“Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make sense any more.” – Rumi
I’m not there with you, Rumi, but I can see that place – on the horizon, and beyond.
Some times, I have flashes of that field. To my thinking mind, which is full of so many (unimportant) things, the field is empty. To my thinking mind, the field is boring, and meaningless.
I know that place, that field, is there. I can almost taste it. My mind becomes restless with the thought; for every certain idea, another idea replaces it, in a nano-second. My mind is restless, it is a place filled with words and opinions, and it keeps reaching for more. Will it ever be full? I think not. In that place of certainty, there is right and wrong, there is good and bad, there are my values and the values of others, which may or may not agree. What a place of judgment is the mind. And, in a way, what a place of safety, that place of certainty.
But still – that field is there. I know it, not with my mind, but with a deeper knowing. It is an experience, not a thought, not a judgment, not something I know to be true, or right. Something there is, something there has been, something there will be… something…
The writings of Thomas Aquinas: He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or opposition of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.
Near the end of his life, Aquinas refused to write, after an experience of Christ.
Christ said to Thomas, “You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have for your labor?” Thomas responded, “Nothing but you, Lord.”  After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: “Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me” (mihi videtur ut palea). (Wikipedia).
This I know: all my doing, all my best intentions, all my “right” thinking, amounts to nothing in the realm of All That Is. I cannot achieve this. I cannot save enough to get it. I cannot do enough to receive it.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:6
5 thoughts on “What Rumi knew.”
You are indeed not only a student of theology but an English major who writes and distills beautifully.
Thank you for sharing those thoughts.
I want to leave all the busy-ness behind – but am troubled by the fact that I will not be “producing” anything…I long to be out in nature, away from the insanity of civilization’s “go, go, go”…but I still need to go to work and pay the rent…I sense the greater Spirit…only just…not enough to lean back into it…
Lovely, Mary Elyn, lovely. You have nudged me back to
[I didn’t finish my sentence!]
You have nudged me back to God’s realm.
I hope I have nudged you back to your own writing, also, Sylvia. Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comment.