Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Chickpea

Here's one of my favorite passages from RUMI where he describes the path of suffering and "bad luck" as an opportunity to explore the Soul ever so deeply:

Look at the chickpea floating in the pot, how it leaps when it's put under the fire.  As it's being boiled, it keeps rising to the top; it cries out in 100 ways, saying. "Why are you scalding me with fire? Since you thought I was good enough to buy, why are you turning me upside down now?"

The cook goes on hitting it with her ladle and says, "Come on now! Boil nicely; don't try to escape the one who made the fire.  I'm not boiling you because I hate you, but rather so you can become tasty and flavorful, and gain good qualities and mingle with the spirit of the soup.  This pain that you're enduring now isn't because you're unloved.  When you were young and fresh in the garden you drank in water.  Your drinking of that water then was for the sake of burning in this fire now!"

God's mercy comes before His wrath, and part of His mercy is you being made to suffer from hardships.  Through His wrath, you learn to give up your foolish desires for this material world.  O Chickpea, keep on boiling in turmoil, so that neither your desire to exist nor your ego may remain a part of you.

Mathnawi III, 4159-4165, 4169, 4178

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