Winds of Change.NET: Liberty. Discovery. Humanity. Victory.

Formal Affiliations
  • Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto
  • Euston Democratic Progressive Manifesto
  • Real Democracy for Iran!
  • Support Denamrk
  • Million Voices for Darfur
  • milblogs
Syndication
 Subscribe in a reader

Sufi Wisdom: Everyone and No One

| 15 Comments

As militant Islam does its best to discredit the religion, it is important to remember that there are other voices within the faith. One such is the Sufis, a branch of Islamic mystics with roots in many religious traditions. The lessons of Sufism are often communicated through humorous stories and mystical or romantic poetry. As a part of Joe's Good News Saturdays, we spend some time each week with the Sufis and their "wisdom of idiots."

This week, it's back to Rumi. I'm reading Coleman Barks' collection The Essential Rumi at the moment. This short poem caught my eye, as a nice crossover between Sufism and Zen:
When you are with everyone but me,
          you're with no one.
When you are with no one but me,
          you're with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone,
          be everyone.
When you become that many, you're nothing.
          Empty.
Who is speaking here? And how can one "be everyone", as Rumi suggests?

15 Comments

Who is speaking here?

Who asks?

The Absolute is speaking; by submerging self-conciousness in the Absolute the self becomes nothing, but partakes of the Absolute which encompasses everything.

Perhaps He who originated all.

One can be everyone by just accepting that one already IS everyone and everything.

Who is speaking here?

No one!

And how can one "be everyone", as Rumi suggests?

Dissolve your Self into the Other!

Dissolve your Self into the Other!

Yes, but how to do that?

Rumi's remark doesn't describe what to do; it causes you to do it. No one has ever been able to describe it, but many kinds of utterance that will cause you to do it have been found. Take Zen quips, for example.

Yes, but how to do that?

Smell a flower. Then appreciate your mistress' perfume.

Gaze into water at an angle, so it offers no reflection, then reflect.

Make a fool of yourself.

Laugh with others when they do.

Go somewhere where you cannot speak English to survive. Come back.

Come back.

Come back? Please. Where do you think I've been?

Earth? Welcome home!

Heh.

Taking a crack at one possible Sufi interpretation (and it's only a guess, as I am not a Sufi):

The speaker is the Beloved.

In the first line, He puts the reader in his place for focusing on the secular at the exclusion of the spiritual -- that is, being concerned solely with worldly matters (those things "not G-d"). Without G-d, these worldly concerns are trifles ("with no one").

In the second line, He reminds the reader that the focus on the spiritual (for a Sufi) reveals the truth behind the world. Being connected with the One, through learning this truth, connects one to all.

Or in other words, since "everyone but me" is no one, "everyone" is Me; so if you're with everyone, then you're outside of Me and if you are everyone, then you're Me.

Or in other other words, G-d permeates all that exists. There's no inside or outside, upside or downside, rightside or wrongside in this phenomenon, the only Phenomenon?

Hi,

Roomi said in one other poem, that meditation with only logic is like walking with wooden legs, u cannot go far away from where u r now. so u cannot reach your desired final destiny with only logic, u need your heart as well, u need to use the love (which in his perspective, is the most important character of a human being), so I think that u cannot translate the poem for your mind with your logic, your heart should listen to it.

I've read somewhere that the path to ultimate truth may be followed by logic, step by step, but at some point you will reach an edge from which only courage will propel you into the beyond.

Leave a comment

Here are some quick tips for adding simple Textile formatting to your comments, though you can also use proper HTML tags:

*This* puts text in bold.

_This_ puts text in italics.

bq. This "bq." at the beginning of a paragraph, flush with the left hand side and with a space after it, is the code to indent one paragraph of text as a block quote.

To add a live URL, "Text to display":http://windsofchange.net/ (no spaces between) will show up as Text to display. Always use this for links - otherwise you will screw up the columns on our main blog page.




Recent Comments
  • TM Lutas: Jobs' formula was simple enough. Passionately care about your users, read more
  • sabinesgreenp.myopenid.com: Just seeing the green community in action makes me confident read more
  • Glen Wishard: Jobs was on the losing end of competition many times, read more
  • Chris M: Thanks for the great post, Joe ... linked it on read more
  • Joe Katzman: Collect them all! Though the French would be upset about read more
  • Glen Wishard: Now all the Saudis need is a division's worth of read more
  • mark buehner: Its one thing to accept the Iranians as an ally read more
  • J Aguilar: Saudis were around here (Spain) a year ago trying the read more
  • Fred: Good point, brutality didn't work terribly well for the Russians read more
  • mark buehner: Certainly plausible but there are plenty of examples of that read more
  • Fred: They have no need to project power but have the read more
  • mark buehner: Good stuff here. The only caveat is that a nuclear read more
  • Ian C.: OK... Here's the problem. Perceived relevance. When it was 'Weapons read more
  • Marcus Vitruvius: Chris, If there were some way to do all these read more
  • Chris M: Marcus Vitruvius, I'm surprised by your comments. You're quite right, read more
The Winds Crew
Town Founder: Left-Hand Man: Other Winds Marshals
  • 'AMac', aka. Marshal Festus (AMac@...)
  • Robin "Straight Shooter" Burk
  • 'Cicero', aka. The Quiet Man (cicero@...)
  • David Blue (david.blue@...)
  • 'Lewy14', aka. Marshal Leroy (lewy14@...)
  • 'Nortius Maximus', aka. Big Tuna (nortius.maximus@...)
Other Regulars Semi-Active: Posting Affiliates Emeritus:
Winds Blogroll
Author Archives
Categories
Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en