Man the Macrocosm
by Jalālu’l-Dīn Rūmī

From the pure star-bright souls replenishment is ever coming to the stars of heaven.
Outwardly we are ruled by these stars, but our inward nature has become the ruler of the skies.
Therefore, while in form thou art the microcosm, in reality thou art the macrocosm.
Externally the branch is the origin of the fruit; 
        intrinsically the branch came into existence for the sake of the fruit.
Had there been no hope of the fruit, would the gardener have planted the tree?
Therefore in reality the tree is born of the fruit, though it appears to be produced by the tree.
Hence Mohammed said, “Adam and all the prophets march behind me under my banner.”
Hence that Master of every lore uttered the mystic saying, “We are the hindmost and the foremost:”
That is to say, “If seemingly I am born of Adam, yet in truth I am the ancestor of every ancestor.
Since the angels worshipped him for my sake, and he ascended to the Seventh Heaven on my account,
Therefore Father Adam was really born of me: the tree was born of the fruit.
The idea, which is first, comes last into actuality, in particular the idea that is eternal.”

[Mathnawī IV, 519]

English translation by Reynold A. Nicholson
Taken from Selected Poems of Rūmī, published by Dover in 2001

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