Come back, come back,
even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Ours is not a house of despair,
ours is a house of hope.
Shems Friedlander, whose The Whirling Dervishes and When You Hear Hoofbeats, Think of a Zebra became instant classics, now offers us another jewel–unique in that it brings to light hitherto unpublished material on the sacred music and dance, or sema of the Mevlevi Dervishes. We are treated to a wonderful explanation of the significance and symbolism of the dress and movement of the dance performed in the semahane–the Hall of Celestial Sounds.
Friedlander himself has been a member of the Mevlevi order of dervishes (known in the west as the Whirling Dervishes), founded by Jalaluddin Rumi, for 25 years and has been initiated as a sheikh of both the Mevlevi and Halveti order of dervishes
He brings an insight and understanding of the work of Rumi which links it to the roots of Rumi’s thought. This offers the reader an insider’s in-depth view of Rumi which other contemporary poets who have adapted his work for the west fail to elucidate.
As Friedlander presents the “Roots of His Thought,” the story of Rumi’s life unfolds in an entirely fresh and accessible manner, sprinkled with the Master’s poetic insights. The work concludes with a most admirable explanation of the inner and outer nature of sacred music and we are shown how a “glimpse of Truth is revealed by vibrations and sound.”