What Perishes is Not Real

For the life of me, I will never understand people who don’t like to read. There is so much wisdom out there. Reading is like accessing the brains of millions of other people. There is more knowledge in this world than one brain could possibly hold. Think of books as thumb drives that enhance the memory of the computer that is you.

For example, a friend of mine reminded me recently of the beginning of one of Rumi’s amazing poems.

Each form you see has its unseen archetype. If the form is transient, its essence is eternal. If you have known beauty in a face or wisdom in a word, let this counsel your heart: what perishes is not real.

“The Body is a Rose” ~ Rumi

Now, I’ve read Rumi before, and been moved by his words, but I can’t keep everything in my head. That’s why reading is so important. I particularly needed to hear this passage on the day my friend shared it with me, as I was going through a stressful situation.

Perspective is something I always struggle with. It’s hard for me to remember that what I might consider to be a crisis is usually a mere blip on the radar in the overall scheme of things. So much that I worry about and agonize over is actually trivial when compared with mortality.

I remember being really aware of that right after my boyfriend passed away. People would be griping over how well a coworker was cleaning the toilet, and I’d be thinking, “But you’re ALIVE!!! Don’t you get it? Who cares about the bloody toilet?”

But with the passage of time, I find myself falling back into my old bad habits of taking things entirely too seriously. So now I try to remember to say “what perishes is not real” as often as possible. Perspective.

A rose for you.                       [Image credit: loramatz.com]

6 thoughts on “What Perishes is Not Real

  1. Brian

    Yeah it’s true. You’ve gotta become aware of the true seriousness of life to understand and appreciate what is actually worthy of a sane person’s concern. Oh, and people who don’t like to read simply perceive it as boring, irrelevant or both. They don’t understand the foundation of the details well enough and by not seeing how all of the bits and pieces fit together, if you like, it becomes a meaningless task

  2. Angiportus

    I wonder how much Rumi was influenced by Plato.
    100% with you about reading. Books are easier to deal with than people; you can shut them any time and come back later. Although there are some nasty ones out there, that’ll make you wish you’d never learned to read.
    Also agree about people who make big deals out of deals that aren’t really that big.

  3. lyn sutton

    My perspective: Jeeze, if you don’t feel the toilet was cleaned properly…clean it yourself and leave behind some good reading material and a big can of Lysol… 🙂

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