Friday, January 19, 2007

"How Attraction Happens"

Moses is talking to someone drunk with worshiping the golden
calf. "What happened to your

doubt? You used to be so skeptical of me. The Red Sea parted.
Food came every day in the

wilderness for forty years. A fountain sprang out of a rock.
You saw these things

and still reject the idea of prophethood. Then the magician
Samiri does a trick to make

the metal cow low, and immediately you kneel! What did that
hollow statue say? Have you

heard a dullness like your own?" This is how attraction
happens: people with nothing

they value delight in worthlessness. Someone who thinks
there's no meaning or purpose

feels drawn to images of futility. Each moves to be with
its own. The ox does not turn

toward a lion. Wolves have no interest in Joseph, unless
to devour him. But if a wolf

is cured of wolfishness, it will sleep close by Joseph,
like a dog in the presence of

meditators. Soul companionship gives safety and light
to a cave full of friends.

-- Mathnawi II: 2036-58
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 2001

The image:

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