The Moth to the Flame: Rumi's Holy Longing
presented by Connie Zweig, Ph.D.
Friday, March 17th, 2006
" From my first breath I have longed for Him. This longing has become my life. "
In this presentation Connie Zweig will examine the life of the best-selling poet in America who was born in Afghanistan eight hundred years ago. Collections of his poetry have sold more than one million copies in this country. Yet his life story has been told only cursorily. Who was this man whose thirteenth-century verses and images are so universal that they resonate even now? What formed his poetic genius? How did love touch him and turn him inside out? How did the Muslim faith shape him, and how did he transcend it?
This tale of a life fully lived is the tale of every life: Rumi's yearning for God is our yearning, his anguish, our anguish, his victory, our victory. His story is the mythic story of the human soul. This presentation will include a discussion of those moments in his journey that are archetypal in our own lives: acceptance of family lineage and duty; disillusionment with the status quo and a longing for something more; a reversal of values and priorities; a seemingly terrible loss; and an inner realization or awakening. This journey from innocence to knowledge, from knowledge to love, and from love to illumination, is the journey of saints and sages. It is also our own.
Connie Zweig, Ph.D., is a therapist in Los Angeles and a student of the mystical paths of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufism. She is co-author of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, and author of The Holy Longing: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Yearning. The Moth to the Flame: The Life Story of Sufi Poet Jelaluddin Rumi is her first novel.