Crazy Sufi Wisdom: The Moon Is More Valuable Than The Sun

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posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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Hello ATS,

Happy Saturday!

Since Saturn is the Task Master, after all, I was wondering if all of you of a philosophical bent, like myself, would like to join me in some light philosophical gymnastics. At the very least we can blow off some steam as we try to bring the dialectic to life and we will be all warm and loose for the week to come.

I would like to try to do a ‘mash-up’ of sorts with Plato’s Allegory of The Cave and a statement made by Sufi mystic and exemplar of Crazy Wisdom, Mullah Nasruddin. The whole idea being; how can we avail ourselves of more Light and Love. ‘Cuz we all want more of that, so…



Have you ever heard of Mullah Nasruddin? He was a 13th century Persian mystic and especially he was a Sufi. Let’s catch up on Sufism and Sufis real quick and then I will introduce Mullah Nasruddin more in depth.

Let’s keep it simple as this is ATS, after all, and most are caught up. Sufism represents the inner spiritual tradition of Islam. Probably the single most influential Sufi in the west has been Rumi, another 13th (they were busy then, huh?) century Persian Sufi mystic. He is known for his poetry, which you can see in my sig. and he is known for the whirling dance done by the dervishes of the Sufi order named for him, the Melevi order of Sufism. Sufism is known for its tutelary tales, or teaching stories, that are used to convey deeper and deeper spiritual meaning as they are pondered. The Tales of Mullah Nasruddin are some of the most famous of these tales. They are beloved worldwide and are known for their ridiculously silly humour.

Now, Mullah Nasruddin is a bit of a liminal character in history. Although he is truly believed to have been born during the middle ages in Turkey and to have lived and circulated throughout the 13th century Persian Empire, his true origins are anyone’s best guess. It is as though Nasruddin and his stories were so loved that the entire region sort of claimed him as their own. It is sort of like the ‘George Washington slept here’ thing. Here is the basic Wikipedia run down.



en.wikipedia.org...

So now that we have who and what Mullah Nasruddin was. Follow with me as we take a brief refresher on Plato’s Allegory of The Cave. I really only want to take a look at a very specific aspect of leaving The Cave. I am going to assume that most folks know the tale but I will link you to a good source for it and run it down in brief.

Oh noes! Plato describes Humanity as being in a bad way. He likens our condition to having been essentially held in bondage in a dark cave. We are strapped to the floor, our legs immobilized. Our heads are fixed in place and we can only look forward, we even have ‘blinders’ so that we have no peripheral vision. We can hear and speak, but cannot know whom we hear or speak to.

There is a great fire in a pit at the far wall behind us and it casts a light on the wall before us that we are forced to look at. And there between our backs and the fire is a pathway. Across the pathway walk servitors carrying all sorts of objects. With our eyes fixed forward, forced to stare at the wall, these vague shadowy and distorted impressions, cast upon the wall by the many of hundreds of objects that are passed before the fire, are our best guess at ‘reality’.



That’s a pretty bad place to be in. Now that we have that out of the way I want to focus on what happens when the aspiring Philosopher leaves The Cave. I will let Plato speak for himself. I am going to take several quotes from the linked text as I wish to convey a point; that to leave The Cave has its own set of problems…




Socrates:

“…see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision,, what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing And when to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?”

“And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take refuge in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?”

“And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities?”

profcohen.net...


Ok, I know, we get it. But isn’t it funny? What Mom always said was true; we should not look directly in to The Sun. All sorts of bad things can happen. It also seems to say something about trying to force others to see the light, as well.

So, we have that established. Running out of the cave and staring directly at The Source of The Light of Truth is not a great idea. In fact it is a dangerous proposition to leave the cave at all. One might say it was the death of Socrates, after all. So with that established, if I have not lost you, than please allow me to tell you that Mullah Nasruddin tale that we have been waiting for. Goes like this. It’s short.



So, Mullah Nasruddin walks in to a tea house. He just stands there inside the doorway and declares,

“The Moon is more valuable than the Sun!”

Having grown used to this type of behavior over the years, the patrons of the tea house responded in unison,

“How come?”

And Mullah Nadruddin said,

“Because at Night, we need the Light more.”



So, there we go. We see what Plato says is in store for us if we try to perceive the truth of The Sun directly. And then we have this very funny little Sufi teaching story, from one of Sufism’s most profound mystics, possibly giving us a hint about the usefulness of The Moon’s light (of course, reflected Sun light) at ‘night’. At ‘night’. During ‘darkness’ (you get it).

I should clear up whether or not the Medieval Persian mystics had access to the Greeks.

I will do it for you in a link. The answer is yes. Exciting, isn’t it. Think about that. A whole other culture, of the east, consuming and digesting and being influenced by the Wisdom of the west, the Greeks. I know that won’t be a surprise to many, but it will be to some, and I hope it turns a light on. Here you go…

www.muslimphilosophy.com...

continued...

edit on 4-2-2012 by Xoanon because: .




posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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the sun is our source of energy. plants use the sun thru photosynthesis to collect, store and use energy.

animals, including cows, eat the plants thus transferring that energy to themselves, their muscles and storing it in fat deposits.

we eat the meat, thus ingesting the original solar energy collected by the plants.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:21 PM
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Could the Mullah Nasruddin (may God tickle his soul) have been riffing humorously on Plato? Yeah, easily. These guys were way on top of that stuff. So that is what I wanted to do for us; we have the two, Nasruddin’s Moon and Plato’s Sun in closer proximity; is it possible that we can get a broader view of Plato’s’ western philosophical teaching’s and The Allegory of The Cave by going to the east and hanging with the Sufis; I think so.



I do not want to go in to a deep Anthropological excursion in to The Sun and The Moon and who usurped whom in the minds of mankind, and why; at least not yet. If there is an interest than I think it will behoove us all to drag that out for sure. But let’s see if the ideas presented here provide enough philosophical friction for us to ask those questions first. Let’s stick to how we can put this to use ourselves. In fact we already are. All the time. The secret is in the eye and the attention (I’m guessing, anyway).

In western religious iconography the heart is most often portrayed as being symbolically analogous to the Sun.



If one considers this, a suspicious soul might come to the conclusion that this is a sweet and kind invitation to have one’s eyes burned to cinders by the Sun. And if one considers how counterintuitive this idea is, and one quiets one’s mind for a moment, one might be able to see how this could explain some of the attitudes that drive our western culture. Hmm. Think about the physical location of the Solar Plexus. That has always confused me a little too.

Now, you know what I am going to say next. That’s right, the Sufis perceived the heart as being a mirror, like the Moon.



”Dear friend, your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it clean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets."
-al-Ghazzal

"Everyone sees the Unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more--more Unseen forms become manifest to him."
-Rumi

“When your heart is dark as iron, steadily polish yourself that the heart may become a mirror, a beautiful shine reflecting from within. Although iron is dark and dismal, polishing clears the darkness away”.
-Rumi



I can tell you that in Sufism, the Moon is taken as a symbol for a responsive heart. A heart that is able to respond to and reflect the light of the divine Sun. See, also that the crescent Moon of Islam is like a vessel. And so we have the Sufic inner tradition which suggest that as the heart becomes responsive to the light and fills like a vessel with Truth, that it reflects more and more Light from The Sun as it becomes full.



Yes?

Now consider this from the west. In western esoteric lore The Moon is sometimes referred to as the Treasure House of Images. It is thought that the Moon contains within it all of the archetypes for anything at all that will ever be created Earth (also known as the sub-lunar realm or zone). That would be all of the images paraded before the fire by the servitors in the cave, the dim contorted reflection of which we take to be reality.

Now consider that the Moon is also a symbol for intuition. This is one power that the Light of the Moon brings to bear. It allows us to see the archetypal meanings of that which is bathed in its light..

And finally, and most importantly, by having a burnished heart that can reflect the light of the Sun as though one’s heart were a shining Moon, we gain the true power of properly serving The Mistress of The Moon, we gain Compassion and Empathy, the higher powers of the Heart and The Moon. A higher expression of being. A responsive heart that responds appropriately from a place of Compassion and Empathy.

And so, ATS, a cunning gem of Crazy Wisdom from our Brothers in the East, who have been plugging away at the same homework. I think it is also vital at this time that we do participate in some shared wisdom from those that we are told we should hate. By sharing ideas and joining in the struggle for understanding we find that we are all the same. So let’s not blow us up. Huh?



I ask that if you have been stimulated to do so than by all means post your ideas and let’s wrestle with these ideas. I hope that you find something of value here. If you do, then realize that I could not have come to any of these conclusions on my own. I hope that if you feel inspired to begin to polish the Moon Mirror of your heart, as I have been inspired to do, that you will stick around and help us to figure out how.

X.



edit on 4-2-2012 by Xoanon because: .



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:25 PM
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There is nothing as beautiful as the moon.


May he who brings flowers,
have moonlight..
-Issa



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


Thanks randomname.

But remember, we are in Philosophy and metaphysics, not Science and Technology or Fragile Earth.

If you stick around and read, and if you have an interest in Philosophy, than I promise you there is some good brain candy here.

Thanks for being here.

X.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by purplemer
 


Thank you, purplemer.

The Sufis and especially Rumi often used romantic sentiment to speak of union with god. I know you must be hip to all of that but check out this one, which has many of the elements that I have suggested in the OP sort of encoded in to the love poem...




Tonight is the night.

It's the creation of that land of eternity.

It's not an ordinary night, it's a wedding of those who seek Love.

Tonight, the bride and groom speak in one tongue.

Tonight, the bridal chamber is looking particularly bright.


Rumi

www.rumi.net...



X.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


I'd like to consider them, and all, as equal value.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 02:41 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 05:24 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


hello xoanon
a theme close to my heart. subscribed to this for ongoing input. splendid effort

regards fakedirt



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 05:50 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


Wow Xoanon, your thread has taken my breath away.

You have an amazing way or writing. This is very different to most the threads I see on here.

Thank you for doing some thing unique


I've subscribed your thread, hoping to see more.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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Thank you my fellow Philosophers for coming by to check out the gymnasium.

I see that folks are reading and enjoying this.

Please continue to post poetry and images as you are inspired to do so.

I was listening to The Doors last night. I have always loved this song and I think it pertains, so...

Thread Theme Song:



Thank you all for putting this near the top.

X.
edit on 5-2-2012 by Xoanon because: .



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by Mentalistbee
 





Wow Xoanon, your thread has taken my breath away. You have an amazing way or writing. This is very different to most the threads I see on here. Thank you for doing some thing unique I've subscribed your thread, hoping to see more.


You've really made may day with your post, Mentalistbee. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence. There is simply nothing more satisfying to a writer (even of a humble piece such as this) than to know that at least one person has read what you've written and has an affinity for it.

Thanks so much for being here.

X.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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Love the thread. One could debate that value in the modern world does not allow for a true understanding of the statement.

The Moon is the mother, while the Sun is the father. The Moon can reproduce/reflect the Sun. The Moon keeps Earth in a balanced orbit around the Sun. The Moon (Nester) is close while the Sun (hunter/Gatherer) remains distant.

Sufis are one remnant of the pre-flood man.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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Very interesting Xoanan.

The essential mystery underlying all mysteries is that only when one integrates the schism in the psyche, do they expand to become capable of seeing more than a polarity.

All nothing but caricatures of ourselves. Who are you, when you are not yourself?

I've always suspected that Platos cave is more than a story, but more an actual depiction of a mystery ritual.

Harnessed Projection - a fascinating way for humans to explore their internal world.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 





I'd like to consider them, and all, as equal value.


Absolutely, ErroneousDylan, I can tell that you must have an interest in Alchemy and that sort of thing; I am guessing though.

What do you think of the idea, though, that the philosopher can sort of use the Moon to see by while his or her eyes adjust to the powerful Light of The Sun? For a novice philosopher that has just stepped out of The Cave, things aren't in balance yet.

Plato seems to make it clear that for the unprepared The Sun will be an obliterating force, and can be worse than if the philosopher had never left The Cave at all. But the gentle light of the Moon can help the aspiring philosopher to develop his or her eyes so that he or she can begin to see more and more of the Truth of The Sun. In fact it might even be surmised that the penetrating forces of the Moon are what hipped the philosopher to the idea that there was a problem in the first place. Despite being housed in a cave.

That makes the Moon the Path of Return to The Sun.

What do you think, Dylan.



X.

edit on 5-2-2012 by Xoanon because: ?



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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This is a great thread, the information is great and the pictures beautiful . I had the good fortune to know a Sufi clown once. When I met him I was unfamiliar with Sufism and had no idea there was a clown way or philosophy. This person had a way of bringing out the joy and lightness of all he chose to give his attention. It was amazing to see him in action. Humor is so valuable on our journeys, imho. Our world is full of good jokes.
Thank you , maybe more people will look into this philosophy now.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 



I've always suspected that Platos cave is more than a story, but more an actual depiction of a mystery ritual.


Me too. In fact, in my novice opinion, it is Eleusis. The only thing that keeps it from not being so is if it remains on paper. I believe that all of this stuff is meant to be taken in and activated. Trying to do it directly is probably akin to staring directly at The Sun. But it seems to me the trick is to get as close as possible to it by trying to stimulate the dialectic by asking lots of questions; philosophical inquiry, in other words.


Harnessed Projection - a fascinating way for humans to explore their internal world.


And this is what makes it so cool. It turns philosophy in to a never-ending play-set. Better than action figures for sure.

X.
edit on 5-2-2012 by Xoanon because: oops



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by Xoanon
reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 





I'd like to consider them, and all, as equal value.


Absolutely, ErroneousDylan, I can tell that you must have an interest in Alchemy and that sort of thing; I am guessing though.

What do you think of the idea, though, that the philosopher can sort of use the Moon to see by while his or her eyes adjust to the powerful Light of The Sun? For a novice philosopher that has just stepped out of The Cave, things aren't in balance yet.

Plato seems to make it clear that for the unprepared The Sun will be an obliterating force, and can be worse than if the philosopher had never left The Cave at all. But the gentle light of the Moon can help the aspiring philosopher to develop his or her eyes so that he or she can begin to see more and more of the Truth of The Sun. In fact it might even be surmised that the penetrating forces of the Moon are what hipped the philosopher to the idea that there was a problem in the first place. Despite being housed in a cave.

That makes the Moon the Path of Return to The Sun.

What do you think, Dylan.



X.

edit on 5-2-2012 by Xoanon because: ?


according to my own understanding of the allegory of the cave... im not sure how the moon physically plays in to philosophical development?

I do understand one can spend 5 life times and not fully appreciate its peaceful beauty in the night sky....
and it gives us the tides..
and is a nice bobber like weight to keep us at a delectable distance from the sun

What do you believe about the moon is more valuable then the sun?


your thread is absolutely awesome, lots of great poetry and wisdom, and the sufi stuff is great...


edit on 5-2-2012 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


You are a Fungi,



according to my own understanding of the allegory of the cave... im not sure how the moon physically plays in to philosophical development?


We are in luck, ImaFungi, Plato dropped some bread crumbs for us, Before I come across as possibly flip, I should explain. In the time I have been trying to understand Greek philosophy, I have noticed that the Greek sages are just as remiss to address some subjects as sages from anywhere else. You know how when you read a certain person's writing, regardless of era, and you start to tune in to their individual voice and personality? I get that big time with some of the Greeks and Romans lately. And these guys really did tease at some subjects that you would think would be low hanging fruit; like Love. The Sufis, as you and I both know, were big on Love. So considering the mirror analogy in the OP let's take some more from The Allegory of The Cave




Socrates:

"He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?"

"Last of all he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is."

webspace.ship.edu...


So I am thinking that if Plato and Nasruddin were bands? Then I know it would be no surprise to find out that they are heavy influences on one another. We know the Persian mystics had Plotinus and it is easy to guess from there that they were all over Plato.

So that may be a little snapshot of philosophical history right there; we may be looking at the very lines of Plato, riffing on Socrates, that Nasruddin was bothering the tea house patrons about.




I do understand one can spend 5 life times and not fully appreciate its peaceful beauty in the night sky....
and it gives us the tides..
and is a nice bobber like weight to keep us at a delectable distance from the sun


This was beautifully put. I have never heard that tradition of 5 lifetimes before. Would you elaborate?


What do you believe about the moon is more valuable then the sun?


Presently just everything that I have mentioned about the possibility that it makes the Sun more accessible. And what you said.




your thread is absolutely awesome, lots of great poetry and wisdom, and the sufi stuff is great...


Thank you. I think it becomes more fun as a collaborative effort towards generating new and brain splitting ideas if possible. We can use the dialectic like a hammer if we get the steam up. For instance, I would not have thought to look in Plato to try to be able to answer your question (with another question, really). It works out Good like that.

Thanks for hanging out.

X.
edit on 5-2-2012 by Xoanon because: ...the scattered Sun.



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by Iamschist
 


Thank you very much for digging the thread, Iamschist.

I thought that I would post a very good Nasruddin Story. These strories have been retold over many centuries at this point. Just as I scrapped together a quick retelling of the tea house tale, this gentleman has found a classic Nasruddin Tale useful for describing how a particle is also a wave...






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