Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

30 October 2011

The Dream That Must Be Interpreted, by Jalal al-Din Rumi


This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.

Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief.

But there's a difference with this dream.
Everything cruel and unconscious
done in the illusion of the present world
all that does not fade away at the death-waking.

It stays,
and it must be interpreted.

All the mean laughing,
all the quick, sexual wanting,
those torn coats of Joseph,
they change into powerful wolves
that you must face.

The retaliation that sometimes comes now,
the swift, payback hit,
is just a boy's game
to what the other will be. . . .



And this groggy time we live,
this is what it's like:
                                              A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived, and he dreams he's living
in another town.
In the dream, he doesn't remember 
the town he's sleeping in his bed in.  He believes 
the reality of the dream town.

The world is that kind of sleep.



The dust of many crumbled cities 
settles over us like a forgetful doze,
but we are older than those cities.
                                        We begin
as a mineral.  We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state, and then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we slightly recall
being green again.

That's how a young person turns
toward a teacher.  That's how a baby leans
toward the breast, without knowing the secret
of its desire, yet turning instinctively.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.


all photos by Makropoulos

1 comment:

laurak@forestwalkart said...

...that was very...awesome.

seems so fitting at a time like this...not only because i think so many people have forgotten how or why to take care of the world...(have some never even known...do they think they can just live here and not have any respect for other people & the land?!)
...but also fitting for this time of year...for reflecting...remembering...a time for new beginnings.
a time between past & present. life and death. dream & awake.

thanks.