July’s themes are Paradise and Transcendence. Themes that might tell us there is something beyond the here and now that if or when we find it, we will be at peace. My understanding of these concepts is not of some afterlife, I have no way of knowing what awaits after my time on this earth is finished, but are of states of interaction and being in the present. Paradise is how I perceive the world when I am not forcing things, when I am part of the flow and ebb which occurs naturally. Transcendence is when I awaken, for however short or long these occurrences last, from the trance-like state of habituation and forgetting to rest in this moment.
In what ways can we cultivate space which breathes with life? How do you find Paradise now? What does Transcendence feel like?
Sufi poet Rabia Basri is quote as saying:
“I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah”
Seeking reward or fearing punishment are not poor ways of figuring out our moral compass, but I believe there is usually a deeper consciousness which lures our hearts to right action. If only we allow it to do so.
May we connect to the Love which allows Paradise to appear before us.
May we awaken to the Transcendence that is.