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  • 7/9/2003

The man who said:" It is I"

A CERTAIN man once came and knocked on the door of a friend.
"Who are you, faithful one?" his friend asked.
"I," he answered.
"'Go away", the friend said. "It is not the proper time. There is no place for such a raw fellow at a table like mine."
What shall cook the raw, but he fire of banishment and separation? What shall deliver him out of hypocrisy?
That wretched man departed and wandered abroad for a year, burned as with sparks of fire in separation from his friend. So, scorched, he was cooked; then he returned and once more circled about the house of his companion. Fearful a hundredfold, he gently knocked at the door, anxious lest any unmannerly word should escape his lips.
His friend called, "Who is that at the door?"
He answered" You also are at the door, heart-ravisher!"
"Now", the friend cried, "since you are I, come in. O I! There is not room in the house for two I's."

From:Tales from Masnavi, Jalal al-Din Rumi

Translated by A.J. Arberry

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