I believe that within each of us lies a door – a hidden door – that opens on a place both entirely strange and perfectly familiar. Our awareness of this door gets lost in the mental models we use to perceive reality, since such models are poor approximations, too much colored by our worldly ignorance to substitute for the “real real”. But I have no doubt this mysterious place still exists, like a world of gold hiding beneath a skin of lead. It can be rare for the circumstances of life to align just as they need to to propel us into that degree of existence.

If we set aside our mental models, we can reach out with hands that do not feel; look around us with eyes that do not see; and listen closely with ears that do not hear. It is then that everything flips around. What was night becomes day, and what was dark becomes light. Then it’s as though our worldly eyes never saw anything at all, or our ears heard anything of value. This is when the doorway to the Placeless stands wide, and a sense of understanding fills us that does not accord with anything others would call “understanding”.

I describe it this way because when we commune with the Ancient Beauty, we discover the ultimate purpose of knowledge and understanding – the knowledge of Him – and yet this secret knowledge is a thing of such beauty that our ideas and approximations cannot approach it.

How can feeble reason encompass the Qur'án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?

Wouldst thou that the mind should not entrap thee?
Teach it the science of the love of God!

As one burns with love for God, the whole visage of the world changes. A camaraderie binds us together, until we are like many heads stretching from the neck of one shirt. How can one feel estranged or alone in the midst of such unity? That we often do is the nature of this world – but we can escape from it. Through prayer and meditation and study of the Writings, we can escape the bonds of ignorance that blind us to the oneness of all things. “Say: All things are of God!” This one phrase declares the end of separation and the attainment of our true Goal.

The challenge is to stop ourselves from disbelieving it.