New Life Day- Meher Spiritual Center- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina / October 16, 2007.
In the Lagoon Cabin amidst vibrantly colored bouquets, a single white ginger lily in a small glass vase captured my attention with its most bewitching fragrance. On the far wall a sign read: “Things that are real are given and received in Silence.” Meher Baba.
I mused over the extraordinary brilliance of this tiny flower that released its inner fragrance, its essence, in silence. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you are, speaks so loud, I can’t hear a word you are saying!”
A few months earlier I had dreamt of a White Peacock flying to me from beyond the lagoon, gold dust streaming from her tail. After encircling me three times, she stood in front of me so I could touch her soft white feathers and golden yellow down. I painted her after a deeply touching call with my friend Mahmoud Farshchian. He told me: “My whole family and I, respect your art.” When my heart felt those words I cried and was able to immediately paint my White Peacock in Mehera’s room.
When I began the Blue Peacock at home on Monday, I became so ill I could not work. By Thursday night as I went to sleep, I said, “I can’t believe “You’ are not going to let me complete this painting for the show! Alright if that’s what You wish, that I paint only for You and not for a show, I surrender.” The next morning, Friday, the day before I was to drive to Washington on the way to NYC to hang my show at the National Arts Club, I began to paint at 9am and painted till 6:30pm and the painting was finished! I know that it was not I that painted this or any of my paintings for that matter. I am just the vehicle. Many times I have become very ill just before finishing a painting or before leaving to do a show and I believe it is so I will get out of the way so the True Artist can work through me. The White Peacock symbolizes The Perfect Mirror of the Soul, devoid of everything of the World. The Moon Mirror of the Heart reflects the Mighty Sun’s rays.
The blue and the white peacocks represent the intellect of the outer world and the heart from the inner world. The rational mind places rigid boundaries around the events of the world; but 'turning within' to the Inner world makes creating everything magically possible.
Surrenderance in this painting literally meant stepping aside or bowing to the Higher Self: the Effulgence of the Light within. The proud blue peacock must eventually give sway to the Voice of Love and radiant beauty within.
Excerpted from “Language of the Birds — It Is All the Mirror of God by Laurie Blum” an original adaptation of Farid al-Din ‘Attar’s Conference of the Birds:
PEACOCK- GABRIEL OF THE BIRDS-ANGEL OF REVELATIONS speaks:
“I, Peacock, once lived a joyful life;
My Garden of Paradise held no strife.
Matchless were my feathers of colors iridescent,
Incomparable were my eyes and feathered crown crescent.
My tail plumage golden, green, purple, and blue,
Was splashed with a palette of infinite hue.
I befriended the serpent of earthly pleasures
That coaxed me away from my heart’s inner treasure.
Cast out from my Garden of Paradise on earth,
My only foothold in the world is this dearth.
I am no longer envied, because I have lost
Home, trust, and garden at such a high cost.
I would be in my earthly paradise
If only I had paid the price
Of honor, obedience, and self-sacrifice.”
Hoopoe speaks: “O Vain Peacock!
Will you renounce your Paradise on Earth?
The heart’s inner mirror polished reveals true Self-Worth.
Within you celestial nightingales sing,
Foretelling the joy of meeting Our King.
We will find Simurgh in His Abode, beyond chasm.
He’s the Ocean of Infinite Bliss and Compassion.
Those who drink nectar from the hibiscus flower
Miss the internal kingdom of the musk-perfumed rose-bower.
Though the serpent awakened mind’s insolence and yearning
Within you, the sacrificial lantern of truth is burning,
Lighting the way out of darkness for all to you turning.
Like Buddha you left blissful palace gardens laden with medicinal plants.
Now you thrive in the thicket of the world’s desire, hatred and maddening rants.
As you strut in jungles of the poisonous plants of Maya,
Transmuting the toxic essences of the world’s suffering to inspire.
You must consume all darkness and ignorance of the world’s play
Turning the poisonous thoughts of desire and hatred into Enlightenment’s Way.
A warrior’s shield your tail feathering displays.
Each feather of wisdom, star-tipped, perches atop the spray
Amidst world’s battlefield and its brilliant color play.
The fire blazes within you as you feed it the poison decay
And you march on to glory, the conqueror of darkness.
Each of your tail feathers bears an insignia of grace,
The Eye of God poised aloft your luminous tail fan in space.
Your iridescent plumes, shimmering-with-rainbows, adorned Krishna’s crown and brow,
Given from love, by King of the Peacocks, in obeisance, with a sweeping, graceful bow.
For the King, a humble, forest dweller, had but one treasure he could bestow
On the One, whose flute had captivated his heart and enchanted all the peacocks so
That they danced incessantly in ecstasy all the day and through the night
Krishna’s flute music made them divinely mad and their souls took inner-flight.
Your rainbow-hued-feathers are but shades, which derive their glitter from the Sun,
And the fabric of the entire universe is a shade concealing the Effulgent One.
All colors issue forth, enlightened, from the Effulgence of God’s Pure Light
Reflecting out from the Seat of Knowledge- the Inner Eye of True Sight.
Shanti - Peace and Inner-Sight, is what your Effulgence will endow,
But the garden of your being is fed on the ignorance the World allows.
Having swallowed paradise, now swallow this poison for love’s sake.
There is no good or bad in this garden and your strength grows from the pain you take.
Adam too lost Paradise when mind stirred and turbulence disrupted his tranquility.
He, the First One to leave Paradise, then assumed salvation’s responsibility.
If in your anguish, true paradise you languish to find,
You too will become a savior having first left all you hold dear behind.
All true lovers, too soon, lose their heart’s attraction
And leave this world of woes; to seek Perfect Union everlasting!”