Rumi And The Evolving Soul with Coleman Barks

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Rumi has the magnificent idea that human consciousness is a continually evolving thing and that we never stop anywhere. We've dissolved as a mineral into plant life, and from plant life into animal life, and from there into human beings. We are not finished. Coleman Barks tells us that Rumi has asked, "What have I ever lost by dying? Why should I fear the next death?" Barks goes on to say, "We've died to all these different ways of being, regions of consciousness, and we will die to this one. But there is no need to fear it because it has always developed into something more magnificent. I just love that idea of the evolving soul." This deep conversation between Michael Toms and Coleman Barks will take you into the heart of approaching the divine and why we all love Rumi's poetry. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Coleman Barks is a renowned poet and bestselling author. He was prominently featured in both of Bill Moyer’s PBS television series on poetry, The Language of Life and Fooling with Words. He taught English and poetry at the University of Georgia for thirty years, and he now focuses on writing, readings, and performances.

He is the author of many books including

To learn more about the work of Coleman Barks go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why we should take religion out of the sacred path
  • Why friendship is one of the great mysteries
  • Why bridges are important spiritual meeting places in Iran
  • What many Sufi circles feel is the highest way to approach the divine
  • How friendship is God's sweetest secret
  • How Rumi reminds us of the ecstatic material that got expunged from the New Testament

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 2/2/2008        Program Number: 3238