" 'It is the day of great, great joy.
Let us all now, become friends.
Let us join our hands.
Let us go to the Friend.
We are all one, we are not two of one color and cue.
Let us dance, let us go to the market, dancing.
The beautiful friends now are starting to dance,
So let's close the shop and dance, idle and free.
Today is the day that the souls put on the robe of his grace.
To mystery's side, to the side of mystery,
We go dancing as God's guests.
All the gods have pitched their tents in the garden
And to see them, now we go to the rose garden.'

" 'It is the day of great joy.' It is always the day of great joy. That is why Rumi begins in the present tense, the great feast is always spread out for us, the great music is always playing, and the great joy is always dancing. It is we who are absent from the feast. It is we who run from room to room, claiming there is nothing to eat, when every object is a table glittering with the food of the Divine.

" 'Let us become friends' — the great Sufi call. Let us unite our hearts, so that you, I, and everyone else can do what we were meant to do on this earth, which is to dance together. 'Let us join our hands,' as dancers do in the dance.

:" 'We are all one, we are not two of one color and hue. Let us dance, let us go to the market, dancing.'

"Rumi and the disciples often used to leave wherever they were and go dancing, which scandalized everybody. That's what the Sufi does — he enters the marketplace, the arena, he enters Manhattan, Tokyo, La Paz, dancing. He enters, doing the real dance, the dance of love, the dance of passion, at the heart of the market."

Andrew Harvey sees Rumi as a doctor of souls capable of helping us cultivate heart, passion, and personal transformation. In this excerpt, he reveals why this Sufi seer is needed now more than ever. It has to do with the spiritual practice of you.

"Why then listen to Rumi? The core of our problem as human beings is that we are in a massive psychic depression. This depression is everywhere and its eats away at every resolve we make, at every passion, and every attempt at health. It is a massive worldwide depression and its cause is a fundamental loss of our identity, our memory of our Divine origin. That depression is the cause of the killing all around us of all those sources of wisdom that give us the truth about our nature and our place in the world. It is not by chance that a civilization that has done what we have done to the earth has also tried to extinguish all the native voices, all the wise voices of the world, the voices of the Amerindians, the Aborigines, the great Tibetan Masters, all those voices that had kept alive in their wonder a sense of our Divine origin. What would a psychotic do but try and kill all of those people in the room that remind him or her of his true nature and his true origin? That is what we as a species are doing and that is what we have been doing quite systematically and with appalling brutality for many decades.

"So I ask you the question: Why listen to Rumi? I suggest that it is to hear good news about your real Self. I suggest that your heart is hungry to hear news about your true identity, about your Divine origin, about the splendor and glory of that origin, and about the splendor and glory of the world as revealed in the eye of the heart, in the sight of the true and awakened heart. And I suggest that behind that hunger is a desperate need to be filled with a food that our culture has been denying us and to come to spiritual recognition and understanding, at a moment where that recognition and that understanding are crucial for the survival of the world.

"Crucial for the survival of the world: because the only way to cure this horrific psychic agony that is freezing, paralyzing, and destroying everyone in various ways on the earth is to awaken everyone, to give everyone this sense of what he or she really is, to bring back into the heart of the human race the glory of our Divine origin and the glory of the visionary truth that those who have lived in that origin, and who have become that origin, know to be real. And this is not a question of curiosity, a case of being delighted and enraptured by a great mystic or extraordinary poetry. It is a question of life and death, of survival. If we don't open to this testimony of our Divine origin and of the divinity of the earth, and of our secret interconnectedness with all things now, if we don't go on a journey to transform ourselves in the light of that knowledge, and if we don't succeed in transforming ourselves to an unprecedented extent to allow the Divine to act through us, there will be no human race, no habitable world. So on listening to Rumi and witnesses like him depends the future."

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