Editors Note: I apologize for not posting these last few days. I was being entertained by four wonderful grandchildren and their parents. Things are certainly quieter today, but not near as much fun. Webb
You are already familiar with the 11 year old philosophers, Will and Jake, but let me introduce you to the 2 year old mystic, Allen, better known in the family as A-Train, Bam-Bam, or our family’s whirling dervish. This is not meant as a slight to my granddaughters, Mary, Lila, and Rebecca, but I must be more careful describing them as they one day may be sensitive to a childhood description by a old grandfather that finds its way into their Face book page.
Allen reminds me of the character Bam-Bam in the Flintstones because he is built as solid as a rock, strong enough to pick up tables and chairs, and everything is meant to be hurled across the room, and I mean everything, not just balls. He also reminds me of the character in Bugs Bunny cartoons called the Tasmanian devil who traveled by propelling everywhere like a miniature tornado wreaking havoc on anything that gets in his way. But lest I get in trouble with his mother I better get to why he at an early age has risen to the mystic status.
A dervish in the Sufi faith is someone who has reached a state of constant ecstasy or joy. Contrary to the traditional view that mystics are hidden away in caves or high up in the Himalayas the dervish doesn’t flee the world to experience spirituality, he experiences ecstasy right here and now. A dervish is one who reveals the secrets contained in our everyday life that are of a divine nature. Watching Allen instructs us how to not be distracted by those little things that preoccupy us and keep us from our goals. Allen similar to the mystical dervishes shocks us out of complacency and awakens us to the true nature of reality. He wakes us to the magnificent presence that is contained in the moment.
Yes, Allen does whirl like a dervish, but also like a dervish for Allen it is not a dance, but a spiritual experience where his whole body exudes the joy of life. I was fascinated to watch him spin and spin in the swing, his whole face was full of light. Then the swing stopped spinning and as he exited the chair he was still dizzy. Like a practiced dervish he took a second to center himself, and then he was off to the next adventure, chasing fireflies. Unlike the quiet meditations I have been working on these last few months, Allen reintroduced me to awakening in life, awakening in the body and the immediate moment, rather than beyond life.
At some point soon I hope there is a meeting between the mystics, the philosophers, and the muses who inspire them. I want to be there. Because there is no telling what may be learned.