Thursday, September 27, 2012

mirrors of perfection

The master bonesetter will pay his call
where there is someone with a broken leg.

When there's no sickly patient, how then can
the beauty of the healing arts be known?

And how can alchemy be seen if copper's
low-grade, inferior nature is not known?

Deficiencies are mirrors of perfection;
the vilest things are mirrors of His glory.

For opposites make known their opposites
as honey's taste is known is vinegar.

Whoever understands his own defects
has galloped to perfection with ten horses.

And why is he not flying to his Lord
is that he thinks himself already perfect.

There is no sickness of the soul that's worse
than being convinced of your perfection, sir!

Much blood must flow out of your heart and eyes
until this smugness takes its leave of you.

~ Rumi
from the Masnavi-ye Ma'navi
excerpt from Joseph and his guest
translation by alan williams
art by gustav klimt