Everybody can go to the Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia) on their own. Maybe even with a guidebook.
The guidebooks can tell you that the construction of the third Haghia Sophia finished in 537, but let’s go to Ayasofya together, and we’ll talk about the secrets: about secrets of what happens when the ego is emptied and the spirit of God takes over; about Feminine Wisdom embodied in marble and stone.
We’ll talk about humanity and Divine mirroring each other; and an Olympics of aesthetics among Jerusalem, Rome, and Constantinople/Istanbul.
Using 20 years of scholarship that brings together religious studies, art history, architecture, and literature, Professor Safi will share with you the hidden mysteries behind these awe-inspiring sites.
So what do you get by coming by on an "Illuminated Tours" to Turkey instead of going on your own?
The building are still just as beautiful, and the people are just as kind. But you get more out of the experience when you are part of an experience to discuss the inner meanings of the religions and historical context of Turkey, led by someone with 20 years of study connected to this wondrous place.
When you are inside the Haghia Sophia, you’ll learn about why there are no columns inside, and what that tells you about the spirit of God.
When inside the Sultanahmet Mosque (“Blue Mosque”), you’ll learn about what this mosque has to do with the church across the street from a thousand years ago. And what all of that has to do with Rome and Jerusalem.
When inside the lovely Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, you’ll learn why the name “Sokollu” tells you a lot about the cosmopolitanism of Ottoman society.
When inside Rumi’s shrine, you’ll learn about why Rumi took on a lot of followers with terrible manners. You’ll take on a close study of Rumi’s Masnavi, and find out why this was the only book to be called “The Qur’an in Persian.”
When in Cappadocia, you’ll see why Sunni and Shi’i do not explain all the divisions in Islam by studying the Alevi tradition.
When in Ankara, you’ll see why Ataturk is not simply the paragon of secularism, but a much more complicated figure.
When in Bursa, you’ll see why there is a water fountain inside a mosque, and what that has to do with Paradise.
To learn all that and more, join us in Turkey this year.