Several years ago members of the Sufi order known as the Mevlevis, or Whirling Dervishes, came to the San Francisco Bay area and dances. My patient went and wrote the following description:
It was more or less described as an evening of dance entertainment. I was looking forward to it. But when the lights in the hall dropped, the muezzin's voice came out of the darkness chanting
Come, come whoever you are, An unbeliever, a fire-worshipper, come. Our covenant is not of desperation. Even if you have broken you vows a hundred times, Come, come again.
I was without even wishing or willing it in that space where dance is the manifestation of creation, where time and space are ordered by dance and the music of the dance.
The founder of the order was the mystic and poet Mevlana (our master) Jalalu'ddīn Rumī, who lived from 1207 to 1273. The Persian word darwish means literally: the sill of the door, and in Arabic and Turkish as 'dervish' means the Sufi at the door of enlightenment (Friedlander 2). Here again is the image of dance as related to a point of transition from one level to another.