Excerpts from Jewels of Remembrance, passages from the Mathnawi of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski (Threshold Books, 1996).
This world is like a tree, and we are the half-ripe fruit upon it. Unripe fruit clings tight to the branch because, immature, it's not ready for the palace.
The one who is ruled by Mind, without sleeping, puts her senses to sleep, so that unseen things may emerge from the world of the Soul. Even in her waking state, she dreams dreams, and opens thereby the gates of Heaven.
May God have mercy on those who lead the way and those who come behind and those who fulfill their vows, and those who seek to fulfill them, with His Grace and bounty, His great benefits and favors!
Day and night there is movement of foam on the Sea. You see the foam, but not the Sea. Amazing! We are dashing against each other like boats: our eyes are darkened though we are in clear water.
The light of the senses and spirit of our fathers is not totally perishable like the grass, but, like the stars and moonbeams, they vanish in the radiance of the Sun.
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?
For lovers, the only lecturer is the beauty of the Beloved; their only book and lecture and lesson is the Face. They are silent outwardly, but their penetrating remembrance rises to the high throne of their Friend.
O You who make demands within me like an embryo, since You are the one who makes the demand, make its fulfillment easy; show the way, help me, or else relinquish Your claim and take this burden from me! Since from a debtor You're demanding gold, give him gold in secret, O rich King!
Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune: every success depends upon focusing the heart. Unconcerned with the business of the world, keep saying with all your soul, "Ku, ku," like the dove.