Tuesday, March 28, 2006

lost in love

My face was pale, my heart was overflowing

And travelled the same path that Majnoon trod.

That was how things stood until this moment --

What's happened now makes all that seem like nothing.

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

I gather that Majnoon is to Persian literature what Romeo is to English (see The Story of Laila and Majnoon and Wikipedia's Layla and Majnun). Majnoon means madman and refers to the lover's distraught wanderings in the wilderness following the marriage of his beloved Laila to another man. In the best known version of the tale, Laila's husband dies for love of his wife, knowing she only loves Qays (the Majnoon). As a widow, she must wait two years before joining Qays but her impatience consumes her and she dies. Majnoon visits her grave and also dies.

I suspect that Rumi is playing on the idea of living in the moment, rather than recording an exact moment when he saw the light. The tale is told of his sudden realization, during his travels in search of Shams, that Shams was present inside him all along. Such a realization would be analogous to the early Christians realizing that Jesus was still with them, still present in their souls, an experience that they described through the notion of His resurrection. Rumi also suggests such an idea in some of his other quatrains. This particular verse could have been composed at any time, not necessarily at that moment in his travels. It speaks of an eternal truth, an experience not directed by time, not about yesterday or tomorrow, neither past memory nor future desire. It is about being, the now, the present moment. When lost in the moment, we are lost in God and that is worth all the long years of only apparent lostness.

Abdul Rahman, the Afghan Christian convert, is seeking asylum in another country. I pray he is taken in and that his ordeal will have ended.


At Tuesday, 28 March, 2006, Blogger Robert said...

What happens when a man's love for his wife is more powerful than death?
I recently read a true love story called White Summer Dress (www.whitesummerdress.com) about a woman who battles cancer and her husband never loses his love for her even as the sickness transforms her body. What he sees is a spiritual transformation that takes place through their humanness. It’s well written and an incredible journey that will touch your heart. I couldn’t put it down. The author explains, “Mates, those who have touched upon Devine love through their humanness have a tendency to reach across the veil with such force as to lose sight of typical reality, living in multiple dimensions simultaneously inseparable, even in death.” A must read if your interested in true human love. – Robert Gooding

At Tuesday, 28 March, 2006, Blogger Arizona said...

Thanks for the tip, Robert. I had a look at the preview chapter but it didn't appeal. Never mind. To each his own.


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