today marks eight hundred and one years since the birth of the great sufi poet and mystic jalalu'ddin rumi, also known as mevlana. he lived in thirteenth century konya in central turkey, where the mevlevi order of dervishes (commonly known as whirling dervishes) have their origin.
his work was to share a message:
why should i seek?
i am the same as he.
his essence speaks through me.
i have been looking for myself!
much of rumi's writing uses the metaphor of the passion of lovers to describe the relationship between man and God.
the inner pilgrim wraps himself in the light of the holy spirit, transforming his material shape into the inner essence, and circumambulating the shrine of the heart, inwardly reciting the name of God. he moves in circles because the path of the essence is not straight but circular. its end is its beginning. abdul qadir jelani (about ad 1077)
rumi saw inside the metaphor of love and passion and in that seeing he sank deep into the connection between all things in all ways.
it is entirely about love. it is entirely about passion. the terms of those two states become richer and more beautiful as the knowing of them becomes less connected to this earthly existence (needs and wants and expectations) and more about becoming aware of and connected to the wholeness of everything.
if you could get rid of yourself just once, the secret of secrets would open to you. the face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception.
search, no matter what situation you are in. o thirsty one, search for water constantly. finally, the time will come when you will reach the spring.
the minute i heard my first love story i started looking for you not knowing how blind i was. lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. they’re in each other all along.
and if he closes before you all the ways and passes, he will show you a hidden way which nobody knows.
keep strenuously toiling along this path, do not rest until the last breath; for that last breath may yet bring the blessings from the knower of all things.
like the hunter, the sufi chases game; he sees the tracks left by the musk deer and follows them. for a while it is the tracks which are his clues, but later it is the musk itself which guides him.
choose a master, for without him this journey is full of tribulations, fears, and dangers. with no escort, you would be lost on a road you would have already taken. do not travel alone on the path.
whoever travels without a guide needs two hundred years for a two-days’ journey.
last night my teacher taught me the lesson of poverty: having nothing and wanting nothing.
and a poem
not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.
the garden of
is green without
and yields many
other than sorrow
love is beyond either
it is always fresh.
-- jelaluddin rumi