Speaking About Divine Oneness Leads to Duality

Mathnawi VI:2034-2037

2034 That (Divine) Oneness is (far) from the direction of (verbal)
description and circumstance, (since nothing) except duality1 enters
the arena of talking.

2035 Either drink this duality,2 like a squinting man (who sees double), or close (your) mouth and become very quiet.3

Or (be) sometimes quiet and sometimes speaking,4 by turn, (and) pound the drum5 in the manner of a squinting man--and peace (be upon you)!

2037 (But) if you see a (spiritual) confidant,6 (then) speak the soul's secret. (Likewise, if) you see a rose, cry out (and sing) like the nightingales.7

--From "The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî" [Rhymed Couplets of
Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, 6/1/03 (with
gratitude for R. A. Nicholson's 1934 British translation)
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)

Notes on the text, with line number:

1(2034) except duality: "If an asserter of unity says, 'I am describing
God Most High with the quality of Unity' (and) at that time begins
speaking, necessarily he is imagining and indicating [something
separate because] of duality." (Anqaravi, the 17th century Turkish
commentator, translated here into English from a Persian
"'The reality of tawhíd [= Divine Unity] is silence outwardly and
inwardly' (Ibnu 'l-`Arabí) [= the sufi genius who died in 1240, in
his "FutûHât al-Makiyya"]. Any verbal profession involves the
existence of a muwahhid [= somebody who makes an assertion of
unity] and a muwahhad [= something described as singular], i.e.
virtually a denial of Unity..." (Nicholson, Commentary)

2(2035) either drink this duality: "Either listen to speech connected
to Unity--which is caused by duality, like those who see double..."
(Anqaravi, Commentary)

3(2035) become very quiet: "in the manner of a knower (of
Reality)." (Anqaravi, Commentary)

4(2036) sometimes speaking: "Then if, for the sake of teaching
students, speaking words is necessary... when you utter any
amount of speech about Unity, it isn't devoid of the delusion of
being a duality. And those who have remained in duality are
unable to (truly) understand what Unity is, and they can't
comprehend this subtle point." (Anqaravi, Commentary)

5(2036) pound the drum: "If you happen to be among double-seeing
people, speak in the manner of squinting people and pound the
drum in the manner of those (polytheists) who associate (God
with) partners. That (is also) the moment when those who possess
'hidden polytheism' [= worship of the idol of ego] come near you
and surround you." (Anqaravi, Commentary)

6(2037) a (spiritual) confidant: "But if you see someone (who is) an
intimate companion of the secret of Reality and a confidant of
[direct] knowledge of (Divine) Unity, speak the soul's secret to him
and unveil the mystery of the treasure of (Divine) Oneness for his
sake. One should not search for the treasure of Reality like that
dervish [= in the story where these verses occur] in the desert [who
went to look for the famous sufi shaykh, Abû Hasan Kharraqânî],
since the essential meaning and purpose of everything which exists
is (known) in the midst of the soul." (Anqaravi, Commentary)

7(2037) like the nightingales: refers to the metaphor of the
nightingale, which symbolizes the sufi lover of God, which sings
out of passionate love for the rose, which symbolizes God, the
Beautiful Beloved. "If you see a close companion like a rose, sing
loudly like the nightingales, because he is a mirror for you and you
have explained by words and speech his own essence and
attributes. (So) whatever he says to you and whatever you say to
him is suitable and permissible." (Anqaravi, Commentary)


2034 ân yakiyê z-ân sôy-é waSf-ast-o Hâl
joz dû'î n-ây-ad ba maydân-é maqâl

2035 yâ chô aHwal în dû'î-râ nûsh kon
yâ dahân bar dûz-o khûsh khâmûsh kon

yâ ba-nawbat, gah sukût-o gah kalâm
aHwalâna Tabl mê-zan, wa 's-salâm

2037 chûn be-bîn-î maHramê, gû sirr-é jân
gol be-bîn-î, na`ra zan chûn bolbol-ân

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)