Thursday, December 08, 2005

rancour gone

Will your pain submit to a cure? Never.

Or desire ever leave you? Never.

The seed of patience is sown in the heart,

You say. But will it ever sprout? Never.

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

Search word: pain

I remain haunted by Tuesday's quatrain about sadness and silence. I've been trying to understand what is behind Rumi's spell on me and wondering whether he knew he was casting such a powerful spell.

Those times when I'm silent and still as the earth,
The thunder of my roar is heard across the universe.

The first two lines made perfect sense. Many artists report that their best work arises after a depressive period. These second two lines juxtaposing silence and thunder left me speechless. It has taken two days for some small sense to percolate up into my consciousness. Rumi's writing is peculiar for its total absence of rancour. It comes as a stark contrast to the two monotheistic faiths that surrounded him, Christianity and Islam. Rancour is infused in almost every line of the Koran but finds its fullest expression in the Christians' Book of Revelation (which I pray Jesus had nothing to do with whenever I read bits of it).

Qur'an 2:6-10 (Yusuf Ali)

As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.

Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe.

Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not!

In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).

Revelation 2:20-23 (KJV)

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Despite having been burdened with a great love and a correspondingly great grief, Rumi never hints at resentment. Sometimes there is an almost comic self-pity, there is certainly much crying out in genuine pain as well as ecstatic joy, but there is never ever any hint of ill will toward others, especially toward those responsible for his grief. I think it is this silence, this total absence of rancour, that thunders throughout the universe.

I love Rumi, I love this in him. I embrace him passionately in the fond hope that his disease will be passed on to me, that I will catch it and refuse to be cured of it. My passion is too great for patience: I cannot wait! I cannot wait! Let me be stricken now and suffer all those dire consequences!


At Thursday, 08 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I think Voltaire does the same for me when he says "Living well is the best revenge."

At Thursday, 08 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Hey, it appears pizzapoemsbook is back up, though not accepting comments. Not sure if it's RD still doing it.

At Thursday, 08 December, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Yes, nice quote from Voltaire. I think he's underrated as a morally inspiring saint.

I agree about pizza poems. Doesn't sound like the Renata of old.

Oh, and re "The Secret Life Of Us", no, I didn't watch it. My son did and he liked it. It was on a commercial station and I tend to shy away from them. I caught glimpses nevertheless and it did seem to be portraying a more healthy ethos in relationships.

At Friday, 09 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

re: pizzapoemsbook, especially unlike what I'd expect from RD is the content of the links, which are all hard porn. Makes me wonder if her account was hijacked in some way, or what.


Post a Comment

<< Home