Friday, July 18, 2008

Two Poems By Rumi

A great sheikh has lost two sons, yet he is not weeping. His family and his wife wonder at this lack of grief. "do not think that I am cold and uncompassionate. I don't weep because for me they are not gone. The eye of my heart sees them distinctly. They're outside of time but very close by here playing and coming to hug me. As people sometimes see dead relatives in dream, I see my sons constantly in this waking state. I am even more deeply with them when I hide for a moment from the world, when I let the sense-perception leaves drop from the tree of my being.
I weep for those who have ungrateful souls. I weep when boys throw stones at dogs. I weep for dogs who bite for no reason. Forgive the harm that anyone does. We are here to be a forgiveness door through which freedom comes. I weep when I ask that the door not be shut."
Some attend to individual mercies and some to universal grace. Try to let them merge. Pond water eventually arrives at the ocean. One saint works and lingers in the lakes of personal life. Another plays without limits in the sea.

On Resurrection Day God will say, "What did you do with the strength and energy your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes? What did you make with your five senses while they were dimming and playing out? I gave you hands and feet as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you, in the health I gave, do the plowing?"
You will not be able to stand when you hear those questions. You will bend in double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God will say, "Lift your head and answer the questions."
Your head will rise a little, then slump again.
"Look at me! Tell what you've done."
You try, but you fall back flat as a snake. "I want every detail. Say!" Eventually you will be able to get to a sitting position. "Be plain and clear. I have given you such gifts. What did you do with them?"
You turn to the right looking to the prophets for help, as though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my life. Help me out of this! They will answer, those kings, "The time for helping is past. The plow stands there in the field. You should have used it."
Then you turn to the left where your family is, and they will say, "Don't look at us! This conversation is between you and your creator." Then you pray the prayer that is the essence of every ritual:
God, I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge.
Don't do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head up and down. Prayer is an egg.
Hatch out the total helplessness inside.

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