The five inner senses

Sufis (and particularly as Rumi [13 AD] illustrates) regard mystical experiences as carnal and embodied. This understanding relates to the framework of thought that was popular back then and primarily comes from the works of the early Greek philosophers (approximately 3 BC through 2 AD).  To the Greek philosophers, ecstasy (literally to stand outside of one’s self) was an event in which one’s soul (Nous) detaches from the body. The Greek philosophers thought that the experience of the divine or ecstasy was too sublime for the lowly carnal body to experience it. Consequently, they proposed that the soul had to become separated for the body to taste such pure experiences. To Sufis, vajd (Persian term for ecstasy) was an inward journey through the body and through the senses. Sufi philosophers explained our human experience in terms of the interactions between the five inner senses with the five outer senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch). The inner senses consist of the following:

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On this first day of spring…

Today marks the first day of spring, the first day of the new astrological year, and the first day of the Persian calendar. There is a three millennia old tradition celebrated by millions of people in Persia, Central Asia, and India on this day called Nowruz. Rumi, like many residents of these regions, was also very much fond of this holiday and have alluded to it in numerous poems. It is fitting to quote one on this auspicious occasion:

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