In the age of innocence, from infancy to 100, there is a moth within that is drawn to the flame, sometimes setting our whole house on fire! Such is the way. In spiritual practice we “learn to see fire and go toward light,” to recognize ourselves when we are “like a woman underneath a lover, circling,” to understand the paradox that Rumi calls “God’s reversal of comfort and pain” that is “the splinter of intelligence” that is “substance,” and “better than any attending ritual.” Is ritual not just a mirror reflection of the way leading us to awaken to this paradoxical Truth? this beautiful splinter?
A verse from The QUESTION by Rumi:
If you are a friend of God, fire is your water.
You should wish to have a hundred thousand sets of mothwings,
so you could burn them away, ONE SET A NIGHT.
Of course, the statement “if you are a friend of God” can make all of us, at some point in our life, wobble for a variety of reasons. One reason may be that we have internalized and memorialized messages that run opposite to the truth that God is our friend, that God is, that God is merciful, that God is beyond our understanding, always pulling us through the labyrinth of our heart to know love and forgiveness, to realize freedom and beauty.