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 quickly you do what your soul directs.

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