"The Deep Root of Your Being"
Bamboo Grove, The Hill Country, Maymyo, B.u.r.m.a., April 2009
photo by shamash
The truth of these words by my favorite 13th century Persian mystic cuts me to the core:
There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.
It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.
You say “But look, I’m using the dagger. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve the purpose. You say, “But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and all the rest.” But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself.
Remember the deep root of your being, the presences of your lord. Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You’ll be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly ignoring you dignity and your purpose.
I came across these Rumi words while reading Jeff Brown's book "Soulshaping". This book has been instrumental in supporting my soul journey and affirming that inner call that often gets drowned out by bad advice and societal/community expections . When I read this Rumi quote, it was hard to believe that a man living over 600 years ago could speak to a 21st century woman looking to honor her life's work and trying her best to heed that "still, small voice" of inner wisdom.