[42 - later edition] Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit

by Omar Khayyam

English version by Edward FitzGerald
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
     Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.

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

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Another verse by Omar Khayyam that can easily be misunderstood as praise of drunkenness and lethargy.

But remember that Omar Khayyam was a Sufi initiate. The wine or "Grape" he refers to is the celestial drink of mystics that makes one "merry" with the bliss of ecstatic union.

Better to be lost in holy bliss than to waste your limited time on Earth in debates and controversy, whether spiritual or political. The intellect alone cannot perceive its own origin or its aim, or even truly grasp knowledge. Use the intellect; don't let it use you.

It is only through divine union, the drinking of "the fruitful Grape," that reality is clearly perceived and understood. Every other effort, without that organizing clarity and joy, ultimately leads to disappointment, "bitter fruit."

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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42 - later edition