Saturday, August 1, 2009

Table talk with the princes from the East

It is eleven years, to the day, since I had a deeper encounter with Shams. I described his first appearance in my recent blog essay "Your beloved is calling."

In the early hours of August 1, 1998, I woke in a cabin on Lake Champlain from a dream in which I was having lunch with an elegant couple in an upscale but rather anonymous restaurant. The food and conversation were excellent, but it was time to leave. After I said my goodbyes and headed for the door, an old friend - a man I trust completely - came running after me. "Did you forget you were supposed to record the conversation?" What could this mean? "Read what is in the envelope!"

I woke with a sense of urgency. In the cool moonlight, lying on the bed with a pad and pen, I made it my intention to go back inside the dream and look for the mystery envelope. I found it right away, a plain brown manila envelope. Inside were three documents: a handwritten note explaining my assignment, a list of 20 questions I was supposed to put to the people at the table, and a clipping from the Tehran Times headed "The Prince and Princess of Fars are Traveling Abroad."

In my conscious dreamstate, I felt a thrill of recognition. I knew that Fars is the name of the old Persian heartland, and I realized that what was unfolding must be a continuation of my dreams and investigations of the Persian Sufis earlier that week. Dreaming and hyper-awake, I returned to the restaurant table. I saw that Shams was dressed, as before, in a beautifully tailored light gray suit, and a blue-gray shirt with a banded collar. His female companion wore a lovely gauzy summery dress, and a gauzy veil.

I sat at the table and read from the list of questions, which were clearly visible to my inner sight.

What is the nature of Exile?

Shams replied:

"To be an exile is to be separated unwillingly from your homeland. This is the condition of the soul when it comes into the body. It is the condition of the higher man when he is separated from his Higher Self."

What are the conditions for Return?

"The return requires courage, the willingness to deny the ways of the world. It is always a journey to the Mountain. It requires cutting the cord of attachment to worldly things. There are many tests and obstacles along the way, also distractions and temptations. But Home reaches out to guide the returning exile. There is always a guide. The appearances of the guide are almost always unexpected. The face may be that of a familiar friend, or a stranger."

Who is the Guide?

The guide is the emissary of the level of Intelligence - the level of the Real - that you are able to work with at this time. The guide takes the form you are ready to recognize.

When the dawn broke, I had managed to record 13 of the questions for the princes from the East, and nine of Shams' responses. The connection now began to falter. I set down my pad, pulled on some shorts and walked down to the pier. A couple of sailboats bobbed in the mist on the lake. As I walked to the end of the pier I saw a kingfisher flying low along the shoreline, an early hunter. I lay flat on my back on the wooden slats of the pier, rocked by the swell of the waves. I looked up at a blue lake in the sky. Turning my head, I saw sky around me and beneath me, infused with pink and gold by the rising sun.

This weekend I am returning to the cabin where I dreamed of the princes of the East. I hope to complete the dialogue, left unfinished for so long. Perhaps, if I am very fortunate, the veiled lady will choose to speak and to show her face.


Anonymous said...

That was a very moving account...please do keep us informed of any further dialogues. Thanks,

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

You have said 'Life rhymes.' Well, how's this - about the same time, maybe twelves years ago, i dreamt of leaving, against my father's wishes to find and bring home the Beloved. Your posts are wonderful.

cobweb said...

Dear Robert
Your posts are indeed wonderful and inspiring, your journey encourages me to be more focused and aware of me own, coming as you did into my world at a time when I had faultered and almost lost the plot. Thus you are too - The Guide.
with gratitude to the universe.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks so much, Margie, Barbara and Colleen. I have come to believe that, as "my" Shams told me, the Guide who never leaves us is no stranger, but the Higher Self on the level we are able to recognize and work with.

Nicola said...

Hi Robert
One of my favourite ruminations on the saying of Rumi, and one that feels so relevent to myself is:
"You'll only enjoy the city and your relations, AFTER ENDURING all the griefs and ordeals of exile".
Being seperate from
"The beloved of the true self" has personaly brought an awareness of being that I don't believe would have been realised whilst in assumed unity with it.
And so the wheel turns, the journeys of self from self in order to allow it to return with conscious awareness.
This has been my personal journey and experience. I look forward to the unfolding of this story.

Carol Davis said...

If this were my experience, I would wonder if the ensuing years since the last unfinished conversation had prepared me for the depths of the next part of exploration. Perhaps there are openings for more possibilities because there is now a conscious remembrance. For me the sighting of the kingfisher and the memory of the sky infused with the pink and gold of the rising sun would be confirmation and promise for the future. A future that is now.

Robert Moss said...

Hi Nicola, Thanks for your thoughts on exile and return, and for that excellent quote from Rumi. You clearly speak from the truth of deep life experience, and reflection on it.

Robert Moss said...

Ah, dear Carol, I hope you are right. Another reader linked the 11-year gap to the 11 mountains of Qaf, mentioned in my previous blog post ("Your Beloved is calling"). Within the past week, while leading my retreat at Omega, I had another clear sighting of the prince and princess from the East, seated in places of honor at an immense table within a pavilion, where representatives of several spiritual traditions were gathering. We'll see what wants to happen now, in the place where I found a lake in the sky and a sky in the water 11 years ago...

Lorraine Lyman, Career Coach and College-Admissions Consultant said...

Dear Robert,

Thank you for the reminder to look for guides in my dream and waking life. And, thank you to Nicola for a wonderful rumination on the positive power and purpose of grief.

Stephanie Deignan said...

Might you be a fisher of kings, Robert? The reappearance of these Sufi mystics and these encounters with the royals of the East seem particularly important considering the incredible trials of the Iranian people right now. The themes of Exile and Return seem eerily fitting. al-kimia (alchemy) is a foot

- Stephanie

Unknown said...

Life rhymes, I have been reading the History of Dreaming...

The segment on the indian mythology that the soul has desires and intentions not known to the conscious mind of the individual and that to loose connection to the soul's desire makes the soul angry and can cause disruption in a person's life as well as sickness and death.

The soul's desire, the higher self, the beloved is ever waiting and calling.

For me, now, this is a very important experience that I am working through. I'll let you know how I'm doing. Keep us all informed about the beloved. The couple sounds so beautiful and graceful. Birds, confirming what is going on in the "air".....

Robert Moss said...

Lorraine, Stephanie and Naomi - Thank you for your warm and generous hearts! Since I posted this essay I spent a whole night bathed in the gentle light of a sun that was not our regular sun, followed by an encounter with the "sun" prince and princess of the East in a lovely pavilion by the water that was set up for a banquet - for something like a family reunion or a wedding. I have yet to complete the dialogue, but then the story is continuing to unfold...