Rumi: On Non-existence

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Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi

Non-Existence

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.
It’s like the naked man who jumped into the water,
so that he might escape from the hornets’ stings:
the hornets circled above him, and whenever
he put out his head they would not spare him.
The water is recollection of God,
and the hornet is the thought, during this time,
of such-and-such a woman or man.
Hold your breath in the water of remembrance and show strength,
so you may be freed from old thoughts and temptations.
After that, you yourself will assume
the nature of that pure water, entirely from head to foot.
As the noxious hornet flees from the water,
so will it be afraid of approaching you.
After that be far from the water, if you wish;
for in your inmost soul you are of the same nature as the water,
Those persons then, who have passed from the world
are not non-existent, but they are absorbed in the attributes of God,
even as the star disappears in the presence of the sun.

[IV, 432-3;435-43]

The speaker said, “There is no dervish in the world;
and if there be a dervish, that dervish is really non-existent.”
He exists in respect of the survival of his essence,
but his attributes have become non-existent within God’s.[III, 3669-70]

If you don’t have sovereignty over your own beard,
how will you exercise sovereignty over good and evil?
Without your wish, your beard grows white:
be ashamed of your beard, O you whose hopes are perverse.
God is the Possessor of the Kingdom:
whoever lays his head before Him,
to him he gives a hundred kingdoms without the terrestrial world;
but the inward savour of a single prostration before God
will be more sweet to you than a hundred empires:
then you will cry in humble entreaty, “I desire not kingdoms:
commit unto me the kingdom of that prostration.”[IV, 662-6]

For lovers, there is a dying at every moment:
truly, the dying of lovers is not of one kind.
The lover has two hundred lives from the Soul of Guidance,
and he is sacrificing those two hundred at every instant.
For each life he receives ten as its price:
read from the Qur’an “ten like unto them.”
If my blood were shed by that friendly Face,
dancing triumphantly I would lavish my life upon Him.
I have tried it: my death consists in life:
when I escape from this life, it is to endure forever.
“Kill me, kill me, O trusty friends!
For in my being killed is life upon life.”
O You who make the cheek radiant,
O Spirit of everlastingness, draw my spirit to Yourself
and generously bestow upon me the meeting with You.[III, 3834-40]

2017-01-29T15:57:08-04:00