"Dolls That Pull the Stuffing Out of Each Other"

by Rumi

You that give nourishment and steadiness and freedom,
give the bent soul strength
to stand up straight in the work it knows it's here
to do. Give us patience and
generosity and clarity to see through the images that
appear. There is a coarse
desire that wants world-power; there are armies that
kill their own relatives;
and there is the bitter pleasure of dolls that pull the
stuffing out of each other.
Read the passionate love stories again. Notice how
everyone perishes in what is
not love. Love is when the holy nothingness loves itself.
Jealousies come as kindness
turns cruel. If there were no legal punishment, no threat
of prison, people would shred
their enemies, the so-called lovers. Envy connects deeply
with the old ambition of fallen
angels, who do exist, and they have human helpers who try
to destroy anyone who
has loved and received wisdom from a teacher.

Mathnawi V: 1197-1225
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 2001

For more poems by Hafiz and Rumi..


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