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Daily Wisdomisms: Rumi (The Guest House)

Today’s tidbit is an inspiring and eye-opening poem from Rumi. Enjoy!

 

“This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.”     The Essential Rumi, p. 109

 

To me, this is a poem about perception. I like the idea that being human is a guest house whose purpose seems to be to entertain all these different experiences. But isn’t that the point? We are here to experience all that life and the world has to offer to us. The good and the bad. I”ll be the first to admit, it’s hard to meet the negative at the door laughing. It’s even harder to invite them in. But in the end, even those experiences add to our character and strengthen our souls.  We can’t live life in fear of or trying to avoid negativity and hardship. It WILL find us eventually. There is no escaping the fact that life isn’t all smiles and rainbows. The greatest weapon we have against them is our perception of them.

Even when they “come into our house and violently sweep out all of our furniture” we still treat them honorably. Even when something happens in our lives that totally screws everything up we have to keep a reasonable perception about it. After all, change is often a violent and unsettling process, but the end result is always likely to be a “new delight.”  Seeing misfortune and hardship any other way is a one way ticket for self-pity and depression. And life’s too short to spend in the dark place of our souls all the time.

So” be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”.  Each and every experience of our lives is serving to move our souls toward growth and development. So we have to be conscious of falling into the self-pity, woe-is-me mind traps that open so easily every time misfortune knocks on our door. Remember, every time we grow comfortable, we cease to grow.

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Enlighten up: Or the Truth behind Awareness

You asked for enlightenment and it was granted to you. Did you think it would be so easy after that? Did you expect to dine with Sophia and not have to pay the bill? Awakening is only the first step in a lifelong journey. In that journey we are supposed to transcend our humanity. To become one with God, as it were. This, we all know, is impossible. Because in the end, we are all human. Utterly, hopelessly, beautifully human. Despite our divine origins, our humanity remains. We feel. We love. We suffer. We sacrifice. And so you asked for enlightenment thinking that all the answers to life’s problems will be answered in a moment of brilliant clarity. This is not the case.

Enlightenment is understanding is awareness. Once you gain this sense of awareness, you start to become aware of things. And it is a dangerous thing to become aware of things. Things are devious by design, you see. And they hate when we become aware of them. It’s like peeking behind the curtain and seeing the puppet master pulling the strings. Things are a sham, you understand? It’s all a show. Smoke and mirrors. But things have a purpose and they defend that purpose with purposeful ferocity. That purpose is distraction. Things distract. There you have it. And once you enlighten up, you can see past those distractions.

Nothing is more ferocious than a distraction that fails to distract. Awareness infuriates all sorts of things. And things try even harder to distract. And those things ripple out into your world, alerting other things to your enlightenment. And then those things start to distract.  But still you progress. You trudge on through hard times and good. You persevere. You grow in your enlightenment.  And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, then things get really pissed. So they start doing drastic things to pull you back down into distraction. Or what existentialists would call “the human condition”. Not surprisingly, since we are human we slip and we fall. Plummeting back into things. Southern Baptists have a good term to describe this: backsliding. Now to the Southern Baptists backsliding is when you quit drinking and start going to church only to start drinking and quit going to church. It’s much the same for enlightenment.

The fact of the matter is we are all mired in things. Even we are things. Distracting ourselves from our true purposes. Even distracting us from our own enlightenment. So people say, “Don’t let things get you down” and they always smile as they say it without ever knowing it is the key to understanding. Don’t let things get you down. And when things get you down, you get back up again. That’s right. No one is accepting the e-vite to your pity party. They’re too busy sending out their own.

Don’t forget, you asked for this. You wanted understanding. You wanted awareness. You wanted to see the puppet master. And so you have and now there is no turning back. Don’t blame things. Things can only be what they are. Things will get nasty. Things will get difficult. Suck it up and forge on through. For an aware individual, things will always get better. For an enlightened person everything offers understanding. So remember: When things get you down, enlighten up. Eventually, you’ll get there.

Meditations

The rain was a baptism. Purifying me with Divine violation.

“God,” Pan says, “Play your flute. Swirl me with Chaos. I only wish to sing in color.”

I awake in a panic. Fleeing a great darkness. I remember this old enemy of Reason. This quencher of Light. I have seen her face before. She scarred me and I loved her for it.

It’s unraveling. The whole of…everything is coming apart in spindles. Ordered– with purpose– in infinite spirals. It’s unraveling so it can reform itself anew and in perfection. In order for a New Heaven and New Earth to descend into existence, the old must be erased. Eliminated from the concept of reality. Two must become one. Separate but Equal.

The sins of man are not the sins of God.

Human beings cannot achieve salvation without the Godhead. We are flawed program constructs only capable of correction and realization with help from a perfect outside influence—God. Everything we create is destroyed. Everything we give life to dies. Everything we glorify mutates into Evil. We are sick and can’t heal ourselves. Man’s greatest sin is imagining he can.

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