Friday, January 23, 2009

[Sunlight] "That beauty is a borrowed thing"



Anyone madly in love with a dead thing has hope for
something that lives.
The carpenter has turned toward wood in hope of
serving a moon-faced beloved.
Strive in the hope of a Living One who does not become
inanimate after a day or two!
Choose not a mean companion out of meanness, for
intimacy with him is but a borrowed thing.
If your intimates other than God possess faithfulness,
what happened to your father and mother?
If you can depend on someone other than God, where
are your nursemaid and tutor?
Your intimacy with milk and breasts has gone, your
dread of grammar school has gone.
That was a ray upon the wall of their existence:
The radiance has returned to the Sun.
When that ray falls upon something, you become its
lover, oh courageous man!
Whatever you love in existence has received a gold
plating from God's Attributes.
When the gold returns to its origin and the copper
remains, your nature becomes disgusted and divorces it.
Pull yourself back from those things gold-plated with
His Attributes, continue not in your ignorance to call the
counterfeit coin "beautiful."
That beauty of the counterfeit coin is a borrowed
thing; beneath its comeliness lies the substance of
Gold leaves the surface of the counterfeit coin for the
Mine – you also, go to that Mine where it is going!
Light goes from the wall to the Sun - go to the Sun that
always moves in proportion!
From now on take water from heaven for you have
seen no faithfulness from the drainpipe!

-- Mathnawi III: 545-560
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983




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