Lightning is not
simply tells the clouds to weep.
If your love
has contracted into anger, the
atmosphere itself feels threatening, but when you’re
expansive and clear, no matter
what the weather, you’re in an open windy field with friends.
Many people travel as far as Syria
and Iraq and meet only hypocrites. Others go all the way to
India and see only people buying and selling.
Others travel to Turkestan and China to discover those
countries are full of cheats
and sneak thieves. You always see the qualities that live
Meanwhile the third fish, the dumb one, was
jumping about in great agitation,
trying to escape with agility and cleverness. The net closed
around his thrashing, and as he lay
in the terrible frying-pan bed, he thought, “If I get out of
this, I’ll never live in the limits
of a lake again. Next time, the ocean! I’ll make the
infinite my home.” Such a stated
intention must not always be taken seriously! There are
those who cannot do what they say
they’re going to. They lack the quality called spiritual
reason. Seized by a net
of painful circumstances, they cry out and imagine how they
might have acted, but if
the situation goes away, they forget and go back to the
lake of comfortable pleasure,
a moth with singed wings returning to the candle.
Muhammad said, “Love of
one’s country is part of
the faith,” but don’t take that literally. Your real
“country” is where you’re
heading, not where you are.
We rush around enthusiastic
with some new project, because
we can’t yet see what’s wrong with it. If we saw, we’d quit
the project, but if we did
that, we’d never feel the nature of its wrongness, so it’s
good we’re blinded for a while; that
helps us learn! And don’t get caught in repentance.
Distraction and regret
Talking to someone
sleepy is like
on water with your finger.
A true pilgrim reaches
the Kaaba every second, again and again. There is a
traveling that has no long
But everything on this plane is a flawed
metaphor. Here’s another:
at night a light comes on in each house, a lamp with six
wicks, the five senses and
the sixth, which holds the five. The fuel for these is food
and sleep. Without those they
go out, and the lamps seem to be seeking death, the way they
is the art of making what’s
blocked start moving again. When your body dies, give
it to the death angel,
Israfil. If your heart feels numb and metallic, walk out
into the sun, or whatever
the mystery is that makes your inner spring well up.
A candle as
it diminishes explains, Gathering
more and more is not the way. Burn,
become light and heat and help.