Rumi on Eros

As everyone realises full well, Rumi is the poet of Eros. My friend Alex came across, and passed on, some further exemplary quotes from Rumi’s spiritual poems..

Rumi is the paradigm of the ‘way of union’, the Eros by which the Ultimate lays hands on the Relative, and the Relative — knowing the Absolute that takes it in its hands — becomes a conduit for its Love, Light, Life. Such are the enlightened, the illumined, the charismatic. Others call this person Master, Guru, Staretz, Elder, Holy Man or Holy Woman, Teacher, but if they are genuine this is not what they call themselves; they call themselves learner, servant, friend of humanity.

Eros challenges “Ego, and Desire.” You cannot ‘melt’ ala Rumi whilst your ego ‘sticks out like a sore thumb’ and your desire is high jacked by ‘delusive cravings.’

1,

Last night,
I saw the realm of joy and pleasure.
There I melted like salt;
no religion, no blasphemy,
no conviction or uncertainty remained.
In the middle of my heart,
a star appeared,
and the seven heavens were lost in its brilliance.

2,

You have learnt so much
And read a thousand books.
Have you ever read your Self?
You have gone to mosque and temple.
Have you ever visited your soul?
You are busy fighting Satan.
Have you ever fought your
Ill intentions?
You have reached into the skies,
But you have failed to reach
What’s in your heart!

3,

Tear down the mosque, tear down the temple
Tear down everything in sight
But don’t break anyone’s heart
Because God lives there

4,

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of learning—it doesn’t matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come again, come.

Between Rumi, St Dionysus, Buddhism, et al. there is only a difference of emphasis, and nuancing; a difference of degree, not a difference of kind. The Benign Gift of Eros is much the same wherever it appears, even crossing the supposed divide between personal and impersonal stances toward Divinity. What does it matter what you believe ‘about’ God? If you can experience God, direct and unmediated, and if this experiencing includes knowing the ‘way’ God ‘holds’ the creation in his/its hands, then why argue over descriptions of the Real? As my friend Karin Greenhead once said in a different context, descriptions are only descriptions, they are not, and cannot be treated as, the Real. No words and no pictures can encompass the Real. Once fully in God’s hands, once fully living the way God holds us in these hands, we will ‘know.’ In this existence, ‘we see through a glass darkly’, as Paul put it; but in eternity ‘we will know as we are known.’ That will settle all metaphysical differences, and arguments. Doubtless, in that changed situation, we will understand as we cannot now the coinherence of personal and impersonal aspects of God. It may turn out that this contradiction, like all the others, is no big deal once we are in God and God is in us, wholly. It may turn out that ‘impersonality’ just means God has other fish to fry besides us, and that ‘personalness’ means God is committed unreservedly and ultimately to how our cooking is going, and how it will turn out..

It is Rumi’s voice I love, not always his metaphysics.

In Eros, ‘to know’ is ‘to love.’ If you are without love, you will never know.