The grapes of my body can only become wine

Guest blogger : Jelaluddin Rumi

The dissolving of the ego is probably the key challenge of the spiritual path. Until one has really faced this daunting task, one is playing dice, maybe having a nice time, but not doing anything really serious. All those who embark as serious students on the road to true reality (the essence of the spiritual path) which culminates in unconditional love and forgiveness (I now always link the two – more on that in another blog) have to face this challenge. Very often this happens through the most intense suffering and radical pruning of every human attachment. The following poem of Rumi is one of the most powerful descriptions of this purification I have ever come across.

The grapes of my body can only become wine
by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

The grapes of my body can only become wine
After the winemaker tramples me.
I surrender my spirit like grapes to his trampling
So my inmost heart can blaze and dance with joy.
Although the grapes go on weeping blood and sobbing
“I cannot bear any more anguish, any more cruelty”
The trampler stuffs cotton in his ears: “I am not working in ignorance
You can deny me if you want, you have every excuse,
But it is I who am the Master of this Work.
And when through my Passion you reach Perfection,
You will never be done praising my name.”

— from ‘The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi’ by Andrew Harvey

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