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  • Writer's pictureErika Murphy

Dive into the eternal!

It is your destiny to see as God sees, to know as God knows, to feel as God feels. ~ Meister Eckhart

The figure Sheik Nasreddin is popular subject in Muslim folklore; he is usually portrayed either as a fool or a wise man (or both!), and his strange antics are meant to impart important lessons for the spiritual path. We can find an important bit of spiritual wisdom in one such popular story.

A man walks home late one evening and sees Sheik Nasreddin under a streetlight on his hands and knees, frantically looking for something on the ground. The concerned man stops and asks Nasreddin what he's doing.

"I've lost my keys!" Nasreddin exclaims. The man joins Nasreddin under the streetlight, both of them scouring the ground for the lost keys.

After time passes without any luck, the man asks Nasreddin, "Do you remember where you were when you dropped your keys?"

"I dropped them back there," Nasreddin says, gesturing in the dark, "in my house."

The man jumps up in shock and disbelief. "Then why are you looking for them out here?"

Nasreddin answers in a very matter-of-fact tone. “Because there's more light here than there is inside my house!"

Nasreddin's foolishness sheds light on our tendency to gravitate to the external, "well-lit" areas of our life in order to solve an issue. We focus on what we can already see, what's familiar, and what we believe we know. However, the "key," or solution, is located internally, where it is more challenging to look. Our "house," or internal world, holds everything we need — including more light! But first, we need to be willing to move past our comfort zone into the darkness of the unknown.

Meister Eckhart's poem below communicates the timeless message of all mystics: it is everyone's destiny "to know as God knows." To embrace that destiny, we prepare ourselves with spiritual practices that give us the resilience to fumble through the darkness of ignorance. Eventually, we discover the fullness of divine grace that illumines all.


To See as God Sees

It is your destiny to see as God sees, to know as God knows to feel as God feels. How is this possible? How? Because divine love cannot defy its very self. Divine love will be eternally true to its own being, and its being is giving all it can, at the perfect moment. And the greatest gift God can give is God’s own experience. Every object, every creature, every man, woman, and child has a soul and it is the destiny of all, to see as God sees, to know as God knows, to feel as God feels, to Be as God Is.

Meister Eckhart in Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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