February 15th, 2010


John Renard, "In the Mirror of Creation: a Muslim Mystic's View of the Individual in the Cosmos"


In the encyclopedic poetry of one of Islam's most prominent mystics, Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-73), one can discover a great deal about the main lines of classical Islamic cosmology and psychology. Conceiving of all of creation as a mirror with two sides, both of which have their reflective values, Rum! describes both the macrocosm and the microcosm as theaters of divine revelation. In the end, one must come to know God's reflection in the intimacy of the solitary heart; but the cosmos will do for a start. Through his classic understandings of space, time, causality, the evolution of consciousness, and the attractive power of like beings in creation, Rumi tells of Creation's potential for making known the Creator. And in his images of body, spirit, intellect, and heart, the poet limns the outlines of the essentially human. In the process, he proceeds from macrocosm to microcosm and back; for just as the heart of the individual is the locus of God's reflection in the person, His prophets are as Heart to the Body of the cosmos, in their function of revealing the divine presence and word.
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