Three Travelers Tell Their Dreams

A lesson on action and the spirit from a great Sufi mystic.

Reprinted from "The Soul of Rumi" with permission of HarperSanFrancisco.

Three devout men of different religions fall in together


by chance traveling. They stop



at a caravanserai where the host brings as a gift a sweet


dessert, some taste of God's



nearness. This is how people out in the country serve


strangers. The Jew and



the Christian are full, but the Muslim has been fasting all


day. The two say, "Let's



save it for tomorrow." The one, "No. Let's save self-denial


for tomorrow!" "You want it



all for yourself!" "Divide it into three parts, and each can


do as he wants." "Ah,



but Muhammed said not to share." "That was about dividing


yourself between sensuality



and soul. You must belong. to one or the other." But finally,


for some reason, he gives in,



"I'll do it your way." They refrain from tasting. They sleep,


and then wake and dress themselves



to begin morning devotions. Christian, jew, Muslim, shaman,


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Zoroastrian, stone, ground,

mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the


mystery, unique and not to be

judged. This subject never ends! Three friends in a grand


morning mood. "Let us tell

what dreams we had last night; whoeverhas had the deepest


dream gets the halvah."

Agreed. The Jewish man begins the wanderings of his soul.


"Moses met me on the road;

I followed him to Sinai: an opening door, light within


light. Mt. Sinai and Moses and

I merged in an exploding splendor, the unity of the prophets."


This was a true dream. Many

Jews have such. Then the Christian sighs, "Christ took me


in his arms to the fourth

heaven, a pure vast region....I cannot say...." His is also


deep. The Muslim, "Muhammed came

and told me where you two had gone. 'You wretch,' he said,


you've been left behind! You

may as well get up and eat something." "No!" laughed the


Christian and the Jew. "How

could I disobey such glory? Would you not do as Moses and


Jesus suggest?" "You're right,"

they say. Yours is the truest dream, but it had immediate


effect in your waking life."

What matters is how

quickly

you do what your soul directs.

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