Peace and War In The Illusory Material World

Mathnawi I:70-71

70 Within the spirit,1 imagined forms are as nothing -- (yet)
witness an (entire) world going on (based) upon something

71 (Witness how) their peace and their war (is based) upon
something imaginary, and (how) their pride and their shame
(derives) from something imaginary.

--From "The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî" [Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi. Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R. A. Nicholson's 1926 British translation) Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration) First published on "Sunlight" (, 6/20/02

Notes on the text, with line number:

1(70) the spirit [rawân]: there is a pun between two meanings of this word: "spirit" and "going." "The rational soul (rawán) belongs to the world of Reality, while phantasy, which records and preserves sense-data in the form of mental images, 'resembles a thing of naught'; being the mainspring of our illusory existence (V 319 sqq. [= translated by Nicholson: 'Every one is infatuated with some phantasy. . . '], 2648 sqq. [= translated by Nicholson: 'The world of imagination and the phantom of hope and fear is a great obstacle to the traveller (on the mystic Way).'])." (Nicholson, Commentary)

70 nêst-wash bâsh-ad kheyâl andar rawân
tô jahânê bar kheyâlê bîn rawân

71 bar kheyâlê SulH-eshân-o jang-eshân
w-az kheyâlê fakhr-eshân-o nang-eshân

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)