Coleman Barks tells us in the introduction to this chapter that “Sufis call the wantings nafs. From the urgent way lovers want each other to the sannyasin’s search for truth, all meaning is from the mover. Every pull draws us to the ocean.” Rumi says it’s important to live the wantings as they come and not get stuck somewher stagnant. Always there is room for reflection to determine exactly what Rumi is trying to tell us!
On Monday I began reading the piece titled: Controlling Urgency, What a Woman’s Laughter Can Do, And the Nature of True Virility. This reading covers seven pages in the book so I decided to read a page each day this week. As I read I kept reminding myself of who Rumi’s audience was at the time of his teaching. His truths apply today as much as they applied then, but how he chose to share a thought or idea was linked to the time and culture in which he lived. This story involves a Caliph, the Captain of his army and a beautiful woman. It’s a love story with twists and turns that Rumi uses to teach his listeners. He teaches about the body’s desire and how all consuming it can be. He teaches about lust. He teaches about telling the truth. He teaches about how listening to the faint whispering of the Divine can lead to breaking cycles. Rumi concludes his story with the Caliph, “ending the cycle of sowing lust and reaping secrecy and vengefulness.” I believe he is telling us that we always have the opportunity to look within at our motives and see if they align with the Divine.