God laid it down to Moses, He said, “You saw the moon rise from your own chest.  I lit up your inside room with light–I was the guest.  I was sick, and you didn’t come.”

Moses said, “Now wait a minute–you’re far above me!  You have no flaw!  What’s happening?  Tell me!”

God said, “Why didn’t you come to see me when I was sick?”

Moses said, “My Master, how can you be sick?  I’m confused–I don’t know where I am!”

God said, “Someone I love, who works with me, got sick.  I am he.  Think about that.  When he has a fever, I have a fever.  When he is dizzy, and doesn’t get up, I stay in bed.”

And God went on talking, and He said, “If anyone wants to sit with the Holy One, it’s up to him to sit with all of those sitting in meditation today.  If you are separated from those in spiritual labor, you are thrown down–because you are a part without its whole.  Now if the enemy of ecstasy cuts anyone off from that whole, he experiences him all alone–and eats him up.”


(translated by Robert Bly)

1 Response to “SPIRITUAL LABOR”

  1. 1 solosocial September 21, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Here is A.J. Arberry’s translation of Rumi’s teaching story from the Masnavi (upon which Robert Bly’s translation is possibly based):

    GOD spake unto Moses reproachfully, saying, “O thou who hast seen the moon rise out of thy bosom, whom I have illuminated with the Light Divine, I who am God fell sick; why camest thou not to visit Me?”

    “O thou who are all-glorious and all-perfect,” Moses cried, “what mystery is this? Explain it to me, O Lord.”

    God spake again unto Moses, saying, “When I was sick, why didst thou not kindly enquire after Me?”

    Moses answered, “Lord, there is no imperfection in Thee: I have lost my reason: uncover these words to me.”

    God said, “Verily a chosen, all well-loved servant of Mine fell ill. I am he: mark it well: his exemption is My exemption, his sickness is My sickness.”

    Whosoever would sit with God, let him sit in the company of the saints. If you are severed from the company of the saints, you are in destruction, being a part without the whole.

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