I passed beyond the bounds of this universe
and set foot in the undimensioned world,
a world without both right and left, 2755
a world devoid of night and day.
Before it the lantern of my perception dimmed,
my words died in awe of the meaning.
To speak of the spirit with the tongue of water and clay—
it is very hard to soar in a cage! 2760
Regard a little while the world of the heart
that you may win clear vision by the light of the Self.
What is the heart? A world without colour and scent,
a world without colour and scent and without dimensions.
The heart is at rest, yet every moment in motion; 2765
the heart is a world of spiritual states and thoughts.
Reason makes its way from fact to fact,
it travels without highroad and tramping and transport;
a hundred images, each different from the other,
this one acquaint with heaven, that one unattaining. 2770
No one says that this which is acquaint with heaven
is on the right hand of that unattaining image,
or that the joy which comes from beholding the beloved
is but half a pace from the air of His street.
Your eyes may be wakeful or asleep; 2775
the heart sees without the rays of the sun.
Know that world by the world of the heart—
yet what shall I say of what defies analogy?
In that universe was another world
whose origin was from another Divine fiat, 2780
undecaying, and every moment transformed,
unimaginable, yet there clearly visible;
every moment clothed in a new perfection,
every moment clad in a new beauty.
Its time had no need of moon and sun; 2785
in its expanse the nine spheres are contained.
Whatever is in the Unseen comes face to face
even before the desire for it issues from the heart.
How can I tell in my own tongue what it is,
this world? It is light, and presence, and life. 2790
Tulips repose amidst the mountains,
rivers meander in the rose -gardens;
buds crimson, white and blue
blossom with the breath of the holy ones;
its waters silver, the air ambergris, 2795
palaces with domes of emerald,
tents of ruby with golden ropes,
beauties with countenances radiant as a mirror.
Rumi said, ‘Prisoner of analogy,
pass beyond the credibility of the senses, 2800
acts fair and foul derive out of manifestation,
the latter turning to Hell, the former to Heaven;
these many-coloured palaces you behold
are built of deeds, not of bricks and stones;
what you call Kauthar and page and houri 2805
are the reflection of this world of ecstasy and joy.
Here life is the Beatific Vision, naught else,
the bliss of seeing and speaking with the Beloved.’