Poetry Entropy

For so long, I have been wondering why great sufis are famous because of their ‘poetries’. Even in Javanese tradition, mystic tended to encode some form of wisdom in form of poetry (such as: Suluk Wujil, Serat Wedhatama). While I’m currently busy preparing report, paper, etc, I couldn’t prevent myself to browse through the internet, and even reading some paper from Journal of History of Sufism (although I myself rarely open IEEExplore with pure curiosity.. Isn’t it ironic? LOL).

One day, I just bothered by the word “emanation“. It appeared on the English translation version of Anak Semua Bangsa. It was when Jean Marais told Minke that his writing is probably just a reflection of Minke’s character, not even its emanation. What’s the difference between emanation and reflection anyway? I once heard the notion that we are God’s emanation. It was a very long time ago. Probably, I did look for it in the past. But now that I’m clueless, I started to look it up.

I stumbled upon emanation theory from Al-Farabi. I read some kind of Indonesian academic paper on it, and some English. I can’t be more puzzled by this idea. Probably I need to check what Plotinus said about it in the first place, the very source of Al-Farabi’s Islamized version of emanation theory. (Sometimes I think I should have been enrolled in Philosophy major, but maybe God knows that I’d still read these stuffs while my official field of study is Electrical Engineering :p)

Befuddled and puzzled with all of it, my mind all of a sudden turned its attention into a story of “The Conference of the Birds” by Faridudin Attar. It was quoted on one of my favorite books in the chapter where the book discuss the art of loving. Probably because I’m having problem with love life, hence I remembered this part haha. The quoted story was so fascinating. And then I said to myself, who is this guy, Fariduddin Attar? Yes, he’s also a sufi. It is said that Rumi also drew inspiration from him. I set out to find the full poetry, but I haven’t got it yet. But then I got some graphical illustration and some youtube video discussing the poem. So, instead of playing songs from my Spotify playlist, I listened to those videos while I was working on my presentation slides.

And then when I went out for breathing some fresh air. I saw this tree, and wrote something; then posted it to my instagram:

What do you see? We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are. Those who know will not speak. Those who speak do not know. Birds are looking for Simurgh. Simurgh is looking for them. For everything you see is the face of Simurgh while Simurgh is sitting at the throne; closer to you than your jugular vein.

What do you see?

We do not see things as they are

We see things as we are

Those who know will not speak

Those who speak do not know

Birds are looking for Simurgh

Simurgh is looking for them

For everything you see is the face of Simurgh while Simurgh is sitting at the throne;

closer to you than your jugular vein.

Sometimes, I think poetry is a magical stuff. It uses words, but it somehow encodes so many meaning between the words, the rhyme schemes, the lines, and the stanzas. Its entropy is quite big, I guess, although I never know how to measure it, what its unit.. well you can define it and count it by yourself using a set of assumption anyway. But what’s important is, it tries to deliver a message that can be interpreted differently by each person who read it according to a specific time when it’s being read. The poetry written by those Sufis was probably written based on their spiritual exercise. Do you get what I’m talking about right here? Do you get it? I know it’s quite hard to describe in words. Because as Kahlil Gibran once said:

“Between what is said and not meant and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost”

So maybe, poetry is one good form to encode the wisdom they got from their experience. It’s quite flexible and can be seen as an art instead of some canonized fatwa or things alike which is prone to become source of future polemic (although some poetry does bring polemic). And personally, I feel more comfortable reading poetry compared to reading some philosophical theory or scientific theory.

Btw, the last sentence makes me want to put this quote:

The difference between science and philosophy is that the scientist learns more and more about less and less until she knows everything about nothing, whereas a philosopher learns less and less about more and more until he knows nothing about everything.

Dorian Sagan

(taken from: http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/04/30/dorion-sagan-cosmic-apprentice/)


In some moment, we need to give idle time for our mind. And let the heart perform its job. To feel. To grasp the meaning and the love that are encoded inside the rhyme and the rhythm. To communicate beyond the set of possible words. To speak with our first language. To understand myself, just myself. Until I’m gone.

This is why I said “first language”:

Maybe that’s why they use poetry. Because its entropy is great.

*written with some bigger amount of detachment in life that can’t be described. and tonight I couldn’t answer some questions from a friend, just because I’m at the endfire of a linear array of words.

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