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Rumi, Ibn Atta Allah Iskandari, Black Elk, Katha Upanishad, Hermes, Nicholas of Cusa, Egyptian Tradition and Nicholas Flamell: On Light

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Rumi, Ibn Atta Allah Iskandari, Black Elk, Katha Upanishad, Hermes, Nicholas of Cusa, Egyptian Tradition and Nicholas Flamell: On Light
Photo:   Hindu sadhu




​The Sun of the spirit is everlasting: it hath no yesterday.


He has illumined appearance with the light of His traces, and He has illumined inner selves (as-sara'ir) with the lights of His Qualities, and for that the lights of appearances set, but the lights of hearts and inner selves do not set. And thus it has been said:'The sun of day sets at night, but the Sun of hearts never disappear

Ibn Atta Allah Iskandari

As you know the moon comes and goes, but anpetu wi, the sun, lives on forever; it is the source of light and because of this it is like Wakan-Tanka.

(Black Elk citing Kablaya, a holy man, on the Sun Dance)

As the sun, the eye of the whole world,
Is still not sullied by the external faults of the eyes,
So the Inner Soul of all things,
Is not sullied by the evil in the world, being external to it.

(Katha Upanishad, V.II)

By the light of the mind the human soul is illumined, as the world is illumined by the sun - nay, in yet fuller measure. For all things on which the sun shines are deprived of his light from time to time by the interposition of the earth, when night comes on; but when mind has once been interfused with the soul of man, there results from the intimate blending of mind with soul a thing that is one and indivisible, so that such men's thought is never obstructed by the darkness of error.


He who is worshiped as Light Inaccessible, is not light that is material, the opposite of which is darkness, but light absolutely simple and infinite in which darkness is infinite light.

(Nicholas of Cusa) 

Honour the King, the Eternal, in your bodies; resort unto the Lord in your hearts. For he is Understanding and knoweth the secrets of the heart, his eyes search out all men. He is the Sun by which all mankind sees. He illumines the Two Lands more than the sun.

(Egyptian Tradition)

In the garden of the Sages, the sun sheds its genial influence both morning and evening, day and night, unceasingly.

(Nicholas Flamell)




Quote Source and Recommended Reading:

'Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-I Tabrizi'
By Shams-i Tabrizi and William Chittick

​Purchase Book:


It's hard to overstate the importance of this beautiful book to anyone who has been touched by the Sufi path, and especially Rumi. Chittick has provided us with a portrait of Rumi's master, Shams of Tabriz--and he's not what one might expect. Rumi has become famous in the contemporary West for his divine poetry--and rightly so: he is one of humanity's greatest lovers and poets, and this comes across in every line. But as others have asked: Do we honestly know what this "love" Rumi talks about really is? Here we have Shams of Tabriz, master to Rumi, the man Rumi loved most in the world, in Rumi's eyes a spiritual being of the first order. And he can be cruel, insensitive, and harsh. Lots of people around him hate him. If I remember correctly, he even makes a fart joke at one point. He's seen as almost an embarrassment in a company of dervishes and scholars. And yet one suspects that this has more than a little to do with his ruthless and relentless practice of exposing imposture and hypocrisy--reminiscent of the work of Jesus, with the same sad, predictable result. The connection between Rumi's love and this wild man's character is the absolute, uncompromising love of God. For this, really, is the love of Rumi: it brooks no insincerity or reservation. It is the essence of Islam: utter submission to the divine. Shams reminds us, as he reminded those around him, that this has nothing at all to do with sweet words and noble sentiments, with putting on spiritual airs and gaining the admiration of the faithful. This can be a painful reminder. It threatens what the ego craves. And the love of God threatens the self as well--as Rumi and Shams both show us, when we truly love God, there is only love and God: we disappear. Shams' job was to show Rumi what this really meant. Rumi's job was to show us--despite the fearful protestations of the ego--what it really is: beautiful and joyful. God bless William Chittick for this wonderful gift.
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