The deliciousness of milk and honey is the reflection of the pure heart:
from that heart the sweetness of every sweet thing is derived.
The heart is the substance, and the world the accident:
how should the heart’s shadow be the object of the heart’s desire?
Is that pure heart the heart that is enamored of riches or power,
or is submissive to this black earth and water of the body,
or to vain fancies it worships in the darkness for the sake of fame?
The heart is nothing but the Sea of Light:
is the heart the place of vision of God–and then blind?
On Resurrection Day God will ask,
“During this reprieve I gave you,
what have you produced for Me?
Through what work have you reached your life’s end?
Your food and your strength, for what have they been consumed?
Where have you dimmed the luster of your eye?
Where have you dissipated your five senses?
You have expended eyes and ears and intellect
and the pure celestial substances;
what have you purchased from the earth?
I gave you hands and feet as spade and mattock
for tilling the soil of good works;
when did they by themselves become existent?
You know the value of every article of merchandise,
but if you don’t know the value of your own soul,
it’s all foolishness.
You’ve come to know the fortunate and the inauspicious stars;
but you don’t know whether you yourself are fortunate or unclean.
This, this is the essence of all sciences –
that you should know who you will be when Judgment Day arrives.
Surely there is a window from heart to heart:
they are not separate and far from each other.
Two earthenware lamps are not joined,
but their light is mingled as it moves.
No lover seeks union without the beloved seeking;
but the love of lovers makes the body thin as a bowstring,
while the love of loved ones makes them comely and plump.
When the lightning of love for the beloved
has shot into this heart, know that there is love in that heart.
When love for God has been doubled in your heart,
there is no doubt that God has love for you.
Know that between the Faithful is an ancient union.
The Faithful are numerous, but the Faith is one:
their bodies are numerous, but their soul is one.
Besides the understanding which is in the ox and the ass,
the human being has another intelligence and soul;
Again, in the saint, the owner of Divine breath,
there is a soul and intelligence other than human.
The souls of wolves and dogs are separate, every one,
but the souls of the Lions of God are in union.
There are two kinds of intelligence.
One is like that acquired by a child at school,
from books and teachers, new ideas and memorization.
Your intelligence may become superior to others,
but retaining all that knowledge is a heavy load.
You who are occupied in searching for knowledge
are a preserving tablet,
but the preserved tablet is the one who has gone beyond all this.
For the other kind of intelligence is the gift of God:
its fountain is in the midst of the soul.
When the water of God-given knowledge gushes from the breast,
it doesn’t become fetid or impure.
And if its way to the outside is blocked, what harm is there?
For it gushes continually from the house of the heart.
The acquired intelligence is like the conduits
which run into the house from the streets:
If those pipes become blocked, the house is bereft of water.
Seek the fountain from within yourself.
In the orchard a Sufi inclined his face Sufi fashion upon his knee,
and sank deeply into mystical absorption.
An rude man nearby became annoyed:
“Why are you sleeping?” he exclaimed.
Look at the vines, behold the trees and the signs of God’s mercy.
Pay attention to the Lord’s command:
Look ye and turn your face toward these signs of His mercy.”
The Sufi replied, “O heedless one, the true signs are within the heart:
that which is external is only the sign of the signs.”
The real orchard and vineyards are within the very essence of the soul:
the reflection upon that which is external
is like a reflection in running water.
In the water only a reflected image of the orchard
quivers with the water’s subtle movement.
The real orchards and fruit flourish within the heart:
the reflection of their beauty
falls upon the water and earth of this world.
If this world were not merely the reflection
of that delectable cypress, the heart of the saint,
then God would not have called it the abode of deception.
Oh happy is the one who has died before death,
for he has become acquainted with the origin of this vineyard.
Translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Originality – Jalaluddin Ar Rumi
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