists are able to find this because of a state of transparency, a surrendering (like a true Muslim), a fragility, but at the same time a strength to recognize these barriers and overcome them. In light of this, I had used face-paint to paint branches of a tree on my face, which would resemble both, the branches (barriers) and the fruit that lies behind this recognition. But what is more, is that this state of mind will allow one to find a space to grow, evolve, surrender, and hold on to a truth through the roots of love deeply rooted in the land of love, where a garden would be created.

Rumi on Looking Inside

Rumi on Looking Inside

This poetic and metaphorical analogy is one that stems from a belief that when you find your garden within yourself, you will be able to recognize the garden outside of you.

Branches, Fruits, and Extended Roots.

Branches, Fruits, and Extended Roots.

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