THE RE-EVOLUTION OF RUMI IN NORTH AMERICA
By Julie Ann Bertram, OmegaSource Magazine.
Mevlana Jalalludin Rumi was a 13th Century Mystic from Persia (Iran and surrounding area today), his poems influencing many people over eight centuries in that part of the world. In this part of the world, there is a resurgence of spiritual awareness and understanding, through knowledge of the Divine in the languages of love and truth... Foremost in this revelry is Rumi. The modern English translations of his poetry have penetrated our Western mind; noting that global disputes are largely between Western (American) culture and Middle Eastern culture – precisely the intermingling paradox appreciated by so many Rumi lovers. Here we have logical Western Minds in the present day, expanded by an ancient Middle-Eastern artist.
In the times of war and terrorism, a common denominator prevails in the human condition – an awareness of that which surrounds the Self, a dimensional glimpse of Truth in omnipotent silence. That awareness, resolving any question about what is, cannot communicate it's validity, conciliating all belief systems. Modern purveyors of Rumi’s work, including poet Coleman Barks, translator Kabir Helminski, architect Nader Khalili, artist Michael Green, author Andrew Harvey, director Tina Petrova, myself a singer/songwriter, and countless others are sharing the inspiration of this powerful voice within our work. Coleman Barks writes “Rumi reminds us of the radiant depth inside that is present in grief and in love, in being ecstatically here in the moment. What he celebrates has many names, the soul, Buddha nature, the person of Christ, and Rumi praises them all at one table. There is no quarrel about names or scriptures. His work does not divide; it includes, and that is a blessing these sectarian days. Rumi represents a nourishing exchange for both the East and the West, like the Silk Road was in his day where the beauties of the great religions and the storytellers and poets and their music flowed together and mixed into a new and vibrant fusion.”
North Americans move in and out of religion, science and art at great speeds these days, yet we also find division and difficulty accepting parts that are not apparent in our own personal perceptions. Rumi mitigates this gap to include difference as a complete part in the whole of truth. In the awareness of our differences we come to accept our inner selves, as well as the silent space of others. Kabir Helminski also knows this subject matter to be of utmost importance to humanity; he has gradually taken Rumi inside with the same type of clarity. “This is what a human being needs to know to become fully human. I had loved poetry, but I was not prepared for what I found. He speaks from such a level of inspiration that he gives us the chance to taste that same inspiration. With it is our love for what he loved grows. He is a wide open door, a poet, a wisdom teacher, a voice that describes the best that is possible for a human being. We need someone like him to lift us out of our perspective to a new vantage point.” Rumi has captured universality in simplicity; a complicated world of love and truth, surrounding despair and deceit, has become easily and beautifully traveled by all who are willing to go there. Nader Khalili calls Rumi “A fountain of fire. The greatest mystic poet who ever lived. His message, filling a great spiritual vacuum today, is given in bold and tangible forms: in stories, images. Colours, textures, spaces and timeless unity present in all cultures and religions. And it is given in the simplest form of personal experience.”
The revolution of Rumi is an underground uprising of consciousness, simultaneously influencing with the power structures of current governments and religions that manipulate people on other levels. When has there been a revolution not ANTI-something…it is more like an evolution. Here is a quiet, loving revolution of conscious awareness that needs no weapons, nor to lie down under passivity, to be potent in its message. Even within the extreme fear and hatred of the world today, Rumi’s knowledge trickles down the spine of anyone who hears it, and change occurs within. The translators, poets, musicians and artists influenced by Rumi unite in an unscripted creativity, an active surge of total acceptance to spread around the globe. Eons into the human experience we finally, separate yet whole, raise our hearts to each other and accept ourselves in what we truly feel, whatever that may be. It is here and now that individuals turn their minds and spirits toward heart, self-awareness and compassion. It is here and now that we continue to earthly evolution to include the metaphysical realities not quite incorporated into our worldly experience…
“He is a wide open door, a poet, a wisdom teacher, a voice that describes the best that is possible for a human being.”