Every craftsman who appeared in this world
sought a state of nonexistence to demonstrate his craft.
The builder sought a ruined place where the roof had fallen in.
The water carrier sought a pot empty of water,
a carpenter a house with no door.
At the moment of pursuing their purpose
they rush toward relative nonexistence,
but then later they flee from it.
Since you have placed your hope in nonexistence,
why do you turn away?
Why do you resist that which coincides with your desire?
You’ve torn your heart away from all you own,
you’ve cast the net of your heart into the sea of nonexistence.
Why then do you flee this sea of the heart’s desire
which has poured hundreds of thousands of fish into your net?
Why have you given the name “death”
to what is really provision for the spirit?
Observe that sorcery which makes sustenance seem like death.
— Mathnawi VI:1369-1378
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance”
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)