Saturday, April 21, 2012

Twin Souls in History, Part 2

     Another famous Twin Soul relationship is that of the 13th century Sufi mystic, Jalal ad-Din Rumi, and his spiritual teacher, Shams of Tabriz.  Despite their 20-year difference, they became so close that Rumi gave his teenage daughter to Shams in marriage.  Sadly, the young girl died, and it is widely believed that one of Rumi's sons assisted in the murder of Shams, driven in part by jealousy and Shams' difficult personality.  Rumi was heart-broken over the disappearance of his friend, and an enormous outpouring of beautiful, sensual, and deeply mystical poetry resulted. 

     Some people think that Rumi and Shams had a homosexual relationship; many others believe that homosexuality is so deeply forbidden in the Muslim tradition that this was impossible.  I think that the unique, deep friendship that they shared broke something inside Rumi that caused him to recognize his Twin Soul in Shams.  In that recognition, however, he realized that his soul was also part of the Divine.  Consider this poetic fragment:

     I want to hold you close like a lute,
     so we can cry out with loving.

     You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
     I am your mirror, and here are the stones. 
              (translation by Coleman Barks)

     What is the lesson here about Twin Souls?   I think that, ultimately, our Twin Soul awakens us to our oneness with our other half, and in doing so, helps us overcome our ego and opens us to understand our oneness with the Universe.  It's all a beautiful mystery.

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