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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sunday Offering #34: "The City of Saba" (Rumi)

The City of Saba

There is a glut of wealth in the City of Saba.Everyone has more than enough. Even

the bath stokers wear gold belts.Huge grape clusters hang down on every street and

brush the faces of the citizens. No one has to do anything. You can balance

a basket on your head and walk through an orchard, and it will fill by itself with

overripe fruit dropping into it. Stray dogs stray in lanes full of thrown-out

scraps with barely a notice. The lean desert wolf gets indigestion from the rich

food. Everyone is fat and satiated with all the extra. There are no

robbers. There is no energy for crime, or for gratitude, and no one wonders about

the unseen world. The people of Saba feel bored with just the mention of prophecy.

They have no desire of any kind.Maybe some idle curiosity about miracles, but that’s

it. This overrichness is a subtle disease. Those who have it are blind

to what’s wrong and deaf to anyone who points it out. The City of Saba cannot be

understood from within itself: But there is a cure, an individual medicine, not

a social remedy: sit quietly, and listen for a voice within that will say, *Be

more silent*. As that happens, your soul starts to revive Give up talking and

your positions of power. Give up the excessive money. Turn toward teachers and

prophets who dont live in Saba. They can help you grow sweet again and fragrant

and wild and fresh and thankful for any small event.


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