Illustration for "The Culture of the
Sufis"

Some of the possible ideas in this picture are:
The egg like shape against the black starry sky,
suggesting the cosmic or universal nature of the
image.
The progression from the mineral state suggested by
the more geometic patterns in the lowest part of the
background within egg like shape. These leading up
into the vegetal level of development suggested by
the organic areas especially in the central plant
image. (See Mevlana Rumi for these evolutionary
stages of man.)
The animal level of development suggested by
images of fighting animals, birds etc. The shadowy
figures of humans suggesting undeveloped man or
the illusory life of this world. They seem like shadows
of the angelic figures, suggesting the level of the
perfected souls.The highest level is left undescribed.
The white figure in the foreground could refer to the
'the perfect, cosmic man'. The other possibility is that
it refers to the perfected soul, as described by Shah
Wali Ullah. He tells us there is a 'place' where an
aspect of the individual soul is represented as pure
light. Unholy acts and thoughts produce dark
blemishes, when one is entirely purified this image of
the individual is of pure white light.

JMZ
try using the 'full screen' to see the whole picture