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A New Illuminated Rumi with CD (Audio)

This all-new volume with CD features rare poems of Rumi, some of which have never before been translated.

The extensive body of work by 13th-century mystic poet Jelaluddin Rumi continues to fascinate readers with a taste for the spiritual, and his writings, which speak passionately of truth, enlightenment, and love for God, appeal to those of all religions.

Translations of Rumi's writings by the contemporary poet Coleman Barks have sold more than 500,000 copies since 1981. Now acclaimed illustrator Michael Green -- who collaborated with Barks on The Illuminated Rumi (Broadway Books) -- has produced a new and fabulous mystic fusion of sacred poetry and art.

There are many collections of Rumi's poetry, but few are illustrated-and none as gorgeously as this full-color book. It is well positioned to capture the favor of spiritual seekers of all ages, including today's spiritually adventurous young adults.

Dimensions: 11.28" L x 8.9" W
Details: Hardcover, 122 pages
Author: Michael Green

About Michael Green

We are witness today to the entry of an ancient spiritual vitality into modern affairs. Poet Gary Snyder calls it the River of Sanity: an underground current which has run through all history, surfacing regularly to nourish countless visionaries of every culture. Sourcing from the deepest wellsprings of our humanity, flowing towards us from a time behind history, it moves us into deep harmony with the natural world. And while it finds confirmation in the frontiers of scientific thought, the River offers a profoundly wider way of engaging reality than science. It is caught rather than taught.

Against all hope, this river is emerging into popular view, gathering strength and refining its wisdom and ways to the point where it is now a parallel culture offering genuine alternatives to a parched mainstream civilization.

I move within a new tradition being shaped by an intuitive, archaic response to spiritual need. It assumes many forms. It has something to do with 'the re-enchantment of art’. It has little to do with what critic Robert Hughes calls “the grim international style” of the Academy. It is a returning to the primeval initiatory authority of art, which sees an artistic creation not so much as a thing but a field, a catalyst to a range of internal perceptions we hardly encounter today.

My work is directed toward the unfolding of this new–old tradition. In bringing any piece to its maturity I see my role as simply to ascertain and fulfill its needs, using whatever media and technique necessary. In this way I have had to develop a wide range of skills, and an extremely fluid style. Or non–style.

Short History

Born in 1943; graduate, New York University; attended film school; studied at the University of Sao Paulo and traveled the Amazon. Conscientious Objector during Vietnam War. Joined the legendary Millbrook community, worked on germinal light shows with Dr. Timothy Leary. Participated in a variety of tribal societies including the Mohawks of Akwesasne reservation, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love in the California desert, and a Tamil ashram in northern Ceylon. Studied various traditions and systems of art: Celtic & Early Christian; Hindu Tantric; Tibetan; Japanese; Native American; Early Renaissance; Aboriginal, Persian. Lived in a tipi in Woodstock, New York, started meditation center/macrobiotic restaurant, finally moved to Pennsylvania to study with the venerable Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen..

I have been a wandering monk, householder, artist and craftsman, sign painter, landscaper, television art director, architect, illustrator and author (With about 2,500,000 books in print.)

My career as an artist is somewhat difficult to catalogue. Most of my creative life has been in the tradition of the nameless shamanic artisan–an unbroken tradition reaching all the way back to the Paleolithic cave-painters. Whether a mask, or a circle of stones, a tanka, a chant, a ritual, or even a perfect gesture–this primeval art of the sacred is characterized by the conscious intention not to express, but to abandon the self–and in so doing, open a doorway to the Great Mystery.

I naturally engage in the making of ceremonial environments and ritual artifacts. This work can be found around the country–not in collections, but in use. There is Stone Circle, where Leonard Crow Dog led his medicine ceremony; and Taiowa, a Shinto/Golden Mean meditation house, and the Riverby ceremonial complex, scene of numerous solstice ceremonies. There is Alignments Hill in Millbrook New York, and the Mazar, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, visited now by pilgrims from around the world. Important works where important things happen–but not to be found in any catalogue. No reviews, no signature: the shamanic artist is a catalyst directing our attention to the sacred. Self-expression is irrelevant. This is a creative dimension at almost total remove from the personality-driven canons of contemporary art.

However, when worldly obligations pressed and I entered the marketplace, my art quickly found its way into books, and I came to think of the nation’s bookstores as a splendid and accessible gallery. There are over 2,500,000 books in print to date. They include Welcome to the Planet Earth, The I Ching Journals, Zen and the Art of the Macintosh, Unicornis, Quest, The History of the Dragonstooth,The Illuminated Rumi, (presently the best-selling book of poetry in America) and The Illuminated Prayer (a Book of the Month Club selection). The visual work treads the blurry boundaries between illustration and Art: the shamanic artist is about serving (illustrating?) something greater, not “self expression.”

New Work

I am developing a vehicle to explore what kind of day-to-day lifestyle is implicit in the world-view presented in The Rumi Illuminations: A Millennium Sutra. How would we actually live if–or when–we all arrived at the insight that the planetary web of life was sacred?

It may not be wishful thinking: there is strong evidence that this understanding is actually native to the human condition, an essential element of our operating system that functioned for the vast majority of our time here...and that historically we represent some kind of aberration. It seems clear that our life-style inquiry should begin with an examination of the traditional cultures that maintained (sometimes for thousands of years) a graceful balance with the natural world.

Then, integrate into this model elements of our own sophisticated knowledge-base, so that our imagined culture is truly evolutionary–an "afterculture." Making this confluence feel real or anthropologically correct is the challenge. Discovering the North American Afterculture will debut appropriately at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington. It will suggest that "future anthropology" is a legitimate, even crucial discipline of our time, a way to envision a way out of the vast social and environmental crises we find ourselves mired in. Can we imagine an authentic, even compelling post-industrial culture able to look back at overpopulation, toxic waste, ozone holes, global pollution, rainforest destruction, runaway species extinction--the whole grim rap sheet of our system, as a brief disturbance in the force?

An important question!

The Afterculture installation is scheduled to open in spring 2002. A book and screenplay on the Afterculture are also being developed.

I live in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley with wife Saliha, son Kabir and truck Toyota.

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