There is a Rumi poem that begins with
Your intelligence is always with you,
overseeing your body, even though
you may not be aware of its work.
If you do something against
your health, your intelligence
will eventually scold you.
I wonder what Rumi would have had to say about the unnatural glow of smartphones on our faces?
I painted this self-portrait to capture what my smartphone sees in my searching of its sickly yellow light. I might be googling something like the pain in my elbow or the latest environmental disaster or maybe both simultaneously. I could be engrossed in the latest Buzzfeed list or mindlessly scrolling through a social media feed. It doesn’t matter.
I say I’m not going to look at my phone before bed. I do.
I say I am done with Instagram and Facebook. I’m not.
Rumi tells us
You and your intelligence
Are like the beauty and the precision
of an astrolabe.
Together, you calculate how near
existence is to the sun!
If only we weren’t so pulled to the Pavlovian dings of incoming information, we could know who we are, where we come from, how we’re connected to each other, to the intelligence that created us and the universe.
Thirteenth century Islamic scholar and poet Rumi has the antidote:
Now try, my friend, to describe how near
is the creator of your intellect!
Intellectual searching will not find
the way to that king!
The movement of your finger
is not separate from your finger.
You go to sleep, or you die,
and there’s no intelligent motion.
Then you wake,
and your fingers
fill with meanings.
Think about how we take these sacred meanings and shush them with the endless sliding of finger on the glass in our hands. It isn’t the technology that is the problem, it is how small we make ourselves next to it.
He gently reminds us – keep seeking that connection to your intelligence with all your pulsing energy. There are guides along the way. Use them, he tells us.
Join me in observing the wonders of our intelligence as we move, breathe and meditate this fall. My free Gentle Movement and Guided Meditation class is on Wednesdays from 7 – 8:30 pm, beginning September 22, ending October 27, 2021. It will be delivered on Zoom. Just let me know you are interested by dropping me an email and I’ll send the link. Then, perhaps
Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry
moving through. And be silent.
Though we’ll be on screen together, we’ll soak up the beauty and precision of the intelligence that binds us.