The Simorgh Wisdom School – a Vision

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
- Albert Einstein

The story of Simorgh is one of humankind's most treasured mystic fables. Known by the title "Conference of the Birds" and famously narrated by the Iranian mystic poet Fariduddin Attar (1145-1221), this tale had a profound impact on the spiritual imagination of people throughout the ages. Caught in disorientation and challenged by crisis, a group of birds decide they need a wise leader to guide them out of their confusion. They resolve to journey together and seek out a sacred bird called the Simorgh.

The Simorgh represents supreme knowledge and the divine essence. A Sufi scholar from Iran called Simorgh the eternal force of knowing, inspiration and healing.

 

In the course of their long and arduous journey the birds traverse seven valleys. On the way they face all kinds of challenges while gradually waking up to their inner and collective wisdom. At the end of the journey – having reached the mountain of Qaaf – the thirty birds ("si morgh" in Persian) realize that the Simorgh is in fact no one else but themselves.

At the core of the message of this story lies the profound truth that everything we need is within us. Simorgh, the wise guide and soul-essence, is most fundamentally no one else but us.


It is this inherent soul-wisdom in us which the Simorgh Wisdom School invites to discover. How can we live a life that is soul-centred and rooted in that wisdom? How can we create more intimacy with life and nature? How can we be full versions of ourselves?

We live in a time that sees old structures and institutions collapse at a fast pace. We are witnessing destruction, disconnection and distraction on so many levels. In fact, the deep world crisis sometimes leaves us with a profound feeling of helplessness.

Rather than looking for new structures and solutions to this crisis, Simorgh is an invitation to enter the "not-knowing". In collective circles of resonating souls, a different way of knowing can occur. This kind of knowing can only be experienced, not described.

By giving up the privilege of knowing, we open up to greater possibilities, greater stories and greater cosmologies than those we can perceive through the lens of established reality.

Some have called this way of knowing "feminine". It is a way that is deeply true to the moment and encourages us to stay present in whatever wants to emerge from within us. When we are fully present and attentive to life, anything that happens is essential and can become our teaching, our most potent guide.

Through our collective experience we basically infuse our notions of “soul” and “spirituality” with meaning and find a way to integrate in ourselves the sometimes confusing diversity of paths, methods, religions and teachings.

In order to enter this sacred field we need to embrace uncertainty, rely on the not-knowing and trust the collective intelligence of the circle to emerge when time is ripe. Surrendering into the arms of life – you may also call it cosmic intelligence, the big mind or God – we remember: We have been led... ­ We are being led... ­ We will be led.


The Simorgh Wisdom School is a container that is open and spontaneous enough for momentaneous wisdom to emerge; and strong and structured enough to hold its seekers together. It provides a space to give form to the formless, while allowing itself to transform during the process. As we are all the Simorgh, the journey will change all of us and –  by this process – also change the School itself.

The Simorgh Wisdom School inspires to be a container of mutual support and soul companionship – a container that feels safe and invites intimacy and trust for all to be present. Through a collective journey, the seekers will have the chance to grow together and learn from each other in a learning eco-system.

Each one of us has precious gifts inside, hidden and uncovered. Gifts can manifest as skills, talents or instantaneous realizations. There is great joy in giving our gifts away and share them with each other in the service of the collective.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
- David Whyte


MolanaTapping into the flow of life, we will undertake collective learning journeys to places of spiritual and natural power across the ancient valleys of Anatolia and Persia. Inspired by the wisdom of Jalaluddin Rumi – the great spiritual guide of this geography – we want to connect to the lands of the ancient silk route spanning from Greece and the Aegean, through Anatolia, Persia and to the Indian subcontinent. These places have seen centuries of flowering of natural wisdom, finding its most sublime expression in poetry and music.

Another web of inter-connection will be woven by our family stories and ancestral roots, which we collectively invite to uncover and honor.


It is a great blessing to be seen and to be reflected by others. Circles give us this opportunity. As mirrors we are constantly supporting and holding one another. Each one of us represents a different aspect of ourselves. In the deepest sense of the word, we are one – not separate from each other.

Learning emerges out of the diversity among us, while being firmly bound to each other by a unity of hearts. The strongest alchemist is the human heart. Through connecting to each other’s hearts, we allow transformation to take place and “Simorgh” to appear.

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Author

Marian Brehmer

marianMarian is a freelance journalist and student of Islamic mysticism and Persian language. German by birth, but Eastern by heart, he has returned to India time and again ever since his childhood. Spiritually brought up in ashrams by his parents, he was later drawn to the beauty of Islamic culture and the poetry of Rumi. His love for Iran led him to study Persian Studies in Berlin and Tehran. His current outer centre lies in Istanbul, while exploring ways to his inner centre. Marian frequently writes for German and English-language media with a focus on travel reporting, culture and spirituality.

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