An Inner Wakefulness

An Inner Wakefulness

~Rumi

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 your grief.

But there’s a difference with this dream.
Everything cruel and 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.

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 his bed in. 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 green again.
That’s how a young person turns
toward a teacher. That’s how a baby leans
toward the breast, without knowing the secret
of its desire, yet turning instinctively.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.

Author: Gabriella

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1 Comment

  1. Wondering who is credited for this translation? Finding this poem on allot of other sites, though a shorter version translated by Coleman Barks

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