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Your task is not to seek love…

Rumi

Your task is not to seek love, but simply to seek and find all the obstacles you have built against love. Djalal al-dîn Rûmi

Djalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhi (Persian: جلالالدین محمد بلخی) or Rûmî, born in Balkh (now Afghanistan) in Khorasan (a large region of Persian culture) on 30 September 1207 and died in Konya (now Turkey) on 17 December 1273, is a Persian mystical poet who profoundly influenced Sufism.

This quote was kindly suggested to me by Simin, a faithful reader of the blog. Thanks again to her!

What did Rumi want to tell us with this sentence? Perhaps that love is innate and that we learn to unlove when we grow up. Children naturally love everything that comes their way. The education we receive from a very early age probably tends to put up walls between us and others. Culture can be beautiful when it beautifies our minds and hearts. The problem is that culture sometimes has elitist aspirations, which leads us to despise those who do not have this knowledge or who see the world differently. The purpose of culture is to create a common frame of reference for a group of people, whether through language, history or religion. The frame of reference confers a common identity, which gives both strength and homogeneity to a human group. Culture progresses and grows through contact with others, but sometimes it becomes rigid and threatening because it feels itself threatened.

Our natural propensity to love should be preserved in the process of cultivation. Love is not the primary function of a culture, it aims to create a united group that can be led. In itself, it can be said that an important function of culture is political. When we control the imagination of a group, we can influence its choices and actions. In this way, we can see that it is important to always keep love in mind and to make culture its servant and not its master. When we develop a fervour for culture, it must be subordinated to the nobility of our heart in order to amplify its qualities and not the other way around.

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