The Mystic Rumi on Love and Longing

Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (September 30,1207 – December 17, 1273) was a Persian poet and mystic. His prose expresses both the longing for and joy of union with perfect, infinite Love.

Who has not experienced longing? We long for a person, a feeling. We crave an object or a substance. And yet nothing we obtain can fill that longing for but a moment because what we seek is not of this world.

What we really long for is re-union with our Source. We have within us a faint memory of perfect peace and utter bliss or we would not crave it.

Listen carefully to Rumi’s words and you will hear the same song being sung by your soul.

From Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing translation by Coleman Barks, John Moyne, Nevit Ergin, Reynold Nicholson, M.G.Gupta

Someone who does not run toward the allure of love walks a road where nothing lives.

Philosophers have said that we love music because it resembles the sphere sounds of union. 
We’ve been part of a harmony before, so these moments of treble and bass keep our remembering fresh.

Knock on the inner door, no other.

There is a fountain inside you.
Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.

A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable
than anything else that could ever be given you.
Hear the passage into silence and be that.

The following are lines are taken from, translations by Andrew Harvey

We are darkness and God is Light; 
This house receives
all splendor from the Sun

Here, the Light is mingled with shadow.
Do you want your light totally pure?
Leave the house and climb onto the roof.

Go on a journey from self to Self, my friend…
Such a journey transforms the earth into a mine of gold.

Whatever you know, or don’t  only Love is real.

Run forward, the way will spring open to you
Be destroyed, you’ll be flooded with life
Humble yourself, you’ll grow greater than the world
Yourself will be revealed to you, without you.

If anyone had once, even once, glimpsed Your Face of Lightning, 
They’d spend every second stammering Your Praise.

Each moment, like the angels, they’d offer their heart to Your Fire,
Each moment, like the angels, they’d be reborn in You.

You are ‘there’, I ‘here’.
Worlds separate us,
Yet I say your name and waves of Light
Wash to me silently from your Heart.

There are a myriad of different ways to search, but the object of the search is always the same.
The roads are different; the goal is one.
When people reach the goal, all quarrels or disputes that flared along the road are resolved.
Those who yelled at each other along the road, “You are wrong!” or “You are a blasphemer!” forget all possible differences when they reach the goal.
There all hearts sing in unison.

Heartsong: Love, Mystery and the Song of Your Spirit

The novel HEARTSONG is a compelling story that touches all one’s emotions. It is…

A MYSTERY: What destroyed the village of Glendon Lake? Why has beautiful, 32 year old Devon Wells chosen to make her home in this isolated, hostile mountain village?

PSYCHOLOGICAL: A story of betrayal and loss, guilt and forgiveness. What causes a mind to be split between fantasy and reality, and how can it be healed?

A LOVE STORY: The power of love to heal, unite and transcend the physical realm.

MYSTICAL: Are past and present, this life and the next, separate realities or merely echoes of each other? Are there alternate dimensions of reality?

Chapter 1

I promised I would never tell this story. Fearful people make foolish promises. Now I know peace cannot enter where dark secrets dwell.

We first heard the name that would forever change Glendon Lake, New York in the fall of 1985. A late September sun washed the Adirondack village in a shimmering light. Like a protective barrier against the harsh winter to come, Glen Mountain cradled the town from the north. Along the southern edge, the dark blue waters of Glendon Lake caressed empty beaches.

With migrating birds drawing V’s against the autumn sky, and comets of color brushing the trees, the little mountain resort was at its most picturesque. Few people noticed. After Labor Day, residues of tourism are scrubbed from the face of the village, and the locals are more comfortable in the smoky shadows of Corky’s Bar than out in the open air.

Corky’s is the heart of town. If you want to hear the latest local news, you make it a point to stop in at least once a day. Since my daily visits lasted a good part of the afternoon, I was there the first time the name Devon Wells was spoken.

Mike Williams and I were at our usual spot at the bar having our usual conversation, trying to figure out how Mike could make some money. He was in dire straits and I was anxious to help him. Day after day, he
voiced his despair, and day after day, I tried to lift his spirits.

My concern for Mike was partially fueled by guilt. In 1978, he bought the construction business his father and I started in the fifties during Glendon Lake’s heyday. Even after those lucrative years, there was always enough building within a hundred mile radius to keep us busy. Not long after Mike bought the company, however, the bottom fell out of construction in the North Country. Mike was reduced to doing repair work on the old stores, motels and cabins that cater to the middle class tourists who pass through in summer.

Winters were long and lean, but Mike had been getting by. He was bored though, and longed to build something. Then his mother goes and sends him one of those newly popular self-help, you can do anything books. It convinced him he had to take a risk to turn his life around. So, he decided to build a log cabin on Glen Mountain.

His father and I bought most of the lower western section of the mountain years ago. About a mile and a half wide, the property consists mostly of gently rolling forest. Midway, a road runs up the mountain. My house is about a quarter of a mile up on the east side. A little beyond that on the west side is a twenty acre spread of fairly flat land. When Mike Senior retired to Florida, I bought out his share all but that parcel which he wanted to give to his son. When Mike decided to build on a portion of it, his father financed him and I offered to help.

Mike Junior hoped to sell it as a summer home, or at least rent it for the season. It was a desperate act; Glendon Lake hasn’t attracted full- time summer residents for many years. The tourists who come here can’t afford more than a one week vacation, and not a fancy one at that. But Mike was always a bit of a dreamer. Guess he thought he could turn Glendon’s luck around as well as his own. No one but him was surprised there hadn’t been a nibble on the place, to buy or rent, in over two years.

The cabin turned into an added expense Mike could ill afford. Then, last June, he fell off the roof of the Double D Diner while tarring some weak spots. His right leg was broken in two places, his left knee shattered, and he was out of commission during the busiest time of the year. He refused to ask his father for any more money, and was a wreck worrying about how to pay the bills and put food on the table.

It might not be rational, but I felt some responsibility for Mike and his problems. I wanted to help. From the higher elevation of my barstool, I looked down at Mike slumped in his wheelchair. The sorry sight of him made me decide to go ahead and offer the loan I’d been wanting to extend for some time. As a sixty-two-year-old bachelor, I had more money than most people in Glendon Lake, and little to spend it on. It was only knowledge of the fierce Williams’ pride and quick temper that held me back. But things were at a critical point, and I figured Mike would take money from me quicker than welfare.

As I cleared my throat to speak, the door of Corky’s flew open and the bulk of George Henderson filled the frame. He paused, panting with the exertion of carrying his body from his real estate office across the street.

“Mike! Mike!” George yelled as he caught his breath. He squinted his eyes, peering about the cloudy barroom in search of Mike. I recall the moment vividly for it was the only time in my life that the sight of George Henderson gave me pleasure. I gulped my beer, glad not to have to face the awkwardness of offering Mike money.

“Over here, George,” Mike called.

Not waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, George followed Mike’s voice across the room. He hunkered forward and waved his arms in front of him to clear a path to where we sat. He completely missed Mike sitting in the wheelchair and nearly landed in his lap. And it was there, sprawled between the bar and the arm of the wheelchair, that George made his momentous announcement.

“Praise God, Mike, we got an offer on the cabin!”

Silence fell over the bar. I believe tears sprang to Mike’s eyes, but he quickly dropped his head. It wasn’t but a few seconds before he whispered, “Take it. Whatever it is, take it.”

George regained his pompous air along with his footing. Smoothing his jacket, he chuckled at a slow, deliberate rate. Then the sound deepened and his belly wiggled as he cried, “Oh, but Mikey, that’s the best part. They’re going to pay full price!”

Corky Moran let out a long, slow whistle from behind the bar. Mike’s eyes widened in disbelief. “You got to be shitting me!”

George rubbed his hands together. “I shit you not, my good man. I shit you not.”

“Mother of Christ, I don’t believe this.” Mike looked anxiously at me and then Corky for confirmation that we’d heard the same thing and he wasn’t dreaming.

“Well, it’s the God’s honest truth, Mike, old boy. The God’s honest truth. I guess you could say the worm has fully turned, eh? The worm has fully turned!”

George settled his bulk on a barstool and proceeded to draw his story out to far greater lengths than necessary.

“Less than an hour ago, the telephone rang. I was walking in the door from lunch. Marcy wasn’t there. Been home sick all week, you know. Flu bug or some such thing. Anyway, I answered the phone. There was a man on the line identified himself as a lawyer from New York City. Oops,” George said condescendingly, “an attorney. I do beg your pardon. This attorney person said he was representing a certain party, a… hold on, I got it right here in my pocket. Right. A Miss Devon Wells. That’s it. Says this Devon Wells person wants to buy your cabin and the ten acres that goes with it.”

“When did she see it?” my curiosity prompted me to ask.

George turned toward me. “God only knows, Ben. That’s a mystery in itself. I never showed it to her. I’ve shown the cabin so few times I can remember exactly who and when.”

“What else did the lawyer fella say?” Mike wanted to know.

“Well, he asked the price, and I told him. And we’re talking the original, Mike.” George grinned, delighted with his own business acumen. “I know we discussed dropping the price after season, but we never got around to setting a new one. So, I just went ahead and quoted the original. The lawyer didn’t hesitate a second. Not a second. Said that would be fine, draw up the contract and send it to his office. He gave me the address. Meantime, he said, he’d put a thousand dollar binder in the mail today to hold the property.”

“A thousand dollars!” Mike’s face lit up. His joy quickly gave way to worry. “What if they change their mind? Do we get to keep the thousand?”

“Well, no, not at this point. It’s what they call good faith money. They’re not legally obligated to nothing until the contract is signed. Then they put down ten percent and if they back out after that, well, they’re just shit out of luck, as the saying goes.”

“Did you mail the contract yet?” Mike pressed.

“Not yet, Mike. I wanted to find you first and deliver the good news.”

“That’s fine, George, and I do appreciate it. Now how’s about hustling back to the office and getting that contract in the mail?”

“That’s just what I intend to do, Mike. Just exactly. In fact, I promised the lawyer I’d do just that, get it in the mail today. Believe it or not, we could close this thing out in a month. These people seem as anxious to buy the cabin as you are to sell it.” George pushed himself off the barstool.

“Thanks, Georgie boy. You done a fine job. Just fine.” Mike patted him on the arm.

“Why thank you, Mike. You know I aim to please. The satisfaction of my clients is of utmost importance to me…”

“Sure, George. You don’t have to tell me. Now you get on with what’s gotta be done.”

“Fear not. I’ll have it in the evening mail.” George hurried out of Corky’s with a grin to rival Mike’s.

I ordered drinks for everyone in the bar. Together, we toasted the sale of Mike’s cabin. As he raised his glass to his lips, Mike whispered, “Thank you, sweet Jesus.”


Why You Want to Separate, Individuate and Be Special

Do you want to separate from the pack? Stand out from the crowd? Be special, noticed?

Do you want to belong? Feel connected and loved?

We have both drives within us. Love is virtually our life force. Infants cannot survive and thrive without loving care.  Social isolation has deadly effects. But eventually, we need to cut the apron strings. To be mature, productive adults, we must be able to stand on our own.

One can successfully fulfill these two seemingly conflicting drives. The desire for love and connection is fulfilled in relationships, the workplace, community. The drive for specialness is fulfilled in self-development and achievement. But today, it seems that the drive to separate has gone to an unhealthy, unfulfilling extreme.

There are two primary motives behind the urge to separate…

Success-Driven Separation

When we seek our value and identity from external sources, we go to great lengths to be recognized. A false sense of pride drives us to set ourselves apart and highlight our differences. We compete to outdo one another, to prove we are better. Whether it is us alone or our team, our product or our country, we want to win, be #1. That’s what our society glorifies, and that’s our goal. But at what cost?

Winners must have losers. Superior necessitates inferior. Did you play the game King of the Hill when you were a child? Everyone struggles to reach the top of a hill and hold that position. How? By pushing contenders down the hill as they approach. Sooner or later, the king is outnumbered and thrown from his perch. The position is claimed by someone else who then turns against those who helped him achieve the coveted spot.

The excitement of gaining the top of the hill was always accompanied by fear of losing it. The apex is a scary, shaky place when attained by pushing others down. There’s always someone nipping at our heels, anxious to overthrow the king. Winning is ephemeral, the thrill of victory short lived, replaced by a sense of separation and isolation. 

Too much self-centered attitude…brings isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. Dalai Lama

Little did we know that our game echoed the game of life. Competition is one of the primary forces in business and athletics, in life. It drives a wedge in relationships. Partners compete: who is contributing more? Who is the better parent? More accomplished? Parents and children compete: who is in control? Students compete: who is smarter? Friends compete: who is more popular? Competition can separate us from those we most want to connect with.

Ironically, it doesn’t matter whether we are better than everyone else

or worse, as long as we stand out, are special.

We are natural born attention seekers. Whether we are clothed in the finest apparel or covered in tattoos, we will – we hope – be noticed.

Fear-Driven Separation

Just as we have an innate drive to connect and belong, we have an instinctual fear of others. Long before the development of agriculture and with it the establishment of settlements, we lived as nomadic tribes. Practically everyone within the tribe was related. We were totally interdependent and shared a group consciousness. On the occasions we encountered another tribe, we were naturally suspicious. Were they friend or foe? Were they after our food, water, territory?

This instinctual response to strangers is still within us. It was tempered when we settled in communities, and cooperation was necessary to survive. Nevertheless, within those settlements, we were drawn to people and groups with whom we felt a certain kinship. We still are.

We join churches of a particular faith and clubs of shared interests. We are wary of those who are or appear significantly different. Slavery developed because whites did not recognize blacks as fully human. Torture takes place when people see the other as evil, sub-human.

Fear is at the root of separation and hatred. Fear becomes magnified when it is the common thread that joins us.

There is no passion so contagious as that of fear. Michel de Montaigne

We are afraid of people of different cultures, colors, religions, sexuality, belief systems. We are afraid of our specialness and belief systems being threatened. We are afraid of losing something. We are afraid of being deprived. We are afraid of being hurt.

We are simply afraid. Take all those objects of fear away and we will find another.

Walls will not protect us. Wars will not protect us. Fear is internal and cannot be erased by external measures. We are not going to overcome our automatic instincts to distrust and separate from our fellow human beings until we recognize our primal fear and deal with it rationally.

Fear can only be overcome but its opposite: Love. And by that I mean acceptance, kindness, integration, understanding. It is impossible to understand and hate.

Yes, there are those in the world who would do another harm. But they do not fit into any one country or religion. If those of peace and goodwill are unified, those who are not will be more easily recognized and dealt with.

As love attracts love, fear attracts fear. We must not be swept up in a tide of group fear and paranoia lest it leads to the downfall not only of ourselves but of our country.

   …the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked & denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Goering during the Nuremberg trials