My friend just shared with me these writings from renowned 13th century scholar and poet Jalaluddin Rumi…
What Is Poison ?
He Replied With A Beautiful Answer – Anything Which Is More Than Our Necessity Is Poison. It May Be Power, Wealth, Hunger, Ego, Greed, Laziness, Love, Ambition, Hate Or Anything.
What Is Fear ?
Non Acceptance Of Uncertainty.
If We Accept That Uncertainty, It Becomes Adventure.
What Is Envy ?
Non Acceptance Of Good In Others, If We Accept That Good, It Becomes Inspiration.
What Is Anger ?
Non Acceptance Of Things Which Are Beyond Our Control.
If We Accept, It Becomes Tolerance.
What Is Hatred ?
Non Acceptance Of a Person As He Is. If We Accept the Person Unconditionally, It Becomes Love.
What beautiful insights. Rumi is saying that all of these negative thought patterns originate with non-acceptance. In fact even the first one – poison – can be seen as non-acceptance of necessary limits.
Many of us may believe that these harmful thought patterns are to be obliterated, or at least suppressed. But what it seems Rumi is suggesting is that by simply changing our perspective, from non-acceptance to acceptance, we can shift the harmful thoughts into beneficial ones.
So from fear we can shift into adventure, from envy to inspiration, from anger to tolerance, from hatred to love. In other words the negative attitudes are not problematic in and of themselves, if we only choose to sit with them, and bring a spirit of mindfulness and acceptance to them.
Islam means submission. Isn’t submission the same as acceptance? Was the answer to our greatest agonies – fear, envy, anger, hatred – right under our noses all along?