These footprints (extend) as far as the shore of the ocean then the footprints disappear in the ocean
jalaluddin rumi (12071273)
This couplet comes from the fifth book of Rumi’s masterpiece, the Masnavi-ye Ma’anavi, the ‘couplets of inner meaning’ (Masnavi V: 108), in the middle of a passage where Rumi returns to one of his most famous themes, how humanity has evolved through numerous stages, each time ‘dying’ in order to become more than before. Each step leads, therefore, through stages of progressively less limitation, until the unlimited, the ‘ocean’, is reached.
Come, O crow, give up this soul! Be a falcon; be self-sacrificing in the presence of the Divine transmutation. Take the new and surrender the old, for every ‘this year’ of yours is superior to three ‘last years’.
These days we feel a great desire to do things in a kinder, more inclusive, more empathetic way. But we often end up achieving the opposite. We know that nobody ever became kinder as a result of being told: ‘be kinder!’ Yet we don’t really know how else to do it.
There is an ancient Turkish phrase ‘Hoş gör!’ (pronounced hosh geur) which literally means ‘see delightfully!’ In modern Turkish, however, it has the meaning of ‘be tolerant’. We don’t often consider that there might be a connection between how we see and our attitudes. But our way of seeing determines how we think, feel and act. As the phrase shows, if we want to be more tolerant, we need to learn to ‘see delightfully!’
What does it mean to see in a different way, though? Let’s take an example. One of our most deeply ingrained assumptions is that two contradictory points of view can’t both be right. One must be wrong. But supposing that alongside this ‘either/or’ way of seeing we were also capable of ‘and... and...’. We could then recognise the truth in both positions. That could help us get over the need to put others down — starting with ourselves.
Over the centuries we’ve discovered different ways of seeing, and this has gone on into our own times. Entiendo is concerned with promoting and sharing them.