The Divine Cape

How shall we receive the words of mystics such as those of Ruzbihan Baqli in this post? We might think, “Well, some people are lucky – or blessed – aren’t they? Here I am, saying my prayers and doing my practices every day like a donkey, and Ruzbihan meets God just walking in the street! I could never be worthy of such a favour.” But this overlooks an essential point – that each person must come to their Goal in their own way. Our own story will never be that of Ruzbihan. The gift of the Artist, the Divine Creator, is that each one of us is unique, hand-made in the Studio with love, and therefore, although the home to which we journey is the same, the way we come there is distinct for each person. The road we travel is our own.

Ruzbihan was surprised – or perhaps abashed is a better term – to learn that the One was holding his heart in His hand. “Does my heart have such a station?” he asked. But yes, apparently it did. And what about our hearts? Who holds them? We often confide them to the world, but the hands of the world are not trustworthy – without doubt they shall wither and turn to dust, and as one Sufi says, ‘If, when we leave this world, we do not find that to which we have given our heart, what will we do? How shall we have peace in eternity?”

Then, what is the remedy? If we listen to the voice ‘which constantly cometh from within,’ we may discover that our hearts have always been held by the One who made them, although we are often oblivious to that embrace.

God tells Ruzbihan that his heart is ‘the most vast thing in existence,’ not because Ruzbihan is specially selected from amongst all the children of God – we need not believe him to be greater than all the masters, saints and prophets – but because that is the potential of every human heart. Usually our hearts are cramped and confined within our little, individual world, but when they begin to unfold, they make space for more and more, until they spread from the Divine Throne to the earth, and nothing in existence is excluded – the Divine love and light, the stars, the beauties of the earth, all. What a magnificent cape such a heart would make for the Beloved!

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