Cleansing Conflict

Cleansing Conflict

 poem by Rumi, taken from The Soul of Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

What is a saint?  One whose wine has turned to vinegar.  If you’re still wine-drunkenly

Brave, don’t step forward.  When your sheep becomes a lion, then come.  It is said

of hypocrites, “They have considerable valor among themselves!” But they scatter when

a real enemy appears.  Muhammad told his young soldiers, “There is no courage before

an engagement.” A drunk foams at the mouth talking about what he will do when he gets his sword

drawn, but the chance arrives, and he remains sheathed as an onion.  Premeditating

he’s eager for wounds.  Then his bag gets touched by a needle and he deflates.  What sort of

person says that he or she wants to be polished and pure, then complains about being

handled roughly? Love is a lawsuit whose harsh evidence must  be brought in.  To settle

the case, the judge must see evidence.  You’ve heard that every buried treasure has a snake

guarding it.  Kiss the snake to discover the treasure!  The severe treatment is not toward

you, but the qualities that block your growth.  A rug beater doesn’t beat the rub, but

rather the dirt….

When a mother screams, “Get out of here!” she means the mean part of the child.

Don’t run from those who scold, and don’t turn away from cleaning conflict, or you will

remain weak.  Also, don’t listen to bragging.  If you go along with self-importance, the work

collapses.  Better a small modest team.  Sift almonds.  Discard the bitter.  Sour and sweet

sound alike when you pour them out on the rattling tray, but inside they’re very different.




DSC_0538                                                                                   Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014



       Soul and the Old Woman

What is the soul> Consciousness. The more awareness, the deeper the soul, and when

essence overflows, you feel a sacredness around. It’s so simple to tell one who

puts on a robe and pretends to be a dervish from the real thing. We know the taste

of pure water. Words can sound like a poem but not have any juice, no flavor to

relish. How long do you look at pictures on a bathhouse wall? Soul is what draws

You away from those pictures to talk with the old woman

who sits outside by her door

in the sun. She’s half blind, but she has what soul loves to flow into. She’s kind; she weeps.

She makes quick personal decisions, and laughs so easily.    —Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

8 thoughts on “Cleansing Conflict

  1. andy1076 says:

    um respectfully Barbara, photographed and copyrighted by Barbra? O.o

  2. Lovely words Barbara.

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