Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
Rumi, beloved 13th century Persian poet intoxicated with the divine, asks us to meet him in the field beyond ideas of right and wrong. This invitation may not be for everyone. Anyone who thrives on conflict, clings to beliefs, has opinions, or takes positions, especially on moral or political issues, will not be interested in finding this field.
One who has discovered that any idea, right or wrong, only promotes more ideas of right and wrong – all ideas are suspect because there is always an opposing thought – will search for this field with an evangelist’s fervor until they can lie down in the lushness of its grass and stare wide-eyed at the clear blue sky above and dissolve in its infinite and eternal space.
For the most part, we all believe that we are doing the right thing. It may oppose someone else’s idea or action, but we think we know what’s best for ourselves and sometimes even others. The only problem is that almost everyone else thinks the same way, and thus conflict is born and perpetuated.
Who is right? And who is the judge of who is right? On the global-political stage, this question often leads to war, and ends up not being about who is right or wrong, but who has the most powerful weapons. On the personal level this attitude might lead to unequal or abusive relationships.
Disputes or even small disagreements cannot be settled as long as one clings to a particular view. The right solution will spontaneously reveal itself in the open emptiness that resides beyond beliefs, dogma, and the intellect – a field beyond ideas of right and wrong.
Rumi’s poem concludes with:
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.
All beings have an innate yearning to return to their source, a place that they know exists – a place of peace, happiness, and blissful silence. And how do they know that it exists? Because that is where they came from. No, more accurately, that is who they are.
Rumi’s ‘field’ is a bed of knowing, of being, beyond time and space, beyond description, beyond discovery, beyond all concepts, right, wrong, or neutral. Beyond the phrase ‘each other’ because no ‘other’ can be found. Beyond the beyond.
Go there now. For just a moment, set aside all agenda, all story of who you think you are, who you know yourself to be – all the fears and desires, all the memories, all the dreams, all ideas of right or wrong. In that instant of emptiness, realize the fullness of non-being. Notice the richness, the bountiful energy pouring endlessly into, through, and beyond the complete and total nothingness that is your true being.