This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.
Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was grief.
But there’s a difference with this dream.
Everything cruel & unconscious
done in the illusion of the present world,
all that does not fade away
at the death-waking.
It stays, and it must be interpreted.
All the mean laughing, all the quick,
sexual wanting, those torn coats,
they change into powerful wolves
that you must face…
And this groggy time we live,
this is what it’s like:
A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived,
and he dreams he’s living
in another town.
In the dream, he doesn’t
remember the town he’s
sleeping in, in his bed.
He believes the reality
of the dream town.
The world is that kind of sleep.
The dust of many crumbled cities
settles over us like a forgetful doze,
but we are older than those cities.
We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state
and then into being human,
and always we have forgotten
our former states, except in
early spring, when we slightly
recall being fresh and green again.
That’s how a young person turns
toward a teacher. That’s how a baby leans
towards the breast, without knowing the
secret of its desire, yet turning instinctively.
Humankind is being led along an evolving course
through a migration of intelligence
and though we seem to be sleeping
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs us towards our
dreaming and eventually startles us
back to the truth of who we are.
Source: Poetry by Rumi who was born to native Persian speaking parents, originally from Balkh city of Khorasan (present-day Afghanistan).; photography by Allison Scarpulla (Flickr) https://www.facebook.com/AlisonScarpulla & http://www.alisonscarpulla.com