Sage Wisdom: By Alan Adam Jacobs

Whoever is awake to the material world
Is fast asleep to the spiritual world.
This wakefulness is far worse than sleep,
When our soul’s asleep to God, it’s a door
Closing, to prevent the entry of His grace.
All day we suffer from a host of fantasies,
Thoughts of loss, gain or degeneration.
For the Soul there is neither joy nor peace
Nor a way of progression heavenwards.
The sleeper has his hope in each vain fancy
And converses idly with these foolish voices.

The bird of the soul flies cheerily on high
While its shadow is speeding upon Earth,
Some fools hasten to chase their  shadow
And rushing hurriedly become exhausted,
Not understanding that it’s a reflection,
Nor knowing from where it originates.

They vainly shoot arrows at this phantom,
His quiver soon empties from the long quest.
The  contents of his worried life become a void,
Time passes in chasing after this grey shadow.
But when God’s shadow becomes a nurse maid.
It saves him from  fantasies and illusion.
God’s shadow is the true servant of God.

Dead to this  world yet living through Him.
Take hold of His hem quickly so your skirt
May also be saved at the end of your days.
Never enter this dark valley of the shadow
Without a guide who’s a true son of God.
Desert the grey shadow, gain the bright Sun
Hold the hem of the orb of Shams Tabriz.

If you don’t know the way to the bridal feast
Enquire into God’s radiance named l’Haqq.
If envy grabs you by the throat on the way
It is Satan who reaches beyond all bounds.
Because from green envy he hates Adam
And he’s at constant war with happiness.

On the way there’s no harder bridge to cross.
Happy is he who hasn’t made envy his friend.
The body is a mansion packed full of hate,
The family and  servants are all tainted.
Yet Almighty God made the body to be pure
So sweep clean His house. The purified heart
Is a true treasure and Earth’s gold talisman.

If you indulge in guile, deceit and envy
Against one who’s without a hint of blame,
Then black stains swell up in your heart.
So rest as dust under the feet of a Sage
Amd scatter the dust on envy’s bald head.

Any fool who mtorments his body is unfit
For comprehending the spiritual life .
The nose catches fragrance leading to truth
That scent is the God revealed religion.
If he’s whiffed this perfume with ingratitude,
It comes and destroys his organ of perception.

Give thanks! Be a slave to those who are grateful,
Be in their presence as one truly steadfast.

Please note that this is a versification I have made from Rumi's Mathnawi
The Complete Literal Translation by Reynard Nicholson 

Alan Jacobs

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