Rumi: A Community of the Spirit

There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes to see with the other eye.
Open your hands if you want to be held.

Consider what you have been doing.
Why do you stay
with such a mean-spirited and dangerous partner?

For the security of having food. Admit it.
Here is a better arrangement.
Give up this life, and get a hundred new lives.

Sit down in this circle.

Quit acting like a wolf,
and feel the shepherd’s love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.
Do not take painkillers.

Tonight, no consolations.
And do not eat.

Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.

You moan, But she left me. He left me.
Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought.

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down
in always widening rings of being.

Rumi, Jelaluddin
The Big Red Book:
The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love & Friendship.
Trans. Coleman Barks. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.

Holger Hubbs

By Holger Hubbs

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  1. I find most poetry “a vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes, 6:9), offering confusion in place of the clear prose equivalent. Apparently, this poem is confusing for others as well as for me. I find the three differing explanations at [] unconvincing.

  2. Thank you David (-; I want to be gentle in my reply to you.

    “Confusion” arises in the finite mind.

    Is a “vexation of spirit” a welcome opportunity?

    Thank you for your openness to “work” with it,
    to allow your “I don’t like this”… and to inquire into the assumed “me”, here and now.

    And on another level it is also legitimate to keep it simple and say “I don’t like this poem” and move on…

    Life as art, not a problem.

    Who cares?
    … but Love.

    Who am I?
    Not the one I think to be.

    How to discern “mind” from “myself” (Mooji asks this)?

    Peace, inner space, presence.

    Thank you!

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