The wisdom that the great poet and teacher Rumi expressed in Turkey over 700 years ago is remarkable. In reality, awareness of other selves was more apparent then than it is today, making it all the more remarkable that I am not more in tune with the other aspects of my awareness in this age of discovery. Somehow, through the separation of thought, I have become unaware of the power that I have within me. I’ve been sleepwalking through time trying to wake up but I haven’t been able to. Traveling in circles, I glimpse my story through history, but the light of awakening is still dim. Restless, fearful and full of stress, I hope that someone or something will help me, but I am trapped in the waking dream of duality. .
Rumi in his poem “Tending Two Shops” explains what I can do to help myself. In his clearer way, he opens a window and the sun enters. My other eyes open and I see myself for the first time and smile. I no longer need to sell hooks; I am the fish that is whole and free.
This Rumi poem was written in the mid-1200s and has been translated by Coleman Barks in his book The Essential Rumi.
Don’t run through this world
looking for a hole to hide.
There are wild beasts in every cave!
If you live with mice,
cat claws will find you.
The only real break comes
when you are alone with God.
Live in the nothingness from which you came,
although you have an address here.
That’s why you see things in two ways.
Sometimes you look at a person
and see a cynical snake.
Anyone else see a gay lover,
and both are right!
Everyone is half and half,
like the black and white ox.
José looked ugly at his brothers,
and more handsome for his father.
You have eyes that see from that nothing,
and eyes that judge distances,
how high and how low.
You have two stores,
and run from one side to another.
Try to close what is a fearsome trap,
Everytime is smaller. mate,
Here. Checkmate that.
Keep the store open
where you no longer sell hooks,
You are the fish that swims freely.