Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rumi's Worldview: The First 16 Verses of Rumi's Couplets

The first 16 Verses of the book, the spiritual couplets initially written and then recited by Rumi represent a distillation of his worldview.

Here we will look at the key concepts he propounds in these first 16 verses and we also analyze the content of those first 16 verses in light of the concepts that he is expounding.

The first concept is that of a flute or a Reedflute signifying the fact that the region has been torn from its read in order to make the flute. This signifies man's separation or perception of separation from his source, the divine. The defining still resides in him and he retains the ability to connect back to his source. The desire to connect back to the source causes a pain of longing. This pain of longing his desire to return to the source return to the design comprises the spiritual quest of humankind according to me. This quest is one of self-exploration that is often misinterpreted as an external explanation in the material world.

“Listen to the reed flute; do you hear how it complains? It is telling us a story about the parting of ways of separation .

Since they cut me from the reed bed, men and women have moaned from my cry .

I want someone who has felt the pains of separation so they will understand when I tell them about the pain of longing.”

The meantime here is “Feragh” or separation, being far from the beloved, being alone and being lonely. The chest or the heart that has been torn apart as a result of loneliness and separation can only understand what I have to say. So give me someone who is experienced this and then I will tell them at length about the pain of wanting. The “ pain of wanting" or the pain of desire or the pain of longing, all point to the fact that there is a desire for union and in the absence of union there is a pain that drives one to achieve union.

And then he recounts one of the universal principles of his worldview: he says whosoever has been left far from their source will seek to reunite with their source and achieve the same state of union that the originally enjoyed.

“Har kasi koo door mand az asl e khish, baz jooyad roozegare vasl e khish”.

The two key words here are “asl” and “vasl”. “asl” signifies the original primordial state or status, ones original substance. Whereas “vasl” signifies a state of connectedness, to be connected; to be united. “Roozegare vasl” if they are state in which union was enjoyed.

This is the first segment of his exposition of his worldview. We feel the longing inside ourselves this longing is desire is indeed for union with the divine we should seek out the divine and we should gain unity with the divine. Until we do so we are going to experience the pain of longing and until we do so we are not going to be fulfilled.

Man is like the reedflute. He was cut from his source or at least there is a perception of being disconnected from one source. This perception has to be corrected and the state of disconnectedness needs to be replaced by the state of union with one's Source.

Thus when you listen to the reed flute, you can experience the musical expression of the state of separation and you can hear within your own emotions that arise within you as you hear the moaning of the flute at the fangs of separation and the stories that the flute is telling you and strumming your very soul, to hear these songs and stories of separation.

Okay now we've established the state of disconnectedness we would wish to reestablish the state of union with the divine. Where does Rumi want to take us from here? How does he hope to achieve the state of union in view of the separation?