By Hugh Prather
It is difficult to write about beauty. It is perhaps impossible to describe a poem. Music is also beyond words, as are art and dance. And certainly the experience of the Divine is merely mocked by sentences.
In The Rumi Secret, Victoria Lee avoids using words, or more precisely, she avoids using them as they are all too commonly used. Words tend to lessen whatever they are applied to. They define, and reality cannot be defined.
Yet somehow, Dr. Lee takes words—mainly words about her most profound personal experiences—and through them creates a resonance within the reader. We feel understood because we realize that here is one who has lived a life that is like our life.
Rumi looked into the shared heart of people of faith and saw equality. He attended the worship services of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and other religions; he said that there is but one altar, the love within us that extends from God.
Many who pick up this book will already be familiar with Rumi’s vision. They already know that like beauty, art, dance and music, Rumi’s words function within a different level of reality, that Place within us where we are not alone. His words are commonly referred to as poems, but clearly they are far more than that.
Taken as a whole, Rumi’s work is sacred scripture, and its sacredness is respected by Dr. Lee. Never does she try to interpret what is ineffable.
The value of this book—and it is considerable—is in demonstrating that there is no subject which is immune to the light that pours from Rumi.
When I first read The Rumi Secret, I was in awe of the richness and diversity of human experience that Dr. Lee had incorporated into a single volume. Her insights into grief, sex, sickness, religion, communication, emotions, marriage, death and numerous other subjects are profound within themselves and could stand alone as a valuable book.
Yet coupled with the writings of Rumi, she has created something timeless, yet full of time, something mystical, yet purely practical.
And I discovered something else. This book can be opened at random, and like a few other great and beloved books, it always seems to provide exactly what is needed at the moment.
So hold this little volume gently. It contains transformation.
Hugh Prather is the author of more than 16 books on spiritual subjects, many written with his wife Gayle. His first book, Notes to Myself, has sold more than 5,000,000 copies.