Monday, December 19, 2005

The Day of Mevlana

Jalal al-Din Rumi
Mystic, Poet, & Guide of Souls

You are the truth
from foot to brow.
Now what else would
you like to know?

In Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem writes that the mystics of different traditions have more in common with each other than they do with the more orthodox minded of their own tradition. Gnosis is always Gnosis of reality. If it is real, then it is outside any sphere of belief; outside any religious or philosophical world view. The mystic is someone who has experiences of the deeper and transcendent aspects of reality. They are changed by those experiences, and also make something of those experiences to give to others: how else would we know they were mystics? What they make of it to give to others, is shaped by a greater or lesser extent by the world view and religious culture that they have.

Some mystics transcend these limitations of world view and culture more than others. Rumi is a mystic that cannot be said to belong to mystical Islam, or the Sufi tradition, but grew from their rich soil to be a guide for all who will listen. In Turkey, Rumi is often referred to simply as Mevlana, which means 'our guide.'

Wikipedia entry.

1207 - December 17, 1273

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