Of Right And Wrong, Of Love And Rumi

A Sufi Meditation

Source: Pixabay

Author’s Note : This is the forty sixth installment in my 100 days, 100 blogs challenge. In case you missed it, the previous installment is a list of alternate professions for writers.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
Rumi

Rumi is a magician. His very existence is a dream so universal, he is an aspiration who can be and is pursued by poets, philosophers, thinkers, writers, spiritualists, and romantics alike.

There is nobody like Rumi.

And while the whole body of Rumi’s work deserves the kind of exquisite attention that none of us is perhaps capable of managing in a life time, there is this one quote that holds an endless fascination, a kind of brightly lit spiritual rabbit hole that always entices me to fall deeper, and still deeper.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

On the surface, it looks like a poetic abstraction, a sort of a writer’s whim that is beautiful and enthralling and has the enigma that is the hallmark of all good art. But Rumi’s idea of beauty is not vacuous. Rumi’s idea of beauty is like that of an ocean, calm, serene and ethereal on the surface but holding immeasurable depth of meaning and philosophy within.

These lines by Rumi are so fluid and dense, different people tend to find different meaning depending on their experiences and spiritual moorings. Each meaning is as true as the other, however distinct. Because Sufi thoughts are nothing if not inclusive, and Rumi pioneers them like the emperor of words he is.

One of the most common interpretation of these lines pertains to love and lovers, often used in the context of stories that tackle complex star crossed romances. Love even in its most conventional, visceral form is a force beyond material bonds and has the power to elevate the lovers into a plane where right and wrong become immaterial, where the worldly human considerations lose their meaning and relevance, and where mortal limitations have no hold. Love is a realm in itself which in its purest form is independent of worldly obligations and outcomes. In essence, a love story that we may deem a tragedy may have achieved the ultimate spiritual zenith, a true salvation for the lovers who may seem to have lost it all.

No wonder, love made lovers like Romeo and Juliet, Heer and Ranjha, Soni and Mahiwal immortal in a way only love can. Nothing within the material realm, nothing bogged down by petty, earthly, visceral considerations could have an appeal that continues to endure the tests of time, without as much as fading in relevance or charm. There has to be something in these stories, in the idea of love they encapsulate which is beyond our mortal comprehension. Something deep, spiritual and older than time. Something that ties them to the soul of this very Universe, ensuring that they shall exist for as long as this Universe chooses to be sentient.

Beyond the romance of reinterpreting tragedies in fiction, Rumi’s lines have a massive practical significance for all of us. Because what is true for fiction, is true in life as well, only in much subtle and less melodramatic terms. Love is a constant presence in all our lives in various forms and formats whether we realize it or not. Love is also a powerful spiritual force that can alter our lives drastically and lead us on to the path of an emotionally and spiritually fulfilling existence. But in order to unleash the power of love in our lives, we need to remember that material success of love is very different from its spiritual destiny, and in order to understand love, and let it flow in our lives unhindered, we need to delineate our material consideration from spiritual. We need to let our love be, allow it to thrive in its purest, most honest, most natural, most selfless, most spiritual form. Then and only then, can we experience love to its fullest and harness the spiritual force that it actually is.

In a way, Rumi’s poetic abstraction is a practical dossier of how we should lead our lives and understand love. How we need to let go off the externally imposed, artificially designed understanding of right and wrong to be able to experience the power of this existence, the Universe, our souls as a whole.

The power that is love.

But of course, Rumi was a true Sufi, and for Sufis, the only love that matters is the love of their beloved, their Almighty, their God, the Higher soul that is the fountain of all souls.

And for a power that supreme, for the Higher consciousness that created us all, for the Universe that is pure energy and operates in planes that are absolutely beyond our logical, emotional or spiritual grasp, all human ideas of right and wrong are immaterial. Pointless.

Out beyond the ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field…

Imagine a love that flows from a source that is nothing but compassion and truth. Imagine being in love in a way that consumes your existence, and renders everything else, your ego, your identity, your material attachments meaningless.

Imagine being surrounded by a light that penetrates your soul and fills your being with such happiness and bliss that is beyond the scope of human vocabulary.

Imagine being in love that is so complete, so pure, so true, you cease to desire anything else. Because it is enough. It is truly and wholly enough.

It is the search for this love that makes ascetics out of materialists, and saints out of humans. It is the search for this love that lies at the core of every spiritual quest, and every quest for fulfillment and happiness.

It is the love that eludes this world, because only those who choose to surrender themselves to their faith, to the consciousness that lies dormant in their soul, to the God or energy or Universe that lives in their heart, can ever hope to access.

It is a tall order. A nigh impossible feat that is beyond most mortals. Nobody can really achieve this love. Because it is not achievable. All we can do is set out on the quest because the quest perhaps the whole point.

In the end, all spirituality boils down to one simple idea. The search to find that field where rightdoing and wrongdoing no longer matter.

It is the field where bliss lives. And happiness thrives. And love rises and swells and surrounds everything like a gentle, cozy mist.

In many ways, aspiring for that field is the only aspiration worth our time in this nasty, brutish, short life.

Rumi has showed us the path and the zenith that awaits us beyond the horizon of true, pure love. But it is up to us to make a choice and dare to break the shackles of the material limitations and look beyond.

It is our choice to walk down that path of love.

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