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The Purpose of Life – by Rumi

The Purpose of Life – by Rumi

You have learned a trade in order to earn a living to satisfy the needs of your body: now focus on learning your spiritual trade so that you can look after the needs of your soul. Here in this world you have become rich and wear expensive clothes: when you leave this world, how will you fare?

Devote yourself to that spiritual work whose wages are God’s forgiveness in the world beyond. It is a city full of barter and wage, but do not imagine that your earnings here will be sufficient. God has said that they are child’s play compared to the earnings in the next world.

It is the same when children play at setting up shop: their goods and play money are only of use in their game; they are of no value in the real world. This world is like a playground, and death is night, when you return home with an empty purse, tired out. The wages of religion are love, inner rapture and nearness to God.

Masnavi II: 2592-6; 600-1

Jesus’ Parable of the rich man

Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ Then he told them a parable:

‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

Luke 12:13-21

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