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The Banquet of the Tavern of Ruin

I praise the tavern of ruin

          and the people of vision there;

they have no thought of this world

          or the next


In the alley of fana neither

          verdant nor withered appears;

nothing is fruitful

          or fruitless


Self display won’t find its way

          to this festival of fidelity;

discussion of this world and the next

          is very brief


In the world of “we” and “you”

          there is reason to fear danger;

when “we” and “you” is dispelled

          there will be no danger


The good and evil in this world come

          from the good and bad inside you;

when you become all good,

          there will be no “good” or “evil”


When you find fault with this world

          the fault is really your own;

nothing but beauty

          and serenity prevails


When you reject others

          you are the rejected one.

How could rejection or acceptance

          ever be found


This knowledge of yours is but a toy

          of the imagination, not a virtue;

the knowledge of every expert

          will be useless


The humility, selflessness

          and abjection of the rend

is considered the crown and belt

          of power


In the book of Unity you find nothing

          but the lesson of Truth;

pedantic learning is worthless


Unless you erase the image of self

          from heart and soul

don’t even think about



There is nothing but the Light of God,

          the Eye of God and the Face of God;

what is “other than God” is not found


Man and creation,

          in bewilderment and remorse,

have cast down

          their shields


The falcon of the intellect

          is too weak to fly there;

nothing but the bird of loving-kindness

          spreads its wings


No name, no trace,

          no custom, no way;

neither guide nor traveler

          is known


The life span of the world,

          from pre- to post-eternity,

from beginning to end,

          is not even a moment


Surrendering one’s head, risking one’s life,

          and breaking the self

are known as greatness,

          conquest and victory


In that tavern, the wanderers of God

          find the comfort they seek;

the vagrants of God

          won’t be homeless


This imaginary existence, which is

          the source of our shame,

is even more unreal

          than fantasy and speculation


Selflessness is the source

          of all kinship;

poverty is considered

          prosperity and abundance


On that meadow only the flower

          of Unity grows;

but for the palm tree of loving-kindness

          nothing bears fruit


Although the haunters of that tavern

          cannot tell head from foot,

not every foolish vagabond

          can enter


Unless you give up


you will be neither

          destitute nor esteemed


In the state of oblivion

          there is no asking for a cure.

Since there is no sting

          how can there be need for a lancet


Your self-existence

          is the price of admission;

nothing is sold

          for gold or silver


One in pain and in need of a cure

          cannot be found there;

there is no yearning or



This place is beyond whatever

          you can conceive of;

the arrow of imagination

          cannot reach


These manifest patterns

          are figments of your thought;

when you no longer exist

          these forms won’t be


There is but one Being,

          and He is oblivious to supplication;

wailing and sighing till dawn

          won’t open a way


The tavern’s sacred grounds are free

          from all piety and self-display;

many centuries of devotion

          have been rendered useless


No lover, no beloved

          to need any wine;

no reed pipe, no player

          to need sugar cane


Where are words and speech

          that may roar like a tempest?

Where are moist eyes

          to spill jewel-like tears


All agitation and tumult come from

          rawness and imperfection;

When there is no imperfection,

          no passion or uproar will exist


There is no name or trace

          of your fame there;

no one but the Beloved

          is celebrated


Without speaker, without listener,

          without Moses, without Sinai,

the cry of “I am the Truth”

          comes from every bush


Unless you abandon arguments,

          you will never find your way there,

for light is not bestowed

          upon every sightless one


Our hope lies in this:

          that one day,

by the grace of love,

          we may lay down our heads


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