January 31, 1997



Rumi, a 12th Century Persian poet, was introduced to spirituality by his spiritual guide, a man they called 'Shams,' who told Rumi to throw all of his books into the well. The idea there, like all good metaphors, was that Rumi had enough book learning; it was time to become. I learned about Spirituality from my patients or from relatives and friends who were experiencing life's unavoidable event: death and disease.

They draw you, don't they?
The Unknowable Spirit has eyebrows
and eyes and skin!

Rumi #1052

In the end, we are all like Roethke, asking (those who do ask):

"Am I a servant of some soverign's wish,
Or a ladle, rattling in an empty dish?"

Here is how Robinson Jeffers, also trained as a physician, answered that:

the net of desire
Had every nerve drawn to the center, so that
they writhed like a full draught of fishes
all matted
In the one mesh; when they look backward they
see only a man standing at the beginning,
Or forward, a man at the end; or if upward, men
in the shining bitter sky striding and
Whom you call Gods.

Robinson Jeffers, The Tower Beyond Tragedy