Monday, May 27, 2013

[Sunlight] "The Thicket"



"The Thicket"

Don't burn a blanket because of one flea!
Don't waste a day on trivial irritation,
some gnat's headache.

Take your attention off the forms
and focus on what's inside.

If you're on this way, choose companions
who are also pilgrims. No matter their shape,
color, or national origin, if they are your
people, go with them.

This confused story,
like the doings of lovers, may be told up and
down and sideways, because it's not a story.

It has no beginning or end. It's water.
Each incident-drop is self-contained, and yet

This is just the bare cash of how we are
in this instant, you and I.

A sufi sees that whatever happened in the past
is completely gone. In that last story we told,
we are all now the man with his gift of water,
and the generous caliph, and the jug.

Know this: there's a marriage in each of us.
One partner is reason, universal clarity.
The other is desire and ambition. Those qualities
darken the candles of reason.

How did this come to be? It happens
because the whole has parts, and the parts
are not in relation to the whole as the smell
of the rose remains somehow part of the rose.

And with the rose that I'm talking about,
all the growing things are inside it, just
as the turtledove's coo enters and becomes
the nightingale.

But if I go more deeply
into this difficult question, will I be able
to give water to those of you who are thirsty?

If you're in some particular trouble,
a tight spot, be patient. Patience
is the way out of anxiety.

And try to avoid distracting thoughts.
Thoughts are like wild donkeys in the thicket
of human existence. Stay away from the market

bazaar of thought-traffic, and find your

Such acts of abstinence are the ultimate medicine.
Let these words enter your open ear,
and they will become a gold earring.

And then you will become a ring around the moon
ascending toward the Pleiades.

Know that created beings are as diverse as Z
and A. From one perspective unified.
From another they seem opposites.

To one being, resurrection is laughter.
To another, its a deadly judging-time,
when all frauds will be exposed.

A thorn loves the fall, because then he knows
that he won't be compared to the rose,
but the gardener knows, and a True Human Being
is always saying, "Look, it's spring!"

The body is here blooming and shining,
because form must be,
and then be dropped, before the knobs
of spiritual fruit can appear.

Bread must be broken, before it gives us
strength. Clusters of grapes must be crushed
to make wine. Myrobalan
must be pounded into powder,
so it can heal.

Husam! Take out two clean
sheets of paper. Add a description
of the true Sheikh. Your slender body
is so frail, but without the gift of your spirit-sun
we could see nothing. You are the wick,
the end of the thread, the clue we follow.

Write about the guide,
the summer full-moon.

Husam is young, but the truth has made him so old
that he has no birthdate. Old wine and old gold
are the most precious. Find such a teacher,
because without one you're in danger.
You need an escort on this mountain road.
If you go alone, you'll get dizzy
with the ghoul-sounds.

Read the Qu'ran where it tells about
these bits of bone and hair
that we find by the roadside.

Keep the reins tight, or your donkey will stray.
And if you do leave the road, go in the opposite
direction from where your donkey wants to go.

That will get you back on the path.
Don't be constant friends
with sexual desire.

Stay with those who have a true guide,
Their company protects.

-- Mathnawi I, 2892-2959
Version by Coleman Barks
"Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion"
Threshold Books, 1991




Archive for Sunlight can be accessed at: /messages
To subscribe, please send an email to :
To unsubscribe, please send an email to:
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

No comments: