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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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reform the Self Above All Others

Here's some more RUMI to help those who may be experiencing some frustration in our current state of affairs:

O you who treat others badly simply because of your high status; know that you're digging a hole for yourself to fall into.  Don't weave a cocoon of false pretenses around yourself like a silkworm; you're digging a hole for yourself!  Don't dig so eagerly!

Many of the evils that you see in others are really just a reflection of your own evil in them.  In their reflection, all your hypocrisy, evil, and arrogance are made apparent.  You're the real wicked one!  You're aiming blows at yourself and laying curses upon your own head at every turn.

You don't recognize the evil within yourself at all, for if you did you would hate yourself to the very core.  You're assaulting yourself, you fool, like a deceived lion who rushed at himself upon seeing his reflection in a pool.

O you who see bad reflections in the face of your uncle, your uncle is not the bad one, it's you, so don't run away from facing your own self.

The Prophet said that the faithful are mirrors of each other.  If you hold a blue colored glass before your eyes, then the world appears blue to you.  Unless you're blind, you must recognize that this blueness comes from within your own self.  Speak of the evil within yourself before you ever speak of the evil in others.

Mathnawi I, 1311-1312, 1319-1324, 1327-1330

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Opening the Sacred Heart

A Little RUMI for you Lovers out there...

There is many a one whose eye is awake, yet whose heart is asleep.  In the end, what can creatures made of water and clay ever see?

The one who keeps his heart awake, though the eye of his head yet sleeps - such a heart will open 100 eyes!

If you're not in possession of an opened heart yet, then remain awake in study throughout the night.  Look for that heart that can open, and struggle against your earthly desires.

If your heart is always awake, then rest in peace, for your inner eye is never dimmed from seeing the world around it.

The description of an awakened heart, O spiritual being, could not be accomplished even in thousands of verses!

Mathnawi III, 1222-1225, 1228