The Twelfth Rule of Love

Your journey is changing you, and it hasn’t even started yet, the master said to Shams. Yes, Shams realized, and he remembered another of his forty rules:

“The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without.”

The Eleventh Rule of Love

And here comes another one of my favourites.

As a Sufi, [Shams of Tabriz was] trained to accept the thorn with the rose, the difficulties with the beauties of life. Hence followed another rule: 

“The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.”

The Seventh Rule of Love

And the seventh one is about the separate worlds of the lonely and solitary. Most of us are plagued by loneliness and it is the effort to be solitary that sets us free. In a solitary world, a relationship between two people is then that of two free souls uniting and coexisting.

“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.”

The Fourth Rule of Love

What Shams is describing here, I think, is the fundamental difference between religiosity and spirituality.

“You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue, or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him: in the heart of a true lover.”

Moments

Probably we meet people with whom we can completely be ourselves only once in a while, as we go on living our lives. There is no way in which one can always have that kind of an understanding with someone: where each sees the other completely as they are. Such revelations can happen only in moments.

Moments which come like a breath of fresh air: like the air of a December evening-cool and comforting-which you breathe whole, and pure, and easy. In such moments, we live, I mean really live, truly and completely; breathing freely and deeply. Where we can almost see the twinkle in the night sky, the shimmer in the night air, showering upon us, celebrating life!

Companionship cannot hold this deep yet delicate meaning there is in life, for companionship soon falls into routine and becomes mundane. We can find life only in these little instances, which occur once in a while, and let them go; settle for the little respites, which can, if you make them, last forever.