Be Lost In The Call, Rumi, Summary & Analysis

"Be Lost In The Call" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi is a deeply spiritual and philosophical poem that explores themes of divine unity, selflessness, and the transformative power of surrender to a higher reality. The poem reflects on the nature of existence, human purpose, and the path to spiritual enlightenment.

"Be Lost In The Call" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?
Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you've never seen the face.
Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.
Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn't wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.
My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?
We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn't want a crown or robe from God's grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.
Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.
Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

Summary

"Be Lost In The Call" is a dialogue between the biblical figure David and the concept of Reality or the divine. David questions the purpose of the creation of two worlds, the material world and the spiritual world. Reality responds by explaining that it wished to reveal its "secret treasure of kindness and generosity" and, therefore, created a mirror. This mirror is described metaphorically: the shining face represents the heart or the inner self, while the darkened back represents the external, worldly existence. The poem emphasizes that the true essence of this mirror (the heart) can only be revealed through inner work and transformation.

The poem further explores the concept of alchemy, symbolizing the transformation of the self from base qualities (copper) to higher spiritual qualities (gold). It emphasizes humility and selflessness, as seen in the reference to Jesus riding on an ass, a symbol of humility.

The poem's central message revolves around surrendering to a higher calling, becoming "lost in the Call," and seeking a state of selflessness where the distinction between the caller (the individual) and the called (the divine) disappears.

Critical Analysis

The poem delves into deep spiritual and philosophical concepts, using metaphor and symbolism to convey its message. It challenges readers to question the nature of reality, self, and the purpose of existence.

The metaphor of the mirror and the alchemical transformation serve as powerful symbols to illustrate the inner journey toward enlightenment. The emphasis on humility and selflessness underscores the importance of transcending the ego and becoming one with the divine.

The poem's final lines call for a complete surrender to the divine, where individual identity dissolves in the overwhelming presence of the divine, akin to becoming "lost in the Call."

Themes

  • Divine Unity: The poem explores the idea of the unity of all existence and the interconnectedness of the material and spiritual worlds.
  • Inner Transformation: It emphasizes the importance of inner work and self-transformation to reveal the true essence of the self.
  • Humility and Selflessness: The poem underscores the significance of humility and selflessness on the path to spiritual enlightenment.
  • Surrender and Unity: It calls for surrendering to a higher reality and becoming one with the divine, transcending individual identity.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Curiosity and Questioning: The poem begins with David's curiosity and questioning of the purpose of creation, reflecting a quest for understanding.
  • Seeking Enlightenment: It conveys the desire for self-realization and enlightenment, which requires inner work and transformation.
  • Humility and Surrender: The poem advocates humility and surrender as essential attitudes on the spiritual path.

Literary Devices

  • Metaphor: The poem employs metaphor extensively, with the mirror representing the self and alchemical transformation symbolizing spiritual growth.
  • Symbolism: Symbols such as the mirror, alchemy, and Jesus riding on an ass are used to convey deeper spiritual meanings.
  • Dialogue: The poem presents a dialogue between David and Reality, creating a conversational tone.

Discussion Question

How does "Be Lost In The Call" by Rumi explore the themes of divine unity, inner transformation, humility, and surrender on the path to spiritual enlightenment? What is the significance of the metaphorical elements in the poem?

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