Friday, July 12, 2013

Rumi on Holiness: "A Saint Is a Cloud That's Here, But with Its Cloud Nature Erased"

Another in the series of postings I've been making lately about the definition of the holy life or the making of a saintly life--this one from the Persian mystic poet widely seen as a saint in Sufi circles, in The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems, trans. Coleman Barks (NY Harper, 2002). This is from a poem of Rumi that Barks entitles "A Way of Leaving the World":

Some clouds do not obscure the moon, and there are mornings when drops of rain descend from an open sky. A saint is a cloud that’s here, but with its cloud nature erased. Something in us wants no intermediary, no nurse, just to be the wide blue merged with the mother’s breast, sublime emptiness. There is a way of leaving the world that nourishes the world (p. 416).

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