The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
When I first read this at 15 ..I was speechless..briefly thrown out of teenage into another realm.I thought who has written this...which mind has produced something so sncient and sacred.It was Omar Khayyam
Omar Khayyam, another great Sufi. He taught for decades the philosophy of Ibn Sina in Nishapur where Khayyám was born and buried and where his mausoleum today remains a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year...and where I plan to go and sit under the Chinar trees which surround it.
THE HEDONIST; THE MYSTIC ;THE HERETIC ;THE SUFI
But Omar Khayyam was a man of contradictions ..startling contradictions.He was a mathematician, a great mathematician, a genius.He invented geometric algebra nd bionomial theorems.He was amna of reason ..a deisciple of the greeks..who believed in using his reason to its uttermost, and then he was taken in...taken in the mystic myths.
I have always been amazed by the mixture of numbers and mysticism in his life..And the great mathematician became a drunkard, and the great mathematician started talking of wine, of drunkenness, and the great RUBAIYAT was born. One cannot believe, reading Omar Khayyam’s RUBAIYAT, that he was a great mathematician. One cannot conceive of what kind of mathematician he was, because his poetry is so pure. How can a mathematician attain to such purity of poetry? A mathematician is a logician, he functions through syllogism. He is very practical, he is very objective.
He does not allow his subjectivity to enter into his observations; he is very detached. And mathematics is the only perfect science in the world. All other sciences are so-so; mathematics is the only perfect science. How can a perfect scientist become a sufi? But now you can understand how it happened. When you come to the extreme point of your reason, and if you are still available, not closed — if you have not concluded, this way or that way, if you have not yet become a theist or an atheist, if you still have the awareness that reason remains inconclusive — then you will be taken in by his presence. He will appear as a master and will take you in. And then it can happen in a single moment. When one is standing on the boundary, then in a single moment one can enter into the unknowable.
Whichever lens you want to view him with ..his contradictions, his lack of conformity ot orthodoxy , his complexity..make him a fascinating mna and a great poet.
Khayyám, who stitched the tents of science,
Has fallen in grief's furnace and been suddenly burned,
The shears of Fate have cut the tent ropes of his life,
And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing!