Friday, November 28, 2008

Ace's Insights- I Am Your Neighbor!

"Don't treat me as a stranger. I am your neighbor. My house is close to yours. I may look different, but my heart is good. My inside is shining even if my sayings are obscure."

Jelalludin Rumi was born in 1207 and lived a quiet life as an Islamic teacher in Turkey until the age of 37. He met a wandering dervish named Shams Tabriz one day, and from that meeting a great body of mystical poetry began to form. A spiritual movement was founded on his work and it stretched around the world and continues to thrive today. Rumi's message is pure. It has no agenda other than love. As you can see from this quote, his message is one of unity.

I look for unity each day, in fact I spend most of my time trying to be united with something.

Work, school, religion, politics, race, exercise, hobbies, love life, are tools for unity. I need them to reinforce my physical identity, to feel connected in this world of disconnection. Even in war, I am united in my belief that I am right against a united wrong.

This unity brings up the point that Rumi is making; right and wrong are strangers because they believe they are. Fear of losing unity is the catalyst for war. Fear based on obscure sayings, that are not so obscure unless I do not take the time to listen. Fear is the longing for unity, so it unites within itself. War is fought, fear vs fear, not neighbor vs neighbor. I become another me in unity with fear. I am not the neighbor who opens himself to all with gestures of love. I am another consciousness that sits in judgment and am angry at some one's unity that does not include me. I am a stranger to myself and live in a fear filled world. My house is just next door, but it is locked in anxiety and hatred because I am united in fear.

That's not the unity Rumi knew. He understood we are all united spirits. The drama I live daily is for me to learn from, not to kill for. Diversity and different beliefs make this journey special. It is a measuring stick for change. I can disagree with my neighbor and still be united in spirit. In fact, I am united regardless of my ignorance.

Unity begins with me. I must unite with who I am, before I can share myself in the unity that
Rumi writes about. When I am united my world changes and I do look at everything differently.

Fear is no longer an attraction, it is a message. A message that love is waiting for me. By reuniting with love, my neighborhood becomes my world. All life in my neighborhood is there for the same reason, to express itself in the web of All There Is, Love. I can discern and still be neighborly. No one is a stranger. Everything is there for me. I am, so that all can be a grander version of the Divine Matrix Of Love.

Hal Manogue is a poet and author of Short Sleeves A Book For Friends. Insightful thoughts for the 21st century. Hal's 2006 collection and 2007 collection are available in bookstores and online.

Visit Hal's website: or blog: for more information about his work and life. Download a copy of the new E-Book,"Unite To Write" a collection of articles written by writers around the globe, that will inspire and fill you with useful information. It's value is priceless. It's Hal's gift to you.

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