The previous chapters have been an attempt to understand and systematize Rumi’s practical mysticism based on his own principles and within the context of his entire mystical system, while employing the comparative methodology in juxtaposing his practical teachings with those of a mystic from a different school of mysticism. Endeavoring to avoid either creating universal structures out of the commonalities or overemphasizing the distinctions, this investigation has taken into consideration both similarities as well as differences between Rumi’s and Eckhart’s thought, an attitude that is also reflected in the suggested rubrics for their respective systems of practical mysticism. Based on the methodological considerations articulated in Chapter 1, the first part of the study dealt with the elaboration of Eckhart’s practical mysticism. Taking into account the distinction between the two parts of practical mysticism, namely, stages and practices, as well as the four-fold categories of loving, working, knowing, and being presented by Eckhart, provided a helpful tool for the formulation of Eckhart’s practical teachings. Such formulation was made in connection with his theoretical mysticism, based on both Eckhart’s German as well as his Latin works. The second part then dealt with both tasks of systematizing Rumi’s practical teachings as well as comparing them with Eckhart’s practical thought. Again, methodological principles such as differentiating between mystical stages and practices and considering the reciprocal connection between practical mysticism and other aspects of mysticism were used together with the categorical tool of distinguishing between emotional, moral, cognitive, and ontological aspects of the mystical stages and practices derived from the above four-fold categorization offered by Eckhart. These categories assisted in paying due attention to various aspects of Rumi’s suggested stages and practices, as they established a common ground for the comparative study at hand. It is a proper occasion now, at the concluding part of this investigation, to sum up the results of earlier chapters and juxtapose the holistic structures of the practical mysticism of Rumi and Eckhart. Such comparison will be coupled with discussing the problem of concrete mystical techniques and the criterion of mystical goodness in Rumi and Eckhart as well as the influence of their different emphases on love and the intellect on the practical and experiential aspects of their mysticism. As far as the general structures of Rumi’s and Eckhart’s systems of practical mysticism are concerned, there are considerable similarities as well as significant

distinctions between the two. Regarding the first part of each’s practical mysticism, the stages of the mystical way, while maintaining the infinity of such stages and the graduality of the process of mystical progress, both mystics propose three major landmarks in the mystical path that one must pass through in order to reach the climax of mystical perfection. Rumi suggests the starting stage of the domination of the nafs, the first stage of the domination of the intellect, and the second stage of the domination of the heart, while Eckhart proposes the starting point of creaturely eigenschaft, the first stage of the birth of the Son, and the second stage of identity in the ground. At first glance, one may suppose a one-to-one correspondence between the two sets of stages, especially when one takes note of the role of the intellect in the first stages in both sets along with the centrality of the concept of nihilum or nothingness in the second stages. One might correlate Rumi’s formulation of dying from man and becoming an angel or the intellect and, then, dying from being an angel and becoming nothingness or ‘adam with Eckhart’s explanation of detaching oneself from creaturely eigenschaft and becoming the Intellect and then going beyond the stage of Sonship and the Intellect and reposing in the ground, the desert of nothingness. Nonetheless, such complete conformity does not exist, and, instead, merely a partial correspondence can be recognized between the two sets of mystical stages. The starting points of both sets of stages can be considered parallel, since they refer to man’s non-mystical state in various aspects through highlighting a single concept-the nafs for Rumi and creaturely eigenschaft for Eckhart. The nafs and creaturely eigenschaft are seen as the main impediment to reaching mystical fulfillment, since they cause man’s attraction towards the magnet of materiality, animality, and the created world, instead of the heavenly magnetic force, and hinder him from receptivity to the divine flowing. Such an impediment restricts and binds man to the most outward circle of the ontological hierarchy, to employ Eckhartian concentric circles regardless of the emanational relationship between the circles, and it compels man to live in and experience only the lowest sphere of being. Yet Rumi and Eckhart disagree on how this hindrance functions in the soul and in what way it connects man to the inferior realms of being. Rumi focuses more on the notion of sensual desire and lust toward worldly pleasures, while Eckhart concentrates more on the concept of creaturely images shaped in the soul, be it man’s own created image or that of external creatures. The second stage of Rumi’s mystical path, that is the domination of the heart, can be considered as parallel to the first stage of Eckhart’s mystical way, the birth of the Son in the soul, due to noticeable similarities in their emotional, moral, cognitive, and ontological aspects. This is in spite of their disagreement on certain key points, especially regarding the role of knowledge and that of love. Both of these stages feature, in their emotional aspect, the emotional equanimity of man and his being filled with divine joy and love; in the moral aspect, the replacement of man’s will with God’s will and the performance of all his actions by the divine volition; in the cognitive aspect, enjoyment of allcomprehensive, essential and immediate knowledge of all created things; and in

the ontological aspect, experience of the realm of unity in multiplicity, wherein man is substantially united with God and with all creatures in their primordial mode of being while simultaneously remaining distinguishable from them. Again, employing the Eckhartian concentric circles, both of these stages refer to man’s abiding in the second circle of the ontological hierarchy where the mode of unity in multiplicity prevails. The first stage of Rumi’s path, the domination of the intellect, yet, has no clear parallel in Eckhart’s set of stages. Due to its characteristics, its corresponding stage can be located between the starting point of creaturely eigenschaft and the first stage of the birth. The man achieving this stage is ultimately united with Gabriel, but in spite of being the loftiest angelic creature, he is not as perfect as the prophets or saints, who are the embodiment of the Universal Intellect and whose intellect of Intellect is subordinate to love. Finally, the second stage of identity in the ground in Eckhart’s mysticism neither has any corresponding partner in Rumi’s mystical stages nor can any parallel for it be found there. In Rumi’s Sufism, man never attains such apophaticism in the mystical path in which he is freed of all heavenly enjoyments even the divine love; he is released from the admirable necessitarianism and passivity to God’s will; he ignores all manner of knowledge and knows nothing of knowing at all; and he becomes identified with the inmost Divinity, going even beyond the transcendental distinction between himself and God. Love in Rumi’s mystical way remains the substantial relationship between man and his divine Beloved, and man cannot reach such a stage wherein he exceeds all degrees of love and reposes beyond all loveableness. The process of creation in Rumi’s metaphysics, unlike Eckhart’s exitus from the first circle of ontological hierarchy, does not start from the innermost, dark core of being, so that Rumi’s way of return to the origin concludes, similar to Eckhart’s reditus, in such a dark center. The substantial identification taking place in the final stage of Eckhart’s mystical path is, hence, more radical and fundamental than the essential unity happening during the last stage in Rumi’s practical way. Concerning the second part of practical mysticism, i.e., the practices performed at each of the mystical stages, Rumi and Eckhart once again share important commonalities as well as differences. Both accentuate the gradual process of removing the multilayered hindrances to mystical fulfillment and the progressive practice of polishing man’s inwardness and cleansing it of the contamination that separates it from its original purity. Both mystics also propose an apophatic approach to removing and deactivating impediments rather than the cataphatic method of pursuing the achievement of perfection. In order to suggest a kind of parallelism between the practices of the two practical systems similar to the correspondence mentioned concerning their mystical stages, one can consider Rumi’s practice of annihilation in toto, including inferior and superior fanā’s, as being collectively parallel to Eckhart’s practice of abgescheidenheit. Both of these practices lead man from the point de départ of the mystical journey to the corresponding stages of the domination of the heart and the birth of the Son. The first annihilation or inferior fanā’ in Rumi is analogous to the lower degrees of abgescheidenheit before the soul is totally purified of createdness,

while the second annihilation or superior fanā’ is comparable to the higher degrees of abgescheidenheit, which result in the soul’s becoming the Image and Intellect and being filled by divine inflowing. Yet in the inferior fanā’ Rumi highlights the concept of carnal desire and worldly pleasures, unlike Eckhart who focuses on the notion of creaturely images. There is no corresponding element for Eckhart’s second practice of breakthrough in Rumi’s mystical way, a practice of detaching the soul from even being the Image and from the

Diagram IV Correspondence between the practical mysticism of Rumi and Eckhart.