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The Tavern of Ruin

There is no path to God through prayer;

the path to the Truth leads from the tavern of ruin.

Prayers, supplications, litanies and remembrances

all keep you busy behind the Beloved’s door.

As long as you call upon Him, you are an idol-worshiper;

if you really want Him, you must be totally drunk.

As long as you see the path, and yourself as a traveler, you’re an outsider,

you are a prisoner of your own ego, engaged in self-deception.

If you are preoccupied with your intellect and the created world,

it is difficult for you to see Reality.

Like a rend step into the tavern of ruin

and drunkenly unburden yourself of all your adornments.

In this way you can see God through God’s eyes,

for how can the limited see the Absolute? 

The tavern’s resident is a stranger to himself;

he is a madman in the eyes of rational people.

The tavern’s resident has become purged of self altogether;

there is nothing in his head and chest other than God.

The tavern’s resident is beyond good and evil;

he is beyond the realm of intellect and madness.

The tavern’s resident is beyond unbelief and religion;

he is not preoccupied with the book of the lost and the saved.

The tavern’s resident never sees the creation;

he does not think of union and separation.

The tavern’s resident dwells in placelessness;

his only trace is his tracelessness.

The tavern’s resident is not concerned with “I” and “you”;

he has gone beyond “there is no god” and resides in “only God.”2

The tavern’s resident is hidden from his own eyes;

he does not think about having more or reflect on possessing less.

The tavern’s resident has no religion or belief;

for him there is no difference between salve and sting.

The tavern’s resident is beyond both worlds;

his residence is under the shelter of God.

O Nurbakhsh, stop these ravings and this incoherent speech —

No one but God knows of the tavern of ruin.

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