Friday, May 13, 2011

Rumi and the Soul of Persia

"Iran’s officially recognized “spiritual leader” today may be Ayatollah Khamenei," notes the Christian Science Monitor, "but for hundreds of years before the current establishment of mullahs and ayatollahs, Iranians of all creeds have looked to another spiritual leader: Jalal ad-Din Rumi."

Small wonder, as Rumi, the 13th-century Perisan Sufi master, voiced the wonder of an Islamic Enlightenment when Europe was still mired in its own Dark Ages. Today, worldwide (and not just in Iran) we are all reaching - knowingly or unknowingly - for the visions that Rumi expressed so contemporaneously over 700 years ago.

Attached below is a reading by Coleman Barks, Rumi's best-selling translator, which expresses the Sufi master’s impressive and ever-timely wisdom, a wisdom that speaks to evolution and the evolutionary imperative in surprisingly modern terms centuries before Darwinism and the rise of “modern science.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come
and go.

This is the presence
that doesn’t.

It’s dawn, Husam,
here in the splendor of coral,
inside the Friend, the simple truth
of what Hallaj said.

What else could human beings want?

When grapes turn to wine,
they’re wanting

That we are now
Created the body, cell by cell,
Like bees building a honeycomb.

The human body and the universe
grew from this, not this
from the universe and the human body.

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