Thursday, June 19, 2003

Desire and the Importance of Failing


A window opens
A curtain pulls back

The lamp of lovers connect
not at their ceramic bases
but in their lightedness

No lover wants union with the Beloved
without the Beloved also wanting the lover

Love makes the lover weak
while the Beloved gets strong

Lightning from here strikes there
When you begin to love God, God
is loving you. A clapping sound
does not come from one hand

A thirsty man calls out, 'Delicious water
where are you?' while the water moans
'?Where is the water drinker'

The thirst in our souls is the attraction
put out by the Water itself

We belong to It
and It to us

God's wisdom made us lovers of one another
In fact, all the particles of the world
are in love and looking for lovers

Pieces of straw tremble
in the presence of amber

We tremble like iron filings
welcoming the magnet

Whatever that Presence gives us
we take in. Earth signs feed
Water signs wash and freshen
Air signs clear the atmosphere
Fire signs jiggle the skillet
so we cook without getting burnt

And the Holy Spirit helps with everything
like a young man trying to support a family
We, like the man's young wife, stay home
taking care of the house, nursing the children

Spirit and matter work together like this
in a division of labor

Sweethearts kiss and taste the delight
before they slip into bed and mate

The desire of each lover is
that the work of the other be perfected
By this man-and-woman cooperation
the world gets preserved
Generation occurs

Roses and blue arghawan flowers flower
Night and day meet in a mutual hug

So different, but they do love each other
the day and the night, like family

And without their mutual alternation
we would have no energy

Every part of the cosmos is draws toward its mate
The ground keeps talking to the body
saying, 'Come back! It's better for you
down here where you came from.'

The streamwater calls to the moisture in the body
The fiery aether whispers to the body's heat
'.I am your origin. Come with me'
Seventy-two diseases are caused
by the various elements pulling inside the body
Disease comes, and the organs
fall out of harmony

We're like four different birds
that each had one leg tied in
with the other birds

A flopping bouguet of birds
Death releases the binding, and they fly off
but before that, their pulling is our pain

Consider how the soul must be
in the midst of these tensions
feeling its own exalted pull

My longing is more profound
The birds want sweet green herbs
and the water running by

I want the infinite! I want wisdom
These birds want orchards and meadows
and vines with fruit on them

I want a vast expansion
They want profit and security
of having enough food

Remember what the soul wants
because in that, eternity
is wanting our souls

Which is the meaning of the text
They love That, and That loves them

If I keep on explaining this
!the Mathnawi will run to eighty volumes

The gist is: whatever anyone seeks
that is seeking the seeker

No matter if its animal
or vegetable, or mineral

Every bit of the universe
is filled with wanting
and whatever any bit wants
wants the wanter

This subject must dissolve again

Back to Sadri Jahan and the uneducated peasant
who loved him, so that gradually Sadri Jahan
loved the lowly man. But who really
?attracted who, whoom, Huuuu

Don't be presumptuous and say one or the other
Close your lips. The mystery of loving
is God's sweetest secret

Keep it. Bury it. Leave it here
where I leave it, drawn as I am
by the pull of the Puller
to something else

You know how it is. Sometimes
we plan a trip to one place
but something takes us to another

When a horse is being broken, the trainer
pulls it in many different directions
so the horse will come to know
what it is to be ridden

The most beautiful and alert horse is one
completely attuned to the rider

God fixes a passionate desire in you
and then disappoints you
God does that a hundred times

God breaks the wings of one intention
and then gives you another
cuts the rope of contriving
so you'll remember your dependence

But sometimes your plans work out
You feel fulfilled and in control

That's because, if you were always failing
you might give up. But remember
it is by failures that lovers
stay aware of how they are loved

Failure is the key
to the kingdom within

Rumi

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