The Use of Words by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
“You may ask, what then is the use of words?
They set you searching and excite you to search.
The goal of searching can never be attained through words.
If that were the case, there would be no need for so much striving and passion, prayer and longing, and constant consistent self-annihilating before the glory of the face.
Think of words like something moving mysteriously in the distance.
You run after it hoping to see it more clearly.
You do not, in any way, understand it through its movement.
Human speech can excite you to seek the meaning but it is not the meaning itself, and you do not see what is being spoken of immediately and in reality.
If what all men secretly long and hunger for, the essence of essences and the light of splendor, could be knowable simply by words you would never need to die to your false self and to suffer such distress in looking for what you do not yet know you secretly are and possess.
How much you have to endure for yourself not to remain so that you come to know that which remains forever.
The absolute being creates out of nonexistence.
What other workshop but nonexistence could the creator of existence have?
Do you write over what is already written?
Do you plant a sapling where there is one growing already?
So look for a piece of paper no one has written on.
Search for a place where nothing has ever been sewn.
Be a place unsewn.
A white paper no writing has stained so the pin of mercy can ennoble you.
And the merciful one can sew in your blindness the seed of pure vision.”
Rumi scholar, Andrew Harvey, believes one of Rumi’s many gifts is that he “takes words to the moment where they almost break into flames before your eyes.”
It is our connection to purpose, passion, and inspiration that brings our words and actions to life. Rumi reminds us that we must look beyond ourselves in order to share our true gifts.
Strip yourself of expectations, pride, and comfort in order to find your voice.
And remember, it is not the words that matter, but the fire behind them and the silence from which they are born.