In a group meeting with Hasan Shushud back in the 1970’s, Jonathan Boulting related that this was one of the bits of wisdom Shushud shared, with the caveat that his English might need some reconsideration: GRIEF: Our contract with Eternity. Mr. Shushud spoke often about our inborn nostalgia, our longing “to go home,” our separation from our Essence… the source of true grief. Nevit Ergin referred constantly in his translations of Rumi’s poetry to “His sorrow.” When some begin the practice of fasting, they are able to begin to taste that sorrow, and it is one of the greatest gifts. Our self doesn’t want to feel it, which is its impetus for surrounding itself with an infinite number of distractions. As for the contract, it might be more of a promise that we made and need to keep. As Rumi says, “The purpose of Existence is to reach Absence.”
Rumi tells it exactly like it is in this week’s poem, “Hear the Shouts (11/6/2022).” Who else mentions the long time period of (metaphorically) shedding one’s one blood so objectively, so dispassionately? Who else describes ecstasy so simply? Amidst the chaos we are all facing now, here’s Rumi offering up some hope. Comments or questions welcome below.