Thursday, April 06, 2006

knowing Her name

Don't call the wise lover insane, or say

The soul who shares your garden's a stranger.

Don't confine the encircling sea to a cup.

She knows her name, so don't make stories up.

#1578: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi


Pooh with balloons @ susansgifs

I woke this morning recollecting this image of Winnie The Pooh floating with the help of a bunch of balloons. He had been trying to get to some honey high up in a tall tree and this idea had occurred to him as a means of transport there. Needless to say, it didn't work out as planned.

I have a feeling of my own balloons popping as I float in the sky. One by one they burst and I feel weightier and weightier. The ground approaches fast. It seems a little scary and forlorn but then, having one's feet on the ground is really not such a bad thing.

When Rumi says "she knows her name" this intrigues me. He seems to me to be referring to an original goddess of grander depth and breadth than the vehicle for godhood current at Rumi's time. It seems to me that he is characterizing Islam as a mere cup, though it could be a reference merely to constricted views of Islam and godhood. Still, I don't exactly know what her name is for Rumi but I very much doubt it is "Allah".

I rather suspect this goddess who "knows her name" is the world soul, the anima mundi, the feminine partner of deity that Islam disallows. Rumi was an Islamic gnostic and I've not heard an Islamic name used for Her. Of course, in Christian and Jewish gnosticism, she is called Sophia which is simply the Greek word for wisdom (or perhaps the Greek word for wisdom is simply Her name).

fem. proper name, from Gk. sophia "wisdom," from sophos "wise."
suffix meaning "knowledge," from O.Fr. -sophie, from L. -sophia, from Gk. -sophia, from sophia "skill, wisdom, knowledge," of unknown origin.

source: The Online Etymology Dictionary
[my emphasis]

The name "Allah" aligns itself with notions of sovereignty and corresponding submission. The name "Sophia" aligns itself with wisdom and understanding. The first achieves a kind of respect through power and even sometimes violent coercion, the second earns respect only when its own light touches the tinder of another soul and lights it up in turn. To the lover of Sophia this is the only true light and the only true power. The respect that arises from fear is vacuous and easily eroded. It is brittle like dry autumn leaves that are readily crushed as one casually walks over them. That is really all it takes.


At Friday, 07 April, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

A beautiful post. I really enjoyed this one.

At Friday, 07 April, 2006, Blogger Arizona said...

Thank you, Bob, I really value the clear-sightedness of your own heart.

At Friday, 07 April, 2006, Blogger Me said...

I'm a huuuuuuuuge Rumi fan and alhamdulillah i got to go to turkey recently and watch a performance by some from his tariqa (they claimed). but yes, love Rumi.

At Friday, 07 April, 2006, Blogger Me said...

Oh yeah, i recorded some of it and its available on the blog

At Wednesday, 14 May, 2008, Blogger creola said...

hey, I just stumbled upon your blog because I was looking for an image of pooh. Glad to see the Rumi verses. Is there a way for me to subscribe to your blog?

At Thursday, 15 May, 2008, Blogger Arizona said...

Thanks for your interest, Jayshree. I no longer regularly write around Rumi verses and there never were enough readers to warrant a mailout. For now, just bookmark the blog and drop by again when you can. Do post comments so I know you're there. :)

At Saturday, 26 December, 2009, Blogger Armenia Sarabia said...

love reading ur thoughts!

At Sunday, 27 December, 2009, Blogger Arizona said...

thank you, it's always nice to hear from readers


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