Andrew James Whalan

Poet Blogger Writer

Rumi’s Puzzle of Love

08 07 Butterfly Puzzle 26

08 07 Butterfly Puzzle 26 (Photo credit: cachew)

Though long deceased, the Persian poet Rumi regularly sends me quotes on Facebook.

Last week’s quote was “To find the Beloved, you must become the Beloved.

I was puzzled. And I tried to analyse it. And became more puzzled.

So this time took my advice to others: when puzzled, describe don’t explain!

So while I’m still puzzled, I’ll describe its meaning to me.

Rumi and other Persian poets write about the Lover loving the Beloved. The love is a quest. The Lover must journey away from and then towards the Beloved. The Lover is transformed along the way.

Does he mean the Lover loses himself (herself) in the Beloved? The Lover then becomes the Beloved. Which could be slavery or unselfish love for another or empathy.

Does the Lover end up loving himself (herself) thus becoming the Beloved? Which sounds like that selfishness which requires slavery from others.

But suppose the Lover loved himself (herself) with the same (unselfish) love as he or she loves the Beloved? Puzzle solved.

Rumi’s real puzzle:

  • Love others unselfishly
  • Love yourself unselfishly.

Puzzle

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