According to my A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings , yesterday (September 30th) was the birthday of the renowned Sufi mystic poet back in 1207. That’s over 800 years ago, and his work endures perhaps more than ever as the world around us becomes increasingly bizarre and uncertain.
Unlike other Quotes of the Month, I’m not going to offer any elaboration or perspective. Rumi’s words speak for themselves, and have different nuances which speak differently to different people. But I will share this favoured poem, The Mystery of Presence, which was the August 17th reading:
The mystery of presence
will not arrive through the mind,
but do some physical work, and it comes clear.
An intellectual gets bound and wrapped
in complicated nets of connectedness.
Whereas the Friend rides intelligence
that is creating genius at the center.
The mind is husk, and appetites love coverings.
They look for them everywhere.
That which loves the kernel and the oil
inside the nut has no interest in shells.
Mind carries reams of reasons into court,
but universal awareness does not move a step
without some definite intuition.
One covers volumes of pages.
The other fills the horizon with light and color.
The value of scrip resides in gold
stored somewhere else. The value of a body
stems from the soul. The value of soul
derives from presence. Soul cannot live
without a connection there.
A Year with Rumi is a wonderful daily reader… some of his poems leave me scratching my head, others are “wow’, occasionally one evokes an unexpected tear because it is so beautiful, but each one is a little gift to enjoy with morning coffee.