This is the 12th chapter in the revised online version of The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality“Education of the self has three phases,” you see the heading of the next chapter. “They are (a) obedience; (b) self-control; and (c) Divine Vicegerency.”
Each phase is explained under a separate subheading.
Phase I: Obedience
Phase II: Self-Control
The camel goes on in the desert without food and water, looking happier than its rider. Do not disobey rules if you wish to overcome obstacles.
A rider requires some art in order to tame the camel, or else the beast would prefer going its own way. The five “pillars” of Islam are meant to help you tame the beast in you so that you may have an easy ride:
- Proclamation of faith (“There is no god except God, and Muhammad is His Messenger”) liberates the pure essence of the human being from various forms of fear which had to be blended in order to form the body
- Prayer, the pearl to be found inside the oyster that is the proclamation, helps overcome negative behavior by imposing
- Fasting lays ambush on thirst and hunger, and breaches the citadel of sensuality
- Pilgrimage illuminates the heart with Divine radiance, reminding the believer to rise above earth-rootedness and territorial identities
- Almsgiving establishes distinction between wealth and the love of wealth in the depth of one’s soul, and perpetuates equality: “By no means shall you attain to righteousness unless you spend out of what you hold dear, and God surely knows whatever you spend,” says the Quran in Verse 92 of Chapter 3.
There is nothing to be found about kings or Sufis in the section about Divine Vicegerency. Dominions over the outward and inward forces have converged, and power and love are held together in an indivisible unity.
The Divine Vicegerent is adept with mysteries of parts and the whole.
“A hundred worlds like this world of parts and wholes spring up like roses from the seed of this person’s imagination,” the Poet describes the power of the Divine Vicegerent. The imagination of the Divine Vicegerent seems to be connected with the secret of Time in some manner, since worlds spring up from the ocean of Time. “When that bold cavalier seizes the reins, the steed of Time gallops faster,” the Poet goes on. “The whole world is atoned and saved by the grandeur of such a person, receiving a new explanation of Life and a new interpretation of this dream.” The last line is reminiscent of Joseph, who was the best interpreter of dreams. The Vicegerent seems connected to Joseph, although he cannot be Joseph since the clues, such as kings and Sufis, are not mentioned here.