The correct key to the meaning of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat is neither the literal nor the mystical one, but a combination of both. The Persian character and outlook are such that they can easily hold the sceptical analyst, the pious devotee, the careless sensualist, and the theosophical fakir under a single hat. Consequently some of the verses of the Rubaiyat are to be taken as they stand, but others must be searched for an inner meaning. And this meaning is openly hinted at by a Persian Sufi teacher, Sheikh Ibrahim, in a quatrain where we are told to weep in yearning for the divine soul and to give it our heart's love:The real wine is the blood of our hearts,
Do not search for it in the bottle.
The true pearls are the tears of our eyes,
Do not look for them in the ocean.
-- Notebooks Category 14: The Arts in Culture > Chapter 4: Reflections On Specific Arts > # 155