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Issue #2410, Saturday, March 4,
2006, Editor: Mark
My father loved first light.
He would sit alone
at the yellow formica table
in the kitchen with his coffee cup
and sip and look out
over the strait. Now,
in what could be
the end of my life, or worse,
the life of someone I love, I too
am addicted to slow sweet beginnings.
First bird call. Wings
in silhouette. How the steeples
of the evergreens make a selvage
for the gaunt emerging sky.
My three loves are far away
in other countries,
and one is even under
this dew-bright ground
where the little herds
of jittery quail peck
and scurry for their lives.
My father picks up his
cup. Light is sifting in
like a gloam of certainty
over the water. He knows
something there in the half light
he can't know any other way.
And now I know it with him: so much
is joining us in the dawn
that no one can ever be parted.
It steals over us because we left
the warm beds of our dreams
to sit beside what rises.
I think he wants to stay there
forever, my captain, gazing but not
expecting, while the world
begins, and, in a stark silent calling,
won't tell anyone what it's for.
- Tess Gallagher from Dear Ghosts
We have this way of talking,
and we have another.
Apart from what we wish
and what we fear my happen,
we are alive with other life,
as clear stones
take form in the mountains.
Rumi, version by Coleman Barks, from Open Secret, posted to AlongTheWay
Opinions are sometimes wrong,
but what kind of opinion is this
that's blind to the right road?
O eye, you cry for others:
sit down awhile and weep for yourself!
The bough is made green and fresh
by the weeping cloud for the same reason
that the candle is made brighter
by its weeping.
- Rumi, Mathnawi II: 478-480, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski from Rumi: Daylight, posted to Sunlight
The soul brings its light from Heaven; the mind acquires its
knowledge from earth. Therefore, when the soul believes readily, the
mind may still doubt.
- Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Belief is natural, and disbelief is unnatural, for belief is born in man, and unbelief is acquired... Every child born on earth is born with a tendency to believe what is told him, but the experience of the individual in this world full of falsehood teaches man to disbelieve. That shows that every soul comes from the world of truth, and opens his eyes in the world of falsehood. Every child comes into the world with that purity of heart whose natural tendency is to believe and later he acquires the tendency to doubt. The Prophet has therefore said: 'Every child is born a believer, it is afterwards that he becomes an unbeliever...' For doubt is earth-born and belief is heaven-born.
The tendency to doubt, to be depressed, the tendency towards fear, suspicion and confusion, the tendency to puzzle -- where does it all come from? It all comes from the thought of getting something in return: 'will another give me back what I have given him? Shall I get the just portion back, or less?' if that is the thought behind one's acts there will be fear, doubt, suspicion, puzzle and confusion. For what is doubt? Doubt is a cloud that stands before the sun, keeping it from shining its light. So is doubt: gathering around the soul it keeps its light from shining out, and man becomes confused and perplexed. Once selflessness is developed, it breaks through the cloud saying, 'What do I care whether anyone appreciates it; I only know to give my service, and that is all my satisfaction. I do not look forward to get it back. I have given and it is finished; this is where my duty ends.' That person is blessed, because he has conquered, he has won.
Understanding does not depend upon the head; it depends upon the heart. By the help of the head one can make it more clear, it becomes intelligible and one can express it better. But to begin with it must come from the heart, not from the head. Besides, a person who only uses his head says, 'It must be so because I think it is so', whereas the person who has the heart quality says, 'It is so because I believe it to be so'. That is the difference. In one person there is a doubt, in the other there is conviction... Spiritual attainment is nothing but conviction... When a person arrives at the stage when the knowledge of reality becomes a conviction, then there is nothing in the world that will change it. And if there is anything to attain to, it is that conviction which one can never find in the outside world; it must rise from the depths of one's own heart.
- posted to SufiMystic
Illusion is the cover of things;
reality is the depth of things.
- Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, from: A Meditation Theme for Each Day, selected and arranged by Hazrat Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, posted to SufiMystic
When we understand the true nature of existence, which is an ever-changing
and endless cycle of life and death... and when we dissolve into this
process of existence, there are no more problems of birth, aging, illness
- Heart sutra excerpt, posted to truevision
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