August 2, 2018

Article: The Sounds of Devotion

Nina E.

“One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked.
A voice asked: ‘Who is there?’ He answered: ‘It is I.’
The voice said: ‘There is no room here for me and thee.’
The door was shut.

After a year of solitude and deprivation
this man returned to the door of the Beloved.
He knocked.
A voice from within asked: ‘Who is there?’
The man said: ‘It is Thou.’
The door was opened for him.”
—Rumi

The Situation

Imagine you’re walking in a torrential rainstorm on a dark forested hill. You’ve been hiking for hours and your legs ache. It’s approaching winter and the weather is cold and bleak. Due to the low, heavy clouds and thickening mist, you’re not really sure where you are. Heavy raindrops are striking the leaves, making a pleasant hissing sound. While you appreciate the beautiful vista of windswept trees and low patches of fog lingering on the hills below the forbidding purple sky, it is getting dark, starting to storm, and you are wet, cold, hungry, and exhausted. Every few minutes you think you hear rolling thunder and sometimes a lightning strike displays the darkening landscape. You really wish you were sitting by a crackling fire at this moment, with a hot meal in front of you and perhaps a good book or pleasant companion to accompany it, comfortably listening to the rain hit the roof and windows outside this warm, safe shelter…

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