Friday, November 23, 2012

[Sunlight] Four Interrupted Prayers



Four Interrupted Prayers

Four Indians enter a mosque and begin the prostrations.
Deep, sincere praying.

But a priest walks by, and one of the Indians, without
thinking, says, "Oh,

are you going to give the call to prayer now? Is it time?"
The second Indian, under

his breath, "You spoke. Now your prayers are invalid."
The third, "Uncle, don't scold him!

You did the same thing. Correct yourself." The fourth,
"Praise to God, I

have not made the mistake of these three." So all four
prayers are interrupted, with

the three faultfinders being more at fault than the
original speaker. Blessed

is one who sees his weakness, and blessed is one who, when
he sees a flaw in someone

else, takes responsibility for it. Because, half of any person
is wrong and weak and off

the path. Half! The other half is dancing and swimming and
flying in the invisible joy. You

have ten open sores on your head. Put what salve you have
on yourself. And point out

to everyone the dis-ease you are. That's part of getting
well! When you lance yourself

that way, you become more merciful and wiser. Even if you
don't have a particular

fault at the moment, you may soon be the one who makes some
act notorious. Don't feel

self-satisfied. Lucifer lived eons as noble angel. Think
what his name means now.

Don't try to be famous until your face is completely washed
of any fear. If your beard

hasn't grown out, don't joke about someone's smooth chin.
Consider how Satan swallowed

soul poison, and be grateful that you taste only the
sweetness of being warned.

-- Mathnawi II: 3027-45
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperCollins, 2001




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