Friday, March 21, 2014

Born of the Divine Breath

Within the human being is a jungle.
You, born of the Divine Breath, be aware.
Wolves and pigs by the thousands are within,
the fair and the foul.
What dominates you is what you are.
If your gold outweighs your copper,
you will be known as gold.
Whatever you most are
is the form in which you will resurrect.

  Mathnawi II: 1416-1419
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Daylight", Threshold Books, 1994
A Goat Kneels!

The inner being of a human being is a jungle. 
Sometimes wolves dominate, sometimes wild hogs. 
Be wary when you breathe!

At one moment gentle, generous qualities,
like Joseph's, pass from one nature to another.
The next moment vicious qualities
move in hidden ways.

Wisdom slips for a while into an ox!
A restless, recalcitrant horse suddenly becomes obedient and smooth-gaited.

A bear begins to dance.
A goat kneels!

Human consciousness goes into a dog,
and that dog becomes a shepherd,
or a hunter.

In the Cave of the Seven Sleepers
even the dogs were seekers.

At every moment a new species rises in the chest -
now a demon, now an angel, now a wild animal.

There are also those in this amazing jungle
who can absorb you into their own surrender.

If you have to stalk and steal something,
steal from them!

  Mathnawi II: 1416-1429
Version by Coleman Barks
"Delicious Laughter"
Maypop, 1990

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Don't Think

Don’t think.
Don’t get lost in your thoughts.
Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart,
and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go.
Just let them fall into the water.

Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
A Garden Beyond Paradise
Bantam Books, 1992
(Image credit : Quote for healing)

don’t think too much
put yourself to sleep
thinking is a veil
on the face of the moon
your heart is like the moon
don’t cover it with thought
cast your thinking on the water
Translation by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Dancing the Flame
Cal-Earth Press, 2001

Saturday, March 01, 2014

No longer a secret...

I may be clapping my hands,
but I don't belong to a crowd of clappers.
I'm neither this nor that.

I'm not part of a group that loves flute music,
or one that loves gambling,
or one that loves drinking wine.

Those who live in time,
descended from Adam,
made of earth and water,
I'm not part of that.

Don't listen to what I say,
as though these words came from an inside
and went to an outside.

Your faces are very beautiful,
but they are wooden cages.

You'd better run from me.
My words are fire.

I have nothing to do with being famous,
or making grand judgments,
or feeling full of shame.

I borrow nothing.
I don't want anything from anybody.

I flow through all human beings.
Love is my only companion

When Union happens, my speech
goes inward, toward Shams.

At that meeting,
all the secrets of language
will no longer be secret.

Version by Coleman Barks (from a translation by A.J. Arberry)
"Like This" , Maypop, 1990

If I am hand-clapping, I belong not to the clappers; 
I am neither of this nor of that, I am of that mighty city.
I am not for fluting and gambling, I am not for wine and liquor, 
I am neither leaven nor crop-sickness, 
I am neither like this nor like that.

If I am drunk and dissolute, I am not drunk with wine like you; 
I am not of earth nor of water,
I am not of the people of time.

The mind of the son of Adam – what knowledge has it of this utterance? 
For I am hidden by two hundred veils from the world entire.

Hear not these words as from me, nor from this clear thought,
for I neither receive nor seize this outward and inward.
Though your face is beautiful, the cage of your soul is of wood; 
run away from me or you will burn, for my tongue is a flame.

I am not of scent nor colour, I am not of fame nor shame;
beware of my poplar arrow, for God is my bow.

I seize not raw wine, nor borrow from anyone,
I seize neither breath nor snare, 
O my youthful fortune.

I am as the rosebower of paradise, 
I am the joy-garden of the world, 
for my spirit is flowing through the spirits of all men.

The sugarbed of your phantom brings rose-sugar to me; 
in the garden of realities I scatter the rose of a hundred petals.
When I enter the rose-showering garden of union with you,
make me sit down, for I am a target for your brand.

Love, what a mate you are, how strange, how marvellous!
When you seized my mouth, my expression went inwards.
When my soul reaches Tabriz, to come to Shams al-Haqq u Din,
I will bring to an end all the secrets of speech.

  Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968
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