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“Implications of Global Rise of Democracy for Today from a Rumi Perspective” by Dr Ori Soltes

Part 3 – 14:30 – 20:50

He writes: ”our interests in our environment and our love for humankind that is our ability to embrace creation depends o knowing and understanding our own essence, our own ability to discover ourselves and to feel a connection with our Creator.


He writes: “a soul that can sense this depth says as Rumi did, presenting us tales from the language of the heart, ‘come, come and join us, as we are the people of love devoted to God, come, come through the door of love and join us and sit with us, come, let us speak one to another through our hearts, as our hands are clasped together, let us talk about it.’


Islamic thought, Gulen writes, sees each one of us as a different manifestation of a unique ore as different aspects of one reality. And Gulen of course is not just a theorizer, he doesn`t only right about the theory of combining being a Muslim with being a universalist. He has been in the course of his adult life an activist, someone who felt that theory had to be transformed into action to be of any use. And the way in which he articulates this, it strikes me most obviously, is through two related aspects of what as human beings we can and should do.


One, of course is the process of education, of educating ourselves and educating our children for those young and old, education is a key. He writes: “Children form the most active and productive part of a community. After every 30 or 40 years, those who have little children and pay no attention to them should consider how important of an element of people`s life they are disregarding and shutter whatever is spent for the upbringing of young generations to elevate them to the rank of humanity will be like in inexhaustible source of income. So parts of his articulating the theory of Islam as a theory of universalism into action is the importance that he places on education, in particularly education the young, teaching them to think, teaching them to be aware of possibilities of being in a world that is diverse and beautiful in its diversity. Part of what he wants to teach children, and this is the second most prominent feature it seems to me of his transforming theory into action is that we should think less of ourselves and more of others.


So he talks what we speak of as altruism, a kind of selflessness, he often uses that term to refer to the outcome that he seeks, for those who become inspired by his words, those who passed through the schools that articulate that inspiration in an educational context. This term referring to one`s willingness to do things for others purely in order to do so, purely as part of the expression of oneness with God as one`s goal. As opposed to doing things with the expectation or the hope of some sort of recompense beyond the satisfaction of having helped someone else, he treats this not only as an outcome of love and compassion but as something which creates the sentiments of love and compassion. Altruism he writes an exalted human feeling generates love. And as such his goal for those who are inspired by his words in translating theory into action is Hizmet, is service. The point and purpose of following the kind of course of being in the world that Gulen sets forth is to yield individuals each of whom may be called a man of Hizmet, a man of service, as he terms it in the title of one of his essays. And again I quote him: “such an individual holds everyone in high regard and esteem, he is so balanced and faithful to God`s will that he will not turn into idols, those whom he praises for their services he has to be considerate and fair minded to everyone who comes to his aide and support the truth, he is moderate and tolerant, when he is taking a wind and soared to the summits, so sincere and humble that he will never bring to mind all he has accomplished.”


The person of Hizmet, of service, then not only perform services for others in an altruistic manner, he or she acknowledges the Hizmet of others but in a down to earth, very matter of fact kind of way.

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