عنوان مقاله [English]
Among the problems about the relation between emotions and art, the question of whether emotions can be mentioned as a tool for a better understanding of artwork or not has received special attention from scholars. Some have spoken of the destructive role of emotional engagement with the artwork, and some have pointed to its positive role. This paper investigates the mystical views of Rumi in Masnavi Ma'navi to explore the role of emotions in a better understanding of artworks. The findings of the research, which was accomplished using the descriptive-analytical method, show the following: From Rumi's point of view, an emotional engagement with an artwork can pave the way for a better understanding of the work as well as its messages by creating empathy with the work and changing the way we pay attention to it. In Masnavi, Rumi deliberately and consciously chooses the method of artistic expression through the language of poetry and allegorical stories, and one of the basic elements that increase the influence of artistic expression is the influential role of emotions in all the stories of Masnavi.
Keywords: Rumi, Emotions, Understanding Artwork, Masnavi Ma'navi, Empathy
Among the problems about the relation between emotions and art, the question of whether emotions can be mentioned as a tool for a better understanding of artwork or not has received special attention from scholars. Some have spoken of the destructive role of emotional engagement with the artwork, and some have pointed to its positive role. The first group believes that to better understand an artwork, any emotions should be removed from it, and the other group believes that although in some cases emotions prevent the understanding of the artwork, it is not the case that they are absolutely like this, and by the way, in many cases, An emotional engagement with artwork has led to a better understanding of that, and it can even be said that it is impossible to understand some aspects of artwork without the emergence of emotions.
This paper, while examining the mystical views of Rumi in Masnavi Ma'navi, analyzes the role of emotions in the better understanding of works of art. For this purpose, we have first expressed the point that one of the reasons for distinguishing Masnavi Ma'navi from previous educational works such as the Masnavis of Attar and Sana'i was Rumi's use of the artistic expression, that is, the use of poetry and allegory. He has expressed the highest meanings using poetry and in the form of many parables and stories. Rumi has chosen this method quite consciously and believes that people will not understand difficult and complex subjects except through interpretation and allegory. In this way, although he is not interested in writing poetry and using parables and stories, he inevitably turns to this method because he has no other way to express transcendental truths. He believes that if poetry and allegory are used, the power of penetrating meaning increases so much that the unsaid can be expressed. Irrational things can be made reasonable with the help of allegory.
In the next step, our speech has been directed to the point that one of the factors that make artistic forms such as poetry and stories can help an artwork to have more impact, is the issue of emotional engagement. If the use of art multiplies the capacity to convey meaning, emotions can accelerate and strengthen this process and performance. Therefore, our main mission in this paper is to present an analysis of the importance of how emotions can play a positive role in understanding artworks, as well as conveying the meaning of that work, according to Rumi's opinions. Our analysis in this regard has several parts. First, emotions cause empathy with the artwork. Second, emotions will draw attention to the characteristics of the work, and finally, emotional engagement will lead to the acquisition of knowledge outside of the work itself. These three cases are reviewed in the article respectively.
The findings which were carried out using a descriptive and analytical method, show the following: First, in Rumi's mystical point of view, emotions can lead to being in a situation that causes one to get closer to a phenomenon and, as a result, understand it better. This state of closeness has different degrees: from low degrees of empathy with a phenomenon to an ultimate spiritual union, absorption, and even annihilation in it. Among these themes, what is most related to art is empathy. Rumi has repeated references to this matter that if we empathize with a phenomenon, we will find the possibility of understanding it better; Because we get a more personal experience of that phenomenon. Empathy with a phenomenon not only leads to a better understanding of it; But sometimes, if there is no empathy, there is no understanding at all, and this issue is especially true about works of art.
The second thing that is obtained from the analysis of this research is that according to Rumi, when emotions appear, our attention is drawn to something and we will pay attention to it in a different way than before. This characteristic of emotions, which has been likened to a "spotlight", will lead to a better understanding of the phenomenon to which our attention has been drawn. Mowlavi's references to emotions such as anger and love confirm this. This point is also true about artworks. In an emotional engagement with an artwork, the spotlight property of emotions makes some aspects of the work of art stand out and draw attention to them, which the audience would otherwise not pay attention to.
In addition to empathy and attracting attention, emotional encounter makes us understand other things (except the work itself) better, for example, the message the author intended to convey. Of course, this message cannot be considered completely apart from the work, but it is different from the understanding of the work itself. Or the judgment we have about the work of art is something beyond the understanding of the work itself. In this case, it should also be said that the characters of Rumi's stories are designed in such a way that an emotional engagement with them causes an opening in the levels of human consciousness, and this is a point that the audience of Masnavi will face in practice.
As the last step, we have shown that Rumi himself, as the first audience of his work, ultimately empathizes with the stories he narrates. Throughout the Masnavi, it happens many times that during a story, Rumi puts the purest mystical subtleties in the mouths of the characters and speaks on their behalf. Rumi himself has sympathized with his work and his audience will do the same. This emotional engagement and empathy make Rumi's concerns become the concerns of his audience. In fact, it can be said that one of the basic elements that make poetry and allegory to be chosen as suitable vessels for conveying meaning is emotions, and one of the things that made Masnavi so influential is the mediating role of emotions in understanding and conveying meanings. Finally, "The story of Hilal, who was a faithful servant..." from the sixth book of the Masnavi, has been analyzed as a practical example in line with the theory proposed in this paper.