Sophia, the little girl was walking around with a candle. She comes across a man who is intensely searching for something in the street. After observing for a while, she asks: what are you looking for? The seeker replies: for my keys. Sophia puts her candle aside and starts to search with him under the street lamp. After a while she asks again: are you sure you lost your keys here? He responds: I lost them at my home, but it is dark there. So I am searching here under the street lamp. Sophia responds: I have got a candle!
Now, the man has choices: to keep searching under the street lamp, or to ask Sophia to guide him in dark, with her candle.
Sophia is a female name derived from σοφία, the Greek word for Wisdom.
This is an invitation to pause our habits of looking under the street light, and notice the presence of Sophia, when facing our challenges. The increasing complexity of personal, social and global challenges of our time invites us to look beyond what we already know. To look beyond our comfort zone of the street lamp. We are being invited to engage Sophia, and walk with her candle in dark places where we have left the keys.
Intellect can take you to the door, but it doesn't have the key. - Shams of Tabriz
Ancient cultures all around the globe acknowledged and embraced the presence of Sophia, each in their own way. Eshraq, the philosophy of illumination is one of them. A Sufi philosophy and a school of mysticism that drew upon Zoroastrian and Platonic wisdom, founded by Suhrawardi during 12th century.
Eshraq provides us a simple map to navigate our way for reconnecting with Sophia, the source of wisdom. It understands the human nature as a communication between the two minds: Mind-of-Part and Mind-of-Whole.
Suhrawardi is known as the reviver of the traces of ancient Iranian sages.