The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 55

Forecasting the Future


By Khurram Ali Shafique

If the stages of your journey were to be named according to their depiction in these seven sets of poems, they would be: (1) inquiry; (2) discovery; (3) transcendence; (4) freedom; (5) action; (6) expansion; and (7) creation.

If each set of poems describes a particular stage of your journey, then is it possible that the opening lines of the first and the last poems in every set might be describing how you feel when you begin or complete that particular stage in the journey? Can they be treated as “signs” of the beginning and the end of the corresponding stage?

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 1 (Poem 1)

Love reached at Your doorstep through whatever way it took.
How proud of its seeking, since the path has taken it towards You!

Sign of the End of Stage 1 (Poem 8)

Spread Your Grace on Unbelief and Belief alike,
Unveil Your Full Moon for all to see.

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 2 (Poem 9)

Why my voice is passionate, bold and mellow is
Because I have an ember in my dust and the morning breeze is blowing sprightly.

Sign of the End of Stage 2 (Poem 16)

You consider that I am perhaps here for the House,
But am circling the House because I have business with the Lord of the House Himself.

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 3 (Poem 17)

The rider goes by with a glance at us who sit on the way.
O, hold me, for I am now beyond myself!

Sign of the End of Stage 3 (Poem 24)

O Saki! Give me a drink that should spring tulips in my conscience:
Blow the April gust on my handful of dust.

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 4 (Poem 25)

I come to you having washed my heart of every image that the eyes imprint;
I come to you with an empty mind and beg you to cast the coin of meaning in it.

Sign of the End of Stage 4 (Poem 32)

The world is still a necessity for me on the road of high desire,
As my heart is still engaged in caravan, belongings and destination.

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 5 (Poem 33)

Winter is over:
Songs have come to life among the branches again.

Sign of the End of Stage 5 (Poem 40)

From Your light arise the black and the white:
The river, the mountain, the desert, the forest, the moon and the sun.

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 6 (Poem 41)

Give me the heart whose rapture is from a draught of its own wine!
Take away this heart, which is self-effaced and given to fancying others.

Sign of the End of Stage 6 (Poem 48)

Give my heart no time to agitate:
Add a curl or two to your tress!

Sign of the Beginning of Stage 7 (Poem 49)

Embattled with the age,
My soul is like a river weeping among the mountains.

Sign of the End of Stage 7 (Poem 56)

O Lord of the Sun and the Moon! Look at my scattered dust too:
Every particle is agitating, look at this wilderness.

The last sign could be rather alarming if you notice that “scattered dust” usually means death. Could this narrative be one of those where the main character dies at the end? That character is you.

DISCUSS

  • Do the signs of the beginning and end of the first three stages match with how you felt at those points as the protagonist of this narrative?

  • Does the sign of the beginning of the fourth stage match how you felt upon entering this stage?

  • What forecasts can you make about the rest of your journey now?


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The seven stages of the reader's journey can be seen as representing a process of learning.
Persian text