But there is more to the allure of Sufism than its saints and sheiks. In 2001, one of the first things to happen after the Taliban was chased out of Kabul was that the doors of the Afghan capital’s Bollywood cinemas were flung open to the public. The language of cosmic love that animates Bollywood music and enchants millions of Muslims around the world, even if sung and acted out by non-Muslims, is a direct legacy of centuries of Sufi devotional poetry.
This is IT.
This is where I connect all the different parts of me that I once saw as separate. In Sufism. Or for others in similar teachings you can definitely find in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism (Love for God, for mankind, for nature, for animals or even if you do not believe in God, you must at least believe in Love). Who knew an article from a Time Online could conceptualise exactly what I meant when I said that my love for God, my love for romance and passion, my love for dance and its spirituality, for the written word and my work in Afghanistan was somehow connected. How does it all connect? In Buddhism, they mention the interconnectedness of all things. Everything is interconnected and never stagnant so everything grows together. At one time I had separated my dance personality from all other personalities (my work with human rights, my personality as a writer, as a traveler, as a lover). I had different social circles for each, different lifestyles for each. I always thought I lived inside many different personalities; as do most people think of themselves. Then I wondered why when I dance I feel more connected to God, when I prayed I found myself loving my lover more, when I wrote I danced more, when I traveled I wrote more. Because everything is interlinked. I have been unconsciously writing about this – this exploration into activism, spirituality, dance and travel (how art, exploration, activism and spirituality are all interlinked). And its true that everyone has each of this in them in different forms:
Activism: A calling to help or care for others (being a teacher, a mother to a child, a guardian to his niece, a human rights worker, a doctor, a peace-builder)
An Artist: It can be a liking or love for drawing, fashion, dance, acting, singing, painting, yoga, nature and for Amir even skateboarding;
A Reflector on a path of discovery: Everyone at some point reflect about life, God, Energy, the Universe and destiny (spirituality – in fact life is a journey in this);
An Explorer: A desire to learn, to expand and explore (whether it’d be exploring the 7 continents or the minds of people, the behaviour of animals or even academic disciplines)
Each makes a ‘separate’ personality but when nurtured with an awareness that it connects with everything else you live for (whether at work, within your social circle, when you pray, when you reflect, when you meditate, when you travel, when you read, when you sing), everything else nurtures as well. And its a beautiful experience to find yourself self-actualising and expanding. We live for this. We live to learn and to grow not just physically but spirituality and emotionally.
I am glad I found and read this piece. This is another instance of how people, ideas and ‘things’ are interconnected; in this case between the writer (Ishaan Tharoor) who wrote this article (and this short excerpt) quoted above AND the Farook El Khaki who posted it on Facebook AND me in my discovery of interconnectedness.
I suggest for the sake of love and romance and God, listen to this song. It’s driving me insane!