From Rumi’s Mathnavi (book III) – a parable most beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One day a sufi sees an empty food sack hanging on a nail.
He begins to turn and tear his shirt, saying,
Food for what needs no food!
A cure for hunger!

His burning grows and others join him,
shouting and moaning in the love-fire.

An idle passerby comments, “It’s only an empty sack.”

The sufi says, Leave. You want what we do not want.
You are not a lover.

A lover’s food is the love of bread,
not the bread. No one who really loves,
loves existence.

Lovers have nothing to do with existence.
They collect the interest without the capital.

No wings, yet they fly all over the world. No hands,
but they carry the polo ball from the field.

That dervish got a sniff of reality.
Now he weaves baskets of pure vision.

Lovers pitch tents on a field of nowhere.
They are all one color like that field.

A nursing baby does not know the taste of roasted meat.
To a spirit the foodless scent is food.

To an Egyptian, the Nile looks bloody.
To an Israelite, clear.
What is a highway to one is disaster to the other.

— Mathnawi III, 3014-30
Version by Coleman Barks
“The Essential Rumi”
Castle Books, 1997

11 Responses to “Naught to do with existence”

  1. I Me My says:

    “No one who really loves,
    loves existence.”…that’s food for thought alright!
    It is okay so long as it’s to do with loving what you do, or loving a piece of art, a composition too, but when it’s about loving another human being…? How can I not love the existence of the one I love? How can I help adoring the contours of his/ her face and the movements of those limbs that for me is poetry in motion? How can I deny the physical existence of my beloved?

  2. Nadima says:

    I completely agree that love does not have any thing to do with existence….wonderful piece of writing.Thanks for sharing.

  3. unaiza nasim says:

    wonderful piece of writing.

  4. Such a joy reading all your Rumi posts.

    I always wanted to know your preference of the translator, is it Jonathan Star, Coleman Barks, Reynold Nicholson, or someone else?

  5. MadSufi says:

    Indeed, a parable most beautiful!

  6. j says:

    a lover’s food is the love of nothing, not the something.No one who really loves, loves existence.

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  9. Sale Handbag says:

    thank for your sharing. good information 🙂

  10. Azadi says:

    ??? ??? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???? – 18 ????? 1388

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