The substance of Sufism is the Truth and the meaning of Sufism is the selfless experiencing and actualization of the Truth. The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. (source)
He received various visions and shared them with others by writing them down in the form of poetry.
He believe that God is very present and that man is the link between the past and the future. All of the past, present and future is all on one big continuum. Everything is an endless cycle... death, decay, and life.... one dies and then is reborn again.
Rumi would say "I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as a plant and rose to animal and I was Man".
Since life and death are an endless circle we should not grieve death or loss. We should continually strive for spiritual growth... and that spiritual growth will come through what drives our emotions... music, song, dance etc. It does not come through reason.
Sufism, as Rumi taught it, was instrumental in turning Orthodox Christian Turkey to Islam. His beliefs also affected fundamental Islamic beliefs. Into the 20th century his beliefs are starting to gain ground in western civilization.. think less, emote more.
Point brought up by a reader who is more up in history than I am. :)
My appreciation to CN who says:
Turkey, a modern state, has always been officially Muslim . . The region where Turkey is, back then in the time of Rumi was known as Asia Minor, and was Orthodox Christian and a part of the Byzantine Christian Empire. .The region once taken by the Turks, known as Ottomans, became known as the Ottoman Empire and not until recent centuries has been known as Turkey. The Ottomans overtook this region and forced their religion onto whoever remained in a brutal manner, very similar to what is occurring in the Middle East today. Christians were forced to convert, flee or be enslaved or slaughtered. This is the truth. Many Christians during this time became what is known as Crypto Christians..ie. They appeared as Muslims, in order to survive, yet would worship secretly. Because of Turkeys poor tolerance of Christianity, up to 1,000,000 Crypto Christians still live in Turkey today. Turkey is not an Islamic nation because it converted, to Islam, but because its native inhabitants were forced to give up their nation and invaded by Muslims.
So I guess in short......there was no such thing as Orthodox Christian Turkey....only Orthodox Christian Asia Minor - aka part of the Byzantine Empire.