Before Life -- Rumi (what do you get from it?)

stranger

the divine ignorance (and friends)
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Attn. SufiPhilosophy, others. Anyone welcome. I won't interfere, just like to hear what others think. Doesn't have to be comprehensive, any small insight will do. Sufi, if you do show up here novellas are also allowed. :) (edit: This is not an insult, Sufi, I actually think you are magnificent and would love to see you write a lot on this subject. I mean that. Just a little friendly kidding is all... between friends, I hope?)


I wasn't like this before.
I wasn't out of my mind and senses.
Once I used to be wise like you,
Not crazy, insane and broken down
Like I am now.
I wasn't the admirer of life
Which has no trace, no being.
I used to ask "Who is this? What is that?"
And search all the time.
Since you have wisdom,
Sit and think
That probably I was like this before.
I haven't changed much.
I used to try to make
Myself better than everybody.
I hadn't been hunted
With the ever-growing love before.
I tried to rise above the sky
With my ambition
Yet I didn't know I was just wandering in the desert.
At the end I have raised
A treasure from the ground.
 
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Have we anyone who can read the original Persian (?). And tell us thoughts on the translation?

Are their other translations?

Ruin to me is not always cohesive, his prose seems to wander like thought.

I often gain/glean an understanding on a line standing alone yet cant grock it in context of the whole.
 
Attn. SufiPhilosophy, others. Anyone welcome. I won't interfere, just like to hear what others think. Doesn't have to be comprehensive, any small insight will do. Sufi, if you do show up here novellas are also allowed. :)


I wasn't like this before.
I wasn't out of my mind and senses.
Once I used to be wise like you,
Not crazy, insane and broken down
Like I am now.
I wasn't the admirer of life
Which has no trace, no being.
I used to ask "Who is this? What is that?"
And search all the time.
Since you have wisdom,
Sit and think
That probably I was like this before.
I haven't changed much.
I used to try to make
Myself better than everybody.
I hadn't been hunted
With the ever-growing love before.
I tried to rise above the sky
With my ambition
Yet I didn't know I was just wandering in the desert.
At the end I have raised
A treasure from the ground.

Well before life can be seen as life before spiritual realisation.

The poem does not sound like Rhumi?

Baha'u'llah quotes Rhumi often, so my guess is that Rhumi had great spiritual insights.

"Love shunneth this world and that world too

In him are lunacies seventy-and-two

The minstrel of love harpeth this lay

Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray. – Rumi, The Masnavi, quoted in Baha’u’llah’s The Four Valleys, p. 54.

I like this one about growing in spirit.

"Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game. - Rumi

Regards Tony
 
Thank you @stranger, you are always polite in a vanilla situation and that is a core indicator of faith. I think you have already encapsulated a lot of Sufism in that manner because you have set your sights on the true goal, rather than the distractions.

I'm unsure what the cited poem in your OP means. I guess he's saying the truth he sought, was with him, nourishing him, the secret was in him, all along.

We each contain a beautiful secret - that is our soul, which is a fragment of the pure existence of God. That's how l rationalise chastity - it is about guarding that secret, making it only for the right person / people. That's a very difficult path, which of us doesn't pray: "Lord give me chastity, but not just yet!"

Sufism is in the trail blazed by the friends of God of old times. Many Sufi brotherhoods imitate their way, l guess that's what a brotherhood (tariqah / lodge) is.

That's a good idea but also, you can just tear up the rulebook and hope for the best because really there are infinite rules and zero rules.

At the end of the day all seekers reach a point where they must dismount and continue on foot, and from there, a point where they can only be carried, not go forward by their own agency i.e. they have to be chosen.

There's almost always a price to pay, in fact l've never heard of anybody having an outwardly pleasant life after such mystic experiences. Sometimes the sufi saints were executed (and note: they completely agreed with their executioners, there was never any conflict), sometimes they lost everything and became homeless itinerants.

We can at least take some momentary pleasure from these sufi poems, like an oasis along the way. There's something in it for everyone.
 
Have we anyone who can read the original Persian (?). And tell us thoughts on the translation?

Are their other translations?

Ruin to me is not always cohesive, his prose seems to wander like thought.

I often gain/glean an understanding on a line standing alone yet cant grock it in context of the whole.

Very wise, wil, thank you. Perhaps it is a curse of sorts to be limited to the understanding of a line alone, but is there not also a certain simplicity in it? The lonely line contains the bare essence of the whole. I am often envious of those who grock more, but alas, one has his/her calling, one after this manner and another after that. Mine is limited to the lonely line...

And yet, with limitation comes clarity and singleness of purpose. When I first came here, you suggested our involvement here would be like a briss of sorts, and certainly that has proven true. Time warps, folds in upon itself, and we find the end from the beginning, the beginning from the end, and all points in between shifting, unlimited by the linear. Nevertheless, children must play, and I would have it so.

In the playing, I would only hope that the children are kind to one another's hearts (as I think you have been to mine? -- I would hope so anyway.), for to be unkind is to be like the foolish people (adults). So it was in the recess playgrounds of my youth, that there was always a teacher on duty to see that the children never cross into the adult realms, that is to say actually fighting and hurting one another.

Many rough games were played: war, scrub football, dodgeball... some adventurous children pushing the limits of an old swingset, swinging to dizzying heights where the chain that tethers them became slack, and if only for a moment, they were suspended in zero gravity. Games can become dangerous when we don't take care of one another.

As for grocking, I find myself being limited to quality over quantity, but in the quality I find the essence of the whole. A little happy, a little sad.
 
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Well before life can be seen as life before spiritual realisation.

The poem does not sound like Rhumi?

Baha'u'llah quotes Rhumi often, so my guess is that Rhumi had great spiritual insights.

"Love shunneth this world and that world too

In him are lunacies seventy-and-two

The minstrel of love harpeth this lay

Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray. – Rumi, The Masnavi, quoted in Baha’u’llah’s The Four Valleys, p. 54.

I like this one about growing in spirit.

"Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game. - Rumi

Very nice, Tony, thank you. Yes, weaning takes time, dedication... and I believe above all, love? Without love nothing works. Everything becomes chaos, the weaning becomes a broken battlefield where a child must fight for survival. In imposing order we always have to be careful. Who is being weaned, who is doing the weaning? These things are sometimes interchangeable, but the wise must use discernment. Hence, "wean yourself", as one, a united whole that is more than the sum of it's parts. Thank you again.
 
At the end of the day all seekers reach a point where they must dismount and continue on foot, and from there, a point where they can only be carried, not go forward by their own agency i.e. they have to be chosen.

There's almost always a price to pay, in fact l've never heard of anybody having an outwardly pleasant life after such mystic experiences. Sometimes the sufi saints were executed (and note: they completely agreed with their executioners, there was never any conflict), sometimes they lost everything and became homeless itinerants.

We can at least take some momentary pleasure from these sufi poems, like an oasis along the way. There's something in it for everyone.

Sufi, this is why I was hoping you would stop by. It has been educational, to say the least. Teachers with a good heart are a rare find, and the best of them know that the role of teacher and student are sometimes interchangeable. Thus the best and most humble teachers will always say, "I learn as much from my students as they learn from me."

I leave most of your post to stand alone as truth I (and perhaps others) need to come back to again and again in order to glean better understanding. Good teachings are indeed a deep well.

Yes, the price is steep I believe. There is a loneliness that is so deep none may touch it or help. It is at this point that we hope to be carried. We hope that those arms that carry us will be loving, but we are helpless even if they are not. This is a sad truth, a lonely truth. A truth of the powerless, the exhausted, the spent.

I have a gift for you, a poem that has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I believe it was first written in 1827 and underwent revision in 1845 in order to arrive in it's final form. Both versions are good, but I have found that a comparison of the two traces the evolving understanding of the writer. And the writer is none other than that master of dark sayings, Poe. Check it out:

The Lake -- to ________

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide earth a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that tower'd around.
But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then—ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.
Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

Edgar Allen Poe, 1845 version
 
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"I don't know."

Cino, I didn't mean for this short reply to seem rude. It's simply an expression of helplessness in the face of the divine. Better to utter this three words than to fill empty space with the nonsense of human machinations. This is to say, "Help me God, I need more revelation." There's no shame in this position.
 
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Many mushrooms look alike, you can't simply look at one side to determine if they wrill be edible, or poisonous, you have to turn some over, look at their source, do a spore print.

I feel the same with litrature like this...without knowing who was being addressed, what the original text is, what other interpretations are, what the conditions the author was in when writing....the words are just words and our meaning and understandings will be largely dictated by our life and experiences. While this will always be the case further information as described will help us fine tune some of that out.

I mean, can any of us read this without putting ourselves into the thought, our lives, our understandings and our growth? won't each of us get something different out just as we do with any scripture, or any shooting star, or every cry of a baby, or taste of soup?

Read again and tell me it aint so.

I wasn't like this before.
I wasn't out of my mind and senses.
Once I used to be wise like you,
Not crazy, insane and broken down
Like I am now.
I wasn't the admirer of life
Which has no trace, no being.
I used to ask "Who is this? What is that?"
And search all the time.
Since you have wisdom,
Sit and think
That probably I was like this before.
I haven't changed much.
I used to try to make
Myself better than everybody.
I hadn't been hunted
With the ever-growing love before.
I tried to rise above the sky
With my ambition
Yet I didn't know I was just wandering in the desert.
At the end I have raised
A treasure from the ground.
 
...without knowing who was being addressed, what the original text is, what other interpretations are, what the conditions the author was in when writing....the words are just words and our meaning and understandings will be largely dictated by our life and experiences. While this will always be the case further information as described will help us fine tune some of that out.

I mean, can any of us read this without putting ourselves into the thought, our lives, our understandings and our growth? won't each of us get something different out just as we do with any scripture, or any shooting star, or every cry of a baby, or taste of soup?

Yes, will. I'm glad to see you have kept the door open toe further information. This thread has already far exceeded what I had hoped for and I hope to get more from it before all is said and done. Yes, there is a matter of perspective... where does it come from, from what source does it issue. For me personally, I would hope it comes from the source I need most. Not expect, but need. I babble on hear though. Deep calls unto deep.

Read again and tell me it aint so.

I did and you are right. The poem came from me in the OP. It came from you in the response. This is good, I love to let things develop like this. It's what makes my world go 'round these days. :(
 
Hello @stranger, I am rather late but I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I had never come across this poem before but have now really taken a liking to it. I was inclined to agree with @Tone Bristow-Stagg in that I was not sure if this was Rumi.

There is some stuff on the web.
is a really nice little video. And this one on Reddit is I think, a really nice reading.
 
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