Religion: A Touch of the Dervish

What voice in this world To my ear has come Save the voice of Love Was a tapped drum. Yet for that drumtap From the world of All Into this perishing land I did fall . . .

So Persia's great poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-73), wrote of the union of the soul with God, its banishment to the world, and the impossibility of putting into words directions for finding the way back. But words were not all the great Rumi had; he taught his followers a way to dance themselves into a state of mystical union with the Divine. They became...

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