Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273 / Persia)
The Self We Share
Thirst is angry with water. Hunger bitter
The cave wants nothing to do with the sun.
This is dumb, the self- defeating way
A gold mine is calling us into its temple.
Instead, we bend and keep picking up rocks
from the ground.
Every thing has a shine like gold,
but we should turn to the source!
The origin is what we truly are. I add a little
vinegar to the honey I give.
The bite of scolding makes ecstasy more familiar.
But look, fish, you're already in the ocean:
just swimming there makes you friends with
What are these grudges about? You are Benjamin.
Joseph has put a gold cup in your grain sack and
accused you of being a thief.
Now he draws you aside and says,
'You are my brother. I
am a prayer. You're the amen.'
We move in eternal regions, yet
worry about property here.
This is the prayer of each:
You are the source of my life.
You separate essence from mud.
You honor my soul. You bring rivers from the
mountain springs. You brighten my eyes.
The wine you offer takes me out of myself into
the self we share. Doing that is religion.
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