In Sufism, we discover the ability to shift our consciousness and our identity in the antipodal pole of our being. The antipodal pole of our being.
That is, what would it be like to think that you are thought of instead of that you are thinking. That you are known instead of knowing. And so on. This is typified by a word of St. Francis of Assisi who said, “I thought I was looking at the world, but the world is looking at me.”
See? It’s the opposite. So the second step* would be, once more getting into the consciousness of that person and trying to sense the kind of impression that that person has of you. The kind of picture that that person makes of you. And, if you could realize that the picture—their representation—they make of you is totally different from the one that you make of yourself. And you could even, now, gather from that that their action was based upon a false assessment that they made of you.
But your assessment of yourself is faulty also. But at least two assessments are better than one. But now we can increase our purview. So now think of a third person involved in your problem. Get into their consciousness and see how they look at the same problem, differently from that other person, differently to yourself. And you see the picture they make of you. Which is different from the picture that other person makes of you, or the picture that you make of yourself.
So if you were to increase the amount of people involved—because, in fact, we think that we have problems, that they are our problems, but, in fact, there is no boundary to these problems. They are really the problems of the whole cosmos. They’re not just our problems.
So this would lead to exactly to what St. Francis is saying. If you try to get in—to look—to consider that “the world is looking at you” instead of “you are looking at the world.” It’s a whole other perspective.
Now St. Francis was walking in the forest at night time in a state of contemplation and he was getting into the consciousness of the trees. That is, what would it be like to be a tree. And we have that ability. And he could see that the trees are looking at him.
Now if you do that, and you could try to do that, you get into a transfigured world. You discover—you switch your consciousness from the ordinary commonplace kind of perception of the physical world into a transfigured world. You find yourself in a transfigured world. And that is the way to be high, is to get yourself in a transfigured world.
Now I understand that some women get into that state just shortly prior to giving birth—and, perhaps, even after the birth—because, somehow, the woman is connected with the thinking of the child, and the child is still in a transfigured world. And so the door is open between different worlds.
Can you imagine what that’s like? To be like in a state in which you grasp the reality behind what appears at the surface as the physical world. And, of course, you grasp the meaningfulness behind what doesn’t make sense to your efforts into figuring it out with your mind.
Now that’s a great art, of being able to—it’s just like switching. A switch. All of a sudden, for example, you’re talking to a person and, right, you’re saying the done things to say and what you are supposed to say and that person is saying things that they’re supposed to say. And so on. At the same time, you’re communicating with them at the depth, somehow, beyond the words. And it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, even if it’s nonsensical. It doesn’t matter. You’re communicating in the depth. That’s what I mean.
*[First think of a problem you are having. Then attempt to see the problem from the point of view of the other person involved in it. – Editor]