~ by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears. Don’t let
others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope
of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness
people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment. Now
see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve
been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside
black water in a well.
How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don’t
insist on going where
you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your
living pieces will form
a harmony. There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear
water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained
under a single tent.