Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rumi: I, You, He, She, We

Spiral by Joyce Wycoff

Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.
  -- Rumi

Today's guidance from The Rumi Card Book:
Category: Ordeal ... You'll only enjoy the City and your relations after enduring all the griefs and ordeals of exile.  After all you have been through, joy and prosperity will taste even better.
Category explanation from the book:  One of the glories of Rumi's work is its naked honesty about the necessity of ordeal--about what could be called "the alchemy of Agony."  The family of ordeal cards, then, deals with both sides of the nature of suffering in our lives:  that it is unavoidable and that, through understanding its inner purpose, it can be transmuted into the gold of Grace.
I, You, He, She, We.  & The Animal Soul

I, you, he, she, we.
In the garden of mystic lovers
these are not true distinctions.

The Animal Soul
There's part of us that's like an itch.
Call it the animal soul, a foolishness
That when we're in it, we make
Hundreds of others around us itchy

And there is an intelligent soul
With another desire, more like sweet basil,
Or the feel of a breeze.

Listen and be thankful even for scolding
That comes from the intelligent soul.
It flows out close to where you flowed out.

But that itchiness wants to put food
In our mouths that will make us sick,

Feverish with the aftertaste of kissing
A donkey's rump. It's like blackening your robe
Against a kettle without being anywhere
Near a table of companionship

The truth of a being human is an empty table
Made of soul-intelligence

Gradually reduce what you give your animal soul,
The bread that after all overflows from sunlight.

The animal soul itself spilled out
And sprouted from the other.

Taste more often what nourishes your clear light,
And you'll have less use for the smoky oven.

You'll bury that baking equipment in the ground!

More about Coleman Barks:


  1. thanks Joyceann. I posted my blog and then realized -- it was yesterday's post I was referring to!

    Both are perfect. Today and Yesterday.

  2. I like this couplet: "The truth of a being human is an empty table / Made of soul-intelligence".