Joan Poelvoorde

Psychotherapy & Healing Arts

Spiritual Alienation

Alienation: our first nakedness—forced from the warmth and unity of the womb, through a life-threatening process called birth, into the cold air of separateness. Unity, recaptured for a time, announces yet another task—that of differentiation—the process through which an individual becomes an integrated self (another kind of unity), separate from parents and others.

Spiritual Alienation: our second nakedness, is an intimate mirror of the first. Here we find our keen sense of separation from the Divine. 

When my friend is away from me, I am depressed;
Nothing in the daylight delights me,
Sleep at night gives no rest,
Who can I tell about this?

The night is dark and long … hours go by …
Because I am alone, I sit up suddenly,
Fear goes through me …
Kabir says: Listen my friend
There is one thing in the world that satisfies,
And that is a meeting with the Guest.

Kabir The Kabir Book Versions by Robert Bly

Rumi's response?

Love Dogs

One night a man crying,
Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising.
Until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you calling out,
but have you ever gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
In a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."

"This longing
you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from
Draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
That wants help
Is the secret cup.

Listen to the moaning of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
No one knows the names of.

Give your life
To be one of them.

Rumi The Essential Rumi Translation by Coleman Barks

For Rumi, resolving spiritual alienation comes through the experience of longing itself. Woof! Woof!

Joan Poelvoorde, a professional psychotherapist in Manhattan (NY) offering relationship, personal growth, anger management, creativity, shamanistic & Imago Relationship Therapy