We humans have inhabited this planet for many thousands of years.

We looked to the stars to gain a glimpse of our future. We built magnificent cities, buildings, and temples to prove our dedication to the gods of all eras. We always felt the presence of a greater force, yet we were unsure what to call it.  Nature was too powerful, unpredictable, and full of wonders beyond our understanding, so we named this force Zeus the God of Thunder or Apollo the God of the Sun. But then we began to evolve and understand nature better, so we began to feel that there was something more, something deeper. It was a force that exists within the entire universe and consequently in all of us at the very same time.

In many different parts of the world, people developed different spiritual practices to enhance their connection with this force, such as meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, and so on. In Anatolia, though, a different method emerged.  As Anatolia hosted the Phoenicians, Trojans, Spartans, Romans, Ottomans, and many other colonies, empires, and nations, it became known for its great legends, leaders, and spiritual teachings throughout the history of humanity.  Some of them are widely known, like Homer’s Iliad. In the war of Agamemnon and Achilles against Priam and Hector, cunning Odysseus comes up with the idea of a great wooden Trojan horse. However, like with all the legends and big classical books and plays, this story also began with an act of love. Love has always been a complex thing for human beings, something beyond our understanding, something more powerful than us, much like this greater force that we tried so hard to name. We tried to rationalize it, avoid it, build walls and barriers against it, yet nothing seemed to entirely work.

Indeed, I was one of the biggest avoiders of love until I came across the quotes and books of a dervish that lived in my very own land, Anatolia. His name was Rumi, and I was lucky enough to be part of a retreat where I could finally internalize what he said. The only way to cope with love is to go right through it. Even if it burns and destroys every single rational structure you have built to survive on this planet, it is the only way you can go beyond your mind and connect to the very essence of what you are made of.  If you flow with it, if you let love burn down your barriers and limitations, you will finally understand. Only from the ashes of the fire can the Phoenix be born.

This is the circle of life. You can easily see this pure love when you spend time with children, because they are still connected to the source and have not yet been brainwashed by the fear, insecurity, and barriers of previous generations. Yet it is still possible to awaken your own inner-child, jus as the dervish whirls counter clockwise beyond time and limitations. We as human beings were made of love. It is our very essence.  And it is not something that I can write down in words or logically explain here. It is the only truth that finally helped me to figure out what captivated me in the Iliad and the works of Shakespeare and Chopin. It was the density of love, and that kind of density only comes from our very essence.  For years, I opposed many things like religion and other traditions in Anatolia, but now, for the first time in my life, I know that I am simply passing through, and I am glad to be passing through these wonderful lands with their many thousand years of history. It’s a legendary journey indeed!