NO New Nuclear Weapons - NO Star Wars - EVERYTHING SHOULD BE UNDER THE SUN - NO New Nuclear Targets...
NO Weapons In Space
-
NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War - NO Nuclear Testing - NO All Types Of Weapons & War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?
YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES Loving & Caring Each Other, YES Greatness in Humanity, YES Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
YES Great Dreams For Better Tomorrows, YES Emerging Positive Global Energy, YES National and Global Transparency, and YES Lighting Our Souls & Minds.

"YUNUS EMRE: TURKISH MEDIEVAL HUMANIST MYSTIC"
Page 2


Prof. Talat Halman and Defne Halman are presenting the
Yunus Emre program on February 23, 2005 at
Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.


For Page I>

D. H.
WE LIVE IN AN AGE WHICH ARTICULATES THE DRAMATIC CONTRAST OF LOVE AND HOSTILITY. WAR IS RENOUNCED AS THE IMMEDIATE EVIL AND THE ULTIMATE CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. LOVE IS RECOGNIZED AS THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE. A MIGHTY SLOGAN OF THE 1960'S AND 1970'S WAS "MAKE LOVE / NOT WAR."  MIRACULOUSLY, THIS FORCEFUL STATEMENT IS AN ECHO FROM SEVEN CENTURIES AGO, FORM YUNUS EMRE WHO EXPRESSES THE SAME IDEA IN A RHYMED COUPLET.

       I AM NOT HERE ON EARTH FOR STRIFE,
       LOVE IS THE MISSION OF MY LIFE.

T. H.     
YUNUS EMRE'S POEMS REVEL IN THE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD. HE EXPRESSES THE TYPICAL HUMANISTIC JOY OF LIFE:

       THIS WORLD IS A YOUNG BRIDE DRESSED IN BRIGHT RED AND GREEN;
       LOOK ON AND ON, YOU CAN'T HAVE ENOUGH OF THAT BRIDE.

D. H.
YUNUS REVELS IN THE WONDER OF LOVE:

T. H.
MY LORD GRANTED ME SUCH A HEART
AT ONCE, IT BEGAN TO ADORE...
NOW, ONE MOMENT IT BASKS IN JOY;
NEXT MOMENT ITS TEARS START TO POUR.

D. H.
ONE MOMENT IT SEEMS LIKE A BIRD
IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, STRANDED.
NEXT MOMENT IT REVELS - GARDENS
AND ORCHARDS ARE BORN AT ITS CORE.

T. H.
ONE MOMENT IT BECOMES TONGUE-TIED
AND LEAVES ALL THINGS UNCLARIFIED.
NEXT MOMENT, PEARLS SPILL FROM ITS MOUTH:
TO THOSE WHO SUFFER, IT GIVES CURE.

D. H.
ONE MOMENT IT SOARS TO HEAVEN...
IT DESCENDS INTO THE EARTH, THEN...
ONE MOMENT IT SEEMS LIKE A DROP,
THEN BECOMES THE OCEAN WHOSE WAVES ROAR.

T. H.
YUNUS EMRE SPURNED BOOK LEARNING IF IT DID NOT HAVE HUMANISTIC RELEVANCE, BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HUMAN GODLINESS:

   IF YOU DON'T IDENTIFY MAN AS GOD,
   ALL YOUR LEARNING IS OF NO USE AT ALL.

D. H.
UNLIKE THE DOGMA, MYSTICISM HOLDS THAT THE HUMAN BEING IS NOT ONLY GOD'S CREATION BUT ALSO GOD'S REFLECTION. AS YUNUS EMRE STATED IT:

   THE IMAGE OF THE GODHEAD IS A MIRROR;
   THE MAN WHO LOOKS SEES HIS OWN FACE IN THERE.

MAN IS GOD'S IMAGE, AND YEARNS TO RETURN TO GOD'S REALITY FROM WHICH HE OR SHE, AS THE IMAGE, HAS TEMPORARILY FALLEN APART. THE AGONY OF THE MYSTIC IS SEPARATION FROM GOD.

T. H.
YUNUS ARTICULATES THE JOYS AND PAINS OF MYSTIC PASSION:

D. H.
DEAR FRIENDS, LET ME PLUNGE IN THE SEA OF LOVE,
LET ME SINK INTO THAT SEA AND WALK ON.
LET BOTH WORLDS BECOME MY SPHERE WHERE I CAN
DELIGHT IN THE MYSTIC GLEE AND WALK ON.

LET ME BECOME THE NIGHTINGALE THAT SINGS...
A SOUL FREED FROM THE DEAD BODY'S YEARNINGS;

LET ME BURRY MY HEAD IN MY TWO HANDS,
TAKE THE PATH TO UNITY AND WALK ON.

THANK HEAVEN, I SAW THE FRIEND'S LOVELY FACE
AND DRUNK THE WINE OF THE LOVER'S EMBRACE.
IT SEVERS ME FROM YOU3Ú4IT'S A DISGRAC...
I'LL ABANDON THIS CITY AND WALK ON.

YUNUS DRIFTS IN THE THROES OF LOVE'S TORTURE;
OF ALL WOES, HIS IS THE WORST TO ENDURE.
FOR MY DISTRESS ONLY YOU HOLD THE CURE,
I'LL ASK FOR THAT REMEDY AND WALK ON.

T. H. 
HIS IS A SUBLIME LOVE WHICH REMAINS UNREQUITED UNTIL HE SUFFERS SO INTENSELY IN HIS SPIRITUAL EXILE THAT HE REACHES3Ú4FINALLY3Ú4A BLISSFUL STATE OF THE SUBMERGENCE IF HIS EGO. YUNUS EMRE'S POEMS VOICE THE ANGUISH:

ONE OF YUNUS EMRE'S MOST TOUCHING POEMS IS ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE LOVER:

BEN YÜRÜRÜM YANA YANA
ASK BOYADI BENI KANA
NE ÂSIKEM NE DIVANE
GEL GÖR BENI ASK NEYLEDI.

D. H.
BURNING, BURNING, I DRIFT AND TREAD.
LOVE SPATTERED MY BODY WITH BLOOD.
I AM NOT IN MY SENSES NOR MAD,
COME, SEE WHAT LOVE HAS DONE TO ME

NOW AND THEN LIKE THE WINDS I BLOW,
NOW AND THEN LIKE THE ROADS I GO,
NOW AND THEN LIKE THE FLOODS I FLOW,
COME, SEE WHAT LOVE HAS DONE TO ME.

HOLD MY HAND, LIFT ME FROM THIS PLACE
OR TAKE ME INTO YOUR EMBRACE...
YOU MADE ME WEEP, MAKE ME REJOICE,
COME, SEE WHAT LOVE HAS DONE TO ME.   

LOVELORN, I TREAD; MADLY I SCREAM.
MY LOVED ONE IS MY ONLY DREAM;
I WAKE AND PLUNGE INTO DEEP GLOOM.
COME SEE WHAT LOVE HAS DONE TO ME. 

T. H.
THE MYSTIC THINKS OF GOD AS "KEMAL-I MUTLAK" (ABSOLUTE PERFECTION) AND AS "CEMAL-I MUTLAK" (ABSOLUTE BEAUTY). THUS, FOR THE MYSTIC, SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENT GOES TOGETHER WITH AN AESTHETIC SENSE, AN INFATUATION WITH DIVINE AND EARTHLY BEAUTY. GOD HIMSELF IS CONCEIVED OF AS POSSESSING "ASK-I ZATI" (SELF LOVE) AND, IN TERMS OF ONE OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE SUFI VIEW OF THE WORLD'S CREATION, GOD WAS INITIALLY MOTIVATED TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE AND THE HUMAN BEING AS A MIRROR IN WHICH HE/SHE COULD SEE THE IMAGES OF HIS OWN PERFECT BEAUTY. "GOD'S HUMAN REVELATION" AND "THE HUMAN BEING AS A TRUE REFLECTION OF GOD'S BEAUTIFUL IMAGES ARE CURRENT THEMES IN YUNUS EMRE'S POEMS:

   HE IS GOD HIMSELF3Ú4HUMAN ARE HIS IMAGES.
   SEE FOR YOURSELF: GOD IS MAN, THAT IS WHAT HE IS.

D. H.  
WHO WAS YUNUS EMRE? THIS MAN WHO CALLED HIMSELF "YUNUS THE LOVER," "YUNUS THE DERVISH" WAS HE A "PERFECT MAN"? WHAT MANNER OF MAN? WHAT WAS THE LIFE HE HELD?

ABOUT HIS LIFE WE KNOW PRECIOUS LITTLE. WHAT WE DO KNOW TENDS TO BE LEGEND RATHER THAN ASCERTAINABLE FACT. INTERNAL REFERENCES IN HIS POEMS CLARIFY VERY LITTLE IN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TERMS; BESIDES, SOME OF THEM ARE MISLEADING, SOME FULL OF CONTRADICTIONS. THEY ARE MOSTLY EXPRESSIONS OF MYSTICAL VIEWS OR POETIC DEPICTION OF PSYCHIC VICISSITUDES.

YUNUS EMRE'S YEAR OF BIRTH WAS PROBABLY 1241 AND HIS YEAR OF DEATH 1320 OR 1321.

T. H.
TRADITION AND LEGEND DEPICT YUNUS EMRE AS A POOR PEASANT. AT A TIME OF FAMINE, HE GOES ON THE ROAD IN SEARCH SEEDS IN RETURN FOR THE WILD PEAR HE PICKS ON THE ANATOLIAN STEPPES. WHILE TRAVELING IN THE HOPE OF BARTERING HIS WILD PEAR FOR GRAINS AND SEEDS, HE HAPPENS TO COME TO THE "TEKKE"(CONGREGATION PLACE) OF HACI BEKTAS¸ VEL, THE FOUNDER OF THE MOST LATITUDINARIAN SECT OF ANATOLIAN ISLAM. HACI BEKTAS¸, A GRAND OLD MAN AND A POET IN HIS OWN RIGHT, ASKS YUNUS IF HE WOULD ACCEPT A "NEFES" (A BREATH OF BLESSING) IN EXCHANGE FOR EACH HANDFUL OF WILD PEAR. YUNUS REFUSES. HACI BEKTAS¸ INCREASES HIS OFFER: "WE SHALL GIVE YOU TEN BREATHS OF BLESSING FOR EACH HANDFUL."YUNUS STILL REFUSES. THEREUPON, HACI BEKTAS¸ GIVES YUNUS A SACK FULL OF GRAINS. ON HIS WAY BACK TO HIS VILLAGE, YUNUS AT FIRST FEELS VERY HAPPY, BUT THEN RECONSIDERS THE INCIDENT AND REALIZES ITS MORAL SIGNIFICANCE: "HACI BEKTAS¸ MUST BE A GREAT MAN," HE PONDERS. "HE IS NO DOUBT A MAN OF NOBLE SPIRIT. BECAUSE A LESSER PERSON WOULD HAVE RESENTED ME FOR NOT ACCEPTING HIS BLESSING, AND SURELY HE WOULD NOT GIVE ME SUCH A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF GRAINS." REALIZING HIS MISTAKE, HE RUSHES BACK AND SAYS: "HERE'S YOUR SACK OF GRAINS. TAKE IT BACK AND GIVE ME YOUR BLESSING." BUT HACI BEKTAS¸ REPLIES: "I CAN NOT, BECAUSE WE TURNED OVER YOUR PADLOCK TO TAPTUK EMRE."

THIS MEANS, IN MYSTIC PARLANCE, THAT A SPIRITUAL GUIDE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO THE INITIATE WHO IS TO EMBARK ON THE PATH OF THE SEARCH FOR GOD'S TRUTH. YUNUS STARTS SEARCHING HIS GUIDE, TAPTUK EMRE, ANOTHER GREAT ANATOLIAN MYSTIC, WHO, ACCORDING TO LEGEND, ORIGINALLY CAME TO ANATOLIA IN GUISE OF PIGEON, BUT WAS NEARLY KILLED BY FANATIC TRADITIONALISTS WHO APPEARED AS EAGLES REFUSING TO GIVE HIM PASSAGE. ALTHOUGH WOUNDED AND BLEEDING, THE BIRD OF PEACE GOT BY THE CRUEL EAGLES, AND WAS RESCUED BY A PEASANT WOMAN WHO SHOWED COMPASSION, HEALED THE WOUNDS, AND SET THE BIRD IN FLIGHT AGAIN. THIS IS HOW TAPTUK EMRE'S SPIRIT, IT IS SAID, ROAMED FROM ONE END OF ANATOLIA TO THE OTHER, THE SYMBOLISM OF THE LEGEND ALSO ESTABLISHES THE SPIRITUAL LINK BETWEEN THE MYSTIC AND THE PEASANT OF THE TURKISH COUNTRYSIDE.

D. H.
AFTER A LONG AND ARDUOUS SEARCH FOR HIS GUIDE, YUNUS EMRE FINALLY FINDS TAPTUK EMRE, AND ENTERS THE CONGREGATION, WHERE, FOR THE PROVERBIAL FORTY YEARS, HE LEADS AN ASCETIC, ABSTEMIOUS LIFE. HE TOILS, CONTEMPLATES, SEEKS SPIRITUAL COMMUNION. ONE DAY, AT A GATHERING OF THE FAITHFUL. TAPTUK EMRE ASKS A POET TO SAY POEMS EXTEMPORANEOUSLY, BUT THE POET FAILS. SO TAPTUK ASKS YUNUS EMRE TO TRY: "WHAT HACI BEKTAS¸ ONCE TOLD YOU IS AT LAST A REALITY. YOUR PADLOCK IS NOW UNLOCKED." UP TO THIS POINT, YUNUS HAD NOT BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE COMPOSED POEMS. BUT OBVIOUSLY HIS POETIC GIFTS WERE IN A STATE  OF EFFLORESCENCE THROUGHOUT HIS LONG YEARS OF MYSTIC CONTEMPLATION. HE BREAKS INTO POEMS, AND THE CONGREGATION BECOMES ECSTATIC. FROM THAT DAY ON, YUNUS IS RECOGNIZED AS A GREAT POET. THE SOULFUL MAN WHOSE POEMS ARE ELOQUENT, MOVING, PITHY, PROFOUND, AND COMPASSIONATE TURNS INTO A LEGEND THROUGHOUT THE LAND.

T. H.
I LOVE YOU BEYOND THE DEPTHS OF MY OWN SOUL;
ON MY WAY, I SHUN THE CANNON AND ITS CALL.

DON'T SAY I'M IN MYSELF. I AM NOT AT ALL.
THERE IS AN I WITHIN ME, DEEP, DEEPER THAN I.

WHEREVER I LOOK, I SEE YOU'VE FILLED THAT SPACE:
WHERE, IN MY INMOST SOUL, CAN YOU HAVE YOUR PLACE?

DON'T ASK ME ABOUT ME: I'M NOT INSIDE ME...
IN ITS ROBE, MY BODY WALKS ON, ALL EMPTY.

MY LOVE FOR YOU HAS PLUCKED ME AWAY FROM ME:
WHAT SWEET PAIN IS THIS? IT'S BEYOND REMEDY.

AS HE PASSED BY, YUNUS CHANCED TO MEET THE FRIEND,

AND REMAINED AT THE GATE AT THE DEEPEST END.

D. H.
ANOTHER STORY3Ú4PROBABLY APOCRYPHAL3Ú4DESCRIBES AN ENCOUNTER BETWEEN RUMI AND YUNUS EMRE. YUNUS, THE FOLK POET, IS FACE TO FACE WITH THE ELDER POET-PHILOSOPHER RUMI, ABOUT WHOM YUNUS ONCE WROTE: "HIS MAGNIFICENT VISION IS THE MIRROR OF OUR HEARTS." RUMI IS THE AUTHOR OF  THE WORLD-FAMOUS MATHNAWI, CALLED THE KORAN OF SUFISM, A MASTERPIECE IN ABOUT 26,000 COUPLETS MAINLY ABOUT THE DOCTORINE THAT GOD IS REVEALED BY LOVE IN THE MYSTIC SOUL, IN THE PURE MAN.

T. H.
ACCORDING TO THE STORY, YUNUS CRITICIZES RUMI FOR THE BULK OF THE MATHNAWI AND STATES THAT HE WOULD HAVE EXPRESSED THE SAME IDEA IN TWO LINES:

I TOOK SHAPE IN FLESH AND BONES,
AND CAME INTO SIGHT AS YUNUS.

D. H.
IT IS ALSO SAID THAT RUMI ADMITTED HE WOULD NOT HAVE WRITTEN HIS HUGE MAGNUM OUPS IF HE WERE ABLE TO MAKE SUCH PITHY STATEMENTS. ANOTHER ANATOLIAN LEGEND CLAIMS THAT RUMI ONCE PAID THE FOLLOWING TRIBUTE TO YUNUS EMRE'S STATURE AS A MYSTIC: "WHENEVER I ARRIVED AT A NEW SPIRITUAL HEIGHT, THERE I FOUND THE FOOTSTEPS LEFT BY THAT TURKISH MYSTIC3Ú4AND I COULD NEVER SURPASS HIM."

IN THE TRUE TRADITION OF THE POWER THAT POETRY WIELDS OVER TURKISH INTELLECTUAL LIFE, YUNUS EMRE SOON BECOMES A FORCE TO CONTEND WITH. MOSLEM DOGMATISTS BEGIN TO REGARD HIM AS A FOE. ACCORDING TO A POPULAR STORY WHOSE AUTHENTICITY CANNOT BE DETERMINED, A TRADITIONALIST NAMED MOLLA KASIM DECIDES TO DESTROY THE TRANSCRIPTIONS OF YUNUS EMRE'S POEMS. GETTING HOLD OF ALL THE ONES HE FINDS HERETICAL, AND THROWS THEM INTO THE RIVER. AFTER HAVING DESTROYED ABOUT TWO THIRDS, HE CATCHES A GLIMPSE OF A POEM WHOSE LAST COUPLET HAS YUNUS EMRE'S PREDICTION ABOUT MOLLA KASIM. IN THE COUPLET, YUNUS EMRE WARNS HIMSELF:

   DERVISH YUNUS, UTTER NO WORD THAT IS NOT TRUE:
   FOR A MOLLA KASIM WILL COME TO CROSS-EXAMINE YOU.

WHEN MOLLA KASIM READS THIS PREDICTION, HE REALIZES THE GREATNESS OF YUNUS, AND HE IMMEDIATELY STOPS DESTROYING THE POEMS. IT IS SAID THAT THE POEMS WHICH HAVE COME DOWN TO US ARE THOSE THAT ESCAPED DESTRUCTION IN THIS WAY, BUT, IN THE PROCESS, TWO THIRDS OF YUNUS EMRE'S ENTIRE POETIC OUTPUT WAS PRESUMABLY OBLITERATED.

T. H.
I WONDER IS ANYONE HERE
A STRANGER AS FORLORN AS I?
HIS HEART WOUNDED, HIS EYES TEARFUL...
A STARNGER AS FORLORN AS I?

LET NO ONE BE LONESOME LIKE ME
OR WRITHE IN EXILE'S AGONY.
TEACHER, I HOPE NO ONE WILL BE
A STRANGER AS FORLORN AS I?

THEY'LL SAY, "HE'S DEAD, THAT SAD STRANGER."
HEARING OF IT THREE DAYS LATER,
THEY'LL WASH MY CORPSE IN COLD WATER...
A STRANGER AS FORLORN AS I?

YUNUS GETS NO HELP NOR PITY.
NO CURE FOR HIS CALAMITY,
DRIFTING FROM CITY TO CITY...
A STRANGER AS FORLORN AS I?

D. H.
PERHAPS THE MOST PERPLEXING AND FASCINATING TURKISH POEM IN THE PRE-MODERN PERIOD IS BY YUNUS EMRE - A POEM FULL OF ABSURD CONCEPTS AND IMAGES, YET A POEM OF MYSTICAL WISDOM ABOUT WHICH LATER WRITERS COMPOSED FOUR BOOKS OF INTERPRETATION:

T. H.  
I CLIMBED TO THE BRANCHES OF A PLUM TREE,
AND I HELPED MYSELF TO THE GRAPES UP THERE.
THE OWNER OF THE ORCHARD SCOLDED ME:
"
WHAT ARE YOU DEVOURING MY WALNUTS FOR?"

D. H.

HE MADE ME INTO A THIEF3Ú4THAT WAS WRONG:
SO, IN TURN, I HURLED SLANDERS AT HIM TOO...
AND THE PEDDLER ASKED WHEN HE CAME ALONG:
"
YOU WERE TO MARRY MY DAUGHTER, WEREN'T YOU?"

T. H.
I DUMPED SUN-BAKED MUD INTO THE CAULDRON
AND BOILED IT TOGETHER WITH THE NORTH WIND.
"
WHAT ON EARTH COULD THIS THING BE?" ASKED SOMEONE!
DIPPING THE GRAPES I PUT THEM IN HIS HAND.

D. H.

TO THE WEAVER AT THE LOOM, I GAVE THREAD
WHICH HE CHOSE NOT TO WIND INTO A BALL;
TO GET THE FABRIC ORDERS OUT, HE SPED...
THOSE WHO WANT CAN NOW COME AND GET IT ALL.

T. H.

     I SNATCHED ONE OF THE WINGS OF A SPARROW

     AND LOADED IT ON TO FORTY OX-CARTS.

     EVEN FORTY SPANS FAILED TO PULL IT, THOUGH;

     SO THE SPARROW'S WING GOT STUCK IN THESE PARTS.

D. H.

     A FLY CAUGHT AN EAGLE, LIFTED IT HIGH3Ú4

     AND SMACK ONTO THE GROUND, A THUMPING THRUST.

     WHAT I TELL YOU IS THE TRUTH, NOT A LIE:

     WITH MY OWN EYES I SAW THE RISING DUST.

T. H.     

     I HAD A WRESTLING MATCH WITH A CRIPPLE3Ú4

     WITH NO HANDS, HE GRAPPLED ME BY MY LEGS;

     I STRUGGLED, BUT COULD’NT MAKE A RIPPLE.

     HE BURNT ME INSIDE OUT, DOWN TO MY DREGS.

D. H.  

     FROM THE MYTHIC MOUNTAIN THAT GIRDS THE WORLD

     DOWN CAME ON THE ROAD A ROCK AIMED AT ME;

     I WAS NEARLY STRUCK BY THE STONE THEY HURLED;

     IT MIGHT HAVE TURNED MY FACE TOPSY-TURVY.

T. H.  

     THE FISH, IT TURNS OUT, CLIMBED THE POPLAR TREE

     TO GOBBLE THE PICKLES OF TAR UP THERE.

     THE STORK GAVE BIRTH TO A BABY DONKEY;

     YOU BETTER GET THE MEANING, DON’T JUST STARE.

D. H.   

     TO THE BLIND, I GAVE SIGNALS WITH MY HAND;

     WHATEVER I WHISPERED, THE DEAF MAN HEARD.

     THE DUMB BROKE INTO SPEECH, CALLED ME OUT AND

     REPEATED WITH ME EVERY SINGLE WORD.

T. H.
I HELD AN OX TIGHT, WITH ALL MY POWER,

     I STRANGLED IT, THREW IT ON THE GROUND, LOOSE;

     THEN THE OWNER OF THE OX RUSHED OVER,

     SAYING, “THAT NECK YOU JUST BROKE, THAT’S MY GOOSE!”

D. H. 

     I GOT STUCK AGAIN, COULDN’T GET AWAY;

     JUST DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO3Ú4HOW COULD I?

     THEN ANOTHER PEDDLER POPPED UP TO SAY,

     “WHY IS IT THAT YOU HAVE PLUCKED OUT MY EYE?”

T. H.
I CAME UPON A TURTLE ON THE WAY3Ú4

      I HAD AN EYELESS SERPENT FOR COMRADE.

      “I’LL ASK YOU WHERE YOU’RE HEADING, IF I MAY?”

      “WE HOPE TO REACH CAESAREA,” THEY SAID.

D. H.
THESE ARE THE WORDS THAT YUNUS HAD TO SAY,

      HIS RESEMBLES NO OTHER UTTERANCE;

      TO KEEP IT OUT OF THE HYPOCRITES’ WAY

      HE HAS PUT THE VEIL ON THE FACE OF SENSE.

T. H.      
YUNUS EMRE’S POETRY IS INTENSELY HUMAN IN ITS SENTIMENTS AND HUMANE IN ITS CONCERN FOR ALL, PARTICULARLY FOR THE PLIGHT OF DEPRIVED PEOPLE. HE WAS THE FIRST3Ú4AND THE MOST SUCCESSFUL3Ú4POET IN TURKISH HISTORY TO CREATE THE “AESTHETICS OF ETHICS.”

MUCH OF HIS WORK IS A TESTAMENT TO THE EQUALITY OF ALL HUMANS. HE EXPRESSED THIS IDEA IN METAPHORIC TERMS:

    WATER OUT OF THE SAME FOUNTAIN

    CANNOT BE BOTH BITTER AND SWEET,

AS WELL AS IN STRAIGHT HORTATORY STATEMENTS:

   SEE ALL PEOPLE AS EQUALS,

   SEE THE HUMBLE AS HEROES.

D. H.
IN AN AGE WHEN HOSTILITIES, RIFTS, AND DESTRUCTION WERE RAMPANT, YUNUS EMRE WAS ABLE TO GIVE EXPRESSION TO AN ALL-EMBRACING LOVE OF HUMANITY AND TO HIS CONCEPTS OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD WHICH TRANSCENDED ALL SCHISMS AND SECTS:

    FOR THOSE WHO TRULY LOVE GOD AND HIS WAYS

    ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ARE BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

YUNUS EMRE’S VIEW OF MYSTICISM IS CLOSELY ALLIED WITH THE CONCEPT THAT ALL MEN ARE BORN OF GOD’S LOVE AND THAT THEY ARE THEREFORE EQUAL AND WORTHY OF PEACE ON EARTH.

T. H.
YUNUS EMRE DECRIED RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND DWELT ON THE “UNITY OF HUMANITY”:

  WE REGARD NO ONE’S RELIGION AS CONTRARY TO OURS,

  TRUE LOVE IS BORN WHEN ALL FAITHS ARE UNITED AS A WHOLE.

D. H.
HUMANISM UPHOLDS THE IDEAL OF THE TOTAL COMMUNITY OF MANKIND. YUNUS EMRE’S HUMANIST CREDO IS ALSO BASED ON INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL ETHNIC, POLITICAL AND SECTARIAN DIVISIONS:

      THE MAN WHO DOESN’T SEE THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD AS ONE

      IS A REBEL EVEN IF THE PIOUS CLAIM HE’S HOLY.

LOVE, IN HIS TERMS, UNIFIES THE WORLD AND DISPENSES WITH DIFFERENCES TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT YUNUS EMRE IS ABLE TO STATE:

      I BEAR MALICE AGAINST NO ONE,

      EVEN STRANGERS ARE FRIENDS OF MINE.

THIS MYSTIC MORAL ATTITUDE HAS ECHOES FROM A HADITH (TRADITION), A STATEMENT ASCRIBED TO THE PROPHET: "BEAR NO MALICE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER, DO NOT COVET EACH OTHER NOR TURN A COLD SHOULDER TO YOUR FELLOW MEN. VASSALS OF GOD, BE BROTHERS."

     MYSTIC IS WHAT THEY CALL ME,
     HATE IS MY ONLY ENEMY;
     I HARBOR A GRUDGE AGAINST NONE.
     TO ME THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD IS ONE.

T. H.
IN YUNUS EMRE'S VIEW, SERVICE TO SOCIETY IS THE ULTIMATE MORAL IDEAL AND THE INDIVIDUAL CAN FIND HIS OWN HIGHEST GOOD IN WORKING FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL. HIS EXHORTATIONS CALL FOR DECENT TREATMENT OF DEPRIVED PEOPLE:

      TO LOOK ASKANCE AT THE LOWLY IS THE WRONG WAY.
      AND FOR SOCIAL INTERDEPENDENCE AND CHARITY:

      TOIL, EARN, EAT, AND GIVE OTHERS YOUR WAGES.

 

      OUR FIRST DUTY IS GOOD CHARACTER AND GOOD DEEDS.

 

      HAND OUT TO OTHERS WHAT YOU EARN,

      DO THE POOR PEOPLE A GOOD TURN.   

D. H.

        

YUNUS EMRE SPOKE OUT COURAGEOUSLY AGAINST THE OPPRESSION OF UNDERPRIVILEGED PEOPLE BY THE RULERS, LANDOWNERS, WEALTHY MEN, OFFICIALS, AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS:

 

    KINDNESS OF THE LORDS RAN ITS COURSE,

    NOW EACH ONE GOES STRADDLING A HORSE,

    THEY EAT THE FLESH OF THE PAUPERS,

    ALL THEY DRINK IS THE POOR MEN’S BLOOD.

 

HE STRUCK HARD AT THE HEARTLESSNESS OF MEN IN POSITIONS OF POWER:

 

    THE LORDS ARE WILD WITH WEALTH AND MIGHT,

    THEY IGNORE THE POOR PEOPLE’S PLIGHT;

    IMMERSED IN SELFHOOD WHICH IS BLIGHT,

    THEIR HEARTS ARE SHORN OF CHARITY.

 

YUNUS EMRE ALSO LAMBASTED THE ILLEGITIMATE ACQUISITIONS OF HYPOCRITES WHO POSE AS MEN OF HIGH MORALS:

 

    HYPOCRITES CLAIM THEY NEVER MAKE A GAIN

    THROUGH ANY MEANS WHICH MIGHT BE ILLICIT;

    THE TRUTH OF IT IS: THEY ONLY REFRAIN

    WHEN THEY ARE CERTAIN THEY CANNOT GRAB IT.

T. H.

        

HE HAS NO USE WHATEVER FOR THE TRAPPINGS OF ORGANIZED RELIGION:

 

    TRUE FAITH IS IN THE HEAD, NOT IN THE HEADGEAR.

D. H.

        

    A SINGLE VISIT INTO THE HEART IS

    BETTER THAN A HUNDRED PILGRIMAGES.

T. H.

        

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, WHAT IS FAITH OR CREED WITHOUT LOVE?

D. H.

        

    THE TRUE LOVERS OF GOD HAVE NO CRAVING FOR PARADISE.

    THEY STRIVE BEYOND PARADISE TO ARRIVE AT HIS DOMAIN.

T. H.       

    I HAVE THESE EYES OF MINE TO SEE YOUR FACE;

    I ONLY HAVE HANDS TO SEEK YOUR EMBRACE.

    TODAY I SHALL SET MY SOUL ON THE ROAD

    SO THAT TOMORROW I CAN REACH YOUR PLACE.

 

     LET ME SET MY SOUL ON THE ROAD TODAY,

     GRANT ME TOMORROW WHATEVER ITS WORTH.

     DO NOT OFFER YOUR PARADISE TO ME,

     I HAVE NO WISH TO FLY TO PARADISE.

 

     WHO NEEDS IT, WHAT USE IS HEAVEN TO ME?

     MY HEART’S EYE WOULD NOT EVEN GLANCE AT IT.

     ALL THIS SORROWFUL CLAMORING OF MINE

     IS NOT FOR A GARDEN UP IN THE SKIES.

 

    YOU KEEP TRYING TO USE IT TO ENTICE

    THE FAITHFUL, BUT WHAT YOU CALL PARADISE

    CANNOT BOAST OF MORE THAN A FEW HOURIS

    AND I DON’T HANKER AFTER THEIR CARESS.

 

    OFFER IT TO THOSE WHO GO BY THE CREED;

    YOU’RE THE ONE I CRAVE, YOU’RE THE ONE I NEED.

    MY LEAVING YOU WOULD BE A SHAEMFUL DEED

    FOR THE SAKE OF A MANSION AND TRELLIS.

D. H.

        

YUNUS EMRE DIRECTS HIS SCATHING SATIRE AT BIGOTS WHO OFFER NARROW, SUPERFICIAL, AND FORMALISTIC INTERPRETATIONS OF ISLAM. HE BRINGS SOME ORTHODOX VIEWS INTO SHARP FOCUS IN A DEVASTATING POEM.

 

  HEAVEN’S BRIDGE IS SHARPER THAN A SWORD, THINNER THAN HAIR.

  YOU KNOW, I’D LIKE TO GO ON IT AND BUILD HOUSES RIGHT THERE.

  WAY DOWN BELOW THE BRIDGE, RAGING WITH FLAMES, CRACKLES

                                                                                                    HELL’S PIT,

  I WANT TO WALK OVER TO ITS SHADE AND LIE THERE A BIT.

  BECAUSE I CALL YOUR FIRE A SHADE, DON’T SCOLD ME, PHARISEES;

  MAY IT PLEASE YOU, I THINK A LITTLE BURNING IS A BLISS.

T. H.

        

HIMSELF POSING AS A HYPOCRITE WHO PROJECTS DEVOUTNESS AND PUTS ON AIRS OF PIETY, YUNUS EMRE LAMPOONS THE CLERGY:

 

   IN PUBLIC I AM PIOUS, ALWAYS SEEN WITH MY PRAYER BEADS;

   MY TONGUE AFFIRMS THE WAYS OF GOD, NOT THAT MY HEART

                                                                                                     ACCEDES.

   THEY KISS MY HANDS, THEY TAKE MY CAPE AND CAPE FOR RELIGION;

   THEY THINK I AM THE WAY I LOOK, THEY THINK I COMMIT NO SIN.

D. H.

        

CLAIMING THAT THE TRUE BELIEVER “HAS NO HOPE OF PARADISE NOR FEAR OF HELL,” THE MYSTIC POET IS CAPABLE OF TAKING EVEN GOD HIMSELF TO TASK. IN A FAMOUS HERETICAL POEM. YUNUS CHALLENGES GOD:   

T. H.

        

    O GOD, IF YOU WOULD EVER QUESTION TO ME,

    HIS WOULD BE MY OUTRIGHT ANSWER TO THEE:

D. H.

        

   TRUE, I SINNED – BRUTALIZED MY OWN BEING,

   BUT WHAT HAVE I DONE AGAINST YOU, MY KING?

T. H.

        

   DID I MAKE MYSELF? I’M YOUR CREATION.

   WHY DRENCH ME IN SIN, BENEVOLENT ONE?

D. H.

        

   I SAW DUNGEONS WHEN I OPENED MY EYES –

   TEEMING WITH DEVILS, TEMPTATION AND LIES.

T. H.

        

   TO SHUN DEATH BY HUNGER, MANY A TIME ,

   IN PRISON, I HAD TO EAT DIRT AND GRIME.

D. H.    

    DID YOUR DOMINION BECOME ANY LESS?

    DID I USURP ANY OF YOUR PROWESS?

T. H.

    ARE YOU HUNGRY? DID I EAT YOUR RATION?

    DID I DEPRIVE YOU, CAUSE YOUR STARVATION?

D. H. 

    DO YOU STILL SEEK REVENGE THOUGH YOU KILLED ME,

    SINCE I ROTTED, SINCE DARKEST SOIL FILLED ME.

T. H.   

    YOU BUILT ME A BRIDGE TO CROSS, THIN AS HAIR;

    OUT OF YOUR TRAPS I'M TO CHOOSE MY OWN SNARE.

D. H.  

    HOW CAN A MAN PASS THROUGH A HAIR-THIN BRIDGE?

    HE FALLS OR CLINGS ON OR FLIES OFF THE RIDGE.

T. H.        

    YOUR SLAVES BUILD BRIDGES FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD,

    THOSE WHO PASS THROUGH IT HEAD FOR THE GODHEAD.

D. H. 

    I WISH ITS FIRM FOUNDATION WILL HOLD SWAY

    SO THOSE WHO CROSS IT KNOW IT'S THE TRUE WAY.

T. H.

    YOU SET A SCALE TO WEIGH DEEDS, FOR YOUR AIM

    IS TO HURL ME INTO HELL'S CRACKLING FLAME.

D. H.    

    A SCALE IS SUITABLE FOR A GROCER,

    FOR A SMALL MERCHANT OR A JEWELLER.

T. H. 

     SIN, THOUGH, IS THE VILEST, FILTHIEST VICE,

     THE PROFIT OF THOSE UNWORTHY OF GRACE

D. H.  

    YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW ME 3Ú4 FINE;

    THEN, WHY MUST YOU WEIGH ALL THESE DEEDS OF MINE?

T. H.    

    NO HARM EVER CAME FROM YUNUS TO YOU;

    OPEN, SECRET – ALL THINGS ARE IN YOUR VIEW.

D. H.  

     GOD ALMIGHTY, WHY ALL THIS TALK, WHY MUST

     WE PRATTLE ABOUT A HANDFUL OF DUST?

T. H.     
IN POEM AFTER POEM, HE REMINDS THE FANATICS THAT LOVE IS SUPREME AND STRINGENT RULES ARE FUTILE:

  YUNUS EMRE SAYS TO YOU, PHARISEE,
  MAKE THE HOLY PILGRIMAGE IF NEED BE
  A THOUSAND TIMES3Ú4BUT IF YOU ASK ME,
  THE VISIT TO A HEART IS BEST OF ALL.

D. H.
ISLAM, AS FORMULATED BY THE PROPHET, ORIGINALLY MADE NO PROVISIONS FOR CLERGY. THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLIHMENT OF ISLAM EVOLVED IN THE GENERATIONS AFTER MOHAMMED. THE MYSTIC HAS NO NEED FOR ORGANIZED FAITH:

    LOVE IS MINISTER TO US, OUR FLOCK IS THE INMOST SOUL,

    THE FRIEND'S FACE IS OUR MECCA, OUR PRAYERS ARE ETERNAL.

AS FAR AS THE MYSTIC IS CONCERNED, THE ADHERENTS OF STRICT RELIGIOUS LAWS MISS THE LARGER TRUTHS AND THE PASSIONS FAITH:

    GOD'S TRUTH IS AN OCEAN AND THE DOGMA A SHIP,

    MOST PEOPLE DON'T LEAVE THE SHIP TO PLUNGE IN THAT SEA.

HE WARNS THAT WORSHIP IS NOT ENOUGH, ALL THE ABLUTIONS AND OBEISANCES WILL NOT WASH AWAY THE SIN OF MALTREATMENT, OFFENSE OR EXPLOITATION COMMITTED AGAINST A GOOD PERSON:

    IF YOU BREAK A TRUE BELIEVER'S HEART ONCE,

    IT'S NO PRAYER TO GOD3Ú4THIS OBEISANCE.    

T. H.    
YUNUS EMRE MAKES THIS MORAL CAVEAT AS A RESULT OF HIS FIRM BELIEF IN THE INHERENT VALUE AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN BEING:

    DON'T LOOK DOWN ON ANYONE AS WORTHLESS, NO ONE IS

                                                                                           WORTHLESS;

     IT'S NOT NICE TO SEEK OUT PEOPLE'S DEFECTS AND DEFICIENCIES.

HE FEELS IT IS A HUMANITARIAN DUTY TO BE ALTRUISTIC AND CHARITABLE TO ALL REGARDLESS OF ETHNIC, NATIONAL OR RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND:

     DON'T LOOK DOWN ON ANYONE, NEVER BREAK A HEART;

     THE MYSTIC MUST LOVE ALL SEVENTY-TWO NATIONS.

D. H.
YUNUS EMRE REMINDED THE CRUEL EXPLOITERS THAT THEIR POWER IS TRANSITORY, THAT THEY SHALL LOSE ALL THEIR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AT DEATH:

    FIRM HANDS WILL LOSE THEIR GRIP ONE DAY
    AND TONGUES THAT TALK WILL SOON DECAY:
    THE WEALTH YOU LOVED AND STORED AWAY
    WILL GO TO SOME INHERITOR.

T. H.
YUNUS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT DEATH EQUALIZES ALL, RICH AND POOR, MIGHTY AND MEEK. LOOKING AT A CEMETERY, HE SAYS:

    THESE MEN WERE AS RICH AS COULD BE.
     THIS IS WHAT THEY HAVE COME TO, SEE!
     THEY REACHED THE END AND HAD TO WEAR
     THE SIMPLE ROBE WITHOUT THE SLEEVES.

    BACK IN THE PAST, THESE WERE THE LORDS,
    AT THEIR DOORS THEY USED TO HAVE GUARDS:
    COME TAKE A LOOK, YOU CAN'T TELL NOW
    WHO ARE THE LORDS, WHO ARE THE SLAVES.

D. H.
THE MYSTIC WHO SPURNS WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND POLITICAL POWER KNOWS THAT TRUE GLORY IS LOVE:

    LET ALL THE LOVERS REJOICE:

    LOVE IS THE EXALTED STATE

T. H.
YUNUS EMRE POSITS THE BELIEF THAT THE COMMON MAN ATTAINS TO DOMINION BY VIRTUE OF GOD'S LOVE:

     TO YUNUS GOD OPENED HIS DOOR, YUNUS MADE GOD HIS LESSOR;

     MINE IS THE ENDURING STATE; I WAS A SLAVE, I BECAME THE

                                                                                                        SULTAN.

IN YUNUS EMRE'S THEOCENTRIC HUMANISM AND RELIGIOUS SUPERNATURALISM, LOVE IS IMMORTALITY. IT HAS TIMELESS CONTINUITY AS AN ATTRIBUTE OF GOD. HIS POEMS MAKE REFERENCES TO EVERLASTING TIME AS THE SUFI'S BLISSFUL DESTINY:

D. H.  
     BEFORE I CAME INTO THE WORLD, MY SOUL LOVED GOD.

      I WAS BORN WITH DIVINE LOVE.

LOVE ENABLES THE MYSTIC TO ESCAPE MORTALITY. IN AN ELOQUENT LINE, YUNUS EMRE EXPRESSES THE DEATHLESSNESS OF GOD'S LOVERS:

      DEATH IS FOR BEASTS, IT'S NOT THE LOVER'S DESTINY.

T. H.    
HIS VISION OF LIFE IS OMNIA VINCIT AMOR (LOVE CONQUERS ALL). IT IS A SENSE OF TOTAL LOVE EMBRACING ALL OF LIFE:

WHEREVER I LOOK I SEE GOD'S FACE.

D. H.
     IT GIVES THE MYSTIC GOD-LIKE POWERS:
     EARTH IS MINE, SKY IS MINE, HEAVENS ARE MINE.
     THE MYSTIC, DEIFIED THROUGH LOVE, CLAIMS ETERNAL LIFE:
     I AM BEFORE, I AM AFTER.

T. H.
IN YUNUS EMRE'S WORK THERE ARE OCCASIONAL ECHOES OF MANSUR AL-HALLAJ, ONE OF THE GREATEST ISLAMIC SUFIS OF ALL TIME, WHO WAS PUT TO DEATH FOR PROCLAIMING “ENE’L - HAK” (I AM GOD). LIKE MANSUR, YUNUS EMRE ANNOUNCES THAT HE HAS ACHIEVED DIVINITY:

   SINCE THE START OF TIME I HAVE BEEN MANSUR,

    I HAVE BECOME GOD ALMIGHTY, BROTHER.

D. H.
THIS IS NOT SIMPLY A SENSE OF MYSTIC PARTICIPATION IN THE GODHEAD, BUT A TOTAL IMMERSION IN GODLINESS, INCLUDING THE CREATIVE POWERS OF DIVINITY:

     I MADE THE GROUND FLAT WHERE IT LIES,
     ON IT I HAD THOSE MOUNTAINS RISE,
     I DESIGNED THE VAULT OF THE SKIES,
     FOR I HOLD ALL THINGS IN MY SWAY.

T. H.
IN MYSTICAL UNION, THE ULTIMATE ATTAINMENT OF MAN’S SPIRIT, IS THE CREATION OF ABSOLUTE LOVE IN ABSTRACTO AND IN PRAXI, OF TOTAL SELF-TRANSCENDENCE, WHICH YUNUS EMRE EXPRESSED IN A MEMORABLE LINE:

        YOUR ARE CLOSER TO US THAN OURSELVES.

D. H.
YUNUS EMRE ALSO LAID BARE THE PITIABLE STATE OF THOSE WHO ARE DEVOID OF HUMAN AND DIVINE LOVE:

     WHAT I SAY TO THE LOVELESS IN AN ECHO FROM A ROCK;
     HE WHO HAS NOT ONE DROP OF LOVE LIVES IN THE WILDERNESS.
     IT IS LOVE THAT GIVES THE MYSTIC THE GIFT OF IMMORTALITY:
     I LOVE YOU, SO THE HAND OF DEATH CAN NEVER TOUCH ME.
     IF I AM A LOVER, I CAN NEVER DIE.

UNLIKE SHAKESPEARE’ "LOVE- DEVOURING DEATH," YUNUS EMRE HAS FAITH IN DEATH-DEVOURING LOVE. FOR HIM, LOVE EMBODIES DIVINIZATION OF THE HUMANBEING.

T. H.
SEVEN CENTURIES AGO, YUNUS EMRE ATTAINED TO THE APOGEE OF THE INTELLECTUAL AND AESTHETIC TRADITION OF TURKISH HUMANISM. HE GAVE ELOQUENT SPECIMENS OF HUMANITARIANISM AND UNIVERSALISM. HE MADE A POETIC PLEA FOR PEACE AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MANKIND3Ú4A PLEA FOR HUMANISM WHICH IS STILL SUPREMELY RELEVANT IN TODAY'S WORLD CONVULSING WITH CONFLICT AND WAR:

      COME LET US ALL BE FRIENDS FOR ONCE,
      LET US MAKE LIFE EASY ON US,
     
LET US BE LOVERS AND LOVED ONES,
     
THE EARTH SHALL BE LEFT TO NO ONES.


First row from left to right: John U. Culkin, Defne Halman, Bircan Unver
Second row from lef to right: Prof. David Cuthell, Jeff Peretz,
Prof. Talat Halman, Eric Kunhard, Dean of SIT & Murat Nemet Nejat
right after the presentation on Feb. 23, 2005

YUNUS EMRE:
A Poetic Presentation by: Prof. Talat Halman,
The very first Cultural Ministery of Turkey
&
Defne Halman, Actress
Live music by: Jeff Peretz, Udo
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005
Time: 7:30 PM.
@Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey
Organized by: The Light Millennium & Stevens Institute of Technology
Co-producers: Bircan Ünver & Prof. Edward Foster

LIGHTMILLENNIUM.ORG -6th Anniversay, #17th Issue
March - April 2006
LM - HOME PAGE
6th Anniversay
March-April'06
Issue# 17
ISIK BINYILI (Türkçe)
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