Digital Commons@RISD Home > Division of Liberal Arts > Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal Archive) > Vol. 6 (2008)
The Dervishes Dance — The Sacred Ritual of Love
In the Sufi Way, the experience of the world and its perception is aesthetic in an ecstatic fashion. The awareness of the overpowering beauty of the world fills the heart with love and opens the mind to cosmic relations. The integration of reason, form-making, and imagining, along with yielding the body and mind to the powers of the earth, is a total aesthetic in Sufism.
In the Islamic world, humans' movement, the way they understand the process of time and space, depends on nature and parallels the cosmic order and the basic underlying forms that are found in nature. They are not only circular, which means they revolve and repeat, but rather spiral. They grow and expand in a way that radiates from the center out. Many forms of city order, architectural arrangement and movement pattern, including the basic orders of music and the representation of space in miniatures, comply with such an understanding of space and time. The Dervish Dance is in complete harmony with this understanding and with the cosmic movement.