Thursday, 30 September 2010

Yes! Rumi on Education!

Dear Friends

Mevlana Rumi needs no introduction…
…one of the greatest men that have ever graced this troubled planet and successfully left an 800 hundred year old legacy that continues to nurture. Rumi is one of those rare gems who managed to cut across multiple boundaries especially religious even during their lives.  
His Magnus Opus the Masnavi is a series of six books of poetry that amount to approximately 25,000 verses or 50,000 lines. The title Masnavi-I Ma'navi means "Rhyming Couplets of Profound Spiritual Meaning." Rumi personally referred to the Masnavi as "the roots of the roots of the roots of the (Islamic) Religion."
The Masnavi is a poetic collection of anecdotes and stories derived from the Quran (the Holy Book of Islam), hadith (sayings of Muhammed (pbuh)) sources, and everyday tales. Stories are told to illustrate a point and each moral is discussed in detail. According to Chittick:
“More generally, it is aimed at anyone who has time to sit down and ponder the meaning of life and existence.''

Here is what Rumi has to say on education:
There are two kinds of intelligence.
One is like that acquired by a child at school
from books and teachers, new ideas and memorization.
Your intelligence may become superior to others,
but retaining all that knowledge is a burden.
You who are so busy searching for knowledge
must be a preserving tablet, but the preserved tablet
is the one who has gone beyond all this.
For the other kind of intelligence is the gift of God:
its fountain is deep within the soul.
When the water of God-given knowledge surges from the breast,
it never stagnates or becomes impure.
And if its way to the outside is blocked, what harm is there?
For it flows continually from the house of the heart.
The acquired intelligence is like the conduits
which run into the house from the streets:
if those pipes become blocked, the house is bereft of water.
Seek the fountain within yourself.
[Rumi, Mathnawi,  IV, 1960-1968]

Is this second intelligence not the cultivation of the in vogue 'reflective practice'?
Rishi Faisal

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