How Long Will You Be Frightened Of The Future?

whirling2Why wait any longer for the world to begin?

Coleman Barks. How long will you be frightened of the future?I am recalling this poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks as I ponder the rejection by the New Message from God of the idea of strengthening preferred outcomes when praying for people.

How long will you be frightened of the future?

Why do we seek to strengthen preferred outcomes? If the chain is followed back far enough, is it because we believe that we will not survive if we don’t?

In the context of this poem, the word “sheikh” refers to a more spiritually advanced individual, and the disciple is a disciple of the sheikh.

A sheikh and a disciple are walking quickly toward a town
where it’s known there is very little to eat. The disciple
says nothing, but he is constantly afraid of going hungry.

The sheikh knows what the disciple thinks. How long
will you be frightened of the future
because you love food? You have closed the eye
of self-denial and forgotten who provides.

Don’t worry. You’ll have your walnuts and raisins and special desserts.
Only the true favorites get hunger for their daily bread.
You’re not one of those. Whoever loves the belly
is brought bowl after bowl from the kitchen.

When such a person dies, bread itself comes to the funeral
and makes a speech: “O corpse, you almost killed yourself
with worrying about food. Now you’re gone and food
is still here, more than enough. Have some free bread.”

Bread is more in love with you than you with it.
It sits and waits for days. It knows you have no will.
If you could fast, bread would jump into your lap
as lovers do with each other.

Be full with trusting,
not with these childish fears of famine.

How long will you be frightened of the future? Until the day when the one who provides, provides new eyes with which to see. In the meantime, please pass the trusting.

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