Paradise is surrounded by what we dislike; the fires of hell are surrounded by what we desire.

What did Rumi mean by:

Paradise is surrounded by what we dislike; the fires of hell are surrounded by what we desire.


This quote delves into the concept of immediate gratification versus long-term fulfillment. It suggests that the path to paradise, or ultimate fulfillment and happiness, is often surrounded by challenges, sacrifices, and discomfort. We have to navigate through these difficulties to achieve true satisfaction and joy.

On the other hand, the path to hell, or suffering and regret, is often paved with immediate pleasures and desires. These are things that we crave and are drawn to, but they often lead to long-term negative consequences. This could include indulging in unhealthy habits, taking the easy way out, or prioritizing short-term satisfaction over long-term goals.

The quote is a reminder that the pursuit of what we desire most may not always be the best course of action. It encourages us to embrace discomfort and challenges as they are often the stepping stones to growth and fulfillment.

In today’s world, this can be seen in many aspects. For example, in the pursuit of health and fitness, the road is often filled with strenuous workouts and dietary restrictions – things that are typically seen as undesirable. However, these are the very things that lead to long-term health, strength, and vitality.

In terms of personal development, it could mean pushing oneself out of comfort zones to learn and grow, even when the process is uncomfortable or challenging. It could be as simple as choosing to read a book for personal growth instead of watching television for immediate entertainment. Or it could be as significant as choosing to face and overcome a personal fear or challenge, despite the discomfort, because you know it will lead to personal growth and improvement.

Overall, the quote is a call to mindfulness and intentionality in our choices, reminding us to consider the long-term impact and not just the immediate appeal or ease.

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