April 22, 2014

For There Is But Unity...

These last few days I've plunged back into my The Heritage of World Civilizations textbook, and am currently going over the section on the Islamic World from 1000 to 1500 C.E. (A truly vast world already by then!), and fell on this really interesting piece of poetry written by Jalaluddin Rumi.

Rumi, who died in 1273 C.E. was a very influential Muslim mystic, though at one point he appears to have stopped seeing himself seen as being one way vs. another, as he put aside duality:
Jalaluddin Rumi

What to do, Muslims? For I do not recognize myself; not
a Christian I nor Jew, Zoroastrian nor Muslim....
Not of India am I nor China, not Bulgar-land nor Turkistan;
not the Kingdom of Both Iraqs nor the Land of Khurasan.
Not of this World am I nor the next, not of heaven or hell;
not of Adam nor Eve, not of Paradise nor Ridwan.
My place is no place, my trace has no trace; not body
nor soul, for I belong to the soul of Love.
Duality have I put aside, I have seen both worlds as one.
One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He the last; He the Outward, He the inward.
~Diwan-i Shams-i Tabriz*

A truly inspirational piece that tells us to put our differences aside.

*Translated from Arabic by John Alden Williams, reprinted from The World of Islam, ed. by John Alden Williams (1994).

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