Tag Archives: substance

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Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Oh you who have devoted yourself to strife,
you have not discerned yourself from others!
Whenever you come upon a form,
you stop and say, “I am this.”
By God, you are not that! . . .
How can you be that?
You are that unique one, happy, beautiful,
and intoxicated with yourself.
You are your own bird, prey, and snare,
your  own seat of honor, carpet, and roof.
“Substance” subsists in itself,
those things that derive from it are accidents.
If you are born of Adam,
sit like him and behold his progeny within yourself.
What does the vat contain that is not in the river?
What does the room encompass that is not in the city?
This world is the vat, and the heart the running stream,
this world the room, and the heart the city of wonders.

— Jalalud’din Rumi – Mathnawi IV: 803-811 – “The Sufi Path of Love” (transl. William C. Chittick)

(image source: rumibook.info)

By God, you are not that!

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You have heard much of this world,
Yet what have you seen of this world?
What is its form and substance?

What is Simurgh, and what is Mount Kaf?
What is Hades and what is Heaven and Hell?
What is that unseen world
A day of which equals a year of this?
Come and hear the meaning.

You are asleep, and your vision is a dream,
All you are seeing is a mirage.
When you wake up on the morn of the last day
You will know all this to be Fancy’s illusion;
When you have ceased to see double,
Earth and Heaven will become transformed;
When the real sun unveils his face to you,
The moon, the stars, and Venus will disappear;
If a ray shines on the hard rock
Like wool of many colours, it drops to pieces.

— Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part V – Time and this Dream-World (The Dream of Life)

The Dream of Life

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Repeatedly dwell on the swiftness of the passage and departure of things that are and of things that come to be. For substance is like a river in perpetual flux, its activities are in continuous changes, and its causes in myriad varieties, and there is scarce anything which stands still, even what is near at hand; dwell, too, on the infinite gulf of the past and the future, in which all things vanish away. Then how is he not a fool who in all this is puffed up or distracted or takes it hardly, as if he were in some lasting scene, which has troubled him for so long?

— Marcus Aurelius – Meditations – Book V – 23 (Translated by A S L Farquharson)

Substance is like a river in perpetual flux