Yesterday the Shaykh wandered about the city with a lamp:
“I am weary of demon and monster: I seek a human being.
I am sick of feeble-spirited companions,
I seek the Lion of God or Rustam of the legends.”
I said, “What we have sought is never attained.”
He said, “I seek that which is unattainable.”
Nothing in my forest has gone waste:
Wood that could not be used in the pulpit has been made into gallows.
The statue that had been chiseled into the Poet now becomes a giant wave of the boundless and mysterious ocean which is Rumi. The wave lodges itself in the heart of the ocean and becomes a pearl. Now you see the vision from such great distance that the ocean appears tiny like a flower, and it is not the only flower in view. You can see the entire garden, which is the Muslim nation. Its countless flowers represent the great visionaries that sprung from it.
“I have no need of the ear of today,” the Poet is saying to you. “I am the voice of the poet of tomorrow. My own age does not know the secrets. My Joseph is not for this market. No one has told the secret which I will tell. Come, if you would like to know the secret of everlasting life. Come, if thou would like to win both earth and heaven. I unveiled the secret of the self and disclosed the mystery of its miraculous power. Poetizing is not the aim of this work, so do not find fault with the wine‑cup but consider attentively the taste of the wine.”
The ‘Prelude’ has comprised of five stanzas, each with a different theme, but the bottom line is that all previous knowledge must be held in abeyance while you are in the Garden. If the Poet’s contemporaries did not possess the means for discovering Joseph, then previous knowledge about Rumi, philosophy or anything of the real world cannot be applied here. Those tools were available to those contemporaries who, according to the Poet, did not have the means for discovering Joseph.
This is the sixth chapter in the revised online version of The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality (2007). Next chapter: The System of the Universe.