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The Do's & Don'ts Of Life

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © Wolf Sherman. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, electrostatic magnetic tape or mechanically; including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author. Although this is a fictional work, some of the locations, organisations and events are factual. The characters and times in the story line are fictional - therefore, all resemblances to actual people present or past are purely coincidental.


The Do's & Don'ts of Life, points to the hazy meandering between ignorance and boasts - while in the temporary service of the flesh, warring against time, impermanence, authority, ideas and 'other people', who are 'us' - on a different day, at a similar hour - - Wolf Sherman. It's the basis for the poetry bundle, Adult Poetry On Life, and therefore includes it.

This work commences with - arguably - two of the greatest influences and inspiration that reaches across from a forgotten time, lost in antiquity and maybe sadly obscured from all that is good, right, true and useful, for a modern mind - namely Marcus Aurelius and Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. These serve as a framework for Wolf Sherman's poetry, which follows at the end.


Marcus Aurelius: Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor from 161 to 180, ruling jointly with Lucius Verus until Verus' death in 169 and jointly with his son, Commodus, from 177. He was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. It is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy. During his reign, the Roman Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately. Persecution of Christians increased during his reign. His death in 180 is widely cited as the end of the Pax Romana and the increasing instability in the west that followed has traditionally been seen as the beginning of the eventual Fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Rumi: Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), and more popularly simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the most popular poet as well as best selling poet.

Marcus Aurelius

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The best revenge is to be un. him who performed the injury.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Our life is what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The best revenge is not to be . your enemy.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.

Marcus Aurelius

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not "This is misfortune," but "To bear this worthily is good fortune.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are . this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together . feet, hands and eyes, . the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

What we do now echoes in eternity.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, . a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what's left and live it properly. What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can't control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Receive without conceit, release without struggle.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying...or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: "To do what needs doing." Look inward. Don't let the true nature of anything elude you. Before long, all existing things will be transformed, to rise . smoke (assuming all things become one), or be dispersed in move from one unselfish act to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness...when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Don't go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Though you break your heart, men will go on as before.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this 'reality' as you view your dreams.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Marcus Aurelius

Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Rumi - Quotations

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop” – Rumi

Embrace your uniqueness.

"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi

Find what it is you love to do, and go do it. Everyone will be better for it.

“Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune: every success depends upon focusing the heart.” – Rumi

Focus on what you want and then clear a path to get there.

"Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being. Halfheartedness does not reach into majesty.” – Rumi

Never skimp on love.

"Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Rumi

At a certain point, everything will click with the right person.

:Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” – Rumi

Embrace the power you possess. Happiness does not come from the outside in.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”

Live to your full potential. Believe in yourself and others will follow suit.

“There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen.” – Rumi

Embrace being a great listener.

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

Change comes from the inside out. Start with yourself.

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” – Rumi

Adversity will eventually help you shine.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

Pursue your passions.

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” – Rumi

How can we really explain love any better than this.

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Open yourself up to receive what is out there for you.

"In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” – Rumi

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.” – Rumi

Go beyond the kind words and you will find the answers.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love” – Rumi

Follow your heart.

What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi

Your dreams are chasing you as much you are chasing them. Embrace that.

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” – Rumi

“Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give. ” – Rumi

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” – Rumi

Look beyond the superficial.

"Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” – Rumi

Work to persuade with kind words rather than aggressive actions.

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” – Rumi

Continue to be grateful for everything you have.

“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.” – Rumi

There are many ways to do the exact same thing.

“Yesterday is gone and its tale told. Today new seeds are growing.” – Rumi

Embrace today and forget the past.

Rumi - Thoughts and Poems

Three Travellers Tell Their Dreams

Three devout men of different religions fall in together by chance traveling. They stop at a caravanserai where the host brings as a gift a sweet dessert, some taste of God's nearness. This is how people out in the country serve strangers. The Jew and the Christian are full, but the Muslim has been fasting all day. The two say, "Lets save it for tomorrow." The one, "No. Let's save self-denial for tomorrow!" "You want it all for yourself!" "Divide it into three parts, and each can do as he wants." "Ah, but Mohammad said not to share." "That was about dividing yourself between sensuality and soul. You must belong to the one or the other." But finally for some reason, he gives in, "I'll do it your way." They refrain from tasting. They sleep, and then wake and dress themselves to begin morning devotions. Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged. This subject never ends! Three friends in a grand morning mood. "Let us tell what dreams we had last night; whoever has had the deepest dreams, gets the halvah." Agreed. The Jewish man begins the wanderings of his soul.

"Moses met me on the road; I followed him to Sinai: an opening door, light within light. Mount Sinai and Moses and I merged in an exploding splendor, the unity of the prophets!"

This is a true dream. Many Jews have such. Then the Christian sighs, "Christ took me in his arms to the fourth heaven, a pure vast region... I cannot say..." His also deep. The Muslim, "Muhammad came and told me where you two had gone. 'You wretch!' he said, 'You've been left behind! You may as well get up and eat something.'" "Noooo!" laugh the Christian and the Jew. "How could I disobey such glory? Would you not do as Moses and Jesus suggest?" "You're right," they say. "Yours is the truest dream, because it had immediate effect in your waking life." – Rumi

What matters is how quickly you do what your soul directs.


* caravanserai: an inn surrounding a court in eastern countries where caravans rest at night

** halvah: a flaky confection of crushed sesame seeds in a base of syrup (as of honey)


She Is The Creator

There is a tradition that Muhammad said, "A wise man will listen and be led by a woman, while an ignorant man will not." Someone too fiercely drawn by animal urges lacks kindness and the gentle affections that keep men human.

Anger and sharp desiring are animal qualities. A loving tenderness toward women shows someone no longer pulled along by wanting.

The core of the feminine comes directly as a ray of the sun. Not the earthly figure you hear about in love songs; there're more to her mystery than that. You might say she's not from the manifest world at all, but the creator of it. – Rumi


If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sexual wanting will look, lift your face and say, - Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness of the nightsky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, - Like this.

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is, or what "God’s fragrance" means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close. - Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe. - Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead, don’t try to explain the miracle. Kiss me on the lips. - Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means to "die for love," point here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown and measure with your fingers the space between the creases on your forehead. - This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns. When someone doesn't believe that, walk back into my house. - Like this.

When lovers moan, they’re telling our story. - Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live. Stare into this deepening blue, while the breeze says a secret. - Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in his hand. - Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob? - Huuuuu.

How did Jacob’s sight return? - Huuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes. - Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz, he’ll put just his head around the edge of the door to surprise us - Like this. – Rumi

I am a sculptor, a molder of form. In every moment I shape an idol.

But then, in front of you, I melt them down I can rouse a hundred forms and fill them with spirit, but when I look into your face, I want to throw them in the fire.

My souls spills into yours and is blended.

Because my soul has absorbed your fragrance, I cherish it.

Every drop of blood I spill informs the earth, I merge with my Beloved when I participate in love.

In this house of mud and water, my heart has fallen to ruins.

Enter this house, my Love, or let me leave. – Rumi

A moment of happiness, you and I sitting on the verandah, apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here, you and I, with the garden's beauty

and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us, and we will show them what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together, indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth, and in another form in a timeless sweet land. – Rumi


O lovers, lovers it is time to set out from the world.

I hear a drum in my soul's ear coming from the depths of the stars.

Our camel driver is at work; the caravan is being readied.

He asks that we forgive him for the disturbance he has caused us,

He asks why we travelers are asleep.

Everywhere the murmur of departure; the stars, like candles thrust at us from behind blue veils, and as if to make the invisible plain, a wondrous people have come forth. – Rumi

All through eternity... Beauty unveils His exquisite form in the solitude of nothingness; He holds a mirror to His Face and beholds His own beauty. He is the knower and the known, the seer and the seen; No eye but His own has ever looked upon this Universe.

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