Leave it to Rumi to tell it like it Is. I loved these words from the first time I heard them, but with personal reflection the significance of what he was saying impressed me even more.
“Imagining is like feeling around in a dark lane, or washing your eyes with blood.”
He’s cutting to the heart of our Ego’s diversionary tactics: Imagining. I’d say 90% of what goes through our head is some form of fantasy…either ruminating over the past or predicting the future. If it is not happening right now, it is being imagined. How much time do you spend in that fantastical world? We imagine belief systems and gods, friends and enemies, lovers and love nots….
Rumi says all of the mind’s wandering and preoccupations is useless, like “feeling around in a dark lane, or washing your eyes with blood.” What could you gain from such behavior? It’s just useless, and even worse it is capable of doing more harm than good. Worrying about the future, regretting the past…useless and dangerous. Imagining what God is like, what God would like for us to be doing. Useless.
But pondering on God is a good thing Rumi, how could that ever be useless?
“You are the Truth…”
You are what you are seeking. You are already the truth you so desperately try to imagine within the limits of your brain. It is useless for you to ponder something outside of yourself as Divine. You are That. He says You are the Truth. You are, in this moment right now. You are, without any additional modifications. Already. You are, no need to attach to anyone else. You Are. Not were or will be, but Are. The Truth.
All of your questions come back to You. Everything you seek comes back to You. Your joy is your own, your pain, your accomplishments, and the things you’ve given up on, adds up to You. Nothing is making You but your own thoughts and actions. The Truth. You are the totality of everything you ever thought of, and everything you’ve ever did. Your place in life does not lie, it is The Truth. Your temperament, your friends, your burdens — they all tell you what you are about in this life. What you choose to see and who you choose to be…The Truth.
“…from foot to brow..”
This seems like your run of the mill “head to toe” type statement, but I found it curious that he would say ‘foot to brow.” Why wouldn’t he just go ahead and include the whole head?
The major energy systems, or chakras, that correspond with parts of the body begin at your feet and end at the brow. The Sahasrara chakra is often said to be located at the top of the head, but in many traditions it is said to be slightly above the crown of the head. The Sufi equivalent of the chakra system is is called “Lataif-e-sitta.”
So it’s possible that Rumi was at least casually familiar with the energy system surrounding the physical body and that is what he is referring to by saying “foot to brow.” He’s saying pay attention to these things as they are guiding you, your physical body seems real but your spiritual body is the gateway to understanding. If you are feeding the physical body and ignoring the spiritual one, then you will be lost.
Dang Rumi broke it down.
“What else would you like to know?”
I feel like Rumi channeled Meryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada..”That’s all.”
But instead of just saying that is all, he lets you consider having the audacity to want more wisdom than this: You are your own answers. You are wasting time and dangerously fooling around with mundane ideas. Go beyond your manifestation and see your Self for who You Are.