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Love Dogs

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

One night a man was crying,

Allah! Allah!

His lips grew sweet with the praising,

until a cynic said,

"So! I have heard you

calling out, but have you ever

gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.

He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,

in a thick, green foliage.

"Why did you stop praising?"

"Because I've never heard anything back."

"This longing

you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from

draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness

that wants help

is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.

That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs

no one knows the names of.

Give your life

to be one of them.


Rumi reminds us that our vulnerability leads us to connection. Telling another human being the specific way we suffer entails experiencing emotion more deeply, with all the incumbent associations and memories. As sentient beings, we are exquisitely sensitive. As Rumi says 'that whining is the connection' . The pure affect that we all share is contained in the ‘secret cup’ if we can find a way to bear pain.

Rumi knew that the point of the cry was not to get an answer or fix the pain but to give our own suffering attention, to listen and be heard. Paradoxically, he knew that this awareness was in fact the answer to the cry. To become a love dog is to accept oneself which does alleviate suffering or allow us to bear it. Becoming a love dog is not quick or easy but it is a profound experience. Jungian Analysis allows this exploration to unfold at your own pace.

Whirling Dervishes at Konya

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