Scattered notes on Rumi

I am feeling a little loopy from travel yesterday (and the time change) so I’m simply posting some brief thoughts on Rumi rather than trying to craft a coherent post before class today. Sad, because when I first read Love is a Stranger a couple months ago I was deeply touched by the quality and depth of his poetry, not to mention his observations on the human spirit in relation to the divine. And not least important – each of his poetic statements is somehow infused with a compassion, a pervasive love, and a gentle prodding towards God – so as to be deeply moving no matter what our conceptions are divinity might be.

For Rumi – described as one of the greatest mystics and poets ever known – our path to the divine is possessed internally. Not only do we have the root of this knowledge within us, but we have Love to shine light on the way. Love – reckless love, passionate and fearless love, is the way into the divine. Where reason can be cowardly and hesitant, our unbridled and (sometimes) mad love is where we find our courage in order to swim deeper. It is here, within us, that we can discover God.

None of this is to say that love is also not painful and sometimes binding, nor do we expand without paying the “income of pain” in return. It’s not easy after all to let go of our ego-clinging and material striving – but essential to entering our limitless unity with God.

As I was re-reading yesterday, I noted a few thoughts on some of the poems in the collection, as well as some passages that particularly struck me. I’m not able to do much with them at the moment other than post them here for future reference:

The Root of the Root of Your Self
* you are a child of the children of god
* you are a ruby embedded in granite
* you are trapped in the ego, free yourself from this to know freedom
* the root of the root is the divine from which we all come and can return
* we hold the key to divinity

Love is a Stranger
* the land of liberation, the place of liberation is non-existence
* “Love is a stranger with a strange language”

The Intellectual
* When we engage with love we do so completely and fearlessly, unlike intellectual engagement which is measured and weaker in force
* Passion mocks reason. Can not listen to it.
* “Love is a tree and the lovers are its shade”

The War Inside
* looking for outward affection to ward off the war of cruelty inside
* You and Your capitalized – as though he is addressing a lover, but addressing the divine instead

The Ninth Month
“You’re a leaf scattered by an invisible wind,
Don’t you know something is moving you?”

This Useless Heart
“Heart, since you embraced the mysteries,
you have become useless for anything else.
Go mad, don’t stay sane.
People meditate to get something.
All you do is give.”

Expansion and Contraction
“When you feel contraction, traveller,
it’s for your own good. Don’t burn with grief.
In the state of expansion and delight
you are spending something, and that spending
needs the income of pain.”

To take a step without feet

* To love is to do this

The Inner Garment of Love
“A soul which is not clothed
with the inner garment of Love
should be ashamed of its existence.

Be drunk with Love
for Love is all that exists.”

“Between the mirror and the heart
there is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets
while the mirror does not.”

Empty the Glass of Your Desire
“Empty the glass of your desire
so that you won’t be disgraced.
Stop looking for something out there
and begin seeing within.”

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