Rumi

Was it yesterday? Was it three days ago? I don’t know. I was driving home and listening to the CBC – Canada’s public radio network. I love the interviews, and here came one with familiar names. Rumi was a Sufi poet of the 13th century. Coleman Barks is a poet and translator of Rumi’s works. Andrew Harvey is a poet and a mystic. They all talked. I listened.

And I’m still listening. No words of mine would add to what you’re about to read.

***

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

“The poet laureate of the planet Earth”

“The literary gifts of Shakespeare, the soul force of Christ or Buddha, the intellect of Plato”

“The supreme poet of love”

Your body’s height – six feet or so – but your soul rises through nine levels of sky.

“It makes me want to bow.”

God says I will lead you beyond this heaven and this earth to a purer heaven and earth you cannot imagine, whose nature is to expand the soul in joy.

“Why can’t people just learn how to grow silent and wait on the mystery?”

A palpable longing … all longings are one longing.

[Rumi and his teacher Shams] “Not a friendship but a storm front moving in”

“The two of them danced in the street.”

You will leave this Earth to enter, while you are still in the body, a vast expanse.

“What kinds of thinking could lead to opening onto these fields of quiet and majesty?”

Love is the soul’s light, the taste of morning … no me, no we.

“Absolute reverence for all beings”

“A caressing love”

These thousands of words that rise from nowhere … How does your face contain them?

“Rumi helps us realize that there is a love possible for us which is outrageously larger than any of the loves we think we know.”

What I had thought of before as God today I met in a human being [Shams].

“The rapture of the soul at seeing someone who is so holy that they are totally beautiful”

When two great lovers of God meet, they love the beauty of that love in the other.

“Anybody too happy and ecstatic will always freak people out … They saw two people absolutely alive in divine love for each other.”

:::

“He saw this wild and beautiful old man coming towards him. He knew instinctively that it must be Rumi. He prostrated himself in the dust before Rumi. When he stood up, he saw that Rumi had prostrated in the dust before him. And this went on for thirty-two times.

‘What are you doing? You’re the holiest man in the world.’

Rumi said ‘Why should I not bow before a servant of God? And how would I be useful if I did not show you my nothingness?'”

:::

“Human beings are lonesome for passion, and here’s a being whose every breath is sacred passion.”

It may be that God is the impulse to laugh, and that we are all the different kinds of laughter.

“They’d teach by going out into the square and laughing.”

I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons.

“It’s painful when we hide from intimacy. It’s fraudulent.”

We’re already inside of what we’re surrendering to.

“Reading Rumi’s poems, I went into this region that felt like home.”

“We will be guided by the Divine.”

Love cannot be said.

“He was possessed by the divine word. He never wrote anything down.”

Fall in love in such a way that it frees you from any connecting … You become love and you don’t ever miss love because love is in you.

“If the translator can get out of the way, the Presence is often clearly transmitted, from the 13th century.”

I see my beauty in you. I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing.

“To be one with the source from where the religions all come”

“I know the experience of love in myself. That’s enough. That is God.”

Everything is glowing with consciousness.

“Something in us recognizes beauty. That is what I’m calling God.”

My eyes wet with yours in the early light, my mind every moment giving birth, always conceiving, always in the ninth month

“I feel in me a source of love.”

Walk around, and love, and meet someone’s eyes.

“The Sufis say that when you meet the glance of another human being, you’re somehow blending your lineage with theirs. All the people that you have loved and have loved you – that’s your lineage … Just a glance, and some exchange happens there that metabolizes the soul growth of the planet.”

Nothing can teach you if you don’t unlearn everything. How learned I was before revelation made me dumb.

“I don’t know anything for sure except I’m here and I love.”

Glorious is the moment we sit in the palace – you and I
Two forms, two faces, but a single soul – you and I
The flowers will blaze and bird cries shower us with immortality
The moment we enter the garden – you and I
And all the stars of heaven will run out to gaze at us
As we burn like the full moon itself – you and I
The firewinged birds of heaven will rage with envy in that place
Where we laugh ecstatically – you and I
What a miracle, entwined in the same nest – you and I
What a miracle – you and I
One love, one lover, one fire … in this world and the next
In an ecstasy without end