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Published on 02 Jul 2013 | over 4 years ago

Dervishes go into trance at Shah Jamal Sufi shrine in Lahore during Thursday night ceremony. The drummers are famous Sain brothers.

The form of expression for fakirs and dervishes from radical, "drunken" sects in Pakistan is a trance called dhamal. There is a lot to say about it, but as all mystical experiences, not only of Sufi tradition, it transcends words, what is the core experience is not only unspoken of, out of fear of persecution, but perhaps unspeakable. This is why they dance. They dance in abandonment of their own ego, leaving self, this bondage of historical moment, unifying with the saints that lived long ago, but in another sense are always present, and ultimately, unifying with divine. As travelers on the spiritual path to God seeking 'unio mystica', trance is for them crossing a threshold between this world and the next, and thus a ritual of transcendence.

Part of long term project about Sufism. You can see more from Pakistan here :
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