Beggars by Rumi


*Beggars
by Rumi

There's a voice in the beggar's ear that says, Come close.
Generosity needs you.

As beautiful people love clear mirrors, so abundance becomes
visible when you move near.

God reminded Muhammad not to shout and drive away the
beggars. Approach the source

with both hands out begging! There are two kinds of
mendicants: one grace causes

to call out for alms in the street, while the others are
given immediately more than

they need without saying anything. Both are mirrors for how
the absolute acts. Anyone else

is a fake. Don't hand a piece of greasy bread to the picture
of a dog! The beauty that a

true dervish hungers for is real. How can someone in love
with his own imagination also

be in love with the lord of all giving? I'll tell you.
There's a quality of sincerity in

some that leads them from metaphor to what's behind the
metaphor. I'm afraid to

elaborate on this. Weak minds may use the explanation
foolishly. Think of a sad

face drawn on paper. Can it learn from its grief? There is
a happiness and a sadness

that are just figures on a bathhouse wall. Move through the
world naked, noticing the pictures

that live. Inner joy and grief are different from artful
appearance. Take off your

phenomena-clothes when you enter the soul's steam bath: no
one comes in here with clothes on.

---
*From The Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks



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