I read this recently and thought it was worth comment! Passion - the driving force of life.
Some call Rumi the 'Sufi poet of love' some describe him as the ' Persian Mystic'.
The 1st time I had ever even heard the name was maybe 9 years ago- on a visit to Cairo when we stayed in an apartment owned by an american professor who practised Sufism and who's house had a prayer room and images of sufi's and quotes from Rumi all over it. It was a beautiful apartment and sparked a curiosity in me.
Many dancers reading this will have read of Sufi dancing ( AKA whirling dervishes) and perhaps seen a Sufi dancer perform on a Nile boat , like the one I work on , The Pharoah, or at the free sufi performace near Khan el Khalili .
Rumi (full name- Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī) wrote in Persian and lived in the area which has eventually become known as Turkey. After his death, in 1273, his son and his followers founded the Mawlawīyah Sufi Order which is where the twirling 'dance' that, we see mainly in tourist shows today, comes from.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dancing as a path for reaching God. His whole thinking revolves (excuse the pun!) around unity and love. He has written widely on love- a love that connects all peoples from all religions with God.
"Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalal_ad-Din_Muhammad_Rumi if you are interested in finding out more.... also check out a film called 'Seventh Heaven' (recently released here in Cairo).
"What can I do, Submitters to God? I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Zoroastrian nor Muslim,
I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,
not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,
not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.
I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,
not from existence, not from being.
I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,
not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan
I am not from the world, not from beyond,
not from heaven and not from hell.
I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.
My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,
no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.
I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.
One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.
Beyond "He" and "He is" I know no other.
I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.
I have no concern but carouse and rapture.
If one day in my life I spend a moment without you
from that hour and that time I would repent my life.
If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you
I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.
O Sun of Tabriz, I am so tipsy here in this world, I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture"