Friday, June 03, 2005

dust and thorns

Let your water flow, and you nurture the young tree;

Turn your back, and you uproot me.

I was dust beneath thorns' feet, I was dry.

You have raised me, Moon: I am one with the sky.

#1792: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

The theme of a tree gave me today's verse. I have two trees that will be trimmed today. There is emotion there since they are my private versions of the two tall trees that were cut down in my previous communal home in a block of strata units.

I've come to accept this blog as a semi-private diary. A step onwards from DearDiary. Since no one comments I assume that no one reads or finds anything to respond to. I feel I am talking to myself alone.

This verse, again, seems to me to talk of Rumi's means of transcending the limitations of his given religion. He once described himself as dust at Mohammad's feet. Here he talks of being dust beneath the feet of thorns and consequently being dry. Surely this amounts to equating Mohammad with thorns alone. Rumi had to find within himself the rose of love and selfhood that could match and complement these thorns.

I went in search of the exact passage where Rumi refers to dust and Mohammad and I landed at the site of The Rumi Society. I was astonished at the appalling Islamic arrogance and ignorance expressed in the page "About Rumi", especially this final paragraph:
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi departed from this world in Konya, on December 17, 1273. The evening sky burned red as men and women of various religions pressed through the swelling crowd to touch the green cloth that covered his wooden coffin. The day of Rumi's death has become known as the Shebi Arus, Wedding Night, the occasion when Rumi was finally united with his Beloved, God, in eternal life. This image first appeared in a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad who said that we will approach the Lord as a groom comes to his wedding. (my emphasis)

The writer of this piece seems unacquainted with anything outside of or prior to Islam. Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say on this matter.
Mystical Marriage

In the Old and the New Testament, the love of God for man, and, in particular His relations with His chosen people (whether of the Synagogue or of the Church), are frequently typified under the form of the relations between bridegroom and bride.

How could anyone belief that the image of the soul uniting with God as bride to groom originated in a story about Mohammad? This writer's brain must have been totally shut off from outside or non-Islamic influences. It's astonishing.

Rumi again uses a reference to a goddess emblem, this time the moon. Although the crescent moon was adopted by Islam as a symbol, the moon has been far more commonly associated with female deities since the cycle of change of the moon is so well aligned with women's menstrual cycle. Cycles of change are in marked contrast to the whole feel of Islam as a dogma that is set in stone, permanent, unchanging, unable ever to be changed. This unchanging quality of any cultural product or individual mentality is often described as "dry as dust". I can see here how Rumi might easily have been poking fun, ever so gently, at Mohammad and his creed of thorns.


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