Wednesday, June 16, 2010

[Sunlight] "Keep your aspiration high"



The tailor of Time has never sewn a shirt for
any man without tearing it to pieces.
See a thousand simple fools in this world,
paying Iblis skirts full of gold for pain.
These multicolored flowers that are sweetmeat
to your eye - you eat of them and they give you yellow
Oh you who have embraced a corpse saying,
"My darling!" In the end embracing corpses will freeze
body and soul.
Become accustomed to God, for when your
appointed time arrives, you will be parted unwillingly
from these paintings of the devil.
Stretch not your legs on this sweet carpet of
earth, for it is a borrowed bed: Fear the time when they
come to roll it up!
Throw not the dice recklessly into this cup of
Time! Beware of your opponent, for he is a master at
Behold not the dust of the body, gaze upon the
mounted horseman of the spirit! Use your vision to search for
the horseman in the midst of the dust!
Faces like roses must come from a rosegarden:
If there is no rosery, from whence the flowers?
When you see the apple - the chin - know that
there must be a tree. This apple serves as an exemplar -
it is not to be eaten.
Keep your aspiration high, for if you keep it
low, the King's chamberlain will drive you away -
Silence! No more words! Speak without words,
like the rational faculty of the angels upon the lapis
lazuli roof.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 869, from the Diwan-e Shams
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love - The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi"
State University of New York Press, Albany, 1983




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