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.
Tags: Blog, daily wisdomisms, difficulty, door, God, grateful, guest house, guide, hardships, human, humanity, inspiration, joy, life, malice, meaning of life, perception, poetry, quotes, Religion, Rumi, shame, Spirituality, thoughts, universal shift, Wisdom
In today’s Wisdomism, I ruminate on Rumi once again. Enjoy!
AN EMPTY GARLIC
You will miss the garden,
because you want a small fig from a random tree.
You don’t meet the beautiful woman.
You’re joking with an old crone.
It makes me want to cry how she detains you,
stinking mouthed, with a hundred talons,
putting her head over the roof edge to call down,
tasteless fig, fold over fold empty
as dry-rotten garlic.
She has you by the belt,
even though there’s no flower and no milk
inside her body.
Death will open your eyes
to what her face is: leather spine
of a black lizard. No more advice.
Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you really love. The Essential Rumi, p. 50
How often do we find ourselves distracted from the fullness of life by the old crone? How often do we miss out on the grand design because we are focused on one unimportant fig?
In this poem, I believe the crone represents hollow pursuits, including material gain. The crone has the young man “by the belt”. She has his full attention, even though there is “no flower and no milk” (she is lifeless, dried up.) in her. Meanwhile, the beauty of life passes us by until finally death takes us and we realize just how much time we wasted joking with the crone. We live in a world now where the crone has us distracted nearly 100% of the time. So often we must forsake the stronger pull of what we really love in order to survive. The crone holds all the keys and she constantly dangles them before us, tantalizing us, lying to us and telling us our dreams are just around the next corner. Just a few more years to retire. A little more money to save up. A little more of our lives lived and gone forever until it’s too late to do anything about it. No more advice.
We have the power to change the world. We have the power to write our own stories. All we have to do is turn away from the crone. All we have to do is look up from whatever has our focus and see the limitless possibility before us. We are only slaves because we choose to be. Because we believe the lies that have been ingrained within our collective consciousness. I, for one, choose to believe it’s time to wake up and follow that stronger pull.
before they are
screwed or blued.
Nothing to talk about
talk about nothing.
crying to mother
(her stolen mascara
running down smooth cheeks
in rivulets of watery night)
because coffee was cold
and life’s unfair.
She’ll make it alright
with hugs and promises.
No more tears.
Only smiles now.
tomorrow is always a new day
for cool hipsters.
Inside fantasies I collide with the spinning Universes in God’s eye.
From my perch high above reality I SEE YOU:
…wondering why your prayers still remain unanswered…
…wondering why your sky still hasn’t fallen…
You are NONE of these things-…- and all of them at once.
A Communion has been prepared in your soul.
The places have been set
The Body has been broken
The Life has been drained of blood.
Who are you?
That you see your own reflection staring back at you from Pharaoh’s Bosom?
Are you worthy of tasting the Living Word?
Can you feel Its sting on your lips when you call out my name?
It was MY hand grasping yours in that Vale of Shadows and Darkness.
MY words sustained your heart when Fear threatened to consume it.
MY hands pull the strings of creation into the Holy Singularity.
I am the Great Void’s puppeteer.
Without guidance you are nothing.
Without faith you are lost.
Scream for me and I’ll hear you.
Desire me…and everything I am…
…There is a Golden Flower
Inside Buddha’s Tear…
When God spoke unreality shattered
And birthed the universe by dancing with
The Cosmic Mother.
A heavenly vibration of Love
That whispers “OM” to us all.
“I adore all my star-born children,”
The Universe sings as a lullaby.
But who cries for those quarks
Who give of themselves freely
blinking in and out of existence
So that the Grand Illusion can be?
…There is a Golden Flower
Inside Buddha’s Tear…
Bound and drifting
Suspended in the liquid air.
Ah, but those eyes…
She floats through me
Waves gently lapping
On the shores of my silent desires.
Adorned in simple robes of lucidity
Hovering under a ring of tranquil passion
And those eyes…
Her lithe form sleeps against silk
And the darkness becomes her
Smooth to the touch
And those eyes…
Those eyes were made for killing.
I see the ocean’s thunder
Pounding against virgin shores.
I hear love gained and lost
Tragedy turned comedy
(or however you fancy
Living their moments on
Pure sandy beaches.
For some reason I think it’s dark.
But that doesn’t stop her from letting go of my hand.
We aren’t afraid of the same things.
She tells me,
“I’m gonna walk to the moon.”
I used to always smile until
…sitting on a beach
listening as birds praise whatever it is they praise.
I wonder if anyone will ever sing for me. Not out of praise, but maybe simply because it feels right.