Taking the form of the symbols of mythology, esotericism was hidden in the world of secrets. It came into being in our DNA.
It was veiled in words and placed deep in the soul, waiting to be solved only through true understanding. The mythological story you are about read now is similar to my own story, to your story, and our story in fact.
This is the story of the Phoenix Simurgh, who lives alone but never refuses those who ask for help. It is nowhere yet everywhere. Or is this the story of the thirty birds?
Simurgh lived in the land of birds. After a while, it begins not to appear anymore, even though it had been always ready to help any bird in trouble. The birds wonder why Simurgh doesn’t come anymore and why it doesn’t answer their calls for help. Time passes and the word spreads, and while some blame themselves, others don’t care. One day, they encounter a unique bird from a distant land. This bird has with it a feather from a wing of Simurgh! This feather proves the existence of Simurgh, who no one has heard of for a long time. The news begins to spread in the land of birds, and quickly the birds come together. They decide to depart their land to find Simurgh, who is said to live on Mount Qaf. The journey is long, hard, and full of difficulties, such that those that have tried never came back. The birds taking this risk act shrewdly and ask the messenger bird to guide them on this journey. The wise messenger bird claims to know the region and agrees to guide them all. So, accompanied by the “wise bird,” who will not leave them despite the risks, they set out on their journey to find Simurgh.
The birds on the journey are quite eager and skillful. Throughout the journey, they talk to each other and share information, which in turn arouses greater curiosity and interest. This makes them even more eager to find and meet the mysterious Simurgh.
According to the rumors, Simurgh has traces from every being, bearing each and every color in its feathers. Its wings are gold and red. Its body and head are purple. What is strange, however, is how its face resembles that of a human! Simurgh is also unique in its actions. It sets ablaze the Tree of Life, its home, and also itself. Simurgh then burns away, but it is reborn from its own ashes. So, it is immortal, and its presence gives happiness, tranquility, peace, and trust to those around it.
Throughout the journey, some of the birds get tired for various reasons and start to give up. If the “wise bird” hadn’t agreed to guide them, they would probably have given up from the start and not gone on the journey at all. While many of the birds give up and go home, the journey continues with the rest.
The rest reach the foothills of Mount Qaf. According to the legend, the main challenges begin here. They will go through the terrifying valley in the foothills of the mountain. Some birds cannot fly high enough to overcome the valley and want to return out of fear. Some get tired and choose to rest a little, but they are unaware that they can never catch up with the leading birds again. Some lose their way by falling into the beauties of the valley, while others lose their way in the Valley of Separation. Some want to return out of sadness for those whom they left behind. Some prefer to return to the world they know rather than go to an unknown land. Some lose their determination when they see their friends have left. Some leave the journey after being defeated by their own anger, and some larger birds leave the journey after being defeated by their arrogance. Some birds can no longer find any place to listen to the songs of the nightingale or enjoy their splendor, so they also leave the journey. Throughout the journey, the number of excuses increases. After all, the end of this tough and unknown journey is still unclear!
At this stage, the wise bird makes no effort to change their minds.
The rest of the birds ask the wise bird when this journey will end. The wise bird leaves them unanswered, saying that compared to the experience they will have at the end of this journey, the rest will be meaningless. They pass through the Valley of Love, Skill, and Modesty. Until this point, their numbers gradually decrease. When they come to the Valley of Unity, many want to stay there. They are amazed when they arrive at the Valley of Astonishment. They no longer think about their homeland. What could be more beautiful than watching this valley forever?
Leaving behind the birds who want to stay in the Valley of Astonishment, the rest arrive at the Valley of Poverty, which is beyond their imagination and understanding. It is a place that is never spoken about, nor should it ever be spoken of. The Valley of Poverty is the final stage before finding Simurgh. In the end, the remaining birds arrive at the mysterious place of legend. The Tree of Life stands there in all its glory before their eyes. They started the journey as a large group, but there are just thirty birds left. There are thirty tablets on the tree, and they all silently approach the nearest tablet and begin to read it.
It can be gleamed from this mythological narration that knowing one’s self is painful, challenging, and scalding. It is a journey through which one sometimes travels with a guide, and sometimes one to travel alone.
To die without dying!
To see that you don’t burn while burning! The true initiation is very similar to this mythological narration.
Mount Qaf is the place at which humanity will find the information acquired from the trip between the “me” and the “self.” As can be seen in the story, pursuing the “ego” takes one back to the past. The past keeps us from going into the future. However, pursuing the “self” will carry us into the future. This is the inevitable requirement of spiritual evolution.
Everyone wants everything, but only those who can achieve this will succeed!
Just like in the story of the thirty birds! If you ask for a journey, it is your responsibility to continue that journey. I speak as someone who has set off on a journey, and I will continue this until I am reborn from my ashes.
Nimet Erenler Gülkökü
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