On Gambling

To a frog that’s never left his pond the ocean seems like a gamble. Look what he’s giving up: security, mastery of his world, recognition! The ocean frog just shakes his head. “I can’t really explain what it’s like where I live, but someday I’ll take you there.”

.

      If you want what visible reality

can give, you’re an employee.

.

      If you want the unseen world,

you’re not living your truth.

.

      Both wishes are foolish,

but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting

that what you really want is

love’s confusing joy.

.

      Gamble everything for love,

if you’re a true human being.

.

      If not, leave

this gathering.

.

      Half-heartedness doesn’t reach

into majesty. You set out

to find God, but then you keep

stopping for long periods

at mean-spirited roadhouses.

.

      In a boat down a fast-running creek,

it feels like trees on the bank

are rushing by. What seems

.

      to be changing around us

is rather the speed of our craft

leaving this world.

.

– by Rumi, from The Essential Rumi – reissue: New Expanded Edition, translated by Coleman Barks

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