Monday, March 22, 2010

The Angel Beckons

The title is my own and chosen for its context here, today. See the last post to understand it. The following is, again, from Rumi’s Divani Shamsi Tabriz XII.

Every form you see has its archetype in the placeless world;
If the form perished, no matter, since its original is everlasting.
Every fair shape you have seen, every deep saying you have heard,
Be not cast down that it perished; for that is not so.
Whereas the spring-head is undying, its branch gives water continually.
Since neither can cease, why are you lamenting?
Conceive the Soul as a fountain, and these created things as rivers:
While the fountain flows, the rivers run from it.
Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this river water;
Do not think of the water failing; for this water is without end.
From the moment you came into the world of being,
A ladder was placed before you that you might escape.
First you were mineral, later you turned to plant,
Then you became animal: how should this be a secret to you?
Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith;
Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, how perfect it has grown!
When you have travelled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel;
After that you are done with this earth: your station is in heaven.
Pass again even from angelhood: enter that ocean,
That your drop may become a sea which is a hundred seas of ‘Oman.
Leave this ‘Son,’ say ever ‘One’ with all your soul;
If your body has aged, what matter, when the soul is young?

Jalal’ud-Din Rumi (1207-1273) was a Sufi mystic who lived most of his life in a region which is now Turkey. This poem was written in Farsi and the translation is by R.A. Nicholson.

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