“Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness.”
Most of you are familiar with Rumi, a great mystical poet. In the above quotation, which is a good example of his holistic verse, “the wise” does not refer to those who are intelligent in matters of the mind, nor does it refer to those who conceptually understand the mechanics of consciousness and human experience. “Pilgrimage to the place of the wise” is based on the experience of the principle of balance.
What is pilgrimage? Pilgrimage denotes a sacred place, a place of the divine; and the whole point of pilgrimage is the experience of the divine, the communion with the divine. Other words for the divine are consciousness, holistic consciousness and the experience of oneness. Therefore, a pilgrimage is an experience of oneness … a place you go to experience wholeness, communion and unification in your consciousness.
Rumi is saying “pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness.” And where is the greatest place of pilgrimage? Obviously, it is within you. It is the journey within yourself, and this journey begins by changing your direction from outside to inside. When most people think of pilgrimage, they think of going someplace outside of themselves, but the pilgrimage of the wise is the journey within oneself. It represents a shift in polarized emphasis from exterior objective to interior subjective, from the words to the spaces, from the left brain to the right brain.
When you focus within, you are making pilgrimage to the place of the wise and, in the place of the wise, you find escape from the flame of separateness. Separation is caused by the relative imbalance of the dominant objective over the non-dominant subjective. When this happens, consciousness fragments and your experience of reality becomes illusory. There is separation between you and the world around you. It is illusion, and it is created by your imbalance. Yet, all great sages and masters teach that wholeness is proportional to balance. In balance, your wakefulness increases and your holistic awareness expands. Separation yields to unification, and there is the experience of only one.
Most people read the poetry of great mystics such as Rumi and miss the message altogether because they are mesmerized by the words and forfeit the awareness of the spaces that are essential to the words. They miss the holistic perception from which the mystic wrote the words. You can be a Rumi in any moment that you choose to be aware of the spaces between the words … of the non-dominant interior, subjective polarity of your experience. In so choosing, you will create the balance that allows the holistic perception of reality that makes you a mystic.