Last week I was discussing Elif Shafak's brave book, The Forty Rules of Love. It was an interesting exploration of spiritual intimacy in two stories, one set in the thirteen century featuring Shams and Rumi, and the second one set in modern times with a timid housewife and an aspiring author who happened to have penned the first story.
If you are wavering as to whether to explore this book yourself, I'll offer some juicy tidbits:
"Intellect and love are made of different materials," he said. "Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, 'Beware too much ecstasy,' whereas love says, 'Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!' Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures."
"Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person's heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you."