Reflection Paper on the “Masnavi,” Love and Soul

Rumi’s Masnavi
Rumi’s philosophy is extremely poetic, complicated and difficult. Please read the posted excerpt a few times, and find the relationships between each line. For example, pay attention to the relationships between pain, love, longing, social relationships, and so on. Once you are able to see the relationships, answer the following questions:
1) What is the relationship between body and soul? Between our pain and other people? Between pain and meaning? Ultimately, what does it mean to be human, according to Rumi?
2) Rumi’s philosophy emphasizes longing and the difficulties of life. However, according to Rumi, like most ancient philosophers, this pain is not negative, but something that gets rid of many of the things that impede a meaningful life.
3) Put the answers to your questions within the context of the first chapter of Introductory Lectures on Religious Philosophy. This chapter talks about love within the context of the Iron, Bronze, Silver and Gold stages. How does love work on each level? What is the purpose of love? What is the difference between romantic and philosophical love?

Alain de Botton’s Romanticism
1) According to Alain de Botton, what are some of the problems with romance? How does this relate to the loss of religion? Why is romance such a central feature, or problem, of modern life?
2) What solutions, or changes, does de Botton propose to make romance more functional and meaningful? Are the solutions possible to implement? Either way, give specific examples of these failures or successes.
3) Describe three ideas from the video that relate to you and your life.

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