Sunday, February 10, 2008

Love is not a Word . . .

I've seemed to notice that the most mystical spiritual Writings are also the most poetic.

Some things spiritual are best explained with concrete examples.

Some have no earth-bound examples to show . . .

Today's Excerpt:

If the loving seekers wish to live within the precincts of the Attracting One (Majdhub)
[1], no soul may dwell on this Kingly Throne save the beauty of love. This realm is not to be pictured in words.
[1 That attribute of God which draws all creatures to Him.]

Love shunneth this world and that world too,
In him are lunacies seventy-and-two. The minstrel of love harpeth this lay:

Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray. [1]
[1 The Mathnavi.]

This plane requireth pure affection and the bright stream of fellowship. In telling of these companions of the Cave He saith: "They speak not till He hath spoken; and they do His bidding."
[1 Qur'án 21:27.]

On this plane, neither the reign of reason is sufficient nor the authority of self. Hence, one of the Prophets of God hath asked: "O my Lord, how shall we reach unto Thee?" And the answer came, "Leave thyself behind, and then approach Me."

These are a people who deem the lowest place to be one with the throne of glory, and to them beauty's bower differeth not from the field of a battle fought in the cause of the Beloved.

The denizens of this plane speak no words -- but they gallop their chargers. They see but the inner reality of the Beloved. To them all words of sense are meaningless, and senseless words are full of meaning. They cannot tell one limb from another, one part from another. To them the mirage is the real river; to them going away is returning. Wherefore hath it been said:

The story of Thy beauty reached the hermit's dell;

Crazed, he sought the Tavern where the wine they buy and sell.

The love of Thee hath leveled down the fort of patience,

The pain of Thee hath firmly barred the gate of hope as well.
[1 Sa'di.]
In this realm, instruction is assuredly of no avail.
The lover's teacher is the Loved One's beauty,

His face their lesson and their only book.

Learning of wonderment, of longing love their duty,

Not on learned chapters and dull themes they look.

The chain that binds them is His musky hair,

The Cyclic Scheme,
[1] to them, is but to Him a stair. [2]
[1 The Cyclic Theory of Abu-'Ali Sina (Avicenna -- 980-1037) as expressed by him in the quatrain: Every semblance, every shape that perisheth today In the treasure-house of Time is safely stored away. When the world revolveth to its former place, Out of the Invisible He draweth forth its face. See also Some Answered Questions, p. 326.]
[2 The Mathnavi]

Here followeth a supplication to God, the Exalted, the Glorified:

O Lord! O Thou Whose bounty granteth wishes!

I stand before Thee, all save Thee forgetting.
Grant that the mote of knowledge in my spirit

Escape desire and the lowly clay;

Grant that Thine ancient gift, this drop of wisdom,
Merge with Thy mighty sea.
[1 Ibid.]

Thus do I say: There is no power or might save in God, the Protector, the Self-Subsistent.
[1 From Qur'án 18:37]

Bahá’u’lláh, The Four Valleys, p. 54