“A voice of awful Answer, scarce discern’d
From which to Aspiration whose return’d
They scarcely knew; as when some Man apart
Answers aloud the Question in his Heart—
‘The Sun of my Perfection is a Glass
Wherein from Seeing into Being pass
All who, reflecting as reflected see
Themselves in Me, and Me in Them; not Me,
But all of Me that a contracted Eye
Is comprehensive of Infinity:
Nor yet Themselves: no Selves, but of the All
Fractions, from which they split and whither fall,
As water lifted from the Deep, again
Falls back as individual Drops of Rain
Then melts into the Universal Main. …
Come you lost Atoms to your Center draw,
and be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander’d into Darkness wide
Return, and back into your Sun subside.’”
~Farid ud-Din Attar
Calling the sun perfect seems like opinion, but it isn’t. This is not a reference to the physical sun, but to the spiritual one. What this poet calls the “Sun of my Perfection,” is the Sun of Righteousness. It is perfect as all things of pure spirit are perfect. It is that sun which has awakened this poet and inspired his great work titled The Conference of the Birds.
Looking Glass in the Sun
When Attar says that this perfect sun is “a glass,” he means a looking glass or mirror. In what way is the sun a mirror? In two ways, actually.
The sun—both physical and spiritual—receives our thoughts, amplifies them, and sends them back toward Earth and the rest of the solar system. If the majority of us are sending negative, angry, violent thought toward the two suns, what they reflect back is much the same. This reflected thought results in storms, droughts, floods, earthquakes, and other signs of imbalance.
On the other hand, when we transmit thoughts of love, peace, and harmony, the suns reflect balance, live, and abundance to us.
The second way in which the sun acts as a mirror applies almost exclusively to that spiritual sun, or perfect sun. When our spiritual faculties are awakened by the Light of that sun, we began to see ourselves with greater clarity. We see ourselves as we really are. We see ourselves as we are meant to be. So in a sense, this perfect sun reflects reality to us. The reality of the spiritual worlds which few see when trapped in the worlds of matter.
The drops that are as “water lifted from the Deep,” that fall back as individual drops of rain are the souls of me and women who have been awakened by the light of that perfect sun. When they go deeply within that sun, and then return, they become full realized individuals. Yet, the poet says, they melt into the “Universal Main.” This is not a contradiction. While some says that individuality is lost when you become universal, like an individual drop of rain that falls into the sea, it isn’t true. For the spiritually awakened, it is possible to become universal and still be an individual, just as the grains of sand on a beach remain individuals, yet still part of the beach.
When the poet mentions “lost atoms,” and “rays that have wander’d into darkness,” he is using allegory. The lost atom are us. So are the rays that have wandered away from the light and into darkness. Or more accurately, our ancestors many generations ago are the ones who wandered from the light. As the poet says, it is time for us to go back to the “center”. By that, he means we must return to our origins in spiritual worlds. We must transform ourselves and our world using the light from that perfect sun.