Sunday, April 25, 2010

Part 1: Dilemma

In Part 1, comprising of Chapters 6 to 17, the reader finds that their "self" rather than mind interacts with the Garden of Poetry. The first stage, with the Poet himself as the reader's guide (Chapter 6), culminates on a vision of Rumi's mentor Shams Tabriz (Chapter 17).
  1. The Poet: The reader learns that all previous knowledge and learning must be held in abeyance while in the Garden.
  2. The System of the Universe: It is the reader’s self more than the mind that is engaging with the Garden.
  3. Love: The reader finds an interpretation of the five clues that were given for finding Joseph.
  4. Qalandar: This chapter defines the aim and scope of the learning that is being offered here.
  5. Plato: A parable describing some other forms of “spiritual teachings” that could be confused with the present message are followed by the Poet’s warning against the Greek philosopher Plato.
  6. Poetics of the Garden: The reader is offered a new kind of poetics that divides literature on the basis of desirable and undesirable effect on humanity.
  7. Divine Vicegerency: This is an interpretation of the basic tenets of Islam from the perspective of three stages in the training of the self.
  8. Ali: This is a unique interpretation of Bu Turab (“the Master of the Clay”), the title given by the Prophet to his cousin Ali.
  9. Hajveri: This parable about the eleventh century saint Ali Hajveri explains that threats can be turned into opportunities.
  10. Brahmin: A chapter about the role of collective life in the development of an individual’s personality also shows that speculation without action weakens the bond between the individual and the society.
  11. Jihad: A parable about the Sufi saint Mian Mir, showing that territorial conquest was no part of the original program of Islam.
  12. Shams of Tabriz: Here the reader discovers that although the Garden is a virtual reality, it has connected the reader with the real mentor of Rumi, the historic Shams of Tabriz.

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