General Spirituality

Old Man, Why Do You Sorrow?

The boy approached his father, gently, ‘Old man, why do you sorrow?’ The old man softened his tears:

‘Beloved, my sorrow is my joy.

Where there is no weeping, there is

no rejoicing,

And he who has not sorrowed

has never known delight.

‘I sorrow for the darkness that

I see within,

for the depth of the divide I have

cast between my mind and my heart.

I sorrow, for I have become

a source of sorrow,

and if I do not weep

I shall never be healed.

‘What God has blessed, I have squandered,

and therefore all the mountains weep.

Shall I yet rejoice?

See me, an aged man of squandered days,

a vessel of life confined to death—

yet merry, at peace, rejoicing!

‘No, beloved, let us weep.

Let us know sorrow, for then

we know ourselves, then we see.

No more in ignorance, but in truth

let us walk,

acknowledging our woe,

weeping with the earth.

When its sorrow is our sorrow,

then the weight shall crush my bones

—and crushed, I shall be reborn.

‘Sorrow is the door, dear boy,

the door of joy pure and true.

With every tear we shed,

we rejoice more fully,

exist more wholly,

love more purely.’

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