Symbols - What does heaven look like
Patches on clothes and patchwork are a sign of a mystic or at least a 'holy' person.
The symbolism derives from both literal and figurative associations.
In the days of monks and dervishes, for example, their clothes were often literally covered in patches as they mended them, simply because with no money they had to 'mend and make do'. Thus the presence of numerous patches was a sign hat they were taking the vows of 'reducing desires' seriously and living as they preached.
Patchwork quilts clearly have a practical aspect to them, again they made use of scraps of material and thus nothing went to waste. But symbolically they represent the matrix.
Saadi - The Gulistan of Sa‘di – from The Morals of Dervishes
The life of a king was drawing to a close and he had no successor. He ordered in his last testament that the next morning after his death the first person entering the gate of the city be presented with the royal crown and be entrusted with the government of the realm. It so happened that the first person who entered was a mendicant who had all his life subsisted on the morsels he collected and had sewn patch after patch upon his clothes.
The grandees of the court executed the injunction of the king and bestowed upon him the government and the treasures…..
This event afflicted the mind of the dervish until one of his old friends, who had been his companion when he was yet himself a dervish, returned from a journey and, seeing him in such an exalted position, said:
“Thanks be to God the most high and glorious that your rose has thus come forth from the thorn and your thorn was extracted from your foot. Your high luck has aided you and prosperity with fortune has guided you until you have attained this position. Verily hardship is followed by comfort.”
But he replied: “Brother, condole with me because there is no occasion for congratulation. When you saw me last, I was distressed for bread and now a world of distress has overwhelmed me.”
There is no greater calamity than worldly goods.
Both their possession and their want are griefs.
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