Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, 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” does not make any sense.
What is the ever inspiring Rumi trying to tell us?
I believe he might be insinuating that beyond our ideals, our beliefs, our perspectives there is a place where we all are equal. When we rest in this place, perfectly content, nothing need be said for all is simply understood. Nothing is wrong or right, nor black or white, in fact we have no concept of these differences because we recognise that everything around us is an extension of ourself.
When a baby is born it does not know that it is separate to it’s mother until around 12 months when it starts to explore walking. We view babies as the epitome of innocence, rightly so, they are yet to differentiate right from wrong (or confuse the two). Their lives are simple, uncomplicated, they require only the essentials to live and above that what they crave most is closeness, the comfort of their mother (not yet recognised as their mother, presumably just the link to their completeness, their feeling of being whole). When their world is ‘full’ there is nothing to talk (cry) about.
There is a reference to the beauty of just being in his words “when the soul lies down in that grass”, when we take pause, when we are truly present in the moment there can be no past or future, no dualities, another wonderful reminder of the power in stillness. To be truly present is to be completely whole.
I love the final line, inviting us to forget ourselves as separate beings. When we make this connection that everything is one and the same we can see that any harm we do to others is harm we do to ourselves. In our thoughts just as much as our words and actions – judgements, criticisms, even the belief that our choices are wiser, lead us away from our wholeness, our ability to feel content.
I was reminded of this poem when planning a yoga class, an asana practice focused on inversions. When we take a pose with our head below our heart we nurture the crown chakra, the energy centre that represents our connection to the divine – whether that be a god personified, a quality such as pure love or an acknowledgement that there is a universal force greater than ourselves
For me this poem embodies spirituality, yoga (union), equanimity – no highs and lows just the middle ground which when you think about it the middle ground, the “field”, encompasses the highs, the lows and the whole space between. Just as every shade of grey includes both black and white. In this place, where we are connected, to try to separate something from something else doesn’t make sense.
Thank you Rumi for using words to inspire the possibility of no words.