Rumi

Tear Down This House!

Tear down this house.  A hundred thousand new houses can be built from the transparent yellow gemstone buried underneath it. The only way to get to that treasure is to do the work of demolishing and then digging under the foundation.

With that value in hand all the new construction will be done without effort. 

And anyway, sooner or later this house will fall on its own. The jewel treasure will be uncovered but it won’t be yours then. The buried wealth is your pay for doing the demolition, the pick and shovel work..  If you wait and just let it happen, you’ll bite your hand and say “I didn’t do as I knew I should have.”

This is a rented house. You don’t own the deed.  You have a lease and you’ve make your living sewing patches on torn clothing.  Yet only a few feet underneath are two veins of pure red and bright gold gemstone. Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation.

You’ve got to quit this seamstress work. What does the “patch-sewing” mean, you ask?  Eating and drinking. The heavy cloak of the body is always getting torn. You patch it with food and other restless ego satisfactions. 

Rip up one board from the shop floor and look into the basement.  You’ll see two glints in the dirt.

Rumi, 1250

 The “house” that must be torn down is the false ego story, our programmed identity dictated by culture, and the soap opera activity of seeking what you think you want. The ego gets constantly torn and you spend your whole life repairing its patches (self-medicating your problems). The pickaxe of fierce attention work dismantles this illusion, and you discover the treasure that is beyond your known experience. This hidden treasure contains the beautiful cosmology that God created the universe because He wanted to be known. When human beings do their pickaxe psychological work, what happens? And what are the “glints in the dirt?”  Ah, the buried treasure!

Marriage counseling means that you have to forgive God for creating such an imperfect human being as your spouse.  The treasure is carried by and through the delicate media of relationships, but so is the trash and fear-based programming. We cannot tell fear from love, or trash from treasure.  The ego has reversed the whole field, and turned it upside down.  That is why a turn-around, a complete reversal or metanoia, is necessary. 

Where has the treasure been found?  David found it in hades.  Jesus found it in the desert.  John Bunyan found it in prison.  Moses found it in a burning bush. John Glenn found it on the moon.  Beethoven found it in music. Helen Keller found it in blindness.  Some have found it in illness, in limbo, or in a death experience; more have found it the silence; most have found it in the confusions and contradictions of love.  No one finds the treasure without first losing their illusions.  In the case below a thief found it through his thievery.  

One evening a Zen Master was reading the scripture to his disciple, when a man with a sword entered and demanded his money or his life.  The Master told him “Do not disturb me. You can find money in the drawer” and he returned to his scriptural recitation.  A little while later he stopped and called out: “Don’t take it all, I have to pay taxes tomorrow.”  The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave.  The Master said “Thank a person when you receive a gift.”  The man thanked him and left. 

Shortly thereafter the man was arrested for several robberies and the Master was called into court to testify. On the witness stand he told the judge “This man is no thief. I gave him money and he thanked me for it.” After the man had finished his prison term, he went to the Master and became a disciple.