June 17, 2019

Taking a Beautiful Line from Rumi: Beyond the Boundaries of the Intellect.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

By Deepak Chopra, MD

The popularity of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi is based on his love affair with God, expressed in such ecstatic terms that he makes the spiritual journey seem deeply romantic. But Rumi also reported about how his state of consciousness felt, which gives valuable clues about higher consciousness itself.

Here is a beautiful line of his that has profound implications for consciousness as well: “Exchange your cleverness for bewilderment.” What kind of bewilderment does he mean? To most people, bewilderment is the opposite of an appealing state, since it implies indecision, confusion, perhaps loss of control entirely. Rumi was known for applauding such a state, however, if the result was bliss and ecstasy.

To modern ears the message is more pointed. “Cleverness” is Rumi’s synonym for the rational mind, which seeks explanations that are logical and consistent. The aim of the intellect is to bring everything down to earth, so to speak, eliminating the folderol and fantasy associated with spirituality and mysticism in particular. Rumi encountered this not in terms of modern rationality with its basis in science but from clerics who studied and became expert authorities on “correct” Islam.

Another way to put Rumi’s idea comes from the inspired Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, who said, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” This translates into the declaration that making maps, models, brain scans, and anatomical pathways to explain consciousness isn’t the same as experiencing it.

This is an undeniable fact. Take the most basic conduit of experience, the five senses. Remove any one of them, and it is impossible to bring it back by describing it. “Color” is meaningless to someone who is blind, just as “scent” is unfathomable to someone without a sense of smell. But logical models supported by facts, data, and experiments overlook the obvious truth just stated. There is a fallacious claim that the brain, once its operations are fully mapped and analyzed, will disclose the source of the mind.

Instead of criticizing this viewpoint, Rumi offers an alternative, which he calls bewilderment, but which could equally be called wonder. We should all be struck with wonder and thrown into bewilderment by everyday life, as Rumi was. Not just Rumi, though. There’s a famous saying of Einstein’s: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

The advantage of having a great scientist backup a great poet is that we cannot wriggle out of Rumi’s challenge to rationality by saying that he’s only speaking like a poet. He’s speaking like someone who knows full well the limits of reason when it comes to beauty, love, devotion, creativity, and wonder. Being closer to our time, Einstein’s affirmation tells us that reason isn’t abandoned; it is put in its rightful place.

Reason’s rightful place has ben exaggerated in modern life, allowing science and technology to usurp essentially everything. In a world where being human is cherished fully, the things just listed—love, creativity wonder, and the rest—would be valued for their own sake, which brings us closer to the infinite potential of consciousness than any mind-made model, past, present, or future.


Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Chopra is the author of more than 85 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are The Healing Self co-authored with Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D. and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine. Chopra hosts a new podcast Infinite Potential and Daily Breath available on iTunes or Spotifywww.deepakchopra.com 





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  1. Alena Adamkova

    I now think nobody may make you more happy, than your own heart.....your heart is best advisor. ....Second, Best manifestation of love is giving someone freedom (in many ways or forms) ............................give yourself freedom..... ♥ :)

  2. Alena Adamkova

    I now think nobody may make you more happy, than your own heart.....your heart is best advisor. ....Second, Best manifestation of love is giving someone freedom (in many ways or forms) ............................give yourself freedom..... ♥ :)

  3. Alena Adamkova

    I like when people do meditation, are in thouch with themself..Then their thoughts and feelings are not forced, but they are free...creative thoughts.....In stress the good thoughts are forced....So when we force ourselves, push ourselves (maybe in state of materialism or in state of stress, and ego self, in state of self doubt and time doubt...and happiness doubt etc) then we learn negative pattern....but some do it in state of stress...so first we have to destress and then do some meditation technique.....realise our true gifts, potential and ....not worry about how we affected others, (with conflicts), or how they affected us with their point of view.....I like your video about meditation, breaking the cycle in one minute, shift awareness....and as some say we create new networks in brain by traing new habits or experiencing some new events...even the inner events....which changes our brain, because our brain doesnt know the difference (of real reality and imagination)...it just reacts to it...So is interesting that our inner experiences or imagination is more real to us than the outer reality (filled with stress and pressure) ...as some say the inner world becomes more real than the outer world........Its interesting idea or fact....also that we cant change life or ourselves, our patterns from lack....we have to feel whole to fell love or get love, get happiness, fullfilment....Its quantum field...I think new generation wants to know more and train more these techniques and ....be comfortable with it....and they want feel like its more easy than we may think.....like jumping into ocean.......And also as they suggest we have to take REAL physical action.....so I think maybe after the meditations and gratitude exercises (not forced)...we may take the physical action...without thinking about it, without forcing ourselves....subconsciously jump into quantum field without other motivations of material world...Doing it for health first and materialism second....Do you think we force ourselves to much to break the bad habits...instead of breaking the habit of stress and then set the state of calm energy and stillness....the make step toward the creativity and all solutions....instead of forcing ourselves from state of lack...or misery or negative emotions....It seems this way is much more easy. :)

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