Many people, objects, thoughts, and ideas constitute the world if not the perception of it. To elaborate further, the world we see and believe as our reality is simply an actualization of our thoughts. The theory of manifestation cements our imperceptible realities. Perplexing indeed!!! We often take journeys to far-off places to find God. However, we seldom undertake a journey into our inner selves.

Pilgrims have embarked on journeys seeking inner transformation through external exploration for centuries. Whether prompted by life changes, feeling stagnant, dealing with loss, or aspiring for personal growth, pilgrims need change, even if the destination is vague, such as ‘happiness’ or ‘progress.’ Pilgrimage has served as a means to facilitate such transformative experiences throughout history and continues to do so.

Embarking on a pilgrimage requires a deliberate departure from our everyday routines. We intentionally detach ourselves from our familiar surroundings, people, and structures in a meaningful way, allowing for a profound impact. Similar to starting with a blank canvas, we let go of preconceptions and norms to make space for new insights to emerge. It is essential to fully engage in this process to a point where we lose our usual identities and behaviours. This immersion provides the necessary space for a fresh perspective to take root.

The act of starting on a pilgrimage delves deep into the essence of seeking a connection with a greater entity beyond oneself. This transcendental journey allows individuals to explore various interpretations, whether it be through the lens of spirituality, divinity, or the encompassing beauty of the natural world. The labels used to describe this higher power are merely symbolism; what truly holds significance is the profound chance presented to broaden one’s awareness and understanding of the world and their place within it.

Rumi, a highly influential Persian poet and mystic, challenges the traditional idea of pilgrimage in his poetry. He encourages a deeper search for the Beloved beyond physical journeys. The essence of pilgrimage is not found in external locations but within us. The divine presence, symbolized by the true Beloved, is always within reach, requiring individuals to acknowledge and accept this reality. Rumi stresses the importance of changing our outlook. Instead of constantly seeking external experiences and spiritual wisdom by switching paths, true transformation occurs when we transition from focusing on the limited view of the house (representing the individual self) to the expansive vista of the rooftop or summit (symbolizing higher consciousness). His poems inspire us to transcend our egos and adopt a broader perspective.

Pilgrimages is a time for self-reflection, prayer, and contemplation, where inner truths are sought and personal growth is often achieved. The pilgrimage serves as a sacred opportunity to delve into the depths of one’s soul and connect with something greater than oneself, fostering a sense of peace, clarity, and spiritual renewal. The pilgrimage to the inner self is often the occasion of a deep insight, a spiritual experience.

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