III Necessary Lessons


        Wisdom comes from knowing wisdom.
        Wisdom means knowing oneself.

        If you do not know yourself
        what is the point of reading books?

        The point of reading
        is to know something real.
        Since you have read and do not know it,
        reading is useless.

        Don't say, "I've read, I've learned."
        Don't say, "I've worshipped a lot."

        If you don't accept the Perfect Man,
        all other works are futile.

        The meaning of the Four Books
        is clear and complete
        It shows itself in the first letter

        If you don't know what aleph is
        what do you know of reading?

        You recite every syllable of the alphabet.
        You say "Aleph," but how little it means.

        Yunus Emre says:
        "Hey Hoja, you've made a thousand pilgrimages
        but never been welcomed by a single heart."


        If you've broken a single heart
        the prayers you make aren't accepted.

        The seventy-two peoples of the world
        could not Wash your hands and face.

        So many masters have come and gone.
        They migrated. Their ancient lands remain.

        They opened their wings
        and flew to Reality*
        not as geese but as eagles.

        A way is true if it's straight.
        An eye is that which can see the Real.

        And doing good
        even once is no small thing
        Can return a thousandfold.

        Yunus combines words
        as if mixing honey into butter.

        He's in business among people
        with goods of the highest worth.

* Al-Haqq, God, Reality.


        Those who became complete
        didn't live this life in hypocrisy
        didn't learn the meaning of things
        by reading commentaries.

        Reality is an ocean; the Law is a ship.
        Many have never left the ship
        never jumped into the sea.

        They might have come to Worship
        but they stopped at rituals.
        They never knew or entered the Inside.

        Those who think the Four Books
        were meant to be talked abou,
        who have only read explanations
        and never entered meaning
        are really in sin.

        Yunus means "true friend"
        for one whose journey has begun.
        Until We transform our Names,
        we haven't found the Way.


        I am a Sufi in the eyes of the people.
        I go around with prayer beads in hand.
        My tongue speaks of knowledge
        my heart doesn't accept.

        I wear a diploma around my neck,
        and yet my prayers aren't real.
        Worries occupy my mind
        and I can't keep my eyes on the Way.

        My speaking of knowledge is a kind of lie.
        I can't be modest
        pride never leaves my heart.

        Although I look like a dervish,
        I have no patience at all
        and I am full of doubts.
        Whatever goes in my ears
        never reaches the inside.

        Those who see me kiss my hand,
        they look at my jacket and hat.
        They think I am free from sin.

        Outwardly I lecture and lead prayers;
        inside, in my heart's bazaar
        are things even a sly man
        wouldn't dream of in a thousand years.

        Yunus, put your need in front of Allah.
        He is Generous
        He does not do what you do.


        Before you're able to give your soul
        you Want the Beloved.

        Before you discard the rope of doubt
        you Want faith.

        You repeat
        "He who knows himself knows his Lord."*
        But you haven't known
        and you want to surpass the angels

        You're a child who Wants to jump on a horse
        and ride into the game without a polo stick.

        You don't know you're a pearl
        within mother-of-pearl.
        Without first ruling Egypt,
        you want the land of Canaan.

        Yunus, endure every trouble as Job did.
        Don't take the remedy before the pain.

* A saying of Muhammad's, peace and blessings upon him.


        Sorrowful one, why do you go around in tears?
        If my Lord causes me to weep
        surely He will make me laugh some day.

        So many of the sorrowful landed here,
        then migrated back.
        If my lord causes me to weep
        surely He will make me laugh some day.

        This suffering is my dearest companion.
        When my sighs and tears rise up
        His gifts and kindness are the cause.
        If my Lord causes you to weep
        surely He will make you laugh some day.

        All the while, turn your face toward the Truth
        all the while, remember His name.
        He gives grief to those He favors.
        If my Lord cause you to weep
        surely He will make you laugh some day.

        Don't leave this poor head of yours in love
        or bloody tears will flow.
        He is generous, He even makes repairs.
        If my Lord causes you to weep
        surely He will make you laugh some day.

        Yunus, so many states before your eyes
        so many places to stop.
        Stop and call your Lord night and day.
        If my Lord causes you to weep
        surely He will make you laugh some day.


        Don't advise those who aren't in love.
        The unloving, like animals, can't understand.

        Don't distance yourself from the wise
        but avoid the shallow.
        The ungiving disappoint God.
        They cannot see His face.

        Don't waste time on drab pigeons
        who consort with moles
        who avoid the deep-diving loon.

        Falcon and King, each praises the other.
        Even a weak falcon is a falcon still.

        And if you wash some dark stone for fifty years,
        you won't really transform it.

        The hidden sun, Muhammed, changed appearance
        Some say he died. He never does.

        Yunus, don't be stupid, mix with the mature.
        A fool who talks of spiritual things is still a fool.