All Religions are but one

18 04 2010

Since the object of praise is one,
from this point of view,
all religions are but one religion.
Know that all praise belongs to the Light of God
and is only lent to created forms and beings.
Should people praise anyone but the One
who alone deserves to be praised?
But they go astray in useless fantasy.
The Light of God in relation to phenomena
is like light shining upon a wall—
the wall is but a focus for these splendors.

~.~

Mathnawi III: 2124-2127
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance”
Threshold Books, 1996

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Speak to us of Giving

21 04 2009

An excerpt from THE PROPHET, by Kahlil Gibran

 

 

Then said a rich man, “Speak to us of Giving.”
And he answered:

 You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things
you keep and guard
for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow
bring to the overprudent dog
burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the
pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full,
the thirst that is unquenchable?

 There are those who give little
of the much which they have-
and they give it
for recognition and their hidden desire
makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty.

There are those who give with joy,
and their joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain,
and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not
pain in giving, nor do they seek joy,
nor give with mindfulness of virtue:
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle
breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God
speaks, and from behind their eyes
He smiles upon the earth.

 It is well to give when asked, but it is
better to give unasked, through understanding:
And to the open-handed the search for
one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught your would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given:
Therefore give now, that the season of
giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.

 You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so,
nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live,
for to with-hold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his
days and nights, is worthy of all else from you.

And he who has deserved to drink from
the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

And what desert greater shall there be,
than that, which lies in the courage and the
confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend
their bosom and unveil their pride,
that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?

See first that you yourself deserve to be
a giver, and an instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life-
while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers- and you are all
receivers- assume no weight of gratitude,
lest you lay a yoke upon
yourself and upon he who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings:
For to be over mindful of your debt, is
to doubt his generosity who has the
free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father

 ~*~