Although Rumi did not explicitly refer to a set progression of stages in his works, he hinted at such a progression through the use of metaphor, allusion, and story. It is the contention of this work that Rumi employed particular symbols, such as the seven-rung ladder and the seven candles, in order to allude to seven stages of spiritual development. By ascending these stages, the seeker would "climb the ladder" back to the Divine Beloved; in other words, journey from separation to union with God. These stages, cloaked in metaphorical language though they may be, constitute an integral part of Rumi’s thought. By alluding to the stages of spiritual development through the use of metaphor and story, rather than referring to them outright, Rumi allowed the reader of his works to “unearth” the hidden insights for him or herself. This work provides interested readers an in-depth examination of the stages of spiritual development in Rumi''s Masnavi, taking into consideration both the thematic and didactic elements of the poet''s great work.