Religion: Whirling Mystics

Listen to the reed breathing

Fervent love and intense pain

Since it was wrenched from its

marshy bed...

Kindled by the spark of love

I am drunk with love's own wine

If you wish to know what lovers

suffer

Listen to the reed.

For the 13th century Persian poet Jalal al-din Rumi, the reed was a metaphor for man. Rumi was a follower of the ancient principles of Sufism, a mystical movement that is to Islam roughly what Hasidism is to Judaism. He believed that the soul and God are one and the same. The world, he taught the faithful, is but a tomb, temporarily...

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