Friday, June 10, 2005

red and white

On a wild white steed, unbridled,

I gallop through a valley of terror

Like a bird that flies flushed from a trap.

What home does this horse race to? What home, where?

#1355: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: white

There is huge energy expressed in today's verse. The reference to a bird flying from a trap suggests this is the energy released after repression. Something had been holding Rumi back but now nothing can stop him, not even threats of terror or visions of horror. We repress through fear but when fear ceases to have a hold on us the repressed motivations, wishes, values, ambitions, can be let free. We can entertain whatever ideas we wish and this means we can fly free.

I chose white today because I dreamt I was ordering red wine but I had a Sufi companion who could speak the language of the shopkeeper so he did the ordering for me. We were given small tasting cups and the wine poured in was white.

Alchemical association would be to the albedo (white phase) and rubedo (red phase). This steed of Rumi's is white but also wild and unbridled, unconstrained by convention. He is taking Rumi where he wants to go. The horse knows his home or direction. Rumi doesn't but clearly trusts the horse to know. This wildness and passionate drive corresponds to the rubedo which follows the albedo, a phase in which things are washed clean and made clearer. Rumi shows here that he has accepted his instincts as pure - the horse or vehicle of his drive is white - and he is ready to let it take him where it knows he should go.

And I can feel that urge myself. For me, the imagery would not be of a white horse. It seems that wine has turned up in my dream. Wine is the source of intoxication and enthusiasm. I will do things after a glass of wine that I might be too fearful to do otherwise. My association with Rumi, my internal Sufi teacher, has turned my red wine from mere passion to a clarity and lucidity. You can see right through white wine.

Ah! how wonderful poetic imagery can be! With wine, the albedo follows the rubedo but leads to a different rubedo, a different enthusiasm and a new drive. Who knows where this is leading? I don't know myself but I trust the process as much as Rumi clearly trusted his. He rode through that valley of terror and survived to come out the other end. And so too will I survive.


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