Rumi Assignment

This photo is a response to the poem “Bismillah” from Essential Rumi.

This poem addresses the concept of the ego and the emotional heaviness that often
accompanies it. I thought this photograph was the perfect image to use to respond
to this poem because it is a literal representation of the concept of sacrifice. Rumi
describes sacrifice as releasing your ego in order to “find your real name”, however
in order to do this he notes that “you need more help than you know” in order to
accomplish this quest. He compares the struggle of sacrificing one’s ego to the
movement of water: “the ocean takes care of each wave/ till it gets to shore”. Rumi’s
idea suggests that each wave pushes water further and further until it reaches its
destination, and the ocean is the support behind these movements. In this photo, the
water is flat, but there is a solitary sailboat floating. This sailboat symbolizes the
release of an ego because it is floating alone, but the crewmembers have faith that
the ocean will eventually allow this ship to reach its destination. The sailboat and its
members have sacrificed the comforting protection of being ashore, and now must
fully depend on the water in order to provide for their safety. An extremely
powerful line in this poem is “Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars
all set. He said, no longer will I try to assign partners for God”. Rumi clarifies the fact

that in order to fully sacrifice their ego, a person must reach the understanding that
fate is already created and the thoughts created in an ego have no way of affecting
destiny. Similarly, when a ship sets sail in the ocean, the crew have an
understanding that the ocean is the ultimate resource that will guide the ship, and
the ship’s path has no affect on the oceans movements. This poem is crucial in
understanding the power and importance of releasing an ego in order to revive a
person from unwanted emotional baggage and allow them to transcend into an ego-
less and more peaceful state of being.

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