Wednesday, January 18, 2006

a fanciful marriage

My love for you will surely be loyal;

This marriage of fancy must become real.

What I feel in my heart, what I do for you,

Isn't bad, but it could be better still.

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

Search word: will

I'm setting out this morning for my first business workshop, inspired by much watching yesterday of the Australian Open tennis tournament. I'm fired up with a will to win, to achieve set goals, to become a champion in my own world.

In today's verse, Rumi is pledging his loyalty to Shams and to the rich mix of ideas that came together when he and Shams came together. Together, they spent endless hours in mystics' conversation. What were they hatching? Was it something that Rumi sensed but could not completely articulate? Are all of these verses, and the later Mathnawi, steps along the way of putting it all into words? If his feelings were strong and his writing and teaching efforts sustained, what then was lacking? What more could he do? How could it be better still?

I don't think it's easy to get inside Rumi's head on this one. I can only guess that he envisioned a better established reality, a world in which his and Shams' ideas would be more thoroughly realized. Perhaps he recognized that it would take many hands and many centuries to craft such a reality; perhaps then this is a call to others to come and assist in the task.

Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.

Commonly attributed to Rumi, as at, the Celebi family site.

It's also possible that Rumi was beginning to imagine what would eventually become the "Whirling Dervishes" or the Sufi Mevlevi Order, a spiritual learning school that would allow a great deal more space for the individual in which to express himself.

Muslim pilgrims

Muslim pilgrims at Mecca @

whirling dervishes

Whirling dervishes @

Women are "allowed" to enter Sufi orders but they are so rarely seen that one gets the impression that it is, ahem, unusual and perhaps frowned upon. I've never seen a woman doing the Mevlevi Order whirl along with the men. Of course, artists can do it as a performance but inside the Order it is strictly a spiritual exercise. As an embodiment of the sacred marriage between Shams and Rumi, the Order is doing well but as an embodiment of a marriage with a strictly female presence, it does indeed have a way to go.


At Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I'd be tempted to criticise the Muslim practice of mutual trampling during their haj stampedes, but I reflect that Westerners occasionally squish each other during football (soccer) games and rock concerts. Football is mostly a guy thing perhaps, but rock concerts and mosh pits are equal-opportunity places for human trituration.

At Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger Arizona said...

I think women's favourite stampede places are the end-of-year sales. *shudder* Some men come along too!


Post a Comment

<< Home