Friday, March 30, 2007

The Goldfish Has a Vision

I woke up this morning with the image (some would say vision) of a small ball which soon grew into my entire conscious universe. Although the image was of a ball seen from outside, it seemed to be something happening within myself. The experience was that everything I was conscious of, everything that would be in my awareness when I opened my eyes and got out of bed, was created within in this expanding ball.

The sensations that accompanied the image were a confirmation that something within my Self is the creator of my universe, that my universe was getting ready for my new day by unfolding around me like a giant balloon of which I was the center.

As usual with such an experience, it can’t be described in words. Any description is going to seem trite – “Oh, that again.” To me also the words seem unoriginal and unrevealing, which is frustrating, but I’m sure that all of us have had the experience of reading about some psychological or spiritual or emotional concept again and again, and thinking, “That sounds true,” but not really comprehending it until we’ve lived through the experience ourselves – after which we feel when we read it, “Now I know!” This morning I my brief experience enabled me for the first time to live and comprehend the meaning of words I’d read many times before.

At this point I must confess once more the inexplicability of our existence, the impenetrable mystery of what we call reality, and free myself of the notion that anything I might write on this fine day will “explain” anything. I am still the goldfish in the bowl laughably trying to describe the entire universe based on what I can see from the table where my bowl is placed. But I will say that my “vision” dramatized the finding of philosophers and brain scientists that it is impossible to prove any existence external to our own perceptions. Yes, we feel that we are here and there’s a separate world out there (Dr. Johnson exasperatedly kicking the stone), and our bodies seem to be mechanisms for collecting and interpreting data from outside themselves, but we cannot prove or know whether there is any reality which is not subjective. At this point I think of Leibnitz’ statement, “The monads have no windows” – a monad being, in a sense, the sealed universe of an individual – but I know that what gave me the gift of my experience this morning was a poem by Rumi, the great Persian poet of the 13th century, which I read last evening thanks to a comment by Naj about “The Perfect Solution” on my other blog. I will always be grateful that this poem was brought into my life.

(I couldn’t help thinking of what I’d written on this blog about the goldfish when I read of Rumi’s “bee in a jar”.)

‘The Dome of the Inner Sky’

The Great King is within me.
He is my dearest friend.

Don't look at my sallow face,
Look at how I stand with legs of iron!
Always turning toward that one
who gave me life.

I am the glorious Sun,
the ocean laden with pearls.
Within my heart is the grandeur of heaven,
Outside, the lowly earth.

I travel in this world like a bee in a jar.
But don't listen to my woeful buzzing
My house is filled with honey!

O heart, if you want to join us,
raise yourself
to the dome of the inner sky
Enter the fortress that no one can break.

The vast and mighty waters
move the grinding stones of heaven.
I am that great wheel,
crying so sweetly,
turning with the flow of rushing water.

Men, demons, and spirits all follow my command.
Can't you see that I am Solomon,
With a shimmering seal on my ring?

Why should I be weary
when every cell of my body is bursting with life?
Why should I be a donkey's slave
when I ride upon a magical horse?
Why should I be less than the Moon
when there are no scorpions at my feet?
Why should I stay at the bottom of a well
when a strong rope is in my hand?

I've built a place for the falcons of my soul
Fly this way, O birds of spirit,
for I am surrounded by a hundred mighty towers!

I am the rays of the Sun
dancing through the windows of every house.
I am carnelion, gold, and rubies,
even though this body is made of water and clay.

Whatever pearl you seek,
look for the pearl within the pearl!

The surface of the earth says,
"The treasure is within."
The glowing jewel says,
"Don't be fooled by my beauty
the light of my face
comes from the candle of my spirit."

What else can I say?
You will only hear
what you are ready to hear.
Don't nod your head,
Don't try to fool me
the truth of what you see
is written all over your face!

Translated by Jonathan Star, from ‘Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved’

(With thanks to Naj and to PRETTY MOONBEAMS )


  1. Hello dear Fleming,

    It took me a while to figure out what Flights of Pegasus was :) But here I am at last.

    You asked for a picture of Persian architecture of the 13th century. That's a tough call; given that 13th century saw a major destruction brough about by the Mongol's invasion.

    However, Molavi (Rumi) lived during seljuk dynasty. This link may have representative pictures.


    sorry had posted it in the wrong site :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. There is a great deal in your post, Fleming. The poem is something special but your description of the world as goldfish bowl is a fresh vision of today. It's one of those special dreams or visions which could be numbered on the fingers of one or two hands as Revelations.

  5. Yves, thank you very much. I do often think of my goldfish analogy when I catch myself trying to understand the universe.

    I can picture that goldfish in a bowl on a living room table, peering at a distorted view of furniture, walls, and windows, and trying to "explain" or "understand" the universe, almost all of which lies entirely beyond the fish's ken, outside the room, outside the house, beyond the gardens and streets, beyond the clouds and planets and stars.

    How much more lies beyond our human goldfish bowl? We don't even have the means to estimate that.

    As you can tell, I reacted to your comment with great appreciation.

  6. I had a very similiar vision about 4 months ago (i.e. 11/11). In minne, I was shot by some hooligans, and a spirit walked beside me and told me to get up! I followed him to a mountain top, where he possessed a wand that sparkled and crackled in the color of light (i.e. rainbow). He told me to jump; but I paused for a split second out of fear, but jumped in the next second. As I leaped into the air: I became they light that sparkled and crackled. I flew endlessly and I became the reality within and around me. It was sooooo harmonious and peaceful. I noticed as I flew, that there was a pulsing, beating, and girating blue (multifacted, colored, dimension) bubble with me. It was me and I was it. As you've identified, any words that I attempt to convey this with, is inadequate. Suffice it to say, I became the bubble and the bubble became me. It was as if it is my heart and my heart is me. I flew for some time and found myself engaged in flight with a Flying Goldfish that bobbed and weaved aimlessly. I followed. We saw and headed toward a school of Goldfish. As we approached them; I vividly remember thiinking that one of their scales would stab me, but as we got closer and I brushed up against one of the Goldfish: it tickled tremendously; and I awoke from the vision. Was awesome. It was my 5 vision/experience of this kind sense I was a teenager.

    I saw your post and just wanted to say, that it seems we both are in touch with the same Godhead/Energy/Heaven. God Bless Brother:)

    1. Cedge, thank you very much for the fascinating description of your experience, which I will be reading several times. There's a great similarity between your vision and mine. I'll probably comment on yours again. If you want to communicate directly, my email is

      Thank you also for looking at FLIGHTS OF PEGASUS.It's hard to believe that I wrote this post 5 years ago, but that explains why I had to read it this morning in order to remember it. Thank you very much.