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,


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


you do what your soul directs.

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