Saturday, September 01, 2012:
Iran is a bio-polar society. On one end we have the Islamic camp and on the opposite end there the Iranian identity. There is a constant tumultuous relationship between the two sides through out the history. This cultural and identity polarization has had a great deal of impact on the socio-psychology of this nation as well as the literature and art of this society. The prime example of this divide can be demonstrated in the poem below...
Here is my question: Why a nation which produced such an icon of freedom 2500 years ago and yet it is the most dictatorial governing system in the world today? In order to find an answer to my question, I did some research. The best explanation that I could find to my question is the following poem from Rumi:
1. (Beshno az ney chon shekaayat mikonad,
Az jodaayee ha hekaayat mikonad,)
2. (Kaz neyestaan ta maraa bebrideh and,
Dar nafiram mardo zan naalideh and,)
The word neyestaan is the same as the echo system. So the bamboo was cut out its own echo system and as a result everyone has been crying out for this wondering Flute.
3. (Sineh khaaham sharheh sharheh az faraagh,
Ta begooyam sharheh dardeh eshtiyaagh,)
4. (Har kasi ku door maand az asleh khish,
Az jooyad roozegareh vasleh khish,)
5. (Man be har jamiyati naalaan shodam,
Jofteh bad haalaano khosh haalaan shodam,)
6. (Har kasi az zanneh khod shod yaareh man,
Az darooneh man najost asraareh man,)
7. (Serreh man az naaleyeh man door nist,
Lik chashmo goosh ra aan noor nist,)
8. (Tan zeh jaano jaan zeh tan mastour nist,
Lik kas ra dideh jaan dastour nist,)
9. (Aatash ast in baangeh naayo nist baad,
Har keh in aatash nadaarad nist baad,)
10. (aatasheh ishq ast kandar ney fetaad,
jooshesheh ishq ast kandar mey fetaad,)
11. (ney, harifeh har keh az yaari borid,
pardeh hayash pardeh hayeh ma darid,)
12. (hamcho ney zahri o taryaqi keh did?
hamchon ney damsaaz o moshtaqi ke did?)
13. (ney hadiseh raheh por khoon mikonad,
qesseh hayeh eshq e majnoon mikonad,)
14. (mahrameh in hoosh joz bihoosh nist,
mar zaban ra moshtari joz goosh nist,)
15. (dar ghameh ma rooz ha bigaah shod,
rouz ha ba souz ha hamraah shod,)
16. (rouz ha gar raft gu ro baak nist,
to bemaan , ey aankeh chin to paak nist,)
17. (har keh joz maahi zeh aabash dir shod,
har keh bi roozist, roozash dir shod,)
18. (dar nayaabad haaleh pokhteh hich khaam,
pas sokhan kootaah baayad, vassalaam.)
This poem is the story of a nation who is being uprooted from its original identity and culture. This poem is the most painful story of a people who has been cut off from its roots and has been detached from who they were before. This poem is about men and women who have been alienated from what they used to be. What a painful story this is!
Yes, this is what happens when a nation loses its very original identity. A very civilized and a tolerant nation becomes the most intolerant one run by bunch of savages. When a nation is totally cut off from its main origins it goes from the most civilized to savagery.
This is what happened when bunch of barbarian and savages attacked our country 1400 years ago this nation lost its identity and became so disoriented which could no longer distinguish savagery from civilization. This is the saddest story of a nation to go from high society to the very bottom. Wow! So shocking and so devastating! I think this poem says it all. It is the most descriptive of what happened to this country back then. How could something like this happen to us and why?
Why this is such an important issue in our current circumstances in Iran? It is important because Iranians are in desperate search of their own very original identity.
In order for this nation to find its own very original identity, it needs to be re-born again. Like a Phoenix (Ghoughnoos) a mythological bird, it needs to be re-born (hatched) from its own ashes. This is how it would get reoriented with its very original identity.
Obviously my interpretation of this poem is based on my figurative or symbolic understanding of this poem.
May 20, 2013:
The Conference of the Birds
The beautiful and famous poem of Simourgh by Attar is about a spiritual journey of a nation. Its about hundreds of thousands birds which one day decided to congregate and make a detrimental decision of visiting the mythical bird of Simourgh who lives in a remote location on the top of a high mountain. This was one of the most important decisions on the lives of all these birds. It was a momentous event which was about to happen. This spiritual journey was a long journey with so much dangerous events and obstacles on the way.
In this story this internal journey is actually a journey from the Islamic camp of the society to the other end of the spectrum of society which represented the Iranians with the aspiration for their very original identity. The duality of the identity has been the main source of many spiritual journeys and a journey which represents the Metamorphosis of Iranian cultural and identity polarization or divide.
One of these spiritual journeys which led a large group of Iranians to go through this metamorphic process was the followers of Baha’i faith. They lead their journey out of the Shea religion and were able to overcome some of the most dangerous challenges of their lives. They are one of the Simourghs of this successful journey. Under the current circumstances in Iran there are many more Simourghs which have already started their life long spiritual journey out of the obsolete and out dated Shea religion and they are in the process of metamorphosis of their identity and their spiritual destiny.
For so long there has always been a great deal of passion and a long time desire amongst the Iranian general public to make this very important journey of their lives. The Iranian society is impregnated with so many Simourghs in the making. The current circumstances in Iran have become very suitable for the birth of the future Simourghs of out time, figuratively speaking especially amongst the youth and the young generation. Some of the signs and indications which show that lots of people have already started their spiritual journey are the followings:
- People are changing their Islamic names into the Iranian ones like Mohammad becomes Koroush or Hossein becomes Darioush.
- People are replacing the Arabic words with Persian ones like Salam are replaced by Doroud or Khodahafez is replaced by Khodanegahdar.
- People every Norouz go to Pasargad to visit the tomb of Cyrus the Great.
Here is an interesting issue which has had a profound impact on the lives of every typical Iranian Shia Moslem. There is a concept in the Shia teachings called Marjaa Taghleed. The word Taghleed and Ghalade are from the same roots in the Persian dictionary. Ghalade means leash in Persian language. Just like a dog when the master puts a leash on it, can maintain control over the dog and help to guide the dog to follow its master. So, this concept of Marjaa Taghleed is very similar to relationship between the leashed dog and its master. The only reason this concept has been created in the Shia theology is because there is a strong motive within the Iranian psyche which is the main reason behind the concept of Marjaa Taghleed. Because of the duality nature of the Iranian culture and because there is such a strong repulsive force within the subconscious of the Iranians continuously is pushing them away from the forced belief system of Islam. As a result every Iranian has a strong aspiration for becoming a Simourgh and get back to his or her very original roots of Iran before Islam. This passionate desire of connecting him or herself has created a powerful motivation to make this spiritual journey and free himself or herself from this invisible Ghalade (leash).
The role of the Marjaa Taghleed is to prevent the Shia follower from becoming a Simourgh or to neutralize the Shea Moslem from being repelled from Shia Islam and joining the original roots which existed in Iran before Islam which is clearly stated in this poem by Rumi:
(Har kasi ku door maand az asleh khish,
Az jooyad roozegareh vasleh khish)
It is Marjaa Taghleed’s job to anchor his followers so that they would not be able to stray away from the Sharia Laws of Shia Islam in Iran and would be under tight control of the Marjaa Taghleed (master). Every Moslem in Iran is tormented between these two forces which exist within him or her. He or she is torn by these two diametrically opposing major forces which every Moslem emotionally is attached to them. One force is being imposed by Marjaa Taghleed with an invisible ideological leash forcing him to follow his or her master and the Repulsive force which is embedded within the subconscious of an Iranian Shia Moslem and inspiring him or her to join or connect to his or her very original cultural heritage which was being practiced by his or her ancestors in Iran before Islamic conquest of Persian Empire. These two conflicting forces within every single Iranian Moslem is very devastating and psychologically very exhausting. These two contradictory forces keep an Iranian Moslem off balanced and mentally unstable.
Here is a perfect example. In Saudi Arabia the Sunni Moslems do not have this concept of Marjaa Taghleed. That is because the Sunni Clergy in Saudi Arabia is not concerned about the Moslems in that country abandoning Islam. That would never happen. Islam in Saudi Arabia is a very natural outfit and it is in harmony with socio-psychology of a typical average Saudi Moslem. However that is not the case in Iran. In Iran Islam is considered a foreign imposed concept and it does not match with the cultural and spiritual outfit of Iranians. It is totally against socio-psychology of Iranians. As a result there is a strong motive to stray from an imposed Islam on them and make the Simourgh like spiritual journey out of Islam all together forever.
Simourgh like spiritual journey is a prelude to a rebirth of a nation and it is a clear indication that the Iranian society is going through its renaissance movement. This means that the Iranian renaissance has already started and it will blossom soon. This renaissance would pave the way for prosperity, freedom, progress and happiness in Iran.