Today is one of those days at work…. There’s practically nothing for me to do – at least not until the developers on my team package some stuff up and deploy it. Then it’ll be the usual game of “hurry up and wait.” Until then, surely the most productive use of my time is to reread details of this week’s mahakumbhabhishekam at my temple, to add details to the plans for my July vacation, and to blog here.
It’d been a little while since I last logged in here, and as with any other instance of logging into WordPress for the first time in a while, the first thing I accomplished was catching up on my “newsfeed” of blogs I follow that had published posts since I last logged in. One of them smacked me in the face as soon as I saw it. It can be viewed here if you feel inclined.
It is a Rumi quote. Typical of the Rumi I’ve read, it is short, sweet, and yet very profound. It also, in a very gentle way, asks, “Didn’t you know?” which is something I’ve seen a lot with Rumi, too.
Didn’t you know? This question is such a sweet way of saying, “Listen to the Truth I’m about to share with you.” It also, at least with Rumi, usually points to something each of us has likely forgotten – forgotten because of Maya and living within a phenomenal level of existence where so much seems too topsy-turvy from where we sit. So many shiny things distract us and make us “forget” things we’ve known forever – since the beginning of everything.
In the same quote, he next tells us that our light is the light that brightens the world. This melted my heart almost instantly – the place where I sense my own light, the heart chakra, is a place I go to when my ego and other head nonsense seem too relentless. The Sahaj Marg practice is the only yoga I’ve engaged in that has specifically helped the practitioners know and experience this light – the very One that lights the world.
Something else that came to mind when I read Rumi’s words is the “flameless flame” itself (my words, not part of Rumi’s quote here) which is producing that important and vital light. This is the flame within that Sahaj Marg teaches is so subtle that from a practical standpoint it can’t actually be perceived but should instead only be “supposed.” We start with the supposition of that Light, that Flame. It’s such a mild and peaceful, even gentle flame. Right? It’s constant and truly it never flickers. Neither is it ever disturbed or affected or extinguished by the goings on of the phenomenal life.
And yet, flames are quite active things. Fire and the light produced by it has always held much symbolism for the human mind and because this has been true since forever it’s something quite easy to move right on past and not give a second thought. But let’s secondly think.
As a human creature, whenever we’re seeing a flame it’s because of the magic of chemistry. Something combustible is undergoing real alchemy – it’s really and truly changing into something else and in that specific process heat and light are being generated.
From a standpoint that isn’t as deep as we could go, in order for our light to … well, light, we need spiritual combustion. In Sahaj Marg we often refer to this as integration or evolution. In other paths, you might hear of karmas being “burned away.” Same thing.
All of this requires a catalyst – something to spark that fire. This could be almost anything for the human being – and not necessarily something we currently recognize as spiritual or as having anything to do with God. After all, Atheists are no less capable of personal alchemy. It’s important to realize that the work isn’t finished once we see that the fire has started. It must be fed and nurtured and kept going – like a sacred dhuni in the heart of who you are.
That takes action. And the burning itself is action. And, in various ways, it can require effort to exhibit the light that has been generated by that Fire. I think in some cases one isn’t required to do much, if anything, to light the world. In most cases, probably, it’s something we have to make an effort toward – something we SHOULD make a conscious effort toward.
Lastly, Rumi didn’t say that we’re responsible for lighting the whole world. Noticing that, it seems clear that we’re only responsible for lighting whatever is within natural reach of our light. For some, the range will be bigger than it will be for others. That doesn’t matter. What’s important is investing the effort needed to cultivate a healthy visibility of the light coming from the Fire within.
“It is your light that lights the world.”
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti