In almost all major religions, there abounds the undertone of the spiritual battle that takes place inside someone regarding the succumbation to sin or earthly desires and the like. Also ever present in the soul's journey through life is the search for a prize; an ultimate Truth, especially in the early Middle Ages when religions where beginning to mature and take power in society. Though the doctrine theoretically differs greatly, Christian and Islamic faith as one body contextually share the same ideals and foci on the issues pertaining to the soul. This is made evident when analyzing the works of Christian mystic, Margery Kempe, and Sufi poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi, who despite the difference in gender and culture, shed light on the meaning of Truth through acts and words of devotion and love for a common God.
Margery Kempe, who did not consider herself a mystic, led a normal life until a traumatic event thrust her into a life-long sojourn for truth and holiness. This event yielded a strikingly emotional union between herself and God, which sometimes consisted of visions that she was speaking with Jesus Christ. Kempe refers to Jesus as her lover in The Book of Margery Kempe, an autobiography which was written later in her life. Kempe's devotion encompassed her life so even to the point that she asked her husband to take a vow of chastity with her. Jalal al-Din Rumi, a member of the mystic sect of Muslims called Sufi, wrote several poems in his lifetime. Sufis placed a large emphasis on the sensory aspects of worship: music, poetry and dance.
Earthly pleasure is seen by many religions as no more than a vice; a wall in between oneself and God. Therefore, the only reasonable path to an Answer would be to ...
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.... Kempe revered Jesus Christ as her lover, abstaining from human sexual acts due to her love and adoration of God. In her autobiography, she further exemplifies her disturbing vision of the savior as her lover. She is written to say, "Ah, Blessed Lord, I wish I knew in what I might best love and please you; and that my love were as sweet to you as I think your love is to me" (Kempe, 141). This seems very typical of a courtly romance of the time, not a prayer to God. Though bizarre, Margery Kempe still reveals that devotion is the secret to finding Truth as she lived a very holy life.
Truth is the answer to all of our questions and the search for it finds many outlets depending on religion,ethnicity and culture. The Muslim and Christian beliefs expressed here show that despite cultural differences, our human goals and aspirations are still basically the same.
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