Omar Khayam was born at Nishapur in Khorassan
in the second half of 11th century and died within the first quarter of 12th
century. Khayam was the poet of destiny but however he was not a fatalist,
at least in the modern understanding and definitions of this word. He wrote
the world known poetic works, full of deep philosophical thoughts and imbued
with the spirit of pride for human creative works. His poetry is consider
to be one the pearls of world literature.
There are two different thoughts of Khayam's poems.
One is that he was highly influenced by Islamic suffism, and his references
to wine and lovers are allegorical representations of the mystical wine and
divine love. Yet another type of thought is that Khayam understood his mortality
and inability to look beyond, and his references to wine and lovers are very
literal and sensual.
Khayam was a genius of the time. He was a counselor
of ministers and kings. He was mathematician, who presented solutions to problems
that were centuries ahead of his time. He was astronomer who calculated the
duration of the solar year within unmatched accuracy, or lets say unmatched
until this century.
A man who has done so much in his life is clearly
not a mystical fatalist claiming "what will be, let it be!" In fact,
he saw the folly of being mesmerized by such techniques, which may bring amazing
visions of reality, but so long as they remain visions, they are not and cannot
be truth, the reality itself.
Khayam understood that it was our fate, our destiny,
something beyond our control to be born into this world. He also understood
that death was an inevitable fate for anyone who was ever born. He understood
that our bodies come from dust and clay, and return to clay. He understood the
fantasy of concerning ourselves within the future, as well as the neurosis of
staying in our past. He saw that all we have is this ever slipping moment, this
now, which itself has a timeless quality.