Spider Playing in the House by Coleman Barks' Translation of Rumi.
Eyesight becomes vision
after a meeting with the Friend.
Another seeing rises behind the eyes
and looks out through the eyes.
This does not happen to a fool.
A fool looks at deadly poison
and sees candy for an idle moment.
What he claims is the obvious road to take
is really the mockery-scream of a ghoul
devouring his ancestors!
A simple, open sky is sometimes
an unsterile lancet
that will give you an infection.
Dear sky, learn mercy.
Change your revolving.
You fed us when we were young,
with the beauty of weather,
and with your fire-baskets,
the star-lanterns, that never
seem to need oil.
Materialists think that you have always existed,
sweet sky, but mystics know your beginnings,
and the prophets have taken us beyond sky-worship.
A spider that plays in a house
does not understand how, or even if,
the house was built, but a man does,
even if he does not know exactly when,
or precisely the name of the builder.
He doesn't need to spin
a lot of theological cobwebs.
A gnat has no idea who dug and planted
the garden, a gnat born in late spring,
who dies in early fall, or sooner.
A grubworm living in a rotten board
knows nothing of the tree when it was a sapling,
or if the worm does know something,
it would come from the essential intellect
in all existence and not from the worm-form.
There are many guises for intelligence.
One part of you is gliding in a high windstream,
while your more ordinary notions
take little steps and peck at the ground.
Conventional knowledge is death
to our souls, and it is not really ours.
It's laid on. Yet we keep saying
that we find "rest" in these "beliefs."
We must become ignorant
of what we've been taught,
and be, instead, bewildered.
Run from what's profitable and comfortable.
If you drink those liqueurs, you'll spill
the springwater of your real life.
Distrust anyone who praises you.
Give your investment money,
and the interest on the capital,
to those who are actually destitute.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
I have tried prudent planning
long enough. From now
on, I'll be mad.