Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

12 December 2011

The Dream That Must Be Interpreted (by Rumi, illustrations by Odilon Redon)

This place is a dream.
Only the 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 come now,
the swift, payback hit,
is just a boy's game
to what the other will be.

(this, and the above, from
artunframed )

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 began
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 a 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.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

The UUs are a great bunch! You'll enjoy their company on the spiritual journey, I'm sure!

Billy Joe said...

This is so relevant and propitious for me at this time. In the last few months, I have been dreaming in such a different way, or viewing dreaming in such a different way. I mean I've always had difficulty at times of differentiating a waking experience and a dream experience, but now they are one in an extraordinary way. In the way of this magnificent poem.


I haven't really touched on my experience suffiiently. I may return to speak more of it, with more clarity. It's kind of like being closer to death, but in a good way.