[45] But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me

by Omar Khayyam

English version by Edward FitzGerald
Original Language Persian/Farsi

But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
     And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

-- from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Omar Khayyam / Translated by Edward FitzGerald

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Every time I return to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, I discover something new. I've read this verse several times before, but it only now hooked my attention and drew me in...

But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:

So many self-appointed keepers of every religion love theological debates, showing off their command of what others have said about the nature of God and Reality. Khayyam, like most mystics, has little patience for those endless squabbles. They belong to the realm of the intellect and don't lead to inner awareness. A true seeker is only satisfied with direct perception. Theory and debate don't satisfy the seeking heart.

And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd...

Khayyam urges us to instead find a quiet spot outside the bustle in order seek the truth of the matter without disruption.

Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

That last line brings a smile to my face. While everyone else is busy trying to be recognized for their superior wisdom, Khayyam invites us into a game -- a common activity avoided by the self-consciously pious. But this is the game of God, the only game truly worth playing. And it's a two-way game: God makes game of you, but only the lovers of God are engaged enough to play the game in return.



Recommended Books: Omar Khayyam

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained The Sufism of the Rubaiyat or the Secret of the Great Paradox Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan: A Spiritual Interpretation The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Illustrated Edition)
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45] But leave the