Rumi – Two Ways of Running

A certain man had a jealous wife
and a very, very appealing maidservant. Continue reading

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The Sufi Map of the Seven Valleys

Osho’s allegory of  Sufi Mystic Al-Ghazzali’s 7 Valleys. It’s about man’s journey of finding oneself and
understanding the paradox of the human condition. Enjoy this masterpiece of story telling.
MAN is a paradox. And man is the only animal, the only being, that is paradoxical – that is man’s
uniqueness. Man’s special being is his innermost paradox. All other animals are non-paradoxical.
A tree is a tree, and a dog is a dog, but man is never in a state of isness. He is always becoming,
growing. Man is always surpassing himself; that is his paradox. And it is at his very core of being.
It is not accidental, it is very fundamental. Once you understand this paradox you have your first
glimpse about human-ness – what man is.
Man is always a project, a becoming. His being consists of becoming – this is the paradox. He is
always between that which he was and that which he is going to be. He is always between his past
and future – a bridge hanging between two eternities, the past and the future. He is a surpassing, a
continuous surpassing. Man is never content with that which he is; he is trying to go beyond, always
trying to go beyond. Whatsoever he is doing, all his effort is basically how to become something
more, something higher, something better.
Man is a progress, a wayfarer, a pilgrim – and his life is a pilgrimage, a non-ending pilgrimage, that
goes on and on. A dog is born, a tree is born…. The tree is born with all its tree-ness and the dog is
born with all its dog-ness. Man is not a given fact; man is born only with a possibility, with a potential.
Man is born as a blank, as a nothingness; nothing is written.
All other beings have a certain essence, a certain soul. In man it is just the reverse. His existence
comes first and then he starts seeking for his essence. In other animals essence comes first, then
existence. They already bring a built-in programme; they never grow, they remain the same. That’s
why they look so innocent, so unworried, so non-tense. Look into the eyes of a cow – how peaceful,
calm, tranquil she is. There is no anxiety no anguish, no clouds. Look into the eyes of a man. They
are always cloudy. They always have anguish, there is always trembling: the trembling of. ’Whether
I am going to make it or not?’ – the trembling of, ’Whether I will be able to find myself or not?’ – the
trembling of, ’Whether I will be fulfilled or remain unfulfilled?’ Continue reading

Heaven in the Present Moment

You and Me vs. You or Me: Heaven in the Present Moment

Guest blogged from IYYUN:  Center for Jewish Spirituality.

Once in a small town in Poland, there lived a wealthy learned and pious man by the name of Reb Yankel. In this town, other than Reb Yankel all the townsmen were poor. One day, this Reb Yankel send out a proclamation inviting all the leaders of the community to a feast, promising to be a feast worthy of paradise. That evening as the leaders arrived they were escorted into the living room where they saw the table set delightfully with magnificent cutlery set for each guest. The butler than showed the quests to their seats. Sitting anxiously in their place at the table, the butler enters the room and hands Reb Yankel a bowl of hot soup. Strangely, he offers no soup for the guest. Eating his soup, Reb Yankel lifts his head and says ‘Oh, what a delicious soup, I am sure my friends, you have never tasted such a tasty soup. When he finished his soup he was brought a full course meal. Once again the guest weren’t served, and once again as he was eating he kept on remarking on how delicious the food was. Finally one of the guest could contain himself no longer, and he burst out ‘Reb Yankel have you invited us here to mock us.’ The invitation, he continued, promised a feast worthy of Paradise, and here, not only did we not get to partake in the feast but worse of, we have to suffer through watching you eat. Reb Yankel smiled, indeed, he said, this is meal is truly worthy of paradise. Do you know what paradise is, do you think that it is a restaurant where you come to eat. Paradise is a place / a state, where people love each other enough so that they can take pleasure in another persons’ happiness. In paradise, we are content watching our fellow mans’ success. There, not only are we not envious, what’s more we even feel happy for them. Now that you have all understood the paradise part of the feast, dinner can be served, enjoy. Continue reading