|Breezy morning, November 22, 2017|
Rumi says, “[The thought of sorrow] scatters the yellow leaves from the bough of the heart, in order that incessant green leaves may grow” (Mathnawi, V, 3680, Nicholson trans.). Four lines earlier, we are admonished to penetrate beyond the material world and to go on past the immediate emotional response in order to see the beneficence of our Creator: “Every day, too, at every moment a (different) thought comes, like an honoured guest, into thy bosom.” This guest arrives every moment and so we have to welcome the full range from joy to blah to nonsense (better taken as not-yet-sense), even into loss, like yellowed and falling leaves, like a diagnosis of cancer, a child's addiction, a loved one moving on. . .
We are urged to “see” beyond the bare branches, cling not to emptiness nor despair, but find certainty in the root:
“Do not say it is a branch: take it to be the root, in order that thou mayst always be master of thy object of desire; For if thou take it to be (merely) a branch (derivative) and pernicious, thine eye will be waiting to see the root. Waiting to see is poison to (spiritual) perception [literally: taste]: by that method thou wilt remain perpetually in death” (lines 3704-6).
Rumi delivers a strong teaching. In the previous blog, I noted three levels of certainty. It’s harder to trust in the third level, like seeing the root and not waiting at the eye-level until a surface sighting is shown. When sent a guest, at least for a person capable of spiritual discernment, Rumi says to stay at the first level (Eye of Certainty) is dangerous, poisonous, deathly.
I spend time looking at the autumn woods. The golden tones are beautiful; the opened spaces draw me further in.
The fallen tree that stood at least 75 feet into the sky now rests amid the 3 inch sprouts of oaks. Through our deeper vision, we know the decomposing leaves and the fallen tree flow into the roots underground. May we live in trust so that the moments of pain similarly feed our souls.