We are busy with the luxury of things.
Their number and multiple faces bring
To us confusion we call knowledge. Say:
God created the world, pinned night to day,
Made mountains to weigh it down, seas
To wash its face, living creatures with pleas
(The ancestors of prayers) seeking a place
In this mystery that floats in endless space.
God set the earth on the back of a bull,
The bull on a fish dancing on a spool
Of silver light so fine it is like air;
That in turn rests on nothing there
But nothing that nothing can share.
All things are but masks at God’s beck and call,
They are symbols that instruct us that God is all.
When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.
Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.
So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.
That’s how you came here, like a star
without a name. Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.
(Mathnawi III, 1284-1288)
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.
If you want a clear mirror,
and see the shameless truth,
which the mirror reflects.
If metal can be polished
to a mirror-like finish,b
what polishing might the mirror
of the heart require?
Between the mirror and the heart
is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets,
while the mirror does not.