Definitely having an extended Rumi moment currently; I do read other poets honestly! But I stumbled on this tonight and thought how brilliant it was that these words from a philosopher and scholar could resonate in these divided and divisive times, despite being put down in the thirteenth century. Astonishing freshness and modernity about this piece even down 8 centuries of history.


Christian or Jew or

Muslim, not Hindu,

Buddhist, Sufi or Zen.

Not any religion

Or cultural system. I am

Not from the East

Or the West, not

Out of the ocean or up

From the ground, not

Natural or ethereal, not

Composed of elements at all.

I do not exist,

Am not an entity in this

World or the next,

Did not descend from

Adam and Eve or any

Origin story. My place is

The placeless, a trace

Of the traceless.

Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved,

Have seen the two

Worlds as one and

That one

Call to and know,

First, last, outer, inner,

Only that breath breathing

Human being.’

From The Illuminated Rumi, translated and interpreted by Coleman Barks and illustrated by Michael Green


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