I am at a conference center where they are setting up for lunch in the huge dining area. I notice many loaves of Italian bread that seem to be freshly baked, placed on fresh white tablecloths. There’s a gathering in process that includes a lot of men connected with the Church; some are priests or ministers. Also present is an entrepreneur who has made a lot of money developing an internet search engine.
I receive several messages, as I roam the place, that a Sufi poet has been calling. He wants to get through to a number of people who are here, but they have not been receiving his messages. I am planning to tell the search engine entrepreneur that he needs to develop a device that will alert people when a spiritual teacher is searching for them.
I go through the dining area to a men’s room. Several of the ministers are washing up. I go into a stall for privacy and find writing inside the door. Instead of graffiti, it is a lovely poem about spiritual union. Go up to the rooftop. Your Beloved is calling.
I woke from this dream with a sense of delight, and recognition. I thought of Rumi, and also of his spiritual teacher, Shams of Tabriz. I went questing back through old journals and notes until I found this:
She said, “You know who has come.”
My heart flew up in joy and placed a ladder at the intellect’s edge.
It rushed up to the roof in its love…
Suddenly from the housetop it saw a world beyond our world,
an ocean in a jug, a heaven in a speck of dust.
Upon the roof sat a king wearing the clothes of a watchman…
His image travels from breast to breast explaining the Sultan of the heart
This is from the poem numbered 2730 in Rumi’s vast Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrizi. My version here is adapted from the translation by William C. Chittick in his excellent book The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, published by the State University of New York Press. Rumi’s great collection of poems was named for Shams, and fully a third of the individual poems within it are dedicated to him. Who is the Shams of the poet? He is the “immortal beloved” and the “enigmatic master”. The name Shams means “sun”. He is the sun that shines at midnight. He is the guide, the radiant double, the heavenly twin, the soul of the soul, the object and subject of the quest.
Go up to the rooftop, I read in my dream, inside the stall of a public rest room. Your Beloved is calling. And my dream self, up to speed with technology and the way our wired society works, wants to recruit a search engine entrepreneur to get the word out everywhere, flashing alerts to people to let them know when the guide of the soul is calling. The Beloved may be calling you any night, anywhere, even in low and unlikely places. Are you ready?