Quintessential Rumi – A Western View – Inspirational Quotations and Poem

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Odd, but true, that many Western readers prize Rumi’s work less as a moral lodestar and resource for merging with the Absolute, and more as a vehicle for illuminating our own highly secular age. Although, to be sure, these readers also are drawn to the ecstatic and transcendental qualities of the great mystic’s work. Western admirers tend to extract Rumi from his historical context and embrace him as one of their own. Not a few have seized on his poetry as a springboard for their own creative expressions, including New York clothes designer Donna Karan, who just a few years ago, unveiled her spring line of fashions while musical interpretations of Rumi’s work by the health writer Deepak Chopra played in the background. Composers Philip Glass and Robert Wilson have written “Monsters of Grace,” an operatic extravaganza that can be enjoyed with three-dimensional viewing glasses and a libretto of one hundred and fourteen Rumi poems interpreted by American poet Coleman Barks.

Quick-thinking American entrepreneurs seem to devise new means to capitalize on Rumi’s soaring popularity nearly every month. Recently, several versions of “Rumi cards,” a new method of fortune-telling, combining snippets of the poet’s work and aspects of the Tarot, have appeared in U.S. bookstores. And, for those who peruse the World Wide Web, it is possible to dial up “rumi.com” and be informed that, “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Jalalu’ddin Rumi.com is coming soon.”

Commercialism aside, the differences between the Islamic and Western view of Rumi probably become most apparent when exploring the subject of love, a central preoccupation of the poet’s work. Western readers have been captivated by Rumi’s frequent and masterful use of romantic imagery, which, coupled with the medieval lack of prudery have caused some to regard him chiefly as a “an erotic love poet”. Many are fascinated with Rumi’s mystic identification and all-encompassing spiritual love for his mentor Shams al-Din of Tabriz. Some construe this relationship as a conventional love affair, given Rumi’s frequent declarations of his overwhelming longing for Shams after Shams’ mysterious departure. Indeed, in 1998, the gay magazine The Advocate published a piece in which it was argued that Islamic scholars have obscured a likely gay relationship between the poet and Shams. Other Western readers are charmed by the lack of priggishness and the nearly Chaucerian quality contained in some of Rumi’s depictions of heterosexual couplings. Yes, odd indeed..    

http://www.khamush.com/bio.htm

Divine Light

“For ages you have come and gone courting this delusion. For ages you have 
run from the pain and forfeited the ecstasy. So come, return to the root of 
the root of your own soul.

Although you appear in earthly form Your essence is pure Consciousness.
You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light.
So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul.

When you lose all sense of self the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.
Lose yourself completely, Return to the root of the root of your own soul.

You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God, but you turned your sight
to the empty show of this world. Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little?
so come, return to the root of the root of your own soul.

Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you?
Open your eyes and come --- Return to the root of the root of your own soul.

You were born from the rays of God's Majesty when the stars were in their 
perfect place. How long will you suffer from the blows of a nonexistent hand? 
So come, return to the root of the rootof your own soul.

You are a ruby encased in granite. How long will you decieve Us with this 
outer show? O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes! So come, return to 
the root of the root of your own soul.

After one moment with that glorious Friend you became loving, radiant, and 
ecstatic. Your eyes were sweet and full of fire. Come, return to the root of 
the root of your own soul.

Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern has handed you an eternal cup,
And God in all His glory is pouring the wine. So come! Drink! Return to the root 
of the root of your own soul.

Soul of all souls, life of all life - you are That. Seen and unseen, moving 
and unmoving - you are That.

The road that leads to the City is endless; Go without head and feet and 
you'll already be there. What else could you be? - you are That.”

― Rumi 

How To Love Well – Inspirational Quotations

Forty Rules Of Love

This is a delightful book full of spiritual insights into how to live life. Each new chapter begins with the letter b and the story falls into five parts. Part one is Earth; the things that are solid, absorbed and still. Part two is Water; the things that are fluid, changing and unpredictable. Part three is Wind; the things that shift, evolve and challenge. Part four is Fire; the things that damage, devastate and destroy and finally the culmination of both stories are within part five, the Void; the things that are present through their absence.

“How can I love well? With The Forty Rules of Love, you can pour out your heart, break out of your stuck places, mysteriously fall in love, and find the deep joy of freedom.”

— Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology

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Rule  10: “East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.”

Shams Tabrizi

From The Forty Rules of Love

Rule 20:   We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is an amount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.

Rule 21:  When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.

Rule 22: Life is a temporary loan and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate.

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Rule 25: Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level of tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batin – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.

Rule 26: The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.

Rule 27: Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside.

Rule 29: Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to the fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on 40 different levels. Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.

Rule 30: The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a sing bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?


Loneliness and Rainbows – Inspirational Quotations

oceangulls99

“Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.”

-The Forty Rules of Love
Shams Tabrizi – photo Reflection created by Eve.

thanks to Wadild for the quote

theboat

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“Gradually it dawned on Ursula that all religion she knew was but a particular clothing to a human aspiration. The aspiration was the real thing – the clothing was a matter almost of national taste or need. The Greeks had naked Apollo, the Christians a white-robed Christ, the Buddhists a royal prince, the Egyptians their Osiris. Religions were local and religion was universal. Christianity was a local branch. There was as yet no assimilation of local religions into universal religion.

In religion there were two great motives of fear and love. The motive of fear was as great as the motive of love. Christianity accepted crucifixion to escape from fear; ‘Do your worst to me, that I may have no more fear of the worst.’ But that which was feared was not necessarily all evil, and that which was loved was not necessarily all good. Fear shall become reverence, and reverence is submission in identification; love shall become triumph, and triumph is delight in identification.”

– D H Lawrence, ‘The Rainbow’

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This is a truly wonderful book. As I read it again, some 20+ years since it blew me away the first time, I am reminded as to why it blew me away. He simply refuses to settle for anything less than ‘the empyrean’, which for him is something that happens to body *and* soul…

~ Jake.

http://www.slideshare.net/abdullahnasim/excerpts-dr-nilofar-vazir-forty-rules-of-love-elif-shafak-ppt