Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rumi on speech and silence

People have three spiritual states. In the first they have no thought of God at all, but worship and pay service to everything else: friends and lovers, wealth and children, stones and clods. Once they gain a little knowledge and awareness, then they serve nothing but God. Yet, after learning and seeing more they enter a state of silence. They do not say, “I serve God,” nor “I do not serve God,” for they have transcended both. No sound issues from these people into the world.

"God is neither present nor absent,
For God is the Creator of both."

All words, all sciences, all skills, all professions derive their flavor and relish from Speech. The end of that chapter cannot be known, however, for they are only expressions, and not the state of itself. This is illustrated by the man, who in seeking the hand of a wealthy and beautiful woman, looks after her sheep and horses, and waters her orchards. Though his time is occupied with those services, their flavor derives from the woman. If the woman were to disappear, those tasks would become cold and lifeless. In this same way, all professions and sciences derive life, pleasure and warmth from the rays of the Saints’ inspiration. But for their inspiration, all tasks would be utterly without relish and enjoyment.

from Rumi: Discourse 53

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