Friday, December 2, 2016

I AM AND I AM NOT


Rumi was dancing the dance of life. He knew it, and so did his listeners, which is why the line between poet, saint, and lover became quite blurry in his case.
No poet is more intimate than Rumi, no lover more crazed, no saint more innocent.

An air of the supernatural gathered around him because he never lost this wild, extreme state of ecstasy. Somehow the deepest lovers don't have to fear time. Their intoxication is permanent, even though the divine beloved is invisible, remote, and never touched physically.

His tavern attracted a gathering of intoxicated lovers, people committed to going directly to the source, as fearlessly as the moth who flies straight into the candle flame. In his passion for union with the Beloved, Rumi attracted not just Muslims, but also Jews and Christians, not just men but also many women who heard the echo of their true nature in Rumi's voice:

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?
The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.   


I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.
I have forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.
I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.
If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.
I’m drenched
in the flood
which has yet to come
I’m tied up
in the prison
which has yet to exist
Not having played
the game of chess
I’m already the checkmate
Not having tasted
a single cup of your wine
I’m already drunk
Not having entered
the battlefield
I’m already wounded and slain
I no longer
know the difference
between image and reality
Like the shadow
I am And I am not




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