Thursday, May 19, 2005

the fullness of time

The sweet words we once spoke together,

The turning sky keeps secret in its heart

But one day will rain upon the world's stage,

Upon our heads, and pour our story out.

#1112: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

The word sweet pointed to today's verse (and there were many to choose from as this seems to be a popular word with Rumi). As I read this, it seems so blatant, so clear in its intent. Shams and Rumi were discussing something together that had to be kept secret. The "turning sky" suggests the movement of the stars, not just the sun, moon and planets, and this suggests the precession of the equinoxes the complete cycle for which is about 26 thousand years. Twelve stages, defined through the 12 zodiacal signs, were well established even in very early astronomy. These were each about two thousand years or two millenia. Rumi is talking about a long period of time elapsing between the moment of his writing this verse and the moment when his secret could come out more fully and "rain upon the world's stage". This further suggests that there is a secret or coded truth embedded within Rumi's quatrains, a truth that will only become apparent centuries (at least) after his death. I think that Rumi could see that his fellow human beings were imprisoned inside a dogmatic mindset and only the fullness of time would release them.

There is a parallel idea in the tale of the Sleeping Beauty where the lover prince approaches the castle where the sleeping princess lies and finds that the bushes and brambles surrounding it simply fall away. He needs make no effort at all to penetrate this thick entanglement. It is the fullness of time, the elapsing of the 100 years, that has allowed all these prickly defenses to fall away.

What, then, is Rumi's and Shams' secret? Were they homosexual lovers? Did they see through some core Islamic deception? Did they understand something special about love? Did they share some great insight into the human heart and mind? I'd love to know and understand but, since I don't, I guess the fullness of time is yet to occur (for me).


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