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
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